Monday, June 16, 2014

The Walk of Shame

Hello! I am reporting from the Natrona County Library in Casper, WY. I made it safe! It was quite the process to get here, but I did make it here. Woohoo!
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Monday was spent full of packing and last minute visiting some people, which was strange. It still hadn't hit me that I was moving (in fact, I still think I'm going back to Minot soon), so it was strange. Tuesday morning we had a super good breakfast with the Noels and after sitting on my suitcase so it would actually close, we were off to the Church to do transfer books and goodbye pictures. I got to drive down to Bismarck one last time, and once there found out that I would be spending the day in Bismarck and leaving for Casper the next morning. I got to see Sister Alleman in Bismarck!! That was cool, it's been 9 months. She's still awesome. So, Sister Christiansen, Sister Nielson and Sister Aiono and I spent the day going on mini-exchanges and sometimes awkwardly having all 4 of us teach. :) I was exhausted that whole day, but I made it. The next morning, Sister Aiono and I woke up at 5:45 and were on the transfer train (a 15 passenger van thing) pulling out of Bismarck by 7:30. It was one of the longest days of my life. I didn't know anyone on the transfer train most of the time, so I got to know a lot of people. I lived off of Chex Mix and Muddy Buddies for the whole day, which was fun(ish). I finally got to Casper at 6pm (but I had gone through a timezone change, so I was on the "train" for 11.5 hours--aahhh!!). But i made it here alive! Sister Burt is awesome. She has such a strong testimony and is such fun to be around. :)
So that's the transfer story. As for our area, we have a ton of less actives and recent converts to work with, which is great. We only have 1 main investigator, but we are working on that. Both Sister Burt and I have a strong desire to work our hardest and to do everything we can to help this area progress. With the change of area, I have decided to be the missionary I want to be. So, I'm breaking the chain! Friday we went tracting for about 3 hours straight and Saturday we went for about 4 hours straight. We are exhausted every day, which is good! That means we're working hard. So I am excited for this next transfer! Great things are going to happen. :)
We've already had some fun adventures even though we haven't been together very long. Most of them have to do with animals. First off, moths. Sister Burt has a fear of flying things, and the moths here are huge, so that's always fun. We also saw the World's Ugliest Dog (see other email with picture), so that was fun. And then during personal study this morning, we heard this random "MMMEEEOOOWWWWW", and thinking it was somehow in our apartment, we went on a hunt for it. We found it trapped between our screen door and our front door, so when we opened our door, the cat dashed into our apartment and so we went on a hunt to get it back outside. It really didn't want to go, but we got it out (after it got cat hair all over the bathroom, our floor and Sister Burt).
Which brings me to the title of this email. We've been tracting a lot, and on this particular street the houses were more spread out and the driveways were llloooooooonnnngggg. It was more of a country road, and we just had like a half hour or so, so we decided to try it. It took about 3 minutes to walk down every driveway, so picture this: we are walking down this driveway, and partway a man comes out of the house. We're close enough to say hi, so we smile and wave, trying to get a conversation started. He turns around and walks away just as another car pulls up. We go to the front door and Sister Burt raises her hand to knock just as a lady answers the door and asks, "Whatcha up to?" or something like that. We explain that we are missionaries and such. She explains that the owner of the house is not there and that we just crashed a baby shower. Embarrassed and bright red, we walked down the long driveway, passing another car coming for the baby shower. And then the next house, the guy has his big garbage can in front of the door, so his door can't be opened all the way. He talked to Sister Burt through the glass as I stood there in awkwardity. Sister Burt asked him, "Have you ever seen missionaries before?" To which he replied, "Yes and I always tell them 'Thank you, have a nice day, goodbye.'" He started to close the door as Sister Burt stood there for a moment, trying to say something, but it wasn't coming out, so then she tried to say something through the door, but it didn't work. Let me tell you that when you are walking away from those houses, you feel the eyes of the person staring you down. Sister Burt and I just laughed on our walk back from both driveways, what else could we do? A mission is made up of awkward moments. I wish you could see these experiences firsthand--I don't do them justice in these emails.
But back to the work, there are some really cool people here that we are working with, especially recent converts (those who have been baptized and confirmed within the last year). It's a cool difference from Minot. I love it here already! It's growing on me!! :)
I am doing really good though, I am happy and feel like I am working hard and that I am finally starting to see the growth I've had as a missionary. I am making the decision to be the kind of missionary I can be. This next week is going to be a great one!
Love you all!
sister leslie.
This week, I have been studying a lot in Preach My Gospel about being diligent and persevering. In 1 Nephi 8:24, it uses the word "clinging" in reference to the people holding to the Iron Rod. Those people were those who made it to the Tree of Life and were not ashamed of the happiness they gained. For the footnote of the word "Clinging", there were the words "diligence" and "persevering". It is those who are diligent to the commandments and what they know to be right and who persevere to the end with faith that will one day have that fulness of joy living with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I would invite you to be diligent! Think of one way you can do that this week and watch how it brings more joy into your life.

We had the coolest Bishop and Bishops wife and the Bishop's wifes parents.

The Final Picture...dun dun dun

Transfer Train stop in Bismarck! Me, Sister Aiono, Sister Gogan, Sister Osburn

Sister Alleman and I :)

Me and my new companion, the lovely Sister Burt. :)

The couple we spent Father's Day with!

Ugliest Dog...

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