Adventures in Kotzebue, Alaska

So when I was on the plane heading to Alaska I started crying, I didn’t want to go. I wanted to go back to BYU, but if I did there would be too many distractions. God knew this, and in a way, I did too. I was happy to see my dad and wanted to help him, and I knew that this is where God wanted me to be at this time.

So, in Kotzebue, there is not a good way to say this, but most (not all) natives have been programmed to receive federal benefits with no obligation to work. This makes it difficult for employers to find reliable help. Being reliable is the most important trait for getting a job here. My first job was a cashier at the grocery store, they wanted me to do the book keeping as well, and to stay for years—I knew that wasn’t going to happen. haha. Because I wouldn’t work on Sunday one of the Assistant General Managers cut my hours and I eventually had to get a different full time job. My next job was in the kitchen. I loved it. Everybody was so nice and I even got overtime! During that time I made many friends there. We all worked so well together. The food was delicious, I ate for free and was able to take left overs home to my dad. I love the people that I was working with so much, I miss them. 

While I was working at the hospital kitchen, I had many opportunities to share the gospel with my friends there. You could say that I was on a Mini-Mission. These experiences helped me feel more comfortable sharing the gospel. It helped me know where I needed to improve, and what I am good at as a missionary. I am going out more confident because of the few months that I spent there. I can understand why the missionaries say that missionary work is a joy, because when you are sharing something so important it makes you feel happy. It is hard to explain missionary work. It is something burning inside you, the church is true, I just want everyone to hear it and accept it. I want everyone to have the blessings that i have. Some of my friends had not even heard about the church. I feel that I planted seeds at this time,

In my branch I was a visiting teacher and my second calling (favorite calling) was taking care of baby Ginny for the first hour. It was the best calling ever! She was such a sweet little girl. There were about 15 people in the ward. I loved my small branch. Because of this we got to know each other really well. Every Fast and Testimony Meeting  we all would share our testimonies. The spirit was so strong! Something unique about our branch was that we used technology during sacrament meeting to hear messages from our High Council man or Stake President or we would listen to a talk from conference sometimes. 

At the end of February I started finishing everything to submit my mission paperwork. I was planning on submitting my paperwork in the middle of March, but because I was the first missionary that my bishop processed we made some mistakes and I finally had my paperwork submitted at the beginning of April. I received my mission call May 4th. Yay! I Skyped my family and had planned on teasing them when I opened it, by saying that I was going to Boise or Provo, but it backfired—I really was going to a place that people tease about going to…the awesome SLC-West Mission!!!   I LOVE IT!!!

It amazes me how everything works perfectly with the Lord. I know that timing is important in God’s work. I know that I was supposed to be there in Kotzebue for a short time, to appreciate the things that I have, to be an example to the people that I met, and to share the gospel with them. I appreciate and love the Savior so much. He has always been there for me, even in the little things in life. He provides a way for me even when I don’t know what to do. I have learned to have faith in myself and Him. He has taught me that I am a lot stronger that I thought I was. I can do this! In the strength of the Lord I can do all things. 

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