Monday, November 7, 2011
Hey! I am in California. Still. They haven’t sent me home, yet. Believe it or not.
So, this week has been crazy. Let’s see: Monday I met my companion. Her name is Hermana R and she is from DC and I love her. She has only been in the mission for 6 months but she is great. There are only 7 hermanas in the mission so there’s not a lot of options for trainers. But I love her. I’d still have picked her if there were more options. And you could pick your companions.
We are serving in the Garden Grove –th ward. Our apartment is super nice. We are whitewashing for some elders that (quite frankly) were super disorganized so we have had a lot to work to do. Any future missionaries out there: Keep your area book organized so the sisters that come after you don’t want to lynch you. Also, the First Presidency just started this new training program for missionaries so we have to spend from 8-12 studying and then an hour for lunch and so we don’t even get out until 1pm. It’s hard because I feel like I am not doing any actual missionary work but if the prophet wants it, it’s probably a good idea.
Let’s see– Highlights of the week: Setting the smoke detector off on the first day, having our car broken into, having our license plate stolen at the grocery store, accidently leaving the mission. Much fun. Also, Garden Grove is like, all Asians, and anyone who isn’t Asian is Latino. All of the stores are called like “Happy Lucky Time Smiles Grocery” or “Mother’s Best Donuts and Drinking Water.” I love it. Also, there are donut shops here everywhere. Everywhere. Every-where. I don’t know how people eat so many donuts, but my goal is to eat at every donut shop in my area before I leave. Missionaries are all about making goals.
We’ve been teaching new member lessons to a man named Ruf and teaching his kids and sister and his sister’s parents-in-law the lessons for the first time, at the same time. It’s amazing how many kids here speak English primarily and their parents only speak Spanish. The parents will talk to their kid in Spanish and the kid will respond in English. It’s so interesting that people can make that work. We taught a lesson the other day to Ruf, et al., and it was really hard because the in-laws and sister wanted the lesson in Spanish and the kids wanted it in English, so Sis. R and I were trying desperately to teach one lesson to 6 different people at 6 different levels of understanding with 10,000 different questions in 2 different languages.
We have another investigator, A, who was really excited to have sisters here to teach her and accepted a baptismal date and was excited to progress more through the lessons, but she hasn’t answered our calls or texts for 5 days and didn’t come to church, so we are trying to figure out what happened there. Latinos are so open to religion and just want to talk to us because we are the people who talk about God.
Many people don’t really want to commit to going to church or being baptized because they are just super content with the religion, or lack of religion, that they have. Also, it’s hard to get them to pray about the Joseph Smith story because they say they already know its true and don’t need to pray about it. I mean, they see the Virgin Mary on their toast, so a boy seeing God isn’t that hard to accept, but then they don’t really understand why that is significant or why they need to change as a result of that.
Anyway, so we have taught a lot of lessons, but people just blindly accept what we say and since they accept it, they don’t work to gain a testimony and without working at it, nothing happens. I can’t wait until we finally get everything all sorted out with our area book, etc., so we will know more what we are working with so we can, you know, work.
Long story short, I love it here. It’s SUPER cold. Like, the same weather we were having in Utah. I don’t know why. But the heat in our apartment doesn’t work, so we wear sweat pants under our skirts and then layer on the sweaters. Hna. R is eternally cold like me, which is good, so we can crank up the heat in the car. Also, I wear my purple coat Every. Day. I swear people think it’s the only thing I own. But it’s so cold I need it every day. We are going to Target after this and I am going to look for another coat so I can have a little bit more variety in my life.
Okay, I don’t know what else to say. I bore my testimony in church yesterday. What?! It was partially meant to show people that I can’t speak Spanish so don’t try to talk to me, but that backfired and they told me that my Spanish is great. So nice. But, they told me that in English, so that’s how I know they were lying because they knew I’d only understand it in English. Basically, I didn’t understand anything anyone said to me yesterday so I stuck real close to Hna. R. It’ll get better, right?
I love it here. I love the mission. I love my companion. I love my family. I can do anything good. I can do anything great! (Name that YouTube video). I hope I covered it all (and then some).