Friends and Fam,
Whoops, my bad. I tooootally spaced to tell you all last week that I would be writing on a Wednesday this week…my b. But we had a General Authority come to the mission on Monday so I’m excused…sort of. So in case you’re wondering I’m still here in the San Fernando valley alive and well! It’s been a very interesting past week and a half.
My new companion’s name is Elder Nielsen from Sandy, Utah. Craziest fact of the week: he went to the same school as Elder/Hermano Kimball! I just can’t escape these #BeetDiggers. He’s already gained the reputation as the cutest Eldercito in the mission, so that’s a plus. It’s been quite the experience training a new missionary. It reminds me when I first got here fresh off the plane and literally had no idea what to do once I hit the pavement. But luckily the MTC must be putting some secret sauce in the food or something because all these youngin’s are coming out pre-trained! Elder Niesen is such a beast. When we found our 5th new investigator together he straight up invited him to be baptized with no fear, and the guy said yes! I honestly feel like I’ve learned more from him than he’s learned from me. The cool thing about training is that you get to review all the basics of missionary work and it really helps me identify ways in which I can improve. Sometimes I forget that I’m not the missionary being trained?
This new area is a minefield of baptisms waiting to blow. We have several investigators that have been taught by several different missionary companionships in the past that basically already know everything/come to church every week/know the Book of Mormon is true/etc but just haven’t decided to take that step of faith which is baptism. Most of them have the concern: “I’m just not ready yet! I don’t know enough! The situation has to be perfect or else I won’t do it!” Okay maybe I exaggerated a little on the last one but that’s how I feel sometimes. It reminds me of a scripture in Mosiah 18:10
“Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?”.
I like it more in Espanol because it sounds a little more fuerte:
“¿qué os impide ser bautizados?” (What is keeping you from being baptized?)
Honestly I have no idea what reasons they have for not being baptized! Safe to say we will likely be sharing that in a few lessons this week.
The best thing about the new area is the new apartment. And by that I mean our apartment is nasty. I think we’re the first ones to deep-clean it in years. The most pleasant aspect about it is that we have a major cucaracha problem. We kill at least 15-20 every day. As part of this deep-cleaning process we swept behind the fridge…and we basically found the cucaracha mother lair. After emptying out half our can of Raid spray the carnage resulted in a fist-size heap of animalitos. So of course, pics below (viewer discretion advised). And it seems like past missionaries tried exterminating the apartment but to no avail. Pray for me please haha.
Returning to the #BikeLife has been soooo great by the way. Sometimes I have so much fun hitting curb jumps and speeding down California hills that I forget about Elder Nielsen and leave him pedaling as fast as his little legs can go a half-mile behind. Ah. So good. Good ole’ Rojita has been treating me well.
Like I mentioned earlier, on Monday we had a General Authority visit us: Elder Hamula, member of the first quorum of the 70. It was way legit. Basically an 8 hour devotional on missionary work. He talked to us about the importance of developing a Christlike attribute not found in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel: sobriety. Other than being not borracho, don’t ask me what that means yet because I’m still working on it. Something about being light-hearted, but not light-minded (don’t ask me about that either). Cool study topic I would recommend to any missionary (aka everyone).
Before I forget, I’ll probably be emailing next Tuesday since the library will be closed for Labor Day. Haha. Sorry again. I took a ton of pics these past 2 weeks so enjoy. Que pasen buena semana!