Thanks for the emails mom. I love your toes and I hope you and Aunt Cheryl had a good time. Wow new neighbors already?!? That's crazy. It's crazy that Evan is home. If you go to his homecoming tell him I said hello and congrats for me k? And also tell Conrad congrats as well! Sabrina is going to love it out here... But I'll get to that later. How long is she gone for again? Tell her to send me pictures!! That's too exciting!
Okay there is so much to tell so I will try to explain everything as best as I can. Okay, so after I talked to you guys on the phone I was starving so I bought a chicken salad sandwich from the airport and got on my flight and sat next to this woman named Shirrel. I hate eating in front of people so I asked her if she wanted to share my sandwich. I convinced her to take half and after that we ended up talking for the rest of the flight to DC. She told me her whole life story and all her boy problems. I am pretty sneaky so after a little while I turned it into a gospel discussion. I had an extra Book of Mormon in my bag and I pulled it out and read 2 Nephi 31 with her. She started to cry and after that it was all history. She wanted to keep it and so I let her. I also wrote down my email and mormon.org. I am hoping to hear back from her but we will see.
I got off of the airplane and I immediately felt the humidity. I guess the day I landed was one of the hottest days so far. My Mission President, his wife, and some Zone leaders picked up all 38 of us. Ya I said 38. It was insanity. We all hopped into the buses and all of our luggage went in a U-Haul We went to his house in Burke Virginia (It's so beautiful), ate dinner and had interviews with the bishop. One AP knows Tanner Wright and I guess he heard from him or his mom that I was coming out here. Hahaha he is so funny. That night I stayed in a member's house and slept in a huge queen size bed by myself. I felt weird not being with Sister Dickson for the night. While I was laying in the bed I found a picture with one of my friends Kelly Allen in it. It is such a small world! The next day we went to transfer meeting and I met my companion. Her name is Sister Mitchell and she is my other half. I just love her. We are practically twins. She is so insightful when it comes to the gospel. She is from Aurora Colorado and so if Ganelle or David knows her family then definitely let me know. What is so crazy is that she has only been out for 3 months. Okay so after we started going to see investigators and also members. It's all such a blur now but next time I write you guys an email I will be sure to bring my planner.
The next day was so incredible though. We had a lesson planned for a potential investigator--my companion and her previous companion found this woman tracting. I was so nervous going into my first lesson but I knew that the Lord would guide us along the way. And Sister Mitchell knew what she was doing so that helped a lot. Anyway, she talked about her life a lot and it just broke my heart. She is a single black woman with 5 kids and she has just dealt with a lot during her lifetime. We gave her the first lesson and it brought her to tears. I then asked her if she would be baptized and she cried and said yes. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! I have been out here 5 days and we have a potential investigator with a baptism date. We scheduled it for June 29, so pray that she will continue to have the desire. We also brought her and her son to a member’s house on Saturday, and her and her son to church yesterday. I just love them so much. We decided to do an FHE at her house today. It's so great.
There have definitely been some hard times as well during these last 5 days. We tract every day for at least one hour. This is something that I am still getting used to but I know that I can push through. I have probably seen every different religion just from tracting. On Friday we went to this cul-de-sac and I found Protestant, 7th Day Adventist, Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, Catholic, and believers of a mystical power all in one neighborhood. It is so definitely a culture shock for sure coming from a little town in Utah.
I love the ward. Well I love the ward mission leader. He took us to Ihop on Saturday for Correlation and I guess he takes us every Saturday. Expect me to come home chunky. But wait, I have a gym in my apartment. So I will stay skinny. I live in a pretty ritzy part of town. Everyone is wealthy. My apartment has a pool which I have contemplated jumping in a few times but my companion keeps me in line. We also have computers in our apartment lounge. The ward gives us tons of food and we eat with them almost every night, and I have a nicer car than the one at home. So parents don’t worry, I’m fine. Ohhh I guess I should probably tell you what area I am in. I am in Centreville and it covers Clifton too. I love it here. People were not kidding when they said it was so green. You would love it mom! Everything is so green. And I feel like it is so green because we have crazy rainstorms. I am going to try to send you a video of us in a rainstorm so hopefully it sends. Food: I have eaten at Chipotle and Panera. And I will probably eat there next week as well. They also have a Cafe Rio here but it’s not in my area. Parents, Family, Loved ones.... A mission is so hard but I am so happy. I understand now that this will change my life. I hope you are doing well and I can’t wait for another email. I will only send a couple pictures but expect more for next week.
Life is good. God is good!
Love, Sister Smith