Good Morning Familia,
I am glad that you got the email from my mission president and my mission. I am sad that they beat me to telling you where my first area is. Sweet Home is a small town. It is also very confusing but I think that is because I am relatively new and then we go in circles and what not so that we don’t have to back up. I am recognizing places though and remembering names. Although, this Sunday I met a lot of people and most of their names are no longer in my memory base. That is okay. I will eventually get them down because I have about 3 months here, at the least.
I can’t believe just last week I was still in the MTC! That is just crazy. I miss my district from there but I know that they are doing amazing things in the area’s that they are at. The plane ride from Salt Lake to Portland was good. I sat next to a Sister Philips (she was one of the other sister’s that was in a different zone) and yeah. When we arrived and departed we ran into a group of missionaries leaving to go home from the Salem Oregon mission. It was kinda cool. When we got out of the security place, our mission president, his wife, the assistants, and the Samuelian’s brother was there. Even though they sent us a picture and told us a little bit about them, they weren’t anything like I expected.
They were much better. We got all our stuff loaded up and headed out to the Portland Temple. We actually were in the Vancouver mission and then the Portland and then we eventually got into the Salem mission after leaving the temple. It wasn’t raining at the airport but soon after leaving it started to rain. It was also raining on us at the temple. Don’t know if you can tell by the picture. It is apparently one of the few temples that doesn’t have any windows. It is strange in that way but pretty cool. There is also a visitor’s center by the temple and it is 1 of only 18 others in the world, so we are pretty blessed. It was really neat to visit there and see the temple and the center.
After that we went to the Newport Chapel, I think, where they served us lunch and it was really good. We got to mingle with the missionaries already in the area that were free and our possible new companions. Then they gave us some training. It was really good and it was in that meeting that I am beginning to see why I am here in this specific mission. After training they took us to the mission home. We ended up with 15 sisters and 3 elders. (Only one of which was new). We got to sleep upstairs and we got to sleep in bunkbeds.
We had a devotional that evening in one of the rooms in the basement and it was really good. The assistants were in charge and they are Elder Romney and Elder Bromley. I kid you not. That is what their names are. Try saying those ten times fast. They are super cool though. Sister Samuelian also talked to us. One of the things that President said was that “We are in the business of creating celestial beings.” It is an important phrase to us as missionaries and it is so true.
I will tell you that we drove on some of the windiest roads ever and that is something I am not sure I was ready for. That’s okay. It was worth it. After that we headed back to the chapel and we ate lunch on the way. When we got to the chapel we were all gathered and President and his wife showed us a slide show of pictures that they had taken and then we finally got down to business. We got our companions!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which, people are still having issues with my name and I thought it was easy but apparently not. Maybe I have never had the struggle before because I only went by my first name rather than my last. They all want to add an r at the end or start pronouncing it with eli instead of ellie if that makes sense. We all got broken up and my new companion is Sister Densley. She is super awesome and sweet and she has taught me so much already. Apparently I broke the chain because Sweet Home has had a lot of sister’s recently from Utah and I was finally not from Utah. So there. We grabbed my stuff and headed out. Got a ride with a member, which was super kind, and it was about two hours from where we were.
We had dinner with a family that night that are investigators I think. Or part member. I can’t remember. And wait for it….what did we eat….hamburgers. Don’t get too overwhelmed by the foreignness of the food guys. No, all silliness aside, it was good and I enjoyed meeting them.
We visited some other people too and then we went back to the apartment. We live with members who converted a garage space into a living area so yeah. It is cool.
Other than that I have been keeping busy with meeting the people and surviving my first couple days. This mission business is not what I expected but it makes sense at the same time.
I know that my Savior and Redeemer is Jesus Christ and that he lives. I know that his gospel was restored to the earth through his prophet Joseph Smith and that we have a living prophet today. I know that the Book of Mormon is truly a testament of Jesus Christ and I know that Sweet Home is where I am meant to be right now.
I love you guys and hope that you are all doing well.
Oregon Salem Mission
P.S. The sun has been shining these past couple days so it doesn’t always rain in Oregon