Monday, July 11, 2016

The work progresses....

One email remains (one more P-Day next week, then she comes home the following Friday).


So it's been a rollercoaster of a week, with a lot of surprises and several moments of "I'm glad I won't be here in 2 weeks."


We went to pageant 3 nights in a row, getting home particularly late the night before and still rising bright and early as we are required to do. It was a lot of fun (though it was muggy the first day), and we even had an investigator come and do the tour with us.  She had a very positive experience and we're hoping it will continue to open doors for missionaries in the future. I know I won't live (stay in the mission field long enough) to see that to fruition.


That was another hard aspect about this week- weekly planning (which took us several short sessions over the course of 3 days instead of our usual single 2-3 hour session because of how much was going on) spent a lot of time planning things that I would likely not see, like setting dates several weeks from then. Sad, but the planning must go on. 


We had Zone Conference this week, before a pageant trip. It was a long drive and an even longer meeting.. It was nice to talk to President and Sister Badger (new Mission President and wife)- they even shared a lunch table with us. Poor them though- needless to say, I spent most of the time leading the discussion. I am a story teller.


Friday we drove the 1 1/2 hour to Quincy to see a member doctor there; I was approved for a few visits.  So I saw a chiropractor this morning - I'll be back Wednesday and likely Friday after that, and hopefully that's enough because that's all I'm approved for and that's all I have time for anyhow, with the following week being transfer week (he also goes out of town then, so it’s just as well.)


Saturday was lovely in that there were two baptisms (two different people the elders were working with), and we had several lessons, so the work progresses.


All my love



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Still working hard

4th of July hiking - PDay
It's been a long week and this coming week doesn't look too promising in the way of actually getting effective work done.

Monday was mercifully quiet and uncomplicated- another box is packed and will go out next week, containing more cold weather gear, stuff I don't need, and my brown boots.

Tuesday was a lot of finding after helping a member of the ward pack up her kitchen in preparation for moving to a much smaller apartment. We met this lady who 'had nothing to say' to us, but talked our ear off for an hour, telling us all her concerns about the church and the world and not letting us say more than a couple of words before cutting us off to keep talking. It was hard to disengage from her without being impolite.

Wednesday was fun in that we got to see BYU's acapella group 'Noteworthy' during our lunch hour, as they came and performed in the park here. We held district meeting in town as well. Then the Activity Day girls fed us dinner that night (I had my own little separate bowl from everyone else because it was ALL milk based. ): No cheese or anything for me. It smelled quite lovely though.) We had a lot of fun with them.

Thursday we got to see a man whose wife had been a member before her passing a few months ago. A member couple took us out because he lived about 30 minutes away (and he's a single man so we needed a lady with us). They bonded a little and we're hoping to teach him about the plan of salvation and help him be baptized and eventually get sealed to his wife.

Friday was a lot of service in that we continued to help the member from earlier in the week move stuff to a storage shed, then we went to the radio station to read stuff for the blind. We managed to see a less active lady as well. Slow progress- she's willing to read aloud and pray with us now, as previously she was not.

A lot of time got eaten up that day though, as I was trying to get some medical help. The last week or so I've been having shooting pains from my ring and pinky fingers up through my wrist, aching in each join up into my shoulder blade. Occasionally this happens, but normally it passes in a day or two. Well, unrelenting and beginning to go farther (up my neck and down my back), I figured it was time to call the mission nurse, who sent me to the mission office, who sent me to the mission president's wife. She tried to send me to urgent care where I could get a referral for physical therapy (as missionary medical won’t cover chiropractic since it’s a pre-existing condition), but there is no urgent care here, just an emergency room and a quick care clinic. The clinic tried to send me back to the emergency room, which I politely declined, as we'd been told very specifically by missionary medical not to go there. It’s expensive to go to the ER, especially when they'd likely send me home with some Ibuprofen and an “oh well”. I've been taking quite a bit of that and
Excedrin/acetaminophen the last couple of days. So I get to drive down to Quincy on Friday to see a doctor in the nurse's ward to get me a referral for physical therapy. I'd just wait to get home and talk to the family doctor, but 2 weeks is a long time to more or less prefer no use of my right arm.

Saturday we had an amazing lesson with an investigator whom we were having a hard time pinning down.

Monday (July 4th)  was a lot of fun- we went out to a tiny town where some members live and went hiking on their property (thus the waterfall image), barbequed, and got to hold all sorts of animals; then we hauled back up to town to get picked up by some members to go to the ward shin-dig (our cars got grounded around 6, so we wouldn't have been there long otherwise) and we got some more coordinating done.

Wish us luck finding those who the Lord has prepared.

Our ward is treating us well, feeding us fairly frequently, and is supportive of our work.

Anyhow. All my love.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Last Zone Conference

President and Sister Jensen and Sisters Pope and Kurt

Last week we washed the car spic and span in preparation for a car inspection on Friday that never came. I'm a little peeved because naturally the very next day it got some hard core bird poop on it. =A= That's what we get for claying and waxing it. No good deed goes unpunished.


