Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sept 28, 2015
Big girls don't cry, so I suppose I'm big
Sister Rollins, Marie and Evie, and Sister Price (Marie and Evie are two of our favorite old people  :)  The assisted living center Evie lives in is the one I want to live in someday, for future reference.  It's super awesome.

The Soldotna district at Exit Glacier in Seward!  Fun times
Hello hello from Soldotna, 
Alaska! Still my home for yet another six weeks, which will put me at six months here! Crazy 
to think that I'll have been here this long. Unfortunately, Sister Price is leaving,though... And 
my new companion will be 
Sister Galli! She's from Salt
Lake and went to BYU as a 
freshman year the same year I did. I've been on exchanges 
with her once, so I already 
know her a little, and I'm 
excited! She'll probably end hermission here, since she has buttwo transfers left.

It hasn't snowed here yet... 
Fairbanks already has several inches, but it's supposed to snow tonight here. It's been chillyin the mornings, not so bad in the daytime... But it's not cold yet. Because 30 isn't cold, it's 
just cool.
Since Sister Price is leaving here after being here for six months, we've had a lot of 
goodbye lessons, which is somewhat sad. Lots of people are giving her little departing gifts, and then they feel bad not giving me one... So they give me stuff too :) I now own some 
Russian-made pashanka (I have no idea how that is supposed to be spelled, my apologies) dolls, which are cute and adorable.
Thank you for all of the letters and little things people send me! I really appreciate them, 
even if I don't get back to you right away - our preparation days are quite busy.

A moose hit a member in our ward's car this week! He bounced off the windshield and over 
the car. Their windshield thankfully didn't shatter, but it had approximately 10,563 cracks in 
it and is now missing a side mirror. Kids, if you're going to hit a moose, hit a baby one... 
Otherwise your car will not survive.

Tracting in the rain is hardly effective, but sometimes necessary. I almost lost a shoe to the mud, but I was able to save it from a cold and dreary death.

I'm excited to finally be able to go to the temple again - I haven't been able to go since I've 
arrived. Missionaries in Alaska get to go once a transfer if they're within an hour or two of 
Anchorage, and Soldotna's a little far... But since we're going to transfer meeting, we'll get to go! Since we've been teaching Vaughn and Samantha a lot about the temple and the 
blessings we receive from going there, it will be nice to actually get to go.

I was able to reach my goal of reading all of Preach my Gospel this transfer! The 
instructions in that manual are truly inspired. Probably my favorite chapter was the fourth 
one - "How do I recognize and understand the Spirit?" I've definitely grown to better 
understand how the Holy Ghost is present in my life - when you can literally do anything thatpops into your head because you have time and a companion to help you, you realize that 
so many things that pop into your head are actually useful, valuable things to other people. So go do some of those things this week.

I love you all! We'll be very busy this week, what with Sister Galli meeting everyone and 
Ronnie's baptism on Sunday to prepare for! General Conference is also something to be 
excited about - I loved the General Women's Broadcast this past Saturday! It's a bit odd to 
think the second session will be at noon instead of the first, but hopefully I'll survive :)


Sister Rollins

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sept 23, 2015
Hello from Alaska!!!
My wife and I enjoyed spending a partial P-Day with your lovely daughter and her 
companion.  We ate lunch together and then went fishing for a little bit.  No luck on fish but 
sister Rollins turned out to be a "natural" with the open face spin cast reel.  She did a 
fantastic job!  We love your daughter's cheerful and friendly demeanor .... such a sweet gal.  Always has a smile on her face!  My wife and I spend summers here renting a couple of our cabins ... and I fish-guide a little.  Lots of fun ... and Alaska is AWESOME!!!  Make sure you visit sometime ... you would love it!  Thanks for raising such a choice young daughter of 
Brother and Sister Heap

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sept 23, 2015

Hyperoxygenation via rectal injections of ozone

Somehow, last week we made it to Seward! In a sketchy old 70s van with three sets of 
missionaries and a baby. And the baby's mother, of course. So now I've been to Seward 
twice, once on purpose and once on accident! Fun times. This time we went and hiked Exit Glacier, which was super touristy and I met a lot of Asians. It was cold and a little sad how much it's shrunk... Even the nice ward member who took us says she remembers it being 
way bigger when she went on a field trip to go see it 10 years ago. You can't even touch it 
anymore, which is sad. No glacier water drinking for us :(

Also, note to future peninsula visitors: Homer food > Seward food.

We had some cool experiences this week! One of Linda's neighbors, Mercedes, had her 
first baby and there were many complications. (Linda was baptized about two months ago.) Linda, who is one of the most kind and caring people ever, of course went to go help her in
the hospital and such. And she told Mercedes she really needed a blessing, and she
agreed. So we went with the elders for her to receive that blessing, and it was a beautiful 
experience. I haven't seen a days old baby many times, and they are so precious. 
The blessing was beautiful, and all present were humbled by the experience. And to think 
that baby was just with God not even a week ago!

