"The first flight was normal and boring, I slept because we had to get up at 2. The second flight was... interesting. It was normal for the first part but at about 40 minutes left we hit a storm over Florida and had crazy turbulence until we landed. A couple people actually threw up. I thought it was pretty fun for the first few minutes but then I got tired of it and just wanted to get on the ground. We landed safely and a man came out just after me. He asked me if I was starting my mission or leaving. I said I was starting, and he said he was glad I was on the plane. It was pretty cool."
"When we got to the airport it was an unusual storm going on. Usually they have storms all the time in the summer, but the winter has almost none. We met President and Sister Summerhays and talked for a while while we waited for our luggage. It turned out that all of the missionaries, plus two other people, had their luggage lost. I had my carry-on with stuff I needed for that night, but I just thought it was pretty funny. Every one of the new missionaries had to spend the first night without their checked luggage. We all got it the next day though."
"My area is called Highlands. We live in a town called Mulberry, and work around Mulberry, Lakeland, and Bartow. There might be some other towns in our area, but those are the ones I know about. The culture here is so different. Let me tell you, you guys [missionaries] are blessed to be living in sturdy houses, without seventy dogs in your neighborhood, and where everything is fairly clean. There's lots of trailers and mobile homes, almost everyone has a dog or two, and there's stuff everywhere in everyone's yard. It's so different from our area of Utah. Plus there's lots of southern accents."
"I've been told a couple times that I'm being spoiled for my first area. It's full car, which means we always have a car available. There's just a limitation of 1250 miles per month, which apparently usually runs out about the day before the last of the month. We had no miles on the 31st, but it was alright because of the storm that I'll tell you about in a second. The members around here feed us every day. Our apartment is quite nice, with tons of food stocked up. It's definitely been lived in, though."
"As far as I can tell, Jevin would love it here. Right now is the dry season, and it's more humid than I've ever felt it in Utah. The temperature is excellent right now, but it's going to get really hot here soon. We'll see how it goes. I'm just excited for the thunderstorms that apparently happen every day in the summer."
"This week has been quite a way to start off my mission. First we lost our luggage. Then I found out my bike hadn't arrived yet. Then, on Thursday, there was a HUGE storm that came through our area. The news said there were 6 reported tornadoes. We were in the apartment at the time when it started getting super windy. We were excited and freaked out at the same time. It didn't last very long, but we got a call from one of the members in the ward in charge of the safety of the missionaries. He told us to go to the stake center and hang out there since it was the safest building in the area. We waited there for four hours until it was safe for us to head out."
"After the storm, we spent some of the next couple days helping people clean up. We could see lots of trees that had fallen all over the place, and branches were broken off and laying everywhere. We helped trim down a tree that had fallen over a member's driveway and cart it all to their backyard. It was a huge tree, so they had to cut it into lots of pieces with chainsaws."
"I'm having a great time and am learning a ton. I'm loving it here in Florida, and I'm loving the chances I'm having to teach the gospel. It's a new experience, but it's fun, inspiring, and a challenge I'm going to live up to."