So I have finally made it to Cali! We had to wake up at like 3:30 in the morning to get to the travel office by 4:30. We took a bus to the train system from Provo to the Airport. Some guy on the train had done this a time or two and helped all of the missionaries out. We had to get on a another bus to get to the airport and that was crazy, I was definitely not in the MTC anymore! We finally made it to the airport and I got the pat down at the airport?! I also got to call my parents! The flight was really quick. The guy sitting next to me thought we were all going to some conference! When we landed we were greeted by the Palmer’s and the Assistants! We flew into Oakland, not going to lie, it’s pretty ghetto and I was already in culture shock. We took a charter bus to Modesto. We got to see the Oakland Temple on the hill, it was so beautiful. I am a little upset that we wont be able to go to the temple at all while I am on my mission, but President Palmer said that it is our responsibility to bring living souls to Christ, he can’t go for the next 3 years.
It was very hot in Modesto. They fed us lunch at the stake center and then we had to meet with a bunch of the senior couples to talk about some things. I met with President Palmer and he mentioned that it’s a possibility that I could be training in 6 weeks?! Normally you train for 3 months (12 weeks)! After that, we got to go out proselyting in downtown Modesto. The Assistants took us in Bubba, the big missionary van and a bunch of new missionary were allowed to roam free in the city streets. A very unforgettable experience. I talked to 3 homeless people, saw a car accident, walked passed the county jail and shook a homeless man’s hand, what a day!
(I’m sure this was quite an experience for her since she is a germaphobe and uses hand sanitizer all the time.)
We went to the mission home and man, it’s super nice. All of the sisters stayed their. There were 17 sisters total. We had mock Cafe Rio and had a testimony meeting, all of the new missionaries 25 total!
On Tuesday we had training all day at the church. It was a very long day. They have a departing missionary testimony meeting that people can attend, it was really cool. Different than the Cincinnati Mission. I was first to be called up when they assigned my companion. My companion is named sister Clifton, she’s from Georgia. We are currently in Lodi, California. We are white washing the area! We can’t use slang, but that’s what it is. We are both new to the area. we live in a members basement out in the country. We got back so late on Tuesday night. The Campbell’s took us there, they are super nice.
It was very hard adjusting to missionary life. It still is a struggle. The beauty of it all is… we are on bikes! We live out in the country 3-4 miles outside town and don’t have a bike lane to get there and we are on bikes, somebody explain the logic there!
The old couple we live are named the Barrette’s. They have taken such good care of us. They helped us with our bikes and took us into town and took us to 5 guys and then to get groceries because we had no food! Then we went out on the town on our bikes and met important people (ward council members and Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader). It was so hot and people insisted that we got driven to some of our next destinations. We had dinner at the Poblano’s house and continued out on our bikes. We met with a less active member who just had back surgery. Then we called it quits and we got a ride home form the Barrettes. They weren’t going to let us bike home.
Our basement apartment is old and a little small. We have to turn off the water when we shower, because their hot water heater is so small that it runs out of hot water. So Mom, you should be very proud, I can take really quick showers now! It’s been really hard being out on a mission.
Thursday we had a district meeting and got a ride into town from some other sisters. We went and saw Sister Bowen again, she just had back surgery. She wants us to teach her kids and want her kids to get baptized! I am so excited! Her kids love One Direction, so I think we will be friends. It was really hot and riding our bikes was not fun and some of the roads are not safe. Our Bishop, Relief Society President, the Barrette’s, the Campbell’s and a bunch of other people called and complained to the Mission office that we needed a car. We met some other people. We currently do not have any investigators so the work is really slow. We have a few recent converts that we are seeing though.
The best thing happened on Thursday night! I just had taken a shower and Sister Clifton was on the phone with the Assistants and he asked if there was a car in the driveway. We didn’t know because we live in the basement, so we threw on sweatshirts and ran upstairs. We first saw Elder Jones pull up with Bubba and then Elder Murdock came up with a 2015 Toyota Corolla and told us Merry Christmas! WE GOT A CAR! We were so excited. Those poor assistants had been hounded the passed two days. We are baking them cookies later today. They have had a rough few days!
On Friday we had weekly planning which takes forever. That is where we plan out our week. It takes about 3 hours, plus we have all our studies. We named our car Chad! It’s so nice that we can get to places so much faster now and we are not always riding places. We went to this whole in the wall place for dinner and they had this train going around the whole place. We had no where to eat so the lady in charge of the missionary dinner calendar took us there. It was another long day.
I was so tired come Saturday, we don’t get up at 630 we have to be awake by then! I basically got all unpacked by the time Saturday rolled around. We trued people but they weren’t home. A mission is really hard. It’s hard when neither of us know the area and we have no investigators either. We went over to the Campbell’s house and they fed us dinner because our dinner cancelled and we watched the Broadcast, it was very good. I think President Uchtdorf’s talk was my favorite, I liked how he talked about the stalker cat! We had our missionary correlation meeting with our WML who’s wife had a baby Thursday.
On Sunday morning’s we have ward council at 730 and church at 9. We taught a recent convert, he’s 18 years old and a jr in high school and man can he talk. He’s into band. We studied and tried to meet people. We had dinner at a member’s house. I think it was squash that I ate? He knew about Graeter’s and Skyline. We also went to a less actives house and talked to her. I forgot that marijuana is legal in California because it smells like skunks in some places at night!
Today we cleaned and studied and did laundry and went to Target. All of the good restaurants are out of ward boundaries so we can only go there on Preparation day, (In and Out and Chipotle!).
All the Love,
All the Love,