Dear Frozen Tundra-ites,
I love Florida! It's been rainy and chilly here, but still no need for more than just my rain coat. I love it!!!!
My trip here was crazy as all get out. I left Idaho Falls on time and arrived in Denver on time, but then we sat on the runway for 40 minutes waiting for another plane to leave our gate. I was panicking the whole time since I only had about a 40 minute layover. So when we finally were able to get off I ran to a airport screen to see where to go only to find out that my departure was delayed an hour. Good right? No. Because that meant I would miss my connection in Chicago. So then I had to spend an hour in line with many unhappy travelers who were also missing their connections because of the delayed flight. When I finally got to talk to an agent he told me they could reroute me and get me in just after midnight local time. I said NO WAY! So we kept looking and found another flight that would leave Chicago at 7, which meant that I would just have to sit in the airport for 6 hours once I got there. So we went with that since it would get me to Jacksonville at 1015. Then miracle of all miracles happened in Chicago, I went to a food court to eat lunch and as I was looking for a table someone said "sister, where's your companion?!" And lo, and behold, there was an LDS family headed home to Salt Lake with a layover that was far too long as well. They invited me to sit with them and have some company. So we sat and laughed and talked together. This may sound silly, but I don't even remember their names. All I know is that I was grateful to have that wonderful family to keep me company. Sister Barry came to the airport to get me and brought my companion...SISTER GILBERT!!! :) I was silly and ended up running to Sister Barry the minute I saw her, people probably thought I was crazy.
Since I've been here we have been busy busy busy. This area has a lot going on and we are just going nonstop. I love it. We share our ward with the Assistants to the President, so that is pretty exciting. I have ran into a few people I knew from Atlantic Beach so far and that has been really exciting. I love them. But this ward is already winning my heart.
We are teaching this group of black boys between ages 14 and 17. And boy are they a party. They are making me work hard to earn their trust. But they are all so sweet. The stake has a young men's basketball league that plays on Saturday mornings and the ward is even letting them play on our team. So Sister Gilbert and I got permission to come watch our boys play on Saturday. They lost, but played a hard game. They played against the Beaches wards so I even got to see some of the boys I knew there. It was crazy.
All I can say is that I am happy to be back and glad I chose to come back. I am serving with Sister Gilbert like I said before. We are in the Hendricks Avenue ward. We are right in the middle of Jacksonville. And yes, the wonderful Hannah is in our ward. We went and saw her family Friday evening. I love them. We do have our fancy apartment. The washer is a little scary though, it's insanely loud! And the dryer makes our stuff smelly. We are trying to figure that out so we can fix it. Otherwise its a fun apartment. We even has a nice gym in the complex that we go to every morning. So you can tell Jen I am working on staying fit and not making her work be for nothing.
My address is:
6650 Corporate Center Parkway #1630
Jacksonville, FL 32216
We get to email from the family history center in our church building, so we only have to fight the elders for the computers for emails. It's much nicer than the library.
I hope all is going well for all of you.
I love this work. Change is everywhere. I am so happy to be the change I want to see by challenging my fears and coming back to be a missionary. I hope that all of you can find a fear to challenge with me and we can all be that change we wish to see in everyone else. The best way to teach is by example, right?