I have been slowly adjusting to Dubuque, Iowa this past week. I had a really bad cold for 2 weeks and I am still pulling out of it. Mostly exhausted and I can hardly keep up with our lessons and I keep forgetting things and taking naps during lunch breaks. Within the next week I should be back to normal.
We have 13 investigators in the Dubuque West area and almost all of them are black.
There are a total of 8 missionaries serving in Dubuque, 4 of which are English speaking sisters, including myself, and 4 elders who are specifically Marshallese speaking (themselves being pacific islanders). We have one church building with 2 wards that meet there at 9 am and 1 pm.
The wards are a lot smaller in size than the last ward i served in. The relief society has maybe 8 women tops including me and Sister Randall and the teacher. A lot smaller than I am use to.
None of our investigators we invited (6) were able to make it to church yesterday and we were pretty let down about it, especially since one of them had a baptism interview after church. We are still hoping to baptize her in two weekends. Her foot was swollen and hurting so she wasn't able to leave home.
Dubuque is really scary when you get to the downtown area. We drove by a building painted all black and it had about 12 suspicious looking people standing around outside waiting to make drug deals. We also hear sirens constantly and see a lot of emergency vehicles pass by everywhere we go. There are a LOT of people here.
Last Thursday we drove all the way to Clinton, Iowa for zone training meeting with all the other missionaries here. It was an hour and a half drive down the scenic countryside next to the Mississippi river. Endless hills covered in striped rows of corn and beans, perfect farm houses, red barns, silos, horses and dairy cows. This is some of the most beautiful country I have seen so far on my mission.
Most of Dubuque is a lot more scenic and hilly than anywhere else in Iowa. I think God knew that I would appreciate it here. And I would also appreciate going to Pizza Ranch (best pizza buffet ever) more often than before with the other missionaries. I think the closest one to most of you reading this email is Casper, Wyoming and Billings, Montana. Mostly a mid-west thing. So Good!
The family that houses us finally came back yesterday after church from their 3 week trip to Utah. They pulled up in the biggest RV bus I have ever seen. it almost looks bigger than their house. It is a little bit noisier now with the kids running around. Excited to get to know the family better. Me and Sister Randall are having so much fun together as missionaries and we laugh a LOT.
Also found out that the baseball and corn field from the movie Field of Dreams is a 30 minute drive away. I'm hoping that we can go see it on one of our P-days soon. Dad, I know you are jealous!