Monday, February 16, 2015

Craziest. Week. Ever.

I got transferred to Paonia with Sister Nielsen!!!! Yes, it is a Ward, to answer all of you who asked. My area covers the tiny mountain towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss, Somerset, Lazear, and Crawford. And a whole lot of nothing in between. It's definitely a culture shock.

Panoia ("Pay-own-yuh")

Ok I don't want to get into complaining mode or anything, but this has been THE HARDEST WEEK of my ENTIRE MISSION. I got transferred to this tiny town that slightly terrifies me. There are also many windy roads with steep cliff drop-offs, which if you know anything about me, you know that that is my biggest fear. I thought I was going to have a panic attack the first day. Thankfully I'm driving now, because I have to take over the area in 5 weeks when Sister Nielsen goes home, and that makes it more bearable. Yup, I'm sending another companion home. It's great.

We went straight to work when I got here. We were tracting and talking to everyone, and EVERYONE HATED US. I have never experienced so much anti-Mormon hatred ever in my life. All the people we have talked to this week have been so hardened and they just want to bash us. That's been rough.

On Thursday night a member was driving us to a lesson out in the boonies and we were driving on one of those scary windy roads with a drop off. A car passed us going the opposite direction and flashed their brights, which is apparently a warning that there are deer ahead, so we slowed down. Sure enough, there were deer (they're EVERYWHERE!!!!) and we slowed down a bit. Right after the deer was our turn into the driveway of this less-active member's house that we were trying to see. Sister Nielsen kind of frantically said "TURN RIGHT HERE!" so the member slammed on the brakes to not miss it. Unfortunately, there was a man behind us driving too close to us....and he hit us. It was a miracle though, because instead of being hit by a massive truck with an attached trailer going the normal 60 mph in that area, we were hit by a massive truck with an attached trailer going 45 mph lol. The damage really wasn't even bad, he just dented the bumper, and the member's husband is like a vehicle fabricator or something along those lines? I'm not sure. Basically he can fix it no problem. So don't worry - we're all fine and well. No one was injured. God was definitely watching out for us.

 Scary Roads!


Then on Friday we were out tracting and a dog bit Sister Nielsen's leg. I thought it was just a love nip, so I was like "Oh ha ha he got you! You'll be fine. Keep walking." I'm so sympathetic, right?? That night, she took her tights off and showed me these MASSIVE BRUISES where he bit her. Whoops. I'm really a nice person, I promise....

Speaking of Sister Nielsen, she has been here in Paonia for about 8 months. By the end of this transfer it will be 9. This is only her 3rd area in the mission, which is crazy to me. She's really wonderful, and the hardest working and most obedient missionary I know. I'm really grateful to be her companion, because I'm learning so much from her and she motivates me to work harder each day. She thought for sure she would be transferred this past week, and she wasn't. So she doesn't understand why she's still here, and I don't understand why I'm here at all, and together we're kind of like two chickens running around with their heads cut off. It's a lovely sight.

I have never prayed so much in my life. I have never relied so heavily on the Lord. I have been soooo humbled this week, and have realized truly just how much I need Heavenly Father. I know I have a lot to learn here. It's a hard area, but the hard things help you to grow the most. The key to know God is to struggle. It's been amazing too because despite how crazy and slightly awful things have been, I feel this strange sense of peace and calm over me. I know that that is from the Spirit, helping me to know that I am doing all that I can despite that extreme difficulties being thrown at me.

I am grateful for all of the love and support you give me, and all of the prayers in my behalf. I know that it is through the power of prayer that we've made it safely through this week, and that I've made it through mentally as well. Thank you thank you thank you. I love you all, and I hope you have a fantastic week.

Sister Koenig

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