Well this week has been exciting and busy and full of all sorts of fun stuff.
Monday Sister Brown, myself, a member named Carleen, and the Investigator Who Dropped Us all went on a hike up a snowy mountain with snow shoes. He texted us wanting to hang out before Sister Brown hit the sky. We were so happy. The hike was beautiful and lots of snow and cold and really hot and sweaty and burning legs and great view of the valley and of the sides of the mountains and the sun streaming down. We were exhausted and delirious going back down with lots of somersaults and sliding on our bums and Sister Brown losing her voice and wrestling me at the bottom of the mountain and she totally cut the top of my nose and I was bleeding. hahahha.
next day was transfers, Sister Brown and Elder K sang a duet and I played, mingling and hugging goodbye in the cultural hall, hugging Sister chan and gettin all her stuff into the Jeep Compass and me trying to drive off and backing outta the parking spot soooooo slowly cuz omg there's ICE and SNOW everywhere and I tried to put the car in reverse and hit the windshield wipers and OH MY GOODNESS i haven't driven since NOVEMBER, how do I do this. It's okay now, my driving skills are totally back.
Sister Chan is adorable. She is happy and cheerful and so fun. She is a good missionary, we went and met the bishop that night and the first thing she said after telling everyone she is Jackie Chan's daughter "HAHAHAH JUST KIDDING" was "Bishop if you have any names you can give us, we will go visit them, we love to visit people and serve people, and we love to work with you." It was awesome. She is a fun one. And a go out an' get 'em one. She is spontaneous and bold. I think I will learn a lot from her.
We met with the Woman In the Store and we got through all of Lesson 1 (the restoration) using the pamphlet and answered some of her questions and she really likes us, gave us hugs goodbye, Sister Chan gave high-fives to the little kids that do homeschool in the back room there but feinted away and made the kids laugh, she is so good with kids.
We met with some less-actives and we didn't get a chance to meet with one of my recent favorites, a woman who is so sweet and hasn't been to church in a long time because of some past leaders' less-than-exemplary-examples but had said she wanted to come to church recently but because she watches her grandkids, it's hard. Well guess what, this woman showed up at church yesterday with one of those grandkids and the relief society lesson was perfect for her, all about supporting and sustaining our leaders even when we sometimes don't agree and acknowledging that we can disagree with them but we ourselves can't become disagreeable, and knowing that if they didn't do something right, it will be God that will hold them accountable at the last day and it is up to us to stay strong and keep going.
Sister Chan has lots of fun chinese food and she has some Chinese investigators in Anchorage that we will still go see and she has awakened in me my love of travel and desire to see foreign countries--language food culture clothes!
I miss Sister Brown but am happy I have Sister Chan, she is awesome, we have had a blast so far. Sister Chan loves the musk ox farm. There is a great view on the way home from that place and I thought, as we passed it, Sister Chan loves to take pictures maybe I should go there, but I passed it, and then I turned around and said, "There is a great view up here," and she thought the view was where we had stopped to turn around, and she SCREAMED in delight. I said, "This isn't even the place, wait till you see it." So we drove up and pulled into the turn-off and climbed up through the muddy snow to the most breathtaking view of a valley or water or whatever it is--i think it is water cuz it looked like the ice was breaking up near the edge and I saw water--and mountains, and she SCREAMED even more in delight, she is so excited about things, it makes me realize how exciting life is. When we STILL didn't have the phone number of the Woman in the Store (but she had ours) I said, "I wish we had her number!!" and sister chan said, "We don't have it?!" and it was so sad, and then the Woman In The Store TEXTED us "Sister Ashbrook, you left your notebook." We got this text at home, and Sister Chan SCREAMED and said "WE HAVE HER NUMBER! HEAVENLY FATHER IS ANSWERING OUR PRAYERS!" and she jumped up and down and hugged me. I realized how exciting missionary work can be. Every little thing we need to appreciate!
OKAY I MUST GO. I love being a missionary. I am so excited to serve and to preach the restored gospel. Sister Chan insists I watch more church movies during lunch and after planning at night so I've watched "joseph smith: prophet of the restoration" and a couple of other ones and oh my goodness, my testimony is so much more strengthened. Joseph smith truly gave his life to restore this gospel and get it going again. And I am so grateful. Bam bam bam things were brought back--the priesthood, revelation, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, elijah, everything. Bam bam bam truth came down from heaven. And joseph smith gave his life for all of this--and we are out here battling for the souls of men and women, on the front lines, against Satan, so we can continue this work!
I LOVE YOU ALL
p.s. lately mom has signed her emails "love mom the historian" and "love mom the truck driver"