Let me start by just saying I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I've had an overwhelming amount of support and its helped and strengthened me so much! I couldn't thank you all enough for everything!
Wow, where do I start?! So I got to Alabama last Tuesday and stayed in a super nice hotel that night and got my own room because I didn't have a companion! But the AP's hung out in my room and I got to know them pretty well. They gave me some great advice and really helped calm me down. I was a little freaked out because President Hanks gave us a little welcome fireside at his house and according to my the missionaries in my district he was trying to scare us a little... But we talked about some crazy stuff, so it was nice to get a good nights sleep in a comfy bed and spend some time by myself.
The next day was the transfer meeting where we had a devotional then we received out new trainers and the other missionaries transferred areas! My new companion/trainer is Elder Anderson and hes been out for just over a year and he's so nice and has taught me so much. Ill add a picture of him too so you can see what he looks like! He was born in Idaho too which is pretty awesome! Anyways I was assigned to the Monte Sano ward in Huntsville, Alabama! Which is one of the most wealthy areas and wards in the mission (because of the rocket nasa center thing). But after the meeting we drove two hours to our apartment. And lets just say I may be in the most wealthy area but my apartment and the city its in, is the exact opposite of wealthy... I would take a picture of the outside of our apartments but I decided it would probably freak mom out so I decided to just not include that lol! Just know that i'm safe and definitely being protected and it took me a couple nights to realized that but i'm completely fine with it now! Anyways when we got to our apartment, it was a complete mess because the elder I was replacing was a pile (if you don't understand that reference, ask Peter haha) at the end of his mission so the apartment was a mess sadly. So when we got there I spent like two and a half hours cleaning and throwing away all the junk that was left haha, it amazed me how someone could live in such a messy apartment! (no jokes about my room back home mom lol) Anyways when we finished cleaning it felt a lot more comfortable! And compared to the outside of our apartments, the inside is actually pretty great!
The next day we did a lot and was basically just spent showing me the ropes of tracting and everything else! We tracted for about four hours and only got into one house... So the first day was a little discouraging but my trainer explained to me that there will be good days and bad days, which I was expecting but wasn't really prepared for.. But we got to play a little basketball at the church that night so it made up for the unsuccessful tracting!
The next day was a bunch better and we actually talked to quite a few people while tracting but didn't really get into the houses... We would just catch people outside of their houses and they wouldn't be able to avoid us lol! Later on in the day we were walking down a driveway after being rejected and this lady and her family drove into the house next door. Her kids jumped out of the car and started playing basketball in the street while their mom turned on some music for them. Instinctively I went over and asked if we could play with them! They were really outgoing kids and said they'd love that! I played basketball with the three kids (Will, Katie, and Addison) while my companion talked to the mom and we all got to know each other and had a lot of fun! We ended up teaching the mom some stuff and giving her a book of Mormon and she was super excited about everything we had to say! We set up a real appointment and we'll be seeing them this week hopefully! She even said she wanted to come to our church but couldn't yesterday because she was busy! It was so awesome and really helped lift my spirits! This was pretty rare because in Alabama everyone has their own religion and is perfectly comfortable with the knowledge they have. So its actually pretty hard to actually get into peoples houses! There have been a couple really nice people that we talk to and they respect what we do but still don't want to hear about our lessons. It can actually be pretty entertaining knocking on peoples doors because in this mission we've been told to be original and not just recite a door approach each time. So we will literally say so many things just to interest people to keep them from shutting the door in our faces! lol my companion is super into puns and he can come up with a pun at any door we knock on, and i'll just ask some weird question or just say some weird thing haha so it can be entertaining at times! We knocked on a door and this lady opened and said "we're baptist" and started closing the door and I just said I had some questions about the MG in their garage and she kinda stopped and looked at me and was like "okay, its my husbands, so ill go get him. Only cars though, no religion!" And I was just like okay then haha and we talked to her husband about his collector MG for a couple minutes and left! Haha with people like that we basically just try to make a good first impression and make them smile if possible and call it good! Anyways i'm running out of time so ill kinda give a shorter summary of the days now...
On Saturday we did a butt load of service and helped a bunch of different people with a bunch of different things. Were in the poor areas a little and we were in the rich areas a little, just all over the place, helping with a bunch of stuff which was great! We helped this guy named Pat, which ill talk more about next week!
On Sunday my comp and I spoke in sacrament. We spoke about Christ and it was great! We had lots of people compliment us after and we even got a couple referrals to investigators that the ward members had been saving for the "right" missionaries! It was so awesome and really touched me that the ward members trust me with their close friends that they care so much about! After sacrament we went to a member house and ate dinner. Btw the members in this ward feed the missionaries A LOT! So since i've been here, i've had three dinners appointments and have one ever night this week along with some lunch appointments too!! We haven't even had to go grocery shopping yet haha (other than some cereal) So basically don't worry if im getting fed cause ill probably end up gaining weight in this area lol which is worrying me but whatever, im working out every morning and playing basketball twice a week so it shouldn't be too bad!
Today is my first real p-day and its been great so far! We went on a hike this morning (picture included) and then got food and went shopping and came back to the church. We played some basketball and have been emailing too. We have a car but we have limited miles so this coming month we'll be driving some places and biking to others! So mom, we can play the cd's in the car if you decided to send them! Maybe along with some more ties?? I'm discovering that I didn't bring nearly enough ties :/ Lol little side note a different pair of my pants ripped, so I had to sew them too haha! So today I went shopping and bought some regular, non skinny/fitted, pants so that I wouldn't have to worry about them ripping lol! Ive decided right now function is more important that fashion so yeah haha
P.S. I absolutely loved the "greenie" package you guys sent me! It was so amazing and creative and really lifted my spirits and made me and my companion laugh! Especially the marijuana test that Peter picked out lol! You guys are so amazing and i'm so grateful for my amazing family that i'm so blessed to have and be so close to! Love you guys so much!!
I'm sorry I was a little rushed this week too but after this week I should have a bunch of time to email! Like I said earlier, I love you guys so much and I appreciate all the support and love so much! Ill talk to you all more next week!!