Here's the email from last week. I'm late posting it because I was at Girl's Camp all week.
I loooooove Georgia!!!
The last few days at the MTC were super tender. It was really good though. We got pictures with our district and our teachers on Monday and I spent the rest of the day tearing up. Man. Goodbyes are no bueno for me.
And then Tuesday happened!!! We woke up at 2am, got to the airport at like 5 and then got on our plane at 8! I remember seeing the Salt Lake Temple as we took off and thinking of the fond memories I've made there over the years. Another tender moment.
Most of the missionaries were sitting with other missionaries on the plane... but I wasn't! There was a family of 5 sitting all along the row, so I got the window seat (score!). At first their little girl was sitting next to me. She thought I was scary. Haha. About 10 minutes into the plane ride, they switched around and the Mom sat next to me. We talked quite a bit. She was from Puerto Rico and was in town for her nephew's high school graduation. He has his mission call to Hong Kong. I really liked her. I almost spoke with her in Spanish, but I could barely hear her in English. Anyway, I talked with her, caught up on my journal and caught a couple hours of sleep. When we landed in Georgia it was 1:45pm. Sister Adorable led all 19 of us (there were 19 staying in Georgia but closer to 50 missionaries on the plane going to various places) to the baggage claim where we met President Wolfert and his wife! It was weird to see them in person, haha. But I love them! It took 3 vehicles to take us all back to the mission home. President got individual pictures of us, had interviews and then we had dinner together! It was so awesome. The Assistants talked to us for a bit and I loved it. Even as they talked to us, as missionaries, I noticed different teaching techniques they teach in the MTC. It was cool. I took notes. :)
That night we were told our areas and our trainers names. I've been assigned to the Webb Bridge Ward in the Roswell Stake in Alpharetta, Georgia! My trainer is Sister Loader from all over the place. Her dad was in the air force. Her most recent residence? Pleasant Grove, Utah. Hold. the phone. I thought to myself.
I asked her where she graduated from high school. Pleasant Grove. What year? 2011. (That's where Ashley went to high school and the same year that she graduated.)
I've never seen her before in my life! Granted, she was only there for a year, but I still don't believe her. That's a lie. I believe her now. It just took me until she started talking about the teachers there before I believed her. She's been out for 3 months. She just barely finished her own 12 week training and now she's on the other end of it training me! Crazy, right?!
On Wednesday they gave us a bit of information and then sent us on our way! Sister Loader is new to the Webb Bridge area. In fact, we're the first sister missionaries they've had! President gave Sister Loader a packet that had the address of our apartment, the keys to the car (oh yeah. we have a car) and said, "go get em!"
We got to our apartment and cried. It is soooo nice! The ward left notes all over the walls and stocked the cupboards and fridge with food. It was the most humbling experience. And I didn't realize that they furnished the place until yesterday when a gentleman came up to us and said, "I donated one of my desks! I hope you like it!" Such a generous ward. Family, I'm being taken care of, don't you worry. I just hope that I can meet their expectations of what a sister missionary should be like.
Well, because we're new, we don't have any investigators and our Area Book (book of potential investigators from the previous missionaries) is blank! So on Friday we decided to really hit the ground running! We did like 4 hours of tracting that day and found like 5 possible investigators! Peyton has met with us once and is letting us come back and then Blair wanted us to come back, but when we stopped by her place last night we found out that she's in the hospital. So we're praying for her and hoping that she's okay.
Other than that, we've been trying to get to know lots and lots of members.
Every night we have dinner with the Elders at a member's home. I'm telling you. This ward is amazing. The elders are Elder Anderson from Mississippi and Elder Buhler from (get this) Pleasant Grove, Utah. Um... yeah. 3 out of the 4 missionaries in the same ward graduated from the same high school the same year.
They're really great.
Yesterday church was great. Bishop had both me and Sister Loader bear our testimonies, which was pretty simple. We expected it. The meeting was great and so was the rest of the block! After church we stayed for about an hour so I could practice the piano. I'm playing the opening and closing hymns at our district meeting on Tuesday. I'm so glad I brought that simplified piano book with me. It's already been helpful! It's been a great week!
Here are some answers to questions that I've been getting a lot:
Humidity? The humidity is great!!! Everyone told me I'd hate it and it'd be the worst ever... but it's not nearly as bad as everyone makes it seem! I might be eating my words in a month or two... but right now it's great!
Bike? My bike is awesome! Buuuuut... we have a car. In fact, my trainer hasn't used her bike yet, but her last area didn't really allow it... so we'll see what ends up happening there. The elders are super excited that we have a car. We give them rides. A lot.
Music? I didn't end up singing at the MTC Devotional, but I did a little musical number in sacrament meeting at the MTC. So fun. Actually, on Thursday we did a little bit of tracting and guess what we did? We sang the song "I am a Child of God" at the door. Did it work? Not yet! But it will. I'm excited to try it again.
Mail? My address will always and forever be:
Sister Ashley Jacobs
1150 Cole Drive SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
They forward everything so it takes about a week for me to get snail mail. Transfer weeks they hold the mail from Thursday/Friday until all of the missionaries have been switched around. So that means I won't ever lose mail because of transfers! Woot! Also send packages to that address. I don't really know how that all works, but packages take a bit longer. I think they're hand delivered at zone conferences or something. I'm still confused about it. Oh well. I had a couple of videos that I wanted to send but I couldn't... so if you could post them on the blog when I mail home the USB, that'd be great! Thanks!
I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Jacobs & her companion Sister Brown
Sister Delci Brown & Sister Jacobs (College roommates)
Sister Bryant (Ashley's aunt) & Sister Jacobs in the MTC
President & Sister Wolfert & Sister Jacobs
at the mission home in Lilburn, GA
Sister Jacobs with the group of 22 missionaries that arrived
in the Georgia, Atlanta North Mission on June 11th, 2013.