Hello!! I don't have a ton of time because I got on and there were five million emails I had to read through so this email might be a little scattered but I'm going to try to tell you as much as I can.
The flight here was great. It took forever for us to take off because of the weather but we made it to Detroit with time to spare before our next flight. I sat next to five other missionaries on the flight so I didn't get to preach the good word from my seat, but that's okay. Our layover was maybe a half hour and we got on another plane to Charlotte which only lasted about a little over an hour. My heart was racing during the whole second flight. So much anticipation and not knowing what to expect was killing me. We landed and walked towards baggage claim and the famous elevator scene occurred with President and Sister Craven at the bottom to greet us. They are wonderful. Sister Craven ran to us ready for hugs. She was so excited. We all gathered and got our luggage and loaded it all into a big trailer and got in two fifteen passenger vans that took us to the mission home. the mission home is beautiful. We had a classic southern dinner there that night and talked a bunch about Charlotte. Everyone was so tired because we had been up since two o clock in the morning so they let us go to bed at 9. All the sisters stayed at the mission home and the elders got split up to stay with other Elders in the mission.
Tuesday we had a training all day at the mission office (the Hilliard building in Charlotte) which was great. We learned a lot of good things and President and Sister Craven both spoke to us. They are the greatest. I feel right at home with them and I love being around them. Tuesday night four of the sisters got transferred out to their new areas and the rest of us went back to the mission home.
Wednesday we drove an hour to the building in Statesville where they do transfers. All of the assistants did some more training there and I ran into Aubrie Butler's roommate Sister Kurtz!! She had been told I was coming so she knew who I was before I even said anything. I also saw two other Elders from high school that I didn't know were in this mission! I ran into another friend at transfers as well who is a Spanish speaking Elder in Charlotte, Drew Gordon. It was so good to see all of them. Nice to have familiar faces.
My companions name is Sister Strand. She's from Simi Valley, California. She's been out since October 2011 so she's just about done. We are in the Colfax ward. (pronounced Call-fax, say it wrong and they will bite your head off here) (Kirby from the Colony's home ward, small world. seriously) This ward hasn't had sister missionaries in like 30 years. So everyone was calling us Wednesday night to tell us all about the ward.
Thursday we went out and met with some members and less-actives. Made another connection with a member of the ward, Nadine Kawai (freshman roommate/best friend) her aunt and uncle are actually in this ward as well.
We get fed just about every night by ward members which is the best. Seriously. I would die because I just eat PB&J because I'm too lazy to make anything else. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we knocked on doors a good part of the day a visited a ton of less-active members. Everyone in North Carolina knows how to TALK. Even people we don't know that let us into their house, we end up staying for like an hour because they just don't stop.
There was a neat experience we had on Saturday while tracting. In our mission they offer the Savior's peace and blessing at doors (it gets you into a lot more houses and really brings the spirit into their home. It is really powerful (Luke 10: 5-6) <-I think that's right) anyway. This cute old lady let us in and we gave the prayer and she was in tears by the end. The spirit was so strong and she kept thanking us and hugging us. I didn't want to leave. Poor thing was so lonely and has been alone for years. She said she thinks we believe all the same things so she didn't want to hear another lesson from us. But I want to come back sometime and visit her again. She's a sweet heart.
Everyone here is Baptist and when we share a message with them they just say, yeah we believe all the same things...if only people heard the things I think in my head..I'm always just like, no. we don't just listen to us. Most people are really nice though which softens the rejection most days:)
Saturday night one of the ward mission leaders invited us to the Pine Wood Derby so we could meet some of the ward members. Sister missionaries around here are like celebrities. Same went for church on Sunday. It was like no one had seen a sister misisonary before. It was fun though. I said the opening prayer in sacrament meeting and when I was walking back to my seat a kid yelled, "is that a girl missionary!?" Yes. it's me. It's funny. They had us get up and share something in sacrament meeting and in sunday school and in Relief Society. I was like, y'all are going to get sick of us real quick if we get up every 15 minutes. But it's great to be so appreciated.
This is a wonderful place. I can't wait for everything to go green. It's going to be beautiful. The people are so great and I could sit and talk with them all day. But We have people to teach! So many people to teach. It's a great work that's going on here with so many great missionaries. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. This is not easy in any way shape or form but I know that as these people turn towards the Lord and I can see them change their lives, it'll all be worth it.
Thank you for all the love and support. I can't thank y'all enough. This would be so much harder if I didn't have such wonderful people in my life. I say that every week but it's because I MEAN it.
Garner fam in AZ-thank you for the kind note! You're great and i miss all of you!
Curly-write me letters:) I have limited time on the computer so i can't read all your emails:) I LOVE YOU.
tian and chy-i miss you babes. I hope everything is well.
J-Reading: thank you for that wonderful letter. You're the best at em. I'll write you back asap. promise:)
I love you all!! and I'm praying for every single one of you!! I hope everything is going well. Keep a prayer in your heart always and the Lord will always be there for you. I know that. I know that with my whole heart. Cry unto him for all your support. I can't say it enough.
This gospel changes lives. It is the true church. I know that for a fact.
Love and miss you all more everyday.