Monday, January 27, 2014

1/27/14 First Week

Ahhhhhh! I am so happy to be here! I cannot express to you how happy and grateful and blessed I feel to be serving here in Santa Rosa California Mission!
This particular mission is amazing for a lot of reasons. We are an obedient mission which means they emphasize obedience a lot and that is why we are the first mission to be a mini ipad mission! I can't believe I lived my life without an Ipad before hahahha I am totally getting one when I get home.
So it is kind of super weird because we are so immersed in technology. We use our Ipads for everything! And check facebook every day. And we have a cell phone. We are constantly in contact with the other missionaries through calls and texts and I text the mission president like every day too! hahaha weird huh? And we have super nice cars! Oh I love it. But they really emphasize that all these things are tools, not toys and we received them because we were obedient, and that they can be taken away too if we abuse them.
Anyway. So blessed. Super awesome. So there are 8 of us in our branch and we get fed EVERY night! The latinos are amazing, they think it is an honor to get to feed so many missionaries! I feel bad cuz they usually don't even have room at their table to eat with us! haha anyway, I love the elders in our ward. At church we had a couple investigators come and Elder Wright and Elder Perez translated for the only English speakers. Cool huh? I love our district. they are super cool. There is a lot of English and Spanish cross over. In our district Hermana Bryant and I are the only Spanish speakers. I think they divide up the Spanish kids in different districts on purpose. Elder Stuart and Elder Waite ate dinner with us one night (theyre in our district and they are English speaking and their people cancelled on them) so hermano Gulvan fed 10 misisonaries! count your blessings mom, at least you only have to feed two! hahaha
So anyway it was THE CUTEST thing ever cuz 4 year old Andres and Elder Stuart were best friends and sharing a chair and sharing their food and having this whole conversation using only sound effects and gestures, haha they didn't speak the same language!
Ohhh I love the latino people so much!!!!
Yes Packer was surprised to see me! Gave me a hug!  He  just got his appendix out.
I AM SO HAPPY ELDER DUNLAP IS IN MY BRANCH! it was super nice to not feel like the odd man out at dinner the first few nights, but now we are all friends with everybody in our branch. Plus he is super funny and like my best friend so I am glad he is here haha
Our song was amazing. We tried out to do it at the devotional and they wouldn't let us and we performed it in sacrament my last week at the CCM and it made everybody cry!!! it was so dang good! Ill try to send it to you!
Oh  my gosh just reading about zachs video thing I was crying I was laughing so hard. So proud.
So for my bday or something feel free to send me any CDs for driving in the car. Hermana Bryant has some so were ok for now. We can listen to all things Motab except the show tunes CD hahah
Havent seen a church bookstore yet. Yes we are sending our emails from the mission office.
We are scheduled to meet up with Grasiela again tonight. There are so many missionaries in one branch because our branch covers the area of the whole stake. So we cover like 4 wards worth of neighborhoods and stuff haha
Yes it is Spanish speaking so they are like all latinos. The branch president is a white guy. He has a really thick Idaho accent though hahah Yeah the elders show off for us. Its annoying sometimes. Sometimes its not so bad. Some elders are more like brothers so they don't show off. All the Elders show off for Hermana Bryant though ;) hahha they love her. I am not allowed to email other missionaries in my mission :( So I have no idea how my other CCM friends are doing,. But I text Elder Dunlap daily hahahha im planning to email my other CCM friends that are not in my mission though.
Anyway, This week has been AMAZING! I am so thrilled to be here in Santa Rosa. I love my area and all the missionaries I am working with in my branch and in my district. Oh I feel so blessed. I cannot express how excited I am to be here. Our branch is full of wonderful people with great testimonies! Our investigators are wonderful too! I love the Hispanic people!!! Oh I love it I love it I love it! I am striving to be exactly obedient and figure everything out. I absolutely ADORE Hermana Bryant! She is amazing! She is so loving and encouraging, exactly what I needed in a trainer! I love her so much! She is being such a great example and teaching me so much! I am working really hard to be the best missionary I can.
So I love it. Don't worry about it. It is so much more fun being in the real world hahaha
So we are working on this Musical Fireside for our stake and it is going to be AMAZING! Hermana Bryant is in charge so I probably have to sing something haha but that's ok it is so good. These two hermanas (Hermana Finley and Hermana Burgess) wrote a song and sang it for us last night it was AMAZING!!
I printed off the PFD form ill try to send it to you today! We are kind of almost out of miles for the month, so if not today for sure next week!
Also I should tell you about the people we have been teaching.
Bonnie. Bonnie is who we call an "Eterna-gator" takes lessons, doing good, wants to get baptized, sets a date, then right before for some reason she always quits. Months later new missionaries try her out, and she does good and then quits. Well. This time we didn't even have an appointment, but the spirit prompted us to check in on her. We went to her house and she invited us in. She told us she just got a new job so she can go to church on Sundays and she just got offered a new apartment so she can move out and not live with her boyfriend anymore!!! YAY! how cool is that? Everything is falling into place. And she wants to get baptized on February 22nd!! Ahhhhh! We were so pumped! So she is really excited about that. that was definitely our highlight for the week.
 Hector is a guy we met on the street and he wants to come to our church and get baptized and all we said was "we are servants of the lord Jesus Christ" there are so many people here that have been so well prepared to receive the gospel, I love it. Oh man. I am so blessed and excited to be here.
Im glad to hear things are good at home! Im still trying to figure out how to work all the technology and how is best to send you letters and things.
Greenie Dinner!

Lauren and Packer! Same mission!


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