On Thursday in the MTC, all the sister missionaries were called in to a special meeting. We seriously thought with the mission president training and the general authorities on campus that we would be addressed by them. It wasn't the case. They told us our living building was infested with BATS! We had to move to another building. It was so funny, but the elders waited outside to help us drag our luggage across campus. They assigned us, the sisters leaving on Monday and Tuesday, to the top floor. Also, without any elevators in the building. hilarious.
Also, on Thursday, I saw Elder Smith and we took a picture. He's such a funny guy.I got a fun package from him which included a few bags of Japanese candy via David Smith (thanks!!).
We went to breakfast at the mission home and then to the stake center for an introduction to the mission and all the rules. They woke up at least 4 elders during the presentation. We met our new companions after that. It was super stressful. I was sad to say goodbye to sister Harris. We got really close and have been through all this together so far.
Super weird situation happened on July 3. We were out tracting and met an old man named Bill. The conversation was so random and scattered. We tried to teach him about the temple, but it didn't exactly work. We were standing there and Sister Carpenter would ask him a question and he would begin to answer it, but then he would start talking about something completely random and disconnected to the conversation. We think he had a little mental slowness, because he was literally all over the place!
On the 4 of July, we got basically a free day. We did the usual morning routine, but went to a ward brunch instead of tracting. We were helping with the pancakes and french toast. Our bishop is a little bit of a hoverer. I stopped making pancakes after he snapped at me for half of the stove top thing not being hot... I was like, Okay....? Anyway, so we ate brunch with the missionaries and the two wards that were present had a Tug-Of-War. Our ward won ha ha! After the party, the missionaries went to the Frisbee golf course and played in pairs. It was fun! My feet were soaked from the grass by the second hole though.
Our ward of missionaries had to leave because the stake president was taking us to the Holocaust museum in town. A survivor of the Holocaust, Eva Kor, lives is Terre Haute and spoke to us about her story of survival. It was interesting,. but oh so difficult to stay awake during. After three hours of listening, the missionaries took a picture with her and made our way to the local Dairy Queen. We didn't eat very much besides ice cream because we planned to get dinner after visitng Burlington Coat Factory. I've never been the type to like a store like that or like Ross, but it was strangely fun and relaxing. Mom, I promise shopping is a lot more enjoyable when you're tracting every day and finally get a second to breathe.
Beach volleyball at Indiana State University campus was next. Sis. Carpenter and I borrowed a pair of shorts from Elder Palmer and the elders rolled us their sleeves and pant legs. It was fun! we looked like a bunch of reverse polygamists when we were walking around though. It's funny because I never did stuff like this in college, but it felt like that's what a bunch of 20-something kids should do for fun. The missionaries were given permission to stay out until 10:30 PM if we were with a member. So.... all the missionaries (12 of us) met at Fairbanks Park and sat with three members. It was so fun! We did sparklers and watched the fireworks together. I love the missionaries I'm here with. Due to the traffic and everything, we did not get home by 10:30 PM. hah! It was about 11:15 PM.
Sunday was a little bit of a blessing and a curse. We woke up and read the Book of Mormon for about 15 minutes, then took a nap before getting ready for church, because there wasn't ward council. The ward is pretty minuscule. Like there's about 60 people total, yet still more young men than the Taylorsville 15th.. haha! Also, Sis. Carpenter told me that the meeting never starts on time.. Mormon Standard I guess. We ate ribs at the bishop's house with all our ward missionaries, then had a meeting. After that sister Carpenter and I visited some potential investigators. It didn't go well. We went to Linda's house and visited, then our dinner fell through while we were there. She offered to have us for dinner. It was funny because she ordered pizza and Sis Carpenter was freaking out... HAHA! After that we visited Patsy. She is super sweet.
Everyone here smokes and has like 3 cats or dogs. I don't know if anyone knows this about me, but I hate animals hair. I hate when it gets all over me, so that's been a struggle. You just have to love these people for all they are and are not. It's going to be interesting getting used to the way things are here in Terre Haute, but I'd rather figure it out sooner rather than later. I'll probably be here for 18 weeks (12 for training, 6 for follow-up training). It sounds so terrible. They say the days pass like weeks and the weeks pass like days. I hope the second one is true. It's been a really long week. I'm not sure what I think about the area, but they all seem to love it.
I love you all, thanks for reading this terribly long, badly written email. I can't wait for next week to write more!
Love, Sister Mondragon