March 5. 2012
Courtney sent me a letter this week with Valentines from historical tyrants. Trotsky was my favorite. Other gems: “Quit Stalin and be my Valentine”; “Roses are Red, So is the State. Be my Valentine ‘Cause I Think You’re Great. – love Marx”. I’m a sucker for Soviets!
Transfers were today. Drumroll please: I’m in……Garden Grove! And my companion is…..Sister Ba. So, Sister R left and went back to Anaheim from whence she came, and I got Sister Ba, Sister Br’s (my MTC comp) trainer. She’s pretty great. Changes are always awkward and I was really sad to see Sister R go but I am excited for the change. Also, Sister Ba was in her last area for 9 months. So, she gives me hope that I can stay here in Garden Grove for my entire mission.
With transfers, our area once again got cut in half. We lost a lot of the Asian parts and now we are being forced to chart the uncharted territory of our area, which is mostly white. It was so weird to drive through so many middle class white streets on our search for Hispanic pockets. The streets weren’t crowded with illegally parked cars; there were no Christmas decorations to be found; no one was smiling. Thankfully, almost all of our investigators are still in the pockets in our area. We did lose one.
Let me tell you his story: J was a faithful Jehovah’s Witness for 20 years until he one day decided that it was not the correct church. He started talking to his daughter, who was baptized a few years ago and is sealed in the temple. He started reading the Book of Mormon, etc., but he had a cousin with terminal cancer and needed to care for him. His cousin died a few months ago and as he put it, “I am very sad he died, but it is good because now I can go to church.” He told us he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true, we have a prophet today, and this is the true church. We’ve only met with him a couple times and he is ready for baptism. He just wants to attend church consistently for a while and really establish himself there before he makes a covenant as important as baptism. So, the new elders there will totally have his baptism fall into their laps. He is such a great guy. He is a truck driver and he dresses just like Grandpa P so it’s just like hanging out with my grandpas when we see him. Except he is much more talkative than they will ever be.
I went on exchanges this week in Santa Ana/Orange. Orange is a really cute city. Super white. We went knocking a bit there and I’ve never been so rejected my whole mission. Lots of Lutheran churches and cute houses. It was weird to go to places I recognized from coming to visit you while you lived there and having memories of my family where I am serving my mission.
I think that’s all. We have so many people on the verge of baptism. It is painful! There is something stopping them all from getting that extra little push to make it into the water. I am praying my heart out trying to find out what I can do to push them. I will literally push them into the water, if necessary.
It will be good to get some fresh blood into this area and hopefully Sister Ba can wake up our investigators a little bit so they can buck up and make the covenants they need to make.
I love you!
(P.S. For those of you who asked how Jesslyn took the news of our beloved dog, Sophie, being put to sleep last week — we’ve had her since Jess was 11:
“I cried a bit. I love that dumb dog. I’m glad she lived in luxury on her last leg of life and that she got to go out at home with you guys. Arg, I’m going to tear up again. I love you.”)