November 9, 2015
Wowzers what a week. LONGEST WEEK IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. This one has got a journal entry and all which is saying a lot. Stay tuned for it.
Monday: Preparation Day- Basically Packingation Day. I had to pack all day and we had to three-pack(ify) our apartment. It was a little hectic but we got it all taken care of. Enough of the boring P-day wait until you hear the rest of the week.
Tuesday: MY BABY IS ALL GROWN UP! Don’t worry everyone I didn’t actually have a baby, that’s just the term you use when you train a new missionary. BUT TUESDAY WAS SISTER BELL’S VERY LAST DAY OF TRAINING! She is so ready for this new transfer and she is going to do great taking over the area! So transfers happened. First of all my new companion is from Magna, UT and her name is Sister Johnson! She is so sweet and has a great testimony. This is going to be an interesting transfer but I have never been so ready for a challenge! We actually white washed into the area which means that two previous elders were taken out and Sister Johnson and I were put in. We are the first sisters to live in this apartment EVER. You can tell it has been lived in by boys since 1992 (that’s the last date we have record of). It looks a lot better now, so does all of the records. It has been CRAZZZYYYY. Just imagine for a second the most rural place you can think of. Houses every mile or two, long dirt driveways, lots of land, horses, trees… yes that was South Whidbey. Now picture the typical city. HUNDREDS of apartment complexes with THOUSANDS of occupied apartments, traffic, honking horns, people walking on the sidewalks, people crossing the road in the busy traffic… that’s where we are. It is quite a different dynamic. Everyone wants to go to a foreign country on their mission but shoot, we have 60 different countries within our small area. We have met people from all over the world: Cambodia, Fiji, Egypt, Russia, and all over the place. I think we have more copies of the Book of Mormon in languages other than English.
Wednesday: This morning we woke up and did our studies. It was weird to do all of our studies in the morning before district meeting. On the Island we always had to catch the ferry so our studies were pushed back. Anyway, we did studies and then went to district meeting. WE HAVE A HUGE DISTRICT. 7 sisters (including my baby Sister Bell!), and 4 elders. It is great to hear so many different perspectives and ideas. We went grocery shopping after district meeting- got some food and hangers because I didn’t have enough in my new apartment. Then we came home and called all the auxiliary leaders to set up appointments. We wanted to meet with each of them to see how we could help and take a load off of their shoulders. Then we went and visited some members, had dinner, and then saw more members. We got a referral out of it so it had to have been worth it! We also had a meeting with our Ward Mission Leader. He is great and we are so excited to work with him!
Thursday: Today felt like a total of 824 hours. LONGEST DAY EVER. We had a meeting with our relief society president right after our studies and it was wonderful! She gave us a whole list of sisters to visit in the ward. We spent the whole day trying to contact members. We don’t know who is active, less active, semi active, anything. It’s fun. It’s like a game of Guess Who! We had a lesson with an investigator family planned but they canceled. The son was supposed to get baptized this Saturday. AHHHH. STRESS. But he didn’t show up to church so we are going to postpone it a little bit. We actually have an appointment with them tonight. But overall it has been a good few days. Not sure if I will ever get used to the apartment complexes though. I don’t like when the visitor parking is filled. OR that we have to look up names in a directory at the complex just to call them so they can unlock the door. It is hard to explain. OH AND LOTS AND LOTS OF STAIRS.
Friday: WEEKLY PLANNING TO THE MAX. It took up most of our day. It is hard to plan for an area that neither of you know. We had to reorganize some things but we feel so much better about the area and we are ready to work, work, and work this week.
Saturday; Saturday went by pretty quickly. We spent most of the day at a Roots Tech Family History Thingy (the thingy isn’t actually part of the name I just can’t remember what the rest of the title is). We just helped people get to the correct classes and answered some questions, we got free cookies too. We stayed in most of the night to read through the former investigators in our area book. We actually have a whole separate binder for them because there are so many. We found some great people that we are excited to meet!
Sunday: Well we had ward council early in the AM. It was wonderful to already report on some of the names Sister Jensen (Relief Society President) had given us. We are off to a good start in the ward, folks. We were also asked to say the prayers in sacrament meeting. So when sacrament meeting came, that’s what we did. Then we went to Gospel Principles class where our Ward Mission Leader taught. There was only a few in there. We are teaching next week though so more people better come! ;) During relief society we introduced ourselves and made an announcement. This is critical. We as missionaries come to members’ homes for dinner to strengthen their faith and help them with their missionary efforts. It is ONE HOUR of coordinating efforts and suggesting and receiving new ideas. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE FOOD. Missionaries are not starving to death. We have food in the apartment and we have a specific amount of money to spend each month. We eat at members’ homes to hasten the work of salvation. And to reiterate… ONE HOUR. Half way through the meeting we went into Primary to talk to the 10 year olds about how the Gospel is in all the world. We shared about all the languages the Book of Mormon is translated into and where all of our friends, relatives, neighbors, cousins, are serving. WE KNOW PEOPLE EVERYWHERE! After the block we had a meeting with our Ward Mission Leader. Then a meeting with our Bishop. Then a meeting with Sister Carter the Young Women’s President. We are going to talk to the laurels next Sunday to get them out working with us. We had dinner at the Bishop’s house and then had our studies! Loving it here in the Pacific Northwest! It has been rainy but it hasn’t struck us with lightning, it isn’t slowing us down.
I was telling Sister Johnson yesterday how weird I feel this week. I have so many things to be stressed about or so many reasons to be frustrated for whatever it may be but I AM JUST SO HAPPY. It’s weird. I am just so excited this transfer. I told President Bonham and the Lord (of course) that I am ready to work harder than ever this transfer. Just “trying a little harder to be a little better.” Everyone says the last 6 months of your mission are the prime time. Although, I still feel brand new I feel like I finally know what to do and HOW to do it. I am ready to put it into effect. Because of the disobedience of some previous missionaries, we are really striving to gain the trust of the members. Having exactly 1 hour dinners, returning and reporting on the assignments they give us, and going the extra mile. The work of members and missionaries should not be parallel but should intertwine. They are both good efforts separately but together they are exceptionally great--- invincible.
There are so many people out here in the world that NEED the Gospel. We do not know who is prepared and who isn’t. We don’t know who is behind the door that we are about to knock on but Heavenly Father does. Those are His children. OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. Open your mouths and share what you know. The success comes in the invite. Give them the opportunity to accept or reject because they have agency. Don’t just pray for opportunities but PLEAD for opportunities. Plead for the ability to recognize those opportunities. Heavenly Father will give them to you. Once you have a missionary experience, share it with others. It gets them excited and they will do the same… it is contagious because it is the greatest work on the earth.
I love you all, xo