This week was a bit different. Has seemed long and short at the same time...Monday was pretty hectic. We woke up at 6 and went out to a dog sledding place. The guy that served his mission in North Carolina works there. We helped him gut and strip beavers of there meat. The dogs apparently love it! I had the smell of beaver flesh on my hands for the next 2 days or so. It wasn't the most pleasant of smells... After we helped him with that we got to go on a dog sled ride! It was so awesome! I got to ride in the sled and I took some pictures, but I left my camera cord in Whitehorse.... It's on the way so hopefully I can send yall some pictures soon! I don't know if you will want the pictures of some beavers lol. Elder Johnson and I had to leave and go finish packing the last few things we had left so Elder Norris and Elder Duncan got to help out with a couple of more beavers! I bet they loved it... Not!! haha Elder Johnson and I left for Skagway about 30 minutes late and we barely made our flight out. Thank goodness we did! I didn't want President Beesley mad at us! We got to Juneau and we sat around for about 3 or 4 hours before we had to be back at the airport. On the flight from Juneau to Anchorage I sat beside a guy who was going back to Anchorage for the first time in a couple of months. Curious George here wanted to know so I asked and he decided that he wanted to ride his bicycle from Anchorage to Minnesota and then visit family for a couple of weeks. I thought that was really awesome and then realized he went through Whitehorse on his ride and I think I might have seen him... Who knows. He was a really cool guy!
Tuesday we went to the mission home and we met our new companions for those of us who were training. I am training a new missionary in Bethel if you didn't already know. His name is Elder Shumway and he is from Provo, UT. Yet another companion from Utah! I think that is about 7 out of 10 companions from there. He is pretty cool I reckon. He didn't have much of a personality at first, but he is starting to come out of his shell! He is gonna be a great missionary and there is lots of work to do here. We went to transfers meeting and it was pretty good. I got to see a lot of missionaries that I haven't seen in forever because I have been in Whitehorse for the last 4 months. A lot of the missionaries I know have finished their missions and I don't know many of the new ones at all. It's weird being bush because you are all alone in The Middle of Nowhere, Alaska. You don't know anything that is going on and you don't get to say goodbye to anyone when they leave. After transfers I took Elder Shumway to get some things he needed before we went to the bush and then we stayed in the mission home that night.
Wednesday morning we got up and studied and did the usual routine and then it was off to the airport and to Bethel for us. We got here at about 1:30 in the afternoon and were met at the airport (which is literally like a hole in the wall) by President Tews and Brother Perry, who reminds me a lot of Grandpa Beene. He served in the military for 37 and a half years. He was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and he has a very similar sense of humor to Grandpas. He is a pretty funny man and we had lunch with him today. He told us today that he "is fulfilling every husbands dream today." We asked why and he said that he is "Taking his wife to jail today!" lol They are getting divorced unfortunately and she is turning herself in, but apparently it is for the best and he is happy with it I guess. All day Wednesday though we cleaned out the room where we stay and made it look a ton better, but we still have a little to do. Oh and by the way, we live in the church. They have a room built especially for us and our living room is a full court gym!!! I can play basketball almost everyday when I wake up! I am pretty stoked about that!
Thursday we tried to learn the town and get around which didn't take us too long. Bethel is shaped like a donut or square and it takes about 5 minutes to get anywhere. It's pretty tiny, but it's ok. The people here are pretty nice. Thursday nights we play basketball with the neighborhood kids around the church and we teach them a little bit before we start playing. It gives them a place to stay to play basketball and to stay out of trouble for a couple of hours. They are pretty dang good too!
Friday we did a whole lot of looking through the area book and trying to figure out who to see and when to see them and all that jazz. It is different to be coming into an area where you are both new to. Luckily the members are great and have helped us out a ton!
Saturday we had 6 lessons set up and 5 of em canceled. Nothin too new for me, but it can be a little frustrating. We've got plenty of time though! We met with a couple of people here and there. Some members bought us christmas presents! I was very surprised and grateful for their generosity.
Sunday! Christmas was awesome! I got to skype home and talk to my family and it was great to see them! Conner is gettin' big!!! He talks a lot now too. After that we had church and we got to meet most of the members. They were all very nice! The Ashcroft's spoke about Christmas and about gifts that we receive. They both talked about the Savior's birth and why we celebrate Christmas. The spirit was definitely in the building and could definitely be felt. We got invited to go over to the Charlton's house for Christmas Supper. They had a bunch of people over and the food was amazing! I feel sooo fat right now. It was an absolute blast over there. We played charades (is that how you spell it?) and played cheat which is bs for us. There were lots of laughs and fun times. They definitely made us feel very welcome! The Helgesens got us each a buck knife! haha and some other stuff. That was a pretty cool gift to get. They said we needed a "Welcome to Bethel gift". The people here treat us well and I am looking forward to being here for the next 3 months at least! I hope yall all had a very Merry Christmas! I love yall and hope yall have a great New Years!!!
-Elder Taylor Bowes
P.S. Pictures coming soon!!