So everything is fine and I am alive! I am in the Alliance North area here in Ohio. My companion is named Sister Frampton. She is really awesome! She works hard, and really wants to be here.
So after I called you last week, I had an uneventful flight to Minneapolis, but had a great flight into Cleveland. We got on a tiny, tiny plane that was barely big enough for three seats across and an aisle. On the way over, I sat next to a lady named Francine. In the MTC they challenge us to contact in the airport and share our values and beliefs and things. Francine and I discussed religion the WHOLE WAY! So we talked about the restoration of the church and the plan of salvation and what the church does for families. She seemed genuinely interested in everything. She has a lot of her own beliefs, but I think it was enough to give her a desire to question. I did not have anything on me except for one mormon.org card. I gave it to her. She seemed glad to take it. She also gave me her phone number incase I missed my family or anything, she told me to call. She was so nice and it was a great way for me to get pumped up! President and his wife greeted us. Vellinga is a Dutch name, so you pronounce the G in the back of your throat. That is the proper pronunciation. Everyone out here just goes with how we thought you said it, but he told me I can pronounce it the Dutch way since I know how to say it right.
Our first day was tiring. We slept and then headed over to Kirtland the next morning. It is incredible there! Did you know over 2/3 of D&C was received in Kirtland, and that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father appeared there multiple times! I have been in rooms where they both have stood. The Spirit is incredible there! Especially in the school of the prophets room. If you do a bit of digging in the scrips and church history, you will see that there was a scourge placed on Kirtland, and that it was lifted in either the late '70's or early '80's. Before Joseph Smith died, one of the final questions he had for the Lord was what would happen to Kirtland. He was told that Kirtland would be built up again. He knew it would be well into the future. I am building up Kirtland!!!!!
Sister Frampton and I have been working hard. We teach a lot of people who are Catholic. Also, for anyone wondering what it is like for Sisters serving a mission, you still do tract!!! It is not my favorite, but it must be done. Sister Frampton opened the area right before I got here. So the area is still pretty new, and we have no referrals or previous investigators to go off of. The ward loves us though. I am the third sister missionary the area has seen in 8 years! We cover a huge area: Youngstown, Canfield, Boardman, Austintown, North Jackson, Lake Milton, and Diamond. We drive a brand new Jeep 2014, so that is pretty tough.... ;) Our church building is an hour away in Alliance. The ward is small, but I love everyone there! I really love the people of Ohio. Everyone is just real about life, and have no need to show off. Also, everyone in Ohio will talk your ear off. I have yet to meet an introvert! You shake someone's hand and ask something about the weather, and boom, they tell you their whole life story! It is pretty funny, and a challenge to focus conversations back to the gospel. I love the landscape out here too! There are just beautiful fields everywhere with forests around them! It is all so gorgeous! The weather isn't too bad either.
We went and visited a less-active member named April S the other day. Sister Frampton told me that the ward has been unable to track her down for a long time, and that the previous missionaries couldn't get ahold of her at all. So when we stopped by and she was just outside, we were a little surprised. When we got to talking with her, she just really opened up about her family and the struggles she is facing. She really takes upon herself everyone else's problems and just seems like she carries a lot of weight with her. She did not seem happy we were there at first. By the time we had both born testimony of the atonement, and expressed our desire to help her in anyway we could, her perspective had changed. It looked like we had taken 10 pounds off her back. It was a cool experience to talk with her and get to know her better. I can't wait to go back and talk some more.
All is well here!
I love you all!
My new address is:
189 Surrey Lane
Canfield, OH 44406
Share the address since I am two hours away from the mission office, and go up there very rarely.
|Kristen (Pres & Sis Vellinga's 17 year old daughter), Dani, S Frampton, S Vellinga|
|S Greenwood (S Frampton's last companion), S Frampton, Dani|
|Arriving Missionaries visiting Kirtland, Dani is the only proselyting sister, all the other sisters will be working at the visitors center|