Thursday, January 17, 2013

JANUARY 14, 2013:Hello from State College, PA!

I arrived in Pennsylvania!! Can you believe it? The 3 weeks in the MTC felt like the longest weeks of my life but now it seems like a blur. Crazy!! A little fun fact, when I arrived at the MTC there were about 1900 missionaries, about 350 were sisters. The Wednesday I left there were 2200ish missionaries, and around 420 were sisters. The times are changing people! Get ready for the flood. I am so happy I was out of there before the numbers got crazy. The MTC staff was panicking thinking of how they were going to house and feed and teach all these new missionaries. I was taken care of, nothing had changed when I got there :) But as I was leaving, things started getting crazy.
It was so good to talk to you mom and dad!! I have lingered on that all week. I called Sara too and talked to her for a second, then we had to bail.
We were met at the airport by President Topham and the 2 APs. They took us to this cool lookout over Pittsburgh because he said not many missionaries get to serve in the city and never see the city lights again! Crazy. He then drove us to the mission home and Sister Topham had dinner ready for us. We learned about driving cars and had interview and then finally got to bed! I felt so dead. We got on the bus at 3:00 AM at the MTC to leave for the airport so it was a long long day.
On Tuesday, the 8th, we had our transfer meeting. And guess who I saw... ELDER WARD!! Walker was there! He is doing so awesome. He is such a good missionary. Everyone loves him here. It was cool to see him. VV7 representin! **Side not to the reader (added by this Blogger): Walker Ward is a friend of Katies. They grew up just a few doors down from each other. We are so happy they will get to serve in the same mission, and that Sister Andresen can see a familiar face every now and then!**
My piano skills are highly appreciated here. I guess most missionaries don't play the piano. Crazy. So they had me play for just about every meeting.
Sister Kirk has always wanted to go to State College. Since we arrived at the MTC she raved about how cool it is and how excited she was that we could serve there and thats all she wanted to do. So Ive been praying that Sister Kirk could have her dreams come true and go to State College. President Topham told us that one sister would serve in Butler, PA and the other would serve in State College, PA and he didnt know until the day of the transfer meeting. So I kept praying for Sister Kirk to go to State College. But as the Lord would have it, I am assigned to State College!! I felt horrible until we got in the car and drove here and now I am loving my life!!
My trainer's name is Sister Carter. This is her last transfer, so she goes home at the end of our 12 weeks here. She is so funny and sweet. She and the other Sister's heart attacked our apartment for when I got there! Then she bought me dinner for my first night here because I looked like a train wreck. And she makes me dinner sometimes and is so positive and encouraging. Basically I love her!! Heavenly Father has blessed me so much by having her as my companion! We keep talking about how Heavenly Father knew we needed to be companions so he had Sister Carter go late (she is 24) and me go early! He knew we were soul sisters!
State College is unique because there is a companionship of Elders and then 2 companionships of Sisters. So we get to do a lot of stuff with the other Sisters and the Elders. This week has been interesting trying to put the things I learned at the MTC into practice. We are at Penn State most of the day, which is totally awesome. We dont have a car so we ride the CATA bus downtown to the college. Hilarious to say the least. Most of the people have never heard of the Church, which is so weird to me. I forget that everyone doesn't live in Utah. So when we talk to people, everything is new to them. I have given out 2 Books of Mormon!! The other day it was raining cats and dogs and the other Sisters stayed in. Sister Carter said we would be blessed if we went out anyways so we loaded up our rain gear and went contacting. It is like so freezing here. Like my bones are cold even. I think its because the air is always wet. My hair is out of this world. Anyways, I was cold and tired and felt so awkward talking to people but Sister Carter said that if I talked to someone we could leave. So I stopped this guy named James and explained our purpose and talked with him about God, gave him a Book of Mormon, and committed him to read and he said he would! Then we prayed, right there in the rain! It was so awesome! I felt the Spirit so strong! I wasn't cold anymore! Then I told Sister Carter I didn't want to go back to the apartment and she said "I know you dont. We werent goingto anyways so I am glad you figured it out" Haha! She is the best. We are meeting with James on Tuesday! So cool.
I also taught my first lesson this week to a guy named Chris and committed him to baptism! I am praying harder than ever to see miracles and we are! It was such a cool lesson. I shared Joseph Smith's vision and felt the Spirit so strong. It felt like I was going to barf again. The spirit works so weird with me :) It was awesome!!
On a funny note, there is this 92 year old man in our area who isn't a member. The Elders in this area have been teaching him but he is old and his wife just died so we just went over to talk to him the other night. Sister Carter was talking about how her first job was milking cows and he goes "Prove it." and she said "Excuse me?" and he goes "Come over here and milk my fingers, show me!" So sister Carter had to milk this old man's fingers!! We laughed our heads off the whole way home.
Pennsylvania is full of crazies but I love it. I am so tired all the time and its "bone cold" but I know that I am doing what Heavenly Father wants. I am so excited to see what plans he has for the people of State College, PA!
I love you all so much and miss you like crazy!! You are in every prayer I say. I know that the Book of Mormon can answer any question we have. READ IT!!
Sister Andresen

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