Well, everything here in Petersburg is going great! It's a whole new experience, and a different form of missionary work than what I was doing in Fairbanks, but it's just as wonderful and rewarding. Everyday here is completely different. This last week we spent a lot of time doing what we call "planting seeds". Basically, we just visit people who aren't necessarily interested in joining our church, but like to talk with us about our church and what we believe. Everyone here is really kind and welcoming, so they make for excellent company. We also do a lot of service to help fill our days. This week we: helped at the museum in town scanning in photos for the archives, washed dishes at the Manor (old folks home/assisted living center), played piano and sang at the hospital, played and sang at the Manor, and helped a member organize/clean her house. We do a lot of work with senior citizens and I LOVE it. Before my mission I was always afraid of old people because I felt like a lot of them were just so close to death that I was afraid I would just burst into tears if I talked to them. Now, I LOVE the senior citizens and find so much joy in visiting them. When I get home I really want to start doing more volunteer work.
This week our sweet Cleo (a 86 year-old less active woman who lives in long-term care part of the hospital that we visit every day) had a birthday! We took some time out of our day to head to the hospital for her birthday party. It was so sweet and so much fun. Cleo seemed a little overwhelmed, but I think she really had a good time. The sun came out this week!!!! We've had about 4 day sin a row of sunshine and I am in HEAVEN. The sun is really different in AK. It's not very warm and hardly rises over the tops of the hills, but it does the soul some good. :) It's pretty cold here, but not too bad... yet.
Oh my gosh, I forgot to tell you guys about the porcupine madness last week. So we were at dinner with the members we live with, and they were telling us all about how they thought that there was a porcupine eating their raspberry bushes and how mad they were about it. They were so frustrated about it that they decided if they ever caught it they would kill it. We just laughed and brushed it odd. Later that night, we were in our apartment doing our nightly planning when all the sudden we heard two gunshots. We immediately knew what was going on so we opened our window and yelled out "Did you get it??". Before they could even answer we ran downstairs and out to the backyard to join in the excitement. Apparently, the porcupine was too fluffy and the bullets didn't even injure it. So, as I'm asking the member what he's going to do to kill it, he pulls out an ax and just kills it right in front of us. Poor Sister Ashbrook was so freaked out! She screamed really loud and covered her eyes. To my astonishment, I found the entire situation fascinating and even went back the next day and pulled out some quills. Who am I???? I feel like I'm turning into a real mountain woman... and I love it!! haha
The work here is going pretty well. We are teaching quite a few people; a couple investigators and a couple less-actives(one only speaks spanish and I am so grateful that I can at least understand about 85% of what is going on!). We're working on finding new people to teach and praying everyday for some referrals. We actually got one yesterday (which was an incredible experience in itself) and will be contacting her tonight.
That's prety much all that's going on here on the island. I hope you guys are all doing well and looking forward to the most wonderful time of the year! I can't wait for Christmas and hope I'm still here on the island for it. We've heard that get really crazy here, since it's my favorite holiday I might add my own crazy to theirs. Time is really flying by and I can't believe it's almost November. Where does the time all go?? Love you all and hope to hear from you soon. :)
p.s. some people have been asking what I need/want in terms of gifts for the holidays. Here are some ideas...
*Pens (you can never have too many. I LOVE bright colors especially pink)
*Stamps (again, you can never have too many)
*Mail ( I LOVE GETTING MAIL )
*Stickers (we missionaries in AK love to not only send each other letters but love to put stickers on the back)
*Music (CDS are great. Anything uplifting and spiritual. Please no MOTAB haha)
*Mints (we can't chew gum, and sometimes I struggle to stay awake when we visit the old folks)