Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 3: Georgia Here I Come!

Oh my goodness, so much has happened since I last wrote! Traveling to Atlanta went well, all of us slept on the plane a little so that was nice.  We got to the airport and when we went outside we were all instantly sweating. Haha, the first thing Sister Nau said was, " I'm sweating bricks right now."  We were shuttled over to the church in a bunch of cars, and once we got there the Senior Missionaries talked to us about out apartments, cars, etc.  We were all falling asleep because we were so tired. I felt so bad!  Then we had an amazing dinner that the ward made for us, and we got to talk with President Harding, and he is so amazing!  We went to a member’s houses to sleep and we stayed with a family that was so sweet, the mom reminded me exactly of Nicole Stapp.  I saw fireflies that night, and it was so cool!  There is a constant hum of noise at night, SO many bugs and frogs everywhere!  Our area is so pretty.  There are so many trees that line the roads. It seriously feels like we are driving through a giant maze because there are huge walls of trees everywhere.  There are just as many roads for golf carts as there are for real cars.  Just in the city that I am in there are 4 golf courses and everyone drives their golf carts around!  CJ would love it here.  For our first breakfast, the member we stayed with took us to Chick-Fil-A.  Great way to start out my adventure in Georgia!  

I have two companions and they are both great!  Sister Perry is in another area right now driving around a companionship because one broke her arm and the other isn’t from the states.  Sister Butts is amazing!  She has been out about a year and has already taught me so much.  She is such a great trainer- Sister Butts and Sister Perry are both from around Brigham City, Utah.  The biggest news of all is that we had a baptism!!  It was so cool to have this experience in my first week. They had been teaching him for about a week before I got here, and then we taught him for another week and he was so excited to be baptized!  Cavan is 19, and he lives in Peach Tree City.  He is in the YSA ward and it was great! (I am sending a picture of my journal entry along that gives all of the details of the day he was baptized!)  It was such a powerful experience to see the joy he felt after getting baptized!  He gave the guy that baptized him a huge hug and he was seriously beaming afterward!  The spirit was so strong and moments like that build by testimony so much.  I love seeing the joy that the gospel brings to peoples lives!  

Everyone here is seriously so nice.  We go door to door sometimes and just ask to pray with people and everyone loves it because everyone is so religious!  There are churches literally on every corner and so many religious people – it’s great!  Church is a big deal to a lot of people down here.  So many are open to hearing what we have to say, and if they aren’t interested then they are super polite about it!  Door to door has been kind of hard for me because I get so nervous.  I just have to remember "20 seconds of insane courage!"  I love teaching the members, and getting to know all of them.  We are over the family ward and the YSA ward in the area so we are super busy! There are so many amazing members here, and they all say "You are in the best ward in the world!" or "You have the best ward for your first area!"  They really are amazing, and it is so cool to see how involved they are in the missionary work!   

The houses are so fun to look at - it is super diverse here too.  We teach people in a gated community with country estates and so much land, and we also teach people that live in trailer parks!  I love how many different kinds of people there are here!  (I don't know how close we are to the city of Atlanta, but I don't think we are that close- it is all pretty open out here and no huge city buildings.)  The cities we cover are Senioa, Peachtree City, and Fayetteville, so we have to drive a lot!  It will randomly rain so hard here and the streets are like rivers!  But it doesn't last long before it goes away. We go running every morning on the golf cart paths, and it is like we are running through a forest!  Trees are surrounding us and there are so many animals everywhere.  It is so beautiful! 

