Hey friends and family!!!!!
Boy do I have a lot to tell you! My last week in the MTC was amazing! I learned so much and got so much closer to my district. The girls in my room moved out and it was so hard to see them go! P-day in the MTC was horrible. It felt like wasted time that could be productive, and I maybe changed my clothes like 8 times a day. I went from P-day clothes, to church clothes, to gym clothes, to temple clothes, etc. You get the point. It was so awesome to be able to go with my district to the temple. The love I felt for them grew so much when I realized that I was surrounded by good worthy young men and women, and they were doing to work of the Lord.
My district was chosen out of all of the districts in the MTC to be a host!!!! That was AMAZING!!!!! As luck would have it I got tombs, the host for two of my girls in my branch. It was fun to be able to say, “Hey! I'm your sister training leader!” Two of the new girls were older and it was so cool to see their dedication. One of the girls was 24, and the other was 26. It almost felt a little silly to be the leader over girls so much older than me.
On Thursday we sisters finally asked four of the elders to give us a blessing before we left the MTC. It was so funny because they were so nervous when we pulled them aside, but after we told them what it was for, they were like, “Oh, sure no problem”. Also, there was an emergency meeting today for the sisters in the gym. They had a stage set up with a microphone, but everyone just stood around, some in
P-day clothes, others dressed in normal missionary attire. They announced that there was a bat infestation in building 17-M where we were living and they had to evacuate floors 3 and 4. We were so happy that we lived on 2. We then found out that our elders had to move to building 12-M because the sister were taking 13-M from them. So we celebrated that night with them before they moved.
On Friday we did in-field orientation. I learned how important it was to work with the members. They taught us so much in such a short amount of time that I thought my brain would explode! They also performed a really tacky play that was so goofy that I loved it. It was also about working with the members.
Saturday came and we got a call on our training leader cellphone that we had to come to the information desk immediately because we were the STL's and we were moving out of 17-M. We only had one day left before we left the MTC so sufficient to say, we were not excited. We pulled the other sisters out to say that they had to move and it had to be that day because after midnight, our key cards would no longer work in 17-M. Also we all had to move to the 4th floor and this dorm didn't have an elevator. That was not a pleasant meeting. We had one hour to get packed before our elders arrived to help us move, so we just shoved everything into our suitcases as fast as possible. The elders were so sweet though; they made sure we had the lightest things in our hands before making the trek to 13-M. We got to bed really late that night because everything was everywhere and we couldn't find anything. I was so sad because it was the last day of class with my district and I didn't even get to enjoy it.
Sunday came and I was glad to be able to take the sacrament and press restart on my week after the night before. It was fast Sunday so we all got up and bore our testimonies. The people in my district legitimately are spiritual rock stars. My district and the other district that was leaving with us got up and sang Joseph smith's first prayer to the tune of “Come Thou Fount”. We had a piano and cello playing and it was so powerful that I couldn't sing, I was crying so hard. We then went to a devotional, and it was awesome! A football player who played in the NFL and now is an ambassador for the NFL in China came and spoke with us. It was awesome!!!!!!! He taught us to WORK! We then decided to skip the movie they were showing and went back to the classroom to have our own little goodbyes. We fooled around for the first part of the hour. Then we decided to watch “Glorious” by David Archuleta. We all started to sing, and then we all started to cry. A couple days ago our teacher had us write down what we learned from each member of our district, and when we shared it with each other it was so touching. We all were crying; even our spiritual meatheads. There was a moment when our district leader spoke and he said how it was so easy for us all to fall into step with one another, and now when it's time to part he explained why it is so hard, he said: "We knew each other in the preexistence, we were friends, and the reason it is hard is because we are immortal beings living a mortal life. And we will see each other again".
After we left the sob fest we walked back to our dorms to drop off our stuff and meet up with the four elders to give us blessings. When they walked out they announced who would be blessing whom. I got elder Davis, the district leader, also known as the hulk. One by one they gave us blessings, It was one of the most touching blessings I have ever received. The spirit was so strong, and the message was just what I needed to hear. There was a moment when he said something, and I realized that this was a message to me from my HF. I am so grateful for the priesthood!!!!!!! That night after we got back we all had to unpack our jumbled suitcases and repack them so that they were organized for our flight the next morning. We packed until 1 in the morning then got up at 2:30 to get ready to go and to see off the New Jersey-ites. We then had an hour before we left to chill. We started to mope about how much we were going to miss them. The bus was good and dark and I slept soundly. The airport was not busy because by now it was only about 5 in the morning. We were standing in line and Sister Mitchell, Sister Shepherd, and I tried to plan and see if we could intercept them before they boarded their flight. We were so sad when we saw that their flight was already boarding and we missed them. We got through security and were walking down the terminals when we heard someone call out “SISTERS!!” We looked, and standing there was our district Elders and Sister Phillips. We literally dropped our carry-ons and ran to see them. Tender mercies of the lord!
