Thursday, August 29, 2013

Monday, August 26th, 2013 - Living in a Third World Country

What an adventure this week has been. First off- I got transfered. President called us last Monday around 9pm with transfer updates and said, "Sister Collins you are being transfered and training and Sister Pooley you are second half training." PHYCH! Sister Pooley was all packed because the transfer calls on Sunday night had said Sister Pooley was leaving. We had went around to all of our appointments with our investigators and Sister Pooley was saying goodbye. Then we had to text everyone and be like, "Just Kidding, Sister Collins is leaving." President said I could come back after transfers and pack, 11 hours before I had to be at the Mission Office. Thank Goodness. Let the craziest week of my mission begin.
My new trainee is Sister Huefner (pronounced Huff-ner). She is from the great Mid-West, Nebraska, the heart-land country. She is 19 years-old and went to BYU-Idaho for a semester. She came out way pre-trained so it's great! We've already been having a lot of fun and laughing a lot (when we haven't been stressed out of our minds- more of that in the next paragraphs).
We whitewashed into the Elders area. When we got there late Tuesday night because the Elders hadn't set up a ride for us from the Mission Home. I came home to pack and the Sisters we were living with hadn't needed to go to the training meetings before transfers and so they packed me! I couldn't believe it when I walked in and my stuff was already packed. They're so sweet! I felt bad for Sister Huefner since I had to be running around like crazy trying to get everything situated and organized with me leaving on such late notice.
Let's talk about the condition of the Apartment shall we? The apartment is a half garage thing behind members like my first area, only this is A LOT bigger and it has a kitchen. Elders have been living in the apartment for 11 years. No Sister has ever set foot in the house until us. The Elders who were serving there both went home- so they didn't care what condition it was in. Here's the condition it was in: maggots in the food, trash everywhere, gross floors, grime all of the walls, patched up holes in the walls because one of the Elders had anger-management issues, supposed bed-bugs in the beds, they had moved on the beds out into the living room because the a/c was broken in the back rooms, lopsided shower rod and curtain, one of the two a/c's was broken (keep in mind it's 110 degrees outside), and just bugs everywhere. Cleanest part of the house? The fridge. And suprisingly the bathroom. Welcome to The Dump in the Third World Country. I have to say I never thought I'd see this bad of an apartment while serving in the Gilbert Mission- I thought I was safe from that. Nope.

Needless to say the owners were not happy about the condition of the apartment (maybe that's why they stuck Sisters in there???). The frist night we were dropped off, after we had cleaned up a little so we could actually take a shower, we stripped the beds to get them ready so we could actually sleep somewhere. As we were stripping them we found bugs which we thought they were bed bugs. We called our zone leaders to try to figure out if they were bed bugs and at this point it's about 10:15pm. The zone leaders told us to take an over-night bag and go sleep at the other Sister's apartment in our zone.---Sidenote, I'm back in the same zone, just reorganized, when I whitewashed in with Sister Holcomb about 6 months ago.--- We went over to sleep on the couch and floor.

The owner fixed the a/c and the housing coordinators came and looked over at the beds. It turned out they were not bed bugs, thank goodness, and we were told to clean up and that our district would be coming on Saturday to help us deep clean and paint the place. This was Wednesday morning. We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon before dinner cleaning and getting it a little more liveable. We were able to meet two of our Ward Mission Leaders so that we could get up to speed on the Area. The area is pretty dead and the Elders did not really leave us anything to really go off of. A lot of things are missing in the records of where people live that they were teaching. Fun times. On Thursday we decided we should go through our Area and try to figure out who we were actually teaching and how we could visit. We also met with the last of our Ward Mission Leader and one of our Bishops. They are so nice and are fired up in missionary work! The Bishop we met with gave us some familes to go by and follow up on the 21 Day Promise to have us get to know the ward members as fast as possible. That night we went by the families and at least met them if they were busy and set up appointments so we could go see them. We also visited some of the people we had wanted to visit who the Elders had been visiting. We met a former investigator named Jim outside and he was not very pleasant. He basically told us what we believe and called us disallusional and crazy. He's a pastor for one of the Christian non-demoninaltional churches. It was Sister Huefner's first Anti. Fun times. On Friday we also got a car which was much needed because we live out of our stake which we serve in. We had been biking at least 20 miles everyday because our area is so big.

On Saturday starting at 8am, four Elders and the housing coordinators came and helped us clean and paint the walls, doors, and trim. They left around 2pm when the whole house was painted and mostly everything was clean. We all went to Culvers! (there's four of us from the Midwest in my zone, so we were all pretty excited. Sister Huefner and I when we found out that's where we were going both screamed. lol). We still had the kitchen cubards (eekk) and the bathroom to tackle. We worked until dinner time, went to dinner exhausted, went back home to unpack and move in all of our things. It took us most of the night to unpack and that's when we found out both a/c's where broken so we had to sleep at the other Sister's apartment again.

On Sunday we were in church from 8-5pm. We cover three wards and we also had meetings with our Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders. We had a dinner with a family who had joined the church about a year ago. They are awesome and seem to be going strong. It was a great Sunday. The Bishops had us stand so everyone could see who we were and we met a lot of people. Since the a/c was still broken, the members we live behind said they had an extra room we could sleep in so we didn't have to sleep on the couch and floor. It was fantastic last night to sleep in a/c and on a bed again! The members are great!
This area has so much potential! In two of the three wards we cover, we're the first Sisters in 9 years to serve there. They're way excited to have us and I'm so excited to be here in the area. I can already tell the members are excited about missionary work, but they just need some guidance. The members are awesome and I'm so excited to be in this area. I can't wait to actually start working full time and not having to deal with all of this craziness with housing. We're almost all cleaned up.
I've learned a lot about patience and just going with the flow. It's been a great learning experience and I've really felt how much Heavenly Father has lifted me up and that He really does care about the little things.

Sister Collins

Sis. Huefner and Sis. Collins

Lauren outside Culver's in Gilbert

An Elder painting the apartment