September 29, 2014
I am writing to you today from OCEAN, NEW JERSEY! I am down the shore (it’s not the beach here – it’s the shore. People will not hesitate to correct you), and I love it! Southern NJ is so different from the northern part. It feels like a completely different mission! Wordly reference: I feel like Katniss Everdeen when she went to District 1 for the first time. She came from straight-laced, strict District 12 and went to wild, crazy District 1. I am in culture shock. Missionaries listen to Carrie Underwood’s ‘Jesus Take the Wheel’, play crazy pranks, and wear normal clothes on P-Days. Ah! It is the most shocking life style change! I feel like I’ve joined the rebel army, and it’s weird. Other than feeling like a fish out of water, I love it! We live about 20 minutes from the shore, and our zone usually spends P-Days playing volleyball and beach bummin’. It’s a dream.
Saying goodbye to Sister Taylor was one of the saddest experiences ever! It reminded me of moving out of BYU and not being roommates with Kristin and Ellen anymore. So heart breaking! However, I am so excited to be in my new area with my new companion.
My companion’s name is Sister Fjerstad (Fear-stad), and she is the most enthusiastic, cheerful human being I have ever met. The ward all calls her “Glorious Sunshine” and “Sister Bubbles”, and it completely fits her. Sister Fjerstad was Sister Taylor’s companion in the MTC, which is kind of crazy if you think about it! She has the most amazing gift of making people feel loved. When you talk to her, you feel like you are her best friend and that she loves you! I’m excited to be her companion, because that is definitely something I can improve on. Sister Fjerstad is so incredibly charitable!
On Tuesday, we went straight from the transfer conference in Morristown to our ward’s Relief Society activity…ZUMBA! YES. Shock number 1: we were allowed to do zumba. It was SO fun. Dancing to Latin music is a great way to get to know ward members. You just create this special bond with each other, you know? I am serving in the Eatontown 2nd ward in the Eatontown South area. One of my friends from school was Kimmy Woodward, and this is her home ward! I met her after I got my mission call to come here. I would go down to the second floor of Stover and talk to her all about NJ and ask her tons of questions. She told me all about this area, and now I am serving here! It’s super fun. Her parents and grandma live in this ward, and they are so much fun! It’s kind of like I already know them! I love it.
One day this week, we were able to go out and visit one of our investigators. Her name is _______, and she is amazing. She is a recovering heroin addict (her next door neighbor, one of our other investigators, happens to be the dealer, ha..she’s clean now though), and she crawled straight into my heart! Heavenly Father loves her so much, and she knows it. Her testimony of the gospel and of the Savior is so strong, and she wants to be baptized as soon as she can! Apparently, she was really uncomfortable with the idea of a new sister missionary coming in – she was absolutely determined to hate me. Luckily, it didn’t work out quite like that. 20 minutes after meeting me, she adopted me as her daughter and has decided that she’ll love me forever. (Insert prayer of gratitude). She and I connected almost instantly, and I am so grateful that I get to be here to serve her!
Well, I love you all tons! Have a joyful week, and be jersey strong!