MEETS PRESIDENT AND SISTER ANDERSON!
So, I left the MTC last Wednesday to head for Bismarck with half of my district-- my companion and myself, as well as a companionship of elders. Sister Cavey and I sat next to a man named Adam, who was from Wisconsin. I thought of Jon Lifferth :) Adam wasn't a member, I don't think... well, he referred to his family as Jack Mormons, so maybe he was. I don't know. But he asked us where we were serving and we just had a nice chat.
We had a layover at the Minneapolis airport, which was HUGE (there was a mall in the middle of it!), and we met some missionaries who were on their way home. That was so cool! We got to Bismarck, and the airport was super small, where President and Sister Anderson and the APs were there to greet us.
We spent the night at the mission home, and the bed was so luxuriously comfortable compared to the MTC. It was marvelous! The next day was transfers, and it literally took all day. We waited for the "transfer train," or a 15-passenger van full of missionaries with a trailer attached for luggage, from about 1pm until around 4..it was running late.
The drive was pretty long. It still blows my mind how few people live in my mission. The towns and cities are so spaced out. However, the open land is absolutely beautiful! It's relatively flat, but there are still hills and buttes and plateaus. with an occasional creek slashed across the landscape. And lots of cows :) It was a lovely drive. I didn't get to Rapid City until like nine-ish, and we were still three hours away from the area I'm serving in.
I spent the night at the Sister Training Leaders' apartment with my trainer, Sister Pierce, who is fantastic. She's so patient and kind! And a super big goofball :) I love her to pieces. Then, the next morning we drove out to my first area, which is Valentine, Nebraska! It's such an adorable little town... emphasis on little. It's WAY small. It takes two minutes to drive to opposite sides of town. But they have hearts on all of their street signs, and it's fantastic! I'll have to take a picture. Also, their library is so pretty! A weird thing to point out, but it felt more like finely furnished library in a grand home than a public library.
There was a tornado warning that night (Friday), so that was interesting. But I've had the opportunity to meet some of the investigators and a lot of the members. The members are so awesome! They're all very welcoming, and super supportive to the missionaries. Sister Pierce and I are the only missionaries in the branch, and it was a bit strange to get used to only having a set of sisters without elders. I'm in a tiny little branch. It reminds me of home :)
It was so cool, there was a family baptism this Sunday that I got to see. The Bernal family... they're so great. I love that they're such a loving and outgoing family. AH. I love, love, LOVE being on a mission! I literally have moments where I think, "Man. I'm a real-life missionary. THIS IS SO AWESOME." I love putting on my name tag every morning. I'm so excited to serve the Lord!! Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I want to be the best missionary now! But then I have to remind myself to be patient. I'm still working on opening my mouth. I get all excited thinking about serving people and bringing them the gospel, but then when it comes time to actually talk to someone, I forget how to use words. But, the Lord has blessed me so much!
He has increased my desire to serve and given me a greater ability to feel the promptings of the Spirit. It's so awesome to understand more and more each day how much Heavenly Father loves us SO MUCH!! I'm so happy to have the knowledge of the gospel. I'm grateful to know that no matter how many times I mess up, the Atonement never runs out! As I've asked Heavenly Father to help me change, and to have the desire to change, crazy wonderful things have happened! Things might get a million times harder, but I know I'll have help. Life is good.
This is our tiny building :) Me gusta! (I like it!)
Also, Sister Cavey and I right before we got on our "transfer train," a.k.a a 15-passenger van full of missionaries with a trailer attached.