Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dec 28, 2015
Was Christmas this week?
Wow! Christmas is full of caroling and candy and chocolate.

This past week we decorated a tree for a cute old less active lady, caroled, went to a store 
and met a real nice black guy from Tennessee that we might start teaching, caroled, 
wrapped presents for service, caroled, delivered cookies, caroled, watched Bible videos, 
caroled, and went to church for seven hours! (I'm not quite bishop status yet...)
Did I mention we caroled a lot? I'm very grateful for a companion who can sing in tune. One
 cool place we sang at was the Pioneer Home here - a nursing home. We were supposed 
to sing for everyone after lunch, but we were late and so everyone had already gone back 
into their rooms... So instead, we took the gifts someone had donated and hand delivered 
them to all the residents and sang to the ones who were awake. There were some criers, 
some jokers, and overall just a wonderful Spirit there. It was almost just like when we go 
caroling back in Cincinnati, which was really wonderful.

Sister Webster was feeling awful one day, and it was cold and rainy so I watched about an 
hour and a half of the Bible videos, which was really nice. And very appropriate for the day 
after Christmas.

Current moose count: 40.

Oh, I almost hit a moose driving this morning! We were driving down the mountain and one
 ran right out in front of us... Of course, the road was slick and we slid a good ways, but 
luckily we missed the moose! Little Geraldo lived to see another day. Although I think he
probably would've survived much better than we would have if a collision would have 

People are taking good care of us.

ute .
Love y'all! Be strong and of a good courage. Read Hebrews 11, it's awesome.

Sister Rollins

Downtown Palmer at noon

My birthday dinner with the cute ole Beames

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dec 21, 2015

And then I pet an alpaca

Once upon a time, in the wintry land of Alaska, there lived a sister in the North Pole. She 
worked hard teaching Santa Claus (no joke) and Olive the other Reindeer (yes joke) the 
Gospel so they could learn the true meaning of Christmas. Right before the actual day of 
Christmas, however, she descended to a lower part of Alaska and settled in the small town of Palmer, home of the state fair and fireworks after Thanksgiving. That sister, Sister 
Webster, became my companion! And it's been a good time.

Sooo because you will all ask about her, she's from Hood River, Oregon. She went to BYU-I for a year before she came out, and she's almost as crazy as I am. She loves Miranda 
Sings and working hard. She also sings very loudly and very in tune. She pretty much rocks.

In other news, we were expecting about 10 people at church yesterday! And only 1 came. 
So, although disappointing, we still love them.

We also have procured a Christmas tree so that we can properly celebrate Christmas! (Of 
course, all you really need is Christ in your heart, but the tree that points toward heaven is a good reminder.)

Oh, we had a neat experience the other day: we were driving to an appointment and passed a lady walking down the street (somewhat abnormal). I felt like I should stop and offer her 
help, but I didn't want to interrupt Sister Webster's story, so I made it a good 50 feet down 
the road before I stopped and turned around. She said she could use some help feeding her alpacas, so we helped! It wasn't too strenuous, but it was fun! And she said she'll be 
feeding them around the same time every day for the next couple days, so I see many
alpacas in my future...

Well, I now have the A Savior is Born video memorized, so if you haven't seen it by 
Christmas at Christmas.mormon.org, call me and I'll quote it to you!
Much love and blessings,

Sister Rollins

Sis Webster, me and Mary Lou the reindeer

 My and my mommy and daddy at transfer meeting :) (Sister Rose and Sister Price)
 Happy birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sister McGraw and I with the tree we decorated for some members... Hebroke his back so we got to do some service :)

Sister McGraw and I with the tree we decorated for some members... He
broke his back so we got to do some service :)

Dec 14, 2015
Christmas trees and taco salad and laughing

There are many kinds of Christmas trees in this world, and I've think I've seen about all of 
them this week. A lot of people in Alaska just cut them down from their backyard, and some of them are rather homely.  But a lot of people go insane and have ten trees in their house! 
It's been fun to see them all, and we've even gotten to decorate a couple!

Something else we saw a lot this week was nativities! Our church building hosted over 1200 Nativities and was all decked out this weekend. We even had shortened church (so my talk was short too!) to accommodate more visitors. It is so neat to see all of the representations of Christ and feel the Spirit that accompanies that.

People are super cool! Missionary work in Lazy Mountain is taking off! People are coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon! I get to teach an ex-convict! The premortal life 
blows people's minds! I'm training a reindeer (name suggestions are welcome.) Jesus is 

Oh, and transfer calls! Sister McGraw is leaving, headed to Anchorage.  Sister Webster is 
coming here!

Sister Rollins

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dec 7, 2015
Lots of fog = chocolate frog

Greetings, citizens of the world! Getting stuck on the ice/in a snow bank, decorating an old 
folk's home, going through a movie collection of about 200 movies, attending the temple for
the first time in seven months, being generally unable to find houses in the dark, going on
exchanges to Anchorage, playing piano at a baptism, and teaching about the millennium 
has taken up most of my week.


So... Once upon a time Sister Rollins was driving the fun Equinox she loves driving and 
missed a turn. She decides to turn around at the next street, but unfortunately doesn't 
realize that street was actually an ice rink disguised as a road! So she gets most of the way
around and slides a solid twelve feet into a snow bank. Luckily, she and her companion are
 only a five and a half minute walk from the house they were visiting. The said investigators 
in the house are bemused by our plight and offer to pull us out, which offer we gladly
accept. They drive their truck down to our car and begin to turn around, only to find 
themselves sliding as we had! Frantic prayers were offered, and the truck misses our car 
by inches and goes into a ditch, where the wheels are spun until the truck is solidly stuck.

