Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Camera: (n) 1. device used to capture and record photographs, 2. a trial of my faith...‏

I'm going to start every email with a little list of what things I need you to send from home...sorry :)
My itty bitty camera is great, but I still can't send any pictures from it, because of its lack of memory card. So here's what we'll do - if you could send my blue camera from off my nightstand and one of the memory cards in my camera bag, I would be grateful. I'll keep the itty bitty until that one gets here, and then I'll send it home with the cord, so you can download the pictures and get them here. I'll definitely be recording a little video of myself and my companion for you to watch, if I can convince her ;) hopefully this will work haha if not, we'll just swap memory cards back and forth, I guess. Which is fine with me.

Thanks so much for the coats. I haven't worn my yellow one yet because it's been snowing, but my burton coat is definitely my favorite thing right now. And the skirt is totes adorbs (my companion shortens words so now I do it on the reg. No biggie. Chey can translate if you want. And I have her email address, but I don't know her phone number. It should be in my phone. I'll tell her to get in touch with you.

PEOPLE HERE ARE INSANE. It snowed five inches on Sunday and the whole town shut down. We weren't allowed to drive anywhere, the only meeting we had was sacrament, they didn't even have school the next day. One of our investigators called us to make sure we were okay and then told us that she wouldn't be driving her bus route in the morning because the kids can't stand outside in weather like this. I couldn't believe it! It takes at least a foot of snow in Utah to even make people consider not driving! It was so weird, but I'm not complaining. We hung out all day in our house, planning and organizing our area book and making the best looking white board in the mission, in my humble opinion.

Okay, the new rule of thumb for emailing (as decreed by the mission president) is that we can email whoever we want - family AND friends. So feel free to send me emails! I love letters because I can get those any day of the week, but emails are grand :) Just don't expect me to respond to every single one. I'll probably do a bulk email like this every week and then an individual one to all my favorite family members. You know how I am. Picking favorites. Hard to impress. Typical Annika.

I need more pictures of Colby! In fact, I need pictures of everyone. They're good to look through when I've got a second. Consider this an invitation to everyone - send me pictures of your adorable families so I can tape them on my wall and not forget what everyone looks like. I'll return the favor as soon as I figure out my camera situation.

Oh, and tell Chad congratulations on his mission call! We met a couple from Anchorage at the VC last week and some of the sisters committed them to baptism within a few minutes of meeting them. Crazy stuff.

My living arrangements are great - eight sisters in one house! My companion and I have kind of weird living arrangements, since our room used to be some kind of storage space and now it's a bedroom, but it works. We're still in bunk beds, so that's fun :) I've slept in a bunk bed every night for the past two months now and have yet to fall to my death. The Lord watches out for us.

I was doing so good sending letters to birthday peeps! I promise I'll get one out eventually. If it's a little early, you just have to wait until your birthday to open it. Even if it's late - you have to wait a whole year to-no, I'm just kidding. Sometimes I'm late (read: all the time).

It's happening. I'm gaining weight. I've gotten at least ten pounds heavier. My thighs are getting friendlier. I should try actually exercising in the morning when I have time instead of just "doing yoga" with Sister Ogletree, which is just a modified corpse pose the whole time. Yay for lazy day...every day.

We've had a problem with our appointments falling through, but we're still doing missionary work. We have one investigator on date (the twelve year old with ADD - her name's Mckayla), and another one that's really close. His name is Levi and he's a stud - he just needs to talk to his mom.

My companion is fearless! We went to Mckayla's to talk to her about setting up an appointment yesterday and see if she'd asked her mom about getting baptized yet, and she said she didn't, but that we could wait until her mom got out of the shower to talk to her. Sister Stobbe's like "Oh yeah, that's totally fine," And I'm freaking out, cuz we're sitting in her living room, in this house that reeks of cigarettes, one wall decorated with porn, and I'm remembering the last time I was here listening to her swear, and Sister Stobbe's just like "Yeah, sure, we'll meet with her." We wait for about ten minutes and then Mckayla's three year old brother, Steven, comes running into the room wearing nothing but his pride. Every missionary's dream (SARCASM). While we're covering our eyes, Mckayla's mom wrestles him into some clothes, and then Stobbe-Wan jumps right in and teaches her about baptism and the requirements and the Holy Ghost, and the whole time I'm just giving Steven candy so that he'll stop throwing things and running around yelling like some kind of animal and doing my best not to look at the porn wall. And her mom listened the whole time! Sister Stobbe taught her all about the priesthood and baptism in that environment! Can you believe it?? Gah, I hope I can be that powerful of a teacher some day. I have a lot to learn from her, to say the least.

Random sidenote: Mom, you would have a heart attack if you knew how much I love doing my laundry. It's my favorite part of P-day.

Alright, I need to get some more emails done super fast so I can do shopping and go eat some great sushi! Remember, send my other camera and get this out to la familia, so I can get some photographias. My Spanglish is perf. Te amo!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

'Meanwhile in Zion. . . '


Yes, I'm here in Independence :D It's ABOUT TIME. I figured I'd send y'all a quick note to tell you about my adventures here :)

My flight went well :) I touched down in Kansas City and was greeted by a couple of Senior Sisters, who took me out to Subway to eat, which was good since I hadn't eaten anything since throwing up in SLC. We're technically not supposed to chew gum, but you better believe I was so anxious about everything and worried that my breath would reek that I was chomping away for most of the plane ride.

