Transfer day brought every feeling I felt the day I left my family at the MTC back again. Missionaries from all over the mission met us at the church in Sissonville where we had spent the previous day. We had a little testimony meeting in the chapel. All the missionaries gave incredible testimonies with amazing stories.
After this, they lined up all the new missionaries against the walls. It honestly felt like an execution. Again, I was being ripped away from the people I learned to call family, and going to a place I didn’t know, to do things I didn’t know how to do.
They began calling out missionaries’ names and assigning them companions, sisters first. I was about the fifth sister called, and lo and behold, I was assigned. It was hard, but I squared my shoulders, and went to hug my new companion. And so it began.
We were assigned to the Ashland, Kentucky South area. It’s a city, but a poor city. Driving there I got to drive through West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. We live in a little apartment next to Blazer High School. My companion’s name is Sister Boldrin. She was homeschooled and loves musicals and singing and dancing. As President Pitt would later say, we are “polar opposites.”
On our first day together we met the bishop, and had dinner with the ward mission leader and the two other sets of elders in our ward. I had never felt so overwhelmed in my life. It only got worse when, after dinner, we went to visit a new investigator named P----. The missionaries had never officially met with him. We sat down on his porch and began talking about what we each believe. (Side note: Porch sitting is a big deal around here. EVERYONE has a porch with some chairs and maybe a swing and there is a great deal of porch sitting that goes on. Also a lot of porch smoking! It feels like almost everyone smokes here.) Anyway, this man, P----, was extremely firm in his beliefs and called us heretics because we believe we can become like God. The lesson went awful, and I was terrified. As we left he said to Sister Boldrin that there was something in her eyes that he thought was special even though he thought we were wrong. Then he looked at me and said, “I’m not one to be mean, but I just don’t see that in you.”
What a way to start my mission! When we got back in the car I broke down. I cried so hard I think Sister Boldrin was freaked out. I felt hopeless in a way I had never felt hopeless before.