|Holly and her companions in Ohio|
Man there is so much to tell you I don't even know where to start! There have been so many adventures, I'll make sure to tell you about them later. Haha
So we live a couple miles away from the institute on campus, and we don't have cars or bikes, we are just walkers, so we have to get rides from members a lot, or take the bus which doesn't run as often in the summer. The members here are so incredible, I am so impressed. They have taught me who I want to be when I return. In this mission, we have to have 100% Member Present Lessons, so in all lessons we teach, we have to have a member present. There are so many members who volunteer to teach with us anytime, and members feed us! And most of the members that teach with us are actually Recent Converts. Keep in mind, all these members are YSA kids going to college. That is so new to me that they would be willing to do all this! It's incredible. Like today, one of the members who got baptized just a year ago picked us up and drove us around so we could go grocery shopping. They're so awesome.
I am sure you are wondering what we do all day haha. Well, we have the normal morning schedule, and after companionship (or I guess it would be tripanionship) study, we go to the institute and if we don't have lessons, we street contact! We contact up and down High Street and on campus. We start most street contacts by asking them if we can give them a card (pass-along card). Then we ask them if they've heard of the Mormon church, or if they go to school here, or we'll find something that they're wearing or eating or doing that can start a conversation, and we will bridge it to the Gospel and invite them to learn more. Bridging is so fun, we do that a lot on Temple Square. We do lots of bridging roleplays so that when we are giving tours we can always relate everything to the Gospel. So I've been trying to do that here too. For example, yesterday we street contacted this guy Victor, who was in a Pizza Hut uniform. We talked to him a little bit, and I told him that we don't ask anyone to give up any good or truth they believe, but we invite them to come and get more, to add to it like Pizza toppings. He was really open, and we set up a return appointment to teach him more.
We contacted this girl named Cheyenne on campus on Friday. She had marroon hair and lots of piercings. We started to ask about her religious background and she said that she isn't as religious as she used to be, but that she wishes she was because she is having a hard time. We didn't ask about what she is going through, but we testified of how she is a daughter of God, and how He loves her, and how the Gospel can help her and she began to cry and said she really needed to hear that. We asked if we could meet with her and share more with her and she brightened up and said she would really like that. We have an appointment with her tomorrow! We are way excited.
Okay the coolest thing that I have been so excited to write home about!!!.....Yes I dreamed of serving on OSU campus, but even more than that, since I started serving on Temple Square and knew I would go outbound, I have dreamed of teaching someone that Temple Square sisters found. Well it came true!! We are teaching Kevin. He is from mainland China and goes to OSU. He went to Temple Square with his mom who was visiting the states. They were in Utah and KJevin told his mom they should go since he heard it was a good tourist place. So they went, and they had a tour from Sister Hsu and Sister Bomgren, two of my favorite Sisters on Temple Square!! While his mom was busy taking pictures (typical Asain haha), he was listening to what the Sisters had to say, and he wanted to learn more. So the sisters sent local missionaries to him, but because he is going to OSU and lives on campus, he was given to us!! He is the sweetest guy. When he came to Temple Square, he didn't have any religious background and didn't really know anything about God or Jesus Christ, and now he tells us that he is beginning to accept them and that he believes the church is true. We met with him and did some How to Begin Teaching, and he is really solid. He really likes learning about it and he reads the Book of Mormon in Mandarin. And he came to church on Sunday!!! Can I tell you how cool it is to be able to sit next to your investigators? Especially when it is one that Temple Square sisters referred! Man it is a dream come true. I can't wait until he is baptized! We are working on putting him on date, he is ready but doesn't want to be pushed, so we are having him pray about a baptismal date.
