I am here in Manteca now. I think it’s funny because Manteca means lard is Spanish. Things are going great! I love my companion and it’s great because we were friends before and we are at the same level which is so good! I miss Lodi, but great things are going to happen in Manteca!
So the rest of last Monday we played basketball. It was 3 on 3 with 3 teams. I was with Hermana Gundersen and Elder Laubman and we totally dominated. I was sort of playing Settlers of Catan and teaching Elder Laubman how to play “More Holiness Give Me” on the piano. I was sad that I would be leaving all of my friends that I made, but the good news I will see everyone on Christmas Eve. We are having a Christmas music devotional with all of the missionaries in the mission. We taught Seth and he really wants to get baptized. We saw the Cox’s and we taught the Lichty’s. I am going to miss all of the families that I met while in Lodi. We packed. It was madness.
Tuesday morning was crazy. We had to be in Modesto by 8 to drop off the car. We were running behind and traffic was horrible. We got there at 8:20. We thought we were so late, but we were the first ones there. President Palmer said that I was going to have so much fun in Manteca! A member took me to Manteca. We live with members in their house. We have a tiny room and our own bathroom. We also have bunk beds, I’m on top. I don’t like the top that much, but it’s all good. I got to unpack and then we did service at the food pantry. We went out and biked around and saw this less active and had a lesson with her. We tried so many people, but no one was home. We taught this family of little girls. it is so chaotic. It’s sort of a pot house and those girls need the gospel. We taught this lady named Maritza. She has deep questions, they are so deep. She really made us study hard.
I was so tired Wednesday morning. The sunrise is so pretty. It was so weird not doing 12 week. So we went out at 10. We tried perspective Elders. We came back for lunch. We had a lesson with a LA. She has Alzheimer’s and her daughter is in a wheel chair. She told us the same stories probably about 4 or 5 times. We biked around all afternoon and nobody was home. The people are not as friendly in Manteca as they are in Lodi, but that’s okay. It’s the fact that I am trying to talk to everyone that really matters. It was sort of rough and we were so tired. This man drove by and then turned around and came right back. He asked if we were Mormon missionaries and turns out he is a member in Modesto and was just working down here in Manteca. He gave us this box of assorted creams. It really made my day! On the first Wednesday of the transfer, a member of the stake presidency has a dinner at his house for all of the missionaries. It was cool to meet everyone. Out of all the people, my zone leader called on me to say the prayer, it was funny. I am really going to miss my old zone, but I think I am going to like my new zone. There are some really great missionaries serving here!
On Thursdays we have district meeting. That is my favorite part of the week. It was great. I really miss my old district, but there are some really great missionaries in my new district, it’s going to be fun! We went to service and threw away boxes of expired Sushi and dairy products, ugh. We came back and biked in the ghetto. We taught this less active lady, who has an interesting situation. We taught her the Restoration. It was so great because we equally taught. Sister Hogan is such a great teacher! We tried this referral that didn’t exist. We had dinner with this older family. Sister Hogan told me that morning that we never have fish and for dinner we had Salmon. Thank goodness they had bread! They had their granddaughters over and one of them just had head lice the day before? I think I’ll be fine though. We taught this dropped investigator, Joe, the Restoration and it was so great. When he prayed at the end he cried and said it felt like a burden has been lifted off his shoulders. He also committed to baptism! Our other appointment fall through. Great things are going to happen!
Friday means weekly planning. I played piano during our lunch break because the Brooksby’s have a piano. They will be out of town until after the first of the year so we have the whole place to ourselves, so nice! We tried people on our visiting teaching list. We tried this one investigator 4 times and finally we saw her and talked to her a little bit. We saw this old couple. He had a stroke a few years ago. They gave us practical Christmas presents; Vitamins and flashlights! They like for us to sing to them. We then met with our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Brammel. He is really nice, he is a fire chief. His wife is Young women’s president and gave us a list of less active young women to go visit. Planning took forever.
It was raining on Saturday so we walked instead of biked. We tried our visiting teaching list. We met this active lady who has been through so much and she just has a really positive attitude towards everything. The rain stopped and the sun came out. My Sister training leader, Sister Neely came and had lunch with us. We biked all afternoon and saw 2 people. I met our Bishop. We had dinner with a member, her daughter is about to leave for BYUI. We biked all night and didn’t see anyone except this one family with a lot of health problems. It was a long hard day. This church is definitely true or else I would not be out biking at night in a skirt in the freezing cold. We are the only Sisters in the zone on bikes, but that just makes us tougher and stronger.
It was really nice not having to rush to get ready on Sunday morning. I better enjoy it while I can because morning church starts on the 3rd. We had our coordination meeting with our ward mission leader. Then we had ward council. Joe came to church! It was our Christmas program during sacrament. Joe stayed all 3 hours and said he wanted to come back next week! Everyone can’t believe that I am not from Utah! Everyone is like, “Wow, you’re not from Utah! That never happens”. The member that took us home felt bad we didn’t have a dinner so she gave us stuff to make dinner. The ward members really help out the missionaries. Everyone we called to come out and teach with us was not home. It was a rough night. We went and saw the girls. It was so crazy and they are kind of fading. One of the girls really isn’t interested, one is only 7 and the more solid one has a fear of water, so she doesn’t want to get baptized. We are working hard with them. We taught Joe most of the Plan of Salvation and he committed to being baptized on January 16th! I am so excited. It was great. Then we shared a lesson with a less active. Her husband is not a member. She has Lupus and doesn’t always feel that great. She is super nice though. She made sure we are taken care of. She asked us if we had scarves and gloves and offered to give us some. The members really like to take care of us.
This morning we cleaned and my laundry is already done and it is noon. Such a nice feeling. We plan on shopping later and we are having a white elephant gift exchange with everyone. I wrapped some Ramen that was in the cupboard. It is a bit of an adjustment, but I am slowly catching on to things and learning the area. I really think I am going to like it here, just not the whiff of dog food every once in a while. There is a dog food factory here and that’s kind of what Manteca smells like!
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and truly remembers what Christmas is all about! I love you all and appreciate everyone who reads my blog and keeps me in their prayers.
All the Love,
Sister Hanna Lynn