Dear Mom and Dad,
This is gonna be a LONG email because I typed on my iPad just every night so I can get the most info to you guys for my first week :) but first I will tell you some basics. First off I need a bike, BUT good news, there is a walmart down the street and I can just buy one there. Is that okay? Should I just use the American Express? Second THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MY WELCOME PACKAGE :) it was just what I needed :) I have the best mom and dad ever! I love you both so much! Okay get ready to read :) - my address is 1513 Hatcher Ln #F66 Columbia TN 38401 so check out on Google maps my ghetto home... Haha and just send letters and packages there too :)
Tuesday 10/7/14 Today was a good day! My first day as what I felt like, a real missionary! How cool is that? Yesterday was a long day! Well listen to what happened on our way to Tennessee.... Okay the flight was like.... 45 mins, way short! But it was so bumpy... I hated every second of that.... Then as we were starting our descend you won't believe what happened. Our plane got struck by lightening!! Like all of a sudden there was this bright flash and pop and our plane made these weird movements and everyone on the flight was thinking the same thing.... Like holy crap our plane just got struck by lightening... Can you imagine how I reacted? So me and Hermana Levao said a prayer and then we landed like 10 minutes after that, safe and sound :) then we met president Anderson and sister Anderson too :) they are so nice! President Anderson reminds me of like a mix of Scott Hutchison and President Bryan... Haha he is awesome! We met with them then they told us to go proselyting in the airport while we were waiting for the Provo missionaries to come in. THAT WAS TERRIFYING. But after some prayers we were able to get the courage and pass out some Restoration pamphlets! After once the new missionaries came we left for the mission home. Wow. Tennessee is BEAUTIFUL. it has everything. Green. I felt completely at home. The mission presidents house is huge! And really nice. We had dinner then orientation stuff then we got our iPads which also is really nice. After we had a small devotional. I had a hard time staying awake. I was so tired. We finally got to bed at like 11:30! The beds at the mission home are SO COMFY. like the comfiest bed ever. I slept like a baby. Tuesday morning we had breakfast then packed up the cars and went to transfer meeting. That was cool. It was fun, all the missionaries who left this week spoke and then they announced us and our trainers! My trainer is Hermana Torres and she is from Texas. Her family is from Monterrey Mexico! She is fluent in Spanish and English, which is actually a blessing! She has only been out for 4 months! I love her, she is awesome! After we packed up our stuff in a members car and off we went to Columbia! It's about 45 mins south of Nashville! It's really awesome! I love it here!! It's what some people call the city sticks but definitely still a city! It's beautiful too with all trees and changing leaves. But it's crazy. So we are called to the Columbia Spanish area... But since we are the only Spanish we actually cover 2 other areas, spring hill and franklin! Which is like so far! Hermana Torres and I are "white washing" the area. Which means we both are new to the area. We are replacing elders and they haven't had Hermanas in like years they said! We got to our apartment and let's just say.... Sketchy haha and elders are pretty gross.... And it smells like Vegas haha the guy below us is like this crazy chain smoker... So we got all our stuff in and then we had a dinner appointment at some members house. The Abacs! They are really nice and from Guatemala! Dinner wasn't bad... Haha I didn't say much because well my Spanish isn't that good... Haha but I tried my best and just listened to as much as I could. The food wasn't bad but the drink was! So it made it even harder to swallow the food or to wash it down. The rest of the night we went tracting to a trailer park behind the Abacs house. It was kinda sketchy but we met some nice people and handed out some restoration pamphlets. After we went and met some of the investigators that the elders were teaching when they left! We went over the Aidee and Edger Ponce's house and man are they awesome! It's hard though because they have been investigating the church for 3 years!! Our goal is to get them baptized this transfer :) they are so nice. They have 3 boys too. Also we didn't know how to get back to our apartment and we didn't even know where we lived so Edgar had us follow him, it was so nice! We love them! Also there was a HUGE lightening and thunderstorm tonight which woke me up but I was so tired and out of it, I slept through it!
Wednesday 10/8/14 Today we had our first district meeting! Our district has 6 people total and 3 are new... It was kind of an awkward hour and a half... But it was good! After the other sisters and Hermana Torres and I went to chick-fil-a! Yum. My favorite :) and mom's too! Haha later that night we went to dinner at a less active members house! It was really fun, we had a ton of food tho. By the end Hermana Torres and I both felt like we might throw up we were so full! After we went to a members home and met them! Sister Noble! She is like the best member missionary ever! She knows all out investigators and is always trying to help us help them.
