Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Abby's first week in Hanford

Abby's email from March 30,2015

Dear Family,

This week was kind of a difficult one, which you probably expect with transfers and me being transferred south to Hanford. I'm not in Fresno or Clovis anymore...I'm really sad about that. I miss those cities so much and I really hope I can go back. Right now, I hope I can go back at the end of the transfer but I may feel differently at the end of the transfer.

Monday was my last preparation day in Fresno East. It was really sad. However, I don't think I really realized I was leaving until I got to Hanford so I didn't cry at all Monday or Tuesday. I got a whole bunch of missionaries to sign my transfer journal which was nice. Their notes were really sweet and they made me laugh. Sister Luke wanted to take us out to dinner. So we went to In-N-Out one last time since Sister Russell loves it but doesn't want to eat fast food anymore when she goes back to Nauvoo. Then we went to see the Hutchasons'. I love that family. They are great. I'm glad we got to know them. Hey have you been updating my Facebook page? Or adding friends for me? You should...there are people that added me that I want to accept!

Tuesday was a day of packing and figuring out how to fit everything. We did have one last district lunch with me, Sister Russell, Sister Smith, Sister Putnam, Elder Berry, and Elder Judy. Elder Judy's birthday was March 28 and since I was being transferred we celebrated on Tuesday. It was great! I was the only one in our district being transferred which was weird but it was sweet of them that they were able to have a lunch with me one last time. But I know I probably will go back to Fresno eventually. We did some mormon.org time so Sister Russell could copy some songs and I looked at Grandma's temple ordinances and they have been reserved by me! But I can't do baptisms and confirmations or initiatories....Can you maybe do it? And then next time I go to the temple I can do the endowment. It will be great! We didn't really get to say good bye to anyone which made me really sad. I miss them a lot and I didn't even get to say good bye! but it's okay. I know I'll make those relationships here too. We did see the Olsens' though, which I'm glad about. Sister Olsen said they come to Hanford just to have Superior Dairy, which is apparently a really good ice cream place so she said she would email me when they were planning on coming and she would take me and my companion! It was really sweet. I miss that family so much. I would love to serve there again, but I'm not sure how likely that is. We went to the farewell since Sister Russell was speaking. It was really good! I got to see a lot of people from my last area. Melanie and Kurt were there and a lot of people from Woodward Park came too. I got to show off my new hair haha. they loved it though! Melanie is coming to Hanford in April so she said she would take us out! I'm excited. I miss them so much. Sister Ard went home this week too. It's weird that my trainer is gone. I think that is another reason that this week has been difficult, knowing my trainer is no longer in the mission. It makes me sad. The farewell was awesome though. Made me cry. Elder Gayan's testimony was recorded and it broke my heart. I love that elder.

Wednesday was transfers so I went with the Sister Russell in Cedarwood to Hanford. It was good. I met my new companion and my new sister training leaders (I was released :( ) and my new zone leaders. They are all awesome. I don't really know a lot of people here but I hope I will get to know them. the thing about being in the southern part of the mission is that everyone is more spread out. I don't like it. I liked having missionaries close. Here there really aren't very many close. There are two other sets of elders in Hanford and that's it. Selma, Corcoran, Coalinga, and Lemoore are all a part of the stake. It's kind of like the Boise area but on a much smaller scale. We did do some service for this woman. She's sweet. Not a member. We were able to share a message with her. It was great! We saw an investigator. She is sweet but has doubts about getting baptized. hopefully we can help her become converted to the gospel. I met our ward mission leader and the ward missionaries. they are great. One thing I have been struggling with here is not feeling as welcomed by the members as I was in my previous areas. But I know there is a reason for it. I know I can make it through anything through Christ.

On Thursday, we got to play beanbag baseball! At a nursing home! It was so fun! I'm apparently good at it but I'm not supposed to be so this week, I'm going to try to do worse than I did so the old people can win :) It was great though. I did have a little breakdown on Thursday though afterward. I was really struggling with feelings of anxiety and panic and not wanting to be in Hanford. I really just wanted to go back to Fresno, but I'm okay now. I'm trying to remember that I will see all those people again and I will come to love Hanford. We saw an investigator, too. She is really sweet. She said she would come to the women's broadcast (and she did!). She is a little different, very forgetful, but she is awesome. We did FHE with her every Monday. We then saw Sister Couch for dinner. She has a missionary out so it was great. We are watching conference at her house on Sunday! I'm excited. We were able to see our neighbors. E is a less active member and the other two are nonmembers. It was really great and they love us.

Friday we got to serve at the soup kitchen! It was so fun. They are awesome there and they let us eat while we're there. I have always wanted to do that and i got to! I got to get to know them while I was there too. I was struggling with some anxiety while we were there and afterwards but I decided not to struggle anymore. I was kind of sick of crying, especially since it was making my companion stress too. She has only been out three months so...I need to do my best to be my best. We did weekly planning and then we had dinner with the Robisons, who are ward missionaries. they are awesome. I love them. they are one family I felt really welcomed by. We saw a less active who has some struggles. She's sweet, but she has some addictions she is trying to overcome. Then we saw a family that the sisters found before I got here. The Jones. We were only able to see S J, but that was okay. It was a good lesson!

Saturday, we had a pass off lesson with the Spanish elders since the investigator spoke better Spanish. I only understood pieces of it but definitely not enough to know what was going on. It was interesting. then we had this district/zone meeting thing to get to know everyone in the zone. It was fun! Elder Moreno and I are in the same zone again! I love him so much. He's helped me a lot. We were able to see a 16 year old girl  who wants to be baptized but she has to get permission. I had this feeling that I am supposed to help her while I'm here. I hope I will be able to. Then we had to finish weekly planning before the women's broadcast, which was awesome! I got some revelation for myself and I'm hoping I'll be able to remember it. I loved the videos they showed. I know I shouldn't be thinking about this, but it reminded me that I could be married sooner than I think. i could have my own family. I want to be worthy of the temple and I don't want to compromise that for anyone.

Sunday was my first day at church. It was good. they were awesome. I bore my testimony so everyone would know me since the bishop didn't introduce me at the beginning. We saw a recent convert  who is great. I love her. then we were able to see this older couples. They are super sweet and remind me of other older couples I know from my other areas. I love them. We ate dinner with the Olmsteads. they are great. then we went to a youth fireside on missionary work because Sister Arruda was speaking. President Clark was there. Elder Allred, our zone leader, spoke too. he talked about how hard it is to leave people you love which I could definitely relate too since I have had too...twice now. I hate it. It's the hardest part for me. But it's okay. We saw some a recent convert family. they are so great. I love them. So solid. i love seeing that.

I love you all and I'm so grateful for you and your support. Please know that missionary work is hard, but it's worth every second. And remember that I'll see you in eight months!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese


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