Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First Week in WASHINGTON!

Emma's P-Day is on Monday so we finally heard from her on September 16th -- 450 day mark!
We had not heard from her since September 8th -- it was a L-O-N-G wait!!

Emma writes:
Washington Spokane is perfect for Hermana Phipps.  Seriously, so many times a day I think to myself, "Wow, this place just matches you perfectly!"  I love all the trees everywhere! I believe President Mullen has already told you where I live.  It is called Mead and it is an area North of Spokane.  For the month I will be living at the members Fallstrom's Farm.  I LOVE THE FARM so much!!  It reminds me of a mix between 280 East (Grandma Connie's Farm House) and the fruit highway in Perry and Willard!  The Fallstrom's love their farm and work from sun up to sun down on it.  They also love fishing!!! (More is coming about that!) They built a little fruit stand and I can't wait to buy some fresh corn from them.  The farm is so cute.  And the best part is: there are LLAMAS AND EMUS AND ALPACAS AND GOATS!!!!! Whoever said you can't have pets on your mission obviously didn't live on the Fallstrom Farm.
Yes, I feel like the luckiest Hermana in the world!!! 

 If that wasn't enough for me to be the luckiest girl ever, the Lord gave me the greatest companion in the history of missions.  She is the perfect trainer for me!  She pushes me but is always so kind.  I just hope I can one day be a missionary like her.  All the members in the branch LOVE HER!! And they are right to do so!  They tell me how lucky I am, and I tell them I already know I am the luckiest.  She is from Texas, and this is her sixth month out on her mission.  Her Spanish and accent is amazing!  She helps me out a lot and knows all the best tricks.

Also, I feel so lucky to have her as a companion because we are OPENING A NEW AREA! It takes A LOT of work and A LOT of diligence, and she has got all the skills needed!  Also, we are the only companionship that only teaches Spanish lessons.  The three other Hermana Companionships teach both in English and Spanish. I feel so blessed to be speaking just Spanish.  It will really force me to rely on the Lord's strength as I try to teach.  We have been working hard at finding investigators.  Right now we have gotten four who are considered "new/progressing."  Two of them have been meeting with missionaries previously.  I will tell you about one of our investigators, from the first time I heard about him I felt something really good inside about him.  On Sunday I had the greatest experience thus far on my mission.  I got to ask him, Fernando, if he would prepare to be baptized on the 13th of October.  This was my first time extending a major invitation to anyone out in the field.  It felt so amazing!!  I cannot wait to ask more and more of Heavenly Father's children to follow the example of Jesus Christ.  The spirit that comes when you ask that question is greater than anything else I have experienced.  I feel so blessed to be asking people to follow their Savior, the greatest question I could ask people for the next year and a half.

So ready for what I think is a delightful and hilarious story?  I hope you enjoy it!
My friend at the MTC would always say, "God has a huge sense of humor."  I never quite understood this phrase, well, at least until this week.
     [A little background info for those who do not know everything about me.  I have only eaten fish maybe three times in my life (and it was under coercion)! All were awful experiences.  I do not like fish!!  Not from the river and not from the sea.  While growing up, if my parents ever cooked fish, I would freak out and demand that I live outside until every particle of the smell had evacuated my home.  This silly action continued into my teenage years...sorry parents for being a silly pain sometimes!]
     Well, ... this week the Fallstroms went FISHING! And caught 600 pounds of TUNA!! That is a lot of fish!  One day I walked into our part of the house, which is the basement, and an overwhelming smell of tuna engulfed me.  They were pressurizing nearly all the tuna that day and had put 4 pressure cookers in the basement because they ran out of counter space upstairs.  Very Fishy Smelling!!  This is when I decided that Heavenly Father does have a sense of humor!  He knew that at home I would have freaked out a whole lot.  But since I was in a new place and did not need to keep up my freaking out tradition, I soon came to find out that fish smell isn't as bad as I have always made it out to be.  It didn't bother me at all!  So parents, I am sorry that I always threw a fit when fish smells were involved.  I really could have survived inside!

For other news: There is a restaurant that is a reclaimed train!  I think my brother Jon would absolutely think it was so cool!  Jon, have you ever been to Spokane?  I think you would enjoy it!  It is like a mix of city and forest all in one.  It is really neat!!  
I love you all!  I wish I could share every moment with you all!    Love, Hermana Phipps

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