April 1, 2013
Hi family and friends,
I am currently in Yucaipa, California. It's surrounded by mountains and has a bunch of palm trees. It's pretty. Today is about 60 degrees which is LOVELY. During the summer it gets to 110. Thankfully, though, it's drier here.
So anyways. I am doing well but serving a mission is hard. The hardest thing I have ever done. I am definitely learning more about the atonement and the reality of Satan. He is so real. He does not want me, or any of the missionaries to be here. I had a bit of a crying/meltdown yesterday morning (I was about ready to call my mission president and fly home...it was bad) but then we went to church and we saw three of our investigators there, one of which was very adamant on not going. Their names are Lupe, Bob, and Rene (he's a boy, btw----I saw him and his wife's name written down and it said Betty and Rene....that confused me for a little second. Then I figured out he's from Mexico and they're are in fact husband and wife, and not partners. I got a good laugh.)
So we do a couple of hours of tracting most days. I don't mind it that much. I haven't had a door slammed in my face....yet. Some people are nice and some just say "not interested" the second you open your mouth. It feels like a slam in the face, though. Sometimes when we don't get all of our OYM's (open your mouth...we are supposed to talk to 20 people a day that aren't members) we go to the gas station. Last night I said "we...." and the guy I was talking to says meanly, "NOT EVEN." I knew before I talked to him that he was going to be jerky, but I talked to him anyways. A lot of people are nice, though.
When we go tracting this is what we say: "We are representatives of Jesus Christ and we are here to leave a blessing in your home." It's called harvesting blessing. So if they let us, we pray for them specifically and their needs and their family members by virtue of our calling as missionaries. I'm surprised how many people let us in (Not a ton, but more than I thought...maybe a couple times a day). These harvesting blessings can be verrrry powerful. Super powerful.
I am learning lots about charity, still. God's children come in every shape and size and they all need the opportunity to accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. I go into houses that smell like smoke, and I talk to people with a bazillion tattoos and cigarette in hand...something I wouldn't have really done before. But when you really start to get to know someone, we're all the same, deep down. We all need to be loved, and we all need hope. Yucaipa needs hope right now. There are tons of part member families and less active people.
And I got a super nice welcome from the city of Yucaipa. I got bit by a dog when we were tracting on Saturday afternoon. It was super hot that day and we were just finishing up tracting for three hours and then right when we are about to cross the street to get to our car, this dog (out of nowhere) comes running out of the fence and runs straight towards me. The dog wasn't even that big! But it decided to attack/bite me on my ankle. So since it broke skin, sis emery and I have to use our precious p-day time today to go to Beaumont to the urgent care. I'll probably get antibiotics. The lady who owned the dog was definitely not nice when we had to get additional info from her yesterday morning. It hurt super bad! I have three cuts/bite marks. I was surprised how much it hurt. My eyes even started to well up. I also got my first sunburn that day. It is HOT and sunny here!
Today we went on a hike...more like an adventurous mountain climb (seriously...we had to grab onto tree branches and roots to pull ourselves up). My calves really hurt now!! It's funny on p-day because the elders act like they are 12 yrs old. Cracks me up. It was a nice break.
And I hope I don't gain weight. I don't think I have so far. I think the average weight gain is 30 pounds but I AM NOT GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN. I feel like I'm eating less and exercising more than I used to, so hopefully I won't gain weight.
Anyways, I've got to go write my mission pres but I miss you all. Thank you for all of your letters, thoughts, prayers, and packages. Those things really help to keep me motivated. I know this gospel is true. Without a doubt. Christ lives. Never, ever forget that.
sister amanda abby chase