I made it to Bakersfield on Monday!
We spent the afternoon at the Mission President's home and I went and knocked doors for my first time with Sister Lords (I know funny, and she is also from Idaho Falls!) She was so awesome! We just did an area in Bakersfield for the afternoon (I DIED IT WAS SO HOT) but it was the best experience ever!
We stayed at a member's home that night after dinner at the mission home. The next day we went to Transfer Meeting and met our companions and found out where we will be serving for the next six weeks! I am in PALMDALE! It is such a fun area! I love it so so so much! It reminds me a lot of Tempe area in Arizona! There are palm trees everywhere so I love that! And my companion is Sister Barney, from Texas (a little town near Houston, but she doesn't have a southern accent or anything ha ha) She is really nice and a sweet girl! She loves singing. All the time. She especially loves cheesy EFY songs. We get along pretty well! She has only been out for almost 5 months... yeah only 5 months! I think we are both learning a lot right now. President Wilson told me that I need to be ready in like four months to start training! Scary!
This last week was a struggle at the beginning! I WAS AND AM STILL JUST SO READY TO TEACH. But I haven't been able to do that a whole lot cause Sister Barney and I are WHITE WASHING our area! We replaced a set of elders so it has been super hard not knowing anything or any of our investigators in this area. Basically, the first two days here, were meeting the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader and planning and trying to get into contact with our investigators. I really struggled with that, cause I just want to get out there and teach! But it has been a good learning experience!
We have met a lot of people in our ward (our area is half of the Palmdale 5th ward, we share the ward with the Zone Leaders)! I LOVE ALL OF THEM! They are the sweetest people ever and I can't wait to get to know them even more! Church was super fun and the ward is so excited to have sisters finally! They haven't had sisters for like 15 years someone said! So yay! Exciting! Hopefully that means there are a lot of people that we will teach! The ward is awesome though, they feed us every night! WE ARE SO LUCKY! We contacted a lot of Less Active members and have been setting up a lot of appointments for next week. We have tracted for a couple of hours each day to try to get to know the area and get a few more investigators! While we were tracting a couple of days ago, a crazy lady started yelling at us about how Joseph Smith changed the Bible and wrote the Book of Mormon and told us what we believed... It was a challenge not to just yell right back to her about how wrong she was! Hahaha it wasn't too discouraging, just gotta keep going and finding people who have open and soft hearts.
Our apartment is really nice! It isn't technically in our area because there are no apartment buildings where we cover! We have A/C though! HALLELUJIA WE HAVE A/C. Hahaha it isn't as hot here as it is in Bakersfield and it cools down a little at night, so that is nice! I really do love it!! It is super dry here, not humid. Also we have an In n Out, Panera Bread, Jamba Juice, Walmart, Trader Joe's and everything so I am just feeling so lucky! I am making Sister Barney go to In n Out after this because I just need it hahaha. Also our neighbor is the sweetest black woman ever! Her name is Constance and we see her almost every day when we are going in and out of the apartment. She is just so nice and asks us how we are all the time. What a woman. :) Sorry this email is all over the place, it is so hard to remember everything and include as much as possible!
So there is a family in the ward, the Vickrey's, the mom and one of the daughters are recent converts to the church and we are going to be teaching a couple of the kids and hopefully the dad. He seems to have warmed up to us sisters stopping by so hopefully he will be open to hearing more about the gospel! They are having a really hard time with medical problems and other issues, so please pray for them and pray that they will have the faith to keep going! I TAUGHT MY FIRST REAL INVESTIGATOR LESSON YESTERDAY! We got a referral randomly in a text earlier this week, from church headquarters that said to contact this lady named Lettie at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday at her address. So we stopped by but no one answered so we left a Jesus Christ card with our name and number on it hoping she would call us or something. We never heard from her so we stopped by yesterday after dinner (at the Evans family's house, we had pancakes for dinner and it was the best day of my life. I love their family they are crazy and just so fun) haha and LETTIE WAS HOME! she was so confused because she never sent in any requests to see the missionaries... but I know that it was Heavenly Father somehow because she was totally searching for a church to believe in! She is catholic, but doesn't go to church and she believes some of the catholic beliefs but not everything. We asked if we could come and share what our church is about and she totally let us in (kind of hesitant but she let us in!) and we got to teach her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she is going to pray about the Book of Mormon to see if it is true and I was just ready to bust a move and dance my little heart out after she closed her door! BEST DAY EVER. The spirit was really strong and I am praying she recognizes her answer!
I LOVE TALKING TO PEOPLE. hahaha it is probably the scariest but most exciting thing ever. I love getting to know them and hearing about their lives. But my favorite thing is talking to them about Jesus Christ. I get to testify every day of my life for the next 17.5 months about our Heavenly Father's love for them and that He gave us this beautiful plan to return to live with Him. Jesus Christ is our Savior. I love Him and have come to know Him more and more each day. I learned in the MTC from one of my teachers that sacrifice is the only way we can truly try to repay our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That is all He asks of us, is to sacrifice a little bit of our time and our efforts to becoming more like our Savior, Jesus Christ and serving those around us. In the eternal perspective of things, this whole "mission, not being able to see family and friends and continue my life" thing is the only thing I want to be doing! I wouldn't change this for anything in the world and I am so grateful for this honor and opportunity to wear Jesus Christ's name on my nametag every day. I can't express how much I have learned and gained from just these last few weeks as a missionary! I can't wait to see what the rest brings.
Sorry this is another novel, there is just so much that happens each and every day and there is no way to include everything! I LOVE YOU ALL!
I am so sorry for not being able to write everyone back! Know that I miss and love all of you beautiful creatures and that I am praying for you!