Monday, August 4, 2014

Onward, Pressing Onward....

(My District at the MTC ready to leave for Arkansas)

(Ready to head out to Arkansas!)

Well. I'm here.

Last Tuesday was the LONGEST day of my LIFE... Holy. We woke at 2:30am.... Took a bus to the airport. I was able to call and talk with my Mama and Daddy, which was great. Our flight was at 7:20am. Then to Atlanta and we had an hour layover there where I called home again. Then off to Little Rock! It was super sweet. Elder Zickella and Sister Holst were actually sharing the Gospel with those sitting next to them. I was so inspired by em. They're great missionaries! All of the missionaries in my District and Zone were pretty great. It's a bummer that we're all going our separate ways now.

We arrived to the Mission Home and Sister Larsen, Sister Holst, and I slept in the room where the General Authorities sleep. AHHH! Sister Wakolo and the Senior Missionaries made us all dinner and it was super good! After training and meetings and testimonies and pictures, we went to bed.
(My MTC District at the Mission Home in Arkansas)
(With President and Sister Wakolo)

We made our way to the Church to be told where we'd be going. We got our companions and our areas..... My trainer is Sister Rebecca Carroll and we are assigned to the Pinnacle Mountain Ward in Little Rock. Which also happens to be President Wakolo's Ward!
(Me and Sister Carroll!)
It was sad to say goodbye to my District. But, it just kinda happened. It was like a "See ya later" and no big hoorah or anything. I wish we had more time, but as soon as we got our companions and areas, we basically left straight and went to our homes.

Sister Carroll is AMAZING. Seriously. I could not have asked for a better trainer. She's from Orem and only has 5 more weeks of her mission. Which means, for my second 6weeks, I will have a new trainer. I'm not too excited about that, but it should be good. I seriously look to Sister Carroll for EVERY cue. If she puts her bag down, so do I. Haha. She is incredible. She talks to EVERYONE we see. Pretty soon, I hope I can do that.

I am now serving in Little Rock and covering basically the western area of Little Rock.  I am in a member's home.  We live upstairs.  I do not have access to the internet here.  We go to the library.

The Pinnacle Mountain Ward is pretty great. The members are awesome and super welcoming. We've had dinner with a member every night so far. I bore my testimony in Sacrament yesterday. I felt like that would be a good way for the Ward to see who I was and to hear why I'm here on a mission.

The first few days in Arkansas, It was raining.... No sun. Now, the sun has finally came out and it is hot, humid, and bright. I love it! And I love the people here. They are so great. There's not many Southern accents that I've ran into. Mostly just many ghetto talk from because there are a ton of African Americans here that struggle with reading and talking properly. But I truly love them! And I'm loving those that I teach.

We have the car, so I haven't had to ride my bike yet, which is a very good thing. I seriously cannot ride that thing... We should have the car for about another week and then we'll have bikes for a week... Not stoked. But that doesn't mean we haven't been walking, because we sure have! I have blisters to prove it, as well as mosquito bites. I have 24 mosquito bites, and 20 of them are on my legs.

Basically, all I'm feeling is exhaustion. Even when getting sleep, I am still tired. I actually SCHEDULED in sleep for my P-day today. It is much needed. I'm actually getting sick, and I'm pretty sure it's from exertion and exhaustion. I'm falling asleep left and right... Especially in the car and during study time. Which is not good. I hope after today's nap, I'll be better.

Eating wise, I'm getting enough. I'm hungry throughout the day because we're doing so much (and yes, Mom... I am drinking TONS of water). Dinners are always so filling. Every meal so far has had meat.... Yum......... I've had garlic shrimp and some pork, and some nasty beef thing. Haha. I don’t have much storage place for food of my own since we’re living in someone’s house, and we basically have dinner provided every night.

I gave my first pass-along card on Saturday. And my first door-knocking. It was super great. I love going spiritual harvesting (where we go walking and talk to people and knock on doors). We did that yesterday and met a few that we set up return appointments for. I'm excited because lately we've been teaching only those that have been taught already by different missionaries. So it's been rough just jumping in and not knowing where they stand. It will be nice to be able to teach from the beginning.

I've been learning so much from Sister Carroll and from the people I teach. It's incredible. We pray probably twenty times each day and it just helps me come closer to my Father in Heaven. I've learned this week to pay attention to promptings, even when you may not think they are. We were walking down a street and felt we should knock on some door and she was interested! Also, walking and I felt like we should continue going straight as opposed to turning. And we met about three others. It was super great.

I know this Church is true and I am so happy to be here and share that knowledge with others! (:

P.S. - SMALL WORLD - Message from Grandma Mitchell:
Someone sent a picture to Grandpa’s I-phone and said, “Guess who we had over for dessert tonight?”  We could tell it was Jessica & her companion, but couldn’t tell who was with her.  Grandpa called Scott & Leslie to see if they knew who the other couple was, but they had no idea either.  Later in the week there was a message on Grandpa’s cell phone from Ray Walker, who was Bishop of our ward when we first moved here to Federal Way back in 1969. (Grandpa served as his counselor for awhile.) When Grandpa was finally able to talk with Ray, he found out that he and his current wife (Ray has been remarried for many years now) live in Little Rock in the very ward where Jessica and her companion are assigned. SMALL WORLD!!!!  Several years ago Ray and his wife came to visit us, but we had forgotten where they lived. Ray told Grandpa he has served in the Mission Presidency with three mission presidents and is currently serving on the high council. Ray’s daughter Pam used to babysit our babies. He promised they would take good care of Sister Smith.
(Sister and Brother Walker and Sister Carroll)