Friday, May 10, 2013

12 Page Letter

Tues., April 30, 2013

I hope you got my emails & I hope they made sense.  Considering I have been sick since Thursday (more on that later). Yes, I got the backpack Monday, it was helpful, but I think that I will try to find a suitcase or something for when I go to Argentina, cuz total I was like 20 lbs. overweight. The letters & pictures made for great reading on the bus ride. Thanks for the pix of the quotes. I found a little notebook that I designated my ‘mission quotations’ where I am putting all the quotes you give me & I can cut & paste them in there.  That was funny that you were wearing the shirt that I was describing in the letter while you were reading it & the pix of the basement for SnowyBarn looks FANTASTIC! It turned out great, can’t even recognize it as the basement @ the office. It looks so different.  It is good to see the ward mission wall so full! And now you have pictures to put up by me.  But it is awesome to see it so full. I am excited to see mine & dad’s pictures (and anyone else’s who gets used) being put to good use.  It will be exciting to see when I get back.

Thanks for sending the stuff in backpack. I really appreciate it. As for what else to send, I have plenty of stamps for now. Sadly I have no idea where the lime green gloves would be/went. Sorry I found a robe so don’t worry about that and I have that microfiber wash cloth/hand towel so just the bath towel if you can find one.  Please don’t stress about it. I just think it would be less bulky & less weight than the one I have now. Like I mentioned in email don’t worry about the silver. But thanks anyway & I can find a watch up here @ Wal-Mart. And as for your camera comment, I think I will try & find a better one that is still somewhat inexpensive @ Wal-Mart. I bought an adapter also just in case. Cuz I was thinking, when I get home I am going to want to have good pictures of my mission for memories, right, not just okay blurry ones.

·         Okay now for adventures in Idaho
·         First of all the Bus ride…There were 25 of us leaving the MTC that morning – Idaho bound, reassignments & those who were called. Yea that’s a lot of people & A LOT of luggage. Well, this small bus pulls up – picture the ‘Fun Bus’ [Falatea’s] but big enough to fit 25 people. They start loading luggage & we all start to get on. Elder Peterson, Elder Stowell & I claimed the back of the bus cuz it’s awesome. HaHa – anyway when everybody is loaded, they are still loading luggage & the travel leader comes on & tells us that the luggage is not all going to fit, so we need to get off & get what we will need for the next 2 days out of our luggage & the rest will get Fed-Ex to us in Idaho…Ha yea we all thought it was a joke but he was dead serious…we were not happy…so he then told us to sit tight & he would figure something out. 

We all sat down & a little while later we see this small moving truck pull up. The Travel Leader comes back & says, okay we figured out what to do. He proceeds to tell us that what they plan on doing. He says that what luggage is left will go onto this truck & follow us to Salt Lake where we will switch to a larger bus to take us to Idaho. Already it was starting to be a great morning…I don’t think we left the MTC until 9 or 9:30 & the 3 from my district were already tired & impatient cuz we saw off the rest of our district at 5 that morning. So finally we were on the road, it was kind of weird finally leaving Provo & seeing 123rd & the Temples & Bluff & Jordan Commons & Rio Tinto (that was hard for me) & those from Salt Lake Valley pointing out the general area of where they live. But once we passed all that it was fine. We switched to a charter bus @ like 33rd South. We had a nice 10 min break to use the restroom & stretch while they moved over our luggage.
We all loaded & were pulling out when the bus stopped before getting to the exit & it didn’t move we sat there for probably a good 20 min or so when the little white moving truck pulled up.  It took them another 10 min to load the rest of the luggage & then we were finally on the road! Yay & I fell asleep for a little bit & when I woke up we were not on the freeway anymore but in Layton. I know this cuz Elder Peterson (from Layton) was flipping out, showing the places he would go & such. It was really funny though cuz we came up to a light & Elder Peterson freaked, he said ‘if this bus turns left…’well we did. Apparently where the bus decided to stop to let us find lunch was @ the mall where he worked…so while the others got food we took a trip to the mall to see where he worked & grab lunch @ the food court. The look of surrealism on his face during this time was priceless. HaHa well we made it back to the bus as everyone else was getting back. Some stopped by Seagull Book after they ate & one Elder bought 17 Miracles. So after we got back on the bus they started the movie & we were off. Recommend buying that movie, it is a great one! Well I made it through most of the movie before I fell asleep when I woke up we were in Pocatello or just entering Pocatello. It was probably 2 or 2:30 when we got to the mission home. But we made it. Before they let us off the bus, they gave us stickers to put on our luggage & told us to pack an overnight bag so they could load the rest of our luggage into a trailer for tomorrow when they would take us to our areas. After we did all that they had us go in & get our pictures taken, which is the one I think you got with Pres. & Sister Brinkerhoff.  And then we sat at tables that they set up everywhere (no joke kitchen, dining room, living room, and family room) and filled out forms & got a rundown orientation on money, driving etc. while Pres. Brinkerhoff took us out one at a time for interviews. After a little while they took us down stairs to give us all a welcome to Pocatello & a more in depth driving presentation. Then it was a small break while Pres. Brinkerhoff finished interviews (I was one of the last & he just chatted with me for a few minutes & gave me my check for food). The sisters who still had to be interviewed stayed & helped get everything ready for dinner (which was supposed to be lunch but we got there too late) while the elders went for a walk. Then it was time to eat, which I am guessing you will guess what we had…yup, POTATOES! HaHa – it was a baked potato bar which I was happy with because I missed having real potatoes in the MTC. After dinner it was back down stairs for a small gospel discussion and to find out where we were going & who our comps would be. Each of us got an envelope & we went around the circle opening them. Our running bet was that one of us was going to Blackfoot and that Hermana Clark would be there waiting. Well it got to Elder Peterson – he was going to Driggs. Elder Stowell was going to Rexburg & when I opened mine & saw where I was going…I just laughed and showed the paper to them which gave us all a good laugh…yep, I was going to Blackfoot South! Haha, I did all that before I told the group, so they were slightly confused about why we were laughing. Anyway, after all that was said & done we got room assignments for the night, some were staying in the mission home & everyone else was split up to stay in small groups with members. Me and two Hermana’s I know from the MTC got assigned to a house kiddy-corner to the mission home. They called it the “Sister Castle” it was way nice. The Sister had set up 3 beds with side tables; they had a lamp & water on each. She had two fully loaded bathrooms for us to use with mini combs, toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, Q Tips & anything else you could think of in baskets on the counter. We were spoiled. And the next morning she had different things spread out for breakfast. Yes, we were spoiled. We had to meet at the transfer point @ 7:20, where we met everyone who came up & those getting transferred or going home.

