On Tuesday, October 13th I got up about 3:30 a.m. to go to the Salt Lake airport. I landed at about 10:00 a.m. and got to the mission home at about 11:00. It felt like it was midnight! I was exhausted. The Mission Home is just a church building that doesn't get used anymore in Antelope, California. We had an orientation and some lessons about the Roseville Mission (which I nearly fell asleep in, actually I probably did) One of the president's counselors said, "ok you're all tired, I get it" then he walked us down to the chapel, opened the door and said "grab a pew". We all kind of looked at each other and had no idea what was going on, then he turned the lights off and said "sleep for about 30 minutes then we'll get back to it". It was awesome! We each had our own pew to lie in and take a nap! I don't think I have ever slept that well in my entire life. Then we had a lunch in the gym and it was all homemade food and stuff so that was good. Then we went back to the lesson bit. After that we had little meetings with the medical sisters who we kind of just call if we feel sick or if we need a prescription refilled. They will find us a good place to go. Then it was time for meetings with the President. I LOVE President Marston! He is seriously the greatest guy! Then he sent the new elders and sisters to a hotel to spend the first night. We got to pack a dinner and take it to the hotel. I was out by like 6:00 in the hotel bed! It was great!
The next day we got to meet our training companion and figured out where our area was. I was assigned to Elder Bates. He's awesome too! He's fun but is very spiritual and mature too. I'm in the Redding 3rd Ward. Redding is super far north! The edge of my zone is the top of my mission. I love being up a bit more northern. There's a ton of trees and the weather is nice. But because it is so far north and because we left the mission home late, we decided to stay the night in Chico with the Chico 1st Ward Elders, who are the coolest guys! They would take us the rest of the way to Redding the next day. The Chico fellas are called "zebra" because one of them speaks Spanish and the other one speaks Hmong. It's crazy to see this skinny, kinda ginger, white elder speaking such a complex Asian language. When we got to their apartment I had no idea what to do.. I just stood there by the door with my bags... it was kinda weird, but then Elder Adams (the elder speaking Spanish) said "I know that feeling exactly, first night in the field, you just don't know what to do. Not like you're sad. You just don't know what to do." And that was exactly it. So Elder Adams and Elder Johnson made me feel right at home. They're such cool guys! So the next day the Chico fellas drove us up and spent the day in Redding with us.
Second day in the field was great too! I rode my bike around, met some of the ward, signed up for some service at a cancer society thrift shop thing, where I bought this weird ugly amazing blanket. We visited Brother J.... who has a funny/awesome tattoo and reminds me of dad. He's so cool! We shared a little message with him and he was great. Then later that night he asked me to give him a blessing. I was truly guided by the spirit in the blessing. He's my favorite.
Can't remember what days the next events happened on but I'll go through the ones I remember. A women told us we believe in the wrong Jesus. Which was weird and made me frustrated, but my companion bore his testimony and told her to have a good day and we left. We taught a fella named G... and you can just see the things we are teaching him are clicking. He asked us genuine questions and I gave really good answers and I know that the spirit was helping me know what to say. You can tell he's getting it. He actually told us (and remember he's not a member, he's a real investigator) that what we are doing is important work and he wants every one to hear it.
Oh, my first night we had a dinner set up with the A... family, they are wonderful people and at the end of a meal we give a little spiritual thought and sister A.... asked if she could share something. She said she had prayed and asked Heavenly Father if she could share this with us, and she said He said yes. She had a dream a month ago (before I was even in the MTC, before I knew I was going to the Redding 3rd Ward) where she was dropping her daughter off at the train station during the day time, about noon, bright day. Then when she was leaving it was pitch black outside so she thought "I'll be ok. The spirit will guide me home." So she started walking home and she heard a noise, getting closer and closer. She was scared but didn't turn around because she didn't want to see. Then Elder Bates rode up on his bike next to her and held her arm, and another missionary on her other side on his bike held her arm and took her home, away from the scary noise. And she said the other missionary looked exactly like me..... whoa..... Missions are awesome!
I love and miss you and I hope you're all doing well.