After being delayed at the airport Tuesday morning, we finally made it to WASHINGTON! As soon as we crossed the border into WA everything was just white above the clouds... like wonderland or something. But when we descended and I saw all the GREEN... oh my goodness. The poor elder next to me was so nervous and I was like "ohmygoshdoyouseeitohmygoshlookAH"
It is SO BEAUTIFUL. I can't even put it in words!!! I still don't have an adapter to send pictures.. but I think I'll go to Walmart today and print some off and send them in the mail cause I just want to show everyone, I'm dying here. [Mom here--I sent her an adapter but she never opened the care package we sent!!!]
But oh my goodness, I literally have to stop walking sometimes and just stare at everything around me. It's amazing!! Which brings me to where I am in my first area.... OLYMPIA!!!! The #1 place I was hoping to serve in!! :D And goodness, it is the most beautiful place I have ever been to in my life. There are no possible words. The first day or two here it was COLD. I had to wear a sweater and I was shivering still. But it's warmed up since then and now it is perfect - I was even a little toasty yesterday! Which was nice. I never thought I'd miss heat.
My companion is so perfect too - her name is Sister Julien :) I LOVE HER. She is everything I'd ever want in a companion AND she knows movie quotes. We knocked an entire apartment complex the other day and were just dying laughing the whole time quoting Megamind and Monty Python and the like. It was funny last night during our "mighty prayer" (which we do on the nightly and it's like 10 min long praying for all the investigators and people we talked to and ward members etc etc) and I'm still working on remembering everyone and I forgot one of our PI's Rena and after we were done Sis Julien said something about her and I was like "DANG it - God bless Rena!" (like in sound of music when she forgets to bless Kurt) and we always pass by old buildings saying "ah.. my old shoolhouse" (megamind) and whatnot, so it is just so fun. Sister Julien is a fantastic example and so loving and patient and fun.
Which also reminds me... we knock doors. Old fashioned missionary style. Like... what you see in movies. That's a Wa-Tac thing apparently. And it is not my favorite thing to do... At all really. But I'm trying to be better about it. Sis Julien LOVES it. And we do it every (every) day from 5-7. We went downtown the other day (we have Olympia 3rd Ward which covers this little teeny area on the east side [Zac] and we have part of downtown) and the people were much nicer there. They're all super liberal so they'd be like "oh heeey!" and we'd introduce ourselves-"Oh yeah yeah I know who you are, and ya know I'm not interested but can I get you a soda or something?" which was a lot better than the annoyed faces of interrupted dinners and whatnot. Our area is super nice (google the houses. MY GOSH[say it like batman]) which is gorgeous but the people are kinda rough sometimes. Every house in our area has been knocked several times since it's so small. Which is frustrating for me, I hate annoying these people and nobody listens anymore. In the past week we knocked several hundred houses and nobody is interested - which is ok. They don't have to of course but it's just frustrating that they smile and are like "hello!:)" until they see our nametags and you can [literally] see in their face the anger/annoyance and whatnot. They don't want to hear what we have to say at all. We could say we're selling aliens and they'd still just nod there head and slowly be closing the door... Some people are rude, but most are super liberal and will be nicer. (I said one guy was rude after he was talking about "Joseph Smith and the white salamander" (making fun of us) and the other missionaries just kind of patted my head like "ah.. young one" and that's nothing and whatnot.. So. We'll see how bad it can get. I just don't like how people think we're dirt and will [literally] jump into oncoming traffic to get away from us when they see us coming (fun story).
So we haven't found anyone who's interested in the time I've been here, but President said that 60% of baptisms come from knocking doors and in the past 2 weeks they baptized 47 people I think. (none from our area but hey). So we'll just work on that.
There is a lady Cala (kayla) who I met and has been working with the sisters a while and she wants to be baptized! She totally turned her life around and was saying how she went to her old church a few weeks ago and told the pastor guy whatever that in the months she'd be going there not one person had ever said hello to her. So he called her up last week and was like hey just checking in wanna come back to church and she thought about it for a minute on the phone, thinking if she did she could drink coffee again and have wine every once in a while when her daughter Jazlyn (almost 6yrs) was acting up, but she had a distinct voice in her mind say "you know what is true" and she hung up! And wants to be baptized in August! So that is exciting!
For the first few days I was struggling (while tracting/knocking doors... it's always during that time I have doubts and struggle) and was thinking "what am I even doing here - I'm wasting time and nobody is going to listen to us" but I'm starting to realize that that is ok if nobody listens to us because we're trying. And that's all we can do. This gospel changed my life and my family's life and I just want to share it with others - if they don't want to listen, that's up to them but all I can do is try and God will put people in our path that are ready to listen. We haven't found them yet, but we're praying.
We get to have family night twice tonight with 2 member families! That'll be fun! We're trying to work with members and get referrals from them (in my own hopes that it may someday overrule tracting...)
OH!!! IMPORTANT!!! So, if you send mail to the mission office (the address you have) I won't get it until zone meetings since we're a little far away from it, so send packages/mail to our COTTAGE!!! (YES WE LIVE IN A LITTLE A-FRAME COTTAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS <3) (I died when I heard that and it reminds me of the cabin we'd go to in Utah for vacations twice I think). That address is:
2350 Cain Rd #20
Olympia, WA 98501
So send things there for now :) I'll let you know if I'm ever transferred and whatnot. But yeah! Life is rough and I miss all of you so much, but I know it will fly by and I will be home in no time! And I will enjoy this while I can, rough times and all! I love you all!! SO MUCH!!
OH, and mama, the mission president's wife IS doing a blog!! :) She just got it up and running yesterday I think! The address for that is calledtoservewa-tac.blogspot.com. So check that out :)
I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW! Hug everybody for me!!
[Here are some pictures that the mission President sent us. Still no pictures from Charity--hopefully next week]
Her first companion, Sister Julien
All the new missionaries at Puget Sound
(Charity is mostly hidden on the right)