[Side story] I had the bubbles you gave me for Easter in the side pocket of my backpack & one of the Elders found them and got really excited. It was super funny. He asked if he could blow some, but couldn’t get any good ones. So his buddy came over wanting to try…they play fought over them for a couple minutes & both got some good ones. I guess bubbles are entertaining no matter what age you are…cuz they played with them until they told us to get ready to leave, then they cleaned off the container (b/c they are Elders they made a mess & spilt the soap all over the bottle haha) said thanks & put it back. As I was having a few Hermanas write their email down, those 2 elders took the notebook & wrote theirs down also, Oh they gave us all a good laugh. Then we loaded up into the “transfer train” as they call it, the long line of cars following the truck pulling the trailer of luggage & were off. What they do with the transfer train is they start in Pocatello, then hit all the transfer sites up to Driggs, then head back to Pocatello. It’s kind of a cool system they have set up but a lot of driving. Well, Blackfoot was the 1st stop. Got to the transfer site & I met my comps Sis. Gorriti, a convert from Bolivia, she is 25 she only has a few months left & she is the trainer. Then Sister Froerer from Oregon also a convert 20 & I knew her from the MTC. She left a week before I did & is also waiting for a VISA. While they were talking to the other sisters & elders, I went over to ask the AP’s where my luggage was because I noticed it wasn’t unloaded. They said it will be at my stop thinking I wasn’t at my spot. Well I told them this was my stop…they stopped & looked a little worried & said things were a little messed up in the trailer & that my luggage got buried somewhere. They told me to come back @ 11; it was about 9 or so to pick it up. So that’s what happened. We went to our apartment they showed me around, we did some planning & went back @ 11 to get my things. We ended up waiting for like 45 min with some elders who were getting picked up until they got there.   They finally got there I got the rest of my luggage & we were all happy especially me cuz I was finally able to unpack & get settled before we had to get to work.

Most of our appointments are in the afternoon-evening-leaving planning & study in the morning. So Wed @ 3 we visited the Hiatt’s, an olderish couple who had just gotten back in town from driving a big rig for a while. Not members, the wife is on the heavy side & smokes so they were working with her to get her to quit & the husband is way nice, regular build & inactive. Next we visited Tesa, a woman who is around 5’3”-5’4”, dark hair, spunky personality & who is working on quitting smoking. They told me she has come so far, she has incredible faith & such an enthusiasm for learning more about the gospel. But she won’t commit to baptism just yet. She is living in a motel & surrounded by drunks & addicts who are always bringing her down. But the good news is she found a place to move to, to get away from it all, the bad news is that the apt isn’t that much nicer & not very far away from where she is now. But we offered to help her fix it up & paint & we are hoping that it will still be a good change for her.  We had dinner with some members & were off to our next appt.

