Letter Dated Monday, September 16
Hopefully i can give a pretty good overview of what's happened over the past week! It's been awesome and I'm loving it! I left on the 9th to california. We got to to take Frontrunner to the airport which was fun with all of the missionaries that were leaving that day! it was kind of sad when the train stopped in Murray though, but whatever! I got to call Mom and Dad at the airport which was great! We left at 11:30 and landed at 12:30 in Burbank. It was awesome getting to meet the mission president! He's such a great guy! There were about 30 missionaries in who I flew to Cali with. The other 20 were already at the airport when we landed. It was pretty crazy with the amount of missionaries there. All of the zone leaders and Assistants to the President were there so there were about 70 missionaries in the airport! From the airport we headed over to the North Hollywood Stake Center where we ate lunch. After lunch half of the group went proselyting with the Zone leaders. The other half had to do paper work and get interviewed by President. I went proselyting first with Elder Garcia. I was super nervous but I got over it after i talked to the first person. After that it was just super fun! I gave out a couple books of mormon and pass along cards and what not. I loved it! When we got back, we watched this driving video and had to get interviewed by President and the health lady, Sister Arnold. Then we had dinner and took some pictures and got assigned to where we were stayying that night. 30 of us had to stay in a hotel while the rest stayed with senior couples. I stayed in the hotel. When our ride pulled up in the parking lot, the driver got out and he looked really familiar. I then realized it was Jacob Morales, Nefi's brother! it was so good to see him! He was leaving for home the next day. It was awesome! That night I slept like a rock! The next morning we went back to the Stake Center and Sister Hall and the Assistants conducted a training meeting with us for about 2 hours and then we went to transfer meeting. When we walked in the chapel which was filled with missionaries, everyone was singing Called To Serve. It was so cool! We then got assigned to our trainers and areas. I told President during my interview that Lindsy lives in Northridge and he told me that he probably wouldn't have me serve in that area. I was kind of bummed but whatever! I know the Elder serving in the Northridge First Ward and his name is elder Smith. Yes Lindsy he is that black elder you told me about in your email. He was one of my roomates at the MTC and is one of the funniest guys I've met! You'll love him! As for me, I'm serving in the Valencia 3rd ward in Santa Clarita! My trainer is elder Ehninger! He's a great guy and I've learned so much from him over the past week! He's a district leader right now and because of that. Our first day was filled with leadership meetings and stuff. We've been really busy getting everyone in our disrict bikes for their area. We spent a lot of time at bike shops over the past week which was not how I would have liked to spend time but it was ok. We were driving people everywhere since our area is a driving area. Our car is a little Pontiac Vibe. It sucks when you have to back up cause when you do someone has to get out and guide. It's mission rules. It's funny when you look at other people watching you when you're backing up. They just laugh, but that makes me laugh because let's face it I look ridiculus and I would laugh at myself if i saw myself guiding a car out of a garage or parking spot. haha oh I shouldn't complain its not that bad. Anyways, we spent a whole ton of time driving companionships around trying to get bikes. It was frustrating, but we were serving the other elders, and as my trainer says, when you help a companionship, you help all of their investigators and potential investigators. I really liked that way of looking at it. Elder ehninger is awesome. We finally went finding for the first time the other day and it was amazing! We saw miracles. We went tracting and we found this guy in his garage and we talked to him about the Book of Mormon. He said that he had seen us before and that his wife had talked with missionaries before. We asked if we could come over some time and were meeting with him and his wife on Tuesday at 5:00. After that we kept on tracting down the street and wee knocked on this door and the guy who answered said he wasn't interested. We asked him if he knew anyone that was and he pointed to the house across the street. We went over there and this fat shirtless guy answered the door. We told him who we were and he told us he already knew who we were. He said that his best frined in high school was mormon and served his mission and had given him a Book of Mormon. He told us that he had lost that Book of mormon and had wanted to get one ever since. he wouldn't let us teach him, but we gave him a Book with our number in it. He was a really cool guy. Were going to stop by there again sometime this week. We had been finding for about 2 hours before we stopped to eat dinner. After that we tried to go vist some part member families but none of them were home. We then went back to the apartment and said a quick prayer and I pointed to a spot on the map and we went there. We walked around the neighborhood talking to people with no success for about an hour and a half when we came to a busy street corner and we just sat there. My trainer asked me what should we do. I said "i don't know." We knew we were there for a reason and then my trainer said we should just stand on this corner. The idea seemed weird but I felt good about it so we just sat there for like ten minutes. Pretty soon two guys came walking up the street and they asked us "What are you selling." We told them we weren't selling anything, but that we were sharing a message about jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. They quickly responded by saying, "Oh cool, we've got time, enlighten us." We told them about the Book of mormon and its backround and we bore testimony of its truth. One of the guys was really interested and I could tell that he felt the spirit. As we were telling him about the Book of Mormon, his eyes just lit up. We gave him a book and he immediatly started flipping through it and reading the introduction. it was awesome! they were both from L.A. though so we'll never be able to teach them. We did plant a seed however and that was the reason we were supposed to just stand on that street corner. It was so cool! Elder Ehninger has been in this area for 3 months and he's been out on his mission for 9 months which is veteran status for this mission! 60% of the missionaries here have been out 12 weeks or less. There are some trainers who have only been out for 6 weeks! It's crazy! The work here is hastening so much! Elder Ehninger and I taught an investigator this week too. his name is Adrien and my trainer has been teaching him for the past three weeks. Adrien is the most logical, thinking man I have ever met. Elder ehninger warned me about him before we went to the lesson. He's read the Book of Mormon, the bible, and some various LDS Books. He thinks differently than anyone I have ever met and we really didn't teach him anything. He can't accept God. it's almost like he is afraid of him. He thinks that if he prays for things that he is cheating life and he says that he has never really had to ask God for anything. Everything we tell him just leads to another question that doesn't really make sense. I was kind of frustrated. Adrien is just weird. he came to Stake conferance on sunday and we asked him how he liked it. he said it was moving. He apprehensivly said that it was good, but that he didn't know what that meant. Elder Ehninger told me that he studied for ten days for Adrien before I got here and he made up a lesson plan for him. If that lesson plan doesn't work, we will probably drop him. Kind of sad. Elder Ehninger tells me that he thinks like Adrien in a way and that he can kind of relate with him. We also taught a recent convert this week. heather Bowman was baptized on August 24th and we're teaching her the new member lessons. Elder Ehninger taught her and she was his first baptism. I should probably tell you more about elder Ehninger. He is originally from oregon but moved to South jordan a couple years ago. We get along real well and we are both learning a lot from each other. He's had kind of a rough time with companionships. he's gone through like 5 different elders in the past 3 months. one of them went home due to depression and annxiety. he had one for only twelve days because of that, and then he got another one. That one just barely got transferred and I'm his new companion. All in all though, he is a great guy. Thanks for the package mom! I already ate all the zuchinni bread haha! thanks for all the emails! i'll try to write you all personal letters soon!
Love you all!
P.S. my address is 27800 Mcbean parkway Apt. 357, Vallencia California. I don't know the zip code. Sorry! I hope you can look it up! Keep writing! I love it!