Hello hello everyone!
It has been crazy that last couple of days! I was in the Emergency Room all day Saturday with a roommate (you heard that story, everything is okay now), Sunday was running around trying to get ready to go, and 4:30 Monday morning we were off the airport! After we landed in Phoenix and got everyone together, we went to the Mesa Temple Visitor's Center and learned about each other, and waited for the other flight to meet us there. We took pictures with the Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Sweeney. They have only been here for a few weeks so we are all brand new! Except for the missionaries who used to be in the Mesa mission, of course.
After seeing the temple, we went to the stake center that is next to the mission office and mission home and had lots of meetings and a yummy lunch! Then we had to get an overnight bag together and we were assigned to go out with a companionship in the area and stay with them for the night- because the mission home can't hold all 29 new missionaries that came in. I got Sister Rasmussen and Sister Perreira, both from Oregon and serving in a ward in Scottsdale. We went to a little fast food Mexican place for dinner, then Sister Rasmussen went with a member to teach a lesson to new converts and I went with Sister Perreira to teach the Plan of Salvation to a member home. The dad is Finnish and the mother Korean and a convert, so it is a neat family! Four kids, ages 15 to 7, and they sure got antsy. I think I did okay, even though I was quiet most of the time :) I love that family and would love to see them again. Too bad that isn't my area....
But we're not to that part yet! After that we visited a struggling investigator, just outside his door for a few minutes, then headed back to the apartment- which was super nice, two bedroom two bathrooms but only holding one set of missionaries, and they have a gym and a pool in their complex (never mind that they can't go swimming)- and went straight to sleep.
Next morning, we did some study and stuff, Sister Rasmussen had to pack because she was transferring, then we met up at the church again. It was fun to reconnect with my MTC district for a little bit, share what we did and all. Then a few more meetings..... and finally companion and area assignments! My trainer is Sister McCashland from Idaho, and she's only been out six weeks but she already knows so much about the area. Which is.... drumroll please!..... Snowflake and Taylor! Mostly Taylor, which is a little town a few minutes south of Snowflake, but we have a YSA branch that covers both areas. I'm so excited to be here!!! It is so much cooler than the valley, and it seems like it could be Utah! In the valley there is a cactus and a palm tree every which way you look- when we stepped out of the airport, it felt like a mix of Mexico, Hawaii and Utah because of the heat and the humidity- it is monsoon season! Lots of rain and some crazy flooding, but they have dips in the golf courses and such to make impromptu takes and canals to keep the roads from flooding- mostly. I haven't been in any rain or seen any flooded roads, but they have caution signs up in Scottsdale, and we saw rain clouds and rain in the distance on the drive yesterday. The three hour drive. and we didn't leave until 6:00, because everyone is new and the Vehicle Coordinator was being bombarded with people needing cars, bikes, and driving tests. My comp had to take a test to drive because she has only been out for six weeks, and then we had to get a sister who is living with us a bike for her area. Sister (Hermana) Wadsworth, who needed the bike, is a Visa waiter from Idaho headed to Argentina (I think), and her companion is.... Sister Rasmussen! My day trainer! The four of us live in a two bedroom, ONE bathroom duplex, with elders next door. And Elders lived in our place for years, and it is pretty beat up- we have a standing shower and a bath shower in the bathroom, but guess who broke the standing shower? Elders. It will be an adjustment, and will take time figuring out a showering schedule, but we'll make do.
Last night we also had another pair of sisters follow us here in their car, but we couldn't find their place at 10:30 last night so they stayed in our living room. They are "zebra" sisters! Sister Jones is from Tennessee and was in my zone in the MTC, and Hermana Sanchez is from Spain! her accent is super thick, but she's super nice and awesome. They were able to find their place this morning, and I hope everything works out for them, working both Spanish and English! that would be so hard, but so amazing!
We're headed out to the local grocery store after this to get food. We stopped in Payson at Walmart for a few minutes to get cereal and milk for this morning, but the nearest walmart to us is in Show Low, about 20 miles away and out of our area. We can only go there if a member will take us, but the store here apparently only has food. So I guess we'll see what happens!
I love you all very much!! I can't wait to hear back from you, and get your reactions! I miss you all, and I loved hearing your voices on Monday morning. Be good!
I'll try to send a letter later today with anything I may have forgotten. I love you a bajillion!
Love, Sister Brown :)
ps- we get to go the temple every other transfer, so next transfer I can go! Hopefully I'll still be here so I can go to the Snowflake Temple! Yay!