The apt. was with Claudia, she is 16, her family is Mexican & they all speak English & Spanish, except for her mom who only speaks Spanish. She is getting baptized on May 11th.  So we are teaching commandments & principles leading up to Baptism. We are excited for her.

Last of all on Wed. we gave Sasha & her new husband (as of Aug) a church tour. (I gave basic info in the email, but here you go again) Troy used to be active & was planning on serving a mission, but because of pressures joined the army instead. He met Sasha before he got deployed & they communicated while he was out. He went inactive for a while, but just recently became active again & received the Priesthood again so he could baptize & confirm Sasha, so cute. Haha. Sasha was not a member, only her mom & brother were.  It was her brother who helped her become interested in the church.  She started taking lessons, & I think she was a factor in helping Troy becoming active again. She was baptized on Sat. & confirmed Sun. (sadly I wasn’t able to attend because I got sick) so we gave them a church tour, where we stopped in all major rooms & chapel & ended up in the primary room with the font. We had them go down into the font to get a feel for it. I think it helped calm some of Sasha’s nerves. It was cool to see them both in the font, since I couldn’t go to the Baptism.

Thursday, April 25th: We had weekly planning, starting with a prayer that lasted like 20 min because we had to include all of our investigators & recent converts, then we started…3 hours later we still weren’t done but we had things to do [this is the morning that I started feeling sick, I was cold all day with chills & such, but I thought it was a 24 hour thing…so I was just going to push through it].  We went & visited Pat an elderly lady who was a member but was excommunicated & was just recently baptized again. She is a nice lady who has dementia & gets really sad when she can’t remember things. After Pat we went shopping to get me food & for other things. Then we had dinner with another member (so nice up here all our dinners are taken care of) we were going to visit Hermana Clark, but we learned from the checkout lady at Kesler’s (that’s a small grocery store – like Broulim’s) in a roundabout way that she was able to go back out & she had 24 hrs. to pack & get to Mesa. I was kind of bummed I didn’t get to see her. But super excited that she was able to go back out! Anyway next we visited Mason & his cousins. Mason is an 11 yr. old who wants to get baptized & taught but needs to have both parents sign off on it and his dad won’t. We went over & were waiting for him to get back. After a little while they called his mom to see if they were coming over & they weren’t so I still haven’t met him. We ended up teaching his grandma, aunt & 2 cousins the 10 commandments, using a way to remember them that we learned in the MTC – using our fingers. The lesson went great & it was a good one to get the kids involved in.

Finally we taught Robert & his wife Sandra. Like I mentioned in the email, Robert is a large, husky redneck (Shay & McKayla might understand this – picture uncle Earl from Hannah Montana, but a little taller & shoulder length hair) with a great mustache that goes to his chin. We took them on a church tour, he kept asking about the font but sadly in the building we were in there wasn’t one. A little bit about them, he isn’t a member but he has that desire though it is small to be baptized. He just has to forgive himself for some things, stop fighting the demons inside himself & turn them over to God & he could do it. He has awesome questions that are really deep about the gospel there are just those few things stopping him. His wife Sandra I think was once a member but is inactive because she was a huge help in describing the activities in the rooms. We ended up in the chapel & had a really deep discussion for like 45 min to an hour answering questions he had, talking about what happens during Sacrament Meeting & trying to help him come closer to baptism. But he just isn’t budging – yet.

Friday, April 26th: Had personal study, started comp study but kept getting the chills & couldn’t concentrate. Sister Gorriti told me to go lay down & she called the elders to come give me a blessing. They came & gave me a great blessing & I went back to bed for a few hours until we had to leave for a new missionary training mtg. in Idaho Falls. Luckily I was feeling up enough to go, we got ready & waited for the member to get us, we are not allowed to drive ourselves out of our area cuz they monitor everything. She is a young mother with 3 or 4 kids & she had 2 of her daughters with her.  The only way to describe this woman would be a typical, sweet, stout Mormon mom complete with the minivan. It just made me laugh. The meeting was at the Stake Center right by the Idaho Falls temple. First time I got to actually see it up close! It was a good meeting. Just basic training teaching tips and such then we split into 4 groups (1 group of sisters & 3 of elders) & did a mock church tour. Having already done a couple it was nice to see where I could improve & also for giving us new ideas. After the tour we had a couple of minutes before we had to come back together so I went & chatted with Elder Peterson & Elder Stowell finding out how their first few days went & telling them about Hermana Clark. They were excited that she was able to get back out & shocked that she had only 24 hrs. & no more MTC time that she went straight to Mesa. But we are happy for her. Then we came back together & Pres. & Sister Brinkerhoff spoke to us again & we left. Overall it was a good meeting. Then we went to our dinner appointment – which after I started to feel not so Bueno, but wanted to try to push thru. So we went & taught Claudia about the Word of Wisdom & her mom was there making tortillas (that were perfectly round). It was a good lesson & Hermana Gorriti was able to speak to her mom in Spanish. Later we had Sasha’s Baptismal interview. We hung in the hall with Troy & the other D.L. while she was getting interviewed after that we came back home & I went straight to bed, where I stayed more or less for the next 3 days.

