I’m at the house of a missionary couple, the Neunshwanders (long cool name!). We do our laundry here and do our emailing. They are office missionaries. Elder N. is in charge of the cars. He’s the one we called on Tuesday right after leaving the chapel on our way home. We got a flat tire 2 min from the chapel! Thankfully Elders Spendlove and Epps were right behind us and stopped to help and change the tire. It was an exciting way to start the day and mission for that matter! Never had flat tire before. New experience. Glad elders were there.
I’m in the Spanish Santa Rosa branch. There are two elders with us, Elders Hatch and Van Gilder. The area is split in two. They have the south part and we have the north part, which covers Windsor, therefore we are the Windsor area.
Hna Clayton is in pres. Garrett’s branch. Actually all the Spanish sisters were told by him to keep an eye out for Me. He's been looking and waiting for me to come! Hopefully I’ll be in that area at some point. As far as I know there are only four Spanish sister companionships and thereby only four areas. So there’s a likely chance I’ll be there at some point!
I’ve been trying to take pictures, but we don't really have opportunities. I’ll try to take some today of the apartment and the area. I saw my first orange tree!!!!!!! I was very excited. Along with palm trees, cactuses, and vineyards. Beautiful! Weather is perfect! Cool mornings warm afternoons, cooling off at night. Wonderful! The food is great too! I’m excited about real food again. I did gain some weight at the MTC, but I’ve already lost some of it already. Thankfully! Fresh fruit with every meal! Love it! So good. Have peaches from a members tree! So good!
We’re teaching so many people! Planning each night always takes forever! It always runs late. We’re trying to be to bed on time, but finding it difficult.
We always have fun adventures finding our way around. We get lost a few times a day. Our area is actually pretty big. There are a few English missionary companionships that we cover. A singles ward too. So half of Santa Rosa, up to Windsor and including Healdsburg. Those we teach are great! We have some English lessons, too. Because of children who speak English but the parents don’t. My first contact and lesson on Tuesday was crazy! I wanted to throw up I was so nervous. But I made it through! Hna. Christensen pushes me just enough and helps me when needed. It’s fun teaching and finding people on the street.
Thanks so much for the box!!! I love the cards, lotion, popcorn, and especially the bunny and teddy!!!!!!!!!! Love them! Smile every time I see them!
Church was hard because I had to concentrate so hard to understand the language. I didn’t get most if it. Had a major headache afterward. My Spanish improves daily and my understanding. But it's not really me. The spirit is doing all the work. I’m not listening to the Spanish language I’m listening to the language of the Spirit.
And I have VERY exciting news!!! You ready? I'm an online missionary as of Friday! We have training tomorrow. I’ll have two blogs; one Spanish the other English; and a Facebook. I think you can be my friend, family & friends too, just to see how I’m doing, but I can't communicate through Facebook. We are very excited. We’ll have an hour or two each day to update it and such. We’ll find out more tomorrow. All the sisters will be online missionaries by December. So cool! What do you think about the online missionary? I am SO EXCITED! It should a great tool for staying in contact with investigators and converts and less actives. You’ll be able to see pictures too online. It’s going to be so fun!
We have some baptisms planned for 20 Aug! Cool hugh? Which reminds me.
I have taught in Spanish, basically bearing my testimony. It’s very simple teaching, which is good because the mission is trying to get back to the basics and teach simply. President Bunker harped it into us. He's very strict. Exact obedience is expected. Love both the Bunkers! Sister bunker was declared clear of all cancer the Friday before we came. Yeah!
Yesterday had an experience with a brother that is less active. I understood about half of what was said. I was praying for him and my companion. And all of a sudden a warmth and light of love just came over me. I felt the Savior's love for this man come over me. I felt the great desire for him to return to Christ. I felt that Christ missed him and that he knew he could return and be strong. It was Amazing! I, of course, almost started crying. My eyes filled with tears and I felt a great need to bear my testimony about the savior and his love. I fumbled slightly but they understood. I have no idea if it helped or not, but I’m so grateful for that experience. Now I know, in part, what the savior feels for each of us; for me. Repentance isn’t a bad or negative thing. It’s a returning unto Christ. Coming back to him. It’s just turning around to find he's always been there and holding us up.
Say hello to everyone who is there and their families for me. I love receiving mail from the ward and family. I love any and all pictures and drawings.
I don’t feel older or more mature. In fact I’ve never been so aware of all my faults and weaknesses and realize just how far I have to go to perfection. I’m grateful we have a lifetime to prepare and learn all we need to learn. My teachers in the MTC said they could see the growth in us just in the MTC. Because we're living it, it’s hard to see. But I’m not so nervous to meet people. I thought I would dread it, but I actually enjoy it and sometimes, on good days and moments, I actually look forward to it.
My time is about up but I love you all very much. It sounds like so much fun with all your travels and fun activities. Everything except the fleas. Sorry that happened. And so many! Crazy! Hope it is taken care of soon and quickly.