Monday, February 2, 2015

I Think I Found the Promised Land. . .

(I'm sorry if I repeat anything! I'm just so scatterbrained today!) 

Well Ladies and Gents! I made it to Gettysburg PA safe and sound. It has been quite the trip these past couple of days but I can honestly say that I'm so stoked to be serving here. 

Let me start with some shoutouts and then I'll move on to some fun facts about my new area. :) 

First off I have to shoutout to McKell becasue I'm the worst stepdaughter ever and I forgot about your birthday last week. I know it was transfers and everything but that's no excuse! Happy birthday to you. I hope you had a great birthday and that Andruw got you a coach bag and that dad took you out somewhere yummy for dinner :) You're the best stepmom ever and I'm so blessed to have you as part of my life. Thank you for all that you do for me. :) 

Shoutout to Sister Mellow for going into surgery this week. You're so brave and I hope that you'll get feeling better really soon. :) I still miss you! 


So basically Gettysburg is awesome. Technically we are the "Gettysburg East Sister Training Leaders". But we don't actually live in Gettysburg, we live in this little place called McSherrystown. It's like a little Irish village or something. The town over is called Irishtown. So I am excited to spend St. Patty's day here. Maybe these people will really know how to celebrate. 

We're right in the heart of a lot of American History sites and so it's cool to be a part of that. I'm so grateful for this country that we live in, and I'm excited to serve around where it was fought for and founded. It will be quite the experience. We got to drive past some of the Revolutionary War battlefields the other day and I just got chills all over. It was such a sacred moment. I love it out here.

Our area is ginormous. We are the only area in the Pittsburgh Mission that covers two wards, and so it's a little crazy trying to get to know everyone. It will be a challenge to learn everyone's names. Sunday was interesting because we're trying to attend two wards that overlap one another. There's not really any time to rest. It was fun, though. The ward members are so sweet and really reached out to me and helped me feel welcome. I was feeling a bit under the weather. This area is really busy and so it's just go go go all of the time. A lot of the time we will have both lunch and dinner appointments. I don't know if I'm going to be a very good pen pal these next couple of months so I apologize ahead of time. But I still love each of you and appreciate letters of encouragement. I also just like to hear what you are all up to and how you're doing. You mean everything to me!! 

Our district is really fun. We have two sets of elders, us and then the Clarkson's - the senior couple from England. 
I. Love. Them.
They are my heroes.
Honestly my biggest fear for serving in Gettysburg is that the Clarkson's won't like me as much as I like them. They're fantastic people. They have the best accents. They're such hard workers. They're always making me laugh. 
I love them.

The other best part about serving here is my companion. She is literally an angel. She glows so much. She's like... as bright as the St. George temple when the sun is out. She is the most dedicated missionary I've ever met. She sets such an incredible example for me. I don't know how I will ever live up to the missionary that she is. I'm in awe of how much she knows and how much she does. She's so spiritually in tune and always on the ball. 
I am going to have such a good time serving here. 

We're going on my first official exchange as an STL tonight and I'm a little bit nervous. But Sister Jones has confidence in me and so I'm sure it will be alright. 

Our apartment is really cute. We just moved into it a few weeks before I got here, so it's still kind of... in the works. But we'll give it some TLC and it will be great :) I'm excited to be here. 

The wards that we serve in are awesome. Gettysburg ward and Hannover ward. The members are incredible. We literally already have a meal for every day of the upcoming transfer, and several days of the coming transfer are already filled as well. We have people feeding us lunches and bringing us groceries and giving us money and helping us out... They're angels. I seriously love them.

Tons of stuff happened this week. My first week out in this area and we had two funerals. It was so interesting to see the difference between the two funerals based on the knowledge the people had of the gospel. I am so grateful to know that death is not the end of this life. 
We're teaching some of the best people I've ever met. People are progressing so well... studying the scriptures, coming to church... it's awesome! I am endlessly blessed. 

One particularly exciting story happened Thursday evening on our way to dinner at a members house. We were riding with the Hannover elders and it was snowing lightly. We didn't think it'd be a problem. (I've been driving around because Sister Jones' wallet is in Pittsburgh at the moment). But as we kept going, the snow kept picking up. We were about 3 minutes from the Shearer's house when we hit a hill and I was trying to zigzag up the hill and we were making pretty decent progress until we weren't anymore... so Sister Jones hopped out with the elders and they all started pushing from behind. We were all laughing so hard. We finally made it to their house safe and sound. We waited for the snow plows to come before we headed back out, though. So we played guitar and ate pizza and watched the Joseph Smith film and played pass the pigs and laughed... it was awesome. Brother Shearer reminds me SO much of dad. It was funny. Made me a little homesick, though. 

I'm having such a great time out here. I can't even begin to tell you about the miracles and blessings I've received just being here for 6 days. I'm so happy to be here. 

It's a little bit stressful, I'm not going to lie. Juggling all of the new blessings the Lord has given me. Two wards, a leadership calling, a giant area... I did end up making myself sick just trying to learn everything and feel like I was keeping up. The Clarkson's were so sweet this morning. They had us all over for breakfast this morning and they gave me a blessing and then headed out to the store to get some medicine for me and just... they're just so nice. My companion and I are working on being less stressed and not being so self-critical. :) It's going to be a good transfer.

I appreciate (more than you can all know) The love and prayers and support that I receive from all of you. Thank you for your letters, your emails, and your friendship and love. Heaven knows I need it. 

This work matters. I love being a part of it. 

Well... I hope I remembered all of the things that I wanted to write about. I'm a little homesick for Lebanon and Hermana Landa, but I really am so excited to be here. :) 

Hermana Bills 

PS - I'll try and send some pictures really soon!