Thursday, March 28, 2013

Week 7

GREETINGS from New York!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I made it. finally.  NYRM ... New York Rochester Mission... aka (me and my comp came up with this today... Not Your Regular Mission).. I'll get to that in a sec.

So I finished VC Training.  It was seriously so good.  Saturday night we went to Temple Square where we were legit missionaries.  I was terrified.  We awkwardly chased down a Peruvian family so I could practice Spanish... Well, lets just say it was interesting.  But actually I asked him to talk slower I understood and we had a nice conversation and I was able to bear my testimony to him.  So neat.  I already love being a missionary.  And I saw John and Jill!!!!!!  I was super shocked to see them but it was super neat.  So glad I got to tell them hi!  And I cannot believe Sam was there and I didn’t see him...  what are the odds?  But maybe it’s for the best... no sé. 

So Monday morning I woke up at 2:30 am and we hit up the airport.  All million of us missionaries... they totally take our luggage in a semi.  I was cracking up.  Talking on the phone was the best thing ever!!  To my favorite ppl!!!   sorry I missed ya boys-- I love you mucho!!!!  After a long flight we had a layover in Michigan and then our second flight got delayed so we sat on the runway for over two hours.  party.  But I talked to a nice Jewish guy (he had absolutely no interest in the church) and it was super cool.  go team.

We finally got in Rochester and went back to the Mission home for dinner/meetings/whatever.  LATE NIGHT.  Oh my goodness.... there were 20 of us who just came in... Which is the biggest number they’ve ever had (elders and sisters) and so everything just took way longer than normal.  My 1st interview with my mission president was at 12:30 am in my PJ's.... *(Yes, I like to be classy).  (also don’t worry mom... everyone was in their pjs... I wasn’t the only outcast.... well the pres wasn’t in his... but anyways)  So I LOVE Pres and sister Christianson.  On my goodness.  They are seriously the best ever.  Pres C. is seriously the most inspiring person I have ever met.  Every time he talks I am just overcome with the Spirit and the desire to be the best I can be.  I have never met anybody so loving and powerful.  They are so great.

So I live in the WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!  Really. It’s called the white house... (cause its a a big white house).  6 of us live there.  Its huge.  Huge room. Huge walk in closet... huge everything.  I'm in love.  A huge lawn, picnic table... just this adorable little east coast home.  I love the area.  Everything is old and so full of history.  I feel like I'm living in the past... if that makes any sense at all.  My companion is SISTER JONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Davis and Jones.... always together!   I seriously cracked up when he told me that I would be with a Jones... anyways.  She is AWESOME!   I can tell we're going to be super close.  She is from Austin TX and goes to BYU... exercise science major.  She is so great.  In our few days together we are already super tight.  Speaking of which, her grandpa (who she is really close to) died last night and its been really hard.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers. This is the 4th death on my mission of somebody really close to my comp/roomie... I am just so grateful for the Gospel and the knowledge that we can be with our families forever.  It is such a comfort and blessing.  I am learning how to be a girl and comfort others.  If my mission were to end today I would be satisfied because of what a girl at the MTC told me... I helped her out a lot when her cousin died (also super good friends... he commit suicide... terrible story).  But she told me the kindest things and just how grateful she was for me and my help.  She told me how I changed her life and what an example I am to her.  It seriously was so humbling and kind hearing that because I feel like I usually don’t really know how to comfort people and cry and all those other good motherly skills.  But I'm learning and hope to continue developing pure love and kindness for others.

On a more positive note.... So I live in Palmyra.  In the Marion village....   Everything here is called a village (weird... I thought Indians lived in villages in huts... shows my ignorance).  We do half proselyting, half VC.  We work at all the sites... the grandiin bldg, J.S. home/farm, Peter Whitmer Farm, and Hill Cumorah.  super neat.  It is crazy cause we have to do all the normal stuff and have the same types of numbers but we only have half the time.  Also, this area is kinda Mormon haters.... very slow for missionary work.  Challenge Accepted.  Watch out Rochester, Addi is here.

