current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

Below are two posts from Allie, the first being a hand-written letter written on the day she arrived in California, and received on Saturday July 25; the second being her email received Monday July 27.

July 20, 2015

Mom and Dad!

I just got to talk to you on the phone from the airport, which was amazing. I know why they don't have us do that often, it really made me miss you. From the lane, Bakersfield looks to be made of saucers of brown and occasional green dots of trees and farms.  And I stepped off the plane and felt like I was going to melt and felt as though I was blinded by the sun, even though it was cloudy. 

But besides  all that, I got this overwhelming feeling of excitement and a knowledge that this is the place where I'm supposed to be.  I'm proud to be in the "armpit of California," (everyone here refers to it like that too). 

Everyone is so nice!  It was strange meeting Sister Moon in person,l but she is so sweet, along with every other missionary here. And the president and his wife are so nice and friendly!  Our interview and just chatting after the plane felt so natural.  I feel like I've known them forever.  

Tons of logistics being thrown at me right now, I've had to write your email down about 20 times.  And I got a huge binder of information, I think I've gotten enough paper and books to burn a fire long enough to cook a 5 course meal.  And I feel the need to memorize it all. Thank goodness I don't have to. 

The plane was delayed an hour.  And it was tiny and shaky and terrifying.  I talked to a few people in the airport, one of their best friends is Mormon!  the Bakersfield airport is nonexistent, we just walked off the plane to the floor outside. the actual building is smaller than Flower Hill Elementary School.  

The Air Conditioner works! And since it's dry, sweat evaporates quickly!  I can't wait to get to know all the people here.  

I love and miss you all so much. 

Allie King.

July 27, 2015

I'll just go through the last week of the MTC briefly. I really miss my district and zone, they're truly amazing, but they're going to kill it in San Jose, Tucson, Ft. Lauderdale and Winnipeg! Our last day there we watched Meet the Mormons and it was really cool watching it from a missionary perspective.  I wanted to show it to everyone and shout from the rooftops, it makes me want to go out and do something with my life! It's also only a little over an hour and on Netflix, so if anyone wants to watch it i highly recommend it ;) 

I feel myself gradually becoming a better teacher and I had a few experiences where I felt like I wasn't even talking, the spirit was just putting words into my mouth to say because on my own I was at a loss for words. It's such a great experience being part of this work and having the Lord on our side to help others draw close to him. 

Last Monday we woke up at 1:40 am to catch our flight at 5:45 am. Our layover in Denver was 4 hours since the flight was late, and the plane for Bakersfield was so small.  I looked out the window to see if we were close and I saw death and brown as far as the eye could see and knew I had reached the promised land. Sure enough, the pilot said like 2 minutes later we were beginning our descent into Bakersfield. it looks like a checker board once you see all the nut tree farms. I stepped off the plane and felt my skin begin to melt, it was so hot and actually humid that day. It's the strangest thing, it's all dead but as soon as you get to neighborhoods and shops it's all green and lively, there's tons of palm trees and cute houses. 

Everyone. Is. So. NICE! here. The Mission President is so cool and we get along swimmingly. Same with all the missionaries. 27 left this transfer and 15 came in, so the transfer meeting was lengthy but good! They were announcing where the greenies would be going and as soon as they said Bishop I knew i'd be going there. and sure enough, they called Sister King! My trainer is Sister Liebelt from South Jordan, Utah, and she's amazing! She's quiet at first but once you get to know her she's super sassy and fun. She's also such an amazing teacher, she speaks humbly, concisely and with the spirit. We get along so well. She said as soon as we walked in the room for the meeting and she saw me, she knew she'd be training me. the Lord knows us well.

Sister Liebelt and Sister King in Bishop, California, July 2015
There's like no fast food here in Bishop. We go to Subway after district meeting; there's Taco Bell and McDonald's but we don't want that. 

The ward is small. But they're all so nice and friendly!! There's another companionship in the ward, Elders Antunez and Vakalahi, and they're Spanish speaking. Six missionaries in a ward where about 30 to 40 people come weekly. I'm guessing there's a lot of people who need this gospel ASAP. We all get along extremely well, we're all crazy so it works.

We're 30 minutes south of Mammoth, a resort town, so there's tons of hiking and fishing here. It's not a super small town but it has a small town feel. it reminds me of the towns near the Delaware beaches! It's in the Sierra Nevada mountains and is an oasis in the desert. Tons of trees and grass and flowers, especially roses, everywhere you turn. But you see a line on the outside of town where it becomes nothing but dirt. It's the strangest thing. 

