(This post was sent November 2, 2015)
THIS WEEK WAS CRAZY!
I was able to say goodbye to a lot of the people I love in Valentine, but as we were driving out of town, it made me sad to realize that I'd probably never see a lot of them again. BUT, that's what Facebook and letters are for :) We stayed in Pierre with the Sisters Wednesday night, and then we carpooled with the Elders to Bismarck Thursday morning. While we were packing all of our stuff into the car in the morning, the Pierre sisters kept running outside because I had left things around the apartment... I've become very scatter-brained. I'm pretty sure I still left some stuff there. But when we got to Bismarck, I got to see so many missionaries that I missed! Like Sister Cavey :)
(p.s. we meet in so many cities because our mission is so huge and spread out... but we get to where we need to go eventually)
My new companion, Sister Finlinson, and I drove to Minot from Bismarck with another set of sisters in our new zone, who basically gave us a rundown of what was happening in Minot. It was nice, because both of us were brought in from other areas, so we didn't really know what was going on. Also, when I got my transfer call, they told me that I was going to be the companion to a sister training leader, but apparently now we're both sister training leaders. They're like zone leaders, but sisters. So, not only are we new to the area, but we are both new to being STLs... Minot is going to be such a grand adventure :)
Sister Clark and Sister Finlinson in front of Bismarck Temple
On Friday, we tried to just take the day to go through the area book and get oriented, as well as unpack, but the members here are so wonderful and they have us working right off the bat! We've been running around like chickens with our heads cut off for the past three days! We had our district meeting and met the other missionaries in our district, and we had a marvelous training by our district leader, Elder Frame, on how to improve our finding. And, we did role plays! I didn't think I'd ever be so excited to role play. But, I really like the opportunity to practice what I'm trying to learn, because I can mess up while practicing and then do it right in real life. Friday night, we met Sister Nelson, who is the alleged missionary mom here in Minot :) she gave us a ride to the ward Halloween party at the church, where we met a bazillion people! I'm in a ward now, which is strange, because I haven't been in a ward in like ten years. I'm used to small little branches! Also, Sister Nelson was an instructor at the Paul Mitchell college (or something), so that was cool to know. I might ask her for a haircut :) All of the members are so wonderful! I feel like, in general, people want to help do missionary work, but they don't know how. So, Sister Finlinson and I are making it a goal this transfer to focus on how to help them be successful in their own member missionary work. That's what we're here for anyway: to build up the church wherever we go!
Saturday was Halloween! We met the Haffner family, and they are superb! Brother Haffner is a wicked-awesome artist. It's crazy how good he is! We had dinner at the Feists, who are members that we met on Friday night at the Halloween party. After that, we stopped by Bishop Jacobs' home and talked with them for a few minutes before we headed home to plan a bit more. Also, we got a text from a guy who happened to be the Chief of the Toltec tribe in Williston (ND), and apparently he's a member as well! He asked if we could set up a scripture study. One of my favorite things about this mission is all of the immersion in Native culture. It's awesome!
Sunday was amazing! We're in the Minot 3rd ward. We met our investigator, Mackenzie, and we heard all about her awesome story. She started dating a young man in the 2nd ward, and then he went on a mission to Africa! After he left, she thought she might want to investigate the church, so she did :) Except, her parents really aren't on board, because they have some legitimate concerns about the whole thing that happened in the 70s about the priesthood... probably among other things, it sounds like. Hopefully they'll be willing to meet with us so we can see if we can straighten out some of that mess. But, she herself has developed quite a testimony! But her biggest hang-up is that she's worried that she has talked herself into believing the church is true, and that the Spirit isn't a real thing. She had questions about how to differentiate promptings from our own thoughts. I kind of identified with that a bit because I wasn't super sure how to recognize spiritual promptings before I came out on my mission, and so I couldn't tell if it was the Holy Ghost or my own thought. But it's crazy how much instruction Heavenly Father gives through the scriptures! He tells us right in Galations 5 and Moroni 7. When I came across those, it was the coolest thing.
Also, there's an air force base like ten minutes out of town, and we have members there! The security to get in is pretty crazy. We had to go to a visitor's center and give them our social security number and drivers license, and then since Sister Finlinson and I had never been on base before, we had to have our pictures taken. They did a quick background check while we waited, so it took a while... especially since there were a million people ahead of us. We were there for a good hour and a half, but that was mostly because we had to go back and do it again since the first paper didn't print out very well. But, Sister Finlinson helped me push myself and open my mouth, so we talked to everyone that was in the waiting room. There were three sets of missionaries in there, and everyone was chatting together and having a grand time :) I feel like this companionship is going to be beautiful.
Oh! And! At church on Sunday, I met a cool couple named the Amsbury's, who had actually lived in Erie, Pennsylvania, and they know the Karl family in my home branch! It was a marvelous revelation.
Minot is going to be wonderful, I can tell :) Have a great week!
Sister Clark with Sister Stone and her new Trainee, Sister Boyack