Monday, 16 December 2013

Merry Christmas From the Brandon Sisters!!

It is so cold here, but so far I haven't lost any fingers or toes, so all is good. We had -33 degrees one day and that was rough, because I still didn't have my coat or my boots...yeah, I finally got those today.

On the last night in the MTC we had the privilege of hearing from Elder Cook. It was absolutely fantastic. I don't even remember what exactly he said (I did take notes though) but at the end of his talk he said that he knows that Jesus Christ lives and that he has heard His voice. I knew that apostles were special witnesses of Christ, but just hearing him say absolutely blew me away!

So, the flight here was really good, I got to sleep for an hour, and then we already had to get up to go to the Travel Office, where they made us wait for like half an hour...They took us to the airport in a bus, which was really nice, because usually missionaries get dropped off at the Train Station and then they have to take the train to the airport. Everything was fine, we did self check-in, so it was only 60 dollars for the bags. And everyone at the airport was really friendly. I slept for about two hours on the plane to Minnesota and then we landed there. It was reeeeeally cold there, so I was able to get a feel of what it would sort of be like in Winnipeg. The plane to Winnipeg was tiny! It could only fit like twenty or thirty people in it. And the flight was really smooth, I really enjoyed it. When we got to Canada we had to wait outside for our bags and I almost died it was so cold. When we finally got inside we got a couple of stares (I'm getting used to them) but the people that actually worked at the airport were super friendly. One lady was like "it's the missionaries!" That was definitely a proud moment for me. I was the first in my group to make it through immigration, which is weird because I'm from Germany and they were all from the States, but hey, I'm not complaining! The Mission President and his wife, as well as the APs were there to greet us. Can I just say that we have the best Mission President in the entire world? And his wife is just incredible! I am so happy that they will be there for my entire mission. We got to spend the first night in the Mission Home and eat real food. I almost cried. It was glorious. I even had some of Sister Thomas' banana bread and I loved it. I might learn to like bananas out here! I doubt it though, but that banana bread was delicious. The Mission Home is beautiful, and it was so nice to be there. 

The day after that (Thursday) we went to the chapel and had this orientation meeting for all the new missionaries. There we were also assigned to our areas and trainers. While at the MTC and in the Mission Home I had the feeling that I was going to stay close to Winnipeg, or even in Winnipeg...lo and behold, I was assigned to serve in Brandon, a city only two hours away from Winnipeg. I am serving with Sister Day (who was in my MTC group) and Sister McPhee, who is our trainer. I love them both! I am so incredibly happy with this assignment. Nothing to complain about. Our apartment is the cutest, buuut...we don't have duvets. So that kinda sucks, but we will be in Winnipeg on Friday, so we'll look in the mission office for duvets. So I have been sleeping in the warmest sleeping bag ever. It is amazing, except for the fact that it all bunches up around my waist and I can never really get in or out of it. 

Brandon is the best. I love it here. It's really cold, and there is so much snow EVERYWHERE! On our first night our car actually got stuck in snow and we had to push it. We weren't really successful, and then out of nowhere this huge, burly Canadian man shows up and just picks the car up and pushes it. I was impressed. And a little bit shocked. But more impressed than anything else. It's so cold, that when snow gets in your car, it doesn't melt. It stays there for days. And we have to plug our car in at night. Our beautiful car that we named Sheila. I love her, she takes me everywhere and I never have to walk. You know you're in Canada when you walk outside in -12 degree weather and feel like taking off your coat because you're too warm.

The Ward here is sooooo nice! Very much like Solingen. People here cannot pronounce my name, but they all try so hard! And I just love it here. I'm sorry, I think I've said that before, but I really do. We have an eating appointment for every day of the week. I am going to get fat. I already have difficulties zipping up my skirts. But I really worked out hard this morning. Jokes, I didn't, you know me. But I tried.
I also tried pickled fish yesterday. One of the ward members brought out this jar of pickled fish and crackers and told us to eat it. Sister Day was hilarious, she put a piece in her mouth and spat it back out, gagged and apologised to the member. He thought it was hilarious. I cried because I laughed so much. I actually managed to swallow my piece. I did eat a ton of crackers though. It was so funny. I absolutely love that family. We are spending Christmas Eve with them and We're spending Christmas day with our Ward Mission leader. I am so excited.

We had a lunch at this volunteer organisation thingy where we help out, and I accidentally sat next to the mayor (I had no idea who she was at the time) and I gave her a card! Plus, this week we got a new investigator and I gave out my first Book of Mormon with Sister Day yesterday! And one of our investigators wants to be baptised! I am so happy for him! Everyone said the work here would be slow, and it is, but it's still better than what I expected.

Oh, another thing that really shocks me here...the prices! EVERYTHING here is so expensive! Three dollars for a small loaf of bread. Three dollars!? We are sooo incredibly lucky that the members feed us so much.
Alrighty, a lot more happened, but this email is getting super long. 

Snazzy Christmas tree at the airport

With Sister Day and Brother Z. just before eating pickled fish

Future Missionary!

Merry Christmas from the Brandon Sisters!!

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