Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 40: The Lord's Vineyard

Gooooooooood afternoon friends and family! 

Life here on Martha's Vineyard--aka the Lord's Vineyard--is awesome! We don't go off the island much because it's fairly expensive to take the ferry over to Cape Cod area, so it's me and sister Redden and the island.



Leading up to transfers on Wednesday, Sister Cruz and I visited Michelle and Dylan (the eight-year-old I helped teach), Irma Silva, the Kostetskys (I love love love them and will always stay in contact with them. You can quote me on that.), the Atkins (the family from South Africa), and Sister Meredith, because she's my mission mom. 






It was really hard to leave Marlborough because I love everyone there so much, but I am definitely excited to be here. We stayed with the Cape Cod sisters on Wednesday night after transfer meeting, because we had Zone Meeting the next day. The Hingham South zone is great! I already knew a good chunk of the missionaries here, so that was cool. Also, Elder Walter out there in Arizona knows one of the visa-waiters here in my zone, Elder Quinlin. Go figure. We went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese Hibachi place, and boy that was deeeelicious.

We got back to the island Thursday night and I unpacked and got settled in. Our apartment is really cute! It's on top of our branch president's office, and since he's a building contractor, you would never ever think sister missionaries lived in the building we do. I'll have to take pictures or a video to show you. We only have one bathroom (I no longer live in complete luxury), but it really is a nice apartment. 

As I'm sure you all saw on facebook, I'm now a digital missionary! So what we do is basically try to proselyte online through penpal websites and skype and facebook. It's really bizarre. I was on facebook for a really long time on Friday to try to clean it up--delete pictures and posts to make it "missionary appropriate". I didn't have to do much, but I did take some pictures off that my BYU roommates so kindly posted of me.... hahaha. It's really interesting how the digital mission works, but it does! I'm going to skype a guy in Brazil soon to practice my Portuguese and probably introduce the gospel while I'm at it, because I am a missionary after all. It's pretty cool! 

Otherwise, life in the Vineyard is very similar to other areas! We have 3 investigators--Ronald, Niveyah, and Zach. We do service at a nursing home in the island's hospital, and the old people there are so cute! The branch here is AMAZING. We had branch conference yesterday, so we probably had double the number of people that usually come each week. We have about 25 active people in roughly 6 or 7 families. Everyone has 2 callings. There's one young woman and 2 young men. 6 primary kids. And the missionaries! The Brazilian family in the ward is AWESOME. They were so impressed that I speak Portuguese haha. But there are a surprising amount of Brazilians everywhere on the island! Go figure! I talked with a Brazilian guy on the bus and we tracted into a Brazilian pastor who said we could come back. We'll get a Portuguese branch here before you know it.

Everyone here--members and not--are so kind and courteous. We ride the buses all the time and walk, and every bus driver knows the missionaries! Haha it's funny. All of them already have Books of Mormon too :)

I love this place. Who knew I would be sent to serve in Martha's Vineyard? The Lord did! He has prepared me for this experience and people here that I could specifically touch. It's a different feel here on the island, so the work is a little different, but it's wonderful. And warm! finally! It's glorious. Soon we'll get our bikes out and ride everywhere. I hope we go to the beach soon for one of these pdays :)

I love you all so much. I have had some really neat experiences this week as I've been able to study about humility in Preach My Gospel. The other day something that had been plaguing me all week kind of came to a head right as I started studies, and I was lead by PMG to read Doctrine and Covenants 67. It was really amazing--it didn't necessarily answer the question I had, but it gave me peace about everything. I love how in the first verse it tells us that the Lord is aware of us and our desires. He always knows the things we want and need, and the purpose of prayer (as stated in the Bible Dictionary) is not to change the will of God, but to help us align our will with His. That's a hard thing to do, but it's possible!

I hope you all have a fantastic and hopefully warm week. It's April already, that's crazy! 

I think Jared will go (if in the States) to Washington state speaking Spanish or (if foreign) Taiwan. Or Brazil :) He could go to Rio. No, Brazilia. Definitely Brazilia. (which is where Elder Brown, who he went to EFY with is serving! How bizarre that would be). I'm so stoked to see where he gets called!!! And good luck to Landon and Michael and the others. Crazy crazy crazy. I'm so old now. I want to hear about everyone who gets their mission calls. I can promise that your mission will be the best thing you've done so far in you life and it will change you all for the better.

I love you!

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