Dearest Family and Friends!
I am so excited to tell you where I ended up for my first area! But before I do that I want to talk about leaving the MTC and the Mission Home.
So we left the MTC at 2:30 in the morning on Wednesday and a bus drove us to the SLC Airport. I got to say goodbye to Mom and Dad the night before I left at dinner. It was great to see them and I’m excited to get their letter sometime soon and hear all about Tonga! I am wearing a Tonga shirt that I bought at the MTC so I can represent Mom and Dad! 🙂 Our first flight left about 40 minutes late from SLC and so we missed our connecting flight in Denver, CO. So we had to wait a couple of hours for the next flight so we got into Tulsa OK at around 1. We met President and Sister Shumway and loaded up the trailer with all our luggage and away we went. We stopped by the mission office and then went to the mission home. We did a lot of training in the Mission home and got our driving cards. President Shumway interviewed each of us and decided where we were going and who our trainers would be. He talked a lot about how we are the hastening of the work and that we need to work hard so that the mission can continue to grow. The work is exploding in the OTM! The week before I came the mission as a whole gave more than 3,000 lessons in a week!
Now I will tell you about my first area and my first companion. I am in Ava, Missouri and my trainer is Sister Goodman. Ava, Missouri is a really tiny town about an hour away from Springfield. (Avee, Missoura as the locals call it) Everyone in Ava is super friendly and they all love Jesus Christ and love to talk about him so that is really good. My companion and I are both new to the area, which is something we call shotgunning. Both of the sisters who were in the area before left at the transfer and Sister Goodman and I were put in, so we both don’t know the area or the people. Things are really slow here right now and we don’t really have a lot of people to teach. We have one investigator but we don’t know if she is progressing or not. We will be doing a lot of tracting and finding. We are hoping that the ward will give us referrals as well. We live in a members home, the Weidmeyers, (they have a lot of strange names out here.) They live on a farm down a dirt road about 8 miles from town so we are driving a truck! My companion rolled a car in her last area so she isn’t allowed to drive anymore so I have been driving everywhere. The first few days we went visiting mostly and a couple sisters in the ward took us around and showed us the town and people’s homes so we wouldn’t be lost. On Saturday we went to zone conference in Springfield. Elder Tad R. Callister came and spoke to us! It was so great! He is an amazing speaker. Three non members came to the ward yesterday. They come all the time but are not baptized so we don’t really know what’s going on with that. We have appointments to go and see them this week. We also have a baptism this Saturday! We never taught him at all but the sisters before us did. His name is Kevin and his family has all been baptized except for him and his mom. DuringSunday School it was raining and it started to ice up. So we got our first ice rain! We had to drive to Kevin’s house to go over the baptismal questions and set up the program for Saturday and then we drove home. I am so glad we have the truck and 4 wheel drive or we would never have made it.
We haven’t been able to do much here in Ava yet because we’re both new in the area and the other sisters didn’t leave us any people to teach or any referrals. We are going to meet with some of the non members who came to church on Sunday, we are hoping that they will progress so that we can keep teaching them.
My companion, Sister Goodman, is from Arizona, she’s been out 13 months, so she has 5 months left. We get along really well so that has been really good! We’ve had a lot of time to do training since we don’t have a lot of people to teach and the ice rain made it so we had to go home for the rest of the day. She’s a really good trainer and i’m excited to learn from her.
We pet a cow the other day. There are cows everywhere here! We have some in our backyard too. The birds here are really pretty too. There are red cardinals everywhere here. They are so pretty! I’ve never seen them before! They also have fireflies here too. They’re not out yet but I hope I get to see some before I leave.
The picture below is Ava Drug. They sell one scoop of ice cream for 5 cents and two scoops for 10 cents! We have to be careful, this place is dangerous. So if I come back super fat, you’ll know why! haha 🙂
And there’s a picture of our truck too!
I love you all!