I am loving life as a missionary in Nebraska! We (the new missionaries) arrived safely on October 13th (Dr. Sampson said I was well enough to go as scheduled!) and were greeted by President Kunz and his wife. During our first two days we visited the Mormon Trail Center and Winter Quarters Temple grounds, had interviews with President Kunz, received training from the assistants and the Kunzs, ate several meals at the Kunzs, and even went on exchanges for a few hours. While at the Trail Center I received a strong spiritual witness that the Nebraska Omaha Mission (NOM) is where Heavenly Father wants me to be.
President and Sister Kunz are wonderful. They love me and I can feel it. The best part is I'm serving in their ward! My trainer is Sister Gingrich and she is fantastic. She really loves the people here and works very hard. She trusts the Lord so completely and knows that He is guiding us in every aspect of the work. She's from Valencia California (near LA) and loves to play soccer. So we run in the morning as long as it isn't freezing cold. So far the weather has been decent, some rain and plenty of wind, but the snow is supposed to come soon. We have a car and live in a very nice apartment.
For the first time, there are some Elders serving in the Ralston LaVista area with us. I've never heard of having two sets of missionaries in the same ward but I'm sure we will make it work. The other new thing for Sister Gingrich is proselyting full time. I guess I'm one of a handful of sisters here that didn't recieive that extra week of visitor center training at the MTC. So instead of working a day or two a week at the Trail Center, we will only go there on Saturday Mornings for training. President Kunz said my call may change to include the Trail Center, but for now Sister Gingrich and I are "full proselyting."
The people here are amazing. For me the biggest surprise is how quickly I love them. I don't even know the people we are visiting, but as soon as we start to teach about the gospel I feel this great love for them. A man named Jerry Smith moved in with a part member family on my first day. He's had a rough life but accepted our invitation to be baptized because he really wants to change. I was amazed, we had just barely met him and I already felt this great love for him. Even though I didn't know him, I knew that Heavenly Father did and I could feel His love for Jerry. So, we now have four investigators set for baptism! "In NOM we baptize!" And surprisingly, they encourage us to invite anyone that shows any interest at all to be baptized. And we do! Usually in the very first lesson we invite them to prepare for baptism on a certain date.
I love you all very much. Be sure to help the missionaries at home. We love it when members can join us for lessons or let us teach investigators in their home. And visiting teaching and home teaching are the same thing as missionary work so do those too. It is all the Lord's work so He will help us do it and everyone needs to be reminded of Heavenly Fathers love for them.