My dear family and friends,
Wow! I would not have guessed that when I got to use that as a subject line, I'd actually be closer to home. Haha. This week has been the craziest of the mission thus far!
Tuesday and Wednesday, Sister Cook and I finished with a bang. We had a record number of total lessons in a two day period, and found two new potential investigators. Plus, we just had a lot of fun together! I love Sister Cook, and I already miss her a ton. Also, I took for granted how much she liked to sing...apparently that's not universal among missionaries! We had LOTS of fun singing together. So we had a great last couple of days, and I had to say goodbye to a lot of people I love--sadly, some of them were out of town on family vacations and such for the 4th, so I didn't get to. But I am so grateful for all the experiences I've had in Coffeyville. Who'd have guessed I'd have grown so attached in just 6 weeks?
Thursday was crazy! We had to wake up at 3 a.m. to meet up with the Elders and then drive down to Tulsa for transfers. Long day! But we got there, and then everyone gathered in a little room where President Shumway spoke for a minute, and then they started sending us off in caravans to get to all of our new assignments. I was on the north transfer loop, so I was put in a truck and told that the two Elders there with me would be my companions for the next couple of hours. Weird...anyway, eventually I met up with Sister Garner and Sister Burt, and we came back to Ava!
It's been fun to be with Sister Garner again, and Sister Burt is nice too. A tripanionship is definitely a new experience, but it's kind of nice that they already know what they're doing, and that they have established investigators! They had three baptisms last month, so they're teaching a lot of really awesome recent converts. Austin and Dalton, who are 15 and 16, received the Priesthood yesterday! Yesterday we also met with a girl named Rachael (yup, that's how she spells it!) who is 15, and already wants to get baptized! She actually reminds me a lot of Gabi, so if we can I think going slowly would be a good thing for her. But we'll see!
If I thought I got a lot of flack about being from St. Louis when I was in Kansas, it's nothing compared to how it is here! Everywhere I go, someone will have just visited a hospital there ("you know, that big one of 270"--YEAH, I know that one!) or have a picture of the St. Louis temple in their home, or have family there. But at the same time, these people live in "Missourah"...so it still doesn't really feel like we're that close to home!
I'm still kind of in a weird adjustment period--for the first two days, it still felt like I was just on an exchange, and that I'd be going back to Coffeyville in just a bit! But I'm here, and it's almost certainly for another 6 weeks. But the last couple of days, language study has been a million times more effective than it was on my own! I don't know what's up with Portuguese. Hopefully I'll be able to just remember what I've learned, and actually be able to communicate when I get to Brazil. That's the goal.
Ava is a great area. The people are so friendly, and it seems like everyone's just home all the time--so appointments never fall through! We actually found out last night that this area is leading the zone--so definitely a new experience. People just are there, and they're willing to listen...so we just get a ton of lessons in everyday! It's bizarre. Haha I was so confused the first day when someone answered the door at every house we went to. ("Is this normal?!") This area has a lot of potential, and it's exciting to see! I'm sure that whatever happens, the next 6 weeks are going to be great!
Well, I'm out of time again. But I love you all--keep praying, keep reading. Just keep going. The blessings that come from it are worth it!
P.S. My new address is Route 6 Box 6470-28, Ava MO 65608. I'd love to hear from you! Also, these computers have the USB drive blocked off, so we're not allowed to send pictures. I'll try to print some at Walmart sometime!