Hello one and all!
I am in Oklahoma safe and sound with many an adventure I would like to share with you. If you are short on time you can skip to then end where there's pretty pictures and my new address so ya'll can send me letters and make my days happy (;
So First, Leaving my favorite humans back in the MTC was super super hard! I love them all so much and have thought frequently over the last couple of days about what an impact they had on my testimony during the short three weeks we were together.
I arrived in Oklahoma Tuesday Evening and that night I met with the Mission President, had yummy pizza in their home and they let us go to bed early. It was truly wonderful haha
The next morning Sister Mansell woke up early (again) and made us this delicious breakfast and we ate fast and got on the road to Transfers! There I met my Trainer and Companion! I absolutely adore her!! Her name is Sister Leany (Laney) and she is from Vegas. She loves telling people that haha! I couldn't have asked for a better trainer! We work really well together, and she has been so incredibly sweet about everything.
We then found out we are "pink washing" an area called Cedar Ridge (it's the name of the ward we are in which is made up of Bixby and Broken Arrow. We are in basically a suburb of Tulsa, but it's actually a pretty nice area! There are parts of our area that are very wealthy, and other parts that are upper middle class and lower middle class. It's an area that we have to really work with the members because knocking doors in many cases will just make people irritated at us.
Pink Washing means that two elders were working in this area and now we have totally replaced them. It's been an interesting experience. Luckily, my companion has pink washed before so she has an idea of how to go about doing this. It's been tricky because I have no clue what I'm doing at all, but neither of us have any idea of how to get around the area. We share a car with another set of Elders very close to our area, so they have been kind in letting us use the car a little more. We have been biking about half of the time so far, but Saturday was a biking only day, which was actually really really cool.
A big reason why this mission is a biking mission (with cars) is because its the best way for us to street contact. If we're riding our bikes its not weird for us to stop and talk to random people sitting on their porch, which theres a lot of in Oklahoma. So already I have seen a ton of miracles that way!
One in particular is this sweet lady whose name is Sally. We got on our bikes first thing Saturday morning and we were headed to go meet some ward members (that's been most of the last couple of days because we don't have a ton of people to teach, and the best way for us to find people to teach is to help the members to trust us, and where we're both totally new to the area we have to start that from scratch.) But we stopped and Sally was holding a yard sale, so we were mostly pretending to look at things and then we started talking about religion. It's really cool because Oklahoma is one of the most religious states in the country, so even if they don't want us to teach them almost everyone will talk about Jesus with us. It's really cool and a huge blessing. But so we start talking and she was super sweet. She let us read some scriptures from the Book of Mormon with her and we exchanged numbers. Then she brought out a cardboard box and told us to fill it with anything we want or need and she would just give it to us for free, and drop the box off later. So we put some more normal looking cups in there (since the elders had left us with mostly random jars as cups) and then we said good bye and went on our way. She brought the box by yesterday and had put a ton of other random useful things in it for us as well as two more comforters. We will be dropping by her house again later this week.
Another thing you should know about Oklahoma is that they. are. talkers. In the MTC we were always practicing asking questions and getting the people involved in the lesson. This bigger problem here is making sure that you can fit in a word here or there that will bring them closer to Jesus Christ. It's pretty funny. We dropped by this one ladies house who was in our records as someone who is interested. So we get there and she is freaking out about going to court today over custody of her grandchild. She was so sweet though and asked us to pray with her, and my companion said a really sweet prayer that the woman felt was totally inspired. It was really cool. But we had an appointment to meet with our ward mission leader really soon, so we were on a bit of a time crunch. We kept trying to get out of her house but she just kept talking. She followed us to the door, out to our bikes, and down the drive way. She was still talking to us as we rode away waving good bye. It was pretty awesome haha
Another really cool thing for me this week has been that every one is so incredibly friendly. And because we are pink washing every one is extra friendly and excited. All of the members have been so welcoming and feel blessed to have sisters in the ward ( I'm just going to have to try to live up to those high expectations).
it was really cool our first morning here we called our dinner appointment and it was sister Lyle, and she was super excited to hear that they had sisters now. And we hang up and fifteen minutes later we get a call from another sister in the ward! She is single and has really missed being able to really interact with the missionaries, so she just called to ask when she could have us over for dinner because she can't wait!!
Another really cool thing is that there are three sisters who are here with their husbands for summer sales, and all three have cars, all three are return missionaries, and all three are super pumped about helping us out because they don't have anything to do while they are here. So that is a huge blessing from the lord!
Another awesome miracle was that my first day here we went to just go contact a bunch of people and get to know the members a bit. And legit every single person was there and willing to talk to us except for ONE. That is amazing and pretty much never happens. But it was for sure a warm welcome to the mission!
My favorite person I have met so far is this sweet sister named Heather. She is not a member but she is home all day with her two boys, so the Elders had been going over there once a week and siting on the back porch with her and just bringing her some light. I think she may be one reason that sisters have been called to this area now. So that we can really connect with her and bring her the gospel in ways that the Elders weren't aloud to because she's a woman home alone all the time. We've seen her twice already and we're going back on Wendsday to help her clean up her house a little bit. SERVICE IS THE BEST.
I got my first experience with bashing, and interestingly enough it was one of the guys that the Elders had left with us an an investigator. Basically we have no clue why they kept going back, but he is very closed off to the idea of anyone but baptists being correct and refuses to read the book of mormon. Because of this there is just nothing that we can really do for him, so we dropped him, and will not be going back hahaha
My companion always gets a blessing from the Bishop at the begining of each transfer, so we did that yesterday and it was a really cool experience and taught me a lot about why we have been put in this area.