Monday, June 9, 2014

First week in Fresno

   The first few days were really hard, particularly because it was just so hard to adjust to being in the field and not at the MTC where everything is schedule for you. The first day (Wednesday) we were pushed right into work. I had a temporary companion named Sister Tautuiaki. She's from Hawaii and she is awesome. We just went around knocking on doors and talking to everyone. We met a man named Gerald who I feel was totally ready for the Gospel. I tried to give him a Book of Mormon but he wouldn't take it. He is in the sister's area so she is going to see him. When we got back I was just so overwhelmed with everything, but everyone there is just so loving and welcoming and all the sisters gave me hugs and told me it would be okay. And it is. President Gelwix gave me a priesthood blessing too during my interview. He asked to give me one and it really helped me. I try to remember it every time I am feeling down or depressed or lonely.
   The next day we got our trainers. I was super excited. We had some meetings in the morning before we met them and we couldn't see them before they came in. President Gelwix didn't decide until that morning, so it was definitely inspired. My trainer's name is Sister Ard. She is from Washington in the Tri Cities? I wasn't entirely sure where that was. I know that she is my trainer for a reason and I am really grateful for her. Nine months ago (when she first got here) she was like me--afraid to talk to people and overwhelmed. So I know that God put me with her so she could help me overcome that fear.
   You're going to love this: We have a car! All the sisters do. We have limited amount of miles though, so if we run out we DO have to ride out bike. I did get the bike though. It is a really nice bike. I just haven't had the chance to ride it yet :) I am grateful we have a car though because it is HOT here. Yesterday it got up to 106 degrees. I haven't been sweating all that much though, because I figured out a really cute easy hairstyle for my hair. I was experimenting and it just worked out! Looks different every time though...My bedding was here when I got here too, and it's a big comfort to have it. The sheets are really nice but I don't use them. I just sleep on top of them.
    I am in Fresno, in one of the richest areas there is here. I love the members--they're awesome. But the other people are so hard to reach. Some of them won't even open their doors and others think that they only need to Bible. We do go around and offer to pray for families and homes and that is sometimes a success. People are generally more open to prayer than they are to hearing the Gospel. I am working on my ability to talk to people more and more and I am grateful that God is always here to help me. I can definitely feel Him and all the prayers of everyone at home.
    I had to say good-bye to my MTC district on Thursday and it was super hard. I love my companion from the MTC so much and I really hope that the companion she has will help her in the ways that I wasn't able to. I also absolutely LOVE my elders. Elder Bean and Elder Mo'O were awesome for me on Wednesday and Thursday when I was just so overwhelmed and emotional. They just sat with me and talked. They made me feel a lot better. Elder Nielsen is in my district here so I'll see him at least once a week. They are all so great and thinking of them really keeps me motivated, knowing that they are doing the same thing that I am.
    It was really nice to talk to y'all on Wednesday. Now we just have another six months of waiting :) I love you all and I miss you so much. I pray for you every day and night, and I know y'all pray for me too. I love you and hope all is well. Can't wait to hear more of what's going on.

Always <3,
Sister Reese

    It has definitely not been cold. We have air conditioning in our apartment so during personal and companion study, I use the extra blanket I brought while I study because I do get cold in the apartment. But it got up to 106 yesterday and it's supposed to be 110 tomorrow. I heard it is supposed to cool down this weekend but we will see.

    He's such a funny dog. I miss him. We go to houses with dogs a lot but most of them are teeny ones. And they bark a lot when the doorbell rings. It's kind of annoying

    Mom said you went to the races. I remember doing that last year. It was actually kind of fun though a little loud.

    I am still feeling overwhelmed, but it is getting better. We don't have any investigators so all we do during the day when we aren't visiting members or studying is tract. It is one of the hardest, most tedious things about a mission. Knocking on doors isn't as effective as we'd like it to be but we are required to do at least two hours of tracting every day. Saturdays are the worst. I am trying really hard to change my attitude about tracting because I know miracles happen when we trust in God, but it is really hard to do that when we are walking in hundred degree whether from house to house, some of which won't open their doors or don't really listen to us.

    The members here are great. I love them a lot and I know that they will be good for me in the next twelve weeks. We are in one of the richest parts of the mission. We are in Fresno, so it is interesting. I am not sure how I would feel if I had to spend most of my mission here. Which will probably happen now that I said that. I love the members, like I said, but the other people are so hard to contact. Many of them are never out and about or they don't answer the door or something like that. But I am trying really hard to increase my faith that God will help us. I know there is a reason that I am in this area, and I know God will reveal that in his own time.
    My trainer's name is Sister Ard. She's from the Tricities in Washington. You probably know where that is but I didn't. Oh! And I forgot to tell Mom that I have met a lot of people that actually know where Middleton is! Some have family there and some just know. There is a woman in the ward who went to Boise on her mission! And there is a man here who did too. I was so excited! It made me feel a lot better.

    It was really hard on Thursday to leave my MTC district, but they were all so great to me. Elder Bean asked me how I was doing and when I just broke down, he talked to me and helped me a lot. So did Elder Mo'O. I really miss my MTC companion and I pray every day that she is alright. I also hope that we will eventually be companions again, but we'll see how that works out.

    I love you so much, Dad, and I miss you and everyone else. I pray for you every day and I can feel your prayers for me. Thank you for being who you are. I love you!

Always <3,
Sister Reese

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