|Sister Ashton and Sister Swanson|
Thank you so much for all of your e-mails. I loved hearing about everyone's week!! It sounds like Bean is famous!! That is awesome!! I loved that story!! I am glad everyone is doing so well.
I made it to South Carolina in one piece! The flight went well and all so no troubles there. When we arrived in Atlanta for our layover, we drew some attention. People were wondering who we were and what we were doing so I got to pass out a lot of pass along cards! Missionary work starts before the mission field. I have found out that as soon as you put that tag on everyone around you watches what you are doing. It was really great though! It was fun to talk to the people and tell them what we were doing.
When we arrived in SOUTH CAROLINA!! We were greeted by President Turner and Sister Turner. They are super nice, I really like them.
Ok, so the South Carolina airport is seriously the BEST! By our baggage claim, we were greeted with a man toting around a popcorn machine. He gave us free popcorn and free water. It was very much small town. I stayed overnight at the Turner's house. It was really fun and so nice to get a home-cooked meal. President Turner also interviewed us all. It was good and not intimating, which was nice. :) He told me in the interview that this is the fewest number of missionaries he has seen come in. They usually get 15+ missionaries in a transfer but there were only 5 of us. He said that they are really in need of sisters. This just really confirmed that this is exactly where I need to be. :)
Transfers were the next day and I met my new companion. I was kind of nervous for that; but President Turner said he would pick out a really good trainer for all of us because it really sets the tone for the mission. He was true to his word, my companion is REALLY great. Her name is Sister Swanson and she is from Utah as well. She is from Syracuse, Utah so not too far from Centerville. She has been teaching me well and we get along great! I like her a lot. :)
So the rumors are true! The south is....the south. I am in a town called Monck's Corner. It is pretty diverse; but mostly we teach people who live in trailers. I really don't know how to explain it other than tell you some stories.
My first day we went to a ward Book of Mormon class with an investigator named Dan. Dan is really funny, typical South Carolina guy. He is getting baptized on March 21st! He loves the church and read the Book of Mormon in 3 weeks! The Book of Mormon class was interesting though....it turned into a big political debate. Oh dear.
After the meeting, one of the members asked me what my favorite meat was - : Possum, alligator or Squirrel. Ha-ha! Kind of sounded like a trick question to me...it wasn't! So, I answered with, "Wow, that's a lot of choices. I am not sure what to pick! I have never had any of those. :)" So I guess they are going to make me some possum, alligator and squirrel. :) Then one of the other members corners me and says, "Now, Sister Ashton, you gotta choose. Don't be shy now, ya hear! Do you like pie, cake, puddin', or cookies better?" I just responded with, “I love all of those.” I love dessert, but that wasn't a good enough answer so he continued to force the issue. He kept repeating, "PIE, CAKE, PUDDIN', OR COOKIES???" It was a pretty entertaining evening to say the least. Welcome to the South where there is always unusual meats and desserts!
I love being a missionary. I have seen so many miracles. I love the people. There is an inactive family we are teaching that I just adore. They are taking care of a 12 year old girl named Emily; she is in foster care right now. When I first saw Emily I could just feel her sweet spirit. We got to read the Book of Mormon with them and Emily sat right next to me and read along with me. It was such a sweet moment for me. I want that little girl and her mom to come back to Church so badly. I wish I could tell you more but I am out of time. :(
I love y'all and I miss you so much. Thank you for your prayers and your e-mails.