Luckily, a member lives next door! So the seven minute trek is made, and a plea for help 
for now two cars is responded to. That member laughs at us and then promptly goes and 
pulls both of us out using his lived-in-Alaska-for-thirty-years skills. It was a cold, good time.

Going to the temple was really nice! I unexpectedly got to see a few people from Soldotna, 
which was delightful. One of the girls who had prepared, submitted papers, and then gotten
 her call for her mission while I was there was receiving her endowment! She was super 
grateful I was there, and it was really fun to see her and a few other ward members.

Perpetual snow and ice is super exciting to drive in! Alaska's been getting a real winter this 
year, versus last year's wimpy one, which is fabulous.

We found two someone's to teach this week! People told us to go visit some supposedly 
unfriendly people, but they turned out to be friendly and very open to hearing from us. In 
fact, they were really excited for us to teach them, which is not always the case. It was 
probably one of the most awkward interactions I've ever had (which is saying something. 
Don't worry, I haven't become less awkward on my mission!) but Sister McGraw and I 
decided that's what they needed - to see that we are definitely not perfect teachers by any 
means. We're mostly just awkward.

Talking to people in the five hours of daylight is difficult but possible. Seven is officially the 
middle of the night.

Exchanges in Anchorage was fun! Sister Dall is a gem and made me wear a Utes 

Christmastime is the best kind of time! If you haven't watched the new Christmas video, "A 
Savior is Born," I would encourage you to do so now. It's definitely different than last year's 
video, but the message that Christ is born is the same. Actually, watch this year's and last
year's for maximum upliftment.

The invitation it leaves with you is to discover why the Savior was born - why He's the 
reason for the season! I love hearing everyone's reasons, but one that's stuck out to me is 
so that we can be happy because we are free from guilt. We don't have regrets because 
we know we can be forgiven. The Savior was born so He could do the great work that 
redeems us in an inexplicable way from the sadness, sorrows and tumult of this world. So 
rejoice greatly and take the sacrament this week to renew that covenant that binds you to 
Him and allows you to access His grace.

Okay, much love and happiness! And as a wonderful old black lady told me this week, 
"Evry tongue shall confess to Jesus!" In the Millenium, so might as well do it now.

Sister Rollins

At the Anchorage Temple

Found this at the church...someone must have really not liked Isaac

Monday, December 7, 2015

23 Nov 2015

Excepts from a birthday letter to her Mother,

Alaska is still treating me well!  This winter has already gotten colder and snowier than it ever did last year, and I'm quite enjoying :)  Here in Palmer we live on a mountain in an apartment over one of the members' garages.  So getting down the 3 miles of mountain roads has been fun. :)  And I'm definitely learning how to drive in the snow!  It cracks me up how much conflicting advice about driving in the dark and cold and snow,, so I'm just rolling with it.  :)

I learned a lot this week about patience.  Sister McGraw stayed pretty consistently sick this week, and our mission nurse, Sister Taylor, told us to stay in.  So we haven't left our apartment much...the Lord taught me to work hard and be diligent in Soldotna, and now He's teaching me to rest and care for my companion.  It's quite interesting to see how the Lord teaches us...certainly not how you expect Him to!  I definitely didn't that that on my mission there would be times where I didn't see many people.  And in this past week , I haven't seen hardly anyone!  In fact, we didn't even go to church yesterday.  :(  It's been pretty cool recently that as I've focused on making the Sabbath and particularly the sacrament a more spiritual experience, when I don't partake of the Sacrament I miss it a lot more - like for General Conference or for Stake Conference.

Hmmm...well, let me tell you about my companion, Sister McGraw!  She is 22 and from Perry, Utah - a little town outside of Brigham City.  She has been out two transfers, or 3 months, longer than I, so she just hit her 1/2 way mark of 9 months!  A lot of sisters call it their "hump day" of the mission.  Sister McGraw reminds me a lot of Elisabeth Robertson.  She's really smart and loves history.  She was homeschooled for most of her life, and she is very careful with her money.  She also is very hardworking, so her sickness and being tired and sick all the time has been really hard on her, since she wants to go and work!  She is also SO aware and always worried about those around her - worried her coughing keeps me up at night (it doesn't) and that I'm going to get sick and that she's not teaching me abou the area fast enough, etc.  I tell her to stop worrying and just get better.  :)  She's trying, but this bronchitis just won't go away...and the cold, of course, doesn't help.  That's why Sister Taylor wanted us to stay in our apartment!  But it's hard.  Today we went over to the member's house (the Beames), which is about 50 feet away.  So Sister McGraw could email her family.  Even that was tiring...poor Sister McGraw.

We haven't used our car for a couple days, and so it's covered in snow!  In Palmer it's windy enough that even ifit doesn't actually snow, (although it is actually snowing right now), your car gets snow on it.  :)  But most people here also plug in their cars and turn them on about 20 minutes before they go anywhere, so there's not usually too much scraping we have to do.

The Beanes!  Are the members who we sort of live with  They are so cute!  They have 4 daughters and 1 son, and he's the youngest  :).  So that's fun.  They range from 16 to 8 and are pretty loud and fun!  They are also musical and have a piano, which is nice!  O haven't been  about to play hardly any here, but I'll probably mess around for a bit today.

Wow, the snow has really picked up since I started writing.  It's coming down pretty hared now.  Although not as hard as I've seen...one night, the flakes were so big you could see their designs!  It was super awesome.

Oh!  Did I tell you I saw the northern lights?!  Well I did!  Once very faintly, a second time really well - they were moving around, yellow and green and a hint of pink - and then once, our investigator took pictures of us with them!  It was only 7:15pm, too, which is insanely early for the lights to be out.  It was awesome!