Yokwe and Aloha!!
These are the customary words of greeting in my mission. Yokwe is a Marshallese word for hello and love, and Aloha is just another greeting. My mission president served as a stake president in Hawaii, which explains why we say it all the time.
I finished my time at the MTC. I will miss a lot of the people I met there, but I'm so excited to be here in California. While I was an STL in the MTC, I called all of the new missionaries that we were leading ducklings on their first night at the MTC, because they were following us... like ducklings. It really stuck. The new missionaries affectionately called me "Master Duck" and saluted me every time they saw me, which was quite often. We got some weird looks, but it was fun. I also learned how to bear my testimony in sign language from some of the new ASL missionaries in our zone, which is very cool. I practice it every night.
After waking up at 2:00 in the morning, taking a bus to the airport, having to go through security twice, due to having my toothpaste in my carry on, and taking my very first plane ride. I made it to California! I got to fly on my very first airplane! I was a complete mess. I found out that I do not do well on airplanes. Luckily, the trip was only an hour and a half long, so I managed. The Elder who was sitting next to me was very kind and helped me through it. It was very interesting. But I made it safe, and that is what's important. At the airport, we were greeted by our mission president, and some of the missionaries from our mission. We rode to the mission home where they fed us and let us take naps in the chapel. It was lovely, if not a little bit weird, to be told to grab a pillow and pick a pew to sleep on. It was very fun.
After our naps, we had transfer meeting where they introduced all of the new missionaries. We all were introduced, then we got our new companions. My new companion is Sister Blair. She is very nice and fun to work with. She got kind of a surprise because we are doubling into a new area, (which means that two missionaries who haven't worked in an area go and open it and start serving there. Our area was closed for one transfer before we came.) training me, and was called as an STL. We also got called as tour guide sisters for the Newport Beach Temple. So every Wednesday night and Thursday morning we will be doing tours on the temple grounds. That is definitely a lot to handle. We will be serving in the South Coast ward. We have met some nice people, and taught a few lessons. We also have Elders serving with us in this ward, which is nice.
This past week has been spent meeting the Bishop, meeting people he thinks we should meet, and trying to fulfill the busy schedule that comes with being a missionary. I have struggled a little with adjustment, but I know that the Lord will help me, and that this is where I'm supposed to be.
I loved General Conference. It was awesome to see three new apostles be called. I was so edified and uplifted. I loved Elder Nelsons talk about sisters, and Brother Lawrence's talk, where he asked "What lack I yet?". We can all learn so much from these brethren. They have been called by a loving Heavenly Father, and inspired to teach us specific things. It was wonderful to hear from the Prophet. I love the leaders of the church and the counsel they give us.
We had the opportunity to be present for one of the Elders lessons. They were teaching an investigator about the Plan of Salvation, but it somehow turned into a lesson on the law of chastity. It is possibly one of the most awkward things that I have ever been able to witness, but it went alright... I think.
My mission address is:
Sister Anne Wood
23 Lake Road
Irvine, California 92604
If you want to send me anything. :)
I am doing well and am enjoying being a missionary. I know this gospel is true, and that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. I love you all, and thank you for your love and support.
Love, Sister Wood