BONJOUR?! FROM MESA!

Editor’s note: Every six weeks (give or take, depending upon the mission) some missionaries are moved around to new areas and the companionships change. The day the changes take place is called a transfer, and all of the missionaries that are being moved and their companions who are staying put (because they have to stay together until they are with their new companions) meet and the switches are made.
BONJOUR TOUT LE MONDE!!!!!
Oh my goodness, oh my goodness WHAT A WEEK!  It has been crazy busy, so sorry if my mind is scattered, I have much to tell!!
So first off SALUT!  Yes, I am here in Mesa safe and sound.  Last Tuesday was a crazy day.  I was up at 2:30 AM, and went to bed the next day 10:30 PM so yes it was exhausting.  But I did get a few naps in during the day.  I ended up falling right to sleep on the plane ride which was SO great!  But I didn’t get to talk to the person sitting next to me 😦  But he was asleep too which makes it okay I guess……..anyways, we landed and met our mission president as soon as we got past security!  We also saw a few missionary homecomings so that was a weird experience, but hey TOTALLY COOL!  So anyways, we pretty much just had orientation all day Thursday, which is weird for us Visa waiters because we don’t know how much we will use these things, but still cool to learn about!  So this mission is like a trial mission so they are like THE FIRST to try all the new things the church has set out for missionary things.  So like they were the first to get iPads and they are the first mission to fully test out the “My Plan.”  If you don’t know what that is…it’s a tool that missionaries use when they are nearing the end of their missions to help them keep the faith and basically have a plan for their lives when they get home!  Okay anyways, the point of saying that is basically that YES we do have iPads and EVERYTHING is done on them!  But I won’t have one until three weeks in, and then I will turn it back in when I leave.  Also, you start using Facebook at 10 weeks in, so if I am here for that long, I will be a Facebook missionary as well so that’s cool and new and interesting!
So we didn’t get our official companions until Wednesday morning at transfer meeting so that night I was in a tri-companionship with two other sisters and the next morning we headed to transfer meeting!  BUT one of the sisters I was staying with was actually going to be training this transfer and…SHE IS MY TRAINER!!!!  SO COOL!  Her name is Sister Merrell!!!  She is from Washington State and has been out 16 months, so she is almost there!  She has only spent one transfer in our area though, so she is still pretty new to it!  Her last companion just went home, and I am her first trainee!  I am honored!  We are serving in the Fairfield and Miller wards, so yes we are over two wards.  It’s very much like Utah here I feel like.  But totally cool!
Our areas are the poorer parts of Mesa though, so lots of humble people, it’s great!
So we are NOT in the Visitor’s Center, but during Christmas it gets so busy that they have the full-field sisters come in and work a two hour shift on the grounds answering questions and talking to people every other night!  However, this week because of Christmas, we will be there every night except tonight, so THAT WILL BE FUN!  But hey, the Visitor’s center is SO COOL!  I am loving having it as a resource and its so great!  I also have a little tag that says “francais” so if we by chance come across anyone who speaks French while working there, I “should” be able to talk with them.  I am trying to keep up my French as much as possible, but it is pretty nice to teach in English!
My area is also the busiest in the Mesa mission, or so I have heard!  So we seriously ALWAYS have something to go and do or go and see!  But because we have been so busy with the Christmas lights, we haven’t gotten the chance to really teach any lesson lessons yet.
UMMMM, Saturday I got sick!  LIKE WHAT??!!!  I was just telling Sister Merrell that I rarely actually get sick with like actual sickness but then that day I felt awful and I got sick (like in the toilet) and then I had a slight fever.  So Saturday night we stayed in and a slept for a solid fifteen hours straight.  My poor companion, she got a lot of studies done that day!
Anyways, Sunday I was feeling much better and church was great!  Today, we have just been running around doing errands and trying to accomplish all that we can before next week!!
So Christmas we will be going to some member’s house for breakfast and then we get to SKYPE YAY!  and then that night the whole mission is singing in a concert on the temple grounds!  That’s about all I know! But I am so excited!  Christmas Eve we are working at the temple lights so that will be totally festive!
Anyways, overall Arizona is good!  This week has definitely been one of the toughest of all my experience on the mish 😉  just because there is been so much sudden change and so much to get used to fast, but during all this time, so many tender mercies have been apparent from the Lord, I can’t even name them all!  I am so grateful for Him and I know that He is mindful of me always!
So, last bit of inspiration!  Our mission president shared that the Mesa mission has been shrinking in missionaries over the last year.  This past transfer, so many missionaries were going home and he was worried that he was going to have to shut down some areas.  So, he kept putting off setting up transfers.  Well finally, like last Tuesday, he was talking with his assistants trying to set up companionships and praying that they wouldn’t have to shut down areas.  He was LITERALLY just saying that they needed a bunch of Visa-Waiters when the phone rang.  It was the visa-waiter coordinator, calling to say that he had nine visa-waiters, the exact number our president needed!  WHAT!  THIS IS THE LORD’S WORK!  So, I don’t necessarily know why it was necessary but I AM AN ANSWER TO A PRAYER!  And so I will serve, however long it is needed here!
ALSO IT IS COLD!!! LIKE 32 degrees the other night…..UGHHH!!!!!  Summer, I’m coming for you eventually!
Anyways, church is true, if you were wondering.  I love this gospel.  It still hasn’t really hit me that I am actually a missionary.  But IT ROCKS BEING ONE!!!!  I just hope to serve well in the Lord’s eyes.
Merry Christmas to all my wonderful supporters, near and far!  You are all SO WONDERFUL!  I hope you are feeling peace, joy, and the love of Christ in your hearts this Christmas season.  And I know and promise you that the sweet message of Christmas continues…that no matter who you are, where you are, or what you have done….A Savior is born for you.
I love you all dearly!
Joyeaux Noel!
-Soeur Vogel ❤
PICS:
ONE & TWO: My travel buds, we don’t see each other except….ELDER MINER AND I ARE IN THE SAME DISTRICT!!! like what…tender mercy 🙂
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PIC ONE: Temple Lights!!!
PIC TWO: MA TRAINER!  Soeur (SISTER??!!) Merrell!
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​Some other sisters (yes Sister Colbert is making a funny face)
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