So I’m here in California!! It’s beautiful, but surprisingly cold sometimes. My first real day it was pouring, and my area (El Monte West) is a bike area. Woohoo! We were positively SOAKed. But it was awesome! I’ve had only really one hard day where almost everything fell through, but we still got some good work done.
We stay really busy. Partly because my trainer, Elder Gines of Highland, UT, is super consciencious (sp?), but also cuz he’s a really good, straight-laced missionary. He’s the one who’s always suggesting the obedient route when the 9 elders of the El Monte ward (I know, right?) are together. He’s been out 20 months, and doesn’t want to get trunky, so we keep ourselves scheduled. Which is relatively easy to do because…
One, we’re on bike. Takes a while to get places, even though our area is small. Two, we have a TON of investigators. The problem is that half, maybe more, need to get married!! That’s the most frustrating thing about Latino culture. NObody is married to each other. They just live together for 50 years and have 6 kids. What the what? It’s weird and frustrating. In fact, one couple we have is in this situation: both need to get divorced from their spouse, and then get married to each other. UGH. And they’re some of the handful of progressing investigators we have!
But the Work is good. I really enjoy it, and I’m learning to understand. Right now my understanding capability is pretty much on par with my speaking ability. This isn’t so great. There are loads of mumblers out here, and also lots of fast-talkers. And most of them are both. In the MTC, everyone was really nice and spoke clearly and it was wonderful!
So we had a zone activity yesterday, on P-Day, and we had carne asada with arroz and guacamole on tortillas and twas deLICious! Then we played soccer, and I simultaneously created and tore off a blister about the size of a quarter on my left foot. I kept playing, cuz I’m a man like that, and proceeded to get hit between the legs with the ball. I persevered, like the manly man that I am (or am I a muppet?), and promptly scored a goal. Like a boss. Then I had to sit out and recover for the rest of the time. It was fun!
So the hardest thing aside from marriage in the Work is getting people to church. Don’t know why, but it just is. The things that keep them from church: sleeping in, machistosa and breakfast, and a dog named Tyson. Oh, how I hate that dog… Lemme asplain. Half our investigators can’t seem to wake up in time to get to church at 9. I get up at 6:15 every day of the week. QQ, bro. So we’re going to call them next week to wake them up! Next, there’s one couple, the husband isn’t interested, but the wife is. Problem: he wants her to make breakfast for her, so she can’t go to church. This superdominance of the man of the house is called ‘machistosa,’ I believe Elder Gines called it. Lastly… Tyson. Ugh, Tyson. Roselia is totally prepared for baptism, right? We only have to teach her a couple more simple commandments. But she can’t go to church because her Mom, who she lives with is a recent convert and also attends church, wouldn’t be there to watch Tyson. And he can’t be left alone. So, she could bring him in the car, right? No, she says. He’d just poop in the car, or something. So our next step is to have her bring the stupid dog, go and take him on a walk after every meeting. BAH. Flojo.
There are so many weird problems in Latino Work… namely the Virgin. Elder Gines said he’s had plenty of Virgin-smashing lessons. I have yet to participate. But yeah. It’s weird.
I’m having a rockin good time here in Cali, though, and loving it all! I’m excited for our first baptism, which should be DEFinitely by the end of March. If Roselia can get her act together, though, it should be on the 4th! Estoy animadisimo! Love you all, and help out the elders wherever you may be. Referrals are the BEST!