Monday, September 30, 2013

I'd Live Here!

I'm thrilled to hear from you! I have so much to tell you! President Andersen is fantastic!! He is funny and so is his wife and they are sweet and caring and it just makes me happy to see them! I'm so glad that they are here! I think I would have liked the Mckees but I just love the Andersens!! We miraculously fit everyone in the mission home! It's pretty big! They put the 10 elders upstairs and the 23 sisters downstairs. Six Sisters got beds and the rest used mats. By the time I was ready to put my stuff on a bed everything was taken!! So the elders gave us their mattresses and put them on the floor in the basement! So I got a mattress and the elders slept on the floor. How sweet right? :)

 I did get a picture with Pres. and his wife but not on my camera. They had someone take it and they are going to mail it to you soon.

(This picture came in the mail the same day Amber sent her email)

So my companion is Sister Giles. She is amazing!! She has been here for almost 8 months and I am her first trainee. We have a blast together :) I really love her! She is almost 22 and she is from Pleasant Grove Utah. And... she is exactly obedient. Our alarm clock goes off at 6:29 every morning... and I still don't get up for a bit. We are always in on time, we stick to the exact schedule and obey perfectly. It has helped me learn to be a good missionary and I've seen blessings from it.

Sister Giles and Sister Rokovitz

The huge group that went to Tennessee with Amber. Look at all those Sister missionaries! Look out Elders. Amber is in the front row, 4th from the left.

I am currently in Nashville :D I am actually pretty close to the mission home which is so nice! I am in the Green Hills YSA (Young Single Adult)  area. So we only teach anyone ages 18-31. It's so much fun!!! The Assistants to the President are also in our branch and there are 3 of them. Then there is a set of Sisters for the regular Green Hills ward. Sister Vandenberg who is on her last transfer :( and Sister Hulme. I love both of them! We've eaten lunch together twice and we've spent P-day together and we just see them a lot and it is fantastic!

Sister Rokovitz, Sister Hulme, Sister Vandenberg and Sister Giles

Sister Hulme and Sister Rokovitz with their matching skirts.

 So our branch covers 3 stakes... which is pretty crazy. Oh and most of our investigators are in areas where we can't go after 6 pm. because it's really sketchy. So we don't really know what to do in the evenings. So my area is..... green. I didn't know there could be so much green in the world! Me and Elder Snow were freaking out on the plane when we saw all the trees!! I feel like I'm in Jamaica or something. Most of the roads are windy so it reminds me of the river bottoms and not a normal neighborhood. There are no sidewalks anywhere except by stores and stuff which makes it really hard for biking missionaries (which... is not me :) ) It's beautiful here! Some areas have the cutest houses and they are so cute inside too!! I'd live here!

 My apartment... is not bad. I forgot to take pictures of it... It has green walls but the lighting is so bad that you can't notice that. We both have a desk to study at, a tiny kitchen and tiny kitchen table, and our room is huge! Our closet is huge too! I keep all my bathroom stuff in a dresser drawer because the closet in our bathroom wreaks!!! And it's easier to get ready in front of the mirror on the floor rather than trying to work around bathroom times. And I don't keep my towels in there because the rod to hang them on is above the toilet and hang down behind the toilet... that's gross. So I hang them on a hanger in my closet. It works quite nicely actually. Oh and our water... tastes like bleach and smells like hot tub chemicals. So we don't drink it. It tastes so bad to brush our teeth. That's the one bad thing. Oh and our AC doesn't work. But it's cool enough here and we have 2 fans. The first few nights were hot to me though.

The accents aren't that bad out here. I like them :) and only the people who have been here for a long time have them. People say ya'll a lot which bugs me.... but that's ok. Food places are pretty normal out here.. nothing crazy weird yet. And the scenery.. as far as houses changes a lot. The mission home is in the 4th wealthiest county in the country, and I've seen apartments where mostly black people live and they just sit outside while kids play and they barbecue and they hang their clothes to dry. They don't have very much. Which is sad :( But we've met some of the nicest people in those apartments. And some nice cops too who tell us to be careful :p

 My first day........ Was brutal. Physically. One of the Elders was running throughout the mission home saying "Anything is possible through the atonement! You can stay awake!"

