Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Monday, November 7, 2011
After leaving Casper for my new adventure I tried to stay in contact with those that I had met in Casper. It turns out that when I left that windy city of the Wyoming hills, changes occurred! More than any one expected! I guess that my dating frenzy there hadn't gone in vain. BJ, Dominic, Nate Tuft, LeeAnn Tushling, Roseta, Mary Dillworth, and a few others decided to go on missions!!!! by this time most of them are in the MTC! I am so happy for each of them! The Branch stayed strong, and even know many of them left on missions or to school, others moved into the ward including my little sister Kansada! My good friend Summer who was once not part of the branch, became the head of the the branch (in my opinion)! She kept the dating, and activities flowing! Also one of my family friend's named Kevin moved to Casper! After hanging out with a once inactive Nate Tuft, Kevin became active once more, and has now turned in his papers!!!! It's amazing what the chain reactions that we start will do! I also gained a greater knowledge of how a person can change! I had doubts while in Casper that a few like Nate, and Summer wouldn't change, but regardless of my lack of Faith God had better standards for them, and their lives! It was great while it lasted, but I can see why I was needed in TN. but that's for the next blog isn't it?! mwa-hahaha! looks like you're just gonna have to read on!
Posted by Leticia.Mitchell at 9:07 AM
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
in the first place. But when I entered this little town of wonder back in November I was filled with wonder. Why this middle-of-no-where-po-dunk-little-hick-town? God seemed to know way more than I did at the time, (He has a way of doing that) because I was offered a job within the first 3 days of being here. I got to be a hotel receptionist at the great empire of Hampton inn. Then after I took my parents back to Russia (an adventure in it's self) I got a second job at Casper Occupational Therapy. I loved working at these two places, and feel like I helped people feel God's love!
I saved enough money to buy my dream
what you're all thinking- she's so small how could she get on one of those death traps and live?.....- and things of that nature. But I'll have you know my dear friends and family that my bike is a tiny one! It's a 250cc which means that the engine is very small. and the bike it's self is just my size. I practiced riding Jake's bike out in the hills for the last few months. Now that I have my bike, and know how to ride it; I'll get 65 mile to the gallon! I also saved up for a good Helmet, Jacket, gloves, chaps, and such. This has been my project for awhile. After I get it all licensed I'll be on this thing all the warm days of the year!
I've been here for 6 months, almost 7, and now it feels like my time here is coming to an end. I love being here, and love my church. I feel like a Sparked quite a few things! For example dating: It was one of my new years resolutions to date every single guy in the single's branch before the end of the year (project crossRoads). and it's been SO MUCH FUN! I've gotten to
know the YSAs in the branch, and learned more than I can say in this blog.
Now as they say all good things must come to an end. The Lord is giving me hints that this is my last month here. I found a summer job that's perfect for me! it's going to be in Gatlinburg
TN. I'm leaving in May to be a White Water River Rafting Guide on the great Pigeon River!
going back to my roots as they say. My mom is from the east, and Tennessee is a memory for
her. I'll be getting in touch with this side of our family that has been a distant place since before
I can remember. I don't know what the Future holds, abut I know that God is with me on this one, and that TN is my next personal mission. I'm trying to get one of my friends to come out to the foot hills with me, but she seems hesitant as to how many hillbilly folk are in those parts. As for me..... The next adventure awaits. All I have to do is learn how to Swim! :D
Posted by Leticia.Mitchell at 9:06 AM
Thursday, November 25, 2010
To whom it may concern,
This is the 25th of Nov. 2010. I just got back from Russia, and God put big blinking arrows in my path telling me that I needed to go to Casper Wy. It's a good thing that my sister Rachel Johnson lives here with her 3 amazing kids, and husband (he's a resident here in the hospital). so I'm here. working on Thanksgiving, but that's not a problem for me.
