Here is a pic from when they landed at the airport in DC....they look ready!
The day after she arrived in DC she went to a meeting where she received her Ipad, filled out papers and then got her companion. Her companion is Hermana McMullin and is from Vegas. She says she is so sweet and genuine and she gets along with her really well. Her companion just barely finished being trained and now is training Mariah! Mariah said that they are both at about the same level with their Spanish speaking, but that her companion can understand a little more at times because she has been out a little longer. I think that this will be sooo good for Mariah because it will force her to learn to speak!
Ipads for missionaries certainly come in handy. We are so blessed that she has one. She can do her emailing off of it but they have to go to a place where they have wifi. But if she doesn't use a computer on her P-day then we can't get pics and that's a bummer! So, she tries to go somewhere that has a computer. She can screenshot all of her emails once she gets access to them and can read them any time during her P-day! So awesome! It makes it easier for her to respond by hand writing a letter back to those that she wasn't able to email. She will be doing her hour of Facebook from her Ipad each day which I believe she will be starting in the next month or so. I think she will get to facetime or skype us with it on Christmas as well, at least that is what I am hoping:)
Mariah lives in a nice apartment complex, You better believe that we googled the address when we got it to see where she lived:) The city she lives in is beautiful! I have been there and can picture it completely! The area that she serves in covers a lot of cities because they only teach people who speak Spanish. She said that just recently they pulled the sisters out of 2 of the places that she would have covered because all the people loved the sisters so much that the elders could never get anyone to teach in that area..haha! She said that they get to keep the last of their investigators from there but they just can't teach anyone new. Sister missionaries rock! Some of the areas that she covers are a little sketchy as she puts it. They can't cover certain areas at night because they are so sketchy so please pray for her safety! She has had the opportunity to teach so many lessons and has been able to visit so many people already. Can't wait to hear how things progress!
She has met people from all over the world and says that it is a little difficult because they all speak a different dialect and have different Spanish accents. So, she can't get used to just one type of Spanish. Her first weekend there she had a Branch Thanksgiving party on Saturday and then church on Sunday. She said that she realized then how much Spanish she didn't know. It was a little frustrating to her but she said that the members are so nice in helping them and are so patient in speaking to them so it makes her feel better about things.
This is what she said about her Thanksgiving..
"For Thanksgiving we went to Familia Chinas' house. And no. They are not Chinese they are Hispanic. From Mexico. But yeah it was really good!! We had tostadas with turkey and also this soup that has a form of maiz in it that is HUGE. I didn't know Corn kernels could come that big, but they are good! They also had flan, which I HATE flan, but they way they make it is SO good. It's like a creamish white color with a vanilla taste to it. The day after Thanksgiving we went to a member's house for dinner, and she fed us a bunch of pasta with turkey dog in it. Kinda reminds me of mac and cheese with hot dogs back at home. Haha. Then we went to ANOTHER house where they wanted to feed us and all the missionaries that serve in our ward (us, and 3 elder companionships) dinner, and we ate that too. OH MY they feed you so much here.. I was gonna fall over and die I was so full but really they just give you so much and you like have to eat it. Ha, it's fine though. I love dinners with members though, they are pretty fun. Ahh I love the Latin culture...."
Here is a picture of her and her companion eating some yummy pie! This is the only pic that we have so far of her and her companion. She said that the computer was REALLY slow and so it took too long to download pics and she ran out of time :(
Mariah said that she absolutely loves her Mission President! She said that he will be leaving in July which will be half way through her mission. She is hoping that the new one will be great too! She has a while though. Riah has a really good friend that joined the church about a year ago and moved to the DC area in the summer to be closer to her now fiance. Her friend is the only member in her family besides her aunt and so Mariah really wanted to see if she could get permission to be at the temple when her friend receives her endowments. This is what Mariah said about it....."I talked to President Riggs about going to Taylor's endowment and he said yes! As long as I give him a time and date so he knows when to give me permission to leave the area, super exciting!" Mariah is so excited to be able to go through with her! What a tender mercy! It touched me so much and let me know that Heavenly Father is truly interested in the little details of our lives. Because really, what are the chances of going on a mission to the place that one of your very best friends is moving to? I know this is not a coincidence!
So far, Mariah is loving DC. She has been there before when she was younger but wants to be able to see everything again. This is what she said about actually visiting the city...
"So we are only allowed to go to DC on PDay once per transfer..so that's 12 times I actually get to visit the city. But that's ok because we can go to the temple every 6 months or as long as we have an investigator who just got baptized that is doing baptisms for the first time for family names we can go with. Also, we can take investigators to the visitors center as much as we want. We haven't quite done that but I think it'll be exciting cuz they decorate with Christmas lights just like in salt lake"
We have been blessed to get an email from Mariah each week but she also mails a letter to us as well and gives us a lot more detail about what is going on and answers all of our questions. She writes the letters to us so that she doesn't have to be hurried with her email time and she can actually take the time to think. It has been such an awesome experience to see her grow and progress. It's amazing to see these missionaries out there sharing what makes them happy. And, although it is not easy what they are doing, it is so nice to know that they are converted, that they have testimonies, and that the Lord is on their side. And with all of those things going for them, they are bound to have success!