Sorry I haven't been able to write too much these last couple of weeks, life has been crazy!!! But everything is going super well :) Here's a little update of what we've done this past week:
Like I said when we emailed last week, we went to the Hogle Zoo today. The people we went with made it really fun, the zoo itself....well, it was a zoo. Thanks for bringing me! (inside family joke – it basically means you’d rather be doing something else!) haha :) afterwards, we went and did shopping, email, and then we went and we're going through the missionary lessons with our branch president's son, Abelito. He's going to turn 8 in 2 weeks so they just wanted us to help him feel a bit more prepared for his baptism.
The Zoo Crew!
Man, today was an awesome day! We had zone conference today (every transfer, we either have a zone training, where the zone leaders are in charge of everything, or a zone conference, where President Swain (Scottie’s mission president) plans things out and we help with the training). It was my favorite zone conference to date (my 4th or 5th one, wow, time is flying). We learned so much and there was a super powerful spirit there. Elder Jarvis (Scottie’s companion) and I trained on righteous routines (planning and studying and making sure they're effective and connected to our teaching), and we felt really good about it. (As Zone Leaders Scottie and his companion are responsible for helping train the other missionaries in their Zone/area) After the zone conference, we had dinner with Hermana Solis and her family (one of my favorite families in this area, they're awesome!) and then we stayed busy all night visiting people and teaching lessons. Something I learned in the zone conference that stuck out to me is just the importance of living in a way that allows us to feel the Spirit, and once we do that we can help others find their own testimonies. I love it.
These are some of my best friends out here, love em like brothers: The one on t he left, Chappell is an AP, Rosdahl, the other one , is a ZL in another area
The Boys: Elders Chappell, Higgins, Rosdahl and Jarvis
The "Boys" with President Swain
Pretty standard day today. We had our regular morning routine, then we gave a district leader training on the importance of charity and love in the mission. After dinner, we went out with Elisa (our young women's president) to teach Raquel and her boyfriend/fiance person she's living with but not married too haha. The lesson was about the Book of Mormon and it went really well! Elisa was a big help too. We were going to go visit the Rojo family, but when we got there the dad was outside of the house with a friend, both pretty “impaired”. The one friend then came up and got in my face and starting swearing at me and saying all sorts of vulgar things, which I didn't really care about, but then he turned to start heading towards Elisa and I stepped in his way, told him to have a nice day, and we left. I've learned that I don't really care what people say or yell at me (and this area has tons of interesting people who just cuss at us for no reason haha, it's pretty funny), but when it comes to those that are my friends or that I care about, that's where I have to draw the line. No worries though, life is good :)
Another pretty solid day today! We had our normal morning routine, then spent the afternoon visiting the weekly planning sessions of the missionaries in our zone. That went pretty much as planned, one of the sister companionships is really struggling with each other right now though. They just can't seem to get along, and that must make the mission pretty miserable. I've been lucky to have pretty solid companions, but Elder Jarvis is the man! We're like brothers now, we've yet to disagree on anything and we just truly love serving with each other. Time is flying even faster because we're just loving every day. After dinner, we went and taught a few lessons, and then went over to Elisa's (the Balderas family) house to end the night, they made this Nutella and Oreo pie thing that was super good! Then, the Assistants (Elders Isabell and Chappell) (assistants to the mission president) came over and we started exchanges (switching up companionships with another set of missionaries) with them. I went with Elder Isabell into their area, which is kind of cool because they're the only missionaries with a car haha (all other missionaries in Scottie’s area either walk or ride bikes). I couldn't drive though....and I tried like 4 times (he really misses driving!), Isabell is awesome though, we get along super well and I really respect and look up to him a ton!
It was a jam-packed day today! Life as an Assistant is hectic, that's for sure. We got up, exercised, studied, and then we had to drive to a few different district meetings to go and help missionaries who were having iPad issues (for the most part, it was user errors, but 1 missionary had a legitimate concern haha). Then we went to the mission office and (Elder) Isabell had a bunch of reports and paperwork to work on....I just hung out and talked with him. We did that for a few hours, and we were supposed to be having lunch with one of their investigators, but that kind of fell through. We went to eat around 2:30, and I was starving, but we had a great lunch at La Fountain (Mexican restaurant, you already know!). We taught 2 lessons, and then headed over to have dinner. It will go down as one of the strangest dinners of my mission: 1 boiled hotdog, one uncooked potato, and a glass of water. The dinner was truly interesting, and the guy we ate with is a recovering addict....who had relapsed one day before. Sooooo, the conversation was sparse and slightly random, but I truly appreciate his kindness to invite us over anyways. Good guy, though. After that, we had two lessons, on opposite sides of the mission (the AP's (assistants to the president) cover a Samoan YSA (Young Single Adult) area that covers the whole valley basically), and that was that. We finished up exchanges and I really enjoyed chilling with Elder Isabell, but I'm glad to be back in my Spanish area haha.
Another full day: morning studies and whatnot, then the Assistants picked us up and we drove out to the Hunter area to go to choir practice. After choir practice, we ate lunch with the Assistants (celebrating Isabell's birthday, which was on Tuesday), at a place called Pizza Rev - it's like a subway, but with pizza instead of sandwiches! Then, we spent the afternoon doing our weekly planning, and then we had dinner with the Atwater family. We left to go visit the Banuelos family, then came back to teach Abelito again. Then, we had a great lesson with Allie. She’s totally prepared for baptism, and after she comes to church a few more times, she'll be getting baptized! We're so excited for her!!!!
Pretty normal Sunday today. Branch council --> church --> mission president’s devotional! That was it really :) I'll send photos though! The devotional was held back in the first area where I served!
Scottie and one of his first companions, Elder Burgin
Missionaries with Hermano Tomas Carrasco
Scottie with missionaries and members from his first area!