Monday, July 22, 2013

Oh I Wish I Were in the Land of [Corn]

Except for not, because I AM here! Finally!

At 3:30 AM on our way to Iowa!

Coming to Iowa was so exciting. There really IS tons of corn haha! The drive was beautiful. Rolling hills, tons of green, lots of agriculture. fun fun stuff. And I'm enjoying the humidity :) On the way to Iowa I sat next to an awesome man who's daughter is serving a mission in Iowa too - only it's for the JW's haha! But he was so cool. We talked about religion so much. I really wish I had gotten his contact info, but we did give him a card with written on it. When we arrived at the airport, Pres and Sis Jensen met us and were soooo nice! I loved them right away! We stayed at the mission home that night and it was so great. 

Next day we went to transfer mtg 2 hours away in Iowa City! My companion is Sis Hannah Call from Star Valley, Wyoming! She is so great and so nice. And she's been out for a total of 6 weeks (as of our transfer). 6 WEEKS. Did you catch that?! And she's been in Carthage, which means they really didn't teach many lessons. Neither one of us have ever really taught lessons 3-5, haha. So the blind's leading the blind here! And that's not all........we're opening a new area. As in, two basically brand new missionaries got handed a blank area book and got stuck in this little city called Dubuque, IA, right next to the Mississippi. We're dying haha. At first I was like, sweet! We must be really awesome to be sent to whitewash after a total of 6 weeks between us! But remember how pride cometh before the fall? Yeah. haha. 

Other stuff...the ward was fun, they're really excited to have sisters. Perks of opening an area? They're all like SISTERS?! YAY!!!! We're staying at a member's home, which I like. 
The house we are staying at right now!
We have a super nice place in the basement, even though I'm always cold (luckily I'm warm in bed - SO glad I brought my extra quilt!). We're moving to a new place Aug 1 and will have a house to ourselves because the ward member will be vacationing in California! And then we'll be there for like 3 months and move into a new apartment. We're also in a car share with the elders, which is hard because even though we're in a city, the ward boundaries also extend out super far (40 miles) through the country, and there's no good public transportation. We're still trying to figure out how to deal with that.

Get this. Apparently all the immigrants from the Marshall Islands go to Dubuque! No joke! So we have tons of Marshallese people! Unfortunately most are in the elder's area or in the 1st ward (DARN!) but it's still super cool. And we get to cross into the elder's area and go downtown if we're visiting a single sister, which we're doing tomorrow! We're visiting a former investigator of their's. PRAY FOR US/HER! I'm super nervous and could really use some more confidence!! Thanks :) Speaking of praying, if you could pray that a man we met will open his home to us, that would be awesome. We knocked on his door and he was suuuper nice and took some pamphlets and said he'd let us know, but it's hard to have faith that he might actually be interested. Especially since that was like my worst door-step "speech" about the Church. Those are so hard for me.

After a round of Tracking with my companion, Sister Call

I saw Katie Berns! She was my next-door neighbor in Provo and lives in Dubuque 1st ward, but she found out I was there and knocked on my bedroom door late the first night, and I was so excited to see her! Super fun.

Saturday night, the senior missionary couple, Elder and Sister Thomas (who are AWESOME - I love love love senior missionaries! Be them!!! haha), took me, my comp, and Elders Dragon and Tripp to Texas Roadhouse for a birthday dinner! It was Elder Dragon's 19th bday that day so they took all of us. We're having leftovers tonight, I'm stoked. 

Dinner at Texas Roadhouse!
Oh that's another thing. We have a grand total of one meal set up for this week, and no meal coordinator or anything, so we're kind of having to fend for ourselves for now. Hopefully that'll pick up. But I'm like, always starving between meals and always exhausted!

Random stuff: Everyone has at least like 2 dogs here! (makes me feel like a real missionary when they start to attack us. Don't worry, they haven't hurt us, just slobbered all over!) And there are lots of rabbits everyone! And I go running with Sis Call sometimes in the morning up and down the hills here in Dubuque, but I feel bad because I know I hold her back a bit. But she's great! Also everyone here works for John Deere, IBM, or health care haha. There's a John Deere shut down every summer (totally learned about that in the acctg program haha) and it's like the whole city shuts down a little!

I haven't gotten any letters or anything since I've been here, but I'm sure they'll be forwarded to me soon. Hopefully :)

Trying to figure out where we are with our new area 
Anyways, I'm really trying to be a better missionary and share the gospel with everyone! Because I know it's true and will bring people more happiness than anything. I read "A Consecrated Missionary" by Elder Callister this morning and it was awesome, but I know I have tons of work to do. I want to be a consecrated missionary, but it still seems like such a huge thing and I'm not there yet. But thank goodness for the Atonement! And for prayers and everything! Don't forget your little daughter/sister lost here in Iowa in your prayers, k? thanks :) I love you all so much! Sorry I'm a little more down today, I promise things are great in general!

love, your favorite...
sister whipple :)

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