Hello My Dear Family!!!
WELL! What a week it has been!
Brand new companion, brand new area, brand new everything, almost!
I LOVE it though!
My new companion is Sister Dickson, from Virginia (the D.C. area), and she's WONDERFUL! I'm pretty sure I ended up with one of the easiest missionaries to train ever...she pretty much came trained. She really is great -- she loves the work and is super excited for it, she's a great teacher, she works hard, and just loves being here! The very first day, when we take the brand new missionaries out tracting for a few hours, I actually got to go with her (this was before they decided who was training who...they just pair the new missionaries up with whatever trainer and then send us out), and I was just amazed. She was really excited to go out and work, and at the first door, she just opened up her mouth and went for it! I was scared to death that first day!!! Anyways, she's great. Her spanish is really good too, and she loves to speak it at any chance. We're really enjoying working together here, and as challenging as it is to "flush"/"whitewash" an area, it's been fun and exciting...like I wrote last week: refreshing, yet stretching. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have Sister Dickson for a companion though; I don't think I could have asked for a better "goldie" (that's what we call greenies here in the CLAM), or even a better companion for this adventure!!!
Speaking of my new area, Marina del Rey is BEAUTIFUL!!! ESPECIALLY down by the marina...all the boats, and the smell of the salt air...it's great! The demographic and just overall feel of this area is completely different than Downey, but I love it! It's much more laid-back, and yet much more professional and high-tech at the same time (the overall population here is quite a bit wealthier than in Downey). It's been challenging to figure out what to do and how to work here, especially since neither one of us knows the area, but I feel like we're finally starting to get it, and are finally getting more things into our schedule than just tracting/contacting. It took a little while those first few days to kinda get a feel for the area, and to figure out what works well, but we decided to just work as hard as we can, keep all the rules, follow the Standards of Excellence, and pray pray pray!!! We're both feeling really good about this upcoming week, especially after church yesterday. We're covering 3 different wards here: Westdale 2nd (a family/mid-singles ward), Santa Monica 3rd (a young singles ward), and La Cienega (a spanish ward). So far, we really love them; there's just so much life in these wards! This week, we decided to be bold and really use being brand-new to our advantage. So during ward council, we asked the bishops if we could have a couple of minutes during sacrament meeting to stand up and introduce ourselves and maybe bear our testimonies. They, of course, were happy to let us; so during sacrament meeting we stood up, introduced ourselves, and took just a few minutes to let the whole ward know that we are SO excited to be here in their ward, and that we're looking forward to visting and getting to know them, and that we're ready to work hard in this area of the Lord's vineyard. And then the bold part...we told them that our purpose as missionaries here in Marina del Rey is to BAPTIZE, and we're here to do it! Yep, straight from the pulpit. We read a few verses from the BofM that talk about that, and then just said it straight out: we're here to baptize! The thing is, we KNOW that the field here really is white, and here we are, ready to harvest! That means baptism, and THAT means that we need their help!
Anyways, it was pretty exciting, and we were able to meet a lot of great members; These wards are great, and we really ARE excited to be here, to work, and to baptize! The great thing about being flushed into an area, especially with a goldie, is that neither one of you really knows WHAT to expect (as far as stereotypes, etc), so you just go for it with all you've got! PLUS, with Sis. Dickson, I've got the extra bit of "greenie-fire" that comes out of the MTC. LOVE IT!!!
Alrighty, I'm about done, but just a few more quick things:
If somebody could maybe facebook Jessica Gunson for me, I just wanted to let her know that I'm now serving in her old singles ward -- Santa Monica 3rd -- and she's still remembered and loved :)
We're going to head over to Target today because I need to buy another sweater or two...it's chillier here than in Downey.
Oh! I don't think that I ever said thank you for my favorite part of that package that you sent me -- the homemade GRANOLA!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I have been thoroughly enjoying it!
Ok, well, that's about it for this week. I love and miss you all tons, but I am LOVING being a missionary here in California, and I'm safe and happy and well!
I Love You!!!
I Love Being a Missionary!!!
ps HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!
pps We met an old jewish woman from Romania this week who thinks that Jesus was just a chiropractor...yeah...