(Elder B. with President and Sister Ware)
"Dear Missionary Family,
We are delighted to inform you that your missionary has arrived safely to the Washington Kennewick Mission. We already love them and are excited to serve with them. We have enjoyed becoming acquainted with them and are confident that they will become an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord in sharing the gospel with the people of Washington and Oregon.
We have assigned them a companion who is an experienced, devoted, and motivated missionary. All of our missionaries understand that one of the greatest privileges available in the mission is to train a new missionary. This first companion will be a special person in your missionary’s life and will help give them a great start here.
We feel that our greatest responsibility is the care and welfare of your child. We want to assure you that we will be in regular contact with them. We will be observant of their physical health, happiness and spiritual well being. We will work closely with them throughout the mission to help them succeed and fulfill their calling as a representative of the Church and as an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Please be assured that we will be in contact with you if we encounter any concerns that would call for your attention. We see you as a great asset to the success of your missionary while they are serving here and will work closely with you if the need arises. You would help us immensely by informing us of any changes to address, phone number or email for you, your bishop or your stake president. We want to keep our records current so that we can keep in touch whenever necessary.
Attached are photographs of your missionary taken with us at the welcome dinner at the mission home, along with a map of the mission. Please feel free to contact us at the mission office with any questions that you may have.
Thank you for the sacrifices you are making at home to have your missionary in the field. We have seen the Lord bless the families of missionaries who are serving in untold ways. We know that His blessings will be upon you as well."
"Hey! I just arrived in Pasco, Washington! We met President and Sister Ware and the assistants at the airport here. We drove with the assistants over to Kennewick and I am writing in a church building. Wow. It's been a whirlwind today!
The plane was pretty fun! So cool to feel the take off and the feeling of flying in a plane. Also cool to fly up in the clouds! Pretty amazing! I'm glad I got to phone you, mom! That was great, too!
I am so tired right now! ha ha
My bags were the only ones missing out of the 21 new missionaries and everyone else on the plane...Turns out they were on another flight because it was a weight issue. I will get them tonight....
It is warm here! I have yet to find out the temperature, but it is hot! Not looking forward to that but it seems fun! It is VERY flat here and reminds me of Nampa a bit! I am safe and doing very well! I love you! ~Elder Brinkerhoff"
My first area is R. Wa. My companion is Elder Johnson (another Johnson ha!) and we have a walking area. No, my mission doesn't do online proselyting yet. We will most likely get to it in the spring. We have no car and don't even live in my area. We cover the D. ward and we have to walk for about 1/2 mile to get there. We live in a 2 part building/apt (not sure what the official name is haha) with an old couple in a different ward living on the other side. It's pretty good sized but doesn't have a dishwasher or laundry area.
A lady named Sister H. is really nice and does our laundry on Monday! The members are great and I am very blessed to be here. It's gotten MUCH cooler, but my 1st couple days here the weather was about 110 degrees. I thought I was going to die... (no working AC in the apt) It's gotten into the 70's-80's today!!!!!!
I love getting letters but I'm not sure what to do as far as all that goes. I don't think I'm technically allowed to write letters on any day except p-day so e-mail might just be the best way to go... I love getting mail, but It's just easier to respond online for me if you want to keep sending letters.. I don't know haha either way. We are limited shopping wise. We have Wal-Mart and Winco, and the Elders here typically go to Wal-mart because of Subway being free there. A member owns some of the stores and lets us get free food!
I'm at the family history center e-mailing with other elders haha! We had the biggest arrival group in awhile. Our pilot on the airplane said that we broke his missionary flight record haha! All except for like 4 in that picture they sent were on the same plane from SLC. Yes, I like flying! I loved it! It's so fun! Yeah, we went to Walmart to get food and bedding right after our transfer meeting where we were paired up and assigned.
Yes I got the 2 packages! I honestly probably won't need the boots or umbrella but at least I have them! Thank you for all the music and treats! :) That was great! We have a portable DVD player that I can use to listen to music but we usually don't. My companion and other elders in the area are great. We are allowed to listen to "anything that brings the spirit" so they all play Disney music.... It's good music but doesn't bring the spirit most of the time...
My area is so small and that makes things tough. There's hardly anyone to teach and lots of people from other churches yell at us. Mostly the baptists. It's like everyone loves or hates us. Mission life is not fun. It's not unbearable but it's demanding and tough. I think it's just me though. I hate having a companion all the time because I can't have alone time. haha It's okay though! Don't worry about me. I just have to get used to all these changes. I am not sure how I'm going to get through these next 2 years, but I'm not afraid with the Lord at my side. Someone has been carrying me though this whole experience. I feel very strengthened and blessed. I felt an overwhelming feeling of safety and comfort the second I walked into the MTC, and it hasn't left.
Sorry if I seem kinda lifeless and unexcited. I am really tired and it's tough being restricted to 1.5 hours of e-mailing with people talking all around me and with all the stress I have haha! I'm usually kinda grumpy in the morning.. Again it's nothing to worry about!! I'm just in the real world now and it's super weird.
I love you and really appreciate everything you've done to help me get here. I couldn't have done it without you. I hate being here but I love being here. It the weirdest feeling haha! It's not easy but I know I will look back on this experience and be glad I came and served here.