I can not believe how long January was! I was still in the MTC at the beginning of January and then I came to Virginia, got a new companion, learned how to talk to people I don't know, had run ins with drunk people, watched a drug deal happen, and had all kinds of crazy experiences! I can't even imagine with this next month has in store.
My companion and I did end up going back to see the guy that was high. (His name is Mike) We knocked on the door and a friend of his answered and was so stoned he couldn't hardly stand, and he couldn't talk clearly so we had NO idea what he was trying to say to us. Eventually he left and got Mike. Mike came to the door in only his underwear and asked if we could just have the lesson inside since it was snowing outside. We told him he had to go put on clothes because we had to have the lesson outside (there were no women inside so we aren't aloud to go in). He came outside and we talked for just a minute. When we asked him why he wanted to meet with us, he told us that he wanted a relationship with God. Then we asked why he wanted a relationship with God and he FREAKED out! He was so offended that we "thought he was stupid" and we would ask that question. He started cussing at us and sent us on our way. He followed us all the way through his yard and still cursing and cussing at us. Needless to say, we are not planning on going back to help him.
Also, funny fact about Smithfield, they have a weird thing for pigs. Yes.. pigs. There is a packing plant for pigs here and supposedly it is the BEST pig meat in the world. So all throughout the town there are pig statues and every store has little pig figurines, they sell pig T-shirts. People will buy and keep little pig decorations in their yards and in their houses. Super weird. But because there is a pig packing plant here, there is also a weird smell. Mondays are when it is at it's worst because that is the day where they burn the parts of pig that they can't use. So it always smells like dog food really strongly every Monday.
The weather, as I've said before, is really weird. At the beginning of this week it was so cold and would snow sometimes. The snow never sticks though, so that sucks.
My mission is a very strict mission! I'm not aloud to say P-day, I have to say preparation day. We are not aloud to be sarcastic... at all. We are also not aloud to be friends with the Elders. I really don't understand that last rule. It makes meetings really awkward because we're never sure how to act around each other. But I guess there is a reason to it and I'll eventually be okay with that rule.
I went on my first Exchange this week. I got to go to Great Bridge and spent 2 days with one of my Sister Training Leaders. She was really quiet so it was a little awkward. She was so excited because they have a bunch of investigators and she wanted to show me how to teach a progressing investigator and what "real and busy" missionary work is like. Well... all of the appointments that she had for my time with her fell through. So I never got to teach a lesson on our exchange. She was really upset by that. The best part about exchanges though, was that I got a little homesick for my companion and for My mission. I hadn't realized how comfortable I had become there until I wasn't there anymore. :)
My companion calls me her little baby hellion, because we are not "robot" missionaries. When ever I crack a joke or try to have a good time, she laughs and says, "I'm so glad you're a real person and not a robot." I guess the fact that I've held onto my personality makes me a real person/hellion.
I GOT TO SEE A HEDGEHOG! How cool is that?!?!?! We went knocking on doors of inactive members and this one lady let us in. She isn't a member but her husband is an inactive. She made friends with us right away and wanted to show us her pet hedgehog! I will send a picture of it because is was so weird and awesome.
A lot of our less actives and non members that we have to see are pretty rude to us. So we decided that would bake cookies and use that to get into people's houses... IT WORKED! People are so much nicer to us when we have goodies, along with the word of God ;) to offer them. So we spend any free time baking cookies now.
Also, it seems like my companion and I are Always sick. The mission nurse told us that it is so hard to heal and recover when you're on a mission because there is so much stress. Well it's true. I don't have the same cold I had when I got here but my asthma makes things so difficult. The moisture in the air makes it hard to breath any way and then add asthma to that and it makes it awful. I'm always coughing and out of breath. I take my inhaler almost every day to every other day. I'm not sure if that is healthy so I'm trying to use it as infrequently as possible. My companion is ALWAYS sick, She coughs and coughs and sometimes can't catch her breath, so I'm trying to convince her to talk to the mission nurse, but she doesn't want to. So cross your fingers that my companion doesn't die from not being able to breath.
Every day we check the mail... sometimes we do this several times throughout the day. We also talk to our mailbox. Whenever it comes up empty, we warn it that it only has more chance to redeem itself. Then if we don't receive any mail that day we beat the mailbox. We kick it and yell at it, anyone watching probably thinks we're crazy... maybe we are.
Remember how I told you that the elders in our area got in a car accident? Well One of them got a really bad concussion and his companion also got a concussion and a broken ankle. The one driving the car is no longer aloud to drive a car for the rest of his mission, even though the accident wasn't his fault. So he has been transferred to a bike riding part of the mission. His companion is having a very difficult time recovering (the stress makes it hard to heal) So he is staying with a senior missionary couple while he decides if he can finish his mission or not. He has only been out 6 weeks longer then me.
The humidity here has made having long hair very obnoxious. So my companion and I are thinking about getting our hair cut short... What are your opinions on this? I was thinking of an A-line? cut, but doing it shoulder length... maybe.
Remember how I told you guys, at the beginning of my time in Virginia, that there were two elders that got shot and one got killed about thirty minutes from where I live? Well the sisters here are trying to get president Baker to open up that same area for sister missionaries! They're insane! I don't want to have the chance to serve there. The elders that do serve there have insane stories about that place. They say that sometimes they will be in the middle of a lesson and some one will shoot through the windows! Or they will hear gun shots outside and every one in the house will lay down on the floor and just finish the lesson down there. So let's hope that president does NOT allow this place to open up for sister missionaries. (this place is called the "Numbered Streets")
A small miracle I have experienced since coming on my mission is that I have been able to eat any food that people give me. Some of the people here like to serve us really weird and gross things. I have been able to eat all of the food they give me, I'm so proud of myself! :) As missionaries we have to eat ALL the food on our plate, so I can't pick and choose what to eat and a lot of times I can't even choose how much to eat because they dish it out for me. So this has been so awesome that I have been able to do this without throwing up :).
I love you all very much and miss you very much too. I get so excited when the end of the week comes around because I know I will get to read your e-mails and write to you about my crazy life.
I love you!!! <3
Your favorite missionary daughter
Sister (Amanda) MacKay
P.S. You don't have to worry about sending my stamps after all, the money I get for groceries also pays for stamps.
I do have a few things I would like for you to send me in my next package...
1. Ephraim's Rescue. I think I might have already asked Kirstie for this, but I can't remember. We aren't aloud to watch money movies out here, and that is one of the few, but we don't own it.
2. The Living Scripture dvds, we are also aloud and encouraged to watch those.
3.My colored pens. They should be in my room in that awesome little white thingy doodad
4. Music, any music that invites the spirit I am aloud to listen to. I especially want the one by Nashville Tribute "My Call To Serve". So pretty much anything my Nashville Tribute that you think I might like, and any other music that brings the spirit.
I know you can't send all of this at once, but these are things that I need and some things I want.... thank you :)