So I  have never been so busy in my life.... March 26 (aka the first full day I got here) was the 183 birthday for the first printing of the BoM.  So there was a huge open house/celebration thing that I was assigned to give tours for... awkward since I really don’t know anything.... I got to go on the tour once and then I had to give one.  Thank goodness this night was kinda different and so there were actors at the different locations and I didn’t have to say a ton.... but I'll learn.  They just gave the new chicas 4 text books (with the history for each site).  Lots of studying.. Speaking of studying... holy moly.  I have a lot.  So for the first 12 weeks of a mission they have the "12 week program" which means we have comp study for two hours a day.;... and so those 2 hours... and then 1 hour of personal study, and then 1 hour of site study, and then 1 hour of language study, and then one for Pageant training... aka 6 hours of study.... awkward.  Nobody has this kinda time... we're trying to figure out how to work it.  We're thinking down time at VC we can study.  Hopefully it works out.

So there isn’t much Spanish here.  My comp isn’t Spanish... none of the other 5 girls in the house are *except one girl is from Italy and she is adorable ).  Really I'll only get to use it for the pageant this summer.... when they need a lot for Spanish tours.  So I don’t really have anyone to practice on... i just get my own study.  wish ,me luck.  I need to be fluent by June.

Okay so something neat.... I have been called as the Hill Cumorah site trainer... honestly I don’t really know what that is yet, but I'll find out more soon.  Basically, for the pageant they focus on missionary work,.  So the cast is trained by 6 of us sisters how to do missionary work.  Three new pageant ppl, and then out 3 trainers.  So next summer (2014) for the pageant us three will be the main trainers and we will train 3 new sisters... does that make sense?  It’s a big deal... so they tell me.  And apparently quite the honor.  President told me in an interview that he knew he needed me to teach before he got my name or picture.  Cool stuff.   I just feel so blessed.   Its a constant reminder that this is exactly where I need to be right now.  (I just accidently bumped something on the keyboard and now everything is italicized...   awkward... never mind its normal again...) I will get to teach a bunch of members the power of missionary work and be a main contributor of that for the pageant.  Heavenly Father is always watching over me.  It should be good. 
Well, I’m out of time.

Love you all so much.  This is crazy busy... so much for missionaries going to bed at 1030.... we haven’t even got home from out sites till after then and then we have planning and a bunch of other stuff... but its so great.  I LOVE IT.  I’m doing super good and all is well.

My p-day is typically Thursday, but do to different site stuff, its subject to change occasionally.  Keep sending mail to the mission office,. The office the forwards it immediately to my mailbox.  But it cant forward on fedex/ups stuff.... just normal post office stuff please!

love you!!! 
Hermana D

ps... Every morning we go to the stake center right by our house at 6am to do Jillian Michaels shred it workout.  Awesome.  I’m sore.  but its seriously great.  and soon we can run because it will get warmer.  PS, I am freezing,. The past few days everyone is super stoked because apparently the weather is the warmest its been since October.... its colder than Provo ever was... and its the warmest here... ahhhhhh.   Bring on the cold I guess.  ps again, I think I forgot to tell you... I’m right by the sacred grove/temple... like I see it from my house.  Not too shabby.  Seriously I’m so lucky.

okay no more time. love me

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 6!

Sup fambam.  So this week I started Visitor Center training!! what what.  Not gonna lie... VC often have a bad connotation... I've heard a few times at the MTC that we aren’t real missionaries... yes, I want to slap the ppl who tell me that.  (I didn’t...yet)  anyways, now that we have started training and I am actually learning what we do I am stoked.  This is going to be an amazing opportunity and I feel so blessed.  We do a lot of online missionary work (emails, chat, etc.... at first I wasn’t super into that because I wan  to actually meet the ppl I’m teaching, but I’ve already had amazing experiences with it.  Seriously, the world is our field.  Yesterday I taught real ppl from Germany, Netherlands, Texas, and New Jersey.  And it’s amazing how the Spirit and a testimony can be conveyed through the computer.  It's crazy how it works, but it does.  Thousands of baptisms happen every week strictly from online missionary work.. cool stuff.

