Hello people that I love so very much!
So lets start out with Grandpa Preece passing away. So sorry to hear that, yet so grateful that he is with all of his loved ones right now. He deserves a pretty big party! I love Grandpa so much and I can't wait to hear about everyone's favorite memories of him. What a wonderful man! Here is how me hearing about him went... VERY cool experience. If you want to see 10 miracles happen in 10 hours please read on. It all started Monday morning.
My companion, Sister Strasser (Straw-ser), and I started out with personal study. During personal study I was in Ether 7 learning about miracles. Our area (Pacific Beach and La Jolla) needs a miracle so bad. Our ward is very interesting because half of it is full of super rich people that are Less Active and do not want the gospel, and then the other half are the younger people who came to live on the beach and want to 'lose themselves.' We are RIGHT on the beach. Every morning we walk to the ocean for exercise... it only takes 4 minutes!!! Our mission boundaries end where the sand starts so we do get to touch it but we can only walk on the boardwalk and look out at the surfers and boats. The beach is called Tourmaline Surfing Beach I believe, and I can seriously see it from my desk when I study in the morning. SO BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE THE OCEAN!
So back to our ward... we have been struggling to find anyone interested in the gospel. We do not tract in our mission because many of the people live in gated communites and it is incredibly hilly here... who would have known!? President Clayton believes that our time is better spent in other places and I agree. Our area book with all of the information about what the former missionaries were doing before us is almost blank... so we are left with like 5 names and a prayer. Of course we visited all of those people in one day. So then what do we do the next day? Visit members
But then after a few days we're out of people right? So we have been praying for a miracle. We need someone to teach! So Ether 7 was giving me ideas on how to be more faithful and how to get a miracle and I just broke down. I started talking to Sister Strasser and she was feeling the exact same way. We had both been trying to be strong for the other one, but now it was 'keep it real time.' We both shared our frustrations and our worries. Sister Strasser has only been out 12 weeks!!! That is so young to be training! You could not train ANY earlier! While we were trying to figure out how to move the area forward we got a phone call from President Clayton and he asked for me. He told me that Grandpa had passed away and gave me some comfort. Good thing I was already crying!!!
So while I'm on the phone with President Clayton someone knocks on our window and is waving at us... and of course :) it's four elders! They were coming to pick up a bike, but really we all know it was because I was going to need a blessing to make it through that day. They gave me one on our porch and it was wonderful. There is nothing I love more than the Priesthood. They left and then our zone leaders called and said the had heard about Grandpa and our numbers from last week (almost all zeroes). The took us to lunch with the District leader and they just sat there and listened to us the whole time. I have never felt so much love in my entire life. They had the idea of having a zone blitz where our whole zone would come and street contact for a few hours, hopefully giving us some referrals to work with. Honestly they feel like my family. Heavenly Father knew that Grandpa would pass and put 8 elders in my path with in 10 minutes! The most wonderful part has been that I was in Ether 7 and before Sister Strasser and I had started talking about our frustrations I gave a prayer that sounded like this...
"Heavenly Father I want this area to be successful. I want to teach! I want to bring more people to Thee, but I'm stuck. I don't know what to do. I'm new. I'm so tired and we just got up. My body hurts. I don't think I have enough energy to be enthusiastic ALL day. I know that's what You need, but in all honestly I just don't have enough to give today. All I have is half of a mustard seed of hope and faith. I'm so sorry. I will try to give more each day. Please be patient with me." I gave Heavenly Father HALF of a mustard seed. HALF!!! And look at all of the miracles that came from it. Absolutely wonderful. MIRACLES!
Please tell Grandma that I love her and that she is amazing. I hope that one day I can say that I have as much patience, will power, and love as her. What a wonderful example of a hard working wife and mother. Truly a miracle.
Now for the details on San Diego. We are so close to the ocean, so we smell it all the time. Sometimes stinky! Haha! I love the palm trees and everyday I ask Sister Strasser about them. I really really want a book on plants in San Diego because my green thumb is dying to learn about them. Bahaha That sentence was ridiculous, but true! Our apartment is nice, but holy hannah the shower had an inch of mold in it. SICK! We got some bleach on that beast pretty quick. There isn't any parking around here so we have to fight for a spot everyday! I've had to parallel park a few time because Sister Strasser doesn't like to do it.
I had my first rejection this week, my first dog attack, my first street contact, and my first Fbomb dropped this week! Haha They were all super funny! Funny things about our area... so on Cinco de Mayo there were SO MANY drunk people. Friday nights are pretty bad too. We have some neighbors that like to party. The members think that the missionaries are always super hot and hungry, so every time we go into a house they give us food and a water bottle I'm starting a collection! I have 5 water bottles in the fridge right now :) haha I usually don't hoard like that, but heck! Why not start now?? ;) So you know those people who get paid to twirl the signs in front of Little Caesars? Well here they just get a manakin robot to do it. They look like giant barbies... SO CREEPY! hahahaha
So far I've met a dude with super long dread locks, an autistic boy that can only talk by typing on an iPad, a Southern Reverend, and oh yeah, MITT ROMNEY IS IN MY WARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Hey. what's up Brother Romney. nothing. cool. not much here either. bye. BAHHHHHHHHH!!!
Speaking of cool people... this week I was in a members home and heard their boys talking about volleyball. So I listened closer (not in a creepy way) and it turns out they were talking about the BYU game! So I asked and they're like "Yeah we lost!" So I said "We? As in you went to BYU!?" Then they say..... "Uhhhh yeah. we're ON THE TEAM." Hahahahahha No way!!!!!!! So 2 brothers in my ward are on the team! The Heap brothers! I shook their hands! Man my ward is crazy!
This one time at dinner this week there was a fly in my water. Super awkward. We were in the wards pinewood derby this week! Our car is SO sweet! I'll send pictures soon :) I've seen the temple from afar... SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Mom I brought YOUR gingersnaps from the MTC to California... So now they've been from Idaho to Utah and then Utah to California! STILL SO GOOD!!! love them more than anything else. It's been raining like crazy here! I LOVE THE WEATHER. absolutely perfect.
Pray for us to find more ways to spread the gospel. I know that the combined faith and prayers of everyone I love can move mountains!
I love you more than gingersnaps and milk. (that's a lot a love right there) xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxox