Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Back to Civilization!

Hello!
This has been probably one of the craziest weeks I have had in nine months, which started off with lots of really hard goodbyes.  Monday evening I went to some of my favorite people that I have had the opportunity to meet in North Pole and said my goodbyes.  It was so hard and made me realize how much I love the North Pole.  The people there are truly incredible.  I feel so thankful for the opportunity that I had to serve there.  I know I complained a lot about the weather and the cold, and, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I would do that winter all over again just for the awesome people up there.

We woke up the next morning and left for the airport, and, miracle of the week:  I had been so sick with allergies and the flu all week.  I went to bed that night still so sick and just prayed more than I have ever prayed to get feeling better, and I woke up the next morning fine as can be.  Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers!!  It was such a good flight, and I even became homies with the people I sat next to.  We had an awesome talk about religion.  We also flew right over Mt. McKinley.  The sky was so clear and it was absolutely beautiful!
Anyway, we landed, and I met my new companion, Sister Jackson (who is seriously just awesome--I just love her so much), and my trainer, Sister Johnson (so good to see her again) who came and picked me up.  We picked up my luggage and then went straight back to welcome the new missionaries--so fun, and I totally felt like I was just arriving in Alaska to begin my mission.  I then realized it has been NINE MONTHS and got so scared because time is flying by so quickly.  We were able to eat a welcome lunch with the new missionaries and then had a day full of appointments.    
The next morning after Sister Jackson, Sister Johnson, and I ate breakfast, we had personal study, and then comp study with all the new missionaries and Assistants to the President, which was so fun.  We then headed over to the church for some training and to help the missionaries get trainers, which was seriously so fun!!  Sister Cox and Sister Richards are both going to be trainers and are going to be incredible.  I am so excited for them, and it was awesome to see both of them!  I was able to be with 4/5 of my former companions again for a whole day!  I loved it!!  
The week has been a crazy week but such a good week.  We cover the Ocean View Ward, as well as the Bush Branch, which consists of all of the members that live in the really small villages all over Alaska.  It is so cool.  We teach them over the phone--Sacrament Meeting, classes, and Ward Council.  Sounds crazy, right?  That's what I thought, but honestly, it is one of the coolest experiences.  The Spirit is so strong.  The phone meeting is so well organized and just so cool to see the faith of these members.  A lot of them are the only members around and don't have contact with anyone but through the phone.  We were talking with this less active member we were working with who is so awesome!  He said to us, "You guys are the closest thing I have to civilization!"  Crazy, right?!  

We are heading to a baptismal interview soon, which is so exciting!  Life is good!  Sister Johnson volunteered me to speak on Sunday before I even arrived here soooo I spoke yesterday in church.  My fear of public speaking is still there, but my talk went really well.  I spoke on spiritual self-reliance and focused on personal scripture study and prayers every day, and studied Thomas S. Monson's talk from this last General Conference.  Go back and read it and do exactly what Pres. Monson says--so good.  [Here's the web address:]

 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/kindness-charity-and-love?lang=eng

The Book of Mormon is true--no doubt about it!  As we read the book, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive Heaven's help in our lives.  

Anyway, I LOVE my mission, and I am so out of time.  I'm sorry if this letter makes no sense; I'll update you more on the people we're teaching next week.  I love you all, and hope you enjoy the wonderful summer! 

Love, Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

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