Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happy birthday, Sister Price!
June 30, 2015

It's my companion's birthday, so we had a 
party! Her mom sent decorations and 
presents and candles and cups so we had
 lots of fun.  Yay! Also, Sister Olson was 
kind enough to let us use her oven and
house and washer and dryer, so we had
a party with her! And her boys picked  
Sister Price some flowers and then we 
gave them delicious brownies. Oh, and 
pro tip: instead of using frosting/icing, just 
slice a chocolate bar and then let the 
pieces melt on the hot brownies/cake.
So much easier, and delicious!

This week has been... Full of adventures! We saw a rainbow all across
the sky, a dog on a roof (the owners weren't home... Hopefully he
didn't defecate up there) and a really pretty river (I'm convinced the
Kenai River is probably the prettiest river ever. Sorry, Ohio River.
You're too dirty.)
Oh, and last week I went fishing! I didn't catch any, but Elder
Carlson (who didn't want to go) caught two! It's starting to be salmon
season! I also caught a hook caught in my arm... And I'm learning more
and more about fishing. I'll let you decide if it's voluntary or

We had exchanges this week, which was fun. I went up to Anchorage,
which was weird! There's actually people outside there... Which was a
change. Also, I'm getting a little too used to dirt roads... The four
lane roads seemed crazy! There were so many people!

Also, Sister Galli, who I actually met at BYU before I came out, came
down here... And she hasn't served outside of Anchorage. She was
funny--she was confused where everybody is. #smalltown #alaska

Oh, and the signs up here are the greatest. We saw one the other day
by a farm - "WE DON'T RENT PIGS". Not sure how many people asked them
before they put that up... Oh, and I didn't punch a moose, I just cut
my hand on a rock weeding and then told people that's why I was
bleeding... You know.

Current moose count: six.

We had three investigators come to Sacrament meeting this week! Also,
old people are the cutest people on the planet. We took an older lady
from the ward to visit an investigator who's living in an assisted
living center, and she was hanging out with a less active member! So
we sat down with all three, and they had a ball just talking and
telling weird/funny stories and me and Sister Price just about died of
laughter/from them stuffing us with candy because they think we're
malnourished (don't worry, we get fed plenty.)

Hope you are all doing well! One thing that I loved from a talk
someone gave this Sunday was that the Holy Ghost doesn't ever lie to
us. It witnesses of truth, and it does it forever. It will never tell
you something and then say oh jk, that's actually not true. Once we
know something, it might seem like we need to have a confirmation
again and again, but we also need to hold on to the things we
have--they are so important!

Remember who you are!

Sister Rollins

Me by Summit Lake on the way up to Anchorage! 
So pretty there :) PS Anyone who comes to Alaska with me 
ever is going to make this drive, it's possibly the best part of


Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

Once upon a time, I went to Alaska... And had an awesome time!

Awesome things that happened this week:

Our district went to the beach last week! It was super fun, and we played football! (Obviously just Sister Price and I played against each other and the elders couldn't touch us, so I was a great blocker!  Haha) and threw the frisbee in the ocean a couple times... And met a couple from France! The weather here has been 80 and perfect, but everyone here still complains that it's hot! It's pretty funny, actually.

Oh, and shoutout to Michael Wriston for noticing I said I punched a moose last week.

Oh, not awesome thing: the Kenai Peninsula is on fire! There have been a few fires around Sterling and down in  Funny River, which is in our ward boundaries but not where we live. So all we've seen is smoke!   And no one we know has been evacuated, which is good. Although a few homes have been burned down :(

Okay, back to awesome:
Linda is on date for July 19th to be baptized, and she's so excited!  She tells everyone at church and is sure to make sure they'll be in town! We found out she's actually known about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since high school, and now all her six kids are grown and she's ready to really commit and make that covenant with God! Super cool.

The ward here is awesome! We had an investigator who's come to church a couple times who really wanted to come but didn't have a dress or skirt and was insistent she would feel out of place... Which of course we told her wasn't a problem, but she's stubborn. So Saturday at about 3 we finally called the Relief Society president and within about
three hours Evie had a dress and shoes to come to church! People are amazingly generous and willing to help out here! It's super cool.

Uhhh fun stories... I've been doing a lot of gardening! Apparently rhubarb leaves help keep the weeds down? Also everyone here grows rhubarb... But it's not really my favorite. Not bad, just not... Great... Yeah....

