Monday, January 6, 2014

Driving Virginia

We did in fact get hit with crazy weather. Well, kind of. People here are ridiculously wimpy when it comes to weather. There was apparently going to be a huge ice storm Sunday so they cancelled church and it turned out that it snowed a little and iced a little but it was basically nothing. This isn't Utah--people freak out over any cold weather here.  But anyway, thank you for telling me about the dance!!! I wanted to laugh my guts out at that story! It just made me think of awkward dance dates I've gone to. It seems like it was all so long ago! I'm glad my brother has good manners though. I've realized out here more than ever that what really matters in a boy is that he's an all around good guy.  When I think of who I would want to actually date or ask if I needed a blessing, it's the boys who are doing exactly what they're supposed to, opening doors, and just being good guys.

And yes! It was Elder Sitati from Kenya who spoke to us!!! He was so amazing! The more I learn about the gospel the more I think I would die for it. I always thought that the pioneers and the early saints were crazy for putting their lives on the line for this, but I finally realized... this is our life. Our life and the gospel really aren't something that can be separated. So of course they would put their lives on the line for it. And so would I. There is just something about truth.

Ok. So this week has been insane. Literally insane. It all started last p-day. We play soccer and football every p-day with our district and the buena vista missionaries on the SVU feild for p-day. It's soooo fun. So we played all day and then that night me and Sister Pierson had to make the drive to Blacksburg, Virginia because the next morning Sister Pierson (who is an sister trainer leader, STL) and the STL in Blacksburg had to drive together to Charleston for MLC (mission leadership conference). So I got to spend the day in Blacksburg with her companion who was none other than Sister Reed!!!!! MY MTC companion!!! We honestly had the best day ever! She even let me take her running in the morning! It was sooooo fun to get to be her companion again! She is the best! We got to go to an interview for a lady named K----- for her to get baptized next Saturday! The rest of the day we spent doing a little tracting and talking to this crazy guy who talked about how awful the government is for like an hour. Blacksburg is a really cool area, and I got to be on the campus of Virginia Tech! It's so cool to see all these colleges and things I've heard of in real life! 

Wednesday we helped D---- clean her house all day, a less active lady we love, and then that night we had the baptisimal interview for Tanja and Scott!!! Elder Boggus did the interview and so elder cluff hung out with us while they got interviewed. The funniest thing was during the interview, elder Boggus later tells us that he was asking them the questions and he goes, "Ok, next question is... how did you lose your finger?" and looks at Scott haha. (Because Scott is missing his ring finger on his left hand so he wears his ring around his neck.) Anyway, at work, he was wearing his wedding ring and it got caught on something and ripped his finger off!!! So that's why you really shouldn't wear your ring at work haha. 

The next day was another crazy day.  In the morning we drove an hour to Lynchburg, where we had a zone meeting with one of the zones Pierson is an STL over. It was so cool though, because it was in this gorgeous little bed and breakfast place that one of the elder's investigators owns called The Acorn Inn or something like that. It was soooo fun! After, we exchanged with the Lynchburg sisters and I got to spend the day and night with Sister Morgan in Lynchburg. They live in this teeny tiny adorable little house and Lynchburg is a super cool city. It was a fun day, and we went to dinner at this member's house who had a deaf daughter! Super fun! The next morning Sister Morgan went running with me!!! And then we exchanged back and we made the long drive back to Lexington. Sister Pierson has spent SO much time in a car this week, it should be a crime. Later that night we went and blitzed the Buena Vista sister's area because they were struggling as a companionship and because sister shreeves knee was acting up and they're in a walking area. So I got to spend a few hours with Sister Shreeves, who is from eagle Idaho and super cute. For our meeting we went to this Protestant live nativity. Well, we were going to, but when we got there we found out it was cancelled because of rain so we just walked through it ourselves and got hot chocolate afterwards.

Saturday was our ward christmas party brunch and after we got to attend a baptism for the YSA ward. It was sooo cool!!!! First baptism I've seen on my mission. The WVCM (West Virginia Charleston Mission) doesn't see as many baptisms as other missions, but in our Thursday zone meeting the zone leader, Elder Haws, a former AP (assistant to the president) was telling us how President Pitt had said he was thankful that it was a hard mission, because every conversion we see is precious, and the relationships we make here will last forever. A lot of south american missionaries can't remember half the names of people they baptized. After the baptism we got to go have dinner at S----- and T----'s. Gosh. I just feel so at home out there with them. In their home, I feel more at home then I have my whole mission. I remember sitting in their living room after dinner with their blue tick hound on my lap just petting her, and laughing with sister Pierson, and them and just being so very happy! They are getting baptized, and I love them! 

So that night was great..... until like 2 o' clock that morning. I woke up with a horrible stomach ache and ended up puking. I didn't realize exactly how far from home I was until I was kneeling on the cold tile of a Virginia apartment puking my guts out, wishing that I had a mom to run to. It was kind of rough. But the next morning I slept in for the first time on my mission because I still felt crummy when my alarm went off at 6:30. Luckily, church had been cancelled because of the predicted ice storm, so it wasn't a big deal. Instead of church, we got together with the elders later that day and watched a church movie for "church."  

The mission just has so many crazy experiences in store for me. I can't beleive all that has already happened, and realizing I'm only about two and a half months in. Oh! I forgot to talk about Flora. She from Russia and is going through a divorce right now. She is investigating but it's kinda taken a backseat because she's probably gonna have to go back to Russia after the divorce goes through. I love her so much, and she gives the most beautiful prayers in the world. 

Anyway. I'm just so glad to be out here. Especially in Lexington. Whenever I hear the version of "If You Could Hie to Kolob" from The Lower Lights I will forever think of my time here. The people, the places. I'm just so happy here, and learning so much. This week I realized that no matter where you are, even if you're on a mission, temptation and disobedience will try to attack you.  No matter where you are or what you're doing, Satan will work on you, and you will often mess up. But that's why we have the atonement, isn't it? It was funny, because for the first time, not getting to take the sacrament on sunday (because church was cancelled) really got to me. I need that reminder, that re-commitment. Sister Pierson and I talked alot this week about the need to re-commit yourself daily, even hourly, to the Lord. And really, we need to do that with everything we are committed to. Life is a process, nothing here is really a one time event.

I love this work, and I love this gospel. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!

Love you all!!! Thank you so much for all your support and letters! Especially thank you for the advent calander!!! I wanted to cry I was so happy about that!

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