Tuesday, October 18, 2016

First Day in the New Mexico Mission

Wow, this week was a big week! Monday was such a long day, we were up at 2:45 and spent the entire day dragging around luggage through the airports, trying to stick together (there were 11 of us), and then we finally made it and the mission president and his wife are super nice and let us rest for a little bit, but we were still exhausted. But I think I've caught up on sleep now, which is wonderful. I got to my area Tuesday afternoon, and so far, I love it! We serve in 2 wards in Monticello, and a branch in Dove Creek, which is in Colorado. They are both really small towns. 

We drive a silver 2014 Nissan Frontier truck. It's super nice, and it has a USB music port, so we listen to music all the time, and it has the feature where you call somebody, and it hooks up to the speakers in the car so we can talk and drive, it saves us so much time!

We usually drive 20 miles from our home to either Monticello or Dove Creek because they are in opposite directions, and spend the day there. We usually park the truck somewhere and walk everywhere because the town is so tiny. We spent our first day in Dove Creek. We were walking from house to house visiting different people. One of them was a less active, and we were sitting on his back porch reading from the Book of Mormon with him. He has a dog who wouldn't stop barking. It was his turn to read the next verse, and in the middle of it, he shouts "Shut up Homer!" I'm guessing that's the name of the dog. It was really funny though! We tried not to laugh. After our appointments, we were tracting, and there was a drunk man sitting on his porch. Sister Steadman says they have gone many times before and shared a message with him. As we walked by, he called us over, so we go say hi to him and shared a quick message. So yeah, I taught a drunk man on my first day.

On Wednesday, we had a service project. We reinforced a hogan. (Hogan is a traditional Navajo house. It looks like an igloo, but it's made of mud. They are round and about 12 feet tall. This one was a replica for some historical site). The funny thing is, they are made of mud. So, how do you reinforce mud? By adding mud to it. Doesn't that just make perfect sense? I'm wondering what happens when it rains. Or maybe it doesn't rain enough out here to do any damage. But anyway, we spent the afternoon mixing dirt and water in buckets and then carrying it over to this hogan, and just sliming mud where it was weak.

We have an investigator named Louis, who is having a hard time getting over some addictions. He says he's committed to living the gospel, but can't stop drinking. But he has moved to the elder's area now so we won't be working with him anymore. Most of the people here are less actives. And it's surprising how many people have been ex-communicated from the church. I think a third of the population here has been ex-commnunicated at some point in their life. Some of them are still non-members, some have been re-baptized and are now active, but most of the people we work with are less active.

I live in Eastland, which is in Utah but part of the Colorado branch. The lady we live with is super nice. She's 85 and widowed. Sister Steadman says when they first got here, she was a little grumpy, but she has warmed up now that she has company all the time. I think she was just lonely. But she has an awesome house! It's like a country cottage on the outside, and Victorian style and decoration on the inside. It's in the middle of nowhere (a tiny dirt road that turns off of a dirt trail is the driveway). But it's super nice, and there's a piano in there, which is wonderful. We are so spoiled!!

I love you more than the number of square miles of fields out here! (I'ts basically all farmland or nothing).

Hope all is well! 
Sister Withers

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