Yep. I am now serving in the Bel Air/ Beverly Hills area. WHAT?! Larry King's wife is in my ward. And Dr. 90210. And Rob Moffat (equally famous). Pretty cool, eh? I haven't met tons of people yet because of conference so we obviously didn't have church... But I am very excited to meet everyone. My companion-- Sis Franks who is still a little baby in her second transfer-- and I have our work cut out for us. Sis Franks got to know the area sort of well, but not extremely well so we are really figuring things out together. We cover 2 wards, the Westwood 1st ward and the UCLA student ward which is way fun. UCLA campus is way neat and it's fun to drive around and see all the students and everything. I'm excited to teach younger people too! The freshman in that ward are super into missionary work which is awesome. The area is surrounding the temple and up to Beverly Hills so it's a pretty "hard" area because it's a very rich area but I am absolutely stoked about it. My companion and I are really getting along great so I am happy as a clam. A little stressed with the work that needs to be done in this area and how to go about doing it, but it's ok. Oh yeah, I am driving again for the first time in 7 months. I sort of felt like I was 16 again getting on the freeway and stuff. I was just imagining the first time Troy Brinkerhoff the MASTER of driving (at least he thought so) and I drove on the freeway together and what a frightening experience that was. Now multiply that times 100 and that's driving in LA for ya.
We have a couple baptisms coming up. One is an 11 year old girl whose family has been less active so she wasn't baptized at 8. She is darling and SO smart. She might know the Gospel better than I do! Her baptism is this Saturday and we are so happy for her and for her family that they are progressing so nicely. The other is Sarah. Sarah has been a LONG process, but she has finally decided to be baptized. I actually knew her before I was transferred into this area because she came into the VC quite a lot so that was nice. Her baptism is on the 16th and she is so excited. This will be the first baptism in the WW 1st ward for a couple years so that is way exciting. She is way cool and I am so grateful to be a part of her conversion process.
Oh by the way... I am now in the Westwood Zone. Which is just funny because it makes me feel like I am in High School again because our zone leaders say things like "Tear it up Westwood". And I have a flashback. Just a funny side note.
SO. I guess I should do an update for the week.
Saying Adios to a big chunk of sisters was sad, but also exciting because I am excited to see what great things come their way. I will miss them of course, but 10 months will fly by and I will be able to see everyone again! They were all so funny about leaving. Everyone says that happens to everyone, but I'll believe it when I'm there I guess. I guess I just don't think it needs to be as dramatic as it turns out to be. Now just watch, I'll be sobbing and someone will have to pull me away from LA when it's my time to go haha.
And then Wednesday was transfers. What is crazy is that all day Tuesday, when everyone is wondering what is going to happen, I KNEW that I was going to Bel Air with Sis Franks. I really just knew that was going to happen. And then at 9:30 we got the call and I was right! Haha. It was hard to call everyone from my beloved Santa Monica 1st ward, but also really exciting for a new change. I will always keep in touch with that ward because I love everyone there so much. RWLJ was of course bummed, but we will still see each other at the VC. "We will always be friends. And you might be Bailee Brinkerhoff to the world, but you will always be sister Brinkerhoff to me! MY missionary!" was what he said to me :(. Tender. I don't know if I will ever meet someone like RWLJ. In fact I know I won't. He is truly one of a kind. And a GREAT kind. So then wednesday morning we drove to Sis Franks apt (that was when I drove for the first time in 