I made cookies! And our oven is terrible, so they were ugly and we couldn't give them away :( 

Oh, and happy summer solstice! Which was yesterday, I think, but everyone here celebrates it since there's sunshine all day errrrday.

Well, I'm doing awesome! I love the work and the people and life is going well. Special shoutout to my dad, because Father's Day was yesterday! There's an awesome Mormon Message called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father on lds.org that we showed to everyone we met with yesterday. It talks about how even though we don't see him working,
just like we may not see our dad who goes to work all day, Heavenly Father is still always working each and every day on our behalf just to provide the things that we need. And He still 'comes home' everyday, but if we're not there to greet Him (i.e. if we don't kneel in prayer everyday), then we miss out on the daily communication He wants to have with us! Because He really does love us.

Love ya'll!

Sister Rollins

We got to go for P Day last week!  It was awesome and not crowded and we played football

Here's a picture of my district after zone meeting... Elders Carlson, Pope, Secody, Shurtz, and Sister Price and I! We're super awesome at taking pictures.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

So this week has been fabulousssssssssssssss!

Alaska is amazing! Firstly, we've been having record highs here in Soldotna (we're talking like 85 degrees!) and I'm loving it, but everyone else is complaining about how hot it is... oh, Alaskans :) It's pretty funny when you see everybody's kids running around in their swimsuits and people tanning outside... except there's no pools up here (too much upkeep). Although there definitely are lots of beaches! But some are on the river and some are in the ocean and I'm not sure where everything is but people go and have been having lots of fun!

I met an interesting man this week who doesn't believe in organized religion--he says it, like the government, is inherently evil. Well... obviously I'm not going to get into a big argument with him, that's not why I'm here, but I think the coolest part of our visit was when I asked him if God told him to go to church, would he go to church? He answered back that he absolutely would, and I told him I had faith God would tell him that. He was a little surprised, and was also surprised when I agreed with some of his points (he's had lots of experiences with missionaries from Utah :D) but ultimately, I told him I couldn't change his mind, only God could. I think that surprised both me and him, but it was an interesting experience, and hopefully got him thinking. He actually was a member of the Church since he was young (his parents were converts), but left the church when his parents got divorced and hasn't been back since. Anyway, I'm not sure if we'll go back and visit him again, but Sister Price didn't like meeting with him... he talks a LOT, haha. Pretty much everyone talks a lot, especially compared to Sister Price and me... but I loved just that question: if God told you to do something that's super hard for you, but you know He wanted you to do it, would you really do it?

Oh, and some exciting news! We've had a lady who's been investigating the Church for about a year, and she finally set a date that she wants to be baptized--July 19th, her birthday! We're so excited that she finally has a day that she can work toward to make that very important covenant with God! We had challenged her to fast this past Fast Sunday, and she finally knows that this is something not only she wants, but God does as well. I'm so excited for her!

We did a fair amount of service here! Since it's been so "hot" outside, we've helped a lot of people in their gardens, mowed some grass, pulled about 40 million weeds, and I even punched a moose! Also, everyone's yards are full of trash... in the wintertime, everything that goes outside gets lost in the snow, which then you find in the spring! It's amazing what you can lose out there.  It's also amazing how much nicer people are to you when they see you cleaning up their yard... yay for the Lord softening their hearts!

In terms of wildlife sightings, I've now seen three moose (two chewing, one galloping), four caribou (just chillin'--apparently they used to have a herd of about 30, but then there was a cave in/avalanche in a canyon and most of them died! sad) and one bald eagle! At least that I've noticed. Everything here is blooming and green from the rain last last week and then the sunshine this week! It really is awesome to be here in this beautiful place and really come to love all of the amazing people here.

I'm still doing so good! Sister Price and I are very similar and easygoing and we have lots of laughs. It's fun cuz I'm the talkative one in the relationship... Which is kinda weird. We have the same sense of humor though, which is good.

Thanks for all of the kind emails and communication! Hope everyone down in the lower 48 is doing well :)
Sister Rollins

This photo above was sent to me from a less active she was visiting: "You should've seen the shocked look on her face when I told her I was going to take a picture of her and send it off to you she didn't think I would really do it but I thought it was funny just the look on her face."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Me pointing at a map in the MTC... I can reach Alaska! Yay for me not being too short.

...then this one is of my companion and you can see how pretty Alaska is (yes that water is green! and so pretty) 

So life here in Soldotna is amazing! It's definitely a fishing town... and everyone's either fishing or on the slope. Down in the lower 48 (aka "outside") not everybody really knows about all the awesome fishing that can happen in the 20 hours of daylight in the summertime, but the real run happens in July, so all you can catch now is halibut.

