Monday, June 11, 2012

Currently in a temporary trio (Email from June 11)

(Sorry everyone. Dropped the ball on this. I'll be better next week -Anne)

SO, guys.

We've had a good week, lots of Anchorage, going again to Anchorage today for P-day to jam with some elders to prepare for a musical fireside the missionaries are putting on round the 4th of july. 

SO, first of all, transfers was fun, we went to Anchorage, everyone teased me about being on the most recent mission CD a billion times (cuz Sister Beesley had me record a lot of songs for this quarter's theme). I was set to sing with Elder Knudsen for transfers in just about an hour or so and felt so awful about singing AGAIN that I told Sister Rivera she HAD to sing with him, there were so many pros and not many cons about this, I could hide behind my piano and not have to sing awkwardly loud from the bench, and she has a much more powerful voice and it's beautiful. 

We went to the temple again, that's like my seventh time going since I came out, yes I do have good luck going to the temple so Sister Rivera was very pleased to go for the third time ever since coming out eight months ago. I love the temple. it is beautiful and peaceful. The only two missionaries going home were sisters, so this whole day was just a whole bunch of spoiling for the sisters---all the sisters who were able to come to transfers went to the temple (along with all the elders about to go to places like White Horse and other bush places where they will be isolated from society for a while). Then we went n had dinner at the mission home (all the sisters) and we doted on Sister Baker (who was Sister Rivera's trainer in Fairbanks during the winter) and Sister Halatokoua (who knows Sela Tauteoli, holla). We had a testimony meeting with the two sisters in Valdez, the two sisters (including SIster Chan) in Fairbanks, and Sister Gardner in Petersburg all on Polycom. This meeting was supposed to go till about nine and then Sister RIvera and I were gonna drive home but it went till about ten and then President asked if we all wanted to see the two sisters off at the airport (they were takin the RED EYE woo hoo) so the Assistants piled us sisters in the big 15-passenger van and we drove to the airport (sun was just barely nearing the horizon) and we hung out in the airport for about forty minutes and the Beesleys bought us yogurtland and Sister Beesley requested that we "save the spoons!" It was lovely. There were tears among a few of the sisters as Sister Baker and SIster halatokoua went off to go through security. Sister Rivera and I crashed with the Turnagain sisters and finally fell asleep at 1:30 that morning just a lil bit tired. Hee hee hee. 

WEDNESDAY, we had a good day, went on a district tract. On the way there, something special happened. We were driving and suddenly outta the corner of my eye I saw a moose running straight at us. There is a ditch along the road and I saw the moose when he entered the ditch, he was kind of a young one. I gasped and Sister Rivera said, "What??" and then she saw the moose---but he was turning and we flew by and we stared into our mirrors and saw him turn right back around and run across the road between two cars that were going in opposite directions. 

We drove for a few seconds. Then sister rivera said, "I didn't even see that moose." We drove for another few seconds and she turned the music off. "I think a miracle just happened," she said. 

We both felt a special feeling inside---a miracle HAD just happened. I felt distinctly that something had stopped the moose, had shooed him away from us for a second. It was like someone had been standing there, guarding us! Isn't that nuts. We were pretty quiet the rest of the way. 

Missionary work is sometimes a lot of going up to people's doors, hoping to find someone that was listed on a potential investigators sheet, or on a really old progress record, like a name we don't recognize, and we get to see all these people's houses, and whatever they have outisde their house that might tell you about that person, like if they have a whole bunch of junky left over cars out front or if there is a big self-made fountain gushing out water in a cute lil pond, or if they mow their lawn or let all the dandelions (the pretty yellow flowers) grow all over the place. 

Oh I forgot to tell you about our p-day adventures. My district, Elder Yde (wide) and Elder Hancock, Elder Higley and Elder McMillan, we all went up to Talkeetna--about an hour's drive away. Beautiful drive. Straight up parks highway, lots of tall leafy green trees along both sides. Talkeetna is a tiny touristy town, all the stores look so inviting, there are people walking all over the place with cameras. We were on our way to eat a huge burger that was apparently on Man Vs. Food called Seward's Folley. This burger if 5 pounds and huge and made outta caribou meat. hahaha. We got two and split em both but Elder Hancock got halibut tacos which I am sure were also very good. I almost died the rest of the week and didn't eat as much. I think I actually lost a coupla pounds cuz I barely could eat a coupla days after that. It had three sourdough patties, CHEESE, ham...then it was made with some crazy sauce, the name of which contains a profanity which I will refrain from expressing. Fun times. We wanna go back and look at the town and our cool waiter told us about a real cool river nearby where no tourists really go but where it is beauitful. 

People here are very nice but not a lot are interested, or they will set up appointments with you for a week later and you just gotta hope that they'll remember. 

So there is a new sister missionary that was sposed to come in last week but was sick at the MTC so she flew in last friday, Sister Frazier from Mapleton, UT, and she is gonna be trained by Sister Watson (and Sister Smith) in Valdez but that is five hours away from the valley. The Valdez sisters are gonna come stay here tomorrow night for Zone Conference the next day, SO, president beesley and my comp and I go to Anchorage Saturday morning and WE picked up Sister Frazier and we are in a trio until she can meet up with her actual companions tomorrow. It's been fun to have a greenie with us, but she is not a timid meek one.  Tall, confident, very pretty, has a loud voice. 

We love meeting with less actives. Oh my word so Sister Gilmore has been coming to church again and it makes me SOOOO happy. We've been going over and seeing the Gilmores every Sunday since January. Anyway, she is having the nerve of leaving for a family reunion this week to be with her awesome daughter in Idaho, and she will be gone till the end of July and THAT is in the middle of NEXT TRANSFER, so if I am no longer HERE next transfer, I will have seen Sister Gilmore for the LAST TIME (for a while at least) yesterday. So, saying goodbye to her last night was crazy. I had no idea it would be so hard. We weren't even saying that for sure I'd be gone, she even said, "i'm not saying goodbye," but I just FEEL i am leaving, so I was standing there and all three of us seesters had already hugged her goodbye and I was like, "I feel like I need another hug," and hugged her again and she said, "Oh, you're going to make me cry," and suddenly I was tearing up AS WELL. Suddenly I felt how much I really loved this family. And I realized how steady and how much I had loved coming every week and listening to their crazy stories and all that they've gone through. I was wiping away tears and making jokes about falling apart and feeling VERY VERY bittersweet inside. 

I wonder what it will be like to say goodbye to Wasilla, goodbye to all the OTHERS that I love. 

I will bawl for days. 

I love being a missionary, I know the church is true. I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. I know that the Lord is real and that he loves us. I know, from the Spirit, that doing missionary work is the right thing to do. I am so grateful for all the people in my life and for how I've grown and I know I need to grow more and change more and be more and more Christlike. I know that we all must become instruments in the Lord's hands, put our trust in him, let his love work THROUGH us. 

I love my fam! Happy almost father's day, daddy, ima mail you somethin today! Congratulations on coming home, Nicky, my mom says you look more confident, and you are happy and have a huge testimony because you LIVE the gospel principles! THAT is so cool. 

sister ashbrook

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