I made it to Kansas!! Man, was it an eventful and stressful trip. It all began last Monday. My companion and I and the two other sisters in my room were all going to Kansas the next morning and had to leave at 2:30 am. We put our alarm on for 1:30am so that it would give us time to get ready and to get to the travel office on time. Well we were woken up by a loud banging noise outside our door and it was a security guard telling us that we better hurry or the bus is going to leave us... IT WAS 2:45 AM!!!! WE HAD SLEPT IN WAY TOO LATE!!!! So like a “tornado” we were super-fast and made it there with only seconds to spare.
We then took a huge bus and drove to Salt Lake and made it to our gate. This gave us 30 min to rest or call home. Just my luck, everyone else got to the pay phones before I did. I wasn’t too upset because we had an hour layover in Dallas,Texas where I could use my calling card and call home. This really nice man saw that we were new missionaries and that I had no chance at the pay phones, so he gave me his cell phone to use for as long as I wanted so that I didn't have to use minutes on my phone card which was AWESOME!!!! And it gave me a chance to speak to my Dad before he went to work (because it was like 4:00am in Cali hehehe) (Mom’s note: This nice person not only let Alisha use his cell phone, but he took pictures of all of the missionaries leaving for Wichita and texted it to their moms.)
The next thing I knew is we were on the plane. I got to sit by the window and sleep for an hour and it was NICE very NICE! As we were flying over Texas I thought DAANNGGG THAT’S ONE UNATTRACTIVE STATE hahahaha. We then landed in Dallas where I was able to call home for 45min and talk to my mom. It was then that I noticed there were some missionaries who hadn’t yet got to use the pay phones. I realized I needed to give up the rest of my time so some other missionary could also call home. ( pfft they were lucky I was so nice ... :P) Our last plane out of Dallas to Wichita was so small that it only had two seats on the right side and only one seat on the left for a total of 24 seats. Once we were over Kansas I looked out the window and LAUGHED... IT’S SO FLAT!!!!! (Welcome to Kansas Sister Magda!)
We met the mission president and his wife and they are so sweet. Then we took pictures and had a snack at the mission office. The next thing we knew, they shoved two greenies and two “non” greenie missionaries in a car to go tracting for 4 hours. It was a cool experience. I was able to bare my testimony a lot. At one home I asked this one lady that was sitting on her porch with her dog if she would take the lessons. I asked if she found it to be true would she follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. She said YES! The best part is that despite not being Latino, she could speak Spanish fluently and my companion for the day was a Spanish speaking sister. My “non” greenie training companion for the day could then go back with her regular companion and teach her the lessons. So cool! Next we had interviews and then bed (the mission president’s home is sooo nice!!! it was like a dream home.)
The next day we got our iPads and more orientation. Then we met our companions... drum roll please...... My trainer is SISTER Tafua!!! She is from Laie, Hawaii and has been out for 7 months. Mom you are actually wrong. The mission president prayed about where I would go the night before and changed everything so I am not serving in Topeka but in West Wichita Rolling Hills Ward. (Mom’s note again: I talked to a friend not far from the Wichita area and they had Stake Conference this past Sunday. My friend spoke to Alisha’s mission president and he told her Alisha had been assigned to Topeka. Imagine my surprise when Alisha told me differently.)
It has been so awesome and yet so difficult. I have a hard time trusting myself and what to say and I keep overthinking everything. Whenever I go to a member’s home everyone picks on the “greenie” to say the prayer and I think to myself, "You don’t want me to say it. I’ve been in your home for like an hour and I still can't remember your last name." Hahaha buts it’s been great!
The hardest part for me is getting up at 6:25am (not 6:30am) and going to the gym. Our gym is super tiny with two treadmills and weights. We work out until 7:00am then have personal study... or at least try to. It’s so early for me and I have to memorize stuff at such an hour. Often I end up just nodding my head for an hour until it smacks into my desk and I wake up. My poor companion has to deal with how fast I fall asleep if I sit too long. (She must have inherited this from her mother.) I was at this family’s house and caught myself nodding off and thought to myself, "If we don't leave soon I am going to start snoring” so I tried to bite the inside of my cheek to stay awake. This has happened more than once... Fast Sunday was no exception. There’s nothing like a very hungry tummy, a soft chair, and a warm building to put you to sleep.
On the question of if I had to bare my testimony on Sunday—no I didn't! That must just be something our ward does haha. (Alisha’s family ward in California usually calls new missionaries up to the stand to bare their testimonies on Fast and Testimony Sacrament Meetings. That way the whole ward gets to see who they are and learn a bit about them.) I was leaving the chapel thinking I had just gotten away with not speaking when the bishop stopped me and asked if I would give a talk the last Sunday in April on Compassion ... so yeah, Heavenly Father didn’t let me get away with that one. Hmmmm…oh! So I found out that I am serving in the same ward as Darian Kempter did! I saw his picture on Sister Pinkerton fridge and he also signed a table cloth at the Kitchen's house. So that was really cool.
I absolutely LOVE my district and the elders in our ward (there are sisters and elders in the Rolling Hills Ward.) We have Elder Shumley, who has a month and a half left and Elder Call (Who is like a guy version of SISTER CALL !!! )
This week we have been teaching everyone about the strength of the Atonement and how having that strength enables you to do anything. Jesus Christ did more than just atone for our sins. He also gave us strength to face our hardest trials and to have compassion for people who are struggling when we are not. He is our best example in this life and in the eternities. He died so that we could be with our Heavenly Father again and so that we can show our love and desire to come back to Him and to help others come back as well. I think of the Atonement whenever I am having a hard time and it gives me the strength to carry on and to be my best and to be the missionary he needs me to be.
1. I'm sorry if this letter is a little scattered. We only get 2 hours to email now. To answer more questions about mail, I am not allowed to give out my address to anyone. All mail must go to the mission office but they forward it to me if you use priority mail. Don't use UPS or Amazon as it can't be forwarded.
2. I did get my big jacket mom and have been using the liner because it’s not that cold right now. But it is very windy!!!
3. My IPad case didn't fit because it was for an iPad mini4 and I have a mini2 but there is a Best Buy here so I got it exchanged even though it was past 15 days. BLESSING!!! It’s the same color and keyboard but it’s a Logitech. Blessings of Wichita!
4. My homesickness is way better now that I’m in the field and is only there for a little bit until I get out to work. Today we went to Walmart and Best Buy and then Chipotle with my companion and the two elder companions.
5. Someone in our ward is doing our laundry for us...” we is sooo special :D” Really, we are so blessed for such a kindness.