Monday, August 31, 2015

Aug 31, 2015
When you look up at the clouds and see a salmon fillet... #alaska
 Exciting news for the week:
District fish fry! The elders went fishing last Monday (and they didn't even invite us! Rude) 
and caught tons of fish, so we cooked it up after district meeting. Salmon all day! We 
battered some in pancake mix (so good!) and had some in butter and some in oil and all 
were delicious. I now feel semi-confident about my fish frying skills...Too bad salmon is 
wayyyy expensive anywhere besides here, where people give it to you for free all the time 
(yes, that applies to even non-missionaries.)
FISH FRY  #lookinfancy
This past Thursday we switched up companions with the sister training leaders, and I was 
with Sister Galli! She was at BYU my freshman year, and even lived in Helaman Halls! I 
actually remember seeing her once because we had some mutual friends. She's super fun, and it was nice to switch things up a little.
Me and Sister Galli!!
If anyone has any advice for feeling bad for people who had their dog die, please help me 
out. I'm usually a kind and caring person, but... Yeah. #thestruggleisreal

The work is going! We had a family who hasn't been to church in several years because of 
issues with people at church finally come back! The ward boundaries that got changed put 
them in a new ward, so they were excited, but then she had a baby, and then one kid 
needed tubes in his ears... And now, five months later, they finally made it!

We also had a sweet lady who is also returning after the ward boundaries changed who 
brought a four day old puppy to church! It was the cutest thing... A runt who had almost 
been squished by her mother :( but she was surviving! One of the ladies at church told her 
she needed to stick her puppy down her shirt to keep it warm... She just gave her a weird 
look and kept holding it.

Sister Price on drugs is pretty funny. She's been having poop contractions, which is 

Life is going well otherwise! Fall is definitely in the air... #40andfalling

Thought on keeping the Sabbath Day holy: everyone should be open to having spiritual 
experiences on the Sabbath. Whether it be at church, during the sacrament, or at home with your family, you should be seeking the Spirit and gaining that spiritual nourishment throughout the day.

Peace out, homies!! Remember that church is for healing, not hiding.

Sister Rollins

Us trying to look pretty and get the scenery and failing at both

The Soldotna district numero tres since I've been here

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Aug 24, 2015
When you pick up hitchhikers in Alaska...

You're not actually crazy! And they become new investigators! But actually. Natalie and 
Chris are getting baptized in Connecticut next month. Go see them.

This week has been so beautiful... Long, sunny days that are getting shorter, but I still 
haven't really seen Alaska in the dark. Soldotna is slowed down, the streets are back to 
pre-run levels of activity, only a few people at church are from Utah in their jeans and white shirts. 
Sister Price and Sister Rollins  Selfie
People keep feeding us halibut cheese casserole, smoked salmon is coming out of 
everyone's ears, but the limit is down to 2 and the freezers are full. People are hurrying to 
harvest the last of the raspberries, broccoli, cabbage, and rhubarb... And they're done 
mowing their lawns. (Which if you only mow your lawn three times a year, that's actually not a big deal.) we haven't quite hit the first frost, but it's definitely chilly when we go running in 
the mornings.

After some dangerous (and partially unintentional) experimentation, it has been determined with 92.7% certainty that Sister Price is allergic to cantaloupe. Don't try this at home, kids.

People are so cool! Hitchhikers need to be picked up! Alaska really is a dangerous place, 
not just because of the earthquakes and volcanoes and avalanches and two lane potholed 
highways and bears, but because it steals your heart!

Becoming a missionary is about working until you don't want to work, and then learning to 
keep working.

Don't be afraid to open your mouth and INVITE. We had an amazing fireside a week ago, 
and Elders Call and Johnson called everyone to repentance and everyone responded in 
amazing ways!

Set insanely high goals for yourself and then utterly fail - but you'll still end up ahead of 
where you were (yes, we were trying for 19 lessons with investigators and a member 
present and reached 7, but that's the highest they've ever had in this area.) We had a Relief
Society lesson yesterday on raising the bar, but remember that the first time you raise the 
bar, you might totally botch it. That's okay. Raise your sights, and the rest of your self will 
follow with time.

Go see trails with bear scat on them! We went hiking on the Russian River Trails and saw 
just sit there and watch for an hour.

My commitment to you: Go try and fling yourself up a metaphorical waterfall this week. Who knows, you might make it up there... In order to just swim to another waterfall you can try to 
jump over. Except imagine you don't have legs. Or arms.

With much poetic license,

Sister Rollins

One thing I know helps us as missionaries avoid wasting time on our devices is to be super accountable. So when I get home, I want to write down on all time that I spend on the 
computer - just keep a log, or even just look through my browser history and see how much time I spent... Usually if I set goals to spend less time, then it works out! Also setting goals inother areas so that I'm not just bored all of the time - my counted cross stitch helped me 
avoid my computer a lot!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aug 17, 2015
I almost forgot you all

Time is weird.


So yesterday was my last day of training, so I am now officially trained! Which means 
transfers are tomorrow, and guess what... I'm staying in Soldotna with Sister Price! Yay!
Kenai Peninsula 5everrrrrr.  It's a little weird not to have any change, but we are
going to keep rockin' it here just like we always have! This will mean Sister Price will be
here for six months! And I will probably too! Just not the same six months. Ah!

