August 10, 2015

First Week in LA!

I feel it necessary to start with a few things about my last week in the CCM. 
First, everyone kind of got better, no hospital trips. The last few days were filled with talks with the teachers, getting us pumped for the mission. Our night teacher pulled Elder Barrett and I aside and told us that it is rare to find two Elders like us pushing ourselves. He said that usually the Sisters pull ahead in the MTC and set the bar, but Elder Barrett and I were great examples and were pulling our weight and in some aspects leading the district, AS IT SHOULD BE! Just kidding, I am SO grateful for our Sisters, honestly they were the bomb and I'm grateful for their diligence and the friendships I made. When did I start saying the bomb?

We had in-field orientation at the CCM, I don't know why...We had talks about how to prepare and such but honestly didn't do much...but some good principles! On Saturday, we said goodbye to all our teachers, which was hard. I love them. Gahhh.
It was fast Sunday, so we fasted, starved, and had a good time. I watched Meet the Mormons for the first time, and listened to a devotional with Elder Bednar. A few thoughts from that:
  • Natural man = Cookie Monster - "I want it NOW"
  • If we want to conquer the natural man and become as Christ, we must turn out.  Christ never turned in, he never thought about himself or what he needed. After his suffering in the garden, after the ATONEMENT, and after Peter cut off one of the guards ears, HE HEALED IT! Christ just suffered for EVERYTHING, he was physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally spent, and he turned out and thought of others. Think of others, He will take care of you if you take care of others
  • There is a difference between testimony and conversion - Alma 23: 5-6
  • We have the veil so we don't get homesick. Have a brightness of hope for the day we can return. :)
  • There is no growth in your comfort zone, and no comfort in your growth zone. 

ANYWAY!! Flew to LA! Arrived! YES! Had lunch and did paperwork, driving test (They said I was the best driver of the 17 new missionaries), a quick nap and then they sent us out street contacting! Elder Carver (my companion for the day) and I went on a trio with Elder Runsbottom (yes, yes indeed) out into the streets of downtown LA for 2 hours. WE PREACHED THE RESTORED GOSPEL! and I had a smile on my face. :) It was SO FUN! Honestly, we talked to so many different kinds of people, from who knows how many countries, languages, and backgrounds. LA is a world mission on its own, let me tell you. We got a bunch of referrals, gave out 4 copies of the Book of Mormon, like 40 pass along cards and several full length pamphlets. I even did some contacts in Spanish! It was crazy! Then Elder Carver and I were picked up by a member and drove along the Santa Monica coast to his house where we talked with him and his family for like 3 hours and then died. What I learned that night from them about parenting:
  • Love your kids because they are Gods. They are only on loan to you from God and He has trusted you to raise them. You are really raising adults, we are just blessed to have come before them to prepare the way and teach them. Mosiah 4: 14-15
Transfer Day! I'm sure you all got the picture of me and my trainer, Elder Guerrero!
  He is 5'5", 21 and from Houston Texas, what is it with me and Houston Texas companions? He served in Brazil for 10 months before his VISA went weird and he was sent home, now he is reassigned to LA! He has been here for only 1 transfer! So he has learned Spanish from Portuguese in 1 transfer and as far as I can tell, he is fluent. Gahh. I need the gift of tongues. But honestly, he is my trainer and district leader and its been great! Elder Guerrero says my Spanish is pretty good for a greenie. So lets hope that's true, haha! People here talk way faster than at the MTC...I wonder why? ;) kidding. 

Guess what my area is. COMPTON! I told you mom. Yes, so Elder Guerrero and I are in the Torrance North Area, and we go as far east as you can in the mission, so Compton and a little bit of Lawndale. It is so cool! Also, we are a driving area, and I am the driver. Our apartment is...well it's in Compton, gotta love it! First day out in the area (Tuesday), we got 2 new investigators, and one of them now has a baptismal date! I'm stoked, and the area has so much potential, for the most part people are pretty nice, but you get the occasional....well Yeah!
There is so much I could say! Gahh! OK, so Elder Guerrero and his previous companion got two baptisms, Br and Da (I dont know if I can use their this will do!) However, they never got confirmed because the baptism was after church. So this Sunday it was supposed to happen! Well! We went over, I think Thursday, and their car had broken down.. so that was fun.. Long story short: They like disappeared Friday, Saturday and Sunday and they didn't get confirmed.  They also bailed on us to go see Meet the Mormons at the temple. But all is well, we will see them later today and make sure everything is ok! 

We have 3 people set for baptism dates and we have a ton of investigators and recent converts, so we have plenty of people to teach and find and such! The people are awesome! Funny things: During my first contact in Spanish Tuesday, I was kinda nervous and we walked up, knocked and a little boy answered, I said: "Hola! Es su mama aqui in su...home?" COME ON ELDER! CASA = HOME, I knew that before the mish! I don't know, it was funny in the moment, you had to be there. It's not even that funny. ANYWAY! 
On Friday, we went on splits. I went with Elder Monegro who is deaf, and guess what, He is an ASL missionary! So I got to spend Friday and Saturday morning with him and that was so fun! I got to brush up on signs and it was pretty sweet! The ASL missionaries cover LA and Long Beach missions, so I got to have lunch in the middle of the Long Beach mission, which means we drove for about an hour through LA and Long Beach and it is BEAUTIFUL! I'm so glad I'm here in California. :)
Church was good, all in Spanish, Elder Guerrero got to translate (We had an English speaker, stake member I think) and I met the Bishop! Honestly, one of the coolest guys I have ever met and he is fluent in English! Sweet! 
I think I will end with some fun facts: 
  • I love the food here, mostly all Mexican food, but I have had everything from Wendy's to Vietnamese food. 
  • Yesterday we had quesadillas with chicken in them, but the wife later told us that she used the WHOLE chicken, feet, heart and everything. They were dang good
  • Members here are awesome and always want to help out. We get fed every dinner by a member family. 
  • We have already been to the temple to watch Legacy with investigators. We teach in both Spanish and English, so that's been good to start me off with how to teach and then I just have to work on doing it in Spanish, which I know will come. But we can teach and contact in English and then we just throw them over to the English missionaries. 

Scripture of the Week: Mosiah 23:21 - The Lord chastens those he loves. We are not being punished, but rather He wants us to become better and stronger. Be patient and have faith. He loves you.
I love you! Thank you for everything! I can't wait to start my adventure here in the field. I love it already and can't wait for what is in store! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment