Alice in Cumberland

The great and terrible week of transfers has arrived! And after a long time (at least in mission years) of being stationed in Charles Town, aka Almost Heaven, they’re sending me off to a new area that people keep telling me is “way out in the sticks.” Keep in mind, these people are Charles Town residents so they have some experience with the sticks. I’m sad to be leaving Charles Town because it is a wonderful, gorgeous place with great people and a practically perfect ward, but I know many more adventures await me in Cumberland. I will be companions with a certain Sister Nish, whom I have only heard rave reviews about. I think transfer time is always bittersweet.

This week I also went on exchanges with Sister Sirrine! She’s a wonderful sister who is in Harpers Ferry. Her area neighbors ours so it was definitely a so close, yet so far experience. Harpers Ferry has a very different vibe because it is a tourist town along the Appalachian Trail. There’s also a part of that area that everyone refers to as “up on the mountain.” At least 12 times since I’ve been here I’ve heard this conversation: “Where do they live?” “Up on the mountain.” I was lucky to be in Harpers Ferry on a day when we had appointments up on the mountain, and it is just beautiful. We drove up past a surprise mountain lake, past Moonshine Rd. and Sour Mash Rd., to a house in Mountain Dew Cir. There we helped one of the Young Women in the ward with mission prep and did some role-playing with her because that’s pretty much all missionaries do ever. We are constantly practicing our teaching on each other. Sometimes I ham it up a little too much and nobody can take me seriously, though. I’m working on becoming more reverent. On the drive home, as I watched the fireflies twinkle deep in the forest and reflect off the mountain lake, I was so grateful to be in such a beautiful area. This part of the country is so green and gentle and pretty.
A slightly less beautiful experience was back at the Harpers Ferry apartment. They are blessed with a bathtub with jets, which I obviously had to try out. These jets turned on just fine, but they did not want to turn off. I tried the button a few more times. It still didn’t want to turn off. I was out of ideas so I decided to go to Sister Sirrine, which was a very terrifying walk down the hall. She was not very excited. We searched around for the breaker box and tried to figure out a way to get the jets turned off but they just kept churning and churning with no end in sight. By this time we needed to be in bed so we decided to wait and see if they would turn off of their own accord. They didn’t. At 6:30the next morning Sister Sirrine woke up, already/still frustrated about the jet situation. This was 6:30, so I didn’t remember about the jets, or about bathtubs, or that I was on exchanges, or on a mission. They were still just going like mad up there but finally we found the breaker box and cut the power in the bathroom. It was terrible/hilarious.
In baby animal news, the fawns are just getting big enough to prance around of their own accord, and we’ve been seeing adorable wee flashes of them disappearing back into the thickets. The countryside continues to be full of knobbly-kneed foals and calves nursing and practicing being animals. So cute. In giant animal news, I met a St. Bernard that literally weighed exactly as much as me this week. He must have known that we had something in common because he really took a shine to me. I sat down and he was the same height as me, and he just wanted to be near me, slobbering and shedding all over me. He rested his giant, heavy head on my chest and shoulder and he even tried to hug me and put his paw around my shoulders. These situations are always a funny time for etiquette. I never know what to do so I just giggled. The dog owner was also really excited to tell us about her political opinions, which is another tricky place to be polite, so I just nodded along and tried to make a facial expression like a stone would make.
This weekend was #socialmediasplit weekend! We had members take ~action shots~ of us being missionaries and put them on some website called Facebook with the hashtags #socialmediasplit and #baltimoremission. Go see them! You might love it!
As I sat in the basketball emporium reading the Book of Mormon while the other missionaries did their thing, I came upon Alma 36. Have you read it?! It honestly blew my mind. I would definitely recommend reading it. It’s all about repentance. Speaking of becoming better/growing/etc, my theme for the upcoming transfer is CHARITY NEVER FAILETH. I want to become the most loving missionary of all time. I just want to love so hard. That’s the dream. Speaking of which, I love you all! Send me a letter at my BRAND NEW ADDRESS:
923 National Hwy
LaVale, MD 21502
‘Splundy Girl (as one of the members loves to call me)

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