Very, very, very early in the morning on the day we left for Tennessee

We didn't get to bed till midnight at the mission home and we woke up at 5:30 and did lots of training. And then after training, we met our trainers. They do it in a cool way! It's like opening your mission call! They gave all the newbies a letter, we went up to the microphone and read where we were going and who our companion was. Then our companion came running up and we hugged and a photographer took a picture :) So after that, we loaded my luggage into our very nice Ford Fusion :D yeah. They take care of us :) and the rest of the day was just long and never ending. We got right to work. I was so tired that I just felt like crap. I still remember the way I felt and I never want to be that physically exhausted ever again!! There would be times where I woke up enough to smile and laugh and then there were times where there was no possible way I could ever keep my head up and my eyes open. I thought I was going to die. I kept falling asleep when we were driving. That's when I knew that I wanted the day to end! Cool story though: we were taking my luggage into the apt. and 2 electrical men started talking to us and we gave them each a Book of Mormon and got their contact info :) We had to refer one of them to the elders because he wasn't YSA and I think we might refer the other one too.... I'm not sure. But I had my first missionary moment right away!! We also taught a girl named Chrissy. On our way over there I was reviewing the lesson and I felt so sick. Like I knew I was going to throw up and that never happens to me. I almost rolled down the window and leaned out. But I didn't want S. Giles to know so I just gulped down as much water as I possibly could and I prayed my little heart out!! After the lesson I was fine and I've never felt like that since then when going into a lesson. Anyways, Chrissy got baptized Saturday. Well Chrissy just happened to be at the members house where  S. Giles and S. Masoe  had dinner one night. So they taught her and she wanted to be baptized! So 2 weeks later, BOOM. Baptized. How awesome is that!! I really don't remember the rest of my first day because I just was so dead. But anything really is possible through the atonement. Because that's how I was able to stay awake and continue onward. The atonement.

How was my week? Great!! It's just gotten better and better! God is letting me learn. I obviously started off dead and exhausted and not knowing how in the world I was going to survive! I recovered from sleep deprivation after a few days and then the trials started. I had kinda of a depressed mood towards everything. Like I didn't want to teach or tract or meet random people in the park. I didn't want to feel that way. I prayed and told Heavenly Father that I didn't want to feel that way. I wanted to be happy and excited to do his work!! Well... it took until yesterday to feel that way. Yesterday we had an appointment with a referral named Jenna. This would be our first meeting. She wasn't home... So we went and parked somewhere and thought about where God wanted us to go. We thought for quite a while, not really feeling anything specific. We went and talked to a lady on her porch and 2 young girls on their porch swing. Still we felt in the wrong place. So we went to try Jenna again. Still not home. So... we decided to do a little more tracting. We knocked on a door and asked if we could pray with the girl who answered and she was so weirded out!! She thought we were crazy!! It was hilarious! And then we kept going..... after a few doors and no success we saw a young lady and a little girl on their porch. We went to talk to the lady and turns out... She's YSA, she's met with missionaries before, she wants to know more, she took a Book of Mormon, and we invited her to General Conference!!! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!! So that night in my prayers... I realized that I needed to figure out again why I was out here. Why I wanted to be here, and how to be happy. God was just letting me take my time to find the answers to my prayers because He believes in me :) Great story right?

Church is great! It's cool to be in a YSA ward! I feel it is really helping me learn how to teach. We also get to go to Institute class every Wednesday and FHE (Family Home Evening) every Monday. Church isn't very far for us. Maybe a mile or a mile and a half. I guess we just got lucky! And that's the same building Pres. and his wife go to so we get to see them each week!

I haven't noticed too much humidity yet. I'm scared for the summer though....

Sometimes I think about you guys and I just cry because I miss you. But I can tell my mission is going to go by so fast so I better cherish it while I have it. The days seem super long while I'm in it, but then at the end it's like "whoa. Did that whole day just happen?" Which makes me glad.

I really liked the broadcast on Saturday! It was cool to show Chrissy who the Prophet was and tell her about the tabernacle and she asked who the angel was on top of every temple so I explained that :) I can't wait till conference!! Except... I'm not so thrilled to be watching all 4 sessions while seated on a church bench... because since we're in YSA we don't do a lot of things at members homes. Besides they all live within 3 stakes so they're so far away. So we don't really get dinner appointments either.

So really quickly. Our investigators:
Shay: She is a referal. Her aunt is getting baptized and she felt she was ready but now she's not sure. So we taught her one time and will continue to teach her. She came to the broadcast and hopefully she'll go to her aunt's baptism so she can see it.
Titi: She is a super funny girl!! She always says "Girrrll!" haha it's so hilarious!! I've taught her once but the other sisters have taught her a lot and extended the baptism commitment. She doesn't understand why she needs to be baptized again and why women can't have the priesthood. So... we're working on it.
Jenna: She is the one we tried to visit and she wasn't home.......
Calvin: We met him Saturday at a bus stop. I felt inspired to go talk to the people there. So we did. He's 18 and finishing high school. He seems interested and no opposition to us meeting with him. So he took a Book of Mormon and we are meeting with him tomorrow!! :D
Ronald: I haven't actually met him, but we were going to teach him lesson 3 last week and I was going to ask him to be baptized and he wasn't home. So hopefully we'll see him this week.

We're doing good in our work :) I love Tennessee and I love that I can see myself growing every single day. I love studying the scriptures. I'm improving so much spiritually!! I love all of you so much!!! I miss you but I'm doing great :) BYE!

Love Sister Rokovitz

The famous "Map" picture from the MTC.

Everyone tries to point to their mission

MTC zone at the Provo Temple. Amber is on the far right in the blue skirt.