Ugh I am so happy to be emailing you right now. I've been looking forward to it for dayzzz.
So so so so much has happened this week. They say that you experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. AND AIN'T THAT THE FREAKING TRUTH.
So I left the MTC. What a sad day. I actually really LOVED the MTC. I was so surprised. I learned so much and had a great time, so it was kinda sad to go. But not that sad because I was gettin outta dat cold weather. There were 14 other missionaries flying to Bakersfield. We landed and walked off the plane to the runway. It was 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky and I thought "I HAVE ARRIVED IN THE PROMISED LAND". We met President and Sister Wilson who I love so dearly. They remind me so much of you mom and dad. They kinda look like you too.
We had missionary orientation stuff and then we went out tracting with the Sister training leaders for an hour. It was fun! Then we spent the night with the Davis couple, who are members. They have an orange tree in their backyard, and the next morning Sister Davis made legit freshly-squeezed orange juiced, and I did indeed cry as I drank of that goodness. Then we went back to the church for transfer meeting.
All the new missionaries came into the chapel with President as all the other missionaries were singing "Called to Serve". And whaddayaknow, I started crying. All the missionaries leaving bore their testimonies and it was literally so hot in there because I was feeling that missionary fire. Then they got to the transfer business. After a long wait I heard, "And serving in Bishop, Sister Harmon will be training with Sister Wheeler". AND MY HEART SANK. I wanted to cry. Of all places in the entire mission, I was going to serve in the coldest place WHERE IT SNOWS and there are only one set of sisters up there. The odds were so slim. And yet they were in my favor.
I asked to go to the bathroom and I just cried like a baby. I know I sound pathetic, but it totally crushed my spirits completely. We left Bakersfield at aboutand got to Bishop at that night.
A little bit about Bishop:
Population: 3,750. There is no Walmart here. The only stores are Vons, Smart and Final, and Kmart.
The Ward: There are 300 members, and less than 40 are active. We got some work to do.
The scenery: We have an amazing view of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. It is insanely breathtaking, I admit.
The next few days were up and down. I was really struggling with accepting the fact that I got transferred to the boonies of the mission in a po-dunk town in the middle of nowhere where it's freezing cold. I broke down bawling the second day I was there.I was really struggling with everything. I called the STL's and they said I should get a blessing. I called the Elder's and they gave me a blessing and it was so beautiful and comforting. Elder Thunhorst is this 18 year old kid, but he is a worthy priesthood holder who is so mature and amazing. After the blessing I felt so much better. Even though it's not easy, I feel so much better.
This week we visited a lot of potentials, less-actives, and members. It's so humbling being here- mostly everywhere we go there are trailer parks, and the people who live in them are so kind. This week we visited a recent convert named Bob Shae. We read the Book of Mormon with him everyand . He is so awesome. We read outside of his trailer. He has such great faith. His personal life is soooo hard and yet he is so converted and lives his religion like it's nobody's business. And he always gives the sisters cactus cooler drinks every time. Lolz.
We visited a potential named Rich Butterfield. He is a BIG tall man in his 60's with a burly beard. So basically Hagrid. He came out and we started talking about the Book of Mormon and God and he says, "Yeah, I've seen God. I saw him... and then he vaporized... He was wearing like a cheese cloth typa clothing... I know how to dive.... Do I still have to get baptized?" I am still laughing about that one.
Anyways,. After Sacrament, Sister Wheeler and I were asked to teach Primary and Gospel Principles. We taught Gospel Principles to Bob Shae on the Atonement. He is AMAZING. After everything we said he says, "I believe that happened!! And I think about it all the time! I know Jesus did all that for us!" And in my head I'm thinking you go Glen Coco!! He is such a stud!!
After Gospel Princples we found out that it was the combined 5th, and that Sister Wheeler and I were the teachers! Lolz. The lesson went well thankfully. Does all that count as proselyting? Lolz.
Thank you SO MUCH FOR MY PACKAGE!!! It was so well-timed and I am so so happy I have warm clothes now!!! It means so much to me to have a family that supports me and loves me. I love you guys so much.
After my first week in the field, I have learned a lot so far. My goal is to be bold and invite everyone to come unto Christ so that I leave with no regrets.
Well I reread this letter and it sounds so sad and sucky. But there have been some good moments too. There is a family that's all getting baptized in a couple weeks that the elders have been teaching. They are so strong and so awesome. Without asking, the dad asked all 4 of his sons one by one, "are you going to be baptized? Do you want to be baptized?" They are so great.
I have been playing the piano SO MUCH while I've been here. It's amazing!! I'm so excited to be forced to practice all the time now, lolz.
My biggest lesson I have learned this week is faith. If I want a miracle, I have to be obedient and be faithful. I was reading in Moroni today (finalllllly finishing the BOM again yas) and we talked all about how if we choose to have faith in Jesus Christ, he will bring about miracles that we seek. I know it's true, and that's my goal this week- have unwavering faith. If I work hard, invite others, and be obedient and do all I can, then I can leave the hard stuff up to God and he can give me the miracles that my companion and I seek in Bishop.
I have no time but I love you all so much and hope you are all fat from Thanksgiving cuz I'm not!! (sarcasm... my diet starts today)
This is me and Sister Krause in the MTC. She's going to NYC what it do. We worked out together and did the triangle face at all times and in all things and in all places.
Bishop trailer parks for days
The mission logo!