They Have Buckeye Trees in California

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Hola Everybody!

I can’t believe that I have made it through my first transfer! We were told that dreaded phone call would come between Saturday morning to Sunday night. It was 8:30 last night when we got the call. I’m glad I set the phone to three different ringtones for President, Sister Palmer and the Assistants because we freaked out when we heard one of the different ringtones. It was one of the Assistants and he said that we are staying in Lodi for another transfer. I felt so relieved. I was so nervous because I had no idea what was going to happen. I figured I would stay because only 5 new sister’s were coming. We apparently are having 2 Spanish Sister live with us, that should be interesting!

The rest of Monday last week we just kicked around a soccer ball and shot some hoops. We had met a kid named Christian on the street and turns out he is a former and his mom is in our ward so we had his address. We went to go see him. The Grandma said that his mom hadn’t been there for weeks, she just leaves them like that for weeks. It is so sad that the Mom just abandons her kids like that. The whole situation just breaks my heart. I wanted to cry. We met with a less active lady, she made us try ice cream with olive oil, not the best combo. I just don’t like straight olive oil.

On Tuesday Sister Clifton had to get her flu shot and she has a phobia of needles. It’s like me when I have to get throat cultures. We almost had to call for reinforcement because I am not that big and wouldn’t be able to hold her down if she couldn’t sit there, but she did it! We went to Sister Edgerly’s to make junk bread. It’s bread with a bunch of pizza ingredients in it. While it was baking, I played her piano and it felt amazing, I wish that I never stopped. I just need a refresher on the left hand. I get asked all the time if I can play. We handed out invitations to our ward Halloween party. We taught the Bowen’s and they seemed to be very receptive, Kennedy wasn’t there though, she was at a friend’s house. We had dinner with the Jovel’s, they are a super nice family who are into all of the nerdy things that Sister Clifton is into. They were going to Comic con this weekend. They got me some dairy free ice cream that is made with coconut milk. We met this lady, Sister Gleave. She breeds Ragdoll cats. They are beautiful cats, but she has so many of them. We alsomet with the Crickette’s. He is a recent convert and we had a good lesson with them.

Wednesday. It had rained during the night. We went to go do service on the ranch, but he had nothing for us so we just got to pick pumpkins! After 12 week we got our bikes and went to an older lady, Sister Hammond’s house she is really funny. We then helped set up for the halloween party. They have a little pavilion on the church grounds and we set up the tables and chairs. Sister Clifton was going to do Kennedy Bowen’s hair for her costume, so we went over there for her to do that. I am so glad that they came! There were so many people, everybody comes out for the Harvest Festival. I couldn’t tell who were members and who were not. They had carnival games for the first hour and then they had trunk or treat. We did a trunk, it was fun and I was so glad that I had my coat!

The mornings in Cali are a little chilly sometimes. We had a zone meeting. It was really nice, there is just such a great spirit among them. The Newcombs, the senior couple, got us all pizza for lunch. It was fun to hang out with all of the missionaries in the zone. The wind was so bad, it was near impossible to ride our bikes. We saw a less active family, they aren’t interested in a spiritual message right now but at least we got to talk to them. The daughter is a world champion in Disc golf. We tried some people, but didn’t really see anybody. It was a slow night. Those are always very tough.

Friday means weekly planning. We got done with that around two. We decided to park our car and walk around this neighborhood. We tried some people, but they weren’t home. We met this old lady, who when we came up to her door we thought she was going to have a heart attack on the front door step, she is just really frail. We sat and talked to her and then her drunk son came in, it was so funny. He was straight drunk, he couldn’t walk or talk straight and then he went back for more. We went to our friday night hangout, The Golden Ox. We kept it short because we had to meet with our Ward Mission Leader. He is in med school and is leaving for 6 weeks to go to New Jersey for his oncology rotation. His wife just had a baby too, that is so tough. He told us some unfortunate news. A man who is a recent convert that we teach every sunday night, his name is Jim Wyant, he died suddenly on Thursday. It was so sad, and so unexpected. We are just happy that he was doing what he was supposed to and that he really turned his life around.

Happy Halloween on Saturday! We tried some people, but not to many people were home. We met with Brother Lichty, he is the assistant ward mission leader. He is taking Brother Cox’s place. We saw a few people in the afternoon. We went to the Campbell’s for dinner. They take such good care of us. They wanted to make sure that we had a safe place for Halloween. Then we went back to our apartment, because we couldn’t be out after dark. So we just did the most fun productive missionary activity possible on Halloween night, we updated the area book and converted (meaning me) the pencil into pen. Sister Clifton has been sick all week with a cold and she wasn’t feeling that great. Sad day, I ran out of Nutella 😦 I finished journal #10 though! That is my 10th journal in the past 3 and a half years! I feel so accomplished!

Yesterday was Sunday. We got an extra hour of sleep and it was so nice. Church was good. We weer supposed to teach gospel essentials, but there was nobody there to teach so we went to gospel doctrine. The rest of church was good. We taught Victor. We did 12 week and ventured out to the country. We met with Sister Lewis who is so on top of Relief Society people. We met the Baker’s they are a less active family, but they are really great. Their oldest son is active and just got ordained a teacher. They are super fun. We had dinner at Bishop’s. he made pumpkin soup and it was really good. We met with the Poblano’s and they have a friend they want us to meet. We saw Sister Pazo. She had a tough week, her daughter moved out. Even though she is still close it’s hard for here. She also cut her finger really bad. She is a super nice lady. This older couple, the Thompson’s asked us to stop by so they could give some pumpkin cheesecake. I haven’t tried it yet. It was another long day yesterday.

It was raining this morning, hard. So happy I had my rain jacket! We went to Sister McOmber’s to do our laundry and to study. We went to Target and got our car washed even though it was rainy.

I am really happy that I am staying in Lodi! Missionary work is not easy and I have had good days and bad, but I just have to remind myself that I need to be one with the Savior in doing the will of the Father!

I forget to mention on Saturday I found a buckeye a tree! They have buckeye tree’s in California! Who knew? I took a picture and I brought one home with me and now it’s sitting on my desk! I just can’t believe they have buckeye tree’s in California!

I hope you enjoyed my letter and I hope everyone has a great first week of November!

All the Love,

Sister Hanna Lynn

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