Last Monday, I was able to have the opportunity of visiting Mount Rainier. As we traveled higher and higher, we found the snow slowly piling higher and higher alongside the road. We reached Paradise to find that everything was closed...so the only option was to take a little hike. Try to imagine hiking up a steep hill covered with two feet of snow...without snow shoes. Every step could mean sinking knee deep in the snow. Needless to say, I received quite the workout! We decided to walk right by the side of a very steep hill, you could consider it a double black diamond, and walked toward panorama point. All I could think about was how this would be the dream hill to sled down! No trees, no rocks, just snow! I guess it's a good thing my parents taught me to think these things through, because I was about to slide down on my jacket! Throughout the whole hike I took a bunch of pictures, so I will have to send a few. This whole trip I was just excited to be on such a tall mountain! On the drive back down, we crossed a bridge that went across what registered to me as where a river used to be. Upon my companion telling me how it looks like the bridge breaks away, I finally realized something, lava flowed down there, not a river. It all made sense, then I thought to myself, "I'm on a volcano!" It's kind of weird to be on a volcano, which has the potential to explode....
That was one of the many things that I was able to do this past week, but had to be my favorite. The other experiences just made me realize that my companion is crazy, because he just loves to bike! I biked in a suit to zone meeting and showed up being all sweaty and having a bunch of weird looks, no to mention, my legs felt like jello from the constant uphill that seemed to be endless. It was all my companion's idea. Then my companion wanted to bike to our follow up training meaning, which was 25 miles one way and 25 miles back...biking is great and all, but I ain't trying to get the cycling merit badge, so my zone leaders had my back and told him that we couldn't do that...what a relief!
On friday, we had our Christmas party thing for the part of the mission that I'm in. We did a white elephant gift exchange and my companion and I forgot the gifts that we were going to bring, so he reaches in our car and grabs the pine tree shaped air freshener and then reaches in the zone leader's car and pulls out there pine tree shaped air freshener. We proceeded to wrap them in napkins and place in a plastic grocery bag. The best part is that the zone leader that bought the air freshener, ended up with the air freshener that HE bought! We told him that we would give him the gift that we were actually going to bring, so I don't feel so guilty. This other companionship took a pair of boots and put one in a box and the other in another box. There were also some musical numbers and I was in the choir. I had forgotten the sheet music for the second song and was looking off an Elder's music while the two elders next to me tried to look off of someone else's music since they forgot their music too. They decided to lip sync the song/mumble it/sing? They definitely tried their very best though!
Some other highlights were the baptism of Gerardo who is sixteen and wants to serve a mission. The service was in spanish, so that was quite special. Gerardo and Iain were confirmed on sunday, which was a great experience as well. There hasn't been too much going on besides that. It is a difficult to find people to teach and no one has the desire to talk to us. It is definitely a trial of faith, but we continue to try and do everything that we can. I hope all is well. I love all of you!
P.S. GO CATS!