Tuesday, January 3, 2012

starting week 3 in alaska i think.

I've been listening to Muse today and it's been reminding me of Melissa. And I'd just like to mention that we've been waiting TWO extra days for this email. Hmph. -Anne

EDIT: Please note the response from Melissa at the end of this post. I replied to her email and she wrote back; thought I'd add that on this same blog post.

My p-day WAS yesterday but for new years everything was closed AGAIN so we are doing emails today.
Hello how are you. It has been quite an adjustment. But lots of fun things going on here. I will name some of the highlights:
~ Sis Brown and I were gonna go check on a potential. THat is someone who was once contacted by the missionaries in the past and they never actually started teaching this person but wrote their name down and there is a big list of potentials and we sometimes go check up on these people and see if they would like to start learning about the gospel. Welp, we passed the house --this happens a lot because the houses are always quite set back from the road and it is SO HARD to see the address and if it is dark it is even harder-- so we were gonna turn around in someone's snowy driveway and so Sis Brown started doing that and turned before the actual driveway, into the snowy bank -- as people shovel or snowblow their driveway and the roads there are always snow banks along the edge of the road and the driveway-- anyway this snowy bank turned out to be a snowy ditch and our Jeep fell nose first and we crashed and stopped and gasped and then started laughing. Struggled outta the car. THe back tire wasn't even touching the road anymore. We tried driving in reverse and forward. We weren't getting outta that ditch. There were some teenagers across the street--we sheepishly walked up their driveway--they didn't have a truck at home, they tried helping us push and we all piled into the trunk but the car barely sank an inch. No one around seemed to have a truck. So, we called the closest elders and they were doing exchanges so apparently the zone leaders were with them and they were gonna come help us. First the cottonwood elders (cottonwood is THEIR area) called for directions to where we were and then the zone leaders and i had barely ANY IDEA where we were and my nose was DRIPPING and boots only keep your feet warm if you keep moving but if you've been standing in knee deep snow trying to push a jeep out you get SO COLD and FINALLY they find us. Not one but THREE trucks pull up. "WHAT THE HECK WHY ARE THERE SIX OF YOU?" Yup. Six elders had to get out, take pictures, laugh at us, tease Sister Brown, Elder Na'a wanted to know "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH TOLULA??" that is the car. He and Elder KNudsen who both weigh about 300 lbs got in the trunk of the Jeep and it sank right down. THe zone leaders and another elder shoveled. Finally we could drive the Jeep outta the ditch. Such an adventure. We still haven't quite lived it down.
~ We met an amazing woman. Her husband was a potential. She asked us at the door if we had any other appointments and let us in even though her husband wasn't home. We sat and talked with her for about two hours. It was kinda like "wow someone let us in now what do we do, how do we move the conversation from 'oh your dogs are so pretty' and 'your 3-yr-old son is so cute' to 'so what kind of belief do you have in Christ?' " But we did and talked at length about the book of mormon and she shared with us a near death experience she had that was an amazing experience of feeling God's love and reminded us of joseph smith's vision and of lehi's dream and left her with those things to read. Unfortunately when we called her later she expressed that she has her beliefs and doesn't want to change and didn't think it was a good idea to continue. AHHH. She had told us that when we met her but we were hoping that after hearing our testimonies and then reading Joseph Smith's testimony in the pamphlet and 1 Nephi 8, she would be open to learning more, but mabe not, and that is cool we didn't want to pressure her. Oh well. At least we taught her truth and one day when she is ready maybe that will make all the dierence.
~ I ate caribou meatloaf Sunday. That was the first, like, "Alaskaish" thing. THe members are so excited to sign up to feed us. So we went to a member's house and had amazing meatloaf and mashed potatoes and then afterwards, Sister Babcock asked, "So did you like it?" and then admitted it was caribou, as if we woulda hated it. I was like "WOW THAT IS SO COOL I JUST ATE CARIBOU!" which, I learned, a caribou is a wild reindeer. I just ate rudolph's wild cousin Rodney. HAHHAHA.
~ We have an appointment to go see the 28-yr-old we caroled to, the one who got a lil emotional, this Thursday. It was amazing it didn't seem like we were ever gonna meet, we dropped off a book of mormon on his porch, along with a home made loaf of bread, and the next day he called us!!! He thanked us for the book and the bread, it meant a lot.  He told us his new years wasn't so great, he'd gotten in trouble and spent the night in jail, wow poor guy. Neither of us can believe he actually called us. ANyway he said we can come over Thursday.
~ I feel like there is something else. Hmm.
~ Daddy, the food is pretty much the same. I've eaten a lot of spaghetti. I've heard in the summer there will be more seafood. Haha.
~ A couple of investigators we have, Daddy, don't have the best listening skills when it comes to bearing my testimony. I will be telling them "I know that if you do the things that will get you closer to Christ, and that is read and pray, that--" and then they will interrupt and it's hard when they have their mind made up, because why are they meeting with us if they don't want to change? We just have to love them. But I got to tell another investigator my testimony of when I knew the Church was true, when I had two paths in front of me--involve myself more with the church or keep going the way I was going and feeling the gospel slip away--and when I chose church, my life got SO much happier. It was so obvious to me that this was the right path. And this guy listened and nodded and he is still open to meeting with us but it's hard to get a lesson time with him too. We are gonna teach the woman who was supposed to get baptized this Saturday but is still unsure about  few things and tonight we are gonna ask her to pray, right there with us, to know if the book of mormon is true, cuz she keeps comparing it to the bible.
