Wow! Where to even start! It has been a crazy week! But a good one!
Please excuse this very random and disorganized email.
So! ! We finished emailing and were running around like crazy people! We took a couple of car trips down to the Hemet Hnas NEW apartment since they were moving while at the same time we were finishing laundry at the OLD apartment and I was packing up my stuff. In the end everything worked out perfectly and I was done packing just in time for my ride to get me. Drove to Lake Elsinore, got there, helped Hna Flores' old companion (Hna Stone) finish packing and we got her sent off. Unpacked a little and we got to work! It sounds like most every mission other than us does transfers on a nonpday. Not us. We just have crazy pdays.
So Lake Elsinore..... is BEAUTIFUL!!! ahh it is lovely. Thanks to all the rain we've been getting lately, everything is green! and the Lake is blue and full (apparently it used to be a little gross b/c there wasn't much water). it is the perfect time to be here! Our apartment.... oh man.... SO much nicer than the old one in Hemet! We only have 1 bathroom though, that's the only downside. But it is much nicer and newer! There are frogs around our apartment (you only hear them, you never see them), but when it rains the sidewalks become snail city! there are tons of snails! The area, well, it's a little confusing. Hemet was pretty much, mas o menos, a grid lay out. There were a lot of streets that would randomly cut or stop, but it was basically grid lay out, you knew where north, south, etc. were at basically all times. Lake Elsinore (I'll probably abbreviate it like "Lk E" or "Lk El") it not like that. at all. There are a TON of like curvy roads and just random blobs of neighborhoods. That'll be the hardest part of Lk El- learning the area geographically. I need to find a good solid map I can mark up. But yes we cover the south half of Lake Elsinore. And I've already spent a good amount of time in actually Lk El, which is where we find a lot of hispanics! Hemet wasn't like that at all- all races were pretty mixed up in the different kinds of areas. The ward, the El Cariso ward, it pretty small. Smaller than the Ramona ward in hemet. There are some really solid members who are always willing to help us out. Hna flores says that most of the ward is really good at fellowshipping too, so that'll be wonderful!
|(sometimes the hair gets a little bit crazy. sign of a busy day)|
|I will take more pics this week, but this is Hna Flores and I!|
My wonderful companion! Hermana Flores! She is wonderful! She is from Ecuador, but moved to utah when she was 3. So she mostly grew up speaking spanish at home with her family and they went to church in a spanish ward too. She is from west jordan, ut. She just finished training last transfer. She and her last companion both were pretty sick last transfer, so now it is a little of an adjustment to be back working full time. But we are having so much fun together! She is super sweet and a wonderful missionary! We are both pretty young missionaries, but we are figuring things out together! I can already say, it has been an awesome first week! We get along super well (she laughs at my jokes, so that's always a plus) and we both are so ready to go and work! It is a great opportunity for us both to learn and grow together. I can really say I am not the same missionary I was 1 week ago! Which is crazy! We teach really well together, have so much fun, ah! it is a great time! I am looking forward to these next 5 weeks!
if it's any sign of how well we are getting along, one day this week we were mostly stretching during exercise time because we both just felt exhausted, and we were talking the whole time. looked up at the clock and it was , 20 minutes past the time we are supposed to stop exercising.
The people here are just loving the name "Schooff". Basically every introduction I've done in spanish so far, either I or the person I'm meeting talk about how schooff is a weird name. We contacted this guy in the street I think and it went like this: Hna flores says, Nice to meet you I'm Hna Flores. I say: And I'm Hermana Schooff. The guy says: Schooff? (but says it like cho). hermana cho? haha what a name. is that real? (then calls out to his friend, pancho), hey pancho! you need to listen to this name! hermana cho! haha he was just laughing the whole time. it is a good thing I really don't care how people pronounce it. Often time I'll just tell them it is like scheuffer (however you spell that, the word for drivers). then they mas o menos get it.
|Legit street sign. Moroni. This is the same street where the guy laughed at my last name. it's all good.|
last week in hemet we got a referral from a member for her friend who lives in eschulyer nebraska! crazy! there's also a street here in lk el called nebraska! i'll need a pic one day.
We did a member visit this week to Hna Cabral and after she taught us how to make una sopa de paraguay. I'm a little confused b/c I'm 99% sure sopa is soup. but it was like a salty corn bread with onion and cheese in it. It was good though! She also fed us yesterday- this like fried steak type thing with rice with cheese in it and these really really good vegetables. yum!
we have exchanges (again! so soon!) and I will be staying here, but my stl coming to spend the day with me is..... HNA TOBLER!!! yay! this is her last transfer here, so i'm super excited to be able to spend 1 last full day with her!
So here in Lk El, this is the only stake in the whole entire mission whose assigned temple isn't the redlands temple. instead it is the SAN DIEGO TEMPLE!!! ahhhH!!!! so we have been working super hard to help our recent converts here to do their family history work to be able to go to baptisms! (for those who don't know, the rule is missionaries can join a recent convert in a trip to the temple to do baptisms if you help them prepare a family history name for them to take). So we did that with two recent converts in our ward. There's a stake temple trip for perspective elders and recent converts .... but we can't go b/c the session starts at so we would be back too late. But President Mullen told us if we help them find another name to take, we could go with them another day, like a , if we attend a session that starts like at the latest . So we are hoping we will be able to go on the 18th of this month!!! (the san diego temple is closing i think from , so we want to get it in before then). Either way I am confident I will be able to go before I ever get transferred out of Lk El, but we really want Hna Flores to go since she taught them both. So that's one of our goals for this transfer!
Fun thing: we had a blitz (a blitz is when we go seeking with faith as a whole zone in one companionship's area. and you go with someone who is not your companion.). I was assigned with Sis. Thomas (she goes home with me) and she is the one who Bishop Bentley and his family know! So that was fun! Small world, she and her companion (who was just in Hemet with me too) are in our district too.
This week we received 22 referrals. 22 folks. Some weeks it is like 4. 22. and we contacted 16 of them. Part of the reason we have so many is because we blitz in our half of the stake, and the last AP is serving in our area and the hispanic part of our area. And his AP companion was a spanish missionary, so we're guessing he has pretty decent spanish plus he's a great missionary.
So yes we contacted 16 referrals and got a decent amount of return appointments. But this week was the week of cancelled appointments! Even member visits and recent convert visits. Even our dinner 2 days this week!
One cool thing that happened this week: we had a good amount of time since our appointments cancelled, so we went into the largely hispanic part of our area (where we had most of our referrals) and we decided to do a combination of seeking/walking in the area while also trying to contact our referrals. At the end when we were heading back to our car, a former investigator was driving, saw us, and pulled over. She loves hna flores! And she asked us to come back and start teaching her again! She said she was telling her husband how she missed the sister missionaries and her husband told her that he just saw us walking in the streets. so she drove off to find us basically! so that's cool! we have an appointment with her .
Some of the people we've taught this week: let's get the worse one out of the way. ugh. This story seems really cool at first. We went to contact this guy. We pulled out in the street and really weren't sure which house he lived in (Lk El also seems worse than Hemet with houses not having house #s). We get out of this car and started talking to this guy. Turns out it is the referral. He wanted us to share our message, but wouldn't let us inside b/c he's only renting a room and said it wasn't big enough. But he wanted to hear the message right then and there. So we like awkwardly sit on this wall ledge thing in someone's yard and begin to teach him part of the restoration. We just wanted to teaching him something really quickly and schedule a different time to come back (it was like and dark outside and lk el has like almsot no street lights). But then he takes off talking about random things, etc. and we are just trying to end the lesson. Then he started telling us that we need to learn more about Christ and telling us we wasted his time in this lesson because we didn't recite any bible scriptures to him. ugh. we technically set up a return appointment but told him we would call him and try to find a better place. turns out the phone number is wrong, so we'll probably have to stop by him sometime this week.
Anyways other people! We taught this lady named Arazeli! She doesn't know much about religion, but wants to learn more and be baptized! She is living in a pretty humble situation, they rent a little bit of property behind a house for their little RV. She and her husband both work and different shifts of the day to take care of their 6 year old son. She also cannot read. She cannot go to church right now because of her work schedule, but she has already begun to work at changing her work schedule to mondays-fridays. pretty cool!
Then we have the Orozco girls. Hna Flores and Stone had begun to teach basically the whole family, but the mom would be a little difficult. But the two girls, ages 15 and 21, and super open and willing to learn more. So we had a returned missionary in our ward and she has been home for like 4 weeks. She invited them (the two girls) to her house for the lesson so we could focus on those two without the other distractions in their home. Things got a little crazy with scheduling, but last night we were able to teach them in the RM's home finally. And it went so well. Hna Flores and I worked so well together throughout the lesson, and having the RM there just was the icing on the cake! The girls finally understood more, felt the spirit, and in the end accepted a baptismal date of . It was a wonderful lesson!
Since hna flores and her last companion were sick last transfer, not a lot of work got done. So now we're working to pick up the area a bit more. It makes life really busy! (between only referrals and potential investigators, we have over 50 names in those two categories. that's a lot of people to see! a lot of potential! at least 1 of them has to be elect!) So off we go to keep working this week!
Until next week!
Hermana Schooff (or is it cho, or scoff, etc.?)