Monday, January 25, 2016

Jan 25, 2016
Earthquake, Anchorage, and One Big Dog

My dear companion Sister Webster experienced her first earthquake this week, and that 
puts me at number four in Alaska (only the second one I've really felt.) It was about 1:30 in 
the morning, and it actually woke me up! Our second story apartment was nice and shaky, 
but nothing even fell from the walls, so that was no fun. I've heard there's some sweet 
pictures of stores in Anchorage where all of their food fell off the shelves... the epicenter 
was in Anchor Point, so if I would have been in Soldotna I would've been super close, but 
up here we all felt it but nobody was hurt. I heard it was a 6.2 and I also heard it was a 7.1, 
so if someone wants to send me some details I wouldn't complain. It was exciting. Also, me 
half asleep trying to remember what you're supposed to do during an earthquake: "Are we 
supposed to get under a table or something? Because our table is tiny and not helpful." So I
 just laid in my bed and fell back asleep.
We also had exchanges this week! Sister Fambrough came up and we saw all the miracles.
She came out the transfer before I did and spent her first six months in Fairbanks in the 
summer (so basically the opposite end of Alaska from me.) She was super fun to work with,
 and we ate fried chicken and talked about the Gospel and found a new person to teach, 
Vita. She's a sweet older native lady that was tracted into almost a year ago and now we're 
finally actually connecting with her! It's really neat when someone tells you that you're an 
answer to prayer.
We also drove to Anchorage a third time for Sisters' Training, where all of the sisters in 
Alaska get together and learn about how to be our best selves. Since transfer meetings are 
no longer a thing (praise the Lord, they wasted time... but that's okay) it was nice to see my 
trainer, Sister Price one more time before she goes home next week to Tennessee! She'll 
be leaving a week from tomorrow, crazy. No one actually goes back to the lower 48...
Oh, and as of this week I'm 4 for 4 with companions and going to the doctor! #skillz
Tracting adventures in the middle of nowhere, nice people who talk to us, people are very 
kind and I'm trying to love everyone.

In other news, I've been reading through the Book of Mormon with a focus on grace and 
how we can access it. I loved in Mosiah 7 when king Limhi realizes that Ammon and his 
friends have come to save them - after being in bondage to the Lamanites for his whole life,
 someone has come to rescue them! But he also includes this caveat at the end of verse 18
 - "I trust there remain[s] an effectual struggle to be made." He sees the light at the end of 
the tunnel, but he also recognizes the reality of having to get there. He knows that soon he 
and his people will finally be free, but until then he's got his armor on and is ready to fight 
his way out. Just like when someone sees the hope in the message of Jesus Christ, they've 
still got an "effectual struggle" to have before they get back to God. Because the struggle is 
Remember who you are! Don't do drugs!
Sister Rollins
Sisters Gambrough, Rollins, Johnstun and Webster exchianging back  in Eagle River.
Gotta love us some missionary work

Sister Price and I right before she goes home!

Calvin, the English mastiff, giving me a big sloppy kiss.
His weight is down to 195 lbs from 215 because he has
 bone cancer  :(

More Pictures from this week!

Sisters Training

Monday, January 18, 2016

District Ice Skating
January 18, 2016

Classic Alaskan picture: snow, dirty cars, either blinding sun or no sun. Did you know that in North Pole, no one washes their cars all winter because if you washed your car and then drove out of the car wash all the water would instantly freeze? It's been a week! The old folks' home here discovered Sister Webster and I play piano and so we've been playing for the old people while they eat ice cream, yay! We went to the temple, it snowed, we had people cancel on us, we found other good work to do. I honestly can't think of anything else we did this week, but it was great! We are working hard and teaching people. One cool video I rediscovered this week was called "The Mediator," based on one of President Packer's talk. It's a parable about a man who goes into debt and then doesn't pay it off, and he's about to go to prison. However, his friend comes and pays the debt - he's the mediator. We're like the man in debt, and we will never be able to pay off that debt. Thankfully, though, we have a Mediator who loves us enough to pay that debt. We have to accept his help and live by his conditions, and then we can be free and live happily. What a wonderful message the Savior's Gospel is! Remember who you are! Sister Rollins

