Hello from the most Humid place on earth, Virginia! I made it here and it has been quite the experience already. Well Mom, don't freak out, but I am serving downtown Richmond.....I live just outside of town for a good reason, but yes I serve down town. We are over the YSA Ward. It is very interesting...haha, I thought that I got away from all the dating stuff, buttt I have not. Cool thing though more than half the ward are converts and they are amazing! We are over the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) campus. We only teach young adults which is cool. I have two companions Sister Nelson from Arizona and Sister Romney from Salt Lake City. No she isn't related to Mitt Romney. I love them both so much! We have such a good time together and they are so funny! The only thing that has been a little hard is the jet lag is still effecting me.
It is so beautiful here! It looks like Oregon, but the humidity is crazy! Yesterday after church we had a Sunday supper and it POURED! We may have gone outside after church and danced in the rain a little bit...we may have....haha shhhhh. Anyway the mission President is new so everything that has to do with the mission is a little messed up. Everyone is still trying to figure everything out. Yes, we have a car. Thank Goodness! We have a car because we live outside of the city and need to get into the city often.
We had a lemon aid stand outside of VCU on Saturday and it was actually really fun and scary because this is like real life now. We didn't get to talk to everyone a whole lot, but we did talk to a few cool people. It is a little intimidating to me that they are all my age and stuff, but I guess that is a good thing. Oh and I had a baptism! Haha, Saturday the sisters and I was with had a baptism! Cool, huh? I conducted the music. So many people came! It was Crazy! They said the baptism the week before had to be moved to the chapel because there were 60 people there....can you believe that? The work is moving so fast here. We are teaching a man from Africa on Tuesday! FROM AFRICA! How cool is that?! He only speaks French, so another man in our ward is coming to translate. Can I tell you how weird it is to be the minority? I have never been the minority...we are here! I love it! There are so many cultures here and so many people from all over the world.
Sister Romney and I look exactly the same. People in the ward call us twins. Haha, just think about that and think about how it must be when we go downtown..haha, but know that I am safe because you know me when it comes to dangerous things...I get scared very easily...we parked by what they call homeless park and I kind of had a heart attack, but I am safe. I really am safe everywhere I go. There are places in town we are not allowed to go, which I will totally stay away from. Haha, like some people in our ward we are not allowed to go visit.
I just loved looking around our ward yesterday and thinking about where all these people have come from. I have heard some of their stories and it blows my mind. They are amazing and have changed their lives completely around. It is really fun to work with all the recent converts and we have 10! 10! Can you believe that? I love it! I love all the strength we get to be around often. They all love the missionaries! We have nine in our ward! Crazy, huh?! Oh and not to scare you anymore, but we are some of the first Sisters they are letting teach downtown Richmond, so we get a lot of people saying, "wait you are sisters? We have never met Sister Missionaries before?" haha, life is good. It is hard to really get into this real world work but I am learning. my companions are helping me a lot.
I am still trying to figure everything out. I know I will probably be here awhile, but it is okay with me! my Mission President said that he would call me right away when my Visa comes! oh, and I am so excited I can listen to uplifting music! Any! But they can't be lovey dove! Well, I love you all and hope to get letters from you! I am safe and well taken care of. MUCH LOVE!
Population in the city limits- 208,834
Metropolitan area- 1,282,509
Ethnic makeup- 57% African American