Hello families and friends,
Well here is my first email from the Long Beach California Mission. Just for an fyi our preparation day is on Monday. But ya it is pretty awesome here. Right now I am assigned to the Bolsa Chica area with a Spanish speaking ward. Our apartment is in Huntington Beach and we have a 20 min bike ride to where our investigators are. My trainer is (mom and dad you might recognize the name) Elder Kunz. He too is from Smithfield, just a year older than me, and is awesome. It has definitely been a little crazy this first week but am starting to settle down and really start working hard. I will be in this area for 12 weeks for my training.
So ya the language is pretty hard. The hardest part right now is listening and understanding what they are saying. Plus also how to come up with sentences on the spot and making sure that I conjugate and pronounce everything correctly. But the one thing I have noticed is that I am not getting frustrated with it. I was super worried that I would be coming out of every lesson super frustrated because I couldn't understand the people, or I probably said something wrong. But so far that hasn't happened, instead I come out with a feeling of love for that family, or person we are teaching, as well as a determination to learn that language so I can speak better with them.
The people in our area are awesome. We are really close on baptizing someone in the next couple weeks which is awesome. Can you believe that, a couple weeks into the mission and I might already have a baptism. But ya the people are amazing and have a strong desire to do the right thing. So far we have about 3 investigators and a couple less actives or recent converts. All of them are doing really well I have really enjoyed getting to know them and how the gospel can bless their lives. The other cool thing is we have given 3 priesthood blessings which have been a great experience. The work in this area is really booming and I am so glad I have the opportunity to help it progress even more.
So on Sunday I had probably one of the most nervous moments in my entire life. First time in the ward so I am really working hard to get to know the members and the bishopric. But then during Sacrament meeting right after the sacrament the bishop invites another new district in our area and ME to come up and bear our testimony and introduce ourselves. Oh man I was shaking so bad you could probably see the pulpit shaking. But it was a good experience and really helped me overcome a little bit of the language barrier. But still very nerve-racking.
Well I think that kinda wraps everything up. The Gospel is true and can help everyone, no matter their circumstances. I have already seen how it has blessed my lives as well as the lives of the members in our area. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission and to help others come unto Christ by receiving His restored gospel on the Earth today. I know that He is helping me now, getting familiar with the area and the people in our area. I know that He can help everyone, if we turn to Him for His help and have faith that we will receive that help.
Talk to you all next week,
PS. Here are a couple pictures from my last day in the MTC
Since the temple was close the last two weeks of my stay in the MTC we had a lot of time during P-day. So we had a killer Shoe polishing session.
Our last temple walk in the MTC. And last picture with the elders in our district.
Our district with one of our teachers, Hermano Klabacka. He came in about halfway into our time in the MTC
After taking our group pictures with Hermano Klabacka, he caught this picture of him. It was pretty cool and thought I would share it with you.
Here is me and Hermano Klabacka in my last day in the MTC. Just a side note, my hair is super short because the barber who cut it had an "oops" moment and cut too much on the side. So she just went shorter. I thought it was pretty funny.