Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30, 2016
Drinking and driving or smoking and biking?

Quote of the week: "Friendship is the best kind of ship!"

Happy Memorial Day! This holiday means a lot more to me now that I know people in the army.
Thanks to everyone who serves, without that I may not be able to share the message of Christ 
with those around me.

It's been a week of ups and downs, peaks and troughs, hills and valleys. Bad things happen 
and then good things happen. The army loses your stuff and then finds your stuff, you think 
people won't come but then they show up 30 minutes late to their lesson, you don't seem to
talk to anyone all week but then everybody shows up at church!

Last Monday we put zero miles on our truck because we carpooled during our preparation 
activities and then walked the rest of the night!  Exciting stuff. The bummer thing about walking 
in Fairbanks is the only people you see/could possibly talk to are loud, yelling teenagers... But 
it's okay, because the Lord still sees you walking and blesses you.

Sister McGraw got sick again, which was a huge bummer for her. But never fear, general 
population of the world, for she's almost back to full health already! It was a scary flashback for 
her, since last time her cough lasted more than the five weeks I was with her, but within
the week she's almost gotten back to normal, just an occasional cough.

People are progressing! Cynthia and Demare (I still don't actually know how to spell his name...
 Apparently sometimes he goes by Kendrick?) are awesome! We met with Cynthia on Thursday,
 and she is so incredibly spiritual. She's excited to prepare for her baptism on the 26th of this 
month! She is such an example to me of just having faith in God, no matter what life throws at 

Oh, this other random girl we talked to just when she was sitting on her front porch called us 
Saturday and asked us if she could come to church Sunday... Uh, yes. Definitely. Feel free to 
come. Please do, actually. She came and loved it! We'll teach her on Saturday.

Exchanges were on Wednesday, so Sister Larcom and I had a blast! Picture included below. 
(Side note: I don't wear glasses most of the time, I just ran out of contact lens solution this week.)

Okay choose the right! "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a power to be reckoned with in the 
universe and in individual lives." That is a fact. This week has been an opportunity for us to 
learn that. I'm not the best at expressing how important the Gospel is, but seriously, it's the best 
and most important thing I have in my life. Christ really did die for my sins, and I can be 
forgiven. I've definitely felt that this week.

Don't smoke and bike!

Sister Rollins

Mosquitos here really are huge.
Last week Sister Strong joined the long list of missionaries that have licked the North Pole (I didn't get pictures when I did it, but it definitely happened)

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 23, 2016
And it came to pass

It's finally really spring here! Yay Alaska... But the choke cherry trees are exploding and the 
pollen count is ridiculous.

Yesterday was an exciting Sabbath! Both Sister McGraw and I took up all of sacrament 
meeting in the YSA branch with our talks, she went 10 minutes and I took 25. It went well, I 
talked about accepting the Lord's directions in our lives as He directs us through the
scriptures, personal revelation, patriarchal blessings and parents/leaders. Basically a talk on 
humility. Then we busted it over to a part member family's house and invited them to church...
 They were about to walk out the door and take a walk, but instead they came to church! She 
isn't a member, and she really liked it! They had to leave after two hours because her 1 year 
old was really fussy, but she was actually disappointed she couldn't stay, so that was really

Then during the third hour of church, two random people walked in and wanted to know more. 
And who knows how to teach nonmembers? Well, the missionaries of course! So we taught 
Cynthia and Dmari the first lesson and they want to know more! Some members kindly invited 
themover for dinner Thursday, we're excited. They're so cool!

Then we got stuck in some conversations and couldn't leave the church for almost an hour... 
Just as we were pulling out the other set of sisters pulled up and had been praying for us not 
to leave! They needed us to unlock some things, so that was cool. Prayer works!
Otherwise we've been very busy with lots of appointments, teaching members and 
non-members alike. Our dinners keep cancelling, but lots of other people keep telling them to 
call us last minute, so we get fed Thai food that's disappointingly mild (because Alaskans don't 
do spicy) but still delicious and have leftovers for days!

We've also been trying to walk everywhere, which is a little difficult because of the lack of 
walking in general by the people of Fairbanks... But it's really fun!

Something we saw as we were walking to a lesson: from what we can tell, this plant literally did 
grow up through the blacktop. Please take a moment to appreciate this truly Alaskan plant - it 
survived the 
winter, so the blacktop is no problem.

Time is short!  Just like most of my companions.  Be humble, humility really does change people’s perceptions of you.  Not that I’m humble, I’m very proud.

Okay, I’ll stop saying weird things.  Have a lovely week!  Tell someone you love them.

Sister Rollins

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ward Mission Leaders, a Wedding, and Wasps!
May 16, 2016

Wasps have infested Alaska. Don't worry, my district leader sucks them up with a vacuum.

Wedding! So we picked up an investigator and his girlfriend when the elders left two weeks 
ago, and he's doing pretty well. We go over to their house on Friday, and they tell us they've 
decided to get married! Yay! In two days! Yay! We baked them some Ghirardelli brownies 
(thanks, Mom!) and spread some frosting on top to make it look cake-ish.

The traditional cake shoving!  Happiness and blessings.  I think this is the first wedding
 I've been to that wasn't for someone related to me.  Weddings are actually pretty cool.

This is my by the Click Day door (every time you hit another month on your on your mission, you click forward to the next month) at my twelfth click day, which I hit last Friday.

