Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Email Update about ALASKA!!

Um, I didn't even have an email from my mother when I logged in here. MOM I MISS YOU I WANT YOU TO EMAIL ME TOO!!!! Okay hahahha I am done.

I am only supposed to email family so all of my friends should be reading these. I am hoping they are. Cuz they are cool.

Sorry I didn't email yesterday, the library was closed cuz it was observed holiday but today we got permission. I loved talking to mom and dad and Anne on Christmas even though I was sick and didn't have much energy to talk very long. I wish I would have called you that night I felt a little better. Yesterday I felt fine except if I ate a lot then my stomach was like UMMM EXCUSE ME. I still do not want to eat a lot but that's okay cuz at the MTC they told us if we wanna lose weight eat smaller portions, right? Hahha. And my black skirt doesn't fit me like it used to when mom took it in back home and that worries me cuz it means I've gained weight. UMM.

I love all of you! I want to tell you that as much as I can.

So real fast, only if you want to, there is a 5-subject notebook in my room that was on the shelf by my bed. I would luurrve to have it here. But if you cannot send it that is okay I will buy another one. Also one more thing. Music: I can listen to any uplifting music, that means movie soundtracks. And country. And anything else that invites the spirit. Hahaha. Mom I have a whole bunch of movie soundtracks in a silvery cd thing. If you woud LIKE to send me those that would be cool. And there is a chocolat cd in my stash of cds that was in the car. I would love that too. My movie soundtracks that I would love would be my lord of the rings ones. Hahah my comp Sis Brown would like them too but we were thinking it'd be cool if someone magically re-burned them onto new cd's without the intense crazy tracks. Cuz they wouldn't invite the spirit. But only if someone wants to do that.

Kay that's it. Really I just want to thank Mom for my boots (UMMM THIS KEYBOARD is too slow. I guess I type too fast. Some words miss a few letters and it's like I typed too fast for its brain. So if there are any typos it's cuz I forgot to check, sorry), the stickers, the candy, and her little notes. Love you!!! I love my boots with the furrrrr. They are pretty warm. And fun. I mean I've stood out in the snow for about an hour helping this woman, who the elders said was an investigator and needed service so we called her, move some boxes from her barn to her warehouse/house and my toes got um a little numb and I wondered if this was frostbite but Sis Brown said her -40 degrees boots weren't even keeping her toes all the way warm so I guess that just happens.

SO. I arrived in Alaska Monday, met mission pres and was interviewed, he asked me how my Spanish was and I said I was able to hold a conversation decently, maybe he will put me in a Spanish ward one day. He asked me how many languages I wanted to learn and I said Hahha I don't care! He told me my companion likes tracting (going from house to house knocking) so she will help me get over my fear of that. He is a very nice man, sensitive and kind but also seems very serious about missionary work. I met my trainer Sis Brown the next day where everyone in the group (there was 14 of us) met our trainers. I said goodbye to Sis Petersen and we all went off to our areas, I am in Palmer/Wasilla (like in the middle of both, really) an hour north of Anchorage, it is woodsy and spread out and white white white. The coldest I have experienced is -1 degree. Hee hee. It was fun.

Sister Adams is letting us live in her little house next to her and her family's house. She is a seemingly quiet woman, petite, her youngest son was in the mtc when I was there and I am pretty sure I even met him. She told us some pretty awesome stuff about herself when I was sick Sunday night. She apparently wrote a paper in college about Alaska and how the church first started there and now that paper is in the church archives and something about the first relief society and something else awesome and she leads tour groups in the summer and knows Alaska history and she helped write a couple of books, one of which is in the cornerstone of the Anchorage temple. So she's awesome. Anyway she looked at my boots with the furrr and said, "Hmm. Are they warm?" I hastily said yes. Okay so fashion doesn't really matter here so I felt impressed to say they were Sorels and rated down to -25 degrees and she nodded okay and I felt like I passed the test a little.
We drive a Jeep Compass. So far we haven't gotten stuck.

