Monday, July 13, 2015

News 12

My Family!!!
   This letter will most likely be pretty short and boring. This week we didn't really get to teach many lessons. We got yelled at by at least one person Every Single Day this week, and that really wasn't any fun. We did find a new investigator though. I can't understand anything she says because she has had a stroke and doesn't talk very clearly, but my companion can understand her okayish, so we're doing what we can to teach her. And even though she has a hard time understanding us as well, she has promised to read the Book of Mormon and says that she'll learn through that and by the Spirit.
   We have gotten to do quite a bit of baking these last few days since Brother Davenport past away. We were asked to make a TON of muffins so that the Davenport family would have something to eat each morning. We had his funeral yesterday and it was probably the weirdest funeral that I have ever been to. None of the family spoke, it was just men that Brother Davenport had served on the high counsel with. And they just kept telling the story about his death over and over and over again. The elders had been with Brother Davenport the night that he died, and so these men kept saying stupid stuff like, "These elders won't remember the death of Brother Davenport, they'll just remember his beautiful testimony." It was weird, I wanted to throw things at them every time they retold the story of how he died. Is that a normal thing for people to talk about at funerals? I don't know.
   On Saturday, the day before the funeral, Sister Villegas and I got to go to the church with some of the men in the ward and shovel the snow and ice off the side walks to prepare for the funeral. I must have done something wrong while shoveling or maybe it's just been a long time since I've  done hard manual labor. But for these last two days my back has been hurting SUPER bad. I laid down on the floor last night while we waited for it to be bedtime, and I couldn't get back up. So we're hoping that goes away soon.
   OH! I do have some very exciting news though! When we got to do our conference call with President Baker (it's a conference call that we do once a week and everyone missionary in our mission is part of it) and he announced that in March we will be able to go to the temple!!!!! I think we get to go on March 25 :).
   I really don't think there is much else to tell you guys. This has just been a really weird week and I'm glad it's over and have my fingers crossed that next week will be better. I love you all and hope things are going good at home.
    Sister (Amanda) MacKay

News 11

My Family!!!

        I thought I was going to go crazy! I can't believe I've had to wait until Thursday to write to you!! I hope you got the e-mails and texts from some of the people here letting you know that I was still alive. The weather has been so weird and we had to stay inside for a couple of days. Then the library was closed until today, so I'm sorry it's taken me so long.
        And by the way, having to stay inside when you're a missionary SUCKS! I thought it would be so much fun to have a day off and just chill inside with my companion. But we don't have anything to do. We own two movies so we watched those. We deep cleaned our apartment, we cooked, and painted our nails... And that took all of 4 hours. So we just slept a lot and played skip-bo over and over and over and over again. We kept asking members if they owned Ephraim's Rescue so we could have something new to watch, But no one owns it!
        We did find 2 new investigators at the end of last week though :). One is Quamain, he is a college student and totally loved the lesson about the Restoration, he LOVES the idea od modern day prophets. I'm looking forward to when we get to teach him again. We are also starting to teach his grandma, Joanna, she loves the idea of more scripture then the bible and wants us to teach her twice a week even though we are only supposed to teach each person once a week, so she has decided that she wants to sit on for our lessons with Quamain and still have lessons of her own.
        We got quite a bit of snow this week. We got about 8 inches, which really isn't that bad. Except for every one in Virginia goes into panic mode when they hear a storm is coming. So when we got to go grocery shopping on Monday it was packed! They were almost sold out of milk and eggs and all kinds of stuff. Later though I understood why everyone freaks out... Virginia doesn't have plows or anything to clear the roads. So the roads are super bad and no one can get out of their drive ways. And if I thought my companion's driving was scary on a normal day adding snow makes it far more intimidating. And Virginia has ditches EVERYWHERE so whenever we would slide, even a little bit, we were freaking out. We got stuck twice and had almost all of our appointments cancel on us this week, so it's been hard to find ways to be productive when you can't drive to a lot of places. So we have been doing a lot of walking.
        I also have a sad story. There is a man in our ward, Brother Davenport, and he is SUPER funny. Everybody loves this guy. Well last night the elders were over at the Davenport's house having dinner, and they were all laughing and having a good time, then suddenly Brother Davenport just dropped dead. He hadn't showed any sign that anything was wrong... he just died. I feel so bad for the elders, but it's a good thing that they were there to support Sister Davenport. So in a couple of days Sister Villegas and I will be attending his funeral.
        I do have a funny story though :). There is a lady that Sister Villegas and I visit pretty often, and when we drive to her house we usual pull in to a Baptist church parking lot as a short cut to the visitor's parking at her apartment. Well a couple weeks ago we had pulled in and there were a bunch of people in the parking lot and we were wondering what was going on. Well when we pulled around to the back of the building... there was a hearse getting ready to pull out!!! We couldn't just flip a quick U-turn and get out of the way because there were cars parked back there and the road was too narrow. So I had to jump out and help her do a three point back up (or what ever you call it) and people were yelling at me and telling us to get out of the way and have some respect for the dead... it was awful. Now here comes the even funnier part. Yesterday we went to see this lady again (her name is Sharron) and we decided that we would pull through the Baptist parking lot again. As we were pulling in I made a joke about how "we might ruin another funeral again." And then as we pulled around to the back... THERE WAS ANOTHER FUNERAL GOING ON!! And we had to do the same thing, I had to get out to help her get out of the parking lot, and people were yelling at me again. And it was icey in the parking lot, so I looked behind me for just a second to try not to fall, and Sister Villegas hit me with the car! Not very hard, but she was in such a hurry to get out of there that she wasn't watching me very carefully. I'm okay though :) and we made it out of there alive :).
        I love you all a bunch, and I will be writing to you again soon :). I hope that you all had a really good week and enjoyed Knox's baby blessing, I wish I could have been there with y'all.
   Sister (Amanda) MacKay