So VC training = new class, new peeps... I'm still with my comp and the other two girls that I’ve been with, but everyone else is new (all girls since elders don’t got to VC's).  Ummmm, the girls have "sweet spirits".  It’s definitely teaching me SO MUCH patience.  I don't really know what else I can say about them... but I think its safe to say that I pray for love about a million times a day.  Yeah.....

So leaving our district/zone was so hard.  I love them a lot.  Most of our elders have their visas... a few are off to Mexico, there’s just a few more chilling here.  Also, my zone is really freaking out that I'm leaving because they no longer have a pianist... did I ever tell you I am pianist??  Go ahead and laugh for ten minutes.  Yep.... branch 44 pianist.  Its a calling.  Go me.  My life goal.  But nobody else in our whole zone can play and no new districts will be here for a few more weeks and so they are wondering how they will play the piano in church.. a capella I guess.... but like seriously... are we not Mormon??? Nobody else plays?  Weird.

Oh dad, thanks for all of your interesting packages!  The in-n-out shirt was expressed mailed.... the post office was freaking out that I didn’t pick it up asap... like I had to sign for it and it was super intense and they sent me 5 notifications in one day to come get it... basically I was terrified because I didn’t know what it was and they kept telling me there was something vital I needed.... I finally get to the mail room and open it and its an in-and-out shirt.  Everyone cracked up forever.  viva California.  I tried to take a pic in it to send you, but I didn’t.... well it got erased.  A very kind hermana told me that "you look hideous."  Thanks sister... always knowing how to make my day!  I replied... ".. its just fro my dad. he loves me no matter what."  And she said," not after he sees this pic..."  and then she legit erased it.  She told me to never look like that again!... the sad thing- that’s pretty much how I look all them time.  awkward.  Normal smile, normal hair, normal makeup.... but apparently its a hideous look.  And she wasn’t kidding.  whatever... haters gonna hate. And I enjoy my extra hour of sleep every morning... yes she wakes up at 530 to get ready.  whatever floats your boat.... the point of the story... I think I'm getting more unfortunate looking.  Please still love me.      ALSO, thanks for the bandana/Indian tribes.... everyday at lunch we study different American Indian tribes.  I'm learning quite a bit from the little postcard.  who knew?

So I'm teaching the sisters how to have fun.  The girls residence at night is the most boring place ever.  It saddens my heart.  So I constructed a basketball hoop out of hangers and yarn.... I invent games like b-ball/ Inca ball game (think the road to el dorado when they play the game with the ball and have to get it though that little hoop).  Its quite a fun game.... well one day I dunked and it kinda broke... so it turned into a dream catcher.... and then yesterday I added confetti and a huge punching balloon to it and now its kinda like a disco ball.  I don’t know why I’m telling you this.  oh well.

Also, thanks SO MUCH for everyone who sent packages this week.... Can you thank some of them for me momma....  John & Jill/their family, Kimara and Ashlyn Parkinson, Sam, Grandpa/G-ma Armstrong, Deeanna, Jarmans, and anybody else who I cant think of at this exact moment if I forgot anyone.;...  THANK YOU!!!!  Everyone is so kind and supportive and I am so grateful for all of you.  Really.  Everyone does such a good job at making me feel loved and rememberd!!  and obviously thanks momma for all of your packages.... ps... everyone sends me mints... which everyone jokes that ppl must think i have terrible breath... but I love the mints. 

Okay dad, I read your letter to my comp because I was literally crying I was laughing so hard (the one where you are venting at the Riverside place for the house add-ions).  I haven’t laughed that long in a LONG TIME.  You win.  And I think I legit scared my comp when I read the Nazi/Russian parts.... some people just don’t understand our humor.  I feel bad for them because we're quite funny.... and then HARRISON... ahhh you wrote me!!!   I almost cried!  You are just too sweet.  A beautiful letter is coming for you!  I would just like to point out that you caved in first.  I win (like always).  I ready your letter out loud too.... its safe to say that between you and dads letters, everyone is scared of me now.  oh well.  i thoroughly enjoyed it.
Brandon!!!  I'm so sorry about your leg!  You always have to get hurt in b-ball season.  without fail.  Enjoy ppl serving you in your time of immobility!    I'm praying you heal fast so you can get back before championships!!!!!

okay, well I'm outa time.  love you all.  no clue when I'll write again... but when I do I'll be in NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!  holla!!!!!!  I leave super early Monday morning.... ps, I legit have like zero time to talk... Nicole i cant tell if you were serious when you said "even if its only for 30 minutes..."  I don’t even have that much time total.... yeah.... I'll figure it out though....
Anyways, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Over and out from el CCM

love sista D

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week 5

SUP!  Time is flying... I can’t even remember the week right now... 5 done, I think?  No se.