My address is: 131 Moffett drive, Bishop CA 93514.

Everyone here has at least 2 rat dogs and they're all well behaved and nice! 

The zone leaders are 2 hours away, and the mission  home is 4.5 hours away; lots of traveling these past few days. The weather's nice and there's usually a breeze. We have a little 2 bedroom house and a big Chevy Equinox that's brand new.

My first day here we met with this young man (he just graduated high school), at his work for a quick lesson. His boss, who's about 20, ended up sitting in with us and they both agreed to be baptized! And they've been reading the Book of Mormon nonstop, they were up all night at one point and had us come over at like 7:45 pm to read it with them and answer questions they had. That book changes lives, I tell you what. 

Later that day, we went knocking on a street to find a former investigator and we ran into a young lady who took a Book of Mormon, gave one to her little sister and she wants us to come back! We've been meeting with a lot of investigators and less actives, but the problem here is everyone works all the time, especially on Sundays, so it's really hard for them to make it to church. 

This other guy is a hoot. He just loves us coming over to talk about Jesus. He loves it when we read from the Book of Mormon. He's in his 60's with a long ponytail. 

There's one family we're teaching with the elders, they teach the mother in Spanish and we teach the daughters in English. They're all going to be baptized in September, and they said that my Spanish accent was impeccable when I read from their Spanish Book of Mormon haha. 

We read the Book of Mormon with this other man twice a week, he's a recent convert. He gives us a cactus cooler after each visit, he's so nice. We also helped this one family move in this week, they have 12 kids, 8 will be living in Bishop with them, and they have an Amy, Brandon and Jordan! No Allie's though.They're great, and Jordan, who's almost 7, followed me and Sister Liebelt around the whole time and told us all about his tomato machine gun and robots and World War 3011. 

There's this one couple that pretty much adopts the missionaries. They've been married like a year and are both 80.  They're hilarious and cook the most amazing Mexican food. At least the wife does.  The husband is white and says she speaks Mexican instead of Spanish, they're so sassy with each other and have so much fun together, I love them to death.

My basketball game has increased dramatically! We play Tuesdays and Saturdays at the chapel with recent converts and investigators. They're massive and good, but my defense prevails! I even make baskets sometimes!

I hope you all have a good week, I'm sure I'll remember things I forgot to say soon enough and I'll let you know about them next week! 

I love you all!

The scenery from our car window.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14, 2015. MTC.

Below are two letters, a quick check-in letter from 
Friday, July 10, and a longer one from Tuesday, July 14.

Friday July 10, 2015

Why hello there!! 

I don't have much time today, I just get to give you a super quick update to let you know I'm alive. I'll go into detail on Tuesday when I have time but it is awesome here! 

My companion is Sister Hatch and she is from Layton Utah, has her CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and is 6 feet tall. I'm a year younger than the other three sisters but not the elders! 

My district is absolutely amazing and we're all getting along super well. My teachers are also the bomb, for real. One of them is Brother Clark and he knows Andrew Boyce! They both went to Nashville on their missions, he says he's one of the funniest people he knows. He also was a sub in a class a few weeks ago with a tall super blonde kid who had the same reaction I did when he found out Brother Clark went to Nashville.  I can only assume this was none other than Danny Schaerr. Apparently Andrew's in his ward too.

Sister Perrin and Sister Holmstead are the other sisters in my district, both from Idaho (all but three of them are from Utah or Idaho). Sister Perrin's brother is currently the AP of the DC NORTH MISSION! 

The food is a little worse than the Cannon center but the cafeteria is twice as big with three times as many people, so it's pretty much impossible to quickly find food, I end up giving up and grabbing carrots and pineapple, just like the good old days haha. 

The spirit is so incredibly strong here and my appreciation for the savior and the opportunities he has given me and all his brothers and sisters has already gone through the roof. Anything said here sparks inspiration, it's madness. 

I love you sososo much and I hope you guys travel safely! I hope everyone is doing well, study Preach My Gospel it's changing my outlook on everything!

Setting Apart with President Arnold

Family Portrait at Heritage Park, Cedar Hills, Utah, 
the day before entering the MTC

Brandon King, Grandma King, Allie King, and Jordan King
in Provo, Utah

Last meal before entering the MTC, 
Pho Plus, Orem, Utah

In front of the MTC

Amie and Allie, in front of the MTC

 Happy to be starting her mission, 
in front of the MTC

 Being silly, 
in front of the MTC

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hello all! I see what they mean when they say that the days are like weeks and the weeks are like days. I thought it was Friday so I started following the Friday schedule on Thursday, but that feels like yesterday? and now it's TUESDAY?!  

