Monday, December 17, 2012

Back in the PSG

Dear Family!

Well, we are back in Petersburg and boy was it fun to come back.  We had people all over town welcome us back; members, non-members, random people we don't know... it was really neat and made us feel so loved.  Leaving Wrangell was hard.  We really grew to love the people there in the short time that we were with them.  We got to take the Ferry back to PSG, which was SO fun! We planned for the week and then did some puzzles to fill our time on the boat.  We also went to the gift shop and Sis Ashbrook bought her family the book "Outhouses of Alaska"... we got a good laugh out of that one :) When we got back to PSG we through ourselves right back into our busy schedule and got right to work. 

We taught a couple of our investigators and less-actives this week.  One of our investigators, Barbara [a 70-something with a spit fire personality.  She's met with the missionaries for about 2 years now]. really opened up this week.  We taught her about temples and about how she can be sealed to her husband [who passed away] for all eternity.  It was a really wonderful lesson and the Spirit was very strong.  We invited her to think and pray more about being baptized.  We called her on Saturday night and asked if she would like to come to church.  There was a long pause, and after a littel talking she agreed to come!! It was amazing! She's  never agreed to come before, with any missionaries, and she totally came to church.  I don't think that her experience was what any of us had expected but we were so glad that she came and got to feel the Spirit in some way.  Maribel is doing well, her kids and husband are out of town for the next week, so we plan on spending a lot of time with her. 

Oh my gosh, cool story... I got a letter from someone I don't know this week.  It was a girlw ho is about to come out on her mission to Alaska and found my blog online while she was researching! iIt was so neat! She asked advice on how she can prepare, and I'm excited to write her back.  I put in a good word with President, saying that I dibs training her.  He said, "Well wouldn't that be neat?" haha we'll see what happens :)

We've done quite a bit of singing, but what else is new! We are singing in the community Holiday concert tonight, which will be fun.  Other than that, nothing is really  new.  We're both really looking forward to Christmas and have gotten a few invitations for some fun activities with members in the branch.  WE're all geared up with a few Christmas messages to share with the people we teach :)

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Hatfield

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Zone Conference & Such!

Hey guys,

Oh my heck [Sister Ashbrook says that ALL the time and has me saying it now!] This week was absolutely INSANE, but oh so fun! We left PSG on Tuesday morning and flew to Juneau.  We weren't sure if the plane was actually going to leave because we'd gotten so much snow, but it did! The flight was only about 24 minutes, so it wasn't too bad.  When we got there the elders picked us up from the airport and treated us to lunch! Isn't that nice? [Actually, it was E. Hartelius' mom who bought us lunch, which is really nice of her!]  After that they sent Sister Ashbrook and I out to visit some women in the Juneau area.  It was really fun   neat to get to know some of the wonderful women that are up there.  On Wednesday we had a Zone Pday- which NEVER happens in Juneau Zone because we are all scattered across the islands of the SE.  We made a group trip to Costco [which was completely overwhelming since the biggest store I've been in for the last 5.5 months was a small Walmart, which was over 3 months ago!] After Costco we headed over to Booyah Grill for burgers.  It was really good food and excellent company.  Some of the elders here are just so funnt! They had us in tears we were laughing so hard the entire week.  After lunch we decided we were going to "walk to the glacier" [that's what the elders said it was... a walk. HA!]  We got there as the sun was starting to set [about 2:30] and trekked through about a foot of snow across a frozen lake. The "walk" was about 3/4 of a mile one way, but in that much snow it felt like 6 each way.  Needless to say, Sister Ashbrook and I quickly found out how out of shape we were.  Thankfully, the elders are super Christlike and were encouraging us the entire way.  On Thursday we had a day full of training which was really nice.  The purpose of Zone Conference is to "re-align our compasses" as President says.  We learned a lot and did a lot of fun activities.  The Zone Leaders did a relay race as part of their trainig and Sister Ashbrook and I had to race and eat Muk Tuk [whale blubber and skin... a native delicacy].  It was AWFUL! I vowed the first day I came to AK that I would never eat it, and I was forced to.  The elders were laughing at me the entire time because I was literally gagging it down.  The blubber was fine, kinda oily, but the skin was like chewing a tire.  Anyways... after all of our training, we had a Christmas Party with a White Elephant gift exchange.  I got a tie and a VHS of Free Willy and Sister Ashbrook got a toy dinosaur.  Haha! President was giving a training in the other room and had asked me if I would sing for it, so we actually missed most of the gift exchange, hence the gift I received.  On Friday morning, we had interviews with President, which are always so incredible.  He just makes everything all better again.  He brings me back to reality while still helping me stay focused on the work.  We talked about some changes that are coming up in my future and I'm excited.  I think I'll have some good learning opportunities starting after Christmas.  On Friday, we flew from Juneau to Wrangell where we were welcomed with open arms! The branch here is just as big, if not a little smaller than our branch in PSG.  Everyone here has been so wonderful and kind.  The last time they remember having sister missionaries was about 20 years ago! We are staying with Brother and Sister Buness [who are the parents of a Sister in our ward in PSG] and they are the absolute best.  Sister Buness literally just came out and brought us some herbal tea [some kind of yummy christmas flavor.  People in AK LOVE herbal tea.  We drink it at least twice a week] and some really yummy treats [rice krispie cereal, dates, pecans, brown sugar, butter and cocuonut [my FAVE] rolled into powdered sugar]  to enjoy while we email :) We've been staying pretty busy here in Wrangell visiting some investigators and less-active members of the branch.  It's been a really fun trip, but we are ready to get back home to PSG and get ready for Christmas. 