Posted by Leticia.Mitchell at 9:04 AM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I was so afraid to come out of my room for the longest time. I was so alone, and didn't want to be in Alaska, but when they write one way on a ticket they aren't kidding. Luckily there was a girl in this vast place that came and got to know me... I guess it was god's way of saying, "See, you'll be fine here." Dee (Dorsita Soyans; only one of the coolest people I've met in Alaska!) came in my room all the time, and got me to go work extra hours with her on wash crew (washing buses). This is where I started meeting the drivers, and getting to know other people. She also got me to go to our LDS branch! Where I met Ty Mortenson! Who seemed like a snob at first, but once I got to know him, it turned out I was very wrong! He is a returned missionary, who is very handsome, has a great sense of humor, and is just great all around (nice to fat girls as my sisters would put it). I even pulled out all my best pick-up lines for him, and was a success when we started dating! This is a picture of him, and I at one point. As you can see my hair is a bit longer than it was once I came up (Because I cut it the day I got on the bus!). We had lots of adventures together! one of them was to have the opportunity to ride a helicopter with him, and take a tour on the Mead glacier (one of the many in Alaska)! Here are a few pictures of this particular adventure! This was a ton of fun, and very educational! We had to wear these big boots over our shoes. I guess they are specially made for glacier exploring! Mine where so big I kept tripping over them, and having to drag my feet. Maybe that was because my legs are to short, and I can't have feet bigger than size 5 shoes, or it is way to out of proportion! By the end of the adventure, I was so sick of stumbling after the group I just decided to do cart wheels (great idea right? NO!) After the first time my hands came up in the air, I felt a stinging pain all along my palm. My hands were bloody. As it turns out the top of a glacier is a sharp surface of ice (that's why they make you wear the silly boots)! Because our company worked with all the other tour vendors in Skagway, our employees could take their tours for free. Discover Alaska Tours (DAT as we call it) was the bus tours, so it was our job to take the tourist to most of the tours. We where a great selling point, and if the drivers (that's what
Ty was) liked the tour, then it sold better. Every one loved the Helicopter tours! We where lucky to get on the same tour!
Ty and I also did lots of other fun things together, one of them was to jump in the Lynn Canal (which should be called a Fjord because it's carved by a glacier, and no man made), it's the pacific Ocean! It was SO cold!!!!
Most of you know, but for those who don't,
I'm petrified by the thought of deep water, with fish in it... because of all my near death experiences, and While I was in Alaska I decided
to get over it... I finally learned how to swim.
Yes, at the age of 20! Yay me!
I'd also like to than
k Ty, and Garrett for helping me out!
After I learned how to jump in, and swim in freezing (literally 29* moving water, that's why it is below freezing) water, there was no stopping it! I jumped in Lower Dewey (A glacier lake that is a 2 mile hike out of town) at least once a week, and I even jumped in Upper Dewey (it's an all day hike, 2 miles up, and a mile past lower Dewey), and Devil's punch bowl (I mile past upper Dewey, this one is the one that is straight off the glacier)! If you look really hard you can see me right in the middle of the picture about to jump in Devil's punch bowl!) You can see the snow, and the tip of the glacier, at the top of the photo!
Posted by Leticia.Mitchell at 10:44 PM
Saturday, October 4, 2008
My start in Alaska was a bit rocky, and I hid in my room for the first week. Going to the Presbyterian church because the LDS evening sessions hadn't started yet. (If i were not LDS I would more than likely be a full out Christian) Every one up there works on Sundays, because that is the way that it works, so the community puts on an evening service. That way all the seasonal workers can go take the sacrament. This is when I started getting to know the Alaskan people! Everyone was welcoming, and friendly. No matter where I went people were willing to start a conversation, and get to know you. It's kind of like they were so used to giving customer services, that it came naturally for everyone to know everyone! Just like home... i just had to make it mine! After that realization I got out a bit more, and started washing buses for overtime pay! I wasn't too happy to know I'd only get Sundays as Adventure Crew (They run the bike tours. The job I applied for back in Utah). I was doing luggage crew, and driving a huge truck between Skagway AK, and Whitehorse (The capital of the Yukon). I had the opurtunity to go in and out of Canada twice a week!
