Hello dear family!!
Wow, I missed being able to email last week. Even though we talked, I didn't have time to really tell you what was going on/it was 4 in the morning. I am currently in the tiniest library I have ever seen trying to type so fast. I will try to put some pictures on this too. I have to email my mission president too and try to figure out how to print the emails you sent so we will see how this goes.
How are all of you?!! Hearing your voices was the BEST. Even though it did make me a little sad, but gave me strength to get on the tiny tiny plane that headed to Tulsa. So thank you for answering!! I tried to call grandpa and grandma, but I ran out of minutes so send them my love and let them know I tried.
Leaving the MTC was harder than I thought. I felt so safe and good there because it felt like home. I was right by BYU and I could go to the temple that I have gone to the past 3 years so it felt okay. It was really hard leaving. As we were driving out at 3 am, we passed places I love to eat at, old apartments and dorms, the Marriott Center, etc. It really hit me then that I was actually going on a mission. I enjoyed going to the temple before I left!! I will sure miss it. Everyone here is so excited about the Kansas City Temple being open now. It is about an hour and a half away from me. That's it!! But I can't go cause it is in another mission. Sad day. Let's see, I saw Jarrett and Andrea a lot at the MTC. So nice to see faces from home! Both of them are doing great! I will miss singing in the MTC choir. I got to relive my choir nerd days each Sunday and Tuesday. I met my mission President. He is awesome and I love his wife. He is hilarious but also really intense. He just really cares about missionary work and I am excited to get to know them more.
So I got to Tulsa last Monday around 10:30 am. President Merkley and his wife were waiting for us at the airport. There were 14 of us missionaries traveling together. We went to the mission home, which is beautiful!! Red brick and all (Ciara and Mom you would love it). We ate lunch and dinner there, had interviews with the President, had a testimony meeting, and found out our assignments. My companion from the MTC is staying in Oklahoma and I found out I was headed to Nevada, MO. So fun fact - it is not pronounced how us Nevadans say Nevada. It is pronounced Nuh - vay - duh. Hard to get used to. Anyways, I spent the night at the mission home and Tuesday morning went in a van with 15 elders and we headed to our areas. This mission is so big that they do "loops" for transfers. Usually missions have everyone meet in the same area but we all meet in various spots. I was on the north loop and was dropped off in Joplin. I met my companion there. Her name is Sister Boone. She is from Paige, AZ. She has been out 15 months so this will probably be her last area. She is so sweet. She has the softest voice in the world. I have to ask her to repeat stuff a lot so I feel bad haha. But she is a great example and I am blessed with a good trainer.
Oh random but on my drive to Joplin I saw the largest McDonald's in the world. I can cross that off my list of things to do in life.
Once we got to Nevada, we went to lunch with the member who picked me up. And by lunch I mean Chinese food at 10 am. That was a weird experience. Great way to start off one of the craziest days of my life. They are sweet members though who love the missionaries.
Our apartment is 100 years old. No joke. The missionaries have lived here for 20 years. It is cool though cause it is so old. Don't worry mom, it isn't as scary as it sounds. We have nice neighbors and it is in a cute little part of town.
Tracting is an interesting experience. So we have had some great successes and then we have some not so good experiences. People have said don't you ever come back to my house again and then slam the door. Is it bad that I chuckle after that happens? It helps me stay positive! I just didn't know people really do that but yep they do. Some people laugh at us, but then others say they admire what we do. They will go on how they don't see their church going from door to door. In general people are really nice here. BUT everyone goes to church. They already have their religion and don't want to hear what we have to say. So we gotta work on that. We tracted into a lady this week though that blew my mind. We just got to know her and she started talking about her beliefs and literally rambled about the Plan of Salvation for 10 minutes. She said everything we know to be true! It was one of those moments where I wanted to just look at my companion and be like did this just happen? But we kept our cool and then shared how that is what our church believes. She says she wants to go back to church but doesn't know which one. So we are planning on teaching her. We will see how it goes, but it is cool to see how God works with certain people for a while to prepare them.
We have had some good lessons this week, but some get cancelled too. I didn't realize how important it is to have faith and just stay positive as a missionary. I am really working on that and trying to figure out exactly what Heavenly Father needs me to do in Nevada, MO. It is the smallest town I have ever been too (yes even smaller than Elko/SC). I wonder sometimes what I am doing out here in the middle of nowhere. I know people are prepared here we just need to find them!!
There are nice members here but the ward is really small. We cover a huge area!! Some of our towns are 2 hours away from us so the members drive in. Our ward is very old however. We spend a lot of time visting less actives who need the motivation to come because they live far away or have bad health. It is cool seeing how a simple visit from us really makes their day. I do love the people here, but I am still getting used to their way of life! I feel like I am in a foreign mission some days.
Some funny things to share:
- Our Ward Mission Leader calls us girls and baby....we have to remind him to say sisters. He is a good leader though and loves the work!
- People here think Harry Potter is evil. Woops.
- People paint their dogs nails.
- The accents are real. Can't understand what people say half the time.
- Current bug bite count: 12
There are some points during the day where I just laugh cause I wonder how I got here. But I am glad to be serving. The field is harder than I expected but the Lord is teaching me a lot.
I have had some experiences this week where I have really felt the love the Savior has for these people. This area has a lot of poverty and people have some really really hard circumstances. As we visit with them, I can just feel that the Savior cares for them and is aware of their needs. I have to remind myself that it is my job to let them know that. To let them know that He cares.
Well, I gotta wrap this up. There is not much to do in Nevada so I will write letters later today. Oh and Ciara I got your letter...thank you!! I miss the dear elders daily haha.
I love you SO much. I pray for you each day. Know that I miss you but I am trying to work hard. Thank you for your support. Have a good 4th!!!
Until next Monday,
Love Sister Magness
Okay I just tried photos but it is being weird. I will try again next week or send the card to you. I love you!! Just picture me in the middle of MO :)