It's so similar in some aspects, but so different in others. Like on Temple Square, we only had one hour of church. On OSU, we have 6! We go to both YSA wards. I like it, but it's a little hard to stay awake haha. Oh, and the Mission President changed today, so I will have served under 4 Presidents. Hopefully I can help the new President, President Daines, understand more about Temple Square, how we are just as qualified as any other missionaries, because President Nilsen definitely didn't....haha
Something funny that happened this week to make you laugh...we were walking down High st. when this lady we said hi to turned around and said, are you mormons? She then proceeded to tell us her whole life story about how she was a member of the church but got excommunicated when she was 15 for arguing with her dad because she didn't want to marry the bishop...I'm not really sure it made sense haha we were thinking she might have been a member of one of the breakoff LDS churches so we invited her to return to church but she made a bunch of excuses and said that she already found God and that all churches and Books bring us to Him. Well, a scripture popped in my head, so I told her to look up what I thought was the reference. When I got home that night, I looked it up. I was 3 verses off. I was thinking of the scripture that says that God is mindful of all His children, and that He numbers them but the reference I gave her was for this verse instead: "For behold, they would take up arms against their brethren; they would not suffer themselves to be slain." Haha oops!! Hopefully she didn't go look that one up.
So some of the adventures....
-Because I haven't had a p-day in almost two weeks, I had to do laundry on Saturday. We don't have a washer and dryer, so we had to go to a neighboring complex and use theirs, but it doesn't take coins or cash, only a prepaid card. The sisters before us had left the cards, but it only had $2.25 on it. To wash it costs $1.50. So I threw everything in the wash and used the card. Then I realized we didn't have laundry soap....so my clothes were washed without soap. Then I realized there wasn't $1.50 left on the card to dry them so I had to hang my clothes all around the apartment. There were socks all over the kitchen cabinet handles, shirts hanging everywhere, it was a mess. And because of the humidity, they weren't dry by the morning...oh the struggles haha
-Also, the first day we walked into our apartment, I about barfed at the smell. It stinks like mold! And I took off my shoes only to find that the carpet was soaking wet (hence the smell of mold). Come to find out, the rain storm from the day before had flooded the apartment. But I'm pretty sure there must be a leaky pipe or something too because the carpet will dry out but as soon as we use the kitchen sink or dishwasher, it becomes wet again. So I just have my shoes on constantly.
-One of the not-so-fun adventures....you guys should understand how bad this was for me...last night I got up at midnight to use the restroom. After I washed my hands I opened the door and there were 3 HUGE millipedes outside the door! And not the slow crunchy kind, but big FAT hairy really fast ones. One crawled into our bedroom, one was in the bathroom, and one right outside the bathroom. I started to have a little panic attack and yelled for my companions and they had to come kill them. They are really really fast though, and when you squish them, they just break into 2 millipedes instead of one! But Sister Larsen killed 2 and the other we couldn't find. Of course it was the one in our bedroom :( So I didn't sleep the entire rest of the night because I was convinced it was going to crawl across my face. I was so itchy! I seriously cannot handle the bugs here, I am going to go crazy if I see one more thing crawling in our apartment!
-One of the fun adventures would have to be that because we tripled in, none of us had food in the new area except what the other Sisters had left behind. So we had rice and a little oatmeal, teriyaki sauce, and strawberry syrup to live off of for 3 days haha. We had bought some eggs at a nearby grocery store, so my companion Sister Malloy made some fried rice. Well we didn't have a skillet, just a pot, so she mixed the white rice with the eggs and it made this not so tasty looking paste. Then the bottom burned and the top didn't really cook very well so it was a burned flavor rice and egg paste haha. We tried everything to make it edible. We dumped teryiaki sauce on it, my companion tried putting pretzels in it haha we tried everything but it was nasty!
-The last adventure I'll mention before you get tired of reading was when we didn't know the bus doesn't run on Saturdays so we were forced to walk to the institute.....there are no sidewalks and we didn't want to walk on the shoulder close to the cars so we had to walk through fields to the side of the road and bike paths. It took us over an hour and we got so sunburned and I got blisters on my feet haha it was not the funnest moment of my life.
Oh man the struggles are real haha but the adventures have been so fun, it's all a part of the best time of my life as a missionary. Times that we will look back on and laugh, we already do! I love being part of The Great Ohio Columbus Mission! Minus the bugs, I love it here. Oh but the fireflies are cool. The only things I don't like would be the bugs, the humidity, the fact that nothing ever dries here, including my hair, It's kinda miserable. So it's always in a bun, very attractive I'm sure haha but oh well it's all part of the experience! The people are really nice for the most part, we get a lot of rejection but we are doing our best and that is all that matters. It's kinda hard being tripled in but it's fun to learn together and I am excited for the teaching opportunities we have this week.
I love you!