Familia!! como estas??
Just kidding, don't answer that in Spanish! :)
So, my first week in Show Low! At about 8:00 tonight I will have been here for exactly a week. Crazy. Most of our first week was calling ward members and leaders to meet with them and find out about the wards. There is a lot of work going on here! The bishoprics are nice and the stake just finished a 40-day fast for missionary work, and they seem very missionary oriented! They have systems set up to work out splits and dinners.. of course we need to rearrange it some, with the two wards, and with the fact that we're sisters :) But I'm excited!
What is crazy is that our wards are a bit far apart. They did it so the wards we and the other sisters cover wouldn't meet at the same time and we could go to the meetings. go to lds.org and look up the boundaries- Rainbow Lake Ward in Lakeside AZ, and Show Low 1st Ward in Show Low, AZ. In Rainbow Lake we are right next to the reservation! Technically it takes in a chunk of it, but it all belongs to the Fort Apache Branch, so I don't know why it's in our boundaries. A lot of the people in the Lakeside area live in houses that look like cabins to me! Super nice cabins, but in the middle of the woods with a wood stove and everything. And apparently in Show Low 1st, out in the boonies some people literally live in tents. I thought the trailers were bad enough!
The elders who used to cover 1st ward now just cover 2nd, so they are introducing us to a lot of people and helping us out a ton. They left us really good records and lists of people to see. The other elders.... they did okay. Some of the teaching records are completely blank on the back side! We have no personal information about the person or how they received what they were taught. But we'll get through, and make sure to leave awesome records for the next people!
On Sunday, we talked in the Rainbow Lake ward, and it was awesome! I prepared a talk, but was stressed about it and what I would say. But I know that the Holy Ghost would lead me in what to say when I got up- and it did! I just went up there and talked like an awesome person. I referred to my notes a few times, and stuck to my general outline, but I think I spoke powerfully because I followed the prompting of the Holy Ghost. It is a great feeling! That evening we spoke at a youth fireside for the Show Low 1st ward, in the first counselor's home. There were 15 to 20 youth there I'm guessing, and that went great too. We were driving there and I said to Sister Knight, "Now what are we supposed to do here again?" We talked about why we came on missions and how we prepared for them, and how they can be missionaries now by being friends with everyone. I tried to involve the youth and keep them interested- and awake! You know, drama in high school was a blessing, because now I know how to fake it til you make it. Which is all a mission is: doing things you don't know how to do, but relying on the Lord to get you through. And He does!!
Yesterday we met at the Rainbow Lake Building- I think it's the stake center for the stake I'm in, Pinetop-Lakeside stake- for the mission tour! Elder Teh of the Seventy was there, along with President and Sister Sweeney and the Stake President, President Shumway, although he could only stay for a little bit. Show Low Zone, Snowflake Zone, and Payson Zone all met for it. They are doing it again today and tomorrow for the other zones. We all got to shake Elder Teh's hand, and he and the others spoke to us. It ended at about three, after starting a bit before 10 with a lunch in the middle. After, President Sweeney came up to me and said Elder Teh wanted to meet with me! There were six of us he wanted to meet with after, including Sister Hubmann and Sister Sanchez over in Snowflake. He asked about my family and life, and asked if I had any questions for him. I told him there are always questions I could ask! but I didn't ask any. He then spoke to me for a minute or two, and gave me some advice. It was pretty cool! He took my picture, and said he would send it to your email, Mom, so you would know I'm still alive :) So you'll have to let me know if you get it!
I got to see a bunch of people I know at the tour yesterday, since I've been in both of the other zones :) Sister Hubmann, Sister Crowther, and Sister Rasmussen all come up to me and soon as we walked in the chapel and gave me big hugs, and totally made me cry. I miss them all, and they miss me too! But Maybe I'll see them at Walmart today :)
Being on a mission is the hardest thing I have ever done. But it is rewarding. I know it may not seem the best right now, but I know I have things to look forward to in the future. Sean in Taylor is due to get baptized on the 9th of November and President said I could go! That will be amazing! I'm so excited. And I'm excited to get the work moving around here too!!!
Thanks for all your support and love- I couldn't do it without you!!!
Love, Sister Brownor, as you guys know me, Hailey :)
picture-- me and my companion, Sister knight
Mom’s questions:is your area much different than it was in taylor? how many wards do you cover? are there any elders there? what is your apartment like?
the area feels a lot different and a lot the same at the same time- there are sure a lot more trees, especially pine trees! I'm definitely in a forest up here, not a ton of farmland to be seen, but there's still some! We cover two wards- and there are a lot of elders around here! I'm not sure how many, but I heard there are 7 companionships in our district- 14 missionaries! and only six of us are sisters. there are a lot of missionaries in the area! Our apartment is pretty nice, now that they fridge and washing machine are working :) We live on the second floor, and each companionship has it's own bathroom. I'll try to send some pictures when I get a chance!!