Thursday, May 22, 2014

In the field

Hello!! I've survived the first couple days in Nebraska! Woohoo! We got to the airport about 11:30 Saturday morning, and we met our Mission President, President Weston and his wife and they are both such wonderful people...Sister Weston really made us feel welcome and safe as if we were her own children. We then drove to the Mission Office which is just a church building where we ate lunch. We were up until 3 am and hadn't eaten anything yet, so we were all starving and had a really hard time staying awake! After lunch we had some New Missionary Orientation where we discussed the driving rules, and we received our money cards and everything...during that time we got pulled out to have interviews with President Weston, and then afterwards the AP elders drove us to the Weston's home where we did some more training about the 12 week program and such. Then we were able to meet Elder and Sister Cleverly who are the directors at the Trail Center, and then we had a delicious dinner that Sister Weston made. After that we had a testimony meeting and received our assignments and found out who our trainers would be. Then we drove to the Trail Center!!! It is the most amazing place!
My trainer/companion is Sister Mahlstede! She is from Utah and has been out about 10 and a half months or so. She left a week right after Cade did. She is SUCH a wonderful missionary. An amazing example to me and is very patient and understanding. It's been very overwhelming these past couple days...I don't think there's really anything you can do to become completely ready for the field. The MTC taught me a lot, and it helped me adjust to waking up at 6:30, but even that didn't help a ton haha. You have to actually get out in the field in order to really experience what it's like to be a missionary. 
Umm...yeah! So Sister Mahlstede and I live right down the street from the Trail Center and we serve in the Bellevue 1st Ward in the Council Bluffs zone. We live in this huge old house that smells kinda funky and we're the only sisters living there right now! There's like 3 other rooms that sisters usually would stay in, but for now we've got the whole house to ourselves! We don't have a car, so we have the other sisters pick us up if we have to go far. Or we ask members in the ward to give us a ride to church like we did yesterday. It's about a 15 minutes drive to our area and church building, so we have to get a ride with someone! 
Church was great! A pretty small ward...but they're all such good, friendly people! SO MANY NEW NAMES!!! It's terrifying! They all know my trainer pretty well and just love her to death so it makes me feel self conscious and timid. I know I'll eventually get to know them as'll just take time. The bishop and counselors are awesome people! I'm excited to be able to work with them! We have church at 9-12, and then we will always go to the Trail Center right after until 9 when it closes! 
All the Sisters serving at the Trail Center are such sweet, amazing missionaries and they're all very close and have known each other for forever...My trainer and all the other sisters call me and the other new sisters a "baby" because we're's kind of annoying. Makes me feel so inadequate and belittled. I try not to let it bother me though. Because I am a baby! I just barely got here so of course it's going to be like this! Anyways...
I took my first 2 tours yesterday! It was actually really busy here...which was surprising since it was a Sunday. Luckily I didn't have to do it alone, but I think tonight I'll probably have to :/ The first tour was with about 5 little old ladies that were all around 90 years old...none of them were LDS, and one of them was in the Holocaust! It was incredible! She even had the numbers printed on her arm. She had a really neat accent and told us that both her parents and her brother were killed and she was in the prison for 6 years. From age 14-20. She even wrote a book about her whole story that's a best seller! It's called Holocaust Scream by Rachel Rose! If you find it you should get it so I can read it when I get back! 
The tour went well...I hardly said a word. I didn't know what to say! I know nothing about the history, so it was tough :/ It's been very overwhelming....I don't have enough confidence in myself. Sister Mahlstede told me to just testify of truth! Obviously I can't lie and tell them false facts about the history, but I can bare testimony of what I know to be's just so hard. These are real people, so it makes me feel very intimidated and nervous so I freeze up and don't know what to say! 
The second tour I was able to share a scripture and share my testimony a little bit with this older couple who were just taking a vacation and decided to stop by. They were members...he was a previous bishop, so that made it a bit easier. 
My trainer really is so wonderful...after the first tour yesterday she could tell I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed, so we went into what is called the prayer closet where we put our Trail Center Book of Mormon and pray when we're getting ready for a tour. There a mirror hung on the door, and then a picture of Christ right on the wall across from it, and Sis. Mahlstede told me to look in the mirror and look up...she told me that Jesus Christ is always with me and He will help me know what to say. Obviously I'm not going to know all the history for quite a while...but it's really amazing how the Holy Ghost can just put words in your mouth. I just knelt down and was a very hard first day. Long and tiring. Especially since my body was still kind of used to Idaho/Utah time, so I had gotten up at 5:30 that morning and felt very drained. 
I still feel very lost and am getting used to the missionary life, but I really am so grateful and lucky to have this calling. It's the only calling I will ever have in my life to serve my Heavenly Father 24/7! I know this is where I am supposed to be...I felt such a comforting peace the second I walked into the Trail Center. It almost felt like I had come home. It's such an incredible place to be able to serve at. 
I love and miss you all so much! I truly am so grateful for all your love and support! My time is about up, so I will talk to you all next week! (Monday is p-day for all the sisters here) We only get an hour for email time. We're going to go shopping for food and probably take a nap or something...and then we'll be back here at the Trail Center at 6-9. Have an amazing week! 
Sister Ferrara :)

my sweet trainer Sister Mahlstede

my amazing Mission President and his wife 

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