News 10



        Mondays don't come often enough! I love getting to hear from you all and hear that you're doing okay. They also never give me enough time to give really good replies or to send you all the news about what's going on out here. I think we need to talk to President Monson about this ;).
        Well this week has really tested my patience. Our house has decided to have a mind of it's own because our lights turn on and off when ever they feel like it. We'll be in the kitchen making dinner and the lights will turn off, so we have to wiggle the light switch a couple times before the light will come back on. We've tried changing the light bulb and everything, but that didn't help. Then last night the light kept coming back on even though the switch was down... weird. Also my companion and I have been having an interesting(?) time with each other. We are definitely Not best friends. And we both know that. Sometimes she will be very short with me and I have to grit my teeth and take it. And sometimes I even get that way with her too. I still have about 6 or 7 weeks left until I'll be done with training, and then I will most likely receive a new companion. So hopefully we figure out our differences by then or that we can just hold out and keep our peace with each other until one of us gets transferred. We do have some good times though, not every minute with each other is awful. When she lets loose and gets goofy in the car or at home we really have fun joking and laughing together. Sometimes we will sing really loud and off tune in the car, or we'll randomly stop to take pictures with each other. Also we are making friends with people in the ward, and we always have fun and get along when we are with them. Also, the other day we had been having a REALLY bad day and people had been especially mean to us, so when we got home I started cooking dinner, and Sister Villegas decided to make a fort! Yes a fort. She rearranged the furniture and brought out blankets and pillows. So we ate our dinner and watched "Legacy" in our fort. :)
        Last Preparation day a less active family (The Flippos) took us and another set of sisters, out ice skating! It was SO much fun!!! I actually was getting pretty good at it by the time we left. But I did fall... a lot. I also took Sister Villegas down with me one time, that was pretty funny :). And since it was a Monday, we were the only ones there besides one other guy. Even though it was really fun I have been paying for it since then. I pulled a muscle or something in my shoulder trying to catch myself one of the times I feel. I bruised my tailbone pretty good. And we thought I had broken my hand, because it was bruised really and it hurt to move it. But I iced it and it feels okay now so I guess it's fine :).
        I've also decided that I'm going a bit more crazy each day. This whole last week I've gone crazy every time I've seen a dog. I'll sit there and pet them at dinner appointments and hold them in my lap during member lessons. Heck I even pet a random dog that came running up to us when we got out of the car. I miss having pets. One of the members here really likes dogs, especially Labradors, so we spent a good 15 minutes talking dog talk and I loved it! :)
        The people that we get to work with and teach are really starting to love and trust us more. They all want to spend our P-days with us and have fun with us. There is one in particular who has decided to "adopt" me. Her name is Renaye, and she is crazy! She is a recent convert and is  a super crazy black lady :). She has renamed me "Jan" off of the Brady Bunch. And she cooks us food every time we go to her house, she also makes us these little bead friendship bracelets. They also get after us if we don't wear gloves, a hat, a coat and a scarf everywhere we go. So we keep those in the car at all times to put on right before any lesson with her. We had told her a story the other day about some people who had been incredibly rude to us. She was very upset that anyone would be mean to us, so she made us come to her house, and she cooked us lunch and cried about how we were just so nice that no one should ever be mean to us. She's awesome :).
        There are also people here that are not nice to us at all. We went to the house of a family that hadn't been to church in a while, and when they answered the door they blew up at us big time! They started yelling at us and told us they hate the Mormons and if we were Mormon they wanted us to leave. The husband was screaming at us and I thought for sure that he would come out of the house, I was really scared. But Sister Villegas kept trying to talk to them and told them that we could help them get their records removed, but they wouldn't listen, so finally we left. It sucks how many people there are like that here.
         Friday we didn't get to do much of anything. We had a zone conference where we all got in trouble for the way we use planners, so they tried to teach us the proper way to do it. We were also informed that a new rule in the mission is that we can no longer use a pen with certain things. The rules here are weird. But when the meeting was over we went out to lunch, and that was a bad idea. I either got food poisoning or a 24 hour stomach bug thing, because we barely made it home in time for me to through up. So we ended up spending the rest of the day in the apartment, and that sucks because the things I would normally do at home, like watch movies, I can't do out here. But by the next day I was feeling better, so we were able to go back to work.
        We have this cool Sister Training Conference thing coming up on Tuesday. I have no idea what it is for or what we will be doing, but it's different from what we normally do so I'm excited for it. We also have to host some Sisters from North Carolina, but it will only be for a day and night.
        Well I'm out of time, I wish I could tell you more... maybe next time. I love you all and hope everything is going good at home and that you have a really fun Valentines day!

     Sister (Amanda) MacKay