I'm a kinesthetic learner, and therefore believe all people are, so I figured it best that we do a practice email-to-blog-post conversion before I leave on my mission. While I am away I will not technically be allowed to blog. Instead my mom will post the emails I send home each week on my blog as an update of sorts. For my first post I'm going to share my means of communication with all of you and a few pictures (since we have to practice posting pictures as well).
I will not have my cell phone on my mission and am not allowed to receive or send texts or phone calls. Really, writing letters and sending emails is the only way I can keep in contact with the outside world. I will be on Facebook, but that will be used to post spiritual thoughts and communicate with those that I am teaching in my mission. I can't read or respond to messages from individuals outside of my mission.
For the first two weeks of my mission I will be in Provo undergoing missionary training. While I am there, I can be reached by mail at:
Sister Amanda Lee Poppe
2009 N 900 E Unit 161
Provo, UT 84602
In my experience, it takes about 4 days for mail to get from the Midwest to Utah, keep that in mind with my February 11th departure date.
Additionally, there is a great service called Dear Elder that is free to use while missionaries are in the MTC (Missionary Training Center). To utilize this service, please follow these steps:
1. Go to this website.
2. Fill in the appropriate information for yourself in the top right hand corner of the mock envelope.
3. Do the same with my information in the center of the cyber envelope. You will need to know that my estimated MTC departure date is February 11, 2014, my Unit Number is 161, and my mission is AZ-MESA.
4. Fill in your email address beneath the fake envelope and if you desire you can input mine as well, which is, firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Compose a letter in the box provided.
6. Click the "Check Spelling" button (really, you can't skip this step, because I will notice spelling errors. I promise. And I will judge you a little bit...at least until I've been a missionary long enough that I'm super holy and love unconditionally, then I won't judge you. But I'll still notice and my heart will be a little sad that even though there was a free spell check feature you didn't use it and made the poor words on the page appear wrong).
7. When all spelling issues are resolved, click the "Send Letter" button and it will send!
These deliver the same day if entered before 12:15 pm MST or the next day if submitted after then.
After I leave the MTC on February 11th, all letters and packages should be sent to:
Sister Amanda Lee Poppe
2525 N 32nd St.
Mesa, AZ 85213
You can also use Dear Elder while I am in my mission, but it costs 46 cents per letter at that point (just like a real letter). Unfortunately you are required to set up an account to use Dear Elder after your missionary is out of the MTC. Go to the Dear Elder website and create an account and I'm assuming you will be able to figure out the rest. If not, just grab a pencil and physically write me a letter like a normal American. Or don't write me because I make sassy comments like the last sentence. But, I would write me because I am fairly confident you will get blessings from heaven if you send me mail while I'm on The Lord's errand. BLESSIN'S FROM HEAV, PEEPS.
Through the duration of my mission I will also be able to receive email messages at email@example.com. To the best of my knowledge I can receive emails from anyone, though there is a chance that depending on my mission president's rules, I will only be able to email my immediate family. I will keep you posted.
I will be able to email and write back once a week on my preparation day. This means the bulk of my responses will be written and mailed out on Mondays.
I hate to get all sentimental, but I know this mission will be the hardest thing I've ever done, so I really will appreciate any communication. I'm leaving behind a lot of people that I love and care about and it makes me sad. I also know people are busy, so maybe every person in this world who loves me can just communicate and set up like an "Amanda Communication Rotation" so you all only have to write me like two times on my mission and I will still get a letter a month from SOMEONE while I'm away (because I'm assuming at least nine people like me enough to write me two letters while I'm gone). I don't know. Just an idea. I'll stop trying to organize the entire world now.
Now, for those of you less inclined to like words. THE PICTURES.
Pre-mission pic in the front yard. Try as I might, my bangs still won't do what Ariel's do in The Little Mermaid. Life is so hard.
"Don't worry, be happy" stated more eloquently and not while under the influence of marijuana.
The next time you hear from me I'll be out teaching the word of Christ. Holla atcha sinners*, I'm coming for you, with love in my heart of course.