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!