My trainer's name is Sister Sheyene Stobbe (as in Stobbe-Wan Kenobi. And yes, I do call her that. Every day.), and she's great! I'm trying to figure out how to send you some pictures, which isn't working currently because I'm on a library's computer. Mom - if you'd send me one of my fifty flash drives that are floating around my room, that would be great :) She's teaching me a ton - we've had some pretty good times already. She's like me in the way that she keeps everything to herself, so we're having to put a little effort into learning about each other. And she stresses out easily, so I'm learning how to best remind her that she's doing fine and try to be an equal participant in lessons n'stuff. It's kind of scary, but I think I'm getting better haha it doesn't feel like it, but slowly I'm contributing more. I'm still super awkward, so life's great :)

My schedule is evenly split between a proseliting area and the VC. My VC shift changes, but that's okay - I like them both equally :) at the VC we can take people on tours or we can study, which I've been doing a LOT of, because in order to drive and train in our mission, we have to have all of our lessons memorized. I've got the first one down, but the second is a pain in the butt. It's so long. So I spend most of my VC shift sitting in front of the Christus, reciting the Plan of Salvation to Jesus. Totes fun.

We live in a cute little house called Willis Place. There are three other companionships living there with us, which makes for a lot of fun. We all do a good job of staying true to the schedule and focusing on our studies when we're supposed to. The senior companions are very big on obedience, which is great for all of us who are learning. Oh, by the way - the sister from BYU Hawaii that I met in the MTC lives with us! Sister Zito was the first person I saw after the sister missionaries that picked me up and she has been such a help to me. I didn't know I could just love a bunch of people instantaneously, but it's happened.

I have yet to meet most of our investigators, but the ones I have met are AWESOME. I committed a twelve-year-old girl named Mckayla to baptism last week, but she has really bad ADD, so we still need to go over exactly what that means. But she's so fun to teach, because her family is really broken, so she's VERY aware of when she feels the Spirit. We had a little issue with her reading the BoM because she found a New World Translation of the Bible (courtesy of the Watchtower), and thought it was easier to read. But we got her a picture BoM so hopefully she can read and feel the Spirit more and know that she's on the right path.

Another investigator we have is Lori, who is a seventy-something year old black lady that's so full of sass that she can't even keep it to herself. She's got a really interesting family dynamic, too, but she loves Christ and involves Him in everything she does. Sister Stobbe taught her about the Restoration before I came, and she eats up anything about Christ's gospel being on the earth now. We're trying to get her to come to the VC so we can watch the Joseph Smith movie with her,but her back is bad and her car was stolen, so it's a little bit iffy. But she's so hungry for the truth that I know the Lord will provide a way. Her house smelled like cigarette smoke so bad that by the time we left after an hour and a half of visiting (we're learning to budget our time together) we smelled like a couple of chain smokers. Needless to say, I had a lot of laundry to do today. I need to buy another light-ish coat, too, because the huge one will be great in the snow, but it ain't snowing quite yet :) and my other one is in the laundry. Could you send my snowboarding coat with the flashdrive? That would be perfect to wear in this in-between weather. And thanks a bunch for the candy :) Sister Stobbe-Wan and I both appreciate it :)

One of the investigators I haven't met yet is a guy named Sayko. Pronounced psycho. He's pretty much a Samoan chief. No big deal. He has to go back to his people soon, so we're trying to help him recognize the importance of daily scripture study and prayer. He used to be a member, but he had his records removed. He's got four sons, two of whom were baptized a little less than a month ago, and he's divorced. There are some complications with his wife that they're trying to work out so he can know if he needs to be rebaptized or not, but Sister Stobbe loves him, so he can't be nearly as scary as he sounds. I hope.

ALSO my mission president will send me to a Spanish area if I ask :) After I memorize all my lessons, I'm going to start learning them in Espanol, and then I'm going to ask him to send me somewhere so I can learn and be fluent :) The Lord provides, my friends. The Lord provides.

I love you all so much and I'm going to do my best to send you each a letter :) Feel free to give this to the extended fam to read. I'm only allowed to write on P-day, so I don't think I'll be able to get as many letters out as I want, but I'll do my best :) And thanks SO SO much for sending my blanket. I've missed it so much - it's just like having a little bit of home to curl up in.

I love you all a ton and hope to send you some pictores haha I'm trying to figure it out. HUGS AND KISSES TO EVERYONE. Read your scriptures and smile :)

[New fave scripture: Isaiah 49:16]

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Hey, Mom and Dad! Just thought I'd send you a group email that lets you know what's happened.

So I fly out to Missouri tomorrow morning! I have to be at the travel office at six, and then I'm hoping that I'll be able to call between seven and nine from the airport. I know I told you seven and eight, and that was totally my bad. I have one more class - only two more meals of MTC food! Yaaay! Just say a little prayer that I don't get left in SLC airport. And that there's someone to pick me up and that they're not scary. Just pray, actually. For me in general.

The medication is working well, but the side effects are kind of frustrating. I get dizzy and have to lean against something every now and then, and I shake all the time. It's really frustrating when I'm trying to turn the pages of my scriptures or going to shake an investigator's hand. I actually had to ask one of my roommates to change my watch for daylight savings because my fine motor skills are so rough. But I'm adapting. I'm really only so worried because I don't know if a shakey missionary that can't stand without support will be able to represent the Lord, but He hasn't struck me down yet, so for now all I can do is be humble and happy.

I say goodbye to my companions in the morning :( I'm really going to miss them. They both have such incredible stories - they've really sacrificed to be here. They're going to Richmond, VA, and we're already planning a reunion. They said I can be a bridesmaid in both their weddings :)

I keep getting left places because my companionship situation is so weird. I have a companion in class - currently Hermana Alexander - and then Sister French and Sister Nelson, who are my professional escorts. They're all awesome. I've learned so much and felt so much love from all of them. BUT I've been forgotten three times this week. Fun all around :)

All right, I've got to go. I'll talk to you tomorrow! (SO EXCITED) I'll probably call home first, so be ready. Always.

- Sister Rogers