We got up atand had a really long day of flights, dragging 10 squirrelly elders across country was not a prospect I was excited about, but it turned out okay. It was kind of awesome because our whole batch (except for two elders in the other district) were all going to my mission!!!
We arrived, tired, but not too hungry because I forced my companions to get food at Checkers (RALLYS!) with me. We got to meet the mission president and his wife right off - they are so kind! The two of them and the assistants to the president helped us with our luggage and out into the humid, humid hot summery Chesapeake day. I don't really know how to describe it. It's just different. It's like the air sweats for you. It's nice when there's a breeze, but there wasn't in the parking garage.
The next day, we FINALLY had our meetings. I know, how could I be excited about meetings??!?! Well the night before we had dinner with the mission office staff and short interviews with the President and his wife (because they knew we were exhausted). It was really cool because President Baker said "I need to meet you in order to receive revelation on who your companions should be." Wow!
So the next day we had transfer meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our little MTC group was disbanded and we were assigned to the areas in which we were called SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!! Poor Sister Caldwell was so nervous, so the three of us were kind of gritting our teeth and holding on for dear life as we listened to talks and such. Then President Baker stood up and started assigning new companions. Sister Caldwell was first, so she no longer had to feel nervous or tense. Her companion seemed super nice! =) I'm so happy for her. I was assigned near the end, so I got to watch as our group was split up and sent out to hug and sit with their new, mature, companions. It was so interesting to watch them meet with their mentors.
Then I got assigned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!! My companion is Sister Dodds, she's from Utah and is so nice and kind! She's been out for a year already and has everything down! I'm so glad she's my trainer!!!!
So I was all hyped up and ready to go right out of the gate. As we were driving from the transfer meeting I said, "Okay!! When is our first appointment???!" But to my disappointment, we had a quiet night planned. However, I have quickly come to appreciate planning.
The missionary day starts early, at, and there is a set schedule of things we need to get done to be ready for the day. We need to eat, exercise, get ready, study, and then go out to appointments. We cannot do all the things we need to do, or teach the gospel by the Spirit of the Lord if we do not utilize that valuable preparation time. Something I have learned is that you may study really hard, plan out your entire lesson (scripture verses and everything), and be ready to go, and then not use any of it in your visit. But I can promise you, that even if you don't use any of it - if you are paying attention to the Spirit and listening to the investigator, you will be able to change their hearts. You will be able to teach by the Spirit like it talks about in the scriptures. It is amazing and miraculous to watch, and even more so to be a part of. =D
My first appointment ever was during a thunderstorm, atthe night of transfers. We went over to a member's house to help her with Family History! Proud of me, Mom? =D My companion, Sister Dodds, loves Family History as much as I do! It's such an amazing missionary tool, I'm not even kidding. The promise in Malachi 4:5-6 is TRUE it is being fulfilled TODAY in these Latter Days. All people on earth are having their hearts turned to their fathers and are excited and filled with the fire of Elijah to do that work. Family, friends!!! Ask for pass along cards about Family History. Talk to your friends about Family History. Havefaith that they will feel that fire. Grow your own testimony about Family History bytrying it out. You can do it! I have faith in you!!! I love you all!!!!
My first appointment with an investigator was with Barbara. She has been investigating the church for a really long time, and that was so weird, to me, to jump in the middle of that, because I have no idea where she is at. Do you know the best way to find out? Invite them to be baptized! Really! =) What ever concern they have about being baptized is where you can start, helping them to learn. During the appointment, there was a cat rubbing against my legs, a TV on in the background, and a misquito having a wonderful time eating up my arm. Needless to say, I WAS A LITTLE DISTRACTED. I also knew that Sister Dodds expected me to invite Barbara to be baptized. Ah! I was relying on the Lord so much in that appointment. =)
But the time came, and I asked, without hesitation. The Holy Ghost was beating so strong in my heart and I knew just what to say. She said no, but it was okay. We found out what her concern was and we talked about it. It was such a wonderful experience. Friends, family! Rely on the Holy Ghost. Feel the Spirit in your lives. You will be prompted with exactly what you need to say in the time you need to say it. =) I love you!!!
We've done a bunch of other things. I'm learning. There's a lot to be trained on. We don't have too many investigators right now, but we're going to change that!!! The ward is really youthful, they love to tease, and they love family history! =) There are so many families to visit and meet here! =)
Yesterday was a really wonderful day, too. I am gaining such a testimony of prayer. SERIOUSLY. We will pray for something very specific that morning, and then that prayer will be answered exactly and in the exact phrasing as we spoke. It is AMAZING! We prayed for a new investigator, and Sister Ambridge brought her friend to the picnic. We prayed to give away a Book of Mormon, and one of our neighbors accepted it. I prayed to have a good experience knocking doors, and we did, even though no one was interested or accepted us. Wow! The blessings of missionary work are there, my friends. Things are only conditional on us asking. "Ask and ye shall recieve, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
I would recommend that everyone study Doctrine and Covenants 4, because it is an amazing section, for missionaries and for member missionaries. The field is white, friends! All ready to harvest. There are people and friends out there waiting for YOU. =) I know there are people here in Virginia waiting for me - and I know it's true for you too. =)
Yesterday we spent a lot of time with the members. Sister Krum cooked an amazing meal, and we helped her with Family History. It feels kind of weird not cooking my own dinners. =P
We're in Kempsville, Virginia, by the way. Haha. Right next to the naval base in Norfolk (no-pho-k), so a lot of the members here are navy or retired navy. They have been all over the world, so a lot of them tell me they've been to California, to Long Beach, Lemoore, etc. Also, we hear airplanes all the time over our apartment. =D *
I love it here already, and like I've been telling everyone, I can't wait to serve more, and fall in love with the people and the area. It's kind of exactly like home, except for greener. There's like not-dead grass and taller trees, ponds, rivers, lakes, streams. So that's awesome. =) Except for my poor allergies! =)
I LOVE YOU ALL!