Monday, April 20, 2015

Alabama, Investigators and Nasty Water

We are excited to have these 10 new missionaries join us here on April 13, 2015. They are prepared and ready to get to work here in the mission field.

Dear Family,
Finally out in the field!My trainer is Elder Stewart who is from Nampa. He is the same age as me and has been in the field for 21 months. We have similar traits such as humor and characteristics.
I don't if you heard, but I am actually in Phenix City, Alabama. Yep, this is my first area. It's been different for sure. The members are great. A lot of military members since Ft. Benning is not far. The Ward Mission Leader is a 1st Lieutenant and the Bishop is an Air Traffic Controller at Ft. Benning as well. I think I've had friends train there...
I am getting used to the humidity at this point. Lots of rain in the past couple days as well as overcast. There was actually a tornado touchdown in Ft. Mitchell that caused some damage. I haven't seen any damage from it since it's outside of my area. But we are safe and sound as well as the other Elders in my District that cover that area.
Like I said, the members are great and we have 3 investigators on date for Baptisms. They completely white-washed our area (ask dad). One of them is named AJ and he works for the Sheriff's Department and he is dating a returned Sister Missionary and she introduced him to the Elders before us. So, we are pretty much picking up where they left off. There is another investigator named Pam who is a grandmother. She has shown a lot of interest and we are always happy to see her. We also see a young woman by the name of Laquita. She lives in a certain part of town. She is struggling with some things like church attendance, but we remain hopeful.The ghettos in Pocatello are not the same here in Alabama. The people are usually humble and nice to missionaries and at other times not so much. I have learned not to judge someone because of where they live.We were tracting yesterday, and yes, we do go out on Sunday evenings. We met a Pagan, a Baptist woman, and a Minister. All on the same street! Lots of diversity for sure.
My anxiety is calming now. Thanks to my music. I wish I had more to listen to, truthfully. But I am thankful for what I have.
Another thing.We are allowed, in our free-time, such as evenings, meals, and P-Day, I can watch Church produced films. We have 3 short films that I have watched thus far. "Finding Faith in Christ", "The Restoration", and "Joy to The World". I have asked about 2 others that we can watch but we don't have. "Meet The Mormons" and "The Prophet of The Restoration". I don't know how to get these, but perhaps you might be able to :)
I was also wondering if you could send me some recipes that you have like chicken and rice casserole and any others that I like but can't remember at this time. I am trying my best to avoid the Top Ramen in the cupboard of our apartment. I can officially say the water here is not to my liking. Lots of sulfur in it which just about makes uneasy. That's why I will be making lemonades and fruit punch (Great Value) that we get at Wal-Mart. I sure miss Idaho water, but I can make do.
My daily exercise comprises of 2 sets of 20 crunches in the morning with a set of 10 or more push-ups in between. I won't have access to a treadmill, even though there is one right next to our apartment building, but those are mission rules.
Thanks for the Starbursts! I love getting treats like that in packages!
I seem to have run into a dilemma. I think I am short one or two of my short-sleeved shirts. I have checked everywhere in our apartment which leads me to guess that I may have left one at the Mission Home. No need to worry about it, I will take care of it. If I can't find the missing shirt(s), I will let you know next week.
All in all, I am doing and adapting well here. I feel my relationship with the Savior strengthening each day. Today's personal study was in Alma 57, which talks about the Stripling Warriors. I would invite the whole family to read it and it definitely relates to missionary work.I love you all and I look forward to hearing from you!
Elder Kestner