Monday, October 3, 2011

letter from 10-03-11

Posted for Christine by Jana

Here are some pictures I swiped off the mission blog that Christine was in:


Here is a picture of Christine with her trainer, Sis. Patterson:


Christine is just off to the side in this picture, but I swiped it anyways:


One more:


Christine’s email:

Good afternoon Gainesville fans!

My address is:

3461 SW 2nd Ave Apt 266

Gainesville, FL 32607

WRITE ME! :) please

I'm finally living in a real college town!!! WOOHOO!!!

It's another warm day in the south! Our apartment got all the way down to 70 last night with the air conditioning and fans going all night. But then I got up and it was cooler outside than inside. Oh the injustice. But I'm too nervous to sleep with my window open here.

I did get to watch conference this weekend. Saturday morning we watched it at the stake center. Then the Bishop's wife invited us over to watch the afternoon session with her. Sunday we watched it with the Self family. We watched the morning session, ate lunch, and then watched the afternoon session with them. They are a wonderful family, amazingly generous, and have the most beautiful home I've ever seen. Here's it more like the afternoon and evening sessions, so that was different. It was wonderful though! I took copious amounts of notes and still feel like I missed a lot. I'd love to hear from you all what you learned and what inspiration you recieved. I felt that every talk was just for me and had little gems to boost me up specifically.

My arrival is a hilarious story! We were assigned Gainesville handed car keys, given a brand new phone, google map directions to the apartment and told good luck...Someone was smart enough to scrawl the DLs and ZLs numbers on a paper for us at last minute and then sent us on our way. Sister Patterson had to drive as I am still working to get permissions since I have to repent for my accident in 2009. She is from Redmond, Oregon and doesn't know how to drive in a city. Needless to say my life flashed before my eyes many times. (It was short and boring.) We got to the apartment 2 hours later after getting lost a couple times only to discover no one had given us a key to the apartment. We called our DL and he promptly told us the spanish elders had it and would bring it by. 30 minutes later we finally got a key and into the apartment. Only to find it has no food but a few packs of ramen and a can of soup. There is also no area book. The area book is the holy grail of missionary life. It has information on all investigators, baptisms, ward people, where things are in the city, a map of the area, and other such gems of knowledge. But since we are opening the area for sisters, there was no such book. :( We called the ZLs who used to be over the ward we were now the missionaries for and they said they'd bring us an area book. Hours later they came over and handed us outdated investigator records from when sisters were here last. And that is all we had. So the first day made me want to cry and fly home. But I couldn't, cause I didn't even know where I was really and how to get anywhere. So I unpacked and settled in for battle. The next evening we finally got a borrowed gps from the elders, found a walmart and went grocery shopping. Its the end of the month so sister patterson knew she didn't have a lot of money left on her card, but figured she had about $20. I knew I was only given $13.81 to finish the month. She took her half of our meager groceries (we had bread, peanut butter, jelly, milk, and a few other things) It rang up to $13.81. She ran her card and was denied. She apparently had spent her funds. She looked at me panicked. She only had a small portion of the groceries. I told him to add mine to the total and see where that got us. $45.24 (we had gotten some cleaning supplies and a pillow for me as well). At this point I had no choice but to pull out my own debit card and make the purchase. All I could think was how blessed I was to have that internship over the summer or we would have had to go hungry until the month rolled over and we got our october funds. It also reminded me of what Austin taught me. He said to always keep a reserve of $50 because you never knew what situation you were going into in a transfer. Well, I got a broke companion, a new area, and empty cupboards. I am now a firm believer of the $50 reserve. Thank you Austin. And thank you Heavenly Father for the blessing of a job that meant I had a cushion for emergencies.

But no fear! I love it here. The few people we have met are wonderful. The Bishop and RS pres are both out of town so it's just been random ward members so far, but they are amazing. The Self family has a 19 year old daughter attending UF that is a mix between Emily (brookhart) and I. I already love her! Her boyfriend isn't Mormon so we hope to work with her and her boyfriend and maybe take care of that. :) Her mom is really hopeful.

We are the only sisters in the district. We are opening this as a sisters area. Boy does the Lord have more faith in me than I do. So pray for us! It's an uphill battle like you wouldn't believe to open an area.

Kylene is close to her due date! YAY! Can't wait to hear about the newest blonde beauty to storm Ucon.

Any news on Michelle's heart? Thanks for keeping me in the loop. Hopefully we get answers soon.

I forgot to bring my camera to the no pics...I'm sorry!!!! I promise to send some next week and copy an sd card and send them all home.

love y'all!

Remember, be the change!

Sister McCracken

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