The whole week has been example after example of lessons and appointments falling through, which just makes the 96 degrees plus humidity such. a. joy. Please kill me. Mercifully, Wednesday was mostly inside as we helped members with some service and we planned our week.

Thursday I spent the day with Sister Famalaro, a cute little northern Californian, only 9 months out. We had lessons and got a fair amount done.

Friday was Zone conference, our last one with President and Sister Jensen. We sang “God be With You Til We Meet Again” and I gave my departing testimony. President hugged me, and I was able to see two previous companions. It was a good day. We also got fed by a member who had lived in Mexico for 20 years, so we got some authentic cuisine.

Saturday was its own little nightmare because it kept getting switched around, but we ended the day very pleased with it. We had picked up a new investigator who we think is going to progress very quickly.

Sunday was weirdly hard, since we expected to see several investigators at church, and not one came. And then we got a call from a recent convert saying she needed a ride to the ER.... it turned out she wanted to go because she had beg bug bites. ]: Unfortunately, her mom (a former investigator), unbeknownst to us, had just told her 'come straight home' from the place she got them, so we're pretty sure she's probably pretty mad at us (since it wouldn't surprise me that she now probably has a really unnecessary medical bill).  Life's a struggle. But on the bright side, we found a new investigator when this lady's son insisted we go talk to his mom about God. She seemed really open to the idea of modern day prophets. So here's to hoping.

There's a program that missionaries do for their last transfer now, called My Plan. It's meant to help missionaries transition back into regular last post-mission, and I do appreciate the excuse to be inside for an extra 30 minutes a week to do it. Tender mercies.

Anyhow. I love you guys.        Christine

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 20.....last area just days left until her return!

Sisters Pope and Kurt

cracked windshield - heat related?
Macombie Homies
So it’s that time of the year apparently, because it’s offensively hot outside, and naturally that’s when everyone’s too busy to talk to us and no one else wants to make eye contact with us either, so we knocked like 90% of the week. We talked to a lot of people though, so that was cool. 135 people talked to us long enough for us to invite them to do something.


This coming week is zone conference, the last one I will attend and the last time I will see my mission president before we get a new one, which is super sad because I’m very attached to President and Sister Jensen. I also received my departing packet this week, informing me of the things I need to know in preparation of my final week.  I have 32 days until I am home. A month. (Hope Jake is preparing for the changes coming.) (Jake will need to move out of his bedroom, to make room for her)  I’m trying to do it right these final weeks (because it’s really easy to want to pile out when it’s 96 degrees outside, plus humidity). So long story short I’m feeling a little trunky (wanting to pack her “trunk” and go home). It was weird looking at the calendar and planning things for people after I know I will be very gone.


We started working with an investigator that elders have been trying to work with for the last few months. We took her with us to Nauvoo for a performance by some BYU folk dancing troop. It seemed like a good time to do a hand off... Unfortunately she has 4 kids under the age of 10 and needless to say they didn't like sitting watching 90 minutes of people dancing in costume. Our member who came with us helped us wrangle them and the kids who sat behind us were polite enough to help try and keep them occupied. It seemed like a good experience all in all. Also it's an hour drive back and we didn't get out of there until 10ish so we also were pretty wiped out the next day. Wiped out enough that she didn't come to church the next day. Killer. We'll get with her again very soon.


The performance itself was really enjoyable- if that doesn't motivate you to work out a little more diligently, I don't know what will. Wow, some flexibility. I was very impressed and I'm excited to come home and be allowed to dance again too.


We have a new investigator, Breanna. We found her while knocking. It seems it’s the season to get married, as she was like the 6th person we knocked into that was going to a wedding shortly thereafter. We had an awesome doorstep lesson and will be back tonight to see her.


Things are going well with Sister Pope (newest companion) and I. We get along well and apparently she loves that I tell stories because she will occasionally prompt me to tell one when I have somehow miraculously stopped talking. (It was a goal to talk less, as I feel like I talk too much/am always sharing some story, but apparently right now it is welcome. Oh well.)


1/3rd of the way through the transfer. Where did those two weeks go?


All my love








June 13

This letter is late since Mom (blog editor) and Dad were out of town and service was suspect, so letters were traded, but this had to apologies... BUT, the next letter will be posted shortly!

So I'm finishing my tenure in Macomb, Illinois. My new companion is Sister Pope, from Magna, Utah, and we're getting along very well. I forgot my card reader this week so no pictures at this time. Next week.

An up and down week. of course we were very stressed packing up and shipping off Sister Carter. We had dinner with a couple of people, Wednesday night being the last night of the transfer, we had dinner with a member and a number of his nonmember friends. One of them got a little hostile (I would chalk it up to the 4+ Bud Lights he had knocked back), but apparently they had a good conversation after we left. Hopefully there will be fruit there someday. But on a more positive note, there may be wedding bells in the air as we help a couple be baptized and come to church. They have a super cute 3 year old and a 6 month old together and more or less haven't gotten married because they couldn't afford the surrounding bells and whistles (because you have to have a party to get married, I guess). I didn't really fully realize quite how much pastors and churches charge to marry people. ]: It's wild.

