I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how time is going so stinkin' fast. Here I am, at the library at the beginning of week 5, writing to you about week 4 of transfer 4. I better just accept the fact that life as a missionary goes about 2.7x faster than non-missionary life. Maybe part of it has to do with living our lives on a 6 week schedule, yup, that's it.
Well, this week was pretty awesome. Monday we had zone activity where we played savage ball (free for all dodgeball) & volleyball. The only thing bad about having zone activity is that the stake center is 30 minutes from our house, so if we want to go home & shower before we have dinner at 6, we have to leave by 5 at the latest! Way different than in Chino Hills because we lived 5 minutes from the stake center... So we left the stake center around 5:10 & figured we didn't have enough time to go home, shower then go to dinner all the way across our area from where we live, so we'd just drive to their house & change our clothes there. We get to their house about 20 minutes before dinner, so we sit back & relax in our truck.....then I realize.. "Sister 'O, we left our clothes at the church!" uhhhh. We decided we'd just tell Sister B that we were gonna run home to get new clothes, but come to find out, dinner is pretty much ready & if we go home the pancakes, banana & COCONUT pancakes that is, will be cold! So she said "I won't tell!" So we ended up having a very casual dinner with Brother & Sister B. It was weird, but way comfortable. hahah After dinner we went home to change and we had a lesson with M, a recent convert.
I hope you know by now that Tuesdays are the craziest of days. Not in a bad way, just crazy. This Tuesday was no different. Before district meeting, we dropped off our truck at PepBoys to get an oil change & the Hermanas picked us up to go to district meeting. District meeting was awesome not only because of what I learned but I GOT A PACKAGE! After DM the hermanas dropped us off at PepBoys & our truck wasn't done so we sat & waited & I opened my package!!! SO MANY GOODIES. I knew the girls spent their own money. It was so sweet. Really touching. THANK YOU!
Luckily we were only waiting at PepBoys for maybe 30-40 minutes, then we drove home for lunch.
After lunch we took our truck to the H's so he could work on the scratch before zone conference on Thursday. It took him so long to get started on it, it was 15 minutes before we were supposed to have dinner, so we called the As & asked if they could pick us up so we could leave our truck there. So we went to the A's for dinner & they got us Chinese food. I don't remember the last time I had Chinese food..it was delicious! After dinner, we worked off our food by jumping on the trampoline!
After dinner, they took us back to the H's to wait for our car. He still wasn't done with it, so we went inside & talked with Sister H for awhile & drank some herb tea because it was abnormally cooooold outside. When Brother H was done we went home & Sister 'O packed her bags.
You may be wondering why my comp packed her bags, it's because we were going on exchanges with the STL's (Sister Training Leaders). Sister 'O went to Apple Valley with Sister W (England) & I stayed in Phelan with Sister F (Samoan from New Zealand/Australia). I was pretty nervous to be staying in Phelan when I'd only been here 3 weeks, but it turned out pretty awesome! Maybe cuz Sis F is awesome, especially her accent!
In the morning we shampooed our truck because zone conference in the morning. I say shampoo because we didn't have any soap, so the only thing we could think of to use was my coconut shampoo hahaha. After that we had a lesson with a less active, B, who had a stroke in the past & forgot everything, so she wanted the missionaries to teach her the lessons. We taught the Plan of Salvation. Then we visited the Ms, but weren't able to have a lesson with them, then we went to visit V & her daughter D. We got there and they walked outside saying they weren't feeling well, so we didn't get a lesson with them either, but ended up talking with them outside for a good 40 minutes. Looking back Sister F & I were kicking ourselves for not sharing a scripture or something both with Sister M & V & D...
From there we headed over to our appointment with C & we MADE SURE we were not late. We even got there before she was home. Sister S (member of the ward) came to the lesson. She and C can relate in past experiences & they have a good friendship, so good a friendship they would go off on their own conversation for about 10 minutes in the middle of when we were trying to share a lesson...the lesson was all over the place, but it was good for C to talk to sis S. We didn't have dinner with a member, so we were planning on taking dinner at 5, but the lesson with C went over, & we had another lesson at 6, so we went to visit J. Then we had a lesson with another couple and taught tithing & fast offerings. After that we went home & had dinner until we exchanged back. Sister F was awesome but I missed my companion!!
