Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Week in Washington

Well...this week has been pretty crazy and also really tough for me. I pray so hard and for so long every night.
My new companion is Sister Redford. She's from Mesa, AZ. We were assigned to the Edmonds ward in the Shoreline stake. We have been assigned to "whitewash" the area, which means that we are both new here. Also, there haven't been sister missionaries here in over 10 years. This week has been tough trying to get our bearings. Also, the apartment was a mess and full of Elders' stuff! We have been cleaning and we overfilled that giant box you sent me with all the stuff they left behind. It was pretty crazy. A closet full of clothes, shoes, and even garments! But it smells a lot less like Elder in there now, which is good. The first night we arrived, I was so exhausted from overload of information, new things, etc. It meant the world to me to have my blankie and pillow. I slept like a baby. It was wonderful. The mattresses are super crappy, but the elders left comforters, so I folded one and put it under my sheets, so it's comfy now.
Anyway, Edmonds is almost the very south of the mission. It's south of Everett. From sitting here at the computer in the library, I look out the window and can see the water. It's very beautiful. Edmonds has the largest ferry fleet. We went street contacting at the marina the other night. It was so beautiful! I loved it!
So...I received a bit of news this week. On July 1st, we will be getting a new mission president, but that is also when the new mission will be created in Federal Way. Part of the Seattle mission will go to Federal Way, and the southernmost areas of Everett mission will go to the Seattle mission. So, unless I get transferred for some reason at the end of my first 6 weeks, I will be going to the Seattle mission. I'm just a little sad because all my MTC friends will be in the Everett mission still. But anyway, I will do whatever the Lord asks of me, and I know that if I'm meant to stay here, then I will be transferred before then. But most of the time, people stay with their trainers in the same area for their first 12 weeks. Anyway, I guess we will see.
This is a good ward up here. The area is GIANT! Definitely weird for me, being from a 2-street ward. I can't believe how much area it spans. Also, there are a billion apartment complexes in our area, so lots of work to be done here. Only one appointment that the elders had set up for us actually worked out. That was on Wednesday night. We went to see a really old guy named Michael. We taught him the lesson of the Restoration, and he seemed very receptive and we committed him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. The relief society president had to go with us because we have to have another adult female to go anywhere where there's just a guy. She is really awesome! Her name is Sister Pickett. Oh, and we are meeting with Michael again this Wednesday. We went to teach a lesson, and totally had the guy peek through the blinds and then not answer the door! Rude! Another wasn't home, and the other there was a confusion in language and we ended up at different places and now we have to reschedule. We have also attempted to visit a few less-active members, but a lot of those didn't work out either. And I noticed that at the grocery store, everyone avoids making eye contact with me. That's really new and it's something that's hard for me to get used to. Being rejected so much in my first week really started to take a toll on me. I keep going and praying though.
Please pray for me. I know that you already do, but maybe an extra prayer?
Also, one of our zone leaders is Elder Schmidt, and his dad is Jon Schmidt. He is coming to do a concert/devotional at the end of May, so that's pretty cool!
We were also able to teach a lesson to a recent convert. She was baptized in September, and her husband is still investigating, so we're praying for him as well. He enjoys going to church and to elders quorum, so hopefully. There is also a family who doesn't like being pushed, but they all have strong testimonies and they come to church every week, and they have been for a long time. Everyone always tells us how awesome they are, so we'll be working with them too hopefully.
Yesterday I actually raised my hand and commented in Relief Society. We were discussing how we can gain peace. I said, "The only way I can ever have peace is to give everything up to the Lord. I know that I have no control over any of the things that I worry about. I have to have faith and trust that He will watch over my family, He will lead me to those I need to teach, and He will give me the words to say." When I started talking, the room went totally silent, which was weird, and Sister Pickett said, "That's really wise advice." So that was cool. I felt very strongly that I should say that. That's something that I really have had to do, especially being here. I have to remind myself every time I start worrying about anything. Then I have peace.

Thank you everyone for all your prayers and support! I need them all ;)
I love you and miss you like crazy!
Love, Sister Stanley
Washington Everett Mission

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