We spent Wednesday afternoon getting to know our district, the MTC and closed by mock teaching investigators. it was kinda hard since it was 50 on one but i learned a lot! The elders in the district are going to San Jose and the sisters are going to Bakersfield. I hear there are elders that are going to Bakersfield and more going to San Jose but I can't seem to find them. My district is truly amazing, they are all so funny but in seconds switch to incredibly spiritual, and we get along so much better than some of the other districts I see. There are about 3 of us in the whole bunch who aren't from Utah or Idaho though... and my DL went to east high from HSM! Everyone in my zone is great too! They're going to Tucson, Winnipeg and Fort Lauderdale. Actually everyone here is great, being polite is a rite of passage I swear.

My teachers, Brother Clark and Sister Steglemeier are amazing, I feel like I'm being hit by a water hose 24/7 though, information never stops coming. But if I've come to know anything this week is how amazing the doctrine of Christ is and how the Book of Mormon can answer any concerns in our lives. I want to tell you every time it's blown my mind but id be on for hours. It suffices me to say that if you go into scripture study with a sincere question, the spirit WILL help you receive your answer and peace. 

Everyone here has a friend in Bakersfield. I've collected about 7 names of people to look up. and I've seen tons of people from my pre-mission life! Elders Fairholm, Larsen, Delange and Jensen from BYU and Elder Gettys from home! Not to mention a ton of people I just recognize from my ward and classes. It's like a family here

I wore Brandon's name tag to personal study just for fun but i got whisked away for one of the generic interviews here and got so many questions on it, so I learned my lesson! MY name tag from now on!! Plus Elder Joyner from my district taught me how to pronounce the church's name in German, so I can almost say it now!

On Thursday we locked ourselves out of the room at 6 in the morning so we had to go down to the front desk in our jammies and no shoes to get the key. Then that night we get a call at 12:30 am that we would be getting a new sister in our room who just arrived. Her name is Sister Ali-Savory and she's from Guyana,the only country in south america with English as the main language! she's been called to Mississippi. That call scared us half to death, I thought it was morning so i said my prayers haha. 

Another thing! Prayers WORK! I've been getting like 5 hours of sleep and I'm extremely alert, and every time I ask to find something in my study or to know what to teach an investigator it works! Not that that's surprising or anything, but it's just really strengthened my testimony to see how the more I rely on the lord, the more he blesses me and the people around me. 

We've been teaching Sagen and Ny (who is from Madagascar) and they rock! they're both so willing to listen to what we have to say and I feel the spirit speaking to them in its words instead of my own. And it's funny, one of our lessons with Ny was on  the priesthood, that's it. She just had so many questions about it! And it helped me realize how important it is and how that gift allows us to receive comfort and knowledge, Ny really seemed excited about the idea. And Segan is in love with the plan of salvation. He's having trouble feeling like he can pray directly to our father, so we're still helping him with that. I keep talking though, I get so excited about this gospel!

Sunday was INCREDIBLE!! Sacrament meeting was on the book or Mormon and RS was on repentance and I just was sitting there in such appreciation for those gifts. I cant wait to go share my testimony on them with others and show them how it can change their lives! Plus that night we watched Character of Christ and I feel like its one of those devotionals that everyone MUST SEE!! It's by Elder Bednar given, and it's all about Christ's actions and attitudes and how we need to turn out to help others. Minds were blown, tears were shed, and many manly elders and dainty sisters left with their legs wobbly. (Read it HERE)

My companion, sister hatch, is a rockstar. We've grown so close these few days, I feel like I've known her my whole life. Kindred spirits I tell you.

I hope everyone is doing well! I know i sure am. I love you all so much and can't wait to see you again! I'm not sure if I'll be able to email next week, but if I don't just remember this gospel ROCKs and is SO TRUE I cant take it. Have an amazing week!  (I actually leave Monday morning for a 5:45 flight to Denver then to Bakersfield. So I'll miss both p-day here and in the field, I'm not sure if I'l have one at all.....)

My fantastic district, Elders Wright, Folau, Lund, Joyner, Swann and Downs; 
and me, Sisters Holmstead, Perrin, and of course Hatch 

Me, Sisters  Perrin, Holmstead and Hatch