Monday, November 9, 2015

Nov 9, 2015
More snow and heading out!

So it's still snowing here, which is delightful! It also starts getting dark around 5, which is 
less delightful. It's mildly amusing to knock on someone's door at 7 (that you know) and 
them to be surprised that you're visiting so late! Especially when at 9 in the summertime 
it's barely evening... But who needs clocks anyway?
So I'm leaving Soldotna! After four transfers and almost six months, it's weird to be leaving.
I definitely will miss it, but I'll be heading to Palmer! Which is nearish to Wasilla, if anyway 
knows Alaskan geography. If you don't, I'll be about an hour north of Anchorage, so still in 
the middle of the southern half of the state. It will still be cold and snowy. I love Alaska.

Current moose count: 28

Current caribou count: 17

Future companion count in Soldotna: 3! Everyone jokes that they need two missionaries to 
replace me... So Sister Grieve and Sister Larcom will join Sister Galli for her last transfer.
Sister Galli and I have had a rollicking time together! It's been weird to help her plan for 
BYU this winter semester... So anyone in/around Provo, lookout for Laurel Galli - she rocks!
 I'm sad to leave her, but my new companion is actually her trainee! So Sister McGraw and 
I will be serving together in the Lazy Mountain ward.

It's been good to wrap up my time here. I received some socks and Chapstick as a going 
away present, which was really nice. Pro tip to any Christmas present givers to 
missionaries in Alaska: you can't go wrong with socks.

The Lord has been so good to me! We had a great dinner with a lady in our ward who is a 
mental health therapist for a hospital up here, and she had lots of great sociological advice.
 We also had a great discussion about identifying the Holy Ghost and choosing to believe.
She might be my new favorite person, which is a shame because I'm leaving today. But 
the Lord definitely sends us people who we can have real conversations with when we 
need them.

I was reading the conference talk "Seeking the Lord" from April of this year and loved this 
quote from it: "A deeper understanding of Jesus Christ will give us greater hope for the 
future and, despite our imperfections, more confidence in achieving our righteous goals." 
Hope is something that I feel like I've gained on my mission a lot - it's much easier to gain 
when you are around hopeful people all of the time and are constantly surrounding yourself
 with uplifting messages and cut out most media. There's certainly still adversity, but you 
feel like you have the tools to deal with it and have a lot of hope for your current and 
immediate future. I also love this quote from the section about hope in Preach my Gospel: 
"Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you." Isn't it fascinating that
hope is only related to His promises to you?

Anyway, have a wonderful and hopeful week this week! Do what truly makes you happy.

Much love and charity,

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