my missionary journal

Missionary Journal – June 21, 1989

Man, no matter what I write, I don’t think I could do today justice.

First off, I turned my alarm off at 4 a.m. and then fell back to sleep until 5 a.m., which is the time we were supposed to be checked out! But, luckily, the resident assistant was late. He came at 5:25 a.m. and by then, Elder Pitcher and I were ready. Talk about miracles!

Then, after I got to the main office, I had a big plate of cookies from the Young Ambassadors with a letter and a flyer from their show. Allison, Marcie and Romy made them. They’re so awesome! I’ll have to write to them. Everyone shared the cookies with me, or I did with them rather!

We boarded a bus that brought us to Ogden after dropping off about 20 other missionaries at the airport. The mission office is beautiful, and the mission home. The Shumways are wonderful people along with the rest of the people in the office. I was pretty excited!

I got assigned to Afton, Wyoming! It’s the furthest north you can go in our mission. It was a two-and-a-half-hour drive and I fell asleep for a while even though I tried not to because it’s a mission rule for both companions to be awake.

My companion is Elder Gatlin from New Mexico. He’s a cool guy. I’m not extremely impressed because he’s my trainer and they’re supposed to be super missionaries and if he is, he’s hiding it pretty well. He managed to miss his trainer meeting so he doesn’t know how to train me. This is his first time to be a senior companion.

Let me tell you, as I drove up here the reality hit me — this is real. I’m in a Podunk town of about 1,000 but there are two stakes in our area! I have to say that the members I’ve met so far are great. We had a stake mission correlation meeting tonight. We were also greeted this afternoon by quite a few people that say, “Hello missionaries!” or wave. It’s neat. I remember looking up to missionaries and now I am one! How scary.

This is a trial of my faith. It’s no bed of roses. The apartment is small and rundown. It’s moderately clean, a lot more so now that I’ve gotten settled. Luckily, I got a member to bring me some blankets so I won’t freeze. There isn’t even a bike store in town and we can’t drive the car for the rest of the month, so we’re on foot!

I’ll have to get a bike when we go back to Ogden, back to civilization, on July third for the mission conference.

I never would’ve dreamed I’d end up in a town as small as Richfield, but I did, and I’ll learn to love it. I was very positive at the correlation meeting because I want the members to know I’m excited to be here and to work with them. They seem super!

We were supposed to have a dinner appointment tonight, but the people were gone to Logan and didn’t make it back in time. I had a wonderful, bug, delicious meal at the Shumways though, so I’m fine. A lady just brought us two plates of cookies though. They are good!

My companion is pretty far from exactly obedient. I’ve got my work cut out for me. This is a huge challenge. The mission president must have sent me here because he thought I could do some good. I guess I made too good of an impression. Either that or he doesn’t love me. But, I know he does.

There have been times today when I’ve felt like crying. I miss Pitcher, Marquis and Goodman. The last two are in civilized Ogden and Logan, but Pitcher and I are out in the boondocks. What a shock! At least I (hopefully) won’t have to be here during winter. There’s still snow on the mountains and it got to 20-degrees last night! Don’t they know it’s summer?!

I need so much strength right now. This is going to be so rough. But, I must say positive.

Well, I need to go. Oh, I had a package waiting for me at the mission home. Mom and dad both wrote me, in prose, and sent a family picture! It’s good.

Also, they, at the mission home, never received my records. They didn’t know I existed until a few days ago, so I had a lot of stuff to fill out. I knew that would happen to me. Oh well. I’m here and I know the Lord will help me. He’d better. I can’t do it alone!

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