Well, I don't even know how to describe the transition to this area. After being in the Milwaukee zones my whole mission, the Appleton zone seems like a different PLANET. There are so many areas, cities, members, and missionaries I don't know! Luckily, though, there are several missionaries here that I DO know - namely, Sister Wise (serving in Appleton) and Sister Decker (serving in Sheboygan). I'm a lucky duck! And I'll get to go on exchanges with both of them in the next couple months - tender mercies up the wazoo!
I've met several AWESOME people here already - including lots and lots of recent converts! I LOVE meeting them and listening to their testimonies and their experiences with the missionaries and the Church. Every now and then I try to look at the restored gospel through a recent convert's eyes... pretty incredible, the things we do as a Church that are so NORMAL to us but NEW and DIFFERENT to everyone else. It reminds me of Bishop Gerald Causse's talk in General Conference a couple years back called "Is it Still Wonderful to You?" I hope we all take a little bit of time every day to reflect on our gratitude for the fullness of the gospel and ALLOW it to be WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!! Because it really, REALLY is!!!!
Cool experience: the night before I left Milwaukee, Sister Gifford and I had a lesson with the Petersens. The Stake President (President Elbert) came with us and bore such powerful testimony about the role of the Spirit in his life and in his conversion. The Petersens opened up and shared how there is always a TANGIBLE difference in their home when us missionaries enter it, and they want to have that feeling all the time. Arron Petersen said that after meeting with us for this past month, he can honestly say for the first time in his life that he believes Christ is the Son of God and our Savior!!! I couldn't stop myself from BEAMING ear to ear when he said that... because THAT is why we missionary work!!!! Hearing him say his testimony of Christ has grown makes EVERYTHING worth it!!! I'm so sad to leave the Petersens behind, but I know they're in good hands :) (God's hands!) (Plus the missionaries' too. Haha.)
Anyways, it was an incredible experience! It's been a LOOOONG week... but a good one! I can't wait to report on how this next week goes!
P.S. I left my camera at the apartment... so sorry... next week for sure!! :)