Well they moved p-day to Tuesday this week, that's why I'm doing my e-mail today. So far I actually am really enjoying this area! My first area is Orofino Idaho! Never heard of it? neither have I. haha, I'm living in a motel, the owners are LDS and they have a room set aside specifically so missionaries in the area have somewhere to live. Obviously that means that there are several things I won't have to worry about while i"m in Orofino. i don't have to pay do do my laundry because the owner, Brother C., gives us quarters to use the motels machines. he insists that its because he refuses to make any money off of the missionaries. They provide us with towels and all of our bedding. The housekeeper comes in once a week and gives us clean blankets and fresh towels. They just ask that we keep the room as clean as we can so she doesn't have to work around all our stuff.
I left my camera on in the church where we did orientation so they are holding onto it for me in the mission office until I can get it tomorrow. That really sucks because this is probably the most beautiful place I could be. Orofino is in a valley but I think of it as more of just a canyon. The mountains are everywhere! i don't think i want to leave. There are so many trees and wildlife is all over the place. there are so many deer that they are considered a pest. On Saturday we counted 47 deer. but we normally see about 20 or so a day. They like to chill in peoples yards.
This is definatly a driving mission. There are so many hills that we have to drive up that I sometimes I worry the Jeep won't be able to make it to the top on half of them. These hills are so steep that you almost feel as though you are driving vertical. Along with the really hilly neighborhoods, half the houses we visit are up really long drives in the mountain passes.
Cats. They are everywhere! Cats and dogs probably outnumber the people. I am yet to meet someone who doesn't own more than one cat or dog.
Another thing I want to point out is that There aren't very many people here under the age of 50. Which means I'm being really well fed. Whenever we eat dinner with members we end up taking a lot of leftovers with us when we leave. Also, because this is a really popular fishing and hunting area our dinners normally consist of fish and something with venison, particularly spaghetti and lasagna.
The peopel are fun. One of the first guys I met was a non-member, but he absolutely loves the LDS church. But for some reason he doesn't want to be baptized. He sang for the Mormon tabernacle choir and is currently the church organist. Not our church, EVERY church. He plays the organ every Sunday for all the churches in the area, he rotates which one he plays at. He had an Organ in his house. He played it for us along with his accordion. Oh! he also showed us his bug collection. It was a closet full of displays of all sorts of bugs, crazy stuff. He also has two tanks full of walking sticks and hissing cockroaches. he wanted me to hold a hissing cockroach and I politely declined.
I met him on my first day but I've met lots of people since then. Mainly we visit members so we can ask for referrals
We do a lot of visiting with inactive members. Its a really slow area because everyone already belongs to a church of some sort and are happy where they are. Which isn't a bad thing, it just means we don't have very many people to see. We've been doing a lot of service. Mainly moving firewood for people.
Well this letter is long so I should prolly stop typing haha, I'm sure i'll have more things to say in the following weeks to come.
p.s its P-day so I'm gonna do some hiking!
Mason arrived in Spokane on Monday January 13th. He was able to send a quick email letting us know he had arrived and where he is assigned to serve.
He is currently in Orofino Id. We haven't received pics yet, as he hasn't had a P-day, so I pulled some off of the internet. Orofino is located in the beautiful Idaho Panhandle.
Hey! So I'm in Spokane right now and I have a couple minutes where I'm allowed to sent a quick email. i'm just sending this as a group email but I'll take the time next Monday to send individual ones I had the opportunity to meet my mission president, his name is President Mullen, along with his wife, Sister Mullen. They are both super nice and the food they served us was delicious. i stayed the night with a couple other missionaries in a members home, they were super nice and they were excited to have us there. I'll send an e-mail in response to your emails next Monday so that I have more time to think about what I say I met my trainer today, his name is Elder Sanders, my first area is Orofino Idaho. It has a population of about 3,000 with a little more than 100 active members, it would be more like 300 but lots are inactive. It's all backwoods and farmers so I won't do much tracting (thank goodness) because I'll be doing a lot of reactivation and member refferals. Also I won't go door to door after 6pm because thats the time of day people tend to pull guns on you. Anyways, I'll send an email on monday with a couple stories and responses to your e-mails.
We drove Mason to the MTC for a teary farewell on jan 1st. Dion will be posting a little "good-bye the Reablkin Way" soon. Until then, here are a few pics.
Kalei was able to meet us for lunch before seeing him off.
Since Mason was only in the MTC a week and a half, I'm including his letter home for the week on this post.
Hi! So far I am loving it here at the MTC. Everyone is super cool and the food is incredible. I think my favorite part of the cafeteria is the endless chocolate milk I would send some pictures with this email but this computer doesn't have an SD card slot and I didn't grab my USB cable on my way out of the residence. but yes, I am taking pictures. I think I'm getting a grasp on teaching but I still have a lot to learn, the only real problem I'm having is the hours of personal study, It is really hard for me to sit down and study silently for like two hours straight. However I do like companion study. My companion, Elder Ferris and I usually go to a separate room from the rest of our district so that we can write on the white board and have a little bit louder of conversations than everyone else...
Anyways, enough of that, I leave the MTC on the 13th and I am super excited, I am learning so much! especially about patience with hard people and how to stay awake in long meetings.
I love you all and I look forward to coming home in 2 years -Elder Rebalkin
Mason spoke in church on Dec. 28th. Friends and family came to support him before he left for the MTC. The Rebalkins were unable to attend, but the Fuller family made the trip from Spokane to see him off to Spokane:)
We'd like to thank everyone who came to celebrate Mason leaving....which you can take any way you want to.
Mason's call arrived in Hyrum while he was working at the oil fields of North Dakota. Being the respectful parents that we are, we didn't open it. Instead, we placed it in the safe care of the US Postal system, where it immediately got lost in the mail. After a waiting several days to have the time to leave work and a 5 hour trip to the PO Box to get his call, Mason discovered it's absence. The Bishop contacted SLC and had a new call sent. This one arrived (almost two weeks after the first one was received in Hyrum) and Mason got to open it and see where he was going. You can see his reaction in the link below.