A Message in three parts:
Part One--The Airport:
I think in the first few hours of being outside of the MTC I faced both the good and the bad of missionary life.
The Good: We were sitting around in a group and I look at Sister Rogers (my temporary companion) and say we are going to help someone, she perks up and agrees to come along. Right as I say that I see this family--three kids, pregnant wife, a million tote bags, carrying a car seat--obviously rushing to their next stop--we are helping them. I start walking in pace and ask them if they need help. They pass us some of their stuff so they can pick up their younger kids and we run to the gate. We get there JUST in time before they closed the door. The family in a rush thanks us and gets on board. As we left them and the people who had witnessed what we did smiled at us I just was filled with this joy of knowing that what I did is what I would expect of someone who wears the name of christ on their chest.
In direct contrast: I got on the airplane (a small little commuter) and the lady who was sitting on the window side got in with a smile. We exchanged brief hellos and I start to take off my jacket, which reveled my name tag. When she sees it she blatantly scoffs, rolls her eyes, and opened her magazine and starting reading with a stern face. I just turn away and start talking to Sister Irwin across the isle. Then she says excuse me and moves to a different seat.
It wasn't that I was offended. I was just shocked. How could you hate someone so vehemently that you don't even know. But, like I was saying last week. "if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you" (john 15:18)
Part two--Where Are You Now
When we first got to Reno, we went to the mission home and met President Hermansen! We got interviews and had a 5 hour long orientation. At the end, they announced where we would be going and who our companion would be. The AP's started announcing who was going where. Finally, "Sister Golding--Spring Creek, Sister Woods. You will meet your trainer tomorrow". Me, "what?". "You will be taking a transfer van heading east in the morning."
My first night I stayed with a temporary set of sisters. Honestly, they were great. Super cute, super fun. But... my experience with them could be described in one word: unimpressed. It just wasn't what I left my family, friends, and schooling for. I won't go into detail because I don't want to give them a bad rep. but needless to say, I was worried. I was worried that I would be unimpressed with my area.
Luckily the Lord knows me so Well(s). HAhaha. sorry that was stupid. I'm in Wells!
I meet my trainer (Love her!) and she is just like "umm.. we are kinda in a weird situation. Yeah, we are going to be re-opening an area in the mission. We are the only missionaries for an hour in all directions so I am the district leader and we are our district. Also, we are living in a motel...hahaha"
This is a strange occurrence and obviously only happen through divine intervention: President Hermansen had a hard time figuring out how to do transfers and just couldn't work it out. He extended giving the assignments a day. Last minute (usually happens on Saturday morning, but came Sunday night) he calls Sister Woods and asks her if she would be willing to open up an area in the mission with a sister from Salt Lake as district leader. Then, Tuesday afternoon (which would have been right after my interview with the president) she receives another phone call that would normally come Saturday. President says "there has been a slight change of plans. Will you train a new sister?"
And just like that I end up opening an area for my first... area in a little (and I mean little) town called Wells with another sister who is training for the first time and has been out 6 months!
Honestly, I know the Lord knew we could handle this assignment and trusts us to do it well. We are both quite outgoing and have met a lot of people and have already seen miracles. The Lord knew I didn't want to waste time and mess around and put me somewhere with someone that had the same exact idea.
So here are some fun facts about Wells (which we both decided that with the worng attitude we know LOTS of people would complain or cry about and we just think it's funny):
-Our apartment is a... old, rundown, small, quaint...motel room (you should have seen us try to fit our bikes in there the first day). We love it.
-Our apartment/motel... the room they are re-furnishing for us. Yeah, we just found out last time it was used someone committed suicide in... BUT HEY! NEW STUFF!
-We have an Elf shower.. like Buddy in the north pole Elf shower. Luckily Sister woods is even shorter than me so it's a great size.
-We wash our dishes in the shower. Our sink is too small.
-Behind our motel are the two brothels (often refereed to as houses of questionable activity). HAhaha. We laughed so hard when we found that out.
-A train track run right by our motel. We are often awaken by train horns. And I mean literally. The tracks run Right behind out apartment.
-In the high school, middle school, and elementry combined. There is 300 kids. And that's three towns (ruby valley, clover valley, and wells).
-We have a grocery store, a family dollar, and a post office. That's it. Well, plus the truck stops and two brothels.
-it is Orangeville (where I lived in Utah). Just a nice, cute small town. Everyone here is just the nicest.
-Everyone knows everything about everyone.
-We get lost.. a lot. The directions they give often include trees and rocks and where people use to live. The numbering on the houses (if you are lucky enough to get a number) just make no sense. They go 203 208 213 1204 on one side yesterday (real occurance. not exaggerating)
-Because we get lost, we often knock at the wrong door. But we have yet to be turned away and are often invited back.
-We keep thinking we have new investigators and come to find out (within the next person we meet) that they are just less active.
-Everyone is just so excited we are here and want to come out with us or have us over. I guess in a town with nothing to do, we are the newest and most exciting thing .
Part three-- It was going to be miracles, but I'm running out of time.
Making this short.
Miracles: defined as things that by all means shouldn't happen but do.
I have been the recipient of many miracle throughout my life, but I wanted to share a few that happened in the past week.
My insomnia kicked in the day before we left, I got about maybe 15 minuites of sleep before I had to get ready to fly out. I remember thinking about the song How Firm a Foundation and the words "i'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand". I decided I would trust in that promise and it was as if I got a full nights worth of sleep. I stayed awake, more so than others, for the entire day.
But perhaps the greatest miracle is the Christ truely came to Earth and through Him we can all be saved and become better. The miracle is that through all the heartache and destruction and calamities in this world, we can face the future with hope and happiness.
MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!! my mailing address
Sister Marah Golding
PO box 194
Wells, NV 89835
Here's a pic of my MTC district, me at the Laundry mat this morning, and me and my comp!