Sister Emily Mangum is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.

October 21, 2013

Crazy First Week!

Hey Mom and Dad!

Its been an absolutely crazy week.  Its felt like a month. Someone told me that everyday feels like a week and a week feels like a day, which is true.

I really like my area.  Its a super small farm town, and a huge percentage of the ward are cowboys. Real cowboys! Its really obvious that this area is kind of poor.  Its very much what I thought New Mexico would look like, its very very flat and completely sand and dirt. There are tons of scrubby little bushes and random cactus everywhere.  There are a few mesas and mountains in the distance and even a few volcanoes.  The area of the ward that I'm in is split in half with the Elders covering the town part because its somewhat dangerous and we cover the outer farmland and a few housing developments.

We don't really have a lot of solid investigators, or really any at all. Its super hard to contact when the biggest gathering place in the town is Walmart and most houses are surrounded by tall locked wire fences with at least one big nasty loud dog.  Everyone owns a dog and everyone owns a gun. Its the most hillbilly town I've ever seen! :)   

So we do mostly service. Its actually really fun.  My first day we got to bottle feed a baby cow for a part member family and we have cut down trees and started huge fires.  Tonight we get to brush down some horses and I know that we are going to bale hay at some point. Its really fun.

I love all the people that I've met.  They are so nice.  There is a part member family, the one with the baby cow, and the dad isn't a member, but is soooo close, he's just being stubborn. The mother's sister just got baptized the Saturday before I came, and she is so super sweet, she's a horse trainer.  Now the Elders are teaching her daughter, who is about 20. Mom, you'll appreciate her story. After her mom got baptized, she told the Elders that only a slap in the face would get her baptized.  A few days later she called the Elders and told them that she wanted to take the lessons because she got her slap in the face. She was driving and the song on the radio really touched her, touched her enough to contact the missionaries. Guess what song it was! A Thousand Years by Christina Perry. Even though the Elders are teaching her, they let us come to the lessons, because we have barely any investigators at all.

So that "Pagan" couple I told you we were going to teach. Dad, did anyone do this to you?  It was a prank.  They had this whole shrine thing set up and he said a prayer to it. He screamed it, and I almost fell out of my seat it startled me so bad. I was so confused the entire time because my companion wasn't saying anything, she was just sitting there and staring at me as I'm answering all of this guys questions. And they continually got weirder and weirder until he finally admitted that he was a High Priest and had been a member for years and years.  I was extremely annoyed, but the other new Elder who was in my district and is here in Belen with me got it too. Only they made him offer fruit to the statue as a sacrifice.  They actually wanted to have one of the members pull a gun on us, but his wife wouldn't allow it.

In my district there are one set of Spanish Elders and one set of Spanish Sisters and then one set of English Elders and one set of English Sisters(me).  They are all super nice and this morning for a p-day activity we went hiking up a mesa. It was fun and pretty, but I was freezing to death.  Mom, can you send me my red coat?  All the people who live here keep telling me that it gets a ton colder than it is right now. And I'm so cold and I'm going to be here for a couple of months at least.

One of the service missionaries in our area told us that there is a blog for this mission.  He said you can get to it by joining the Facebook page/group for the mission which is NMAMLDS.  They might have some pictures up from our hike this morning. :)

I have some letters to Mina, Warren and Jess, hopefully I'll be able to get them mailed in the next few days, so you can tell Warren he has a letter coming. You can tell him that I say hi and that I love him and miss him and hope he is having fun at school and soccer!

I don't remember an Elder Nelson, but I met soooooo many missionaries going to Jacksonville.

Love you guys! Miss you all! :)

Emily saw Elder Wheeler and his companion at the temple.

My district at the MTC

Missionaries at MTC

Mesa from our hike today for Pday


Here are some follow-up comments from Darcie's questions while Emily was still sitting at the computer.

We email at the local university library.  I really enjoy doing service, though I'm freezing and getting sunburned. :)  

Yep, we get fed almost every night.  This week we have a meal scheduled every night.  Mom, please feed the elders!!! The sisters have a meal for every night, but the Elders don't.   Apparently that's a theme everywhere. 

We have a car because our area is HUGE!!   Although we should have a pick up truck.  Its almost required out here, too much sand. All the other sets of companions in our district and almost all of them in our zone have them. Guess who gets stuck in the sand? yep, Us. :) It's okay though, it makes life interesting.

Jess will get a kick out of this,

In the photo of my district, the one with the most people. The Elder third from the right, the one with the Blonde Blonde hair.  He looks EXACTLY like Draco Malfoy.  EXACTLY.  Some of the other Elders in our district were calling him Elder Malfoy until my companion freaked out about it not being respectful. But then he told us in between classes that his name had almost been Dreago. HAHAHA!! Isn't that funny!!!

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