One day we woke up at 6:00 am, and met Ryan (My adviser/ co-worker) at the front of the hotel. He had already pulled the Big truck around, it was waiting out front of the hotel. Some of the guests had already started to stir, and mozie about the lobby. This meant that we would have dazed old tourists staring us down, as we 'gentaly' hauled their luggage down that halls, stairs, outside, and into the truck. After about a week I learned to ignore their unhappy sighs, glares, and high class sniffles. Tourists could always find a reason to complain (yuck!). It was a great feeling to us, the whole crew when Ryan and I took the truck out of sight and up the canyon, all the way to Whitehorse. Normally we would stop somewhere to eat, Ryan would make a phone call, and we would later unload the tourist's luggage at their next hotel. Where it would be sorted, and hauled to their rooms by the Whitehorse Luggage crew. It was my turn to drive back to Skagway (how exciting)! We got to customs and saw that there was a man we hadn't seen yet during the summer. I rolled down my window, and told him that we worked for DAT (Discover Alaska Tours), handed the mustached man our passports and waited for the analysis. He asked if he could search the truck when he got back with our passports. As soon as he left Ryan said that customs couldn't search the truck because the few bags we were bringing back were stuffed full of pot!
That's right, I was driving a truck full of Marijuana across the boarder! Not only that, but my supervisor was the one that was doing it, I could take the fall though! What to do! When he came back, and handed back our passports, I noticed him glancing behind our truck at the line of buses, cars, and trucks. I looked at our watch and said, "Normally they just see that the back is empty, and we just drive through... after all I'll see you twice a week the rest of the summer.
Just then The lady that was normally there walked out and said, "Have a nice day Tee!" Waving us on. I looked at the man as he nodded in appliance to her suggestion. We got through without being checked. Normally they didn't take the time, but I don't think that I've ever sweat so much going across customs! After that I refused to drive on the way back to Skagway.
Just another day in Alaska, right?
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Wow, what a summer! A bunch of you have asked what some of my adventures were. Well all you caring, loving, friends and family of mine... Here are a few:
Getting to Alaska- I got a greyhound bus ticket off the net. In reality I was afraid of all the bus stories that I'd been hearing. How dangerous, even scary people ride public buses; but my budget was very limited. I decided to take the chance. Mom, and dad drove me out to a my CEU room mate's house (Stephanie Sparkman). She drove me to the bus station that night. I remember looking at all the lights and knowing how I would miss Utah, all my friends and family that I was leaving behind. I took one last look over the sunset, and mountains, of the amazing Utah landscape. As the bus station came into view I realized my teeth were clenched, and I hadn't spoken much. My hands were even shaking as I pulled my luggage out of the trunk.
I said my last good byes to my loving friends, the last nurturing faces I'd see for five months! I boarded the bus, each step seemed to be new upon the journey I was embarking. There was a blond homeless looking guy I sat right behind. The people on the bus looked as if they all had their own stories, pain, loss, sickness behind each of their eyes. The girl I sat next to had a searching gaze. I introduced myself, and started talking to her. She opened up, and turned out to be a great girl, who was on to find a better life. A woman got on carrying 2 small children, and there were 2 more huddled closely to her. There was one seat available right next to me, and the little boy took it. He had his little truck, and seemed happy enough.
The bus started to pull away, as I took my last look at the city lights. The guy in front of me was a crazy! He didn't stop muttering to himself almost the whole way to Idaho (my only transfer). A few times I caught his words... stuff like, "I'm gonna kill...", "@#$%^ kids...", "-@#$%ing..." His eyes kept darting around to the young mother, and the kids. Throughout that night the kids cried, kicked, screamed, and fought. I, being right between them, and the bathroom that people were constantly going in and out of; stayed awake most all of that night. A few times the blond guy would sink down, make a clicking-sucking noise, then look around suspiciously. The girl I sat down next to told me that he was smoking crack, (she looked like she knew what she was talking about, but then again I'd never been around it, so I didn't know).
When we finally got to our first stop, the driver came back to him first off, because the young mother had told him what the blond guy kept saying. The driver asked us what was going on, I told him what I saw, and the driver searched the blond guy. As it turns out Blondy had been smoking embalming fluid, (I didn't even know that was possible!) The driver told the company what had happened, and they black listed the guy from ever riding on the buses again. He couldn't get on my next bus to Seattle.
We were at the bus station, waiting for our next bus when Blondy stormed in, and saw me, he looked pissed, as he started toward me he reached into his pocket. I tensed up, and started praying. When a few other people who were on the bus saw what was happening they stood up, and put them selves right next to me. About five of them had seen what had happened, and where clearly for my defense. Blondy stopped in his tracks, sized us up, and stormed out of the station. Everyone (even those who hadn't stood up) relaxed and started walking around again. That was the last time I ever saw Blondy.
