Shaking Things Up in Whittier!

So first of all…. yes we had an earthquake and yes I am completely and totally fine. The earthquake is the largest anyone in our ward can remember feeling in Whittier. It was a 5.1 (or 5.3, depending on who you ask) and the epicenter was inside our ward boundaries and only a mile underground, fairly shallow. We were in one of the best places we could be during an earthquake: at our stake president’s house in kneeling prayer. I mean, we knew our stake president could call down the powers of heaven through his prayers, but we were all a little surprised at how immediately those powers made themselves present. At first we didn’t think there was really any damage anywhere, but as we went around to people’s homes we saw it was a little more damaging than we at first thought. Apparently a bunch of houses and apartments were condemned after the earthquake because of structural damage.

Also, this was the last week of the transfer. We expected Elder Jacobson to get a new companion since his went home, but instead Elder Bernard got transferred to my old ward in Long Beach (Long Beach 4th Ward!) and Elder Jacobson are going to cover three areas now. Wish us luck. In fact, they are taking a lot of missionaries out of Whittier. Instead of having two companionships in each ward, now each ward has only one set of missionaries (except the Spanish ward. They have a bunch). Except we are covering two wards on our own now.

We began teaching a kid this week named Anthony. He is the good friend and neighbor of a girl in the Singles Ward named Katrina. Anthony is awesome. He is extremely intelligent and curious. He goes through life just trying to learn everything he can from every moment and every person he comes in contact with. He is searching for the truth. We asked him what he believes the purpose of life is and that is the answer he gave: to search for truth. We then, in that lesson and our next with him, taught him the plan of salvation. The incredible part was that when we asked him before we taught the lesson where he thinks he came from and he already knew the plan of salvation. Yes, he used different words, but he explained what he believed and it was almost identical to the truth. We asked him how he figured all of that out and he said he just talks to people: Muslims, Native Americans, anyone who has anything to say. Anthony was so excited because he’s never met anyone before who believed so much the same as him. He’s really nervous to associate himself with any religion, but that is something that he will overcome as he reads The Book of Mormon.

This week has been a good week. The nice thing about combining areas is how ridiculously busy you become.

Kimmie: WOOO!!! I’m so excited to have another nephew! Also, send pictures when you are done with the basement. Also, I still don’t understand. Are you teaching full time? Are you tutoring? Where are you teaching? When did this happen? Also, when is your due date?

Tyler: You are in Japan! Holy cow! I’m so excited to hear about all of the awesome experiences you have.

Dad: I hope you survive all these scrapes and cuts. I’m excited to see what it looks like when you are done. Also, how bad is the suburban? Is it going to be expensive to fix? It seems like you have been on the road or on the plane a LOT since my mission has started. Either going to grandma and grandpa’s or Utah or Maine or wherever else.

Mom: I will let you know when I get the package. Also, I just get the Burt’s Bees original. It’s just mint flavored.

Grandma: Don’t worry. The mission gave us a whole bunch of earthquake tips so we should stay safe.

It’s amazing to me how much can happen in one family in one week.

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This is the closest I will ever get to swimming on my mission.

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