My favorite part about mom's email to me:
" We loaded my car and then made the 1 minute drive to the new house. Went great, except I was moving the car up higher on the hill, forgot the back door was open, cans of vienna sausages and tuna rolled happily down the street, I walked down in a dignified manner to retrieve them, one went as far as the around the corner at the bottom. "
Hee hee. Vienna sausages sounds SO like my grandmother, I miss having vienna sausage/mayo sandwiches down in the pasture getting stickers in my socks. And I can just picture my momma walking all dignified down the street.
I cannot believe mi primo Nickylas is coming home THIS WEEK. I wish I could see him and give him a big hug. Congratulations Nicky poo, you had a nice mish.
Also I am so happy for the Northrups and how the adoption is going through for lil Annalisa, I didn't know there had been complications, what a relief to hear.
I wrote my nieces yesterday, but didn't quite get my letter to Laura, I will write her next week, thanks big sis, I love the picture and it is taped up to the wall along with all my other pictures of those I love. I put the pictures of Amy and John that Grammie mailed me as well.
Yesterday was p-day and it was gloriously sunshiney. I think every one of the letters I wrote yesterday started with some comment about the wonderful sunshine. Sister Rivera and I took a walk to the mailbox, opened it, realized it was empty probly cuz of memorial day, and walked back. It's a nice walk down the big hill and all that, and I just breathed in and threw my arms up and let the sun warm my face. As I wore my cool shades. And then there's this little pocket of gravel and trees off to the side of the road, it looks like the start of a trail (it's not) and I've always wanted to explore, so we climbed over the rocks that have been put to line the road kinda and walked down the "trail" which just led to some fences that overlook the gravel pit, and then we saw a trash bag and a WHOLE bunch of flies. "Why are there flies everywhere?" sister Rivera asked, and then I said, "Um, why is there a dead beaver?" There was a stinky dead BEAVER lying next to this black trash bag, and there was a hole int he bag, and I could see some other animal remains AT LEAST I HOPE THEY WERE ANIMAL and holy heck, guys, the smell, it was awful.
It was a lovely walk.
If only you could see the doodles I create in my planner. You would be lining up to buy my art. Seriously.
We went to Anchorage on Thursday for language training and sat with a whole bunch of elders who are learning languages (some Polynesian elders are learning English, some American elders are learning Tongan, there are some Mong and some Spanish elders, Sister Chan up in Fairbanks was on the polycom). We learned how to put our language study to music to assist in our learning. Very exciting. We tried to fit the Spanish days of the week to the English version of "days of the week" set to the tune of the adams family, it was quite hilarious. Then later that day, Sister Rivera and I did some recording and then went on splits with the Turnagain sister missionaries. We visited a native woman who lived in an apartment that was kinda dark and very small with barely any furniture--a table and some mismatched chairs. The ceiling was nice-looking stained wooden slats, but unfortunately every time the people upstairs walked ,the ceiling creaked like crazy. How annoying must that be, when you're trying to go to sleep, and the ceiling keeps squeaking above you, you can hear every creak, every footstep. Loud and proud. The way of life for some people really is destitute. Those with houses of their own, yards, decent ceilings in apartments, sunlight, bigger windows, even a couch, lampshades on their lamps---you have blessings! Be thankful for them!
Why have I never had Indian tacos before? They are delicious.
Transfer calls this Saturday...
Sister Rivera and I are hilarious. One of our inside jokes is, "President....my companion's gone scary..." (spoken in high-pitched weird voice)
When Sister Rivera told my family on Skype that she walked into our apartment one day, humming "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer"---the Brett Stewart arrangement---and I cornered her demanding "WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT MUSIC?!" cuz like, um, OCMCO did that song and how does she KNOW that song? She's from Idaho, it's very far away from California....and then I ran up the ladder and got the CD and started playing her that song and she was like, "Yeah, that's the one," and I was like, "HOW DID YOU LEARN THAT SONG?" and she said she learned it in the MTC choir, and I was like, "WHAT THE HECK, MY DAD'S CHOIR DID THAT SONG, AND HIS CONDUCTOR ARRANGED IT" c'mon guys, it's like hearing your friend's band on the radio. Brett Stewart has gone famous. His work is touching thousands of missionaries. Hahhaa. ANYWAY when Sister Rivera told my family this story, my family was like, "yeah, that's cool!" and GUYS, I freaked out WAY MORE than you did.
We actually had an investigator go to church last Sunday...but it was to another ward, but still, it counts. It was one of the Mexican Chicos. He's pretty cool. I get to practice my espanol. All four of those Muchachos sang the birthday song for Sister RIvera and I and we recorded it on our cameras. It's the song they sing in Mexico for birthdays and I totally actually wanna learn it so I can sing along when I'm at the orphanage one day. Hahaha.
Wanna know how weird missionaries are?
We went to a barbecue two days ago and no one there was a member, the member was at work, everyone else was a friend of the family. And they all were totally weirded out that Sister RIvera and I showed up and started eating grilled shrimp n pineapple. TALK ABOUT THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. I asked someone her name and she totally ignored me, busy on her phone. Someone else had to speak up and tell me her name. I asked her how she was. SHe grunted, "Fine," and that was about it. No one would meet our eyes. They just ALL TURNED OFF. It was very weird. We both felt very awkward, but I just tried to keep smiling and being pleasant. We didn't stay very long. So, you see, missionaries are weird. That name tag pretty much says it all.
I love being a missionary. I love wearing my name tag. I love representing the Lord Jesus Christ.
We saw a momma moose and her two twin babies in a less active guy's backyard the other day. Very adorable. I think that same momma moose charged some people in our ward---the people who are moving soon and we've been taping, calking, and painting the interior of their house---while they were out on the deck admiring the two baby moose who only stood as high as their trampoline. HAHAHA. There is a video to prove it, and as soon as the momma moose faced them and took a few steps the video (on their phone) just kinda shook and went black. BAHHAHA.
Anyway, I love you all, and I think about you guys, but I am happy I am here, and I hope there will be lots of sunshine this summer, and I know this gospel is true, and I know that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, and I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that God has not stopped speaking.
-sister ashbrook and the wok (tribute to mah mom)