Thursday we had to wake up at 6am, so that tells you how my day was... ;) ...kidding. it was great! we had zone conference in Apple Valley at 8am, we were supposed to be there at 7:45 & we got there at 8:05...my gps (Sister 'O) told me to turn left down a road I was supposed to turn right on & we went for at least 10 miles before we realized it.... but it turned out fine. We talked a lot about how there are different areas in the mission field: planting, watering, and harvesting. Each is important. Just because you may not see the results of your labor, does not mean you can't find joy in the work. You should be able to find joy in ALL aspects of missionary work. President showed a few clips from past general conferences that were HILARIOUS. One in particular was President Hinckley & he said something along the lines of "It's warm in here. I know you're warm, but you're not as warm as you will be if you don't repent." hahahaha too funny.
After zone conference they fed us lunch. I got to see Sister M, but she was mainly the only person I knew there besides those in my zone. A couple other elders from my first zone were there too. After lunch, we drove back to Phelan. We went over to the H's because I told them I would help her granddaughter K with spelling because you practically have to pull her teeth to do her spelling words. I had some success with getting her to do it, but still not much. Oh well, I tried. haha. Then we had dinner with the Es/ward coordination.
Friday morning we drove to the stake center where a member from Sis 'O's first area/lady who works in the dentist office picked us up. Sister S, who was Sis 'O's trainer & who went home a couple months ago was there to surprise her. It was fun. It was also pretty cool for me because my first day in the mission field after we got off the plane & went to the mission office, we went out tracting with missionaries in Rancho & Sister S was one of the sisters I went out with. Anyway, sorry, I get stuck sometimes on unimportant details. We got breakfast at Panera then went to the dentist for Sister O's appointment. After that, we went home to weekly plan/bake cookies. We had dinner at the H's & then had a lesson with S.
Saturday we went to a funeral of a member of the ward. I never met him. He was only about 64 years old, and he died from cancer. After, we helped serve at the luncheon. Then we had to go home to finish weekly planning/updating the area book. I was looking through former investigators & came across some who had baptismal dates & the missionaries teaching at the time who don't keep good records.. SIDE NOTE: it's super important to keep good records of people you visit or else you come across a teaching record that says "found them tracting, they let us in & we taught the restoration, committed them to baptism, they accepted & want us to come back to teach them more!" & that's it. No follow up visits or reasons for dropping them.
Anyway, we came across a guy named B & Sister 'O called him. They talked for a bit, he brought up how he used to meet with "the guys" & how he even had a baptismal date set. He said he'd like us to come over & he wants to feed us dinner too! that was a MIRACLE! He's neighbors with the Es, so we'll see if they can come too, because B lives alone. Also, Sis E said he's kinda strange, but we'll see about that. haha.
We went to visit a family that we just got their records for. We left the address at home on accident, but we tried the house the week before, but they were having a party, so we knew we'd recognize the house when we saw it. We get there & turns out it's not the W family, but we talked to a guy who is good friends with a member of our ward & although he's not interested in learning (he's a deacon at his church) he gave us a referral of his neighbors down the street! too bad these neighbors have a locked gate...but we'll keep trying. We had dinner with the Ds and then after went to give cookies to M. We got there & her great uncle R was there & they'd just had a 3hr long conversation about religion. Mind you, she's 16 & a recent convert of a couple months. She brought out the book of mormon, Doctrine & covenants, for the strength of youth, etc. He said that he would take a book of mormon & read it & even go to church down the hill where he lives. I asked him if he needed a copy of the book of Mormon & he said yeah. So we gave him that & a pamphlet of Joseph Smith's testimony.
Sunday we had church, home for lunch, studies, then out to visit people. We weren't able to get in with anybody though. We had dinner with the Ss. Really good fish curry. but after both sister 'O & I weren't feeling well so we went home. We ended up going to sleep around 9pm! It was really bearable waking up this morning at 6:30 because we got an extra 1.5hrs of sleep :)
Thanks again for the package & everything else you do for me! I love you all & thank you for the love & support you show me. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing now. Although, it's tough & sometimes feels like I'll be a missionary forever, I know that I'll reflect on these 18months for the rest of eternity.
love you! have a great week, talk to you soon...like really soon. Mother's day is just around the corner. :)
xoxo Sister Viraldo