Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Things I wish I would have brought"

I forgot to post on here last week!  Here is a letter we were sent on November 25, 2013.

"Hi all!

So the Hoosiers don't really have accents. If they do, think Sanpete county.

Unfortunately I got sent southern in Indiana to the part where they weren't affected by tornadoes. I really wanted to go to Kokomo, but whatever. Right now I"m in Terre Haute (pronounced Terra Hote) and should be here probably for the next 3 months, but you never know. Normally they do training for 12 weeks with the same Trainer in the same area, but sometimes they transfer you halfway through. We'll see in 6 weeks what happens. I'll add my new address at the end of this. Also, I'm not sure about receiving packages here... You can send me mail to my address, but I"m kind of in the ghetto- the apartment is livable but there isn't a safe place to put packages. I'll let you know if we figure anything out.

It's been crazy out here. We got double transferred which means my Trainer hasn't spent any time in this area before, and neither have I so we are kind of left on our own to figure out who was being taught through the area book. We think we've got most everything figured out now and we've got a pretty busy day ahead of us. Our P-day is today (Monday), but since Thanksgiving is this week we only get half a p-day today and we'll do the rest of our stuff on Thursday.

We've met some really cool members out here that are converts. Brother S (our ward mission leader) was a heart surgeon for 22 years. He told us this great story about being a surgeon for the Army (I think) and the most expensive pace-maker he ever used. He was stationed in Germany and he called the company in Belgium that made the pace-makers for a patient. Originally they were planning on doing the surgery a few weeks out and he was just calling the company to make sure the device was sent at the correct time. Well there was a miscommunication between him and the person on the other line and Belgium thought he needed the pace-maker right then (they thought he said his patient was on the table now), so they put the pace-maker in an F4 jet and got it to Germany in about 30 minutes.
He's super sweet. He also teaches Gospel Principles which is pretty cool.

There's also another woman that we met, her name is Sister J. She is a convert of 20 or so years. She converted when she was a young adult when she was in the air force academy. She met her husband there (which is a big no no). They just became friends when he was a senior and she was a freshman, but had to sneak around since mixing with other grades is against the rules. He told her that he needed to tell her something and he made it all dramatic so she though that he was going to tell her that he was gay. In actuality, it was that he was LDS. She had gotten some pamphlets about he church when she was a girl from the Donnie and Marie studio in Orem, Utah and had baby-sat for an LDS family when she was younger, so she told him she wanted to know more. They started to fall in love within that year and she got baptized. After she was baptized, he proposed on New Years. Her family was livid because they were catholic (but her parents were divorced so they weren't allowed in church), and he was LDS. They didn't want her to change religions, but also she had to leave the air force so that she could marry him. But they're happily married and have several children. She's so amazing.

Last night we were able to contact a woman, I'll call her H. She was sort of an investigator from the previous sisters and she's actually moving, but she'll still be in our area so we're going to help her pack up on Saturday. She is in 1 Nephi 21 right now and she loves us already even though we only talked to her for about 10 minutes. She's an absolute sweetheart.

We have 2 people that the previous sisters had set for baptism, so we'll have a baptism December 7th and one on the 22nd which should be really cool.

The first night we got here we didn't even get to see our apartment before a woman from our ward came and took us out to dinner. She's super sweet and told us as much as she could about the area. The people here are nice, but stubborn.

Our apartment apparently had bed bugs for 3 months before us, so they cleaned it out and we got brand new mattresses. They're super nice BUT I was freezing the first night since apparently they don't provide bedding. Who knew? I guess that's why I packed a jacket and socks. Thankfully my sheets were there so I had a little something. I had to go the next day and buy a cheap blanket, but Mom if you could send me my blue fuzzy blanket, that would be nice. Just send it to the mission home. Hopefully I can get it then... At the very least I'll have it in February which is the coldest month here. We also don't have a screw driver which is really annoying. Our door handle in the bathroom is falling off. Our bathroom is small, but if you can imagine, it's still bigger than the guest bathroom at home. I almost feel spoiled out here.

The mission home was pretty nice. It's just a big old house in Carmel surrounded by trees. Obviously the mission president and his wife are set financially because everything was beautiful in it and it was in a ritzy neighborhood.

