July 20, 2015
Mom and Dad!
I just got to talk to you on the phone from the airport, which was amazing. I know why they don't have us do that often, it really made me miss you. From the lane, Bakersfield looks to be made of saucers of brown and occasional green dots of trees and farms. And I stepped off the plane and felt like I was going to melt and felt as though I was blinded by the sun, even though it was cloudy.
But besides all that, I got this overwhelming feeling of excitement and a knowledge that this is the place where I'm supposed to be. I'm proud to be in the "armpit of California," (everyone here refers to it like that too).
Everyone is so nice! It was strange meeting Sister Moon in person,l but she is so sweet, along with every other missionary here. And the president and his wife are so nice and friendly! Our interview and just chatting after the plane felt so natural. I feel like I've known them forever.
Tons of logistics being thrown at me right now, I've had to write your email down about 20 times. And I got a huge binder of information, I think I've gotten enough paper and books to burn a fire long enough to cook a 5 course meal. And I feel the need to memorize it all. Thank goodness I don't have to.
The plane was delayed an hour. And it was tiny and shaky and terrifying. I talked to a few people in the airport, one of their best friends is Mormon! the Bakersfield airport is nonexistent, we just walked off the plane to the floor outside. the actual building is smaller than Flower Hill Elementary School.
The Air Conditioner works! And since it's dry, sweat evaporates quickly! I can't wait to get to know all the people here.
I love and miss you all so much.
July 27, 2015
I'll just go through the last week of the MTC briefly. I really miss my district and zone, they're truly amazing, but they're going to kill it in San Jose, Tucson, Ft. Lauderdale and Winnipeg! Our last day there we watched Meet the Mormons and it was really cool watching it from a missionary perspective. I wanted to show it to everyone and shout from the rooftops, it makes me want to go out and do something with my life! It's also only a little over an hour and on Netflix, so if anyone wants to watch it i highly recommend it ;)
I feel myself gradually becoming a better teacher and I had a few experiences where I felt like I wasn't even talking, the spirit was just putting words into my mouth to say because on my own I was at a loss for words. It's such a great experience being part of this work and having the Lord on our side to help others draw close to him.
Last Monday we woke up at 1:40 am to catch our flight at 5:45 am. Our layover in Denver was 4 hours since the flight was late, and the plane for Bakersfield was so small. I looked out the window to see if we were close and I saw death and brown as far as the eye could see and knew I had reached the promised land. Sure enough, the pilot said like 2 minutes later we were beginning our descent into Bakersfield. it looks like a checker board once you see all the nut tree farms. I stepped off the plane and felt my skin begin to melt, it was so hot and actually humid that day. It's the strangest thing, it's all dead but as soon as you get to neighborhoods and shops it's all green and lively, there's tons of palm trees and cute houses.
Everyone. Is. So. NICE! here. The Mission President is so cool and we get along swimmingly. Same with all the missionaries. 27 left this transfer and 15 came in, so the transfer meeting was lengthy but good! They were announcing where the greenies would be going and as soon as they said Bishop I knew i'd be going there. and sure enough, they called Sister King! My trainer is Sister Liebelt from South Jordan, Utah, and she's amazing! She's quiet at first but once you get to know her she's super sassy and fun. She's also such an amazing teacher, she speaks humbly, concisely and with the spirit. We get along so well. She said as soon as we walked in the room for the meeting and she saw me, she knew she'd be training me. the Lord knows us well.
|Sister Liebelt and Sister King in Bishop, California, July 2015|
The ward is small. But they're all so nice and friendly!! There's another companionship in the ward, Elders Antunez and Vakalahi, and they're Spanish speaking. Six missionaries in a ward where about 30 to 40 people come weekly. I'm guessing there's a lot of people who need this gospel ASAP. We all get along extremely well, we're all crazy so it works.
We're 30 minutes south of Mammoth, a resort town, so there's tons of hiking and fishing here. It's not a super small town but it has a small town feel. it reminds me of the towns near the Delaware beaches! It's in the Sierra Nevada mountains and is an oasis in the desert. Tons of trees and grass and flowers, especially roses, everywhere you turn. But you see a line on the outside of town where it becomes nothing but dirt. It's the strangest thing.
My address is: 131 Moffett drive, Bishop CA 93514.
Everyone here has at least 2 rat dogs and they're all well behaved and nice!
The zone leaders are 2 hours away, and the mission home is 4.5 hours away; lots of traveling these past few days. The weather's nice and there's usually a breeze. We have a little 2 bedroom house and a big Chevy Equinox that's brand new.
My first day here we met with this young man (he just graduated high school), at his work for a quick lesson. His boss, who's about 20, ended up sitting in with us and they both agreed to be baptized! And they've been reading the Book of Mormon nonstop, they were up all night at one point and had us come over at like 7:45 pm to read it with them and answer questions they had. That book changes lives, I tell you what.
Later that day, we went knocking on a street to find a former investigator and we ran into a young lady who took a Book of Mormon, gave one to her little sister and she wants us to come back! We've been meeting with a lot of investigators and less actives, but the problem here is everyone works all the time, especially on Sundays, so it's really hard for them to make it to church.
This other guy is a hoot. He just loves us coming over to talk about Jesus. He loves it when we read from the Book of Mormon. He's in his 60's with a long ponytail.
There's one family we're teaching with the elders, they teach the mother in Spanish and we teach the daughters in English. They're all going to be baptized in September, and they said that my Spanish accent was impeccable when I read from their Spanish Book of Mormon haha.
We read the Book of Mormon with this other man twice a week, he's a recent convert. He gives us a cactus cooler after each visit, he's so nice. We also helped this one family move in this week, they have 12 kids, 8 will be living in Bishop with them, and they have an Amy, Brandon and Jordan! No Allie's though.They're great, and Jordan, who's almost 7, followed me and Sister Liebelt around the whole time and told us all about his tomato machine gun and robots and World War 3011.
There's this one couple that pretty much adopts the missionaries. They've been married like a year and are both 80. They're hilarious and cook the most amazing Mexican food. At least the wife does. The husband is white and says she speaks Mexican instead of Spanish, they're so sassy with each other and have so much fun together, I love them to death.
My basketball game has increased dramatically! We play Tuesdays and Saturdays at the chapel with recent converts and investigators. They're massive and good, but my defense prevails! I even make baskets sometimes!
I hope you all have a good week, I'm sure I'll remember things I forgot to say soon enough and I'll let you know about them next week!
I love you all!
|The scenery from our car window.|