“A Rabbi, A Priest and a Mormon Walk into a Bar…”

May 14, 2012

….I don’t actually have a punch line for that, but I figured it would intrigue you enough to actually read this letter.

It was great to hear your voices yesterday. My family is great. It’s kind of ridiculous how often I pull out my family pictures in lessons. Because, frankly, that’s what the gospel is all about: families. And mine is pretty wonderful.

Hna B and I went to find legit Korean food last week. Instead of Korean though, we ended up at this super trendy Japanese place where we totally didn’t fit in but we had some pretty awesome udon, so I can’t complain. I feel that food updates are some of the most important to give you.

For our zone activity, we went to probably the only piece of land in all of Orange County that is not filled with apartment buildings. It was super pretty and nice and I remembered how much I love nature. Sister R let me climb a tree. I begged her probably every day that we were together if I could do it and she always said no. Now that I’m not her companion, she says she feels no responsibility for me and it doesn’t matter if I break my neck. I did not, for the record, break my neck by climbing the tree.

We had our last English class on Tuesday. That was pretty sad.

We had a great lesson with C where she told us that she is using not wanting to get married as an excuse not to get baptized. So, that’s great. Not that she is coming up with excuses, but that she realizes that she’s making excuses and needs to get on with it already.

We taught our new family 4 times this week. We are almost done teaching them everything. Hopefully they will actually pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon instead of taking our word for it all. They are such a great family. They keep trying to pay us for coming over and we have to keep telling them that A) they can’t, and B) what we have is free for all so come and partake of the fruit that is delicious above all other fruit. Okay, we didn’t actually say that. But we felt it.

On Thursday, the zone leaders of another zone asked us to “babysit” a sister while her trainer went to a leadership meeting in Newport. On the way to take her back, the 405 was SO backed up. We got off before it got to bumper to bumper traffic, but on an overpass, we saw how crowded it was. They had traffic stopped in both direction for about 7 miles during rush hour and people were out of their cars wandering around.

The traffic on the streets off the 405 was also incredibly backed up so we kept going south until we got out of traffic. And we ended up waaaaaaaaaay outside of the mission (don’t worry. The APs pardoned us) and ended up in Newport about 2 hours after we left.

That was fun. On the way back, the APs gave us a different route back to our area on the Pacific Coast Highway. The first and probably only time I will ever see the ocean on my mission! We drove through that town that we went to during Christmas 2 years ago to see the boat light parade. It is so surreal when I occasionally go to places that I remember from then and realize that I have memories of being with my family in the mission that I am now serving in.

The ward Mothers’ Day party was awesome. I wish I would have had my camera. The mariachi band was great (and pretty terrible) and sang about 7 songs about Guadalajara. Sister B and I are still searching for mariachi clothing so we can make our own band. Oh, also, she told me that BYU has a non-audition orchestra for people who just want to play but aren’t super serious about it and we (she used to play violin) both really want to do that. I am so excited. I’m going to learn to play viola again!

We went to go to an appointment this week and E wasn’t there but this old lady flagged us down so we went and talked to her. She mumbled a lot so we couldn’t understand what she was saying until we realized that that was probably because she wasn’t speaking English OR Spanish. I asked her if it was Russian, and she said Romanian. Then she proceeded to talk to us for about 45 minutes. It didn’t seem to deter her at all that we couldn’t understand a lick of what she was saying. I actually tried out a bit of my Russian on her, because the 2 languages are supposedly pretty similar, but she didn’t seem to understand it. She took a Book of Mormon out of Sister B’s hands and started sobbing and talking and crying and talking and we have no idea about what but we’re going to go take her one in Romanian. Before we left, she gave us some blini with apricot jam, so that was nice. Yeah, Eastern Europe!

Was this letter sufficiently long and boring enough for you? Next time you want to hear about traffic in Southern California, or what I ate for lunch last Monday, or climbing trees, let me know. I have a stockpile of pointless stories to share.

Thanks again for talking to me yesterday and for encouraging and loving me. You are so great.

Love you!

Jess

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