Monday, August 12, 2013

The Land Southward

I arrived in Tallahassee Tuesday afternoon and I felt like I was just in a different world! The airport here is super small (it flies only to like Atlanta and Tampa...).

Everything was blurry until I got dinner and my new camera in the mail. Then I was like OMG it's all real! I'm in the deep south. :o

That night I found out I was going to DeFuniak and I was like OH THAT SOUNDS NICE AND LIKE A BEACH OR SOMETHING.

Haha this is totally the town they based Cars on.... Whatever lol. My companion is Sister Bennion from Salt Lake City. She is training me and guess what. She's never served in DeFuniak in fact this is only her second transfer... She is great though! She always makes sure we are out the door for a jog around the lake at 6:30 am sharp. :P Oh and btw my window looks directly onto a train tract where trains start going through at 5 am. xP

Since we knew no one in this area five days ago, we don't really get fed much and we do a lot of tracking less actives down so we can teach somebody. The Defuniak Ward covers two cities and sixty people come to church, but 400 people are on the roll. That puts some serious strain on the people that do come to church so we've got lots of inspiration to help them out. It's funny because Sister Bennion told me that in her last branch the Branch President and the Relief Society President both spent the first Sunday asking the branch members to help the missionaries, give them rides, feed them, ect. 

Ohhhh well sounds like we'll be tracking down less-actives and referrals, and going door to door preaching the gospel for a while. Hey, that's what we're here for. :)  We have ridden our bikes a little but we hope to do more of that because our miles are limited on the car and we're always lost! This place is crazy backwoodsy and spread out. I don't like the dirt or mosquitos (seriously my legs look like I have chicken pox), but I am so honored to be in an area that has been closed to sister missionaries before now! We are roughing it for sure, but I guess the Lord trusts us! 

Ok ok I've got a good story about missionary work. Yesterday after church and lunch, we ventured into the backwoods to find some less actives. We got pretty well lost and our GPS was just like uh IDK drive into a tree or something. So we stopped and knocked on the door of this little house and asked for directions and once we got them, Sister Bennion started bearing her testimony about the restoration and guess what... THEY TOTALLY LET US IN! We talked to this lady and her son for like an hour about The Book of Mormon and everything and by the end the son asked me to highlight recommendations of chapters in The Book of Mormon and he had me explain all of the pictures in the front. Plus they gave us lemonade. :D It was so awesome! We are going back there probably this weekend to teach them again. 

The people in "the land Southward" (here haha) are the funniest. There are churches on every corner. In fact, word on the street is that the local polygamist Church of Christ branch goes proselyting around here and it makes a lot of the people we tract in to suuuuuper confused. We have heard about all kinds of things we Mormons worship. Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Virgin Mary, ect. Oh dear we have a lot of straightening up to do. :P

I'm having a blast! ;) We are biking home after this and probably gonna make some brownies from a mix the senior couple missionaries in our area left for us.
That's me saying bye bye to my MTC comp Sister Imlay! She serves in Baker, FL now, being trained by my friend from BYU Sister Leifson! 

 Love you all a lot!!

Sister Laura Cooper

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