Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Dear Mom, Things are hard here, but I'm learning a ton. I absolutely LOVE my district. There's six elders and six sisters. Three of those sisters are going to Boston, but everyone else is going to Atlanta. Week 1 was rough. We studied 16 hours a day and tried to sleep for the other 8. We have to teach these "fake" investigators where you have to go to a specific room with a stranger and teach them the gospel. It's really hard for me because I get super shy. But when I do have something to say, it's hard to get a word in with my companion. The other three going to Boston are just like my best friends from High school, with great personalities and senses of humor, so we really hit things off and became extremely good friends immediately. Most of the elders in our district are just like my friends too, like Josh Zushi (you know, just fun to be around). It's really hard introducing my self as Sister Echols, I always want to say Erin. And we can't say 'guys' like 'guys, guess what?' or 'oh hey, you guys'. It's really hard getting used to it. I never realized how much I say it until we get in trouble. Speaking of trouble, I got a detention slip with two of the sisters going to Boston. We all set down our bags where we weren't supposed to and security took them. We had to hunt them down, then we got a detention slip where our Branch president had to talk to us and say NO. I'm so glad I get to see Brooke a few times a day, one day, we dresses EXACTLY the same. Same blazer, shirt, colored scarf, belt, skirt, shoes, and hair. The only differences were that I had a different colored belt, I was wearing a ring, and our scarves were styles (same color though). It seems that everyone I meet is going to either Spain, Argentina, Brazil, or somewhere in Africa. (I met a twin boy who is going to Alabama, and his twin brother is going to Peru... very sad.) We have 6 new missionaries joining our district all going to Uganda and they're from Australia. They all speak really cool languages and have different dialects with their language. I get super exausted because I haven't been able to sleep good at night and we have very loooooong tiring days. If I was going foreign, I would be here for a couple of weeks, and all the lessons would be spread out longer. But, we're only here for 12 days, So that makes even harder. So, I can't go somewhere cool and classes are longer, harder, and more compacted. This going stateside is ten times a trial than I though it would be. It's not like I don't have enough on my plate. The worst things I've eaten are: chicken fried steak, fish, skim milk, French fries, vegetables, Asian food, scrambled eggs, and minestrone soup. The most delicious things I've eaten are: biscuits and gravy, tostadas, Spanish rice, raspberry lemonade, parfaits, hashbrowns, hamburgers, pickles, and PINEAPPLE. I tried to upload pictures, but the computers are acting lame and nobody's cameras work with them. So I promise I will try to send them sometime soon. Love, Erin Will you send me people's emails? Nobody emailed me, so I don't have their addresses yet to email them. My companion is always late. I don't think we've made it to anything on time so far. We even had to miss dinner last night because she wasn't ready, so I starved all night long. It is really hard to tolerate her, but I do the best I can. I guess Brooke doesn't really like her companion either. Look at us, we have NO luck. I leave the MTC on Tuesday at 4:30am. My flight is at 8ish. Brooke leaves at 3:30 and she flies to Atlanta before going up to Knoxville. She'll arrive at Knoxville an hour after I get to Atlanta. So, she had 2 extra hours of flight time. I will really miss her and I miss you a TON. I love you mom. P.S. Thank you so so so so so so much for all the dearelder.com mail and for the cinnamon rolls. My district loved them and they said they all "love you and thank you".