Well I am back in Petersburg with my new companion, Sister Stephanie Hatfield. Hahha. So she grew up in Gilbert, AZ but moved out and went to live with her dad in Draper, UT about 4 years ago and her heart is in Utah, and she knows Christa Woodall and Christina Davis too, we figured out, and were screaming about it this morning (we already knew we both knew Christa but finding out we both knew Christina was like double cool---Christina, Sis Hatfield thinks you are the most hilarious person ever).
It's really funny cuz Sis Beesley tends to be slightly scatter-brained and told me on the phone she was gonna tell me about my new companion and told me all about this girl who was getting transferred from Florida cuz it was too hot and she had once gone to Angoon (Native village in Alaska) with her mom and she was adopted by Tlingits (pronounced Klinkets). So I told everyone I was getting this sister as a new companion and a day before we left for Anchorage Sister beesley was going over logistics with me and said, "And you'll go back to Petersburg with Sis Hatfield..."
And i said, "She's coming too?"
And Sis Beesley said, "No, she's your companion, she's always been your companion."
And I thought for a moment and then said, "Okay!" Hahhahaha.
Turns out this new sister getting transferred in was actually serving her mission in South Carolina and she went to Anchorage instead...Pres Beesley heard how I had been mixed up and he was like, "Sister Ashbrook, we don't send missionaries with medical problems to Petersburg."
Hah....um. I'm on an island...
ANYWAY, it's been a fun week, Sis Hatfield is way funny. She cracks me up. She has a quick tongue and a sense of humor, has enjoyed telling people, "My name is Sister Hatfield and I'm not adopted by Tlingits."
We did service for a race last Saturday morning. It was called "beat the odds" and was in honor of breast cancer (since it's October). I thought a lot about you, Mom! Sometimes I am like, "Oh my gosh. I can't believe my mom has breast cancer. They are supposed to be getting blessed because I'm on my mission." And then I tell myself to stop worrying about it cuz you got that priesthood blessing that said you'd overcome it and remain with your family and YOU are calm about all this and I shouldn't worry if YOU'RE not worrying and you ARE blessed. Anyway, I just love you, and I hope your lumpectomy goes by without problems.
We had a lesson with the Puerto Rican family, minus the dad who was at work. We helped Puerto Rican daughter with her two less-than-a-minute talks that she has to prepare for the primary program (every kid has two talks..non-members like Joelys don't get special treatment!! haha) and then we read 2 Nephi 31 with everybody and invited them all to be baptized, but Puerto Rican Mommy wants to get to know the church a little more, but it was okay, it was still awesome. Baptismal invites always get me so nervous but the spirit was strong. I really think she just needs a really good friend at church. Our relief society pres would be PERFECT for her but she is out of town (at her husband's business conference...in Anaheim...they're gonna go to DISNEYLAND so jealous). THe problem with having a small branch is that people have normal lives and go out of town like normal people but then we really feel their absence and I am like, "What the heck."
We helped our branch president and his wife (we live in the apartment above their garage) pack moose meat last Friday. They were grinding it this year (the branch pres goes moose huntin every year) and so we were mashing up the ground moose meat into oblong shapes and the branch pres's wife was wrapping it up in plastic wrap. The branch president took a picture of it and texted it to Anne (she's the only one whose phone number I remember, so she has gotten mysterious texts from members before...).
While packin moose meat, the branch president's wife told me there was a porcupine destroying her raspberries out back. And that if it came back, her husband is gonna kill it.
Well, that night we were planning for the next day and suddenly heard a gunshot. We both looked up and said in unison, "Porcupine." We ran over to the window and opened it.
"Did you get it?" we hissed.
We heard a voice from below saying hesitantly "Yeah....?"
We ran outta our apartment and jostled down the stairs and into their house and out to their back porch as another gunshot was fired. The wife was standing on the porch with her hands over her ears and a horrified look on her face.
"Is it dead?" she asked.
Her husband, who was standing out back with a flashlight that wasn't being held still so we could NOT see the porcupine, said, "No! I can't believe it's not dead." He came up the steps and walked inside and put his gun on the counter but then he walked back outside while Sis Hatfield and me stood there horrified and totally transfixed and I don't remember what I was saying but I was saying something while the branch pres went to the shed and grabbed something and Sis Hatfield suddenly was going into the house and I looked out and saw him raising a huge ax above his head, his faithful lab standing completely attentive by his side, and I saw the ax swinging down through the air and landing with a thump, and I shrieked with my hand over my mouth. And he did it again. And I saw was HORRIFIED!
And that, my friends, is Alaska.
We're gonna go out there today and pluck a couple of porcupine quills.
Um, so anyway, I know the church is true, and by that I mean that we have inspired men who have been called by God to lead and guide the church today, and who hold the authority of God. I know that the gospel has been restored and that the Book of Mormon helps us know the truthfulness of the Bible, and that there were plain and precious truths taken out of the Bible throughout the centuries that cause us to misunderstood doctrine and be confused.
I know that music brings the Spirit---Sis Hatfield has a beautiful singing voice. We are thinking about putting on a big fireside for the town, with music. How cool would that be? We love singing together already. I love singing for spiritual thoughts.
I love my family and hope all is well.
Sister Ashbrook and the porcupine (RIP)
Sister Ashbrook and the porcupine (RIP)
|Sister Ashbrook, Sister Petersen, Sister Claspell|