Ok so I'm starting to get used to this email thing.
Also, it's insane that tomorrow I will have already been in WA for a MONTH! Since when?..
So, I have to say a few things that I've noticed about Washington that are highly different than Phoenix.
First - everything is alive. And things grow like crazy. Everyone goes out and picks blackberries off the side of the road cause they really are weeds here, but I mean at least something good comes of them! We were walking around the other day and this worm was coming out of the sidewalk that was as long as my forearm (no joke-I measured it). And the bees are totally black with one yellow stripe.. which is odd. They're a little bigger than the yellow/black ones too. And there's flowers EVERYWHERE - eeeveryone has flowers growing and my new favorites are Dahlias. I've seen more kinds of flowers in the past week than I have my whole life. And these weird ones that hang upside down called Fushias? I swear Dr Suess lived here.
Humidity is killer some days... It's not so bad when there's a breeze but otherwise it feels like you're walking in a sauna. It's not super hot outside necessarily but it's super muggy. And moss grows everywhere - it's in the cracks on the street on the sidewalk on rooftops (it's actually a problem sometimes) which is weird.
People don't believe in plastic bags anymore up here - when you go shopping everything is in big brown bags with no handles (that you have to pay for every time). And milk jugs are big rectangles with a hole in the top - it's the weirdest thing. Normal milk jugs don't exist.
And the spiders... Let me just tell you okay. Spiders are crazy. At first it was crazy-funny like "oooh the spee-i-der" (megamind) because there are at least 2-3 on everyones doorways and whatnot and you walk through them all the time but it's like, spider-season now and they are LITERALLY EVERYWHERE. We counted 14 webs (with inhabitants) on this one lady's porch/doorway thing. And they're not like AZ spiders - they're these big yellow-orangey-black ones. We found a pretty big one on the stop sign as we were walking the other day I'll put a pic on the bottom of it. And THEN... luckily we don't find them in the cottage that often. But last night I battled freaking Aragog and his spawn.
Story time. So after we came home for the night we were saying our "mighty prayer" where we pray about everyone and everything every night and it takes a good 10+ minutes, and as Sister Julien was praying this lovely epistle I have no idea why but I opened my eyes and looked over right as this monstrous thing is crawling less than 2 feet away from us as we are huddled on the floor. And I panic because literally, this thing is as big as my palm. His body is as big as my thumbprint and standing he was like 2-3 inches tall. Which explaining it doesn't seem that bad but you know those ones in captivity at the zoo? Someone let him free in our house. And he's crawling towards the closet door and I'm like no way he's going in there cause I will not sleep knowing he's in there, so I whisper "sister julien... pause..pause.. sis-SISTER JULIEN" (whispers getting louder) and she looks at me mid-prayer like what the heck and I'm just staring at Aragog's firstborn over there and she panics. She has a theory of "out of sight out of mind" and there's no way she'd touch it. But I won't sleep til I know he's gone so I grab my shoe and (he's half the size of it with his legs) try to hit him and he runs. And so I'm going crazy trying to smash this thing and Sister Julien is just saying "kill it kill it kill it" and it was one of the most terrifying things I've ever done. But eventually, I did smash him (several times) and we go to continue our prayer.. I hope God forgives me for that interruption. So we finish that and we just look over at the little corpse and kind of nervously laugh about it and ALL THE SUDDEN his SPAWN comes creeping out from under my shoe and he's only slightly smaller than his devil father but he creeps under the closet door. And so Sister Julien (who is petrified of spiders, btw) is done for and she's freaking out sitting on top of our table because our cottage is now under attack with the little beasties and to make a long story short I found him in the closet and killed him too. But that was last night. Northwest spiders... *shiver*
I also really wanted to tell a story from our miracle day on Thursday.
So, lately it's been kinda rough when everyone hates you. But I'm getting used to it and it's not so bad, but Wednesday was a pretty difficult day. And so on Thursday I was determined to have a better day. We went out to lunch with Bishop Anderson (who is the absolute best btw) to this little Asian place downtown and I got this little fortune cookie that said "Others appreciate you more than you think" and I showed it to Sis Julien and we were like "Ha!" cause it was perfect! And exactly what I needed to see, you know? Cause things are rough and whatnot but it was like this little nugget of hope that totally made my day :) And Bishop just kind of took a sec to say that I'm doing good and don't worry about it kind of thing which helped too. And then throughout the whole day these little things kept happening like little signs from above reminding me that someone's looking out for me. Then when we were knocking that night, we hit this Anti, and holy moses he was just oozing with this hatred. He stood there on his doorstep and just yelled at us for a good 5 minutes telling us we are deceived and everything we believe is crap and etc etc. He was shaking he was so mad. I didn't really say anything but it was so weird because I just felt deep inside me this love for him.. I could see past his anger and his threats and whatever else he was throwing at us and it was almost like I was looking into his soul or something - but I could see he was afraid and I just loved him. It was so strange. But I think that's what charity was. And after that house we knocked into this British lady who was much nicer but not interested and as we walked away this car pulled up next to us and this lady and her daughter said "are you the LDS missionaries?" and we were like why yes we are and she said "oh, we love you guys! we take them in all the time for dinner - and we're actually on our way out right now, would you like to join us for dinner?" And so they treated us to dinner at this little Mexican place! And while we were there (this lady Dory and her daughter Olivia are absolutely the sweetest most intelligent people I've ever met btw) this older Latino man came up to us and said "oh, I love the missionaries! You guys don't worry, your meal has been paid for" and we were like, okay, what is going on today!? It was so awesome! And the whole night was just awesome like that, and I felt so much love and AH. and then to finish it off, we came home and I got my package :D That day was the best day in the world!!
Btw, I have T-2min left on my timer before I'm logged off but I just have to say how much I LOVE you guys!!! That huge envelope full of notes and letters absolutely MADE MY DAY <3 I love my family SO much and I read every single one!! I have the best family in the whole wide world and that package was just the best thing I've ever received! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH
Here's some pictures of the week! (including Aragog's corpse and the big ugly one by Sis Julien)