Welp, things are going good and definately looking up.  Sister Buness was just talking to us about missions and we decided that they are just like pulling taffy.  You are pulled and stretched in every way imaginable, and let me tell you it is tough work, but it is so very worth it.  I  love Alaska.  I love the people of Alaska.  And most importantly I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I hope you all are having a wonderful week. 

Love always, Sister Hatfield

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sorry 'Bout It!

Hey guys,

Sorry about not sending an email last week.  We had the craziest day trying to get a lot of stuff done, and ended up taking 3 hours out of our P-Day to do missionary work.  But anyways....

All is well here in PSG.  We've gotten about 8 inches of snow this week and it is BEAUTIFUL! I feel like I live in a snow globe.  It's cold, but not too cold, maybe 20 degrees this last week.  Not bad.  Feels like home.  We're starting to get all geared up for Christmas here.  We've hung up some lights in our apartment, put up a tiny tree, and stuch a manger scene in the window (you know, those window cling sticker things?).  It's been fun. 

We've been doing a LOT of singing lately, shocker right? We joined the Oxford Carolers, a group that sings traditional english carols.  We had 2 performances this week with them and have 2 or 3 more this month.  Sister Ashbrook and I were also asked to put on a set at the museum open house yesterday.  We roped in a member of the branch, Doc, to play guitar for us.  It went really well and was really fun.  We're also working on music for 3 musical firesides, getting ready to record about 6 or 7 songs while we're in Juneau this week for Zone Conference, practicing for some musical numbers for ZC, planning a Primary Christmas program, getting music together to sing in Sacrament for Christmas sunday, working on music for the Oxford Carolers, and getting ready for Yulebahing(sp? It's a Norweigian tradition where all the shops in town stay open and make LOTS of food and everyone just goes around from store to store eating and visiting and singing carols! We're so excited!! )

Tomorrow we leave for ZC in Juneau for 4 days, then we're going to Wrangell for another 4 days.  The missionary work is really slow there, so they took missionaries out of the area for a while.  However, they have 3 women who are investigating the church and are close to baptism.  President is sending us over there to teach them.  This first trip is to teach, get to know the town, and to speak in church.  THEN, they want us to come back later this month for their branch Christmas Party to throw a musical fireside.  We're still working on logistics for that one. 

OH, so, listen up grandma Hatfield, you'll be so proud....

Our favorite Cleo has been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately (I don't black her.  It's pitch black by about 3 or 3:30pm, it's cold and she can't walk or leave the hospital, sad!) So, we decided to start a project that would help brighten her spirits! She LOVES to quilt and had one started that she was working on before she entered the hospital.  We decided to take on the project and finish the quilt for her.  We're hand stitching around appliqued butterflies and dutch dolls.  We're doing a blanket stitch, which is new for me and is really fun.  Sister A has bever sewed, so it's been fun teaching her too! Cleo is SOOOO happy.  She loves watching us stitch and has been much happier.  We bring our quilt blocks to our visits with her and we just talk and stitch.  It's actually helping her testimony too! She listened to church (we can all in in to sacrament on a conference call)yesterday for the first time in about 6 months! How awesome is that???

Anyway.. got to go.  Today is only a half P-Day since we get a whole one in Juneau.  Oh, and I might not email next monday because we'll be in Wrangell, but promise I will email as soon as I can.  ]

Have a great week!

Love always,
The ever-busy Sister Hatfield