~ Today we did service at a musk ox farm! I was terrified. Just Sister Brown & I went today. The elders usually help herd the big ones. We heard something about jumping over the fence before you get hit. Hmm.. they said we could work with the calves. THese little guys were about the size of a huge goat up to about the size of a tiger. One was friendly.THe rest were scared of us. All you have to do when they are running madly toward you is to make this stance and they are so terrified and they run away. We had to get them into this pen so they could be weighed. But first  had to walk around the pasture the little ones would be put into and make sure there were no holes in the fence. I was wearing my -40 degree boots and they were wonderful but my gloves were NOT keeping my fingers warm and I COULD NOT FEEL them and the snow...oh man every step i sank to above my knees, such a work out. My hair frosted and turnedwhite like a granny. My face felt frozen...it was hard to move my lips just to talk! THey let me borrow better gloves. Later we did the weighing thing with the scale inside of the barn while the workers did the herding, this time with the yearlings, they'd rush one musk ox into the scale, I'd write down the weight that popped up on the screen, Sis Brown would pull the lever to let the musk ox out. Standing still inside there my toes froze, my fingers froze, everything froze. It was -15 degrees outside. Apparently this area doesn't usually get this cold for very long, and -20 degrees is about the coldest.
ANyway. Hahhaa. I better write my weekly letter to my mission president.
Oh zone leadership counsel or training or whatever is tomorrow and Sister Brown becuase she is a training sister has to be there, but I don't, so originally I was gonna drive with her to Anchorage, drop her off, and then go with some other sisters to Turnigan and do proselyting there. But over New Year's Eve, sister Beesley the mish pres wife invited all the sisters over for a sleepover to bring in the new year. Her husband was in another town for a baptism that night so otherwise she woulda been all alone. Sis Beesley LOOOOVES music. (THe meeting at trasnfers way back on my first day, at the chapel, had many musical numbers, and two or three were originals by elders on  their guitars, singing their heart out, slapping their guitar for a beat. Not much stuffy formality, any kind of music is welcome [not crazy heavy metal hahaha]. Tongan music sung by elders in a circle. THat sort of thing.) ANyway over new years I was playing the piano doing my jazzy impressions of primary songs and that was fun, Sister Beesley really liked it. She had me play a hymn (#268) and loved how I swung the beat, was thinking of when Sister Brown and I could perform it (she and I sing harmony together). Sister Beesley said she was looking for music about light and following Christ cuz that will be this year's theme. She sits at her mac bobbing her head and swaying and listening to all sorts of music. (By the way the new EFY music is actually not bad.) IN the morning she had me play a whole bunch of music about light she'd printed out--stuff from hymns to primary songs ("I am like a start shining brightly" haha) to other church music about light--and said maybe on Wednesday (tomorrow) I would NOT go to Turnigan but stay at the mission home and record these songs on the piano w/me singing so she can give people the CD not as a performance but so they can learn these songs, all the leadership, for their training.  Idon't exactly know who this CD will go to, maybe zone leaders and stuff? Who knows. So it doesn't have to be perfect and I don't have to freak out. It's very exciting. I really like Sister Beesley.
Our zone leaders are really cool! We all have a blast together. There are hard things about being away, I miss my family a lot, whenever I hear choir music and hear the tenors I think of Daddy and nearly ALWAYS start crying. But lots of lovely things.
And Mommy I am sorry I demanded letters from you last email. I freaked out about it for days. And I sent that email to all the family. SIghhhh. I apologize I know you love me, and your long letter made my day that I got a couple of days later, but please please don't feel you have to write. I do NOT want to pressure anybody. I love you all SOOO much. And about sending stuff, even if you don't, I don't mind. I can send some money home too. You don't have to send anything right away.
Love you!!! Oh and probably all this letter can go on the blog, I hope you didn't put the part last week where I told Mommy I wanted her letters, I know Mommy would write, I was being ridiculous.
Kay bye
Book of mormon  is true
I know that it is the word of God
 Sister Ashbrook
Send me trey and julie and samara and alex mccolgan and maia's addresses! If they email you guys and tell you. Hhahaah. I want to write them and tell them I luuurve them!

I (Anne) responded to Melissa with this:

"A few things:
  -PLEASE get Sister Beesely to send us a copy of the cd you record!!!!!!!!!!
 -Yes, I totes put the part about mom's lack of letter up there. Whoops.
  Mom had to defend herself. Sorry Mom.

PS I was listening to Muse today and thinking of you.
PPS can't believe you ate Rodney.

PPPS ...and I'm so putting that quote on your facebook. "

And she sent back:

AHHHHHHH. I feel so bad. How did mommy have to defend herself????? I love
her so much. Hahhaa.
Hope you are doing okay? Job school boys life roommates recent adventures
with friends?

sister ashbrook

p.s. i ate MOOSE the other day 

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