SO LIFE IS GREAT!!  Why you ask?  Because of Saturday..... Saturday was beautiful because STRAWBERRIES CAME!!!  yayyyy!!!!  Who knew that strawberries could make me so happy?  And you know how sometimes you don't expect them to taste very good... well this was the case when they appeared for the first time at lunch on Saturday.... but they ended up being the best strawberries I have ever had in my entire life.  Honestly.  Except it is kinda sad cause that’s the only meal we got them for (haven’t had them since) but its probably because they are in a deficit now... honestly.  Me and every other missionary probs had 20 each.  Strawberries and pineapple for lunch.. Whats better?   The main reason I'm so excited is because this means spring is amost here!!!!  Sunday on our temple walk I didn’t have to wear a jacket... sun = happy Addi.  We just sat on the grassy hill and soaked up the rays and life was good!!  ME ENCANTA PRIMAVERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So much.  And I will most definitely not take this beautiful weather for granted because.... So an elder in our district: his aunt lives in Rochester.... she is pretty weird and sends him really weird letters... this week she decided to send him the Rochester newspaper... no clue why.  Anyways, there was a weather forecast, so he gave it to me... and I'm heading back into 20 degree, snowy weather.  Yay.   I may actually miss Utah??  Never thought I'd say that...

Other good part about spring:  we get to be outside for gym... still in the MTC campus, but its so nice being outdoors!  Me and my comp run around the MTC and she is a cross country/track star... seriously amazing.... she ran in college.... And I feel bad slowing her down with my lack of running skills, so I just die and try to keep up... It’s super good for me, but its also death.  Maybe I can become a runner out of this?  Probs not.  She's seriously a huge inspiration.

Okay so story... MOST UNLUCKY MAIL WEEK EVER!!!!  My new roomie (Sista SlimJim) is a clepto.  but seriously.  She stole my letters.  I'm not even kidding.  I left letters on my bed to send after lunch a few days ago, and I get back to the room to hurry and mail them and they aren’t there.... I seriously SEARCH the room, tear apart my bed, look EVERYWHERE... they are nowhere to be found.  I figure I must have brought them with me somewhere and then lost them.  I was SO SAD!!!!!  Well a few days pass and I walk back into the room one day and there are all the letters sitting on my bed... weird.  So I ask the other sisters in the room if they know anything about this little phenomenon, and they all deny it.... okay, whatever... at least I got them back... I wont question it... WELL.... the clepto's comp comes up to me later and says that the letters have been in ladron (theif's) purse for the past few days....  and then they just left (they were English speaking so were only in the MTC for 12 days) and Sister SlimJim realized she had no need for them so she returned them.... weird.  Some ppl just take pleasure in stealing letters I guess....  SO my letters that I wrote were MIA, and then the other unfortunate part:  I didn't get any letters.... apparently the mail room hates me too.  I figured "hey I just didn’t get mail this week... esta bien.... letters are for the weak.... blah blah blah....."  And as the rest of my district read their letters I read the scriptures!!!!!!!  yayyyy!!!  Well last night they all came finally... (I kinda think Sista SlimJim was volunteering in the mailroom and hiding them... real talk)  I guess its kinda cool, because  I now hold the new record for getting the most letters in one sitting!!  Thanks team, for helping me win.  And thanks for loving me.  And thanks for being my friend.  Except harry, because you wont tell me anything.  MORAL of the story:  Some ppl just take joy in stealing letters, and therefore we should hide them.  I learned my lesson.  Our new roomies arrive today... hopefully they don't have weird clepto habits as well.

