Friday, May 10, 2013

Letter from Plattsmouth!

 Loradona's address is to the right ----->
Hello, family!
Just time for the weekly email from the mission! This time, I am emailing you from Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE! My area is actually Plattsmouth (we're at the mouth of the Platte, believe it or not), and my companion is Sister Harris from Colorado. She is also a Trail Center missionary, though right now we are just proselyting. But I feel like I am getting ahead of myself.
My last two days at the MTC were really great--the sun shone, we had some new teachers, and we really had a lot of time to study. After the rest of our zone left early Monday morning, there were just the four of us sisters waiting until Wednesday. Because we were awkwardly timed, we had new teachers, Sister Fielding and Brother Clegg. I really appreciated the extra time to practice and to learn. I feel like I am a quick study, but I sometimes need to think about things to really get them in my mind. Because we were there longer, we also had a chance to sing with the Choir for devotional again, which is pretty much my favorite. Seriously, my advice to any missionary going to the Provo MTC is to GO TO CHOIR! I can't say it enough. It doesn't matter if you're "not a singer." Just go. You won't regret it.
Before too long, we were on our way to Nebraska! Early Wednesday morning, we showed up at the travel office. There were actually 24 of us headed to Omaha: 17 sisters, 7 elders. Everyone else was in a different zone from us, so we didn't really meet them before the airport. Four of the elders are "visa waiters" actually assigned to Brazil. They will be here until they get their visas, and they have really good attitudes about it all. I'm impressed. The Brazil elders are also the four tallest missionaries in our group. You want to know which ones are actually supposed to be in Brazil? Pick the ones who tower 6 inches over everyone else!
Anyway, there were some travel mix-ups (they didn't have our reservations or something? I'm still confused), so we left late for the airport. Once we were there, we had to book it through security to get to our gate. When we got there, all of the payphones were dominated by just a couple of sisters (minor grumble) who stayed on the phone for 30 minutes while the rest of us (24, remember?) waited forlornly. So I thank you for the calling card. I just didn't get to use it right then.
I traveled with Sister Kent (they had us split on two flights), and she was really upset at not getting to call. Luckily, on the flight there was a splendid lady who let us use her cell phone for 5 minutes. It was just frustrating to wait and wait while three people sat at the phones. My other piece of advice for missionaries: If there is a line behind you, take a break. Let others use the phones, because you aren't the only ones who want to use it.
Our flight was fairly uneventful, though the other flight was routed through Denver, which had bad weather, so I guess they got a lot of turbulence and were delayed about 2 hours, so they all got a lot of time to call. Several of the sisters talked about being scared of the turbulence, but you know me--turbulence puts me to sleep. I'm pretty sure that flight would have just rocked me to sleep!
FYI, if you ever go to Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, and you land at terminal F and need to get to terminal B for your connection, take the tram. I'm pretty sure Sister Kent and I ran a mile and a half to get to our connection. We saw the tram once, but it pulled out before we could get there, and that was that. Let me tell you, however, we definitely got our exercise in that day.

