Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013 First Week Out of the MTC

Dear Family,
How are you doing?! I loved the powell pictures and stories! I definately wish that I could have been there with all of you. Sounds like it  was rough in terms of equipment functionality! How does that always happen?
I am now in Missouri! I am in a town called Wildwood, and it's about 30 min(ish) out of St. Louis. There are tons of trees. You can hardly see anywhere because you can't see over the trees! It's cool, seeing as Utah is sorta a desert... It was weird when we all got our assignments and we all emailed our family and I knew you wouldn't get it, I was hopeful that you'd know on Sunday. So I'm glad you found out. (i just sent it to everyone that you send the email to in hopes that someone headed to lake powell would see it and let you know if nothing else) I also lost the letter with Ali's number on it... so and I didn't get a reply from her soon enough to get her number and call her at the airport. When I head to ARG I will call you all :)
So, here's how my last week went down.
Tuesday we had to be at the travel office at 2:30 in the morning! So we were up at 1:30. Which is really really early just in case you didn't already know that. Our flight left at 6, and I was sitting by an elder in our travel group (our group consisted of me and Hermana White and 2 other elders. It was way small). He was really interesting, but talking with him prohibited any sleep. We got to Dallas around 10 their time, and then we had a 3 hour layover till our plane left at 1. Let's just say it's not super fun to be in an airport that long especially when you are that tired. Then on the plane to St. Louis I was sitting by this really nice muslum guy. He was absolutely blown away at the things that I am giving up for the nest 18 months. He said he was very impressed with the mormon church and all the other missionaries he sees. Again, due to great conversation, I did not get any sleep. We got off the plane and went to the St. Louis temple, which is super pretty! We took pictures with our mission president (I'll send you one when I get it) and then went to the mission home. That was around 4ish. I was so tired! So I helped out in the kitchen and, since we had to wait for the elders to take their stuff to a hotel, we had dinner around 6. Then we had a testimony meeting with all 35 new missionaries. It was a really great experience, but staying up until 10:30 was brutal. 6 of the missionaries are Visa waiters, and since we got really last minute tickets our flights were significantly earlier than all the other missionaries there. (they all had direct flights, lucky ducks!)
So apparently they found out about all the visa waiters on friday night! Needless to say we were a slight surprise. All they new about us was our names. So we had an interview with the President and when I sat down he said "Well, the only thing I know about you is your name and that you are headed to Argentina. Tell me more about yourself!" It was funny.
That night we stayed at the mission home, and the next day we were assigned new companions and taken to our areas. I am in a tri-panionship so that whenever my visa comes I can leave, regardless of transfer times here. I am with Sister Allen (from S. Jordan (she knows James, how weird!)) and Sister Dutson (from Logan). It's odd being in a Tri because the balance is really different when you have three versus two. They are both super great!
I am loving it here is Wildwood. Aparently it is really humid... I think it's great. My hair and skin is quite lovely here! Also it's super pretty. and the weather is great. I think its mid 80's or so every day. So, it's really really nice.
Yesterday we had a fantastic lesson with this guy about the book of mormon. The spirit was SO strong and he went from feeling like he didn't want to read( he felt like it was a textbook) To wanting to read it to be closer to God. It was really cool. We also taught a great lesson the other day on prayer. both lessons really strengthened my testimony of both fundamentals of the gospel. I know that I always took them so for granted, but they are so crucial to our development. They have become beyond important to me in the 7 weeks I have been a missionary.
Oh! Crazy, there are Sirrine's here. Yeah, no joke. We know we both come from the same George Warren, but we'd have to dig a little more to find out how closely related we are. How is it that I end up with one of the only wards this side of the missipi with Sirrine's in it! They are awesome and totally solid in the gospel. They came with us to a lesson yesterday and it was mildly confusing to have that many Sirrine's there. (but super great nonetheless)
Well, I am still sorta sick. Quite unfortunate, it's been almost 2 weeks now, but I just keep getting backed up on sleep so recovery is hard. On Friday we went to early morning seminary because Sister Allen is an amazing musician and she wrote a song and we went and she sang and played it for them. The song is about how important it is for us to act, and that God knows who we can be, if we just use his help and have Faith.
I know that this gospel is so true. I am so greateful for this oportunity that I have. I have bearly been a missionary at all, and I already know that it was the best decision of my life. I have learned SO much in my short time.  I started re-reading the book of mormon half way through the MTC, I am now almost done with Alma, and I have been profoundly amazed at the new things and impressions that I have learned in it, even though I have read it many times before.
I am not speaking any spanish. we had a combined district meeting the other day, so I spent some time speaking to the Spanish Elders and that was really good. I have an hour for language study everyday, but obviously that is so little. I have seen the Lord help me though, he knows that I am trying, even though I don't have time. I understand about 75% of the scriptures in spanish and most of the time I can understand the main Idea even if i don't know all the words. I understand aoubt 90% of the spanish PMG, so I am trying to do most of my studies in spanish. I also always pray with my companions in Spanish, even though they have no Idea what I am saying! (side note: I pray a ton! Every house we go to, always askes me to pray since I am the new missionary. One nice old man even had me say the opening and closing prayer because he forgot that I said the opening prayer!)
Well, I love you all! It was so great to see pictures. I miss you and pray that you have the spirit in your lives. If you have nothing else, that is enough.
You should read about Grace in the Bible Dictionary. It is Super good!
Les Quierro!
Hermana Sirrine

P.S. Send me Johnny's email and Ill make sure that he get's this :) Oh, and I'd love to hear how his move to SUU is!
PPS I am sending my contacts home. They are cutting my eyes. I will put a letter in the package with instructions on what to do with them. I don't know if ill have time today, but sometime within the next 2 weeks.

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