I'm writing from a library in Mount Pearl Newfoundland! look it up, it's fairly remote. And not in Halifax. yeah.
so first I have to apologise somewhat about my poopypants letter last week, I should have taken time to write separate letters, but the MTC is a confusing place and what can you do. I'm really thankful and somewhat indignant about all your responses, I hope I'll have enough time today to get back to everyone.
So Newfoundland! It's actually pronounced new-find-LAND and you'd better say it right or the newfies will look at you weird. if you're too lazy to look up where it is, it's an island off of Labrador above Nova-Scotia, which is about as big as Washington state. how'd you get there you ask? well it took a long time, and it's a good story.
I should probably start at the beginning. so Tuesday, we woke up at the crack of too early for vampires got dressed and drug all of out luggage to the travel office at the MTC. Which is pretty hard when you have three backs a coat and a purse and no one to help you, I think I dropped the carry on like three times. my MTC companion sister Lewis wanted to take one last minute to go look for her lost camera twenty minutes before the bus was supposed to leave, so you know me I'm a pushover and we ran to the building we were going to look through. it was locked. no surprise. we ran back. everyone was loosing their minds because they'd turned in their keycards and the travel guy hadn't given them tickets. so I go in there and he hands me an envelope with instructions to check in at the keyosk. not really surprising to me, and I tell the ducklings to get on the bus.
The Bus ride was weird because we were driving on streets and following the same path I had already driven like eight times last semester with no intention of a return trip. then I fell asleep against the window because it was three thirty in the morning. at the airport we got out bags and I directed eveyone to the American Airlines counter where I see a familiar sight of lots of people waiting to check in and only two attendants on shift. it's probably lucky that we even had two that early. so I start to check us in and there's a bunch of elders listed on our reservation. "are we supposed to have elders?" I asked the air, since, I wasn't there when the travel guy gave out instructions to the group. Sister Lewis provided an insightful "I don't know" to which I replied "well, if they're in this airport, we need to find them." she disapppeared for a little while and then reappeared towards the end of my check in with a Canadian and a weepy elder from Tahiti. so I had to start over. then the attendent came by and told me that we all had to check in separately to pay for baggage fees as individuals, so I started over again. sister weaver was on a separate reservation altogether, and I had her check in beside me at the same time. so we go through this long process of swiping passports and using credit cards to pay for bags, (haha bring cash for bags my foot) and then Elder Thounot from Tahiti has to re enter all of his passport information field by field and all of this ended up taking about an hour and forty five minutes. sometime before everyone was done I started sending sisters to go through security because I knew the line was going to be long. it was. needless to say I was praying so hard with a half an hour until boarding and 200 people in front of me at security. but by some miracle, the lady who was working the front check in was there when we scanned our tickets and got on the plane, and all of us got on.
the rest of the airports was fairly non-eventful, we rode a train around the terminals to get to the next gate in dallas, and half our group acted like they'd never heard of trams before. I didn't really get an oppertunity to be a missionary on the flights, either because I wasn't sitting next to anyone, or because the missionary next to me had it covered. and I also can't hear. that probably factored into it. In customs in Toronto we went though smoothly, except my companion somehow got the wrong code on her claims card and the customs lady she got threw a minor fit. I just stood back and held my hands up because woof. also poor elder thounot spent probably 30 minutes talking to a guy when for each of us it was closer to five. even sister Echoles, who was deported from canada under suspected tax evasion at 19. (apparently it was not her fault.) note to self, don't be from tahiti.
Then we had to check back in somehow, and sister Echoles decided to take over our group and lead us on a goose chase to the terminal check in counters one floor up and half a terminal over with three bags each, to find out that we could have just checked in where we'd been spit out by customs. le sigh. and then we called home. that was fun. and then elder Fortier from Quebec bought us doughnuts. and then we flew to Halifax, and met out mission president and his wife gave us all hugs, and we rode home in a van driven by a french elder who drove like a maniac. on the way we found out that it was Elder thounot's birthday. at which I felt bad that he'd had such a rough birthday. but at the same time it's a good way to start out your mission.
the mission home was nice. they fed us, gave us beds, and we had a day to go to the temple and learn mission rules and get bank cards and everything else. it was also that morning that I found out where I was going. the interview was simple, basically he told be it would be rough because everyone's either anglican or irish catholic, and that my trainer had only been out three months, just long enough to be trained herself. so we would be whitewashing an area, and I'd be teaching myself the ropes as much as she'd be teaching me. good times. also It would take about 24 hours to get there.
we drove a truck up through nova scotia to north sydney, which took about five hours. we were following elders and had a GPS, and she spent most of the time asking questions and asking me to ask her questions. we got to the ferry two hours early, and I tried to figure out how to make my bank card work, called a number and got no answers. we tried to talk to a few people, got shut down a bunch, and were shamed by the elders who taught a guy basically the whole first discussion. good times. we boarded the ferry at about nine, which was interesting but we did it without backing up more than once, to my relief, and then promptly found our cabin and went to sleep. I sort of slept.
then we drove for two and a half hours to what I think was corner brook ate lunch breakfast at subway, the guy didn't know what provolone cheese was which was okay because they didn't have any. my comp paid for lunch because I still thought I had to activate my card somehow and only had American cash. I also killed a mosquito. then we called and found out that my card was already activated. and then we drove for nine hours across swampy pine tree wilderness past moose signs and through rain and fog. at one point we stopped at a gas station and I tried to buy chocolate to find that my card still didn't work. I to this moment have no idea if I'll ever be able to buy food. the story of kelsey in another country without money continues. and after naps and conference talks and Mormon tabernacle choir we got there at about six thirty in the evening.
everything since has been trying to follow newfie thought process (they talk a million miles an hour and in a million directions) and follow my new companion, Sister Miehe (Mia) with the conviction that I know what i'm doing. today we're supposed to go knocking on doors, hopefully it'll be better than the first round, as we ran into a catholic lady who basically told us she respects us, but she's too set in her ways and to get off her porch because we were wasting our time. nice poeople really, very polite, and I'm not being facetious. I love the people here, and can't wait to find someone who's interested to listen to our message. in fact the other day during personal study I ran across a scripture that felt like it was meant for me "...Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of israel, and has been lost in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us wanderers in a strange land." (alma 26:36) I know that he's looking out for us, and that he knows the people of this city and cares for them a great deal. I'm so glad that I get to be a part of missionary work, that I get to try to share what matters most for them, (and for everyone.)
sorry I forgot my camera guys, I'll have lots of pictures next time I promise.