I. Love. Michigan.
I got assigned to my first area and I am serving on the MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS!!! I am totally in love with the area. There is SO MUCH diversity! I've been here for 5 days and I've already taught people from China, Iraq, Myanmar (Burma), Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Korea, and more! I am loving this.
I am in a trio companionship because one girl is waiting for her visa so she'll be serving here until she goes to Sao Paulo, Brazil! We are SO HAPPY she's here though. Her name is Sister Dixon and she is amazing. Our trainer (the experienced companion) is Sister Probert. She's from Oregon and has the most amazing spirit. She is SO STRONG in the gospel and is such a great example to us. I'll attach a picture of us three at the end of the email.
We don't have a car because we literally live across the street from campus, and that's where we do most of our work. But all the other sisters in the mission have full-time cars, so when I change areas (probably in about 6 months), I will definitely have a car! You stay in your first area the longest because you have 12 weeks of a training program with your trainer and then my trainer, Sis. Probert, will probably get transferred (she's been in this one area since January!) and Sis. Dixon will probably be in Brazil, meaning I will be the one left to train the new missionaries! I would be SO HAPPY to stay here that long! Like I said, I am madly in love with the area and these people.
There are trees EVERYWHERE here! Surrounding the campus there are just these beautiful, tall, bright green trees making this awesome forest. It's like, Sacred Grove status. It's incredible.
Okay, I have to tell you about one of the guys we're teaching lessons about the church to. His name is Rooney and he's from Iraq (well, Kurdistan, because he REALLY doesn't like the rest of Iraq apparently). He works for the US military as a Kurdish and Arabic translator. He's had a rough life and has some crazy war stories. But he is HILARIOUS. He just says the funniest things. Like yesterday, I texted him asking if 6 would be a good time for a lesson, and he just responded, "6 looks like 9 but just upside down." LOL WHAT? We love him.
Rooney also works in a gas station, and his biggest pet peeve is people coming in and asking him why the gas prices are so high. He'll usually just be like, "I don't know! I'm not Obama!" But yesterday, one lady was yelling to him about it and he got really mad. When he was telling us the story, he was like "You girls know about "NOT" jokes, right?" and we were like, "Uh, yeah....?" I guess when the lady was yelling at him, he looked at her and was just like "I hope the gas price will go down." And she quieted down and was saying "thank you" or something, when he just cut her off and was like "NOT!" Hahaha we couldn't stop laughing when he told us the story.
Oh and then there's Yasir! He's also from Iraq, but not the Kurdish region. He's been coming to church and is so hilarious. On Friday, the missionaries teach a Book of Mormon class and that was the first time I met Yasir. I was in the middle of talking about something and all of a sudden he raises his hand, and in his awesome, thick accent goes, "Are you from England or something?" When I said no, he was like, "Then why do you remind me of Harry Potter?" Haha what?! He is so hilarious. I think it was because I was wearing a collared shirt with a sweater over it that kind of looked like a Hogwarts uniform. but it was still so unexpected and funny when he said it.
At Book of Mormon, he bore his testimony and said that he knows this is the true church. He was like "I always wondered, where are the people who love like Jesus? And then I met the Mormons and now I know." It was so sweet!!! We love him.
The last guy I want to talk to you about is Bruce! We knocked on his door on mine and Sister Dixon's first day in the area! Right after I knocked on his door, his neighbor in the apartment complex opened HER door. Sister Probert and Sister Dixon left to go talk to her, but then Bruce opened the door! I was by myself on his doorstep! But I just started talking to him and it was so great! He accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and has been reading it. He came to a lesson and the ward BBQ on Saturday and loved it. He came to church yesterday, too! He's making lots of friends. He's from Shanghai, so we gave him a Chinese copy of the Book of Mormon, too, and he's been reading that! He is our miracle.
Sorry this has been so long! I love my area but I have no pictures of anyone from home to put on the wall above my desk! If any of you are bored, feel free to write me/send me pictures! Wow, I am so demanding. I'm sorry. Like I said, don't feel obligated, but also feel obligated. My apartment address is:
Sister Carly Christiansen
4912 S. Hagadorn #103
East Lansing, MI 48823
That one will go directly to my apartment! I miss you all and love hearing from you! Hopefully you'll all have a good week!
Love you all!
<3 Sister Christiansen
P.S. The picture is me and my companions! It goes Sister Dixon, Sister Probert, then me! I was exhausted that day. Ignore the dark circles. BUT AREN'T MY COMPANIONS GORGEOUS? I love them!