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Friday, November 8, 2013

Mississippi Here I Am

Hi everyone! I'm writing to ya'll from Clinton, Mississippi! The flight yesterday was long, but fun. The Atlanta airport is CRAZY! When we got to the Brandon airport President and his wife were there along with all the STL and Assistants. They are all so nice! President is so soft spoken and friendly and his wife is awesome as well. Yesterday he gave us his four main things.

1. take one day at a time
2. keep BOTH feet in the mission field
3. gain a testimony that YOU are where you're supposed to be
4. gain a testimony that President is called to reside over the MJM mission

There are 3 Canadians in the mission. I don't know where one is from, but a STL I met is from Calgary. Sister Zemp is her name, her dad is brothers with Dal Zemp so she has been to Cardston a ton. 

Mississippi is so beautiful! Green Green Green. Forestry is so beautiful! The trees are so tall and are everywhere! Oh and there are churches everywhere! I think in a 15 minute drive I saw at least 5 different churches. They are all huge to! The homes here are straight from a country magazine! Most have big wrap around porches and some even have rocking chairs! Sister Rust, the lady we stayed with, says, "In Mississippi we don't hide our crazy folks, we just sit em' on the front porch in the rocking chair." 

Sister Brown and I stayed the night at a member's home in Madison.email! So sweet of her eh? She'd thought you'd like to know that we are safe! 

Funny story, sister Brown was in the Bathroom and comes running into the bedroom, "Sister Hartley come look at this spider!" Ya we're talking a spider the size of a toonie! It was hairy and gross. I think it was called a wolf spider. Anyways she killed it and we are all good!

I am at the church right now, it's transfer day. I am going to Ruston, Lousieanna! So excited! I will be in a trio. I'm told my companions are real hard workers and are always laughing so it sounds like it will be good! 

I'm real excited to be in Mississippi, all the STL and Assistants say, "Ya'll" all. the. time. They say they can't help it! I love it. I have already seen a lot of African Americans. When you are driving and see all the forestry and train tracks you can just feel the history here. I can't wait to learn all about it.

Oh and guess what mom?!? We got a cookbook! haha it's called "The MJM Missionaries CAN cook." All us sisters were pretty excited!
They all say this week will be long and hard, but I will get through it. I'm super excited to get out to Lousianna and work work work! 

Have fun talking to Melissa on the phone today!
Love, Sister Hartley 

Long time no see. I'm back emailing again. My companions hadn't emailed yet today so we are in the library in Ruston emailing home. It was a long drive from Mississippi to get here, just over three hours. But I'm hear and doing good. We went to the apartment to unpack a little then tonight we are having dinner at a member's home. My companions are Sister Daily (spelling?) and Sister Gibbin (spelling?). They are both from Utah. One has been out for 3 months and the other for 6 weeks. They are super nice and I can already tell that we will be good friends! One has younger twin brothers. Such a small world. Anyways I'm doing good, just adjusting to everything and remembering that I am officially a missionary. People I have talked to in Ruston all have the southern accent. About 24 000 people live in Ruston and there is one ward. About 34% of the ward is active. There is much missionary work to be done. The bishop has already called to officially welcome me to the ward. It was nice!
Oh funny story. So last night the AP Elder Bendell asked me if I took ballet because he said I looked like a dancer, and then today one of my companions asked me if I was a dancer. They all say I look like a ballerina. I just smile and say that my mom is a dancer. :)
My bike is here with me. I was excited to see it here. I'm glad we shipped it. It's nice not to worry about a bike like all the other sisters. My companions don't have bikes, they walk a lot. But they said that they have been wanting to bike so they are excited to go by bikes tonight so we can all bike.

Here are some statistics from our mission that I forget to tell earlier.
Elder Bendell said that when he came out, (about two years ago) that there was just over 100 missionaries and only 12 sisters. So crazy!
Love ya!
Sister Hartley

President and his wife

Sister Brown and me our first night in Madison MS at Sister Pamela Rust home

Our District

Mississippi River

All the new Brothers and Sisters

My bike was shipped to MS

My two new companions

Sister Monson from Cardston is serving a mission in MS, what a new surprise to see my teacher from school

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