Speaking of kids, the Soldotna Primary Program was yesterday! I don't think I've realized 
how many kids are in this ward, but there's a lot. Like, too many to fit on the stand all at once. Which is good. They did a great job singing and testifying, and a couple of kids played
Primary songs, which was neat. There was the classic kid who sang extremely loud (almost as loud as Max Spencer!), the seventeen boys in senior primary who only mostly paid 
attention, and the sunbeams sitting on the front row - one of them walked up to the 
microphone, looked to her teacher for her line, got told her line, and then said "that one's not mine." Dear Sister Lockett smiled and said "okay, perfect!" and then they sat down.

Ronnie, who was in the Primary program (he's 10) is on date to be baptized General 
Conference weekend! He's super pumped. He was a little bummed I couldn't baptize him, 
but he's excited and learning really fast. His parents are supportive, but didn't even want to 
come to church for the primary program...

Dustin's fallen off the map. I guess he doesn't like us anymore?  Yeah, Dustin's kind of disappeared... And everyone's asking about him and we don't have anything to say because he hasn't talked to us or his sister or anybody really in three weeks... Awkward.

Current moose count: 14
Current caribou count: 6
Current companion count: 1
Current countdown until transfers: 8 days

My ninja accomplishment of the week was taking off a pair of tights (they were sticking to 
my skinned knee that I got because I'm clumsy) during a lesson without anyone noticing, 
including my companion. #skillz

Oh, and I've been trying to get a picture of this giant stuffed musk ox that's in somebody's 
house. They have giant windows. We'll just have to knock on their door and ask, maybe...

Remember, as the primary kids sang: your savior loves you. A lot.

Sister Rollins

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sept 14, 2015

And then I was actually on a golf course legally

Some weeks, you feel really ineffective. But then you look back to the beginning of the week and realize you have progressed. Even if it's not as much as you would like.
The theme of my week has been patience! Patience with people. Because I like results. And people are not results,  they're progress. So be patient with people. "As God encourages us to keep on trying, He expects us to also allow others the space to do the same, at their own pace. The Atonement will come into our lives in even greater measure" (Renlund, April 2015). Not just their lives, but our lives. I've definitely seen that this week.
Funny texts members have accidentally sent to us have been about steam rooms with 
eucalyptus oil and little kids finally pooping on the potty! If you ever want to cheer up a 
missionary, send them something weird "on accident."

Four new investigators in one week this week! #ballin #alma26:12

Golfing. Going to a driving range, unlike go karting, is allowed on p-day. So we went and hit a couple buckets of balls. I now know how theoretically I'm supposed to be hitting the ball... Actually doing it is quite another story. Also shoutout to my companion who did much better than I.

Read the word of God daily. That daily pattern is so essential to growth in the Gospel.
Serve. All the time. Also accept vegetables from strangers, it makes them feel better and 
fresh picked carrots are sweet and delicious.


Sister Rollins

Everyone in the whole Alaska mission has a car, except one companionship area that 
occasionally doesn't get a car in the summer... Out here in Soldotna, we try to drive 
1400 miles a month or less. The elders on the peninsula have an allotment of about 2200 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sept 7, 2015
Patience helps you find the end of the highway

Greetings, civilians!

Another week has come and gone... This transfer is halfway over, meaning I've been out 15 weeks! (yes, you read that right. Fifteen. Five plus ten.) and that's just in the mission field!

God gives you some weeks to remind you that you need to learn patience. So I'm learning patience. Probably the most exciting thing this week was that Linda actually read in the Book of Mormon by herself! Oh, and Teresa came to church! So two exciting things.
There's lots more, but one thing about a mission I'm continuing to learn is that the most exciting things aren't really describable in an email.

Also, I'm gaining faith in the converting power of cinnamon rolls. They've been 100% effective in getting people to church thus far.

Last preparation day, we were supposed to go fishing with the rest of our district. We left a little late, but we asked the elders for directions and they said to just start driving up the highway, so we did. And we did. And we did... And ask for further directions, and get
a reply: "Retreat now." So we stop and take pictures because everything in Alaska is pretty and then we keep going... And find the end of the highway! And a muddy river with no fish. And the elders, covered in mud. To quote Elder Dickson, "it was great."

Zone meeting was exciting. If you ever get a chance to watch the addiction recovery videos, apparently they're really good for everyone. Except children.

Humility is saying "I'm awesome, but only because the Lord's awesome and I'm trying my best to follow him" (see the Sister Rollins edition of Preach my Gospel)

Or, to quote the real thing, when you are humble then "you are confident that you can do whatever the Lord requires of you if you rely on Him."

Gotta get headed!


Sister Rollins