A Feeling of Progressio​n (Plus, 7 Months!)

Today is my seven month mark! Holy cow. Time flies. One of my trainers, (since I had a different one my second transfer than my first transfer) Elder Bledsoe, is going home in two weeks. I love him. He is a fantastic missionary.

So I learned a fun fact today about California’s drought. In an average year, Los Angeles receives 15 inches of rain. In all of 2013, LA County received 2 inches of rain. Apparently some major jet-stream shifted this year, which is also why the east coast is getting pounded repeatedly with winter storms and why the Winter Olympics in Russia are having weather around 60 degrees. At least, that is what some member of our ward told us.

For at least the entire past two transfers (12 weeks), our area in Santa Gertrudes Ward hasn’t had any investigators. Well, I think they had one at one point, but they weren’t solid at all. This week we found two new investigators (Hallelujah). Also, during the second time on my mission that we “knocked a street”, we found one of those new investigators. What?! Success knocking? At least in this mission, that is unheard of, which is why I have only knocked a street twice on my mission. There are more effective things to do. We met an elderly lady named Sally, whose husband passed away recently. She was raised in the Lutheran faith but many of her friends were LDS when she was in high school (about 70 years ago). We taught Sally the Restoration on her front porch, and she was very sincerely interested and open to what we taught. She eagerly accepted a copy of The Book of Mormon and told us to come back. She was also extremely excited to have someone pick her up for church, since she can no longer drive and her children won’t take her to church because they don’t attend their own church.

Also, in Mar Vista Ward (the Singles’ Ward), there was a girl baptized about six months ago named Sara. Her mother, Judy, began attending church with her, but stopped because she wanted her daughter to make the decision to be baptized on her own. Now, through the wife of the Bishop of Santa Gertrudes Ward (the family ward), she has asked to be taught the lessons again. There are fewer things better in missionary work than the mother of a recent convert who asks the bishop’s wife if she can take lessons from the missionaries. Of course, the bishop’s wife agreed, invited her to have the lessons at the bishop’s home, sat next to her at church, and brought her to a fireside Sunday night. Judy is agnostic but knows she feels peaceful and relaxed while she is at our church. She has accepted that God is Love, and began (unintentionally) praying to God when she got into a car accident a few months ago. I can clearly see that the Lord has been working to bring the gospel into Judy’s life and that all of these events are falling into place for her.

Also, we have received a stack of referrals for the singles’ ward, which is a miracle, and there is someone in both the family ward and the singles’ ward who told us they have a friend that wants to take the missionary lessons in their homes. Elder Bernard is pretty excited because he hasn’t seen this much happen in either of these wards since he got to them three months ago. And I am excited because everything is beginning to look so much better here than it did even a week ago.

Dad: I’m so sorry that you’ve been sick so much! I know the feeling. And you are right, having the flu is a huge bummer. I guess you and Mom will have to have a belated Valentine’s Day once everything gets back to normal. I hope you feel better, too. I’m not sure if you would be able to fly to any of those places if you wanted to. Someone said thousands of flights on the east coast have been cancelled because of the weather. We sure aren’t feeling it here. Every day is sunny and 80 degrees, which seems nice until you realize that there have only been three days in the past 365 that haven’t been like that. It’s funny that on my mission I’ve been so close to many of the places that our family has lived. First Cerritos, now La Habra.

Mom: I received your Valentine’s Day package… on Valentine’s Day! Thank you. I really appreciated it. I’m sorry yours wasn’t better. I really hope Grandma and Grandpa are doing okay in Stanwood. We just had our Ward Conference, and it was also about the Hastening of the Work. I have a feeling we aren’t going to stop hearing about the Hastening of the Work until we really hasten the work we are doing. And we don’t bike much, covering an entire stake and a large, hilly ward. I will be sure to take pictures before everything here dies in the drought.

Everyone else, I love you! And I’m out of time. Because it is President’s Day, we can’t email at the library, which means we are confined to a more shorter amount of time in the Family History Center since both zones have to share a handful of computers.

I love the Lord. I love the work. And I love my family! Fique Firme!

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