Life is good. People come to church and DUSTIN is our golden investigator! He's amazing
and getting baptized on September fifth! He's like a sponge and does whatever we commit 
him too. His biggest disappointment about the Gospel is that he can't go on a mission,
because he's 27! Everything else he loves. He's only met with us twice and has finished 
1 Nephi! He also rides basically Batman's motorcycle (the Night Rider?) and loves his job 
cooking at the cutest 50's restaurant in town. Basically the coolest guy ever.

In other news, we had an amazing fireside with some Area 70s that came and basically 
called all of the bishops to repentance - it says in Handbook 2 that missionary work is the 
priority. So do it, both personally and in ward council. So pumped.

Also of note, we tracted into one of the best old ladies I've ever met - her name is Granny 
Girves, and she is a hoot. She hates Ohio ("it's a [expletive] place, don't ever go back!") 
and has some strong opinions about money - "It's of the devil! It don't help nobody!" and
her son is actually a member. Apparently she told him she really liked us, so we might go 
back and actually teach her the Gospel! We'll see... She was definitely what I want to be 
when I grow up, though!

Well, time is short and the Russian River trails are waiting! I love you all.

As someone we tracted into said, "I'll see you up there!"

Sister Rollins

PS deep thought: God cannot be disappointed in you. He already knew everything you're 
going to do, so He doesn't have expectations you won't reach, therefore He cannot be  
Thanks for your letters! I really do appreciate them.

These lovely ladies helped me out at a fundraiser event I was doing! 
They are fantastic!    --Claire Kincaid

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aug 10, 2015
That one time she forgot to cook the rhubarb crisp before giving it to us

I went to Homer last week! And sailed on a sailboat! And Homer is sooooooo cool. Definitely the best fish and chips I've ever had (and that has nothing to do with the fact I've never had fish and chips before... It really was delicious halibut!) also, lesson learned: when you're a 
missionary, random members offer you rides on their commercial sailboat. I would definitely recommend being a missionary.

Aside from getting free sailboat 
rides just by walking down the 
Spit (it's a super long, skinny 
peninsula thing where all the
tourist-y things are in Homer) 
being a missionary is awesome 
because you get to meet people 
like Dustin! His sister was 
baptized a few months ago in another ward, and he's seen all the positive changes in her 
life and is ready to change himself. He has been reading in the Book of Mormon and came 
to church on Sunday and now is friends with all of the many YSAs here - his baptism will be on September 5! And yes, we did meet him less than a week ago... #theLordpreparespeople
Soldizzy District Forever Yes we went on a boat and yes it was totally legal

Tis the season for rhubarb. I'm pretty sure it's the national plant of Alaska.

We've also been using an approach this week where we ask people if they can take a short survey about families and churches, and it works pretty well. People don't mind answering 
just a few short questions... And then we get to talk about Jesus! Woot. Also, people like to 
tell us "just to warn you, I'm studying for my PhD in the seminary and I'm going to 
graduate next year" but then they don't remember which church they go to? Awkward. Hehe.
Skilak lake
Deep thought: Faith is 30% belief, 70% hard work. The Lord never fails in His promises, you either don't believe enough or aren't working hard enough.

I love you all! Remember who you are, and remember Jesus loves you :)

Sister Rollins
(Q: Did the Salmon ever run?)  Yes it did, it was about two weeks late and not very big... It was a terrible year for fishing, which is really bad because a lot of people depend on that for their livelihoods :( I know a few members up here who now have to go work on the slope (up on the pipeline way up north where it's no fun and cold and far from your family but it pays pretty well) because the fishing season was just so bad...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Aug 3, 2015

Hello hello!

One of the best things about having a companion who's with you 24/7 is that you can ask her what you did all week and 
she actually knows exactly all the things you did.

Like last week, we went to Skilak Lookout and saw fireweed taller than me (probably about 6 feet tall? That means the 
snow will be 6 feet deep this winter!) and had a gorgeous view of the Skilak lake. Pictures to follow when I have a good 
way to send them... But it was awesome and gorgeous!

Oh, and this week I hit my 2 months in Alaska mark! And Sister Price hit 11 months on her mission, so that's crazy. She 
keeps telling people she's been out "just a little over halfway..." Because she doesn't want it to end.

This week was also my first time in Funny River! It's actually not that far, but we can't tract there (we can't tract most places, actually...) so we don't go there hardly ever. It's so beautiful, and we saw a baby moose! Current moose count: 11. That's more than one for every week I've been in Alaska! Oh, and the sign as you leave the little town (it's not really a town... 
More like a village?) is the cutest - "leaving Funny River - be careful out there!"

We also went to The Moose is Loose, which is a moose paraphernalia shop (have I mentioned it before? Not sure) and 
their sign outside says: "Does Christmas in July disturb you? Come in and be disturbed!"

So we went in and weren't disturbed, just got raspberry chocolate chip donuts.

We had an amazing Relief Society lesson on Sunday about our responsibility to forgive others, and one sister shared something so cool: forgiveness is NOT about our relationship with the person we're forgiving. No one ever sins against us; 
they sin against God. We might be hurt because of their actions, but we just forgive them for hurting us. That's hard, but 
the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all of that hurt, all of that pain, all of anything that happens because of others. So (to quote Elsa) let it go.

Love you all! Thanks for all the pictures and emails and letters - I don't have a ton of time to write today because we're 
driving down to Homer, but I love you all!

Sister Rollins