Monday, July 27, 2015

And then my companion played Rachmaninoff with a Babushka

July 27, 2015

It's been another busy week in Soldotna! Adventures and miracles galore.

Random fun facts/events:

The town of Soldotna is actually run by Mormons and celebrates Mormon holidays, but the people just don't know it. Like, the mayor and two of the four doctors at the hospital and the town founder dear Mr. Curly Wright are Mormon. So this weekend Soldotna celebrated Pioneer Day! But we called it Progress Days to be sneaky. But it was so fun!

All the missionaries went to go serve samples from the leftovers of the Dutch oven cooking competition... Mm. We had to try the samples first to let people know what they were sampling, of course :)

There was also a chainsaw wood carving competition! I unfortunately didn't have my camera on me to take pictures with the bears and eagles and super legit things carved... But I'm sure you could look them up - Sawfest in Soldotna, AK.  Oh yeah.

Oh, and next week I will send ya'll a picture of me and Sister Price eating at the Thai food truck again. Because it is the deliciousest.  And the man who works there gives us free stuff because he loves the missionaries! And he's going to become Mormon soon. But he doesn't know that yet.

Okay, on to spiritual things: aka the most miracle filled day EVER (yes this is long and few people will read it, oh well I'll print it out and stick it in my journal):

Caution warning: miracles do not build faith, righteous actions build faith. You receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. But miracles do confirm your faith. I'm just copying and pasting from  another letter, so I apologize for any typos, etc:

This week was a little bit of a trial of our faith down here in Soldotna... Until yesterday, when we witnessed so many miracles! It's amazing to watch the cycle that we talked about during Zone Conference at work in our lives.

Yesterday was truly a day of miracles. We started out with a wonderful sacrament meeting in which Linda, who was baptized last Sunday, was confirmed! Then Sister Price and I were able to perform a musical number that brought the Spirit to the meeting along with wonderful talks centered on Christ, and we had a less active family who came that we weren't expecting! Then, after church, we were able to go and visit a potential investigator and perform our musical number for her as well. She was very impressed and said that she could really tell we  were playing from the heart, and that we inspired her to go and play more music for the Mormons! Then we had invited a recent high school graduate to come out with us, and due to her amazing faith we finally were able to gain our new investigator for the week! We have been trying to catch Amanda at home for months now, and we finally were able to talk to her and read the Book of Mormon with her, which she liked. We committed her to read more and set a return appointment for next week! It was such a blessing to have Claire there, because she was able to play with Amanda's 2 year old so she wasn't distracted and could feel the Spirit.

The miracles didn't stop there! We then felt like we should go visit another less active who we thought might be out of town, but we went anyway and he greeted us with "there you are! I've been waiting for  you!" It turns out he had a referral for us and had been trying to get in contact with us but couldn't find our number... But the Spirit contacted us instead! We went right over and gave his friend the Book of Mormon she had requested, and although she was sick and wasn't able to talk much, she was excited to get a Book of Mormon and promised to call us.

BUT WAIT, it doesn't stop there! We had been planning on working on the Area Book Planner App, because we've been struggling to make it line up with the key indicators we actually have, but Sister Price felt like we should go visit Brother Vroman, who has been inactive for 45 years. So we went, and he was so excited to see us! I asked him if he believed in the Book of Mormon why he didn't go to church, and he came up with all these excuses... And the Spirit guided me to really pinpoint the fact that he knows he should go, he's just afraid! We invited him to keep praying about it, and by the end of our visits he had gone from telling us we didn't have a snowball's chance in Hades to get him to church to admitting it might be time for him to come back! We left in shock, amazed at the Spirit's ability to change hearts.

The Lord is truly blessing us! We were so inspired by Zone Conference and Sister Price and I are working so well together. She's a little worried about what transfers will bring, but I know the Lord has a plan for us and He'll send us where we need to go!

...and then I found five dollars. But actually.

I think the most miraculous part of the day was that everyone except one person we visited was home and talked to us... Which never happens. Except yesterday. When we go see everyone.


Sister Rollins

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I made it out of clay...

June 20, 2015

Hello hello readers of my email!

This week has been crazy! I thought that doubling our Sacrament Meeting attendance in one week was good... and we doubled it again! Our chapel was full of fisherman in their white shirts, dark pants and tennis shoes who have come from all over Alaska and the world to catch them some salmon. Unfortunately, the salmon run is super late this year and hasn't even hit yet! And if it doesn't... a lot of people go hungry :( But I have faith in the salmon, they will come!
Even more awesome then four times as many people as we usually have is a baptism! Linda was baptized yesterday! She was so excited to be able to finally make that covenant with God and be part of the Church family. You're all invited to her confirmation along with the musical number Sister Price and I are doing in Sacrament Meeting this coming Sunday!

We also had a youth baptism where four eight year olds were baptized!  It's awesome to see so many people so happy and feeling so blessed.

Funny stories from this week:

We were eating dinner at someone's house, and they asked us if we wanted some shaky cheese for our spaghetti! ...yes, please pass the parmesan.

We were eating dinner with some kids, and were talking about an event that had happened in one of their friend's backyards. "Where does their backyard neighbor live?" "Oh, that's their Grommy."