Sister Selfie

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

January 11, 2016
Apparently Sister Webster and I actually do missionary work

Lesson learned this week: shopping with Sister Webster is very dangerous. She will buy 
everything she likes and make you buy everything she likes for you. I wouldn't recommend 
it, although it was extremely fun. And of course, we went shopping at the one, the only, the 
fanciest of fancy: Target. Which, unless we go to Anchorage, is the nicest place to buy stuff.
 Yay Alaska!
I don't know if I written about this before, but here on Tuesdays and Fridays we go to a 
nursing home and play Bingo and serve ice cream and put up and take down Christmas 
decorations for old people. It's super fun! And the people who work there are amazing as 
well. When Sister McGraw was sick, we weren't able to go very much, but now that the 
craziness of the holidays has subsided we're back to volunteering there and it's great fun.
We started teaching an old black guy, he's great. I would be scared by his knowledge of 
Biblical material if God hadn't told me this Church was true.
One of the cute older sisters in our ward fed us dinner this week and was chattering away 
like a good old person does and said one of the most profound statements I've ever heard:
 "Going to the temple turns the word love from a noun into a verb." 
Let it marinate.
How do I turn the word love from a noun into a verb? How do I not just say that I love 
people, but really verbify the word? Something to ponder. My companion pointed out that 
she could tell a difference between the people that I really truly loved and the ones I love 
mildly mandatorily. I really do care about everyone, but I'm working on truly having that 
charity for all of them. 
The Church is true, the Book is blue, tracting is fun, and now I'm done.
Remember who you are!

Sister Rollins

Q asked of her: How do you find contacts if no one is out in the streets to chat with?
Answer:Haha, your question is a very good question. If no one is in the streets to chat with, 
then we knock on people's doors, which is not very effective.

We mostly find people to teach/talk to in eating/shopping establishments, during service 
(volunteering at the old folks' home, library, reindeer farm) or just through members. It really
 is quite difficult sometimes.

Driving to the reindeer farm to do service

                                                  Salmon fillets obviously belong right next to                                                   the scarves and jewelry!

         Shoe Shopping in Alaska

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Jan 5, 2016

Greetings from the ice! Don't worry, I've only fallen about five times, and there's no 
permanent bruising.

Last Monday we went snowshoeing up Hatcher's Pass! Behind us you can see the 
abandoned mine, which was neat. We also unintentionally buried our phone there and 
consequently borrowed everyone else's for a few days... Luckily, our ward mission leader 
actually did his job and kept up with our appointments and such! So we survived until 
someone came up from Anchorage with a new one. This is why we can't have nice

The work has been good. We're really excited for this upcoming week, because everyone 
who was busy over break can finally see us! Yay for many set appointments and no more 
spontaneous 2am outings that make it difficult to wake up for 9am church.

Oh, and I played the organ here! First time on my mission, actually - in Soldotna they had 
 two organists (apparently super rare for Alaska) and then here we have one and they only 
last week found out I play.

Keeping commitments is really important. With the new year here, it's exciting to hear about everyone's resolutions - and the only way they are actually going to work is if you hold 
yourself accountable! So find a way to hold yourself accountable - whether it be writing it
down, telling a friend, or getting an app to remind you every day, that follow up will be what keeps you on track. Why do you think we take the sacrament every single week to renew 
our baptismal covenant? It is that accountability that helps keep us on track! And, as the 
new youth theme says, if we "press forward with a steadfastness in shall have 
eternal life." I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me!

Much love and blessings from Alaska,

Sister Rollins

The Palmer district!  The ones who didn't have snowshoes decided to sit down for the picture rather than sink through 3 feet of snow

Me and the comp