The trees are all frosted here.

So. About missionary work: my companion and I are whitewashing---neither of us know anything about this area, it is our first time here. THis presents many difficulties. Cuz it's better if one comp knows her way around and who we are supposed to be teaching and what they are like. LUckily the previous elders left a good area book with TONS of notes about current investigators, former investigators w/decent notes about why they quit, potential investigators who they only contacted once but might be interested in learning more. We have an investigator with a baptismal date in january and she is awesome and is going through such a hard time right now and the gospel can totally lift anyone out of any despair or hardship, not matter what it is. But she is still meeting with jehovah witnesses and itsn't quite sure what exactly Jesus Christ did for her---her knowledge of the Atonement, how he suffered for ALL of us, no matter when or where we live, how that can help HER. She kinda said she knew he was perfect but what he suffered back then wasn't quite what we are dealing with now, right? So we are planning on teaching her more about the Atonement, how he wasn't just sent her to be a good example and then he was killed, but that he was sent here as the Son of God to suffer (in the Garden of Gethsamane) all the pains, sicknesses, and sins of all people everywhere and then he was killed as a willing sacrifice so that we might live again. All that wonderful stuff. Just because he loves us.

We went caroling sometime in the evening last week and a family told us of a guy down the street who broke his leg and was feeling down so maybe he wants some caroling so we knocked on his door, no answer, we finally found him Saturday. He lives in this cabin so we thought it was gonna be this old guy. But he is actually younger and the people next door (not the ones we caroled to first) are actually his family, but when we tried to teach him in there (sisters can't be alone with a guy so we couldn't go in his cabin) we got SUCH a cold reaction from his sister, she was exuding iciness. She deigned (dained?) to shake our hands but didn't even meet our eyes. She barely spoke to us. His dad was better but he avoided us as well. THis guy we were gonna carol to led us out crying and saying his family didn't even like us but he wanted to listen to us and we caroled to him on the steps of his cabin and he cried the whole time, shivering madly in pajamas with this brace around his leg, and told us he is going through a really bad time right now, he is really depressed, Sister Brown shared a scripture about Jesus Christ in Alma 7:11 I believe, about the Atonement, & how Christ suffered so that we might be lifted, and he cried a little more and said he would like to learn more and we were gonna teach him today but he had to cancel and we are sad but he said he'd call us later and so we will also try to call him later this week and hopefully we can teach him. Unfortunately he is the Young Single Adult Ward's responsibility...so eventually we would have to turn him over to the YSA elders...but whatever.

We have gone shopping an I got my beef n cheese taquitos and my apples and peanut buttter and my granla and yogurt and we have food for breakfast and lunch. The ward is lovely and feed us every night and give us cookies.

Alaska is beautiful.I love driving at night and hearing the crunch of the snow as the tires go dow nthe road and seeing the warm inviting houses set off of the road every quarter mile or so, dark buildings with the porch lights on gleaming orange through the icy dark air.
They decorate the pine trees out front like gigantic Christmas trees with fun lights.
After district meeting last Thursday where we meet with the other missionaries in our district and just check up and a lesson is tuaght and we just make sure everything is cool, all of us--our district and the zone leaders--went to a subway for lunch, and while waiting in line, in front of us a woman comes up to us and hands us all $10 gift cards to buy our food, tells us her son is on a mission, gives us a warm smile, wishes us merry christmas, and leaves. We were all amazed. Lots of thanks in our prayers beore we ate.


So that is that. Sis Brown and I have fun. Planning is hard, I barely know how to plan lessons and she is trying to meet me where I am at with what I learned in the MTC and today was incredibly stressful and we were miserable, but we are both very alike and got through it and are trying to establish what works and what doesn't and I think we will be good friends. Got to go love you all.

Sister Ashbrook

No comments:

Post a Comment