Also, apparently kids here can make $200 from a lemonade stand?!

We now do almost all of our paperwork on our iPads!  It's really frustrating, but not terrible. Just annoying. PS I don't want this iPad after my mission, if anyone wants to buy it feel free to do so.

Oh, and I went to Seward!  We drove halfway to Anchorage and switched companions, and I was driving back... and missed the turn to Soldotna... and ended up in Seward!   We pulled off into a random driveway (scary - there are too many trees to even tell what's in the driveways) and it was actually the church building!   And so we turned around and drove to Soldotna. Seward is pretty cool, by the way.

Well, that's about half of my crazy week, but the other half isn't even describable! Thanks for all of the letters and love.

Sister Rollins

All trucks grow up into Jeeps, duh.

Actually, the Jeep was in for repairs just for one transfer, so they gave us back the Jeep and gave the elders our truck :(

It's cursed because lots of bad things not involving me have happened in it/to it, including things being stolen from it (hence the needing repairs). But it's fine now and all the missionaries are fine now yay!

Sister Dall and I at the prettiest place in Alaska, Summit Lake when we were on exchanges. And no, the picture doesn't do it justice at all.

Me, Linda, and Sister Price on Linda's baptism day

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Even Fish Need the Gospel!

Mon July 13, 2015

Oh, what a week...

It's definitely fishing season, and Soldotna is flooded with people!  From the full parking lot at Fred Meyer's to the chapel overflowing into the gym during sacrament meeting, this is Soldotna at its busiest for sure. Unfortunately, even the locals are out fishing all day and night... And not at home for us to talk to! But we get along.

Our craziest adventure this week involved the AK Taco Shack! It's a lovely little food truck off the Spur that we've been wanting to try since we drove by my first week in Soldotna. We finally decided to go there for dinner, since no one had signed up to feed us. As we pulled into the lot, however, we realized it was closed and we wouldn't be
able to enjoy delicious tacos for dinner. So where to next? The big blue truck with a "THAI FOOD TO GO" sign outside it, of course! So we drove over there and ordered some delicious Thai food. While it was cooking, we stopped by the Moose is Loose, home of all moose paraphernalia (from footie pajamas to Christmas ornaments to a moose
dice game) and donuts, and then walked back to claim our dinner. We then decided to eat our Thai food back at the tables by AK Taco Shack, since all the picnic tables there were empty. So we get there and get out and eat our yummy Thai food (PS best food in town. Just for all you future visitors.) and then... We realize we had locked our keys in the car! Sooooooooo we don't know anyone's phone numbers and don't have our phone anyway... Luckily we were only a good ten minute walk from a member's home, where we called some elders who... Got into our car via totally legal means. Duh. So we gave them our moose is loose donuts and went on our way!

Thankfully, nothing was stolen this time...

And yes, that Jeep is cursed.

In other news, Linda is getting baptized this Saturday! She's really excited, and so are we! We also are now teaching two part member families, both of which love us immensely and want to feed us dinner all the time... No more Thai food for us :(

But the work of God is going forward!

Deep thought: those around us don't confirm our hope in Christ, angels do. It doesn't matter how many people aren't interested, because they're not the ones who confirm your faith. D&C 128:21

Have a lovely day!

Sister Rollins

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6, 2015

Paper clips are actually effective bobby pins

Hello hello! This is Sister Rollins, and we just got transfer calls... and I'm staying in Soldotna! Which is no surprise to anyone, because there was about zero chance of me being transferred to finish my training somewhere else.

This week was the Fourth of July, in case any of you forgot. Sister Price and I (and the other elders in our district) helped out with the Kenai Parade! We passed out bags for collecting candy (finally, everybody actually wants what we're offering... although they want what we have, they just don't know it) and then rode alongside the parade on bikes and kept the kids off the streets/kept people from throwing candy from moving vehicles and lacerating the kids/poking out their eyeballs/we didn't even have vests so we didn't look official but it was still fun! Very rainy, but they had a HUGE turnout! I think it's rainy pretty much every year, and it's pretty much the only parade on the peninsula, so that's why everyone was so excited to watch the poor little drumline and the Oilers ride by. Oh, and I got two splinters from two different wheelbarrows this week! #workinghardorhardlyworking

Other news... I actually ate delicious Mexican food! There were some snowbirds who offered us dinner, and her enchiladas were just divine... and rice and guacamole and deliciousness, mmm. Also had bison burgers, those were pretty good as well. Did you know they have bison up here? I didn't. Probably my favorite animal here (besides MOOSE I LOVE THEM) is the musk ox. I haven't actually seen one yet, but there's a taxidermied one in the Kenai Visitor's Center.

Also, protip: Don't tract the street right after the Jehovah's Witnesses do. People are easily confused.

Welp, that's all from me! The work here is doing well. Linda is still doing fabulously on her way to baptism! She's getting so excited and we are too! 

Deep thought: God is not worried.

Let it marinate.


Sister Rollins

This is us and our borrowed bikes in the lovely rain! Also we're blue in the first one because we were trying to be patriotic. Also please note that I was wearing a red and white striped shirt underneath my black sweatshirt, so yes, I'm patriotic. Because wearing a color is the most patriotic thing you can do. kbai

Me and my companion are cute