From Orange, With Love

January 22, 2013

This week was good. That’s how all my emails start off, isn’t it?
Monday was the best P-day of my life. We went up into the hills until it was kind of mountain-y and we climbed on things: rocks, trees, old fences. It was the best. There were no buildings and no sirens and no people. It was so great. I’d forgotten how claustrophobic it feels in Orange County sometimes. The elders had fun pushing over, dead trees until one almost landed on my head. Then we had a really good Noche de Hogar with a member family and their neighbors.
Tuesday we taught the G’s (J 2 and M) and not only were did both of the parents agree to let us teach them at the same time, but they sat on the same couch (although there was a kid in between them). Quite the accomplishment.
Wednesday we taught M (J 2’s wife)’s best friend, Y. We’d talked to her a few times on Highland, but she was never super interested until we started seeing her at M’s house and she let us set an appointment. We’ve taught her twice and she’s pretty good. She has a nephew in Mexico who is Mormon and she talks to him about his beliefs all the time and really likes what he tells her.
We’ve also started working with this less-active family, the J’s, at the request of the bishopric. The mom and kids are pretty solid, but the dad doesn’t really have a testimony so we’re trying to get him to want to go to church with the rest of his family. They are a really cute and fun family and I like them and the husband seems to like us, which is always a plus. They also love Sister R and think I am really cool because I was her companion. They have a Christmas card she sent them last year when we were companions that they’ve kept so they recognized me as soon as I got into the ward.
Friday was the busiest day we’ve had in a long time, which is saying something since this has been the busiest transfer of my mission. We taught J 1’s roommate F with this guy who recently came back to church. He bore the best testimony and it was a really good lesson. Except that we were teaching the Word of Wisdom and he and the other member we brought with us were kind of teaching their own interpretation of the Word of Wisdom, which wasn’t 100% true. But, I’d count the lesson as a success overall.
After that we went and taught the G’s with a recently returned missionary. She took the kids and entertained them all in the kitchen while we taught the parents (once again both sitting on the same couch, but this time without the kid in the middle). We went over Word of Wisdom again and when we left, we took with us a pack of cigarettes, an iced tea, and a can of coffee.
Saturday was also packed with appointments, but none of which actually came to pass. We got asked on Friday to give the temple tour on Saturday, so we spent some time preparing for that. The other sisters in our district also had to give it so we carpooled but then there weren’t very many people so only the other sisters had to do it. We got in the car and almost left, and then we remembered that we had to drive the other sisters back so we had to sit around the church across the street for an hour and wait for them. Not the most productive use of time.
Sunday was ward conference and it was pretty good. Except that M called us in the morning and said that her kids were tired and didn’t want to get up for church, so they didn’t come.
Sunday evening, J 1 baptized his friend, H, who lives in the elders’ area. It was so fun to see him baptize his friend. It took him four tries. Also, H’s wife doesn’t like the elders, I don’t really know why, but she wants to learn about his new church so we get to start teaching her. That’s exciting. Almost all the people we are teaching right now stem from J 1, which is really cool.
Yesterday we also had a really fun zone activity. We rode the Santa Ana River trail (which, as you know, Dad, is not the most scenic) to Newport and then along the Pacific Coast Highway and had lunch. It was so much fun. I don’t even really like the beach but seeing it and smelling it was so much fun and made me want to go. I got to go on exchanges with Hna H, the visa-waiter in the other sisters’ companionship, because we are the only 2 uninjured sisters in the zone. I adore her and we had a lot of fun. Also, this zone and district are the best I’ve had my whole mission, and I like them all a lot. Hna H finally got her visa and leaves for Spain tomorrow which is exciting for her but sad for the rest of us.
That’s pretty much all the happened this week and I’m sure it was much more information than you’d actually care to hear about, but I hope you found something worthwhile in there. I love you all, kind of a lot.
Con amor,
Jess
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