Sorry about not writing on Friday- P day is now on Mondays, so that's when you'll get the emails.
It's been a really crazy week. Tuesday morning, I got up at 1 am, was on a train by 4, arrived at the airport, and called home. I talked to David, but unfortunately, after my flight landed (uneventfully), I got grabbed by the Mission President, Elder Taggert, before I could call. He took us to the mission home, where we watched some safety videos and got assigned to our new companions. I got Elder Wilding. He's a fun guy. He plays guitar pretty well, and is good at teaching. Then, we were shown some beds and told to take a nap. 15 minutes in to mine, I was shaken awake and interviewed by Elder Taggert. I was so sleepy, I don't remember a thing. At the very least though, he pried enough out of me that he didn't send me home. For the rest of the day, I was energetic enough, but right then I couldn't even think.
That night, I set up all my stuff in the apartment, and then we headed out to clean up the area book- visiting potential investigators that the missionaries talked to once and forgot about. For dinner, we went out with a member family to El Durango's, a Mexican restaurant. What's really funny is that Elder Wilding sounds just like James from Studio C, and guess what he ordered there? Lobster bisque.
Wednesday was equally interesting. The highlight of it was going out tracting. After meeting a lot of people who by and large just yelled that they weren't interested from behind locked doors, we finally found someone who might be. He actually had visited the Salt Lake temple grounds. We told him more about the temple, and gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to read. He seemed fairly interested. Tracting, apparently, is almost useless in California. Elder Wilding knocked on every door in his first two areas, and didn't get a single investigator from that. Member referrals are the only way to go. That night, at a member's house, we had fajitas for dinner.
Thursday so far has been the best. I got an iPad mini! They are these small, specially programmed iPads that are loaded with a few helpful apps and lots of monitoring software. You can't do anything with them besides the church-approved stuff. They are incredibly helpful though- the area book app works about a thousand time better than paper. You can also read scriptures, general conference talks, church magazines, and everything else. Guess what we had for dinner? More Mexican food.
Friday was weekly planning. We set up goals and all that for the week, and did laundry in the hour and a half we had left over in the scheduled time. No one knows why we are given 3 hours for planning that takes so little time. Then, we went out to do some service. That's where my companion found me with a needle in my arm. Granted, that needle was put there by a Red Cross blood drive nurse. Originally, we were just going to sit behind the welcome desk, smile, hand out information packets, and watch out for people who passed out, but instead I ended up donating. Apparently though, you're supposed to drink a lot more before donating than I did- my veins were so small they had to use a side vein, which takes a lot longer. I talked to a few interesting people though. One of them had donated every three months since 1996! My companion and I are going to be doing a lot more service in the future. While tracting, we're lucky to find one or two people who will talk to us in a week. In the three hours we were at the blood drive, everyone there chatted happily.
It's almost unbelievable how much energy I have over here. I consistently wake up at my alarm's first beep, something I'd completely sleep through even at the MTC. Even right after donating blood, I was still super hyper. I don't know what they put in the water here, but it's incredible.
The one thing I'm kicking myself for is not taking music. The one CD I brought, we already had at the apartment. Can you send over every Piano Guys, Pentatonix, and EFY CD you can find? I think that one of them is still in the Mac's disc drive. And if you're feeling especially nice, can you ask Sam to email me everything Sundayish off of Itunes? Elder Taggert said that he doesn't care what music we listen to as long as it doesn't drive away the spirit. Also, a cheap chess board would be really nice. on p day, we can go to a chess group thing, and I'd like to practice in my free time. My mailing address is:
2500 N Bristol Street
Santa Ana, CA