This week was quite possibly the BEST week of my whole mission. Everything about this week was so fun, perfect, miraculous, and any other strong positive adjectives you can think of. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. So with that being said, you'll either want to get comfy or come back to my email another time, because it is going to be quite the novel. ;)
First of all, on Monday night, Sister Green and I ate dinner with a member who lives in the UCLA Grad housing. We were tight on time, and thus just tried to find a meter to park at. Well, we found one that still had 45 minutes on it! So we just popped a few coins in it and went to dinner. That was a tender mercy. Afterwards we were able to go to the Visitors' Center fireside with Oscar and listen to Sister Elaine S. Dalton and President Matt Holland (of UVU) speak. Sister Dalton gave an excellent talk about temples and about the "rising generation" and I felt that it was really good for Oscar to hear. She was so positive and praised all of the young adults (who the fireside was tailored to) and expressed her confidence in us to do what the Lord needs us to do. It was a really great talk. President Holland was talking about Civic Charity or something, but we didn't get to hear much of it because we had to go home. I helped Sister Green make plans for the next day, then I just finished up my packing and went to bed.
Transfers went so well on Tuesday!! Sister Green did a workout while I showered and got the last of my things together. I took a brief moment to say goodbye to Sister Olson and Scrappy (the dog) and enjoy the sunrise out the little window on the front door. Then I started taking my things to the front entry way and Kristen came right on time. Kristen was a pro at fitting all of my things into the back seat of her little 2-door car. It was pretty awesome. By the time we finished loading my stuff, Sister Moli had arrived to be with Sister Green while she waited for her new companion. We gave hugs and said goodbye and off we went! Thankfully Kristen's car cooperated (she mentioned the day before at the fireside that it was acting up) and we made surprisingly good time getting to Lawndale and the other Sisters. We got my things unloaded and I said bye to Kristen, and she told me she would keep me updated about my recent converts and all of my people from the ward. And that was that!
Sister Perez and Sister Asay helped me take my things to the apartment, and since I arrived earlier than planned, I was able to get settled in and get things unpacked. That was really good, because there wasn't a whole lot of time the rest of the week to do that. After a while we walked down the street to the other sisters' apartment to wait for Sister Asay's new companion. Sister Shupe arrived shortly after we did, so we were able to help her bring her things upstairs and then headed back to our apartment for the new leadership training. It was a really good meeting, and I am really excited to serve as a Sister Training Leader. It really isn't all that different than what I have been doing, and I feel like this assignment will help me even more to become the person that I want to become, and of course the person that Heavenly Father wants/needs me to become. This assignment comes at just the right time for me, because I feel like I have had all the experiences I need to be a STL. I am feeling much more confident in this assignment than I thought I would, which is also a tender mercy.
This is me and Sister Perez, who used to be my STL last year.
Also on Tuesday we were able to deliver the last of the Gladys Knight tickets that had been requested from the ward. We met a sister who served a mission and who now takes care of her mother full time, which unfortunately prevents her from coming to church. But she is really great and said she would love to come out with us. She also gave us some alkaline water from some fancy Japanese machine, while telling us all about the pH of water and what our bodies need and all that jazz. Sister Perez and I had quite a discussion about that afterwards. It was great. Later that evening we met the fiancee of a potential investigator who said we could come back! We set a return appointment for later in the week, but we haven't been able to catch her at home. We also met Alia, a single mother of 5 who was recently widowed. We showed her and her kids a little video and set up a time to go do service for her. When we called and confirmed, she said it wasn't going to work out this time, but that she would let us know. So hopefully this week we'll be able to go see her and see what we can do to help her.
Wednesday was HOT! Tuesday was too, but it was especially hot since we were at House of Yaweh doing service. This time I got to do something different than what I used to do when we would go there. Last time I would help to fill the boxes, but this time we got to help give the boxes away. There was a lot of standing around and waiting, but it was still good. I enjoy being able to go there and help out. After service we went to try and see some people, and talk to people along the way. Later in the evening after dinner we had a really sweet member of the ward out with us. She and her husband are musicians and seem to be really great. Our last stop for the night was a couple of recent converts, one of whom received the Aaronic Priesthood and was able to pass the sacrament these last couple of Sundays.
On Thursday we had an awesome weekly planning session and we got to talk about some goals we want to work on within our companionship and with our sisters as well. Once we finished that, we headed out to go see some people around the church building before going to our coordination meeting. Our Ward Mission Leader is awesome!! He is a go-getter and will probably do anything we ask him to do. He personally knows all of the people that the missionaries talk about, and he makes sure that we have anything and everything we need to do this work. My last WML was on his way out of the state for some job thing, so we didn't see much of him. He was awesome too though. After coordination we had the opportunity to go see a few more people and then eat dinner with our WML and his wife. They are both converts to the church, which I only found out about yesterday at church, and I think that's pretty neat. Shortly after dinner Brother Evans came out with us to visit a Recent Convert. It turns out that I had gone with Sister Diaz to teach this RC's mom over a year ago when I came to Lawndale on my first exchange. She found the church through a pass along card and then requested missionaries to come help her son.
On Friday we had quite a day. We picked up a couple of sisters and then went to the Artesia building for our 2nd Gladys Knight/Saints Unified Voices training. This time we were talking about how important it will be to follow up with the people who request the gift package thing from the presentation. I also appreciated the time we spent talking about the racial questions and concerns that potentially could come up when we go to see people. It was really helpful, and I learned a lot. So far we have only received 1 referral from the presentation, but several of our members took their friends and non-member family members, so we are looking forward to following up with them this week. Later Friday afternoon, we had a girl from the Young Women out with us and we went to visit the sweetest old Polish guy ever!! It was pretty neat, because when I came on the same exchange I mentioned earlier, Sister Diaz and I went to visit this very same guy. That night we ate dinner with the Bishop and his family, and they are so cute!! Bishop's wife told us the story of how they met and got married, and it is the sweetest story. His wife also gives really great hugs. She is so kind, and I already love her.
Us with Goldie and our SUV tickets while we stood in line :)
Immediately following the session, we got changed and drove back to Lawndale so that we could grab some lunch and meet our investigator who was going to drive us to Carson for the SUV presentation. We again had just enough time to grab Chick-fil-a for lunch and drive to her house before needing to hit the road. We made great time and didn't have to stand in line long before we were able to go in and sit down. The best thing was that I saw Brother and Sister Tuianna from Harbor City, and they are doing great!! Bro. Tuianna is going to receive the Melchizedek priesthood soon, and they are going to go to the temple together this summer!!! I was SO HAPPY to see them!
At the presentation I also saw Bishop Clark and his wife from south bay Young Single Adults, Brother Baconawa, Bro and Sis Widdison, the Bee family, Sister Nagano and Sister Johansen, Bro and Sis Conley and several other people. It was so great!!! I think our investigator really enjoyed it too. The presentation was so focused on people giving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ a chance, and I thought it was great. Brother McDowell's testimony was also pretty funny.
Sunday was another day of miracles. It turns out that Bishop Mead and his family from Harbor 1st are in our ward! And this ward is just so great!! Everyone was so kind and loving and welcoming to me, and I already love serving here so much!! It is going to be a great transfer and I am so thankful for this opportunity from Heavenly Father to serve here. I have a great companion too, so that helps a ton! :) We have been able to exercise every single day, minus Sunday of course, so that definitely helps too.
I think I have finally reached the end of the list I made of things to tell you, so BYE! I hope you are all doing well! I look forward to hearing about your week and love you all a bunch!!
Sister Hatch :)