Grand Forks

I finally made it into the field! This is an update about last week because I didn’t have time on Preparation Day to write any emails at all. I was too busy cleaning the apartment, getting stuff at Walmart, and making Indian food.

I arrived in Bismarck, North Dakota on the afternoon of May 26th. There were 11 Elders and 1 other Sister on the flight from Denver to Bismarck. Sister Worth and I talked for about an hour after the flight and met again after the flight. 

We all went from the airport to take pictures by the Missouri River and the temple. I had seen the Missouri River from the plane; it’s absolutely stunning. The only big rivers I had seen were the Nile and the Ganges, both of which are very dirty. The Missouri is bright blue and it sparkles. It’s so wide! Another thing that was surprising was how FLAT it is in the Midwest. You can see really far and then the world just. . .ends. It’s difficult to orientate yourself without mountains. It felt so exposed.

I had a great time at the mission home. Sister Worth and I drank herbal tea with the mission president’s wife that night and did service on the temple grounds the next morning. After that, we had our interviews with the mission president where he decides where to send us. He gave me a calling to be over indoor service projects for the entire mission during our interview. He assigned me to Grand Forks with two companions who are also musical.

I left right after a training meeting for Grand Forks. We had to wait for a bit in the car while they got a sewing machine from the warehouse to send with me to make face masks. I drove with three different sets of companionships on the way to Grand Forks, the last two were my new companions.

My first day was honestly really hard. My companions are best friends from the same high school in Wyoming. Their last companion was only there for two weeks, so they saw me as a temporary inconvenience at first. Luckily, things resolved after we taught our first lesson together. I love teaching lessons and just talking to people. It’s all online right now, but we and the people we teach still feel the Spirit.

A few wild things that happened:

– We hung my sheet on the wall to make an impromptu music video for a devotional the next day. Sister Cutler sang, Sister Kropf played piano, and I played violin.

– There were two shootings in our small town in just one week. A police officer, a civilian woman, and two members of the Air Force died. It shook a lot of people.

– A nearby city, Fargo, was put on a curfew because it is close to Minneapolis and has been a center for riots.

– We watched a movie on Zoom as a mission called “Jumping for Joy,” about a girl who pretends to be a boy so she can play on the boys’ basketball team. If you’re looking for one of the absolute worst movies ever made, check it out. It has every offensive stereotype in the book, and exactly zero likeable characters.

– I’m living in the Red River Valley, like the old folk song!

The biggest buffalo in the world, on the way to Grand Forks with two Sisters from the mission
Me by the Red River