Monday, December 19, 2016

'Tis the Season to Serve

This week feels like I have spent more time in service clothes than in proselyting clothes.  All I remember is all the service we did because we had service everyday this week besides on our P-Day and Sunday.  This has probably been one of the longest weeks on the mission, but it always feels like that your first week in a new area.  For P-Day we went shopping last week. Soldotna is like a little Anchorage but more expensive.  We changed into P-Day clothes for sports afterwards.
Tuesday for our district meeting our District Leader brought donuts for an activity we were to do.  We had a couple of elders blindfolded and I was the guide to guide them to the donuts.  One of the elders rolled across the high council table and bolted for the donuts when they said go so I helped the other one at that point.  There were two others meant to be the adversary to lead him astray but we came out victorious and all got donuts.  After lunch we went to do service helping people cut the thorns off of roses.  I managed to only prick myself a few times and only bled twice.  Hopefully doing this every week I'll master the art in no time.
Wednesday we helped out with another service opportunity that our whole district was apart of.  We each were helping to clean out the green house to prepare for Spring.  We got fed pizza and our District presented an idea to do for P-Day that required us to make cookies for members of each of our wards we are over like a Secret Santa that is to be passed on by doing it to others in the neighborhood.  We felt that it would be best to do that on a Saturday and do something else for our P-Day. The lady we help to do the service offered to pay for us doing it and her friend who helps with the green house as well offered to help us make them at her house and that she had a lot of stuff to make them already.  That was so nice of them to do that for us.
Thursday we did more service helping out at the food bank.  The guy giving us tasks to do said we were working ourselves out of a job by how fast we were getting the work accomplished.  Later that day we had our exchange.  Because of the slick roads and the fact that we live three hours away from Anchorage, we had our exchange happen over FaceTime.  It was a bit awkward.  This happened at my week mark being in Soldotna so there wasn't much to talk about.  Both Sister Williams and I were chatting with the STLs in Anchorage so it was like a virtual hangout.  One of our zone Leaders walked in while we were at the church and saw us.  After we told him what we were doing I hope he doesn't still think we are piles (the term "Pile" in this mission means you are a missionary doing things you shouldn't be doing).  Our dinner for that night was probably one of the weirdest dinners ever.  The member gave us our own vegetable trays each with bell pepper, celery, broccoli, and this weird cold salmon thing.  I eventually had the courage to ask her what the salmon thing was and if it was meant to be cold.  She said it was like a salmon jerky skin and all.  I ate it and it wasn't actually that bad.  Then we were brought more fish but you could taste that they were canned.  There were little things of cheese that we ate too.  After we said that we were full she said, "oh we're not done".  She then brought out dessert which consisted of chilled canned apricots still in the syrup.  This was all we ate while she was telling us about her abusive childhood and crazy stories of how she became converted to the gospel.
Friday we did service at another farm.  This farm tasks involved us moving stuff from one storage-like place to another.  After we were done they gave us hot chocolate. Before we left they asked if we had some more time and if we would be willing to help them slaughter some rabbits.  UH...SLAUGHTER RABBITS !?!  Yeah, so just for that day we watched the husband hit the bunny on the head to stun it as he then slit the rabbit's throat and then observed the whole process of how to take the hide off and take the guts out.  The whole time my face was plastered with disgust. The craziest part is that next week we are to do it!
Saturday we spent all day doing the service activity of making cookies, brownies, and no bake cookies.  The house was in so much activity that at times I didn't know what to look at.  After about a few hours we each took a couple of bags to deliver to members' homes in different areas.  We ding-dong ditched and left the cookies with the note to pass it on.  

Later that night we were told of a member slaughtering a pig for for us to come watch.  I took some videos of that but thank goodness we showed up after they had already killed the pig and it was already hanging upside down.  With these two slaughterings this week I had nightmares the following night that I survived a human slaughtering and was able to escape with minimal blood loss.  Man, the crazy things people do in Alaska 

Sunday was chill enough and we watched, "17 Miracles" with one of the recent converts. We are still trying to find people to teach in this area so hopefully we will be blessed with investigators soon.  With all these service activities we stay pretty busy.

Sent from ALASKA!!!

Sister Shelley Willden

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