I fell asleep as soon as I was on the right bus. Awaking only to a boisterous lady ranting about what had happened from SLC. She had driven trucks all her life, and was going to Seattle from Louisiana. She was one of the people who stood up for me. We became friends and talked most all of the trip. I couldn't help but think that God was with me the whole time, inspiring people to help me, and talk to me. I definitely felt better with the lady there. I hardly notice the changing landscapes, and the Oregon cost flying past my tinted windows.
In Seattle: My friend Courtney was waiting for me at the bus station, just like we had planned! Thanks to her I was fed, hotel-ed, showered, and partied! She even took me to the airport, and saw me off the next morning. I was even asked on a date while I was here. We were goofing off in a parking lot, when Steffy (Court's lil sis.) playfully attacked me. I proceeded to put her unto a full Nelson. A guy from across the lot saw, and exclaimed, "Wow, she knows half Nelson!" He came over and started talking to us. Then he asked for my number, and if I wanted to go on a date that weekend. After sizing him up, (He was really cute) I explained that I didn't have a cell phone, or Internet access, how I was leaving for Alaska in the morning. He didn't look like he believed it, I felt really bad because it sounded like a huge rejection....
Alaska: I found my plane, and caught it in the nick of time! It was pouring in Juno when we landed. The airport was so small they didn't even have security on duty (very different from Seattle). I found my black and white poke-a-dotted bags, and rolled them to my next plane. Being not so thrilled to find out that it was snowing in Skagway, and they couldn't get any flights out that night. I took to the waiting station, and met Brian. A tall handsome young man who was from Pennsylvania, and was headed to Skagway himself. Together we found 3 other girls going to Skagway, and got a taxi to the ferry docks. I had heard that the last ferry left at 4:00pm, and our goal was to be on it. It took 7.5 hrs to get to my new home. The ride was ok. I got bored within the first hour of exploring the cabins, and the same up and down motion of the Pacific ocean waves. The water was green, and I couldn't see any whales. By the time we finally got to our destination the sun was mostly setting, at 11:30 pm! Everyone had some one waiting for them, or holding signs; with the exception of me. Brain's vulgar friends drove me around a deserted looking town, it seemed as if nobody knew the company that I worked for (Discover Alaska Tours). The guys offered to let me stay with them, they were going to drink the night away, and get high (sounds like fun right?). I didn't really have any other options, but to pray. So I prayed.
They took me to this very run down place that was filthy, and had a bunch of foreigners living there. I later found out that they were all Bulgarians; huskily built, dark, hairy, and they all had thick accents. The boys awoke the land lord, a short, plump lady, who was not happy to be pulled from her cozy bed. She looked me up and down through squinted eyes. I could almost tell her every thought. Looking doubtfully at the boys (she seemed to find them as appealing as I did) Finally deciding to help me out, she made a few phone calls. After all, if she didn't take care of this now, I'd probably stick around, and be another pain wondering around. She called Shandra from the Westmark hotel. After hearing who I was and why I was there, she said where I should be. Shandra met us at the hotel, that was just one step up from the place I had just come from. I left the boys at the door, and followed her to a room that smelled like the bar right down the hall, it's shower head was rusted through, the toilet was so stained it probably didn't even work. This is the first time I thought about how silly I was to even do this job. I slept in my sleeping bag, because I didn't trust the beds. All of my tickets were bought one way, and I didn't know what to do but thank God that I had a roof over my head.
In the morning after my first night: I wondered out into a flourishing town. The streets were pack with tourists, all wanting to travel the world in luxury. With their noses up in the air, and hands weighed down with bags, I didn't have much trouble weaving in and out of them. I found the old office, and as it turns out there was my contact man! He took me to my real room, and gave me a key. He told me where to meet that night so I could meet my co-workers; A company party. I started unpacking, thinking that it was better than the room I had been in the night previous. My New Roommate (Carly) came in a few hours later. I didn't even know that I had a roommate.
The Co Party: I got there a little exhausted, and looked for the food I could smell all the way down the road. This was the first stuff I had eaten since I left home, that wasn't in the travel food bag. I grabbed a burger, and looked for the pop... oh, wait it was all bottles, and cans of alcohol. They even had kegs of it! (gross) most of them were already plastered, but the ones I did talk to seemed nice enough. Clarissa and I were the only Mormons on the whole block, and she seemed to be a jack Mormon. A good welcome to Alaska, right?