February 21, 2012
The angel of transfer death did not pass over my apartment last week. Usually we are kept completely in the dark about where and who we are going with, but thanks to a leak in the inner circles of the mission (one of the new Assistants), I was able to find out the details. I am going to be training (this time, my greenie is going to be white...so the learning curve is going to be a lot steeper than it was for Elder Driaza), and I am going to be in Mission Viejo! It's the northernmost part of the mission in Orange County. There's a lot fewer Spanish-speakers up there (here in Escondido, we have one Spanish ward that covers the area of the whole stake... up there, they have one Spanish ward that covers the area of the Mission Viejo, Santa Margarita, and Laguna Niguel stakes....three!). . . .
It's going to be super fun! I am so excited. I am definitely sad to be leaving my native Escondido, and it was hard saying goodbye to all the people here that I love, but I know that the Lord wants me to be in Mission Viejo. And if the Lord wants me in Mission Viejo, I wouldn't be happy staying here in Escondido anyways. . . .
This week was really great. We took the new family that we found a few weeks ago to the chapel, where we had set up a giant walk-through model of the Plan of Salvation. It worked out so well. They were able to really understand and remember it, and it was a lot of fun. Yesterday we passed by their house and asked if they had been reading the Book of Mormon. They said that they were confused and didn't know in what direction that they wanted to go, and had decided to read the Bible every night as a family, but they still had yet to crack open the Book of Mormon. We decided to start reading the Book of Mormon with them starting in 1 Nefi. It was so great. They felt the Spirit, and by the end the mom put a bookmark in her Book of Mormon and said, "I think I will trade some of my Bible time for this" and later said, "I think I could be a Mormon someday." It's amazing how they for some reason couldn't get over the "hurdle" of just opening the book and reading, but the Book of Mormon is so powerful that the instant they started reading, it started changing them. . . .
Thanks for all the birthday wishes! My companion made sure to tell/text everyone he could, so I was being bombarded by birthday wishes all day long. I was able to participate in possibly the most beautiful part of Mexican culture-- "Que lo muerda." Basically, when someone has a birthday, they put your cake in front of you and sing "Las Mañanitas" and then they start chanting "Que lo muerda" (which means, "Bite it"). You have to lean forward and put the edge of the birthday cake, and then everyone around you jumps up and shoves your face into the cake. And then we all eat it, face-print and all. Awesome (although, I got frosting way up in my nose... hours later, I could still smell birthday cake).
A little bit less pleasant and definitely more unexpected: on our way home to the apartment on Saturday night, we were pulling in right at the nick of time at 9:30 and as we got out of the car, we heard a woman screaming "Help me". We turned around a saw a lady sitting on the concrete steps that go from the parking lot to the apartments, and as we walked towards her, she got up and stumbled towards us, and we realized that she was covered in blood. We had her sit down and called 9-1-1, the whole time she was bleeding pretty badly from the side of her head. The police and ambulance both came and picked her up, and we didn't get in our apartment until 10pm that night (we figured that it wouldn't be Christlike to tell her "No, we can't help you. We have to be in our apartment at 9:30" haha). It was a pretty intense birthday surprise.