Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paper or Plastic?? new town and new faces!

PHEW. What can I possibly say to begin my wonderful explanation of what's been going on here in sunny Arizona. Tempe is BEAUTIFUL. The people are so friendly, and the church is AMAZING. My first night I got here I went straight home and chatted with my cousin before going to bed. I woke up early the next morning (5:00 AM to be precise) with nothing to do besides wait for church. So I cleaned! There was a lot to do.. My cousin isn't used to having roommates. Then I got all spiffed up for my very first Sunday here in Arizona. I was so nervous, I can't tell a lie. Luckily for me I came at the right time. The weather is cooling down (for them at least) and at 108* I honestly was welcoming the heat. Anything beats the humidity in Minnesota. I have absolutely NO complaints about the weather here so far! It's simply wonderful.

They have these neat little buses here in Tempe that are absolutely FREE.





I take it to the Institute building for church, which happens to be only 3 miles from my house. Folks It's HUGE. I'm talking 3 level Parking Garage, 3 level building HUGE. And that's just the ASU Campus Institute. The one in Mesa is a little smaller, but it's still pretty big too! I waltzed in with confidence, knowing that's the only way to go anywhere. It's church, how bad can it be?? I know that the church is the place to be so I was feeling better with each step I took. I saw two young women in their early twenties near a little table, and they had me fill out a new member sheet. CHECK.

I walked into the sanctuary where I was greeted by the Second Counselor's wife, Sister Shumway. She was SO sweet. I sat next to her during sacrament, and then made my first official new friend in the Ward, Elizabeth, after Sacrament Meeting in the bathroom. Wonderful place that is! :)
She sat next to me in Gospel Essentials, and then in Relief Society after that. I was surprised at how many of the people in the ward were so young! I don't think I met anyone over 25. They seemed like they were all students! My new RS President is Amazing. I'm going to miss Talise terribly. But Megan is pretty darn cool. We had a potluck afterwards where I met even MORE people: Another Elizabeth, Oliver, , and Breaunna. They were all great. I even took the Mars bus back to my house with Elizabeth who rode halfway with me before getting off at her stop! It was great.



Then Monday came: FHE. Now, since I knew some people I was super excited. I arrived at the Institue, where I found Sister Morris, Bishop Morris' wife. Along with them was Breaunna, Elizabeth, and two boys I hadn't met before. They were both pretty nice, from Utah (shocker!) and Maine.
We had a wonderful fit of laughter trying to convince Sister Morris to allow us to use plastic sacrament cups! When we brought it up to Bishop, he pointed to Sister Morris and said: "That's all her!". I think I spilled 3/4 of my water out of the sacrament cup when I was taking it. I thought I was alone in this embarrassment when others began to chime in from the back seat and next to me! I wasn't alone after all!! We all began a discussion of the pros and cons of using plastic sacrament cups (it was a hoot) and we finally convinced Sister Morris to let us go "back" to using plastic! Bishop got a kick out of that one. He is so great. The entire Bishopric is so amazing in this ward.

 When we all got to the building in Gilbert (After going to the wrong but same address on the East side of town instead of West which was still an LDS church building surprisingly!) that we were meeting for FHE, we found a huge group of people. It was our ward (McClintock) mixed with the other ward (Pioneer). The theme of the night was: "Dinner and a Shrink." We had a fanciful Salad bar, thanks to Bethany, as well as some "dirt and worms" for desert. The Shrink part was about... that's right. MARRIAGE. We had two LDS marriage and family therapy counselors come in and give us the ins and the outs of dating today. In all honesty it was some really good advice that we were given. How to be ready for marriage, realizing that waiting means hindering yourself from blessings and so much more. It was great. I felt bad for the Missionaries who were sitting at our table awkwardly. I was so surprised to see them there! I didn't know that they were even allowed to go to FHE! I don't think they were in Dinkytown.. I will talk more about them in a later post.

My interview with my previous employer (in MN) went well, and I'm just waiting to hear back from them. We pretty much dominated in Softball on Tuesday night, team McClintock won like every game. Just saying.


 First Temple trip in Mesa was AMAZING.





It was a tri-stake YSA temple trip, and there were so many of us there that it took us about 30 mins to even get in to begin the baptisms. The lines to get into the temple were out the door. After we got done, and others got out of their sessions we had a great get together. Us girls slaved away over prepared some great food, and we had some great laughs. I keep seeing people I know in people I have only just met. Today I found "Xazmin."

I found a great Chinese restaurant to aid my Chinese food addiction: Pong pong. What a cute name right??
we even have a Chinese gospel doctrine class during Sunday school! There's a lot of Asians here, just like in MN. I love it. Over all, I'm loving it here. Stay tuned for more fun!

Coming up: My trip to DI (Deseret Industries, i.e. the thrift store that puts others to shame.)



have a good one, everyone.


Nat










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