I have been called as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve in the Alaska Anchorage Mission for 18 months (Jul 2016 - Jan 2018). This blog is a compilation of the weekly letters I send home which contain my experiences, thoughts, and feelings in the mission field.
Transfers happened this week. The time leading up to Wednesday was just very weird. We went around to a lot of the members to say goodbye and have them sign my transfer journal. Packing in our apartment was chaotic, but was able to get it all done in a timely manner. For our last p-day in our zone we played Headbands and Apples to Apples Disney version and of course signed journals. The next day we had zone lunch eating Taco Bell one last time. Our transfer logistics had us leaving at 1pm from President La Voie's house in a spare truck. Looking at the truck we were not going to fit four sister missionaries' stuff all in the bed of the truck, but we managed. We left a little late, well a lot late to the point where we just dropped off Sister Gardner at the temple to run inside before the session started and we took care of her luggage. It was freezing cold on Wednesday.
I met Sister Jewel there and we bonded fairly quickly. We had a lesson to get to soon afterwards so there was no time to mess around. I met Amanda and Mike, a couple with two kids. Amanda has been investigating the church for quite a while. We extended the baptismal challenge and they accepted!!! We then committed them to pray about a date they can work towards getting baptized.
The next day it snowed. We were making sure to drive extra careful. We went to the mission office to drop off our mileage report. Elder Mayhue gave me an update on my broken IPad. He said it was still under warranty so he had us go to Downtown Anchorage to the Apple Store to have them replace it. While there we told them what the problem was and they were able to fix it not having to erase any of the memory ! Such a blessing. Later that day Sister Jewel had me meet the members of the ward council. Shortly after talking with the Young Women's President, we went back to Amanda's house to help her with a cake she was making for a birthday party. We were cutting out fondant snowflakes to make a Frozen birthday cake. It was very fun but fondant really is not good to eat.
On Friday we had weekly planning which seemed to take all day since there is just so much stuff I need to get filled in on. We had lunch with the Oceanview Sisters. We did French Toast Friday. Later that day we had French dipped sandwiches so it worked out perfectly as apparently that was our theme for the day. In the past the Huffman Sisters (us) have lunch with the Oceanview Sisters at their place so that should be fun. One of the less active ladies we visit on Friday's goes off on long rants about experiences she has had. Even though they weren't necessarily problems she was having I have just learned for myself that I don't want to be a counselor.
Saturday was one of our busiest days. We were just so productive and doing a lot of things that by the end of the night we are just exhausted. We helped out with the decorations for the ward's Christmas party before lunch. Afterwards we had district tracting in our area. There is ice under the snow so I stepped in one wrong place and it seemed as if I just sat down really quickly. :) At least I'm not hurt. One of the ward council members asked if we could make desserts for the party that night since they were afraid there weren't going to be enough. We made these delicious cookies but it turned out there was no need. There was dessert for days. The party was a success. We spent the time introducing myself to many members of the ward including less-active members who come only to social events.
Sunday we went to church at 9am. It was fast and testimony meeting so I bore my testimony and introduced myself to the ward as a whole. After church Sister Jewel and I hit the sack; we were so tired. Our dinner appointment couldn't do dinner so they made us lunch instead. The member found out that I sang so she asked if I would sing the solo part in "Oh, Holy Night" for the Christmas program at church. It turned out that the whole song is basically a solo with choir accompaniment. I sang it for her and told her I could do it. We had practice later that day before the Christmas Devotional. I have been out of practice but I think it sounds okay. We perform the song in Church on the 18th. The Christmas Devotional was great. We came home and had a late dinner before having a brainstorm session about ideas for finding people to teach.
Sister Jewel and I are getting along so great and the members in the ward are fantastic! I am so excited to be here serving and hopefully I can contribute something to this work with the Lord's help.