Uh, that's all I've learned about fishing... yeah, half the conversations we have I'm a little lost.

Soooooooooo in other news, people here are amazing! There's a lot of people who we go and visit who don't come to church a lot, and it's interesting to sit down with them and figure out why. They usually are pretty friendly, although a couple aren't... and that's always fun :) but ultimately they're all just people.

Sister Price and I had a cool experience yesterday--I met a family in the first couple days I was here that didn't seem too interested in anything. I didn't really feel like we were talking about anything, just sort of being in the same room. We went and visited them yesterday, though, and it was totally different. Vaughn, the dad, was really interested in the scripture we shared, pulling it up on Gospel Library and wanting to read it, and his son Vaughn was also really engaged. Basically, they were a different family. In a moment when he was gone, his wife, Samantha, told us that he had been praying for a long time, and finally got an answer from God! We were super excited, and suddenly everything made sense. They weren't able to make it to church yesterday, but they were totally committed to come next week! They just have been kinda dragged along to everything for so long, it was really cool to see that that answer from God just gave them a whole new motivation to come closer to Christ.
Sister Price and I and our truck!    Holy cow Alaska is pretty

Oh, and I haven't told you about Sister Price! She's my trainer, and she's so fun. She grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho and has been here in Alaska for 9 months now (she just hit her halfway point this week!) She's served in Valdez and North Pole (someone was telling me there was a North Pole, Alaska and I didn't believe them... they were actually right, whoever you are). We're both similarly introverted and not particularly loud or chatty, and everyone tells us that we look exactly the same. She's about six inches shorter than me, so any pictures we take together make me look tall... but she's awesome!

The bishop's family (the Lewises) made me a "greenie" dinner! It was so fun--green spaghetti, peas, mint ice cream, salad, cucumbers and green bell peppers, green M&Ms... mmmmmmmmmm

I love being here in Alaska! Seriously though, it's amazing to just talk to people all day everyday and then see how so many people already love Jesus.

Sister Rollins

 Sister Price and me and our truck!

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

Hello to all those in the lower 48!

So I'm in Alaska? Where in Alaska? Soldotna! Someone send me a map because I actually don't know much about 
where it is exactly... It's on the Kenai peninsula! So wherever that is.

So Soldotna is this little fishing town that is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and the weather here has been in the 70s all week! 
Everyone has their fans turned on and are like wow, it's hot! And I'm like, of course!  It's actually perfect, so that's fabulous.

Also, if you're ever in Alaska and want to see really pretty things, just drive from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula. It's 
probably the prettiest thing you'll ever see--there's ocean, rivers, trees, wildflowers, mountains, moose, blue skies, and anything else pretty you can think of! I would send pictures, but apparently we'll only be emailing from iPads... Which means I can't hook up my camera :(. Alas, I'll probably just print pictures and send some.

Oh, which reminds me! So I actually didn't get to see any moose until yesterday, which was surprising! But I saw my first moose and IT WAS AWESOME AND ADORABLE! Although it was shedding its winter coat so just a little bit ugly. But a 
cute kind of ugly! And it was really exciting!

Other news... Me and my companion have a truck! It's a brand new 2015 Nissan Frontier, and it's AWESOME. Yay trucks!

So far we've been traveling around and just meeting everyone. Everyone is so excited I'm not from Utah, haha. The ward members here are SO nice, and very welcoming! They also are apparently picky about their salmon up here--there's five different kinds! Kingfish, sockeye, pink, red, and uh... Oops, failed that test. Whoever emails me the five different kinds of 
salmon first gets a prize!

Anyway, life is so good! We've met some interesting people, like one man who has never lived in one place for more than four years, and he's in his 50s! He loves all kinds of adventures and has all these hilarious stories about how he was 
doing something crazy with someone else and they were freaking out but he was super bored, haha. He had been to the Hill Cumorah Pageant before, actually, so we had fun building on that knowledge and then correcting some of his
misconceptions. Just for future reference, no, we don't believe the Book of Mormon was written by a lizard in the desert. 
Not sure where that one came from...

So yeah! I love everyone and thanks for everyone who's emailed me! I only have 90 minutes to email every Monday, so I want to talk to you but it might take a week or two for me to reply, especially because I sort of missed a week between the MTC and traveling and such.

Anyway, love you all! Remember Jesus loves you!

Sister Rollins