Aloha from the BIG ISLAND! So last week, basically started out with a lot of packing and goodbyes. I got 3 hours of sleep Tuesday night, then morning came and I got dropped off at the airport. We were running a bit behind because neither of us heard the alarms go off, so when I got to the airport I was a bit flustered. I went to check in my bags and they were both overweight! I was getting a little stressed. I had to decide to either throw things away or pay the fee for overweight bags. Apparently I looked stressed and confused enough, because one of the airport workers came over and asked if he could help with anything. I explained that my bags were overweight and asked what the fee was for that. He didn't answer. He picked up my bag and placed it on the scale again, but lifted it up just a little bit from the handle while it was weighed. Because he was still holding it, it rang in as not overweight. He looked at me and said "I don't know what you're talking about. This bag is fine." He then proceeded to "weigh" the other bag. "This one seems to be fine too." he said with a smile. I thanked him profusely and he got all of my luggage tagged and ready to check. Then I went through security and got to my gate. I flew with a few other missionaries who are in my new zone. One is my new district leader and one is my new zone leader. When the plane landed the airport workers pushed a little ramp up to the plane and we all filed off. It was an outdoor airport!!!!! It was super cute! And so tiny! Then we got our baggage and waited for our companions to come pick us up. My new companion is sister Pantalakis! She was one of my roommates in the MTC! We get along super well! Our new pad is actually a small house on the church property! it is so cute!!!
We just walk across the parking lot to go to church!
We have been keeping pretty busy here! it is a really great area! There is a lot of driving to do on this island. In my old area, you could cross the whole zone in 30 minutes, but here, you can cross about half of the zone in an hour and 30 minutes. It is so much driving!!!! There are horses and goats and chickens everywhere!!!
I am learning to play rugby- because I guess that's our zone sport for this transfer. it is super fun! I also found a centipede in our house and killed it! crazy!!! I cannot pronounce all of these Hawaiian names! coming from a military ward to a local ward has been a big change but I love it. We help teach mission prep here. I just love big island. oh, and it's super cold here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wear my sweater all the time and it rains a bunch too! I LOVE IT!
Okay, Question time: What is something I wish I knew before my mission?
well, missionaries are allowed to be silly! that's one thing. Also, they don't have to get everything right on the first try- they're human:) We should always be improving, but we shouldn't beat ourselves up for not getting it all right. One time, I went to say hi to a young couple at church. We always greet every guy with a handshake, but we can hug girls or greet them in any way. As I came up to them I thought in my head "I'll shake his hand and pat her on the shoulder"....naturally I shook HER hand and patted HIM on the shoulder. haha I just smiled, said Hi and walked away. I just had to laugh at myself.
Also bring scissors! Always bring scissors. We use them for everything out here! that, and crazy glue... don't forget crazy glue.
What is one great lesson that I have learned out here on my mission?
PRAY. That's it. Just always pray. No matter what you are going through, or how sad you are, or how sick or tired or depressed you become: no matter how inadequate or lonely you feel, no matter how large the challenge that you face- PRAY. Heavenly Father wants to hear from you. He wants to help you. If we turn to Him in prayer, and trust in the Savior, we will be okay. Jesus knows exactly how we feel in any given situation. He knows perfectly how to help us, and He will help us if we let him. Trust Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They are preparing miracles for us everyday.
Love, Sister Hodgson