 I love hearing the details from home!  I am so sad I can't come to Rye with you!  Sometimes I wish I could apperate home and sit with you for a little while and just talk with you in the kitchen!!  I haven't been too homesick, but I definitely miss seeing you everyday.  I have moments where I am having a great day and then I start to think about home and I get all emotional!  Haha, so many emotions this past week!  Overall it has been such a good learning experience though.  I am really learning to rely on the Lord for help - when I take a step back it is miraculous to see what He has done for me.  I can't even describe how much help I am receiving from Heaven!  My mission president told me "There are so many unseen forces helping this work go forward", and I 100% agree with him!  So many people need to hear this gospel, and I know that as long as I work hard and keep pushing forward that I will receive so much help.  Family, I love you all so much and I am praying for you!  Ty- I can't believe how much you are working! Way to go!  Soak up all that time you have to relax in Rye.  I love you and hope you are doing great!  Tell Scott I say Hi and that I love him!  I loved talking you at the airport!  Whenever I get down I cling to that time we had to talk.  I love you both so much and I couldn't ask for better parents!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Week 1 & 2: MTC Highlights

Dear Family--

Thank you so much for the care package. It seriously made my day, and the sisters in my district and I have been snacking on all of it!  The drinks reminded me of your smoothies, Mom, but your smoothies are by far better!  All of the letters that were in the package really boosted me up!  Scott's letter made me laugh the hardest.  I love hearing about everything at home.  

Life at the MTC has been great!  I love my companion.  Sister Nau (sounds like now) is from San Francisco and she is hilarious.  When we get really stressed or worked up about our investigators we are able to crack jokes and laugh- it seriously makes everything so much better!  We have two investigators that we have to teach three times each (we don't know if they are members or not, they are paid actors).  We taught the plan of salvation, and lets just say it was a little rough. The first thing Sister Nau said when we came out was "she literally just tore my plan of salvation into shreds and blew it in the wind, now I just got to tape all of the pieces back together".  Our lessons get better and better each time!  We spend most of the day in a classroom and study, study, study!  It can be pretty long.

When I look back on this past week I feel like I have only been here for a couple of days, and then I feel like I have been here for years.  Time is a weird thing here.  Our whole district is going to Atlanta and we fly out on Tuesday morning!  We have to meet at 3:30 am to go to the airport!  I am pretty sure my flight leaves at 8:30, and I get to call you guys at the airport. Wahooo! We are flying to Atlanta with 25 other missionaries, and we are all going to the same mission. It has been so fun to see so many people from LP and BYUI! Yesterday we welcomed all of the new missionaries and it was fun taking our new districts on a tour and telling them all about MTC life.  Dad- thanks for your quotes and letter! Happy Fathers Day on Sunday!  I put those quotes in my journal. The food here is great, and I have really enjoyed the MTC but I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited to fly out!  I am so glad I know the elders and sisters going into my mission, it makes me so much calmer.  It has definitely been a rollercoaster of confidence and emotions here, but I am grateful that it has been really good for the most part! My companion is Tongan, the sister from Colorado is Chilean, and the other sister from Provo is half Puerto Rica.  It has been a lot of fun being with them!  Tell Scott and Ty that I say Hi and I hope they are doing well!  I love you guys so much and I pray for you all everyday!  I have prayed more here than I have ever prayed in my life!  It has helped me so much and I love feeling so close to Heaven!  I know that God is watching out for all of the missionaries here. I know that He is preparing people in Georgia to hear our message, and I can't wait to get out there! 

We have 50 minutes of gym time every day and it is nice to be able to take my mind off of studying!  My companion and I sang in the MTC choir together and it was such an awesome experience!  I love being a missionary, haha sounds so cheesy but it is true!  So many ups and downs, but at the end of the day we are all so happy!  Sorry this letter is ALL over the place, I just don't want to leave anything out!  A lot of kids are here for 9 to 12 weeks, and my heart goes out to them... haha they probably will love it, but 12 days is perfect for me!  My testimony is getting stronger and stronger everyday and I feel so grateful I have this opportunity. I love you guys so much and I miss you!!  Good thing I don't have time to be homesick!  And, yes, I taught Rachel’s friend from her mission, and she was so cute and nice.

I love you! 

Love Sister Hunter 

Oh, and an experience that gave me so much hope happened the second day we were here.  We had a workshop and the teacher said    "All you need to teach as missionaries you learned in Sunbeams!"  Simplicity works wonders, and for anyone nervous about not knowing enough to go on a mission, don’t be!