Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Letter #2 (Sept. 30 2013)

Welp, I've made it to my second P-Day (Preperation Day. The day the missionaries have time set apart to shop/email/clean/etc.) out in the field! I realized that in just a few days, I'll have been out for a month! Crazy! It doesn't even kind of feel like it's been that long. 

Things have continued to be interesting this past week. On Tuesday I went to Sister Mattingley's six week meeting with the mission president and everyone that had gone out with Sister Mattingley. President Becerra said that I was getting a "double dose" of him since I had just gone to my new missionary orientation a couple of days before. The whole day was spent traveling again, and then my companion and I met up with another companionship to go on exchanges. The other companionship was Sister Ackley (Sister Mattingley's trainer) and Sister Onekawa (Sister Mattingley's MTC comp). Sister Ackley came back to Walnut (her last area) with me, and Sister Mattingley went to Covina with Sister Onekawa. It's funny, Wednesday is pretty much the closest thing that I've had to a regular proselyting day since I got here, and I wasn't even with my own companion! I was able to meet some of the less actives in the ward that day. I also taught a lesson to an investigator. Well, sort of.

Matt is a single dad with two YW aged girls and a ten year old son. The girls have been baptized (they're mom is a member) but the dad and son have not. Because he's a single male, we need to have a female member come with us to teach him. The person that we were originally going to bring ended up being unable to come. So we had to call around at the last minute so that we wouldn't have to reschedule. A sister agreed to come with us. The lesson ended up all over place and I really don't know how much was understood.  BUT, he not only brought his girls to a sports night that was held at the church on Saturday, he also came to church for the first time this Sunday! I'm so happy that he came! Teaching him this week will be interesting because of how crazy the lesson was last week, but I'm anxious to see how he felt about church.

Anway, Wednesday was the first of a few big food days. Two of the sisters that we went to visit gave us food while we were there. The first sister gave us animal crackers and some sort of yummy passion fruit juice in a can. Then we went to see another sister who gave us water bottles, an apple each, and a Chinese moon cake (a lot heavier than it looked. Tasted okay. And then before we knew it, she was making us home made corn tortillas. It was really funny, she asked us if we wanted butter and cheese on the tortillas. She piled on a crazy amount of cheese onto Sister Ackley's tortilla, and then put a glob of butter (just dropped it on, didn't spread it around at all) and then piled a load of cheese onto mine as well. It was really tasty, but kind of gross to eat a bite of tortilla with a big ol' slab of butter on it. 

The next day we had a Relief Society activity called "Become Like Hymn" which was all about how we worship through music. It was really neat. A couple from the ward did a little presentation and then just had people stand up, tell their favorite hymn, why it's their favorite, and then we would all sing the first verse. The Spirit was so strong it was amazing! There was a lot of good food there as well.

Then there was Friday and Saturday's dinners. Oh man. On Friday we had a huge dinner at this older couple's house and then they cut into this massive cake. I mean like this cake could feed Africa massive. The slices weren't that thick, but the cake has four layers and so they were still huge slices. And then they gave us each a huge scoop of ice cream as well. We all just sat and stared at it for a second, trying to figure out how to tackle it. I said that I felt like the fat kid from Matilda with that huge cake. Crazy. It was really good, but I only managed to eat the bottom layer, so not even half of the cake. One of the elders ate all of his dessert. I'm still not sure how. He's not very big. Then the couple gave us the rest of the cake to take home. A little bit more than half of a cake. A little more than half of the mother of all cakes. I've eaten a teensy bit of it, and then we've shared a bunch of it since then. We still have a bunch though.

Then the next day we had the fanciest dinner of my life. This couple's house is huge, super nice-looking with chandeliers and extraneous forks. We ate a four course dinner with a salad first (I used the wrong plate, but did use my salad fork), then biscuits, then some kind of fancy salmon, then a huge frosted brownie with ice cream. We all just kind of looked at each other, remembering yesterday's cake, and then dug in. I didn't manage to finish that one either. All of these dishes were (supposed to be) on different plates using different forks and then the spoon for dessert. It was all really tasty, but it made me even more aware than usual that I am not a very sophisticated person, especially because I'd dead clumsy. I can't seem to make it through a single dinner without spilling some food/knocking something over. Oh well.

This week we hardly have any dinner appointments, which is probably good because I've started to feel really sick again, probably from all of the crazy portions of food that I've had every day for the past few days. So I really need to be careful about how much and what I eat.

Now that I've finished telling everyone how fat I am (haha) I'll tell you about my bike!

We picked up our bikes on Thursday and I was little bit nervous. I know how to ride a bike, but last time I tried, I got really really sick. And this time I'd be wearing a skirt. It has actually gone about a million times better than I thought that it would, but it's definitely been an adjustment. First of all, I didn't know that bikes could have different gears like a car. So when there were extra switches (for lack of a better word) on my handlebars, I was really confused. I still don't really understand which gear I'm supposed to be in when, so I just toggle around until it feels okay when I pedal.

The skirt thing has been a challenge though. Before I left, I bought some spandex shorts to wear under my skirt just in case I ended up on a bike. But it turns out that they are completely unhelpful because the legs just roll up so don't cover anything. So I've had to be super careful the last few days. I got some leggings today though, so it should be loads better now.

Anyway, I really need to finish up, so I'll tell you my funny story about doors. This actually happened last week, but I forgot to write about it in my last email. 

So almost all of the doors here have either a peephole, or huge glass panes with different designs. So we knock on this door of a less active sister. We see someone come to the door, peer out through some of the non-cloudy glass, and then walk away. A second later, another lady comes over to the door and then walks away. The first lady just keeps walking back and forth, peering out every so often (we would smile and wave when she did this), but never answered the door! Finally we were just going to leave when a car pulled in. The sister that we were looking for was in there. It was SO funny though! My comp and I couldn't stop laughing after we left her. I mean, it's bad enough when we hear people walk to the door and just know that they're standing there silently looking through the peephole, but these ladies knew that we could see them. It was great.

Anyway, I really need to wrap up, sorry this is so long! Thank you to everyone that's been writing/emailing me! I really appreciate it! I love you all!

~Sister Kretchman

Ps-I'm trying to add some pictures to this email. But I'm not sure if they'll show up because this computer isn't liking my camera too much, but if they do come up, there should be a picture of the moon cake, Sister Mattingley with the left over cake, me with the left over cake, and I think a picture of the four of us from the exchange. (Sister Ackley is the short one with curly hair, Sister Mattingley is the tall blond, and Sister Onekawa is Asian with glasses, she's from New Zealand and has a sweet accent haha) But we'll see.

The pictures didn't end up coming through :(

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