Happy Easter, meine liebe Bruedern und Schwestern!
This week featured a bit of a slowdown on the work. Several of the people we had been working with decided they didn’t want to meet with us anymore and it was also spring break for some of the local schools, so lots of people were out of town. There was still plenty to do, though, and Sister Pratt and I always get to make new friends. One new friend was a very old woman who the Elders had met walking her dog. She saw their name tags and said “Mormons?! I love Mormons!!! Come by for a visit!” So they sent us over. When we knocked on her door and asked her how she was doing, she said, “Not very good.” and when we asked why, she said, “Because I have pancreatic cancer.” We didn’t quite know how to respond, but she invited us to visit with her on her porch. As I sat on her porch swing, feeling like a little kid because my feet didn’t touch the floor, I discovered one of the only people who had heard of Bryn Mawr so far on the mission. You can always count on the classy old ladies to say “Why, Bryn Mawr?! You must have been a fiiiine student” and nod approvingly. Her family has been going to the same Episcopal church for generations and she likes it that way, but we might come by just to hang out and help out with her garden.
Speaking of gardens, now that it’s spring time we are helping out at the community gardens run by the local Ba’hai temple?! Charles Town is not necessarily the first place I would expect to host such a temple, but there we were, weeding the raised beet beds. Unfortunately at this activity I was told that my leopard printed pants were too tight for a missionary. Today Sister Pratt and I also ruled out four of my skirts. My biggest advice to future sister missionaries is that your skirts have to be even longer than you think. I was expecting grandma-level modesty but it’s more like pioneer-level modesty that is the standard. It’s all for the sake of riding bikes, probably. Poor little me. Being a missionary is kind of fun in how restrictive it is. The other day I had a dream that I hugged a man (definitely not allowed) and got in big trouble. Usually if my patience for rules runs short I pretend I’m one of the nuns in Sound of Music or Call the Midwife (aka my heroes) and then I automatically love it. Would the Reverend Mother tire of her habit? Probably never.
This week also brought General Conference!!!!!!!!!! I was never very amped about General Conference before because I kind of felt like I was missing out on some of the social aspects of church, but as a missionary it’s totally different because Conference means NAPPING. So many naps. I would just bundle up on the couch of any old person’s home (we had a different location for every session) and pass out. That is what the conference Ensign is for, right? We just work so hard that any time you sit down for longer than a few minutes you fall asleep. I’m proud to say that I have never fallen asleep while teaching, though. And I stayed awake for most of Sunday, I promise. I loved all of the talks, obviously Uchtdorf’s was a highlight. Also, when he started speaking German it was a highlight not only of the weekend but maybe of my whole entire life so far?? Favorite prank of all time.
This week is also transfer week. For those unfamiliar with the term, a transfer is six weeks long and is how missionaries measure time for some reason. Every transfer we get new planners, new missionaries come in, old missionaries go home, and some missionaries move around and trade companions. You don’t find out if you’re getting transferred or if your companion is until two days before transfer meeting (where everyone meets up and trades companions and cries when their friends go home) but no worries, Sister Pratt and I found out yesterday that we’re staying together. The elders in our ward are both leaving and they’re bringing in two new elders, which is called shotgunning/whitewashing/doubling in. That is kind of unusual and I imagine it will be fun. Reaching the end of my first transfer is a big milestone, especially because I feel like I got here yesterday.
After a bountiful brunch on Sunday, we had another bountiful Easter dinner. Missionaries are so spoiled. There is this wonderful sister who recently moved into our ward. She’s older and a widow and she’s from Kentucky so she has this little house filled with big, overstuffed floral furniture. It’s a very Southern decorating aesthetic. She had us over for ham and funeral potatoes and she gave me and Sister Pratt an Easter basket. We thanked her and she said, “Well you sisters are just like my kids!” She’s the best. She’s also an absolute family history fanatic and a very spunky lady, she is always driving her little lime green car around and on Sunday she was wearing a bright yellow blouse and matching bright yellow capris. I mean really, really yellow, almost neon. It was perfect for Easter. West Virginia is also all decked out for Easter with daffodils, crocuses, and magnolia trees.
My Book of Mormon studies have been so much fun, I hope yours are too. I just started reading Mosiah this week, which is home to Mosiah 18, aka one of my favorite chapters for a long time, and a new favorite, Mosiah 4. I invite all of you to read it. I read it just yesterday morning and it totally kicked my butt, especially the second half.
I love you all, thanks so much to everyone who wrote to me this week! I love hearing about the outside world. If you would like to write to me, I promise to write back and my address is 14 Deerbrook Drive, Charles Town West Virginia 25414