Getting to talk to the family at the airport was so amazing! When we finally boarded the plane I was so tired. The plane ride was long but I finished reading Helaman on the plane and got some sleep in. When we stepped off the plane in Kentucky, the first thing I noticed was how humid it was.
We met up with the mission president, his wife, and his assistants. They were all so nice. They fed us and went through a lot of information about medical things; by the end of it all I was so tired. I love Sister and President Brough!!!!! President Brough is so stinking funny!!!!!
That next day we went to the church, met our companions, and found out what area we were going to be in, I got called to J-Town. And it is a bike area!!! My companion's name is Sister Acker and she is a dear! We were right in Louisville, so it only took us a half hour to get there. We got to the apartment and yep; I'm in the ghetto. We got food and bedding for me and after that we went and visited one of our investigators, Evelyn. I have never before seen poverty like I see here. Evelyn is the grandma of four grandkids, all from different dads, living in a two-bedroom home with one bed to sleep on. It is the saddest thing. But when we teach them it is so incredible. They are so receptive and she loves what she is hearing so much! But she is a smoker and she loves her margaritas. We are now in the process of keeping her dry and smoke free for 3 weeks so that she can get baptized. Her kids are also learning and loving it so much. We finally got them to church on Sunday and it was a miracle! They loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!
J-Town is a town of the "Thanks, but I have already been saved". So the work is slow. We had a hectic week trying to revive the area and we got 3 new investors and we think we can get two more this week. That puts us at 6 current investigators, but only 3 have baptism dates. A lot of this week we spent doing service, 10 hours to be exact. We help a local Methodist church serve the community food, because we do live in a very poor area. One of the ladies there needed help with her yard, and we were able to go out to the pretty part of Kentucky and away from the inner city.
Her house sits way up in the hill and it is surrounded by forest. She needed us to weed and help with the ivy growing on her barn. So sister Acker got weeding and I got the barn. Ivy, I have learned, is a great little home for really big scary spiders. Sister Acker and Loretta both made fun of me as I tried to pull off the vines and not freak out. I am happy to report that I made it out relatively unscathed. I may have PTSD from it all. J We got fed after we worked and boy can this lady cook! We got homemade chicken noodle soup, bacon rolls and salad. It was sooooo good!
When we got home from that we immediately got to work teaching and inviting. I have seen Evelyn and her kids everyday this week so far, and it rocks! She is amazing, the kids are amazing, I love them soooo much but her house I don't love. It is all kinds of nasty. Which brings me to my next topic: BED BUGS!
They must be hereditary or something because I got them the same as my cousin Ashley in Arkansas. Everything that could go wrong that day, did. I woke Friday and went to go take a shower just to learn that bed bugs had literally bit me in the butt. And boy they itched. From there we had to go to a relief society activity, which was awesome. Then after that we went to teach people and all of the appointments but 2 fell through. Torrential rain hit and we got soaked. We came home late to realize that our AC had gone out because of the storm, so our apartment was super hot. We had to take all of our clothes and put them in black garbage bags and stick them in our trunk to bake out the bedbugs. I am almost 100 percent sure that my clothes were fine. Then we had to strip the beds of the sheets so that we could wash them. We went to the laundry mat just to find out that they decided to close a half hour early, so we were forced to use the one in our apartment complex. We went to the store and got cash out so that we could use the machines. My companion lost her $20 after 5 minutes and can't find it anywhere. We went to 3 different locations before we found a place that could give us coins for our cash. When we made it back to the apartment we realized that exact obedience was not in the cards for us that day. We went to the laundry place in our complex, and it looked like something out of a horror movie. On top of its “beauty”, the place is really expensive. I ended up spending 20 bucks to wash everything. While most of our stuff was washing, we went to the apartment to wash everything and to vacuum the beds, the floors, EVERYTHING. I had the most bedbugs. It was nasty. By the time we finished washing everything, it was midnight. The dryers were awful so our stuff was still wet after it finished, so we laid everything out on the floor of the family room so it could dry.
It was so hot in the apartment, and we were so tired and not ready to trust our beds just yet, so we slept on the damp sheets on the floor. Best sleep of my life. We are still recovering from that crazy day; we have to dry our bedding everyday on high heat.
Life is crazy!!!!!! I love it!!!!!
Love y'all so much,
AKA-Bed bug cage fighter #2