When we arrived in Omaha, it was freezing! May 1st, and freezing! Let me tell you, I was glad to have my coat. President and Sister Weston met us right at the edge of security, and it was nice to see them! They loaded us into vans and took us to the mission offices for some orientation (I learned not to put a squirrel skin down the garbage disposal, nor to throw Chinese throwing stars at the walls) and was interviewed by President Weston. Then we got to stay the night at a motel and we went to bed so early! It would have been an awesome night's sleep... if it weren't for the drunk guys running up and down the hall and yelling about needing more beer and ice for the vodka. I finally got up, stuck my head out of the door, and then said, "Hey." One guy looked at me and said, "Oh, she's sleeping." I said, "Yeah, I'm sleeping. But you're going to have to keep it down, because you're killing me." They responded with, "Oh, yeah. Sure. Thanks for not yelling at us!" Whatever, dude. Just don't wake me up.(Side note from Debra: Anybody that knows Loradona, knows not to mess with her sleep)
Aaanyway, we went to Winter Quarters and the Pioneer cemetery there, as well as the temple grounds the next morning. It was beautiful because we woke up to about 3 inches of snow on the ground. Yeaaaah... Remember how I said I wouldn't need snow boots right away? That was kind of false. That's okay, though, because at least I had the scarf Grandma knitted me. Thanks Grandma! We didn't spend nearly enough time at the Trail Center, and we didn't get a full tour, which made me sad. I figured I'd be back eventually.
We returned to the Mission offices for lunch and then to go out for our first proselyting experiences. It was really good! I went out with Sisters Hamilton and Beatty, and while I was nervous at first, going out tracting wasn't too bad at all. We even found a couple of people who asked us back, so that was really good. Sister Hamilton is really bold. She just tells it like it is, and I love it.
In the evening, we went to President Weston's house for instruction, followed by dinner and a testimony meeting. Did I mention that one of the new elders is from Ecuador? I thought that was pretty rock and roll. Naturally, he's a Spanish Elder. Following the testimonies (which were all really good), we got our assignment letters! I'm afraid I spoiled the surprise and already let you know that my companion is Sister Harris and I serve in Plattsmouth. Plattsmouth is south of Omaha, probably 30 minutes or so from the Mission Office. It reminds me a little of Sutherlin in some ways.
The ward is really small, but it looks like the members are really nice. I got to meet Sister Harris on Friday, when we met up and then drove to our area. We were both new to the area, but luckily the car had a GPS in it that Brother Bucksbee bought the sisters. We live in the Bucksbee's house. They are really nice. Brother Bucksbee reminds me a little of Grandpa in his teasing. I think he and Jeanette would have some wonderful sparring sessions. Sis. Harris and I got a little settled in, then headed to the Trail Center for her last shift before becoming what they call a "Full Proselyting" missionary. Before, she's been split, half and half, between the Trail Center and Proselyting, so this is new for her.
While we were at the Trail Center, I got to know some of the other sisters, and I took myself on a tour, thank you very much! I saw every exhibit and pushed every button, because I could.
The last sisters in our area were almost fully at the Trail Center, so we walked into an area without a lot of investigators in it. The one they had kind of got cold feet (long story), and we're working to get to the bottom of it.We just keep praying for him that he will get it figured out and that we can help him.
On Saturday, we made it our goal to go out and meet as many members as we could. We met quite a few, actually, and that was good. We also had dinner with a member and had a good time getting to know them. Sunday was fun, because we could meet a bunch more members, as well as greet the ones we'd already met. We also had a really good lesson at a member's house, getting them to think about people they might like to invite to hear the gospel. I really think my time as the Member Missionary Class teacher helped with that one!
Evening is a tough time, though, because we don't know the area very well, we don't have any investigators, and so we don't have appointments, and we don't know places to go. We just scour the previous missionaries' records and look for potential students that way and try to go and find those people. Tracting is something they encourage us not to do, because our Wards should be supplying the teaching pool. So... we do our best with what we have. If the weather were nicer, more people might be out (the weather right now reminds me of Oregon. No need for homesickness here!), but instead it is a little cool, wet and gray, and that keeps people in more. President Weston says to be grateful for the cool weather, because it will be blistering before long!
It's almost time to wrap this up (FYI, PDay is Mondays, so that's when you can expect emails).
I have two awards to give out this week! The Golden Letter Award goes to Mom's cousins! That was an awesome card. The Frozen Toes Award goes to Nebraska, for snowing in May for the first time since 1967, or some such nonsense. Get in line, Nebraska!
Anyway, here's to signing out for the week. Keep sending me emails and letters--I love them! I will try to respond to letters in writing as best I can. I have an hour now to email, so I can probably respond to emails you send again, so keep 'em coming!
Love you! Think happy thoughts!
Sister Loradona May

No comments:

Post a Comment