Sister Saunders Here
From the Florida Tallahassee Mission.
OH YES I SAID IT
I am here like holy beans.
Gulf Breeze Florida
sound like paradise? It is don't worry. (minus the tornadoes.. mom don't read the mission blog there are some pictures you won't want to see of a tornado that touched down a few miles away from me;)
but it is BEAUTIFUL here. I am surrounded by water on three sides.
problem of the day: I was in the MTC for five more days since the last day I wrote Ya'll so I have to mention some things from that experience before I get to Gulf Breeze and such.
Firstly I have a major shout out to discuss. Cory and Traci you have been heaven sent. For real though. The delicious treats, the sweet valentines from your family, I am just amazed. The most hilarious thing happened, Cory and Traci sent me a long rectangular box of (insert treat name here because I have no idea what those delicious things were called) but before I opened this long rectangular box everyone in my district was like
"it's the elder wand"
which made my whole day given the recently mentioned Harry Potter marathon I had before I went to the MTC. We made a whole bunch of jokes about me being worthy to weld the elder wand even though I'm a sister (lol) and I finally opened the box to find heavenly cracker/caramel/chocolates of wonder.
Even better than the actual elder wand.
also: I can't even imagine at this point... the kind of withdrawals the MTC is going through without my district of 9 humans dancing and singing to that song from the sound of music as we traveled down five flights of stairs belting "Doe a deer. A female deer. Ray, a drop of golden suuuuuuun"
*twirling down the stairs sliding on the railing and feeling like we are literally in a musical.
Fave Sister Law moment:
branch president "why do missionaries need to stay with their companions?"
Sis Law "so people can't accuse us of stuff."
Branch president "explain"
Sis Law "Like if someone leaves their companion and someone else tries to say something they didn't say about the other comp and it's like so-n-so said yackety shmack about joe shmo and it's a huge mess from there."
the rest of the district "Whaaaaaaa??"
Okay four last comments about the MTC.
The most hilarious human ever was in charge of our service project at the MTC.
Which was.. cleaning bathrooms and whatnot.
She gave us some stellar advice in regards to clogged toilets that we may or may not come across. "Okay here's the thing. I know you now have those name tags.. and you feel empowered, and you want to save the world and all the things... but don't touch the clogged toilets. I always get these sweet sister missionaries running to me in panic mode, major duress, and they're like
I just wanted to fix it... it was full.. and the toilet... and just... poop everywhere...
So no. Let us handle it I beg you. So we don't have to clean up tons of crap after you try to be a hero. Love you and everything.. but yeah."
Then she gave us even better advice about how to stay healthy and fit on a mission.--"So basically I prayed straight up. I said to the Man upstairs,
alright here's the thing about life right now. I am being fed three dinners everyday of delicious Mexican food. I will give my all. My entire being. Everyday. I will learn this language of the Spanish kind even though I am a six foot tall blondie as white as snow if you will just please bless me..... not to come home....
looking like an actual.. literal whale."
She swears by this method. I think I'll try it out because
1. the MTC adds fat to the food to fatten up people going to places where they will lose a lot of weight, leaving the rest of us like.... fetch.
2. I am in the south. Average weight gain is 30 lbs. in the Florida Tallahassee mission. (prayers are needed)
but all is well in zion.
Saying goodbye to the elders in Atlanta was so sad. They are headed to Tampa and will be missed. Talking to the fam on the phone was the hardest thing ever, but let me tell you something about landing in Tallahassee: Wow.
The mission home is absolutely beautiful, we got to take pics with the mission president and his wife, and stay the night there. The dinner we ate was literally insane. Home made mac-n-cheese to make a person pass out from happiness, pulled pork, home made rolls.. and cheesecake.
I had my first interview with the President and it was exactly what I needed. I love them so much.
The next day was madness.
I walked into the chapel with my companion, we sat down. Then all the trainers walked in and I singled Sister C out strangely enough, she was right after that announced as my trainer.
Sister Christiansen is so amazing I can't even tell you.
After some minor difficulties getting my bike to stay on the bike rack (thank heavens for duct tape) We made the four hour trip to my first zone: Pensacola!!! I am living in a tiny town called Gulf Breeze.
I love it.
Had some amazing experiences in just the first few days.
I won't disclose names, but there is a family here that I love so so much. We are there everyday because the parents are recent converts, two of the boys were baptized on Saturday (my first baptism;) jk.. and their daughter is now taking one on one discussions from us.
That little girl is very special. She has had a tough life for sure and she is not on board as much as the rest of her family, the pain in her heart is astounding because she is only 12. Pray for her please. She is amazing, and I know she knows this gospel is true. I had the opportunity to learn of the spirit as we taught her, I felt like I had known this little girl for a very long time. I could feel what she was feeling, and I opened my mouth. The spirit took over I'm telling you it was the coolest thing. We had been getting nowhere and as I spoke, she lifted her head for the first time and a tear came out of her eye. Not of pain, but of peace. So thankful for the spirit and the opportunities I have had to bear solemn witness of Jesus Christ and His gospel.
So powerful. That's how I can describe my experiences of the past few days.
Please pray for grandpa. Grandpa is like the oldest dude ever, and he is so adorable. He is our investigator that smokes and drinks coffee, but has made SOO MUCH progress in stopping that. He has agreed to prepare himself for baptism. Unfortunately he didn't come to church yesterday:( but he did take us out to get food on Saturday and we had a really awesome lesson at his home. I love that stubborn old man.
The baptism on Saturday was awesome, and I am really excited for the upcoming two that we have scheduled this month. I have loved getting to know them, and the members.
There are a ton of members! There are three wards in our building, and our ward is bigger than the ward at home. This made me happy, and also a little sad.
The members are super strong here, and the mission leader is awesome.
One of my favorite things I hear down here in the south: bless your pea pickin' heart
My favorite line of the week. "Once J***** gets the priesthood, he's goin' to seal the dogs together."
"Welcome to the South"-Sister C
People love their dogs more than humans lol.
I have figured out one of the many reasons I am here in this mission. Our major push is family history work.
PEOPLE GET ON BOARD
President received some VERY strong revelation that teaching about family history work would change this mission. I have seen evidence of this already.
H*****, the mom of the family that I love so very much, was baptized a few weeks ago and she is way ahead of the game. She pulled up her family tree and she has so much royalty in her lines that they go back to times before Christ!!!
SO MANY NAMES SO MANY TIMES "OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEMPLE WORK" POPPED UP BECAUSE LITERALLY NONE OF THEM HAVE THEIR WORK DONE
and it's basically all perfectly linked together with documents and everything. She is so incredibly excited to go to the temple.
That just shows: When H***** was baptized because of the conversion she began with my trainer and her former companion, hundreds of people will be baptized. And what if Sister C had not gone on a mission because she figured someone else could do it?
So yeah... wake up and do something more people. ;) Family history work: claiming baptisms/temple work left and right without even going on a mission.
Anyways. This work is awesome. Southern accents are already creeping in on me. Everyone believes in God. These people can cook, and they aren't afraid to give their kids a whoopin' if they're disrespectful.
One of my favorite little kids calls us ma'am, he's seven and he is the most adorable little angel.
I also ate at my first Wafflehouse (they have Wafflehouse here like we have McDonalds, on every corner) with grandpa, and Sister C told me I'm officially initiated to the South.
LOVE YOU ALL~ MAKE IT A GOOD DAY
and if you're having a rough day, crack open Adjusting to Missionary Life in your gospel library because if everyone would follow that council, the world would be a much happier place missionary or not.