Arizona {Home of the Gila Monster!}

Hola, familia y todos!
I’m here in Tucson! Well, Gila Valley now (hence, the title) with a super awesome companion named Hermana Solomon. I’m her third “daughter”! It was really fun coming back from Mexico; it was so weird to have everything in English again and things just kept coming out in Spanish when I was trying to talk to people, which was awkward sometimes, but it is so good to be back in the states again! I definitely am so much more grateful for a lot of things after having spent six weeks, which I LOVED, in Mexico City. 🙂
Tucson Mission!
The plane rides were really fun! Hermana Young y yo stayed up until 1:15 Sunday night packing, slept for a half hour, then got up and went to the airport. It was crazy!! I didn’t sleep in the airport or on the plane because I wanted to make the best use of the time left in Mexico that I could… and I had pass-along cards!! I did my best to talk to people in Spanish and it was really fun. Mexican people are so friendly. 🙂 (Ok … it is so hard to type on normal keyboards again! Everything is so weird!) I didn’t actually hand out a card until I got into the states, but that’s beside the point. I talked with a 24-year-old man named Luis on the three hour plane ride to Phoenix and it was really great. His family is Catholic but he is a non-practicing Christian. It was interesting to see how much more easily I could see the things that he needs in his life after training in the MTC. I shared my testimony with him that Heavenly Father loves him, and that prayer really does work. That was great! I think he kind of got the wrong message about an hour into the plane ride, though… he leaned over and took a selfie with me to show his family! Ah!! I didn’t know what to do… so awkward. And the worst part is that I think I actually gave him permission to do it! (Keep in mind this was all in Spanish… and I’ve only really been learning it for six weeks!) Haha, then comes awkward part number two. After arriving in Phoenix (oh and I took an apple with me on the plane, which is a bad idea! I had to get all my stuff checked by the ag police haha!), he came up to me, thanked me for talking with him, extended his hand, then pulled me in for a kiss on the cheek. Ahhhh!!!!!! I had no clue what to do and I leaned away, and so he awkwardly apologized and then walked away. I felt bad because that’s what they do in their culture, but… I’m a sister missionary! Weird, weird moment. Especially since all the other missionaries there with me didn’t know that I had talked to him for the entire plane ride.
Plane ride number two! This one was only about 40 minutes long. I talked with a nice lady from here in AZ. She was very talkative and told me all about her experiences with some sister missionaries, her family, the riveting books she was reading, the service projects she was helping out with, and lots of other things! She even gave me a free cough drop–yes! 🙂 Haha I really loved this lady! She has such a good heart and it was really cool to see how I could love her like that even after just a few minutes of talking with her, and come to see her needs, just the way I could with Luis. The gift of discernment is a real thing, just like the gift of tongues. 🙂 Anyway, I gave her a Spanish pass-along card with my info! I really hope she uses it because she had a ton of questions for the other sister missionaries. I think I will try to give her info the someone so they can contact her as well. 🙂
Well, that took a lot longer to write than it should have! I love Arizona! I love the unique beauty of the mountains and cactuses and architecture; I love the people! Hermana Solomon and I had dinner with a really nice Mexican family yesterday; they were so kind and generous. We also went to a Relief Society white elephant gift exchange yesterday, too, and it was fun! The people are so animated and loving. I love them. 🙂 Our area is Gila Valley, the area with the temple! We are the only Spanish companionship, and so we cover the entire area. It’s pretty big! We have several other appointments today with people, and I’m excited to meet these people. The field is SO much different than the MTC, and so it will take a little time getting used to, I’m sure. I working to get on top of it as fast as I can!
I love you all! Gracias por su amor y esfuerzos para mi!
Mucho amor,
Hermana Sutherland

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