Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crusin through Wisconsin

Dear Family and Friends,

Cheers from the great state of Wisconsin! I hope all is well back home and that you've had a great week(: Things have been really busy here so I'll do my best to cover all the bases! My MTC District and I arrived in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon where we were met by President and Sister Cutler! It was so fun to see them again. They are such sweet people!

Initial Impressions:
As we exited the airport and headed for the mission home I got my first glimpse of Wisconsin. All I could think was, man it is SO green here! There are trees everywhere! I almost felt claustrophobic because I couldn't see out to the mountains! Ha I miss the mountains a LOT, but it is super pretty here. The weather was cool when we got here, but today it's hot and humid! Thankfully the humidity hasn't been too bad yet, I only feel a little sticky...

Night at the Mission Home:
They dropped us off at the mission home and fed us a delicious lunch before sending us out tracting! I went out with Sister Griffins who is serving in the Milwaukee area right now. She taught me how to do the door approach thing and we had a blast knocking on doors for a bit! We didn't have any real success at first, but eventually we talked with a man named Dean who took a copy of the Book of Mormon and agreed to read it! It was so sweet! After that we had interviews with President Cutler, orientation, dinner, and a testimony meeting. Testimony meetings are always great, but it was cool to be with my District one last time and see just how much our testimonies have grown over the past couple weeks! I really miss them all! The next day we were all assigned to trainers and sent off to various parts of the mission. Saying goodbye to Sister Escobar was the worst! We're hoping we get to be companions again sometime during the next 18 months(:

Wisconsin Rapids:
1) The Companion: My new companion and trainer is Sister Christiansen! She's from Orem, Utah and will turn 20 next month. She's been out on her mission for 6 months and has served in Wisconsin Rapids the entire time! The members all love her and always invite us over. She dislocated her ankle while playing volleyball with the ward in May and is still in a boot! She uses crutches and can't walk very fast, but I never hear her complain. They're hoping she won't need surgery because if she does she'll have to go home! Hopefully it'll heal though! Because she's crippled I have to drive! Ha so my second day in Wisconsin was spent driving the 3 hours from Milwaukee to Wisconsin Rapids - it ruled! I like our white Jeep Compass, but wish it was a stick shift. I keep putting my left foot down to change gears out of habit.. Ha the roads here are all bumpy old concrete and there's loads of construction going on so that makes things interesting. Sister Christiansen has a nice GPS that gets us where we need to be though so life is good(:
2) The Area: Wisconsin Rapids is cute little "city" though it reminds me more of a small town. There's a river that runs through it and a bunch of cute little old houses. There are ice cream parlors everywhere. We live in a little apartment and there is a little forest right outside our apartment door!
3) The People: The ward is small, but so awesome! So many different people from different walks of life! Most of the ward is made up of converts who all have incredible conversion stories. We work a lot with the members and they kindly feed us a couple times a week. This week we made our own pizzas at a members house which was fun! Thursday night is 'Sports Night' with the ward where we play kickball, basketball, and volleyball over at the church with members, inactives,and investigators. On Fridays we volunteer in the community by helping out at Bethesda's local thrift shop and the Rehabilitation Center. We talk with people all the time about the church, but everyone thinks we are more modern nuns which is weird. I am definitely not a nun!!!

Personal Study is Powerful!:
Personal study might very well be my favorite part of the day! I know it sounds crazy, but I love the quiet hour I get to spend each morning studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It brings such peace and happiness into my life! I love it! This week I restarted the Book of Mormon so I read 1 Nephi 3 and was blown away by how incredibly obedient Nephi is. I love that he WILLINGLY obeyed the Lord even when it was tough!

I love you all dearly and miss you like crazy, but I send my love from Rapids(:
Sister Kelley
Ready to board with my awesome district!

My first view of WI!

Sisters Kelley, Christiansen, Hansen, and Hurst! It is the Wisconsin Rapids Family Tree if you will 
because Sister Hurst (who went home the day after this picture was taken) 
trained Sister Hansen who trained Sister Christiansen who is training me(:

In front of our apartment.

The paper plant across from our apartment. Most everyone in town works here!

The cute little Jeep Compass that I get to drive around.

Had my first Culver's ice cream cone today! MMM(:
Sister Christiansen loves sweets and always wants to stop to get ice cream...
Ha there is an ice cream place on almost every corner here!

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