Dec 23, 2013
MY First Week in Denver!!!!
I will first start with the last bit of the CCM.
The last sunday there was kind of sad, (Sundays were always my favorite day) It was the last time to be around everyone, and you also know this is the last time you will probably see them ever. Which is super sad. I absolutly love my District, the Hermanas, and especially the Elders. We are all brothers and sisters and act like it always haha. But that night, the entire CCM sang "God be with you till we meet again", it's the tradition here. And it was super weird that it was our turn to be sang to. The time has just flown by, and now I can't believe that I am actually back in the states!
Anyway, back to the story. Sunday night we each got blessings from our Elders, just to prepare us for the field and have comfort and peace. I love the boys so much, and feel so blessed to have known them. It was so sad to say goodbye, but I know that are all going to be amazing missionaries. Then that night we finished packing, got about an hour of sleep, and had to get up at 1 in the morning! McRae and I said goodbye to Hermana Moser, who I truly do love to death and it was a little sad, but we were all too tired to be really sad. I was just so glad that Hermana McRae and I were going together, I never wanted to say goodbye to her! We were at reception at 230 to load all of our luggage on a bus, ate breakfast then head out. I will always miss the CCM. It was so beautiful and I wish everyone could visit and see everything. Some of the best experiences of my life happened there, and it was truly sad to leave. The whole bus ride to the airport Hermana McRae and I were finally able to unload all of our stress about our trio. I truly love Hermana Moser, but things were always stressfull around her. A lot of drama. We just laughed and laughed the whole bus ride, it was great to spend some of our last time together like that.
The airport was fun. Just kidding. It is always a hassle to go through immigration and baggage check. Then we had to wait for Elder Summerhays and Elder Hettinger, who were also flying with us (which is awesome because they are hilarious) and finally, hours later, we boarded our plane. McRae and I had a whole row of 3 seats to ourself! So we sprawled out completely with our giant coats as pillows, and slept on top of each other for the whole 2 hours! It felt so amazing! Then we landed in Dallas! We were so excited to see regular food! But alas, we forgot about the time change and had less then an hour to get to our plane, which we also had to ride a bus to get to the other terminal. So that is why I didn't get to call. I was really sad about it but also knew I would see the family in a few days anyway.
Then we said goodbye to the Elders(sniff sniff) boarded our last plane ride to Denver, and took off. This time, we didn't sit by each other, but it was still fine. I slept a little but not a ton, mostly wrote letters and just sat there squished between 2 people. This was my first time wearing my missionary tag in public, outside the CCM at least, and it was so hilarious! People were so scared of us and I loved making them all so uncomfortable haha! But it was cool, a lot of people approached us and started talking. They already knew who we were and started asking lots of questions. It was cool to see.
In Denver it was just Hermana McRae and I. We got our bags, walked out the door, and there was Sister Murdock! She is the cutest lady and so kind. Actually, I really love her and President Murdock. They are the coolest people and I am so glad they are my Mission Presidents. She drove us the the Mission office, where we automatically started an orientation and learning. We were all so tired it was hard to focus. But we did some fun activites to break it up. It was cool to meet some of the new sisters in my mission, but McRae and I are the only new spanish speaking missionaries. It felt kind of segregated haha, but we had fun with other spanish sisters who are only here until they get their visas and go to argentina.
Then we went to the President's house for dinner and a short devotional to learn more about them. The food was so good! The best food I had had in over 6 weeks! And all of their christmas decorations reminded me of home! That night we were all supposed to stay at their house but there were too many people. So Hermana McRae and I volunteered to go to a members house and stay with her. We thought it would be fun to take some of our christmas packages and have our own christmas party, and it would be a good way to spend time together before we parted ways. so sad.
Oh, and thanks for the tree! Everyone at the mission office has been laughing about it and wondering who the sister was who got sent a tree. So I have already been talked about a lot haha. It was a funny surprise and I was not expecting it. So that night, we set up my little tree, and her and I each opened up a few presents. Her family had sent her the Onesie pajamas from a christmas story, and she automatically put it on, IT WAS HILARIOUS!! oh my gosh, we had so much fun that night, I have never laughed to hard! IT was one of the best (unofficial) christmas I have ever had. I love her like a sister and we get along so good! All we do is laugh and joke, our humor is exactly the same! We can just look at each other and know what we are thinking. I am going to miss her so much, but we have lots of plans for the future together.
Anyway, I opened Grandma's present. Oh my goodness, it was amazing! I did not expect any of that and completely loved it. Grandma, that picture is breathtaking and means so much to me. Thank you! I have already put it right in front of my desk where I study, and I love to look at it everyday. And thank you for the oils, They will help so much during this winter season! I love you guys so much! But it was a perfect night to start off my time in Denver.
Next morning we returned to the mission office bright and early and got to meet our new companions and where we will be serving. My companion is Hermana Noffz. She is amazing! She has been our almost 10 months and has already helped me so much. I was worried about having a trainer who was not good and I wouldn't be able to learn how to serve the right way, but she is incredible and knows what she is doing. Her first transfer she helped her trainer open up a new area. And just like with Hna. McRae, we are so similiar in a lot of ways. I know that we will have a blast together and I am excited to work with her. Plus, just like me, when she first came to the field, spanish was really hard for her. So she has a lot of patience and just really tries to help me as much as she can.
