So I ended up on a ferry called the Condor with Sister Housley, my 20 kg of luggage, and two brand-new bikes. It's about 100 miles to Jersey from Weymouth, a four hour trip with a little pit stop to Guernsey on the way...we called up Farnsworth and Collins to say we were the first ever sister missionaries to see the island. (There are about ten members on Guernsey, including the elders. They need priesthood in the worst way.) Jersey, on the other hand, has a great little ward, a step down from the ten wards it used to have, back in the days of the Apostolic Missions, before they all moved to the states...but I digress.
The Condor is posh and an exorbitant price. It looks like a moving airport terminal, with little cafes, a duty-free shop made mostly of wine, and little travel booths with sweets and magazines. We were confused about the assigned seating (it's a ferry, come on?) But when the Condor started to make way, it went as fast as it could go, lurching up and down--everyone kept toppling over, the books are saran-wrapped to the shelves to keep them from falling out, and the loos had lines a mile long (The Condor's nickname is the Vomit-Comet). I had quite the pile of sick bags by my chair, but being on ferries more than the average person equipped me with the comfort I needed. Everything felt so surreal--it was like being in a space station where the gravity button was faulty. All the shops and cafes and everything just took on a hilarity at trying to be so presumptuous and posh. Silly. I was so glad to land.
Jersey is gorgeous! It's exactly 9x5 miles total, very flat, and I'm already sore from this new bike seat. Sister Jonutz is from Cali and is really funny and just down to earth. She's making a name for herself for strictness to rules, which I think sets a good example for us more rebellious ones. She's been in Jersey 7 months and is the same age as Sister Housley. I'm really jealous she gets to go back to Weymouth, but she's going to miss this area a lot. We went knocking, and I don't know what I expected, but everyone was really pleasant and there were a lot of people from Ireland and Portugal. I feel like all this riding around is equipping me with the skills I'll need to actually drive a car--traffic rules and such. Sister Gregson is already driving, and despite sisters wrecking most of the mission vehicles in the past, they're threatening to put cars in more sister areas. Maybe I'll drive like James Bond after all..?
I'm really excited to serve with Sister Christensen. Her and Housley are like peas in a pod, and they had a great time in Exeter. She's 6', gorgeous, from Utah and full of empathy for everyone. Just really knowledgeable and has a tendency to bash with Born Agains and coo over animals. Like me! We shall be good friends, although I'm a little nervous about teaching with her, just because teaching with Sister Housley was so easy. We were a dream team, she and I. I definitely hope I can take everything I've learned from being in Weymouth with her and be a better missionary here.
Everything is so exciting! I plan to drop two stone just cycling around this island, and I'm confident that it will also keep me warm in the winter. The flat is a pretty little attic of what used to be a hotel, and it overlooks the sea and a field of ponies and geese. No dryer, so everything's strung around the flat on pink string, and they also have (because elders lived here less than a year ago) a large telly and DVD player, not to mention THE PRINCE OF EGYPT! I'm so excited! District Meeting happens over the phone with Guernsey, and we'll likely not see any other missionaries for a long time after Housley and Jonutz leave. But the area is sweet and they have a huge teaching pool. It's weird not whitewashing...it's weird to know things...one fun fact is that food here (and everything else, for that matter) is pricey. We're the warmest place (officially) in all of England, seeing how we're 20 miles from France and 100 from England proper, so there are tons of tourists, French people, and to keep the Polish from coming over here, they make things pretty expensive. They even have their own Jersey States money (£1 notes? What?), but no Tesco. No Asda. But Iceland is here to save the day! And the ward members too :)
I'm so tired...the week of moves means that there's no pday on Monday, and it got moved to Thursday instead, but we have two teaches today...blah. It'll definitely be nice to unpack and sleep in a proper bed. Be thankful not to have to cycle out in the rain! Going home will be like pday every day...weird...
Thank you so much for everyone's post! We still do get it here on Jersey...I shall send you some cool Jersey stamps ;)