Monday, December 2, 2013

From Farm Girl to the City

Several times this week I've found myself thinking "My family has no idea where I am right now, just that I'm somewhere in South Carolina." It was kind of a funny thought. I'm happy to tell everyone that I'm in Easley, serving in the Greenville 1st ward. It's about two hours north of Columbia, on the completely opposite side of the state as Moncks Corner. And it's very different here. I feel kind of like a farm girl that ended up in New York City. There are so many stores, and gas stations, and houses here! I can't get over it. Everywhere we go there are neighborhoods and people. It's crazy.

My new companion is Sister Rowley. She's from Rexburg, Idaho and she's pretty amazing. She came out with Sister Bell, so she just finished her training. She was a ballerina, so we have lots to talk about. And she's a big singer, when she found out I sing alto she was thrilled!

It was hard to leave Moncks Corner. Even now I find myself thinking about the people back there, wondering how their Thanksgiving was and how everyone is doing. It was really hard for me to leave Sister Bell. I really love her; we went through a lot together, and we were really close. It's interesting because we really aren't very similar at all, but we complemented each other well. We've already made plans to meet up after our missions and I'm looking forward to seeing her soon, probably at the next Sisters' Conference. One of the sisters that was in my MTC district, Sister Eames, was transferred to Moncks Corner. That has brought me such comfort, because I love Sister Eames, and I know the people in Moncks Corner are going to love her too. Also, Sister Winsor and Sister Anderson, my trainer and my MTC companion, are now companions. I thought that was pretty great.

The work is moving so fast here in Easley that my head is spinning. We have six or seven investigators, one of which is going to be baptized this coming Saturday! He's in his early thirties. Sister Rowley and Sister Robinson (the sister before me; she came out with me) have been teaching him since October. He seems to really love the gospel. He's quiet so I haven't really gotten to know him that well yet, but I'm really excited for him.

Thanksgiving was pretty crazy, but we had a lot of fun. We had four dinner invitations. So, starting at 11:00 AM, we went to ihop with one of our investigators, and his wife and her parents. Then right after that we went to another dinner, with a couple who aren't members of the church, and aren't really interested in joining, but they love missionaries; they've been having the missionaries come over for about six years now. And they had invited a whole bunch of their family and neighbors over so that they could meet us and we could teach them. During dinner I got involved in a discussion with one of them and their neighbor; I didn't get to say much because their neighbor is an Independent Baptist and has very strong opinions, but it was an interesting conversation. Meanwhile, Sister Rowley managed to teach another neighbor the entire story of the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, and that went very well. The lady really loved what we had to say; she thought it was really interesting. I don't know how seriously she would consider joining the church, but she said we could send more missionaires over to talk to her more. Then the last dinner we went to was with members. They were super nice, and we had a great time with them. It was a good day. I had way too much food. I didn't eat any pie, which was shocking to me, since I love pie, but I was just too full for dessert.

The Greenville 3rd ward had a wedding and a baptism on Saturday, so we spent a lot of time helping out with that. It was a lot of fun. The sisters in that ward had been teaching the girlfriend of a less active member; he's now become active, and she got baptized on Saturday. But before she could get baptized, they had to get married, so they had the wedding in the Relief Society room and then the baptism right after. They had a wedding reception in the cultural hall, but Sister Rowley and I couldn't stay for that because we went to dinner with some members. It was a really exciting day though, and it was fun to be a part of all the craziness.

There is so much to do here and so many people to teach. It's been a little intimidating for me, since I have very limited teaching experience, especially with investigators. But I'm so excited to be here. I'm glad everyone had a good Thanksgiving; I was sad I couldn't be with everyone. Thanks for the letters and the pictures; they mean a lot. I hope y'all have a wonderful week.

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