HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!
I am so glad to be a part of this amazing country where religious freedom is something we enjoy every day. This week was a relatively normal week until the weekend. I went on my first exchange with the Zone Leaders. They do that with the missionaries that are new this transfer in order to see how they are developing as a missionary and to address any questions or things that the new missionary wants to work on. It was a great learning experience for me to learn to get along with a new missionary for a day and to work on the things I could improve on. The only challenge was that he had six lessons scheduled that day…all in Spanish. So I basically sat there as he taught the lessons and “invited the Spirit with my presence.” I understood almost all the lessons and I learned how to teach better even though it was all in Spanish.
We got to meet the new mission president this week also. It was a meeting for all the missionaries who were newer so that we could get a follow up on how we are doing and report to the president. On July 1st the new boundaries for the mission changed and the new mission president was officially in office. President Palmer and his wife are extremely kind and funny. They are going to do great. We then got to talk with president again the next day because my companion is a District Leader so that was pretty cool too. President said that he isn’t going to have any extra rules for now. Only the White Handbook will be our guide…for now. That was a big change because President Swain had many rules besides the white handbook but we will see how this goes.
I turned one month on Friday but there was no cake for me or presents. It okay who is counting anyways right? The members make it really hard to not count the days for how long you have been out because they always ask how long you have been out. So we do our best to give them a rough estimate. I met someone this week who served in the Ventura Mission! That was exciting because he knew all of Camarillo and Oxnard. He didn’t go up to Newbury Park as much but he told me about the Thousand Oaks Temple [Stake Center] and it made me so happy that other people call it that.
On Friday, I’m sure all of you are aware but, President Packer passed away. There are now two positions that need to be filled so we are anxious to know when conference comes around. We had the opportunity to take an investigator to Temple Square this week. That was an awesome experience because he said that he feels the Spirit the most when he is on temple grounds. He wants to make a goal to get a temple recommend. This investigator has been through some really tough times within the past few years and the first week I showed up he was going through one of those tough times. Seeing him on temple grounds with a smile on his face was an amazing feeling. He is on date to be baptized on the 25th of July. We are meeting with him three times a week to make sure he is doing okay.
I had a great 4th of July! Last year the fourth was a Pday but this year President Palmer said that it was a normal proselytizing day but if you get invited to a member’s BBQ party then go and get to know the members better. We did our normal studies, looked up former investigators to visit, set up lessons with people, and visited a family. Then we went to a members house who was a gourmet chef. That was a feast to remember. There were other missionaries there and family so it was a jolly good time. The fireworks were probably the best I have ever seen for a Fourth of July. Everyone in the neighborhood had gone up to Wyoming and gotten fireworks (Legal up to 200 feet in the air). We went to a school parking lot where there were less trees and got a panoramic view of everyone’s fireworks around the area. Not to mention the family in the parking lot shooting off their own extremely impressive fireworks. It was an amazing night!
I hope everyone was safe during this holiday weekend and got their fair share of fireworks. I love you all very much and really do enjoy hearing from everyone!