Saturday, April 27th: During the Baptism I stayed with a member & slept on the couch the whole time. I felt terrible & bad that all I did was sleep but they were nice.

Sunday, April 28th: I was in bed until the Hermana’s had to go to Sasha’s confirmation then I went across the street to the Davis’ house. Super nice younger couple with 4 kids under the age of 13 – kind of reminded me of LuWana. Her sister lives next door & her parents on the other side. They are way laid back, so I felt less awkward staying with them most the night we just talked, then her sister & her husband came over & we talked some more. Her sister also has 3 young kids – all way cute. Not clear on names so they will come with pictures later.

Monday, April 29th: P-day. My 1st P-day in the field & I was on bed rest…it was crap! But I got to go back to the Davis’ while the Hermana’s went shopping (b/c we went on Thursday for me & I didn’t eat any of my food b/c I have had NO appetite [which as you know is strange for me] I didn’t need anything & they went & emailed & printed pix & such. When they got back I was able to email the Pres. & reply to your emails.

Today, Tuesday, April 30th: Can’t believe it has been a week already. Time flies when you are sick. Haha. Last night I slept propped up in a chair in our family room area hoping it would help me sleep better. Which once I was able to get to sleep, I actually slept & it was super nice. My throat still was killing me but I was able to move w/o getting dizzy – a good sign I think. Basically I spent the day in this chair – dozing in & out throughout the morning…getting really sad & depressed from not being able to go work. So I decided to open the curtains & be productive or as productive as I could be like I mentioned in the beginning I cut & paste what quotes I could into my “mission quotations of inspiration”. Then proceeded to write this letter (sorry if my handwriting is horrible in the beginning…I didn’t have much energy or strength & my hand was shaking) but a member brought over dinner (chicken soup) & the elders brought cookies. So I had a little bit of the soup. The last couple days my stomach has been growling. The only problem…whenever I went to get something, absolutely nothing sounded or looked good.  So I would go back to bed. So today was good, cuz I was able to eat some soup & not feel entirely sick. Being able to eat what I want now, naturally when we went shopping I bought the stuff to make guacamole.

1.) Because I missed it in the MTC

2.) Because you guys just had to bring it up

3.) Because I could

So around 6:30 I made a little bit of guac (I only bought 2 avocados) & it is a shame that the spices don’t come in smaller containers but oh well) Sister Gorriti wanted to watch me as I made it, she’s so cute. She was blown away. It made enough for the 3 of us…& I was actually able to eat it! It totally made my day, because I didn’t get sick. I would say that is a bonus. Anyway, status on me getting better I will stay & rest more tomorrow & see where I am @.

Thursday, May 2nd:  I’m feeling mostly better except my throat which still hurts a lot. I weighed myself this morning – I have lost about 8 lbs. since I have been here. I look great, but given the circumstances it’s not so much a good thing.  But I really just want to get back out & get to work.  That has been what is killing me the most, just being stuck inside not able to do anything but catch up on my journal (which people find the cover interesting & entertaining…I wonder why…haha) not that I am complaining cuz I’m way behind, but I really want to get to work & make the most of my time here. So keep me in your prayers that I get better. Pretty please, with a cherry on top.

A couple more things:

1.      Please let me know if you got my package

2.      Random question…did you change my name on fb to Hermana or Sister Dani Snow, or just leave it Dani Snow? I’m just wondering so I know what to tell people when they go to find me on fb.

Well, Esperanzo todos cosas are bueno. Miss you & teamo all! [Well, hope all things are good]

I hope that I get more letters now that you have my address. Mucho Amor, Hermana Snow

 P.S. There are 4 wheelers everywhere & it is killing me that’s all Adios!
P.S.S. Sorry this letter is so long…I didn’t know what to cover, so I covered all of it…Okay, that’s all.
P.S.S.S. I went back & compared pix letters, it’s cool to see what ideas got put into play. Okay…NOW that’s all.

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