Other news... I still don’t know my plan.... neither do the elders in our district.  They are technically supposed to head out for Mexico Monday morning, but none of them have travel plans and they are waiting on their visas... usually they just get reassigned, but they were told that they aren’t doing that for them.... so we're all super in the dark... I start V.C. training next week... possibly Monday, but I have no clue.  And next week I'll have a new schedule and stuff so I have clue when my next p-day will be.... so I guess you'll here from me someday.... or maybe just when I get to NY.... no se.   But keep your phones ready for when I call you from the airport!!!!!!!!!

So each week there are more and more girls.... it's seriously amazing.  We have RS each Sunday in the main gym thing, and my 1st week here we didn’t even fill up the front ground section.... this past week we filled up the entire ground and the entire bleachers behind it.  Seriously insane.  Also with more girls= more "Barbie girls"  ya know what I mean by this??  I mean, I'm sure they are nice and have strong testimony and all this stuff.... but not gonna lie... they look really slutty and I'm surprised that they don't get in trouble.  I passed a girl balling yesterday.... wanna know why??  cause she just found out you cant get spray tans/go to a tanning bed on your mission.  Poor thing.  My heart is just aching for her in this difficult time. 

BACHELOR!!!  I liked Catherine.... I approve.

LOVE the air fresheners... thanks mom.  I switch off using it in the classroom and my bedroom.  Our classroom is one germ-invested hot mess that always reeks.  gross.  Everyone is sick and the germs just spread back and forth to everyone.  Somebody is always coughing/sniffling/something gross and we all just take turns every few days.  oh well.  ALSO, loved the vans box.. good call... I mean, I was super stoked cause I thought you sent me a new pair of vans, but everyone else was much happier with the air fresheners.  My district loves you momma.

Well, not much else going on.  I do the same thing all day everyday, so pretty much that's all i got to say.  Spirit is strong and I'm learning lots!  Its kinda scary that I'll be out teaching real ppl soon.... in Spanish.... ahhhh.  Wish me luck... Tambien:  Gracias for sus cartas en Espanol!  me encanta!  Y yo entiendi todos.... especialamente nicoles... buen hecho. Estoy aprendiendo gustar espanol!  LOCO!!  pero bien!

Anyways, I love you all!  have a fabulous week!!  Mom, feel free to drive by and wave!  enjoy your Utah time!  You're always in my prayers!  Keep me updated with grandma Davis please! 

love your favorite person ever

pic with 6 of us.... our new (now old cause they left)  roomies... short hair girl (that kinda looks asian on the far left) = slimjim clepto chick.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Week 4! (One month mark!)

