Monday, January 16, 2017

Missionary In Training

I received my new trainee this week!  Tuesday we drove down to Anchorage in the morning and got there super fast.  I had plans to write in my journal, write in Sister Williams' journal, and write letters back to my previous companions, but we talked most of the way there.  The drive is just gorgeous from Soldotna to Anchorage, and I figured I should take more pictures since I won't have the opportunity to in the dark driving back.

When we got there we were supposed to have lunch with the Huffman sisters, but they were stuck at the airport waiting to pick up sisters from Fairbanks who flew down.  Their flight was delayed a lot.  We got to the Strawberry chapel and everyone was trying to figure everything out for logistics. We weren't allowed into the mission office because they had new trainees in there.  It was crazy to think that my daughter (in the mission) was just inside.  The Huffman sisters finally just came back and then we went to lunch with them.  It was cool to be back in my previous area with them going around trying to get in touch with less actives.  I'm surprised I remembered so much.  They have a new apartment they are staying at. Well, they are living with members from the O'Malley ward which it is super nice. They have the nicest kitchen I've seen and two bathrooms, but the best part, I think, is the heated floors!
Wednesday was the day!  Sister Jewel and Sister Anderson dropped me off at the Brayton chapel which is the church that shares a parking lot with the Anchorage Temple.  We were there early and it was giving me anxiety waiting to get our trainees. Because I am the only sister training this transfer when we walked in I knew exactly who my companion was:  Sister Randall.  Elder Ashton Hymas from my home stake was

in this group of new missionaries.  He is going to be serving in Fairbanks. After all the training and having lunch we went to do a session at the temple which was awesome. We then grabbed dinner at Subway before driving the 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive back to Soldotna.  We talked the whole way home since Sister Randall had the opportunity to take a nap yesterday which our batch of missionaries weren't allotted. She is amazing. She is from The Dalles, Oregon, and likes to play video games, archery, go shooting, and likes boxing.  We get along super well and having her as my companion makes me more excited to train.  We've already had many adventures.
Thursday we did a whole butt load of service.  We did service at the food bank helping sort and stock Valentine's candy.  There were so many sweethearts and the fact is no one likes to eat them.  They are just cute because of the sayings on them.  Afterwards we went grocery shopping and then headed to help Jen's sister move who lives in the K-Beach area.  We had all the elders and other people helping to move all this stuff into Jen's car, someone else's car, and the U-Haul.  It didn't take us too much time to do that but then we drove to Sterlings's area to unload all of the stuff.  They fed us pizza afterwards, but we then had to race to our dinner appointment who live our in Kasilof which is a far part of our area.  Miracle that had happened was that the family half gave us a referral without us even asking.  We are going to need to follow up with the husband on how things are progressing with his friend.
Friday we had weekly planning which normally your first couple as a new companionship take longer since one of both doesn't know the people yet.  After lunch we drove out to Nikiski in Kenai's area for our usual service out there with the guy who had us slaughter rabbits, but when we got there there was no one home and neither of the elders were there.  We called the elders and when they got there we drove back to our area to do service at bishop's attic.  Sister Randall and I organized men's jeans; their sizing is completely different than how women size their clothes. Danny fed us on both Friday and Saturday.  I am so excited that Dominic is still attending the lessons and he is paying attention. 
Saturday was probably one of the worst days to where you just want to go home and sleep the stress away.  The morning started off great but we were late to meeting up for district tracting in Kenais area.  So ... we got in a car accident.
On our way to Kenai's area, which was forever away, one of the elders said he'd point out the window to show us the street we needed to turn on but instead of pointing a little before the street he pointed right on the street.  Because we were following close behind each other the first car slid on the snow a little while quickly turning right and then we skidded a lot while we turned crashing the side of the car into a stop sign. Apparently we would have rolled if we didn't get stopped by the stop sign. We are both okay and the elders all pulled over and started helping us.  The other tender mercy with this is that we went to lunch after pulling the car out of the snow to a restaurant owned by members so we got a free lunch which was definitely needed. After all was said and done we went to get Sister Randall's winter gear.  The first store she got snow boots, thermals, and wool socks.  The next store we went to she was in the process of buying a coat and gloves but her card kept declining - she knew she had money on there for this.  Come to find out that the bank probably cut off the card because of charges in Alaska.  She told her bank when she would be in Alaska but because she was in Utah first for the MTC the bank probably thought the card was stolen.  Today she is getting things straightened out.  We went back and bought just the coat with cash and a different card and I helped her pay for the rest with my Christmas money so she could stay warm while it is snowing up here.  Thank goodness the weather has been as high as 20 degrees lately though.  We are having fun training and Sister Randall has a lot of great ideas to incorporate into our area and mission and has a lot of gumption to get to work.  She even wants to track.   She was meant to be my daughter.

Sent from ALASKA !

Sister Shelley Willden     

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