I just wanted to take a moment to acknowlege how thankful I am for all of my wonderful ward mission leaders.  The ones right now are really good!  Jeramia is our branch mission leader for YSA, and Brother Baksis is ours for 2nd ward.  Well, what does a ward mission leader do, you might ask!  Coordinate the missionary work between us and the members!  Basically motivate everyone in the ward to do missionary work and help us know what to do.  Jeramia's a lieutenant in the army, so he's already got the motivational part down.  And Brother Baksis is the best complimenter I know, so he's got the motivation that way.  Both are awesome people.  They set up lessons for us and get members to lessons and just are in general amazing.  So go contact your local ward mission leader today and tell them you want to do missionary work!

This is super scattered, just like my week has been!

Don't do drugs!  Or eat the yellow snow.  Or the brown snow, that's pretty much all that's left.

Sister Rollins

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016
Miracles and a guitar

Me and Kathryn, the dearest gem from New Zealand we could find. She'll
get baptized one day...

Sisters Rose and McGraw arrived safely in Fairbanks! And they got a
picture by the "Welcome to Fairbanks" door in our apartment.

Awesome people pictured above: Gram, Andrena, Sister Christian and me.
Andrena recently obtained a motorcycle and is planning on welding
Gram's wheelchair on the side to create a sidecar for enjoyment for
all. Also Billy the dog will get to ride in his doggy backpack.
So what do you get when you put Sister McGraw and Sister Rollins back together? 
MIRACLES, that's what. For days.

Sister Christian said goodbye to everyone, it was sad. But again, people didn't cancel because 
they couldn't reschedule, so that worked out great. It's funny how when you have a real 
deadline people actually do things. So create deadlines for yourselves, people. Hey, that kind 
of sounds like setting goals... :) also a useful thing.

One cool miracle happened on Saturday! Our ward mission leader told us to go follow up with 
a Book of Mormon that had been given up, so we go for a visit and no one was home. Well, 
let's try their neighbors!  Unfortunately, we quickly discovered the elders had tracted that
street the week before. So... Let's start walking. We haven't walked too far before someone 
from the stake presidency pulls up beside us in his truck. He points to a house, tells us 
Michelle lives there and we need to go visit her right now. So we did! And she's home and
available and wants us to come back. So that was really exciting. Sometimes when you don't 
know what to do, the Lord sends a sledgehammer. Thanks.

The structure of the wards I'm serving in are currently in flux with a new branch president of the 
YSA and lots of people traveling, so we're following the Spirit a lot. It's a good, humbling time.

Charity is the pure love of Christ. I heard one of the best talks I've ever heard on Sunday, and 
the speaker said that instead of writing several iterations of the talk to give in order to prepare, 
he decided to focus on loving the people who were going to be there to be there and the people 
in the ward. That love for people makes all the difference. When you talk to people this week,  
listen to what they mean instead of what they're saying. Tell them you love them, and don't judge 
them. Definitely going to be working on that this week.

I love you all!

Sister Rollins

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 2, 2016
Sister McGraw Part II!
Sorry for the blurry picture, but this is the Hulls and they are the cutest ever!  And they feed us imitation Cafe Rio and it's delicious.

Sister Christian has a nice camera and someone got us at a moment last preparation day that describes our relationship perfectly, since we're both extremely awkward.  But we like each other.  We're just awkward.  But we like each other.  We're just awkward, non-touchy people.  Exhibit H.

The Sisters of Fairbanks, together one last time!  Sad to be seeing Sister Christian and Sister Ouderkirk leave  :(

Wow, after a blast of 3 months, the great dream team of Sister Christian and Sister Rollins will 
be breaking up. Boo hoo, many tears, &c. Condolences and Chick-fil-A sauce should be sent 
to 3250 Strawberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502. No donations accepted.

The weird news is that Sister McGraw is going to be my companion--again! Woot woot! It 
happens a lot in Alaska since we have very few sisters, but it was still a surprise! A good one 
of course.  I'm excited to be with her when she's not sick!

This week has been crazy, since Sister Christian has been here 6 months and loves a lot of 
people. People don't cancel since they can't reschedule, so that's nice.

This week has also been crazy because the elders are being taken out of the 2nd ward, which 
means now we'll be covering two whole areas! 
Yay. So it's been fun to coordinate picking up all of the people they're teaching. Luckily, due to 
a random prompting I had to go visit some of them, I've met most of them. It's like God knew 
or something...

We helped build a church, went to the Foodbank, ate lots of desserts, walked around 
downtown Fairbanks because there's actually people there, and tried to find new people to 
teach but to no avail, because God knew we were going to have to teach all these other 
unexpected people.

God has a plan for us! It was seriously a shock to me both my companion and the fact that 
they were taking the elders out, but the more I think about it the more this past transfer helped 
it all make for a really exciting next transfer. The Lord is really good at making sure the areas 
and the people are prepared for all of the things that need to happen to make them grow! It's 
been such a testimony to me that the big Man Upstairs really is watching out for all of us.

Go read Helaman 4! It's all about how we need to do things the Lord's way, not our way. 
Because He knows what's up.

Remember every day that God loves you enough that He sent His Son for you, to die on the 
cross and suffer in the Garden. He loves you so much that He has provided a way for you to 
be saved, and not just saved to be by yourself, but that you can be with the ones you love
forever. He wants to be there for you every single day, through every single trial and for every 
event, big and small. #hallelujah

Okay love you guys!

Sister Rollins