Anyhow. Love you. Hope Philmont is most fun. I am jealous. (Mom and Dad are spending this week at Philmont Scout Ranch/Training Center in New Mexico for MORE training….)


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

long letter for a busy week

Calls for transfers go out tomorrow, so I'll let you know how that all went next week.


Oh, I forgot if I mentioned this last email, but I lopped off like 4 inches of my hair to get a lot of the dead ends off. It feels but healthier and much more manageable, but it is a bit shorter now (still well past the shoulders though).


This week has been a hectic one.

We went to Carthage on Monday, which was pleasant. The weather was nice, and it wasn't particularly populated (though each of the rooms we visited in the jail didn't have room for any more people, so I guess packed is relative? Tiny buildings are tiny.) It is a very serene place. They play an audio click of a rendition of what it might have been like (sound-wise) to be in the upper room when the mob came to kill Joseph Smith and company. Very emotional. It never fails to amaze me how willing people are to hate to the point of harming other people. A lot of the jail is original or has been restored (apparently people had later bought and lived in it for a long time). There's a little visitor's center there and a handful of site missionaries. Apparently Nauvoo is the only place other than Salt Lake Temple Square where the missionaries at the visitors center serve full time there (the rest serving half the day in the field proselyting and the other half in the center itself). We spent the remainder of the day helping a less active member of the ward go through bags and bags of stuff.

Tuesday while knocking we met a guy who owned a shooting sports shop. I miss shooting terribly and will be pretty quick to find a bow of my own once I have the budget for it back home (priorities!).

Wednesday was interesting in that we shared a meal with a pair of returning active members (siblings). We also met another lady while knocking who had met with missionaries before.


Thursday - There is a senior couple in our district who we were going on exchanges/splits with (the sister was coming with us and the elder went with the elders that we share the district with). The Elder had been on a mission in his youth, but the sister had only gone out with the sisters in her ward once or twice before the mission and was not at all confident in any of her skills. So the purpose was to help them get familiar with teaching and being more comfortable/casual with people. So hopefully our experience with them was helpful. We had 3 lessons and really positive experiences- we were all grinning ear to ear by the end of it. Exchange miracles are real (we even found one new investigator!). We finished the night at a young couple's house. They're both return missionaries (they even served in the same mission/around each other frequently) and very newly married, so it was a little awkward third-wheeling occasionally. But it’s nice to see some people living the post-mission dream (and they were very much like me humor wise so I was just teasing them mercilessly about their cuddling).


Friday's our organized service day, so we get to record ourselves reading all sorts of things. I read country magazine this week, a little melancholy while people reminisced about dead relatives. But we livened it up by going back to the lady from Monday's house to finish off all the bags that needed sorting (but ultimately a ton of laundry and still no place to put it in her house, even after literally 20+ bags of trash gone, 6 bags of paperwork sifted away, and another 6 bags of goodwill donation). The lady's quickly approaching hoarder because she doesn't know how to manage her time or her button pushing sons. It's really hard not to try and jump in and help parent, especially when it seems like mom wants the help to tag team her kids. What I've learned from the mission- parenting is a two man job. Being divorced/single parenting will slowly kill you.


Saturday was the stake's big service project in our town, so lots and lots of people here. I even got to see a few from the area I started my mission in the first time around. Sweet, sweet memories.


Sunday - The sacrament itself is really the only relief. I look forward to a time where Sunday is not one of the busiest days of the week. After church though, we found 2 new investigators and shared a meal with a lovely member family.





Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mosquitos and investigators

I was getting the mosquito treatment earlier this week, and I for the life of me could not figure how, until we killed a mosquito in our room and started sleeping with the fan on to discourage any survivors. So I'm maintaining at a total of 22 mosquito bites this summer. Super sad that the sister missionary dress code to address the mosquito-borne illnesses proliferating in the African and Asian parts of the world. Only applies to said parts of the world. No pants for me.


This week has been an interesting series of ups and downs. We've done service at a couple of places this week, and have tried to be fruitful in our efforts, to varying degrees of success. And I swear this whole place runs 30 minutes plus late some days, just for fun.

But on the bright side, we have a new investigator and we met with an investigator we hadn't seen in a long time. Seems like we've built a good bond, so we're hoping to see her more often so she can reach her date of July 14th. We also got to go to the temple this week with the Relief Society president, which was very nice. Today we'll also be going to Carthage to see the jail, since the church has made it a historical site.


I'm doing well. Anxious for transfers next week. It's a tossup as to what could happen. And next email I still won't know because calls go out Tuesday.

Anyhow. All my love.


(little more than 6 weeks!!)