Thursday 10/9/14 Today was kind of a long day! But it was great. We met with one of the investigators that the elders left for us, Felipe. We taught him at sister nobles and the lesson went great. He is so ready for baptism! Hopefully we can set a date next week and work towards that date for the next 2 or so weeks :) he has so much faith! He said "I just want to find happiness and peace in my life" he totally has that desire and want to change!! That lesson went great. After sister noble made lunch for us, she is so awesome! We had BLT's and they were so dang good :) the rest of the day went well, but Hermana Torres and I thought we would attempt riding bikes since next week the elders have the car. FAIL. Haha we gave up once we got out of our parking lot. Hopefully this next week will be netter :) the night was good. We didn't have tons of luck but we talked to quite a few people. We were knocking trailers again and we met a cute 15 year old named Angela. She seemed pretty interested and so we got her number and are hoping to go and visit her next week :)
Friday 10/10/14 Friday was like the best day ever!!! But really long too. We had studies all morning, conference call, and the our good old 3 hours of weekly planning! It rained ALL morning. Just pouring pouring pouring. I loved it. Anyway We went through our area book and made a huge map on our wall of all the people in it, so then we have people to go and visit. We set goals for ourselves and that was cool too, just too see what we can do to be better missionaries. We decided to say specific prayers to help us. We had texted Felipe to see how he was and if he was reading the chapter in the BOM that we assigned him. We said a specific prayer asking if we could hear back from him and right when finished our prayer, BAM text from Felipe saying he is doing good and we can see him on Saturday yahoo!, such a cool experience. We then prayed that we could find someone who would be willing to hear our message and invite us for a lesson next week and guess what happened? We went to a house in the area book and a lady answered and she invited us In and her 3 kids were there and we were just talking and she had so many questions, it was awesome!! She invited us over for next week :) it's so amazing how when we pray Heavenly Father truly hears our prayers and when we go forth with faith our prayers are answered! It's like what president Hinckley said, "First get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work" it's SO true. Faith without works is dead. The rest of the night went great just finding and sharing the gospel. Then we decided to say another specific prayer and ask Heavenly Father to help us find someone at Walmart who would be receptive to our message. We found her!! Her name is Gilla and she has two little kids. We shared a quick message and asked if we could visit her again, she said yes and gave us her number. She also said she would read the pamphlet and call us if she had some questions. Wow so humbling! It just makes you want to work harder and harder to find those who are ready for the gospel!
Saturday 10/11/14 Saturday was a tough day.... It rained ALL day. And was cloudy, not even a ray of sun, allllll day long. But it kinda made for a pretty nice gloomy day with all the trees changing colors and stuff! I will send you pictures :) but we went to this trailer park across town and we knocked and knocked and knocked. No one would answer. We talked to a few people but nothing big.... Then we were leaving and we decided to try one more. We knocked and that's when we met Tina. She isn't Latino or Hispanic just white, so we got to speak English (my favorite :)) haha anyway she has been struggling so badly lately. She is such an amazing person and willing to give anything to help someone in need, even when she doesn't even have very much. Hermana Torres and I were so humbled after meeting her. We are going to help her move and find a new place that's big enough for her and her kids. As well as help her get in with the church and the churches counseling. She said she can feel herself starting to get depressed again and she doesn't want to go back to drinking. She is SO ready for the gospel. Well after that just a day of no answering. Our 6 o'clock canceled on us :( boo but we just ended up tracting. Then we met with Felipe again! He is SO awesome! And just has the best spirit ever. He came with his brother and we actually ended up teaching him more than Felipe but it was awesome because Felipe was able to help us teach him too! I was really frustrated during that lesson tho. Just because I wanted to understand everything everyone was saying, not just bits and pieces. And because I want to be able to help them. I feel like I just am a cat sitting and watching. I want a relationship with these people and this language barrier is kinda a problem.... I'm just frustrated. I need to realize its my first week out here and I have been only learning Spanish for like 7 weeks... I guess I am lucky to even be able to communicate... Besides that and the no sun, today ended up being a good day out in the field :)
Sunday 10/12/14 Sunday! My first Sunday in the field. And guess who thought she was just introducing herself to the ward but ended up having to give a ten minute talk? Haha yours truly.... But it actually went pretty well if you ask me! I just talked about how important members are in missionary work! So we don't have a ton of spanish members so we just have headsets and a translator, usually sister noble, who translates the meetings. My goal is to be able to translate after my 12 weeks of training. Felipe came to church today!! And stayed for all 3 hours!! Also, our less active Anegels came to sacrament meeting, so that was good too :) she had to leave early for work but we were glad she came. And after church she wanted to meet with us, it was awesome. She texted us and said she realized that her way of living life was different than how God wanted her to.... We were kind of nervous at first, but it was good! She said she wants to change her life and break up with the boyfriend she is living with and date/marry someone she can go to the temple with and so she can be sealed with her daughter and how she wants to get her patriarchal blessing and everything. She said she is going to find a new job too! Wow it was so amazing to see how much she is willing to change here life!
All in all I am doing good. Hermana Torres is awesome and I just love her! Tennessee is beautiful but the weather is crazy! I will send you some videos :) I love you so much! How is E? I didn't hear from her yesterday... Hope she is okay!
I love you guys and am so grateful to be here on my mission :)
Streets here in Columbia
THIS IS THE TOWN SQUARE THAT IS IN THE HANNAH MONTANA MOVIE
A picture of my boots for grandma and grandpa
Yesterday fog at the church building
|Me riding my bike|