HI!!!   Holy Moly... one month down.  It flew by but at the same time it literally feels like I have been here forever.   But if the 1st month went by this fast, then I know all the next ones will go by even faster.  Crazy.
So last Wednesday they finally gave us roommates... the girls are really sweet.... they are going to Idaho, English speaking so they are only here for 12 days.  Crazy.  They're cool but one of them is obsessed with slim jims... they bring her comfort.  Well we all know I have a sensitive nose... they smell TERRIBLE.  Like I really want to throw up all the time because the smell of nasty slim jim never leaves our room... and she bunks on top of me, and so she just throws the wrapper onto the floor when she finishes, and then I get to smell it by my head all night.  gross.  oh well.
So I really wish you could witness what goes down in the bathroom each night... like I would record but that would be really creepy.  Let's just say that is the only place in the world where you have an American Idol competition every night.  So annoying.  One girl starts singing in the shower and then everyone tries to outshine her... and it seriously gets intense... like sometimes I get nervous a cat fight is gonna break out. Real talk.  And we hear a combo of Sound of music harmonies, hymns, and Britney Spears... all the timeeeeee.  very entertaining.  always.  yeah.
Random note to BYU people... for all of you who walk into the CougarEat everyday and wonder how the heck Teriyaki Sticks is still in business... we have the MTC to thank for that... Usually we have "Friday night pizza night" here... with a million boxes of Papa Johns... I tried to do the math to figure out how much it must cost, but I got too lazy to finish... anyways, sometimes they take a break from pizza to do terriyaki stix.... they literally buy millions of dishes  (slight exaggeration) for us.  And it tastes just as bad here as it does anywhere else... you're welcome for sharing this cause I'm sure you were really curious.
So Sunday... it was Fast Sunday... I was slightly concerned that I would die of starvation because we have the last dinner shift (630)... and at home on fast Sunday you can take naps/watch movies/whatever to make the time go faster.... well here we have a classroom to study in to make it go by faster... and the hours that we would normally spend eating= extra time to study.  But actually it wasn’t bad at all and my fast went super well.  Yay!!  I didn't get your DearElder till Monday mom, but I did a fast for grandma... and some of my roomies did it too.  She is always in my thoughts and prayers,.  Please give her a big hug for me!  And keep me updated with her surgery on Friday!
Also, on Sunday, we had our temple walk... but it was raining... so everyone was wearing their raincoats... which for the most part are black... and everyone had their black umbrellas and it seriously looked like one huge funeral march.  I thought it was funny.... not sure if that really is funny, or I'm just losing sense of what is really funny since I’ve been in the MTC bubble for a month now. 
We have a new game... it's called if you speak in English you get slapped.  Like legit slapped hard in the face.  That said, SYL is getting a lot better (syl= speak your langauge).  It's definitely helping my Spanish!!    Luckily the first person to crack has always been an elder, so none of us hermanas have got slapped yet... hopefully it stays that way.
NICOLE::::  I need your new address.  thanks.
This Sunday is daylight savings.... which = less sleep... which means we pretty much have sac mtg. at 6:30 in the morning.  I really don’t think that should even be allowed.  Wish me luck.  And then our teacher made a joke about how we should just go to bed earlier... but they don’t let us go to bed early!!!  I JUST WANT A NAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Next summer I guess...
Do you know the Shallembuerger's (totally spelled that wrong)... Our Branch Presidency got changed this past Sunday and Brother S. is our new 1st counselor.  He has businesses in Hemet and Perris!   It's some energy thing... he said he spoke at the Hemet youth conference last year. He's a really cool guy.
So neat experience: A few days ago I was teaching Hermana hill and she was supposed to think of a reason to not be baptized... I started teaching her and then I just felt this overwhelming feeling to talk about faith.  It didn’t really have to do with the lesson at all, but I went with it anyways.  She started crying when I brought this up and said how it had nothing to do with her "reason" she made up for lesson purposes, but just what she needed to hear for her personal life.  It is so neat how the spirit is always with us and prompting us on what to do.  The spirit is everything here and I am so grateful for it's constant companionship.  I have a million tender mercies given to me every week.  Heavenly Father is blessing me so much.  And I am so thankful for the little reminders and neat experiences that I always receive.  It's seriously an amazing feeling. 
So Harry is dumb and forgets his parka at swim meets... maybe if you get hypothermia you'll lose some of your tan.  Just saying.  ALSO... mom says you and Brandon refuse to write unless you get personal letters... are you not getting my mail????????  I sent you both "personal letters".  Get over yourself and tell me about your life.
Thanks for the candy Brandon.  My district loves you. (So do I).  Also have fun on your field trip... good thing you care about taco bell and not science.... don't worry, I would totally be the same way.
Good luck in all your RS stuff this week mama!  You got it!!  You work harder than anybody I know, so it will all go great!  Wish I was there to help out!  I miss you tons!!!\\
Dad, out fireside last night was from a 70 member... I don’t remember how to say his name... he's from Brazil... it was super good and it was all about the different kingdoms... what you told me in that letter last week.  like d &c 76... I don’t know how, but you always are one step ahead of everything I learn here and keeping me prepared.  Thanks for sharing stuff with your bud. 
Anyways, I'm about out of time.  I love you tons.  thanks so much for sending all this stuff mom... I really appreciate it.  The post office probably has my address memorized.  I'll try not to forget things in the future!   I still don’t really know about leaving dates yet, but I'll keep you posted. And as far as sheets and blanket and whatnot... just don’t worry about it for now cause I have no clue.  But i'll keep you posted. 
Thanks so much!!!!  I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  First one I'm missing ever... wahhhhh.  okay this is all.
Te quiero,

MTC Pictures so far