Not sure what else to write. Send me questions and I'll try to give more details next week. Love you!"

Sister Hannah Marie Ruth
803 East Springhill Road
Terre Haute, IN 47807

Excerpts from the letter she sent me November 25, 2013.

“Things I wish I would have brought out here: blanket. They did NOT have bedding in my apartment even though they were supposed to....I wish I would have sent my sheets, blanket, pillow, extra towels and extra garments to my apartment before hand. Laundry is WAY expensive out here....In my apartment to do whites and one other load it's going to be 5.50 for washing and drying. That's not separating out different colors or delicates or doing more than 2 loads. Also, GPS. Luckily an elder in our area that's going home the next transfer hand one that he gave to us but outside of Utah and Idaho, they do not use the grid system.....
We're starting to figure out how to get around, but honestly GPS is the only way to go out here because almost every street in a name. Poplar, Margaret, 8th ST, 8th AVE (which intersects with 8th ST...) Walnut, Faggin (yup...). Names names names. Love ya!”

Excerpts from the letter she sent me December 2, 2013

“The time difference was a little hard- mostly I just couldn't sleep well for the first two nights. But it wasn't as bad as it could have been seen Indiana is only 2 hours ahead and I had to get up about 3am Utah time, so really it was like getting up 5am Indiana time. If going to bed early is an option, that helps a lot with the jet-lag. The apartment is livable although the housing coordinator in our mission as well as our zone and district leaders are determined to get us out of there haha. They're so sweet ;) It's not too bad, but there is a quarter sized hole in our tub, the plumbing isn't hat awesome- the water goes cold after about 3 minutes and almost n water comes out in the kitchen faucet. There is however a nice big space in the living area for exercise in the morning.

I did get a blanket from Wal-Mart for about 5 bucks, so it's been ok. Our cousin Jenny Gibson just sent me a nice blanket which made my day! So I’ll be good for now. I still want my blanket from home though. Homesickness hasn't been too bad to be honest. Bringing pictures from home is good, but I’m glad I only had Rachel send me 3 or 4 so I'm not tempted to look at them a whole lot. The main advice I have to keep homesickness at bay is remember what you're doing out here and get lost in the work. Fight with your thoughts until you have total control over them- that makes it easier to keep your mind from wandering back to home, boyfriends, school, etc. Also, priesthood blessings! As sisters, you will probably be surrounded by Elders in your missions, so use them! …The Priesthood and doTerra oils are magic!

Almost every night in our area we have dinner with members so they mostly feed us meet of some kind or pasta. The best dish I had from a member was a chicken gnocchi soup inspired by the gnocchi soup from Olive Garden. Delicious! I wish I'd gotten the recipe. We've also got some members that make authentic tostadas and tacos. When we're on our own, me and my companion eat a lot of hummus and pita chips. I also got some yogurt, whole wheat bread for toast, sandwiches and French toast. I've made pancakes and we've got some frozen chicken breasts so maybe I'll make chicken pot pie or baked chicken in a week or two when we aren't packed with dinner appointments.”

“I'm glad you had a good thanksgiving though! We got to eat with members, so it was almost like home except they really do eat mashed potatoes with pasta on top! I didn't try it...”

I hope any future missionaries out there found some of that helpful! Sister Ruth apologizes for not sending out a mass e-mail last time. She didn't have very much time. :) 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sister Ruth and Annalyn, I'm just posting this comment to give Sister Ruth the recipe that she wished she could have been given.

    You can make Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi soup just like the Olive Garden does. Just a few ingredients and you can enjoy this famous soup at home.


    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup finely diced onion
    1/2 cup finely diced celery
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 quart half-and-half
    2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth (if you enjoy a thicker soup, use 1 can)
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
    1 cup finely shredded carrots
    1 cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
    1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
    1 (16-ounce/500g) package ready-to-use gnocchi

    Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half. Simmer until thickened. Whisk in the chicken broth. Simmer until thickened again. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, the thyme, parsley, nutmeg (if using), carrots, spinach, chicken, and gnocchi. Simmer until the soup is heated through. Before serving, season with additional salt, if necessary.

    I figure she will read this when she comes home and can grab it later! Love you both sooo much!!!!!!! I can't believe she has been out for a whole month already! Time is sure flying!