Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I never knew a place like this was part of my mission!

Email sent Monday 18 July 2011

What a roller coaster crazy week! This week I realized how much my mission has taught me about handling stress and just being chill in the face of huge challenges. So as you know last Sunday night I got the news I would be white-washing this area that formerly belonged to elders here in Port Isabel. Port Isabel is exactly that - a port, or basically, it is right on the bay, the ocean you can see from my apartment. South Padre Island is part of my area...but we are not aloud to go over there really. But we can see it, and the bridge to get there is right by our apartment. This town is so interesting! It is really pretty! It's population is only around 5000 something, which is less than Raymondville by 3000 but it feels like a bigger, more civilized city I guess you can say. It is a touristy town. On the weekends it is packed because everyone and there dog is going to the island. There are tons of cool places that will be fun for us to go to on p-days. Today we are going to kinda go and explore and really see what there is to do here, cuz it seems there are lots of things.

So basically, when we got here on Tuesday, we followed the elders to our new apartment, which is the one that they lived in before. Our apartment is SUPER cute. Sister Trayner says it is the cutest apartment in the mission, but I had been told from Sister Swayne that elders had lived in there for too long and that the inside was going to need some cleanup work. The elders left us and went to the car to get more of our luggage, and we explored the upstairs. We smiled and laughed and called em out on the cleanliness a little. The elders then showed us around town to the members here in our area. We began to realize that we have someone scheduled to feed us like every single day. So much food. We asked them about our investigators. They took us by two houses and told us that in one of them lived this family and two of the people had baptismal dates. We asked if that was all of our investigators, and they said...ya. En serio elders?!!?!?! So ya, we had two investigators.

This city is awesome. On wednesday after district meeting, our district leader actually called us and told us that those 2 investigators they had told us we had weren't really investigators and didn't have baptismal dates. So the reality of it set in that we literally have NO investigators. So instead of white-washing this area, we are basically opening it up, starting from scratch. So we have a big task ahead of us but we are so excited about it! The members are so awesome here! And all of the people we ahve met are pretty receptive. It actually isn't really a rich area. It is pretty much trailers and little homes for the most part. We also ahve this city called laguna vista though, and that seems to have the big fancy houses on teh beach and stuff. But here in Port Isabel and Laguna Vista it is mostly lower class and TONS of spanish! So after being with a native companion for 6 months I am now with Sister Perkins, who has only been in the field for about 3 months and is still very much learning spanish. So I get to practice a lot.

Sister Perkins is an awesome missionary! She had a ton of success in Weslaco before coming here and is so ready to get to work. She is from Colorado, her name is Kathryn and she went to BYU before the mission and I look familiar to her, and we decided we think it is because we both always used to go country dancing at the Center in Provo. Maybe we saw each other before. haha.

The ward here is combined with Los Fresnos, 25 minutes north. There used to be a branch in Los Fresnos and Port isabel, but in march they closed the Port Isabel branch because it was small, and combined it with the Los Fresnos one to make a ward. So we have a spanish ward there. It's cute. THe members are really really excited for sisters to be here. Everyone was freaking out. Some people can never ever remember having sisters in like 14 years, so they were really happy to have us. I felt bad for the elders, cuz everyone kept saying how excited they were for us to be here.

But anyway sounds like ya'll are pretty busy. Girls camp, uintah camp etc. Have so much fun. Remember to relax, even if things get stressful at camp. haha. Just laugh at the unfortunite situations.

Love you tons!


Sister Petersen

ps everyone should check out my profile on mormon.org and make one for yourselves

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