Drum roll please! So I am serving in the little town of Eagle Valley. Which is close to Aspen and Glenwood Springs! So it is amazingly beautiful and surrounded by cute, little ski towns. Actually our area covers Eagle, Gypsum, and Dotsero, which are all tiny towns and we can drive through them in about 3 minutes haha. Cool fact, the stake I am serving in, is the largest stake in the whole country, according to square miles. It goes up to steamboad and craig, and all the way to Grand Junction, it is huge and members always have to drive hours to attend stake events. It is called to Meeker stake. Actually, Hna. Noffz and I are White washing this area. Which is basically like opening. They have never had spanish sisters and the work here has completely stopped because the last few sets of Elders before us were so sick and couldn't get anything done. So we have no idea who anyone is and have just started over almost. It is a lot of hard work, and I didn't know I could be so exhauseted!
We are actually staying with a member, her name is sister Lister and lives alone. Her husband died at the beginning of the year and this is where the elders stayed before us. We take to whole basement and it is nice to have a lot of room. But you will never believe what I live with. Two giant poodles who are constantly all over us needing attention haha. For the most part they are good, but both Hna. Noffz and I are not poodle people. They just do the weirdest things. Sometimes when we are praying we here them suddenly run down the stairs and we know to brace ourselfs and cover our faces haha. And sis. Lister also has a parrot named Lorri. Who barks. Constantly and never stops. It is hilarious but I am sure I will be sick of it pretty soon. But Sister Lister is really sweet and so nice.
But I do love it here, and I love the people I have already met.
Coolest story ever. Our second night we were tracting a bit in Eagle Villas,(you will hear a lot about this place, a lot of hispanics live here and it is like our second home) and I kept getting the feeling to visit a name I had saw earlier in the area book. So we went over to that apartment and immedietly they let us in. There is an older woman there, Cecilla, and her daughter Myrna with her kids. We started talking, and asked if they were members. Myrna said she was, and all of a sudden Cecilla said"I want to be" Myrna was shocked. This was the first time her mother has ever said this before. She has always laughed at the church and was never interested. They both started crying. Cecilla said as soon as we walked in that she felt so much peace and comfort and knew that she had to be baptized. She has been having health problems and family problems and has wanted to change her life but didn't know what to do. The Lord truly does prepare the people for us and it is amazing to see his hand in everything we do.
So I already have a baptism date set! whoo hoo! We have visited Cecilla every day and have been preparing her for baptism. She is so ready, and I am so excited for her. I don't understand everything that she says, but she knows that I love her, and I know that she has a lot of love for me as well. I love their whole family, and feel really comfortable there. Myrna and her kids speak english good so I am not completely lost there. We will be spending Christmas day with them and will be using their computers to skype.
We have done a lot of street contacting and have met a lot of people. But it is hard, we have no one to teach actual lessons to, only a few. But we have a lot of good feelings about certain people and really want to work with them a lot. I have faith that we are here for them specifically and am excited.
But is is so hard here, harder then I ever thought it would be. I get so discouraged everyday with the language and feel like I can't speak a word of spanish. I already love these people so much but feel like I can't connect with them good because I can't speak to them too much. It has also been really hard to find a balance when teaching lessons. Hna. Noffz talks a lot and it is hard for her to know how much I can do and how comfortable I am when speaking. So we are figuring that out still, but am sure we will get s system down soon, it is only the first week.
Church was good, the ward is super nice and very welcoming. It is an English ward with only a few hispanic members, but Hna. Noffz still had to translate during the meetings, and she has to teach Gospel Doctrine with only 2 minutes to prepare. Lets just say we have a lot of work to do here. Which is good, because after a few weeks in this area, I will know more about missionary work and how everything is organized then most. Which is the blessings of white washing an area I guess. But the ward loves to feed us and I am excited to meet everyone. There are some adairs here and they say I am already practically like family.
Before I wasn't too excited about Christmas, but now we have plans to have a sleepover with the English speaking sisters in this area, Sister Peacock and Sister Nielson, who are awesome. We are going to be together at a members house Christmas Ever for a party(people truly do love the missionaries!) and then come to our house for a fun sleepover. Christmas morning we will make a big breakfast, make cookies, and deliver them to a lot of people. On Christmas our president wants us to do a lot of service, so that will be fun. I am excited, and I amexcited to talk with the fam!
Well, I am so excited to serve here and love it already, especially the people. It is so hard, and I have prayed harder then I ever have before. But with help from the Lord and my awesome companion, things will get a lot easier. I truly have a testimony of this work and how important it is. I know that the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it can bring so much happiness to the lives of everyone. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that because of him we have the book of mormon. Which is the words of God and another testament of Jesus christ. Being out on my mission has blessed my life so much and God has so much blessings in store for all of his children. I truly do love this gospel.
Thanks for everyones support and love, I love you all! Have a great Christmas!
(sorry this letter is GIANT! There was a lot to say)