Dearest Family of Mine,
I can't tell you how good it was to talk to you yesterday!!! I really surprised myself by being a lot more emotional than I expected...it was strange because at Christmas, I figured I'd probably cry or be homesick or something, but wasn't, and so this time around I didn't think it'd be a problem, but I definitely surprised myself by crying when I bore my testimony to you in spanish, and again right as we were getting off the phone. I'm really not homesick, but I do miss you and love you so much, I really can't express it.
Hopefully it's just one of those little worries you have when you're away for an extended period of time, but sometimes I have that little worry of "what if something happens before I come home, and there's someone I won't get to see again?" It's terrible, I know, and hopefully it's nothing, but that little thought just nags at me sometimes, and I just want to make sure that you all know how much I love you, and how grateful I am that we're a forever family.
Anyways, on to happier, fun missionary stuff! We had a "cook-off" today for our district p-day activity, which was basically all of us getting together in the church kitchen and cooking/baking with whatever ingredients we had in our apartments. I decided to try the pioneer woman apple dumpling/turnover things (you know, with a can of soda and all that), but I've never actually made, or tried them, neither have I actually looked at the recipe. So I just kind of made it up; we had a can of pop-open crescent rolls, and a can of 7-up that a really sweet Pakistani man gave us last week (he was determined to give us something, so he gave us both a can of 7-up, saying "You cannot refuse" :). Well, there weren't any regular old 13x9 pans in the kitchen, and we don't have any either, so I ended up using a glass bowl that was about the size I wanted. They turned out pretty good, but I learned that apparently when you're baking with glass, you've got to use a pan specially made for that...yeah. Nothing too tragic happened, but the bowl did crack all the way around, and ended up in the garbage. I know, I know, I'm a little bit ridiculous. You'd think a culinary arts minor would know things like that...The apple things were safe though, glass-free, and pretty tasty! I also made some grits casserole, which I thought was delicious. My companion liked it too, but not too many of the Elders tried it. I'm attaching some pictures, and will hopefully get off another email with a few pictures as well (we can email pictures from the library in my new area :).
Here's a funny little something that happened this week: We ran into a lady who has had some really interesting experiences in her life, including being dead for almost 45 minutes once. She apparently was really into drugs and gang-type activity, but has since turned her life around, and tells everyone that they need to have a friendship with God. Well, she shared her experience of dying with us, and it was really interesting because she went to Spirit Prison. No really, she went to SPIRIT PRISON. She described to us the really weird sensation of seeing herself as a spirit (seeing herself, but being able to see right through herself), and being in an intense darkness, where she could her people crying all around her. She said it was cold there,"so cold it burned," and that she just kept going farther and farther into this thick darkness, until she saw a light and was told that she had to go back, which she did.
Hello Alma 40.
We actually pulled that out and read it to her (the description of spirit prison), and she just said, "yeah, yeah that's exactly what it was like!" Then my darling little companion told her, "Rosy, you went to spirit prison." The funny thing was that she completely agreed and told us that that was why she had since turned her life over to God. We went back to teach her the next day (on my birthday, actually), and had a really good lesson, until she decided to call her son who's a pastor for a really big Christian church aroudn here. He wasn't too happy that we were there, and we ended up sharing a basic lesson 1 with him. He stil disagreed in the end (not terribly surprising), and we got a phone call from Rosy the next day telling us that it would be better if we didn't come back anymore. Oh well...
Alright family, well, that's all I've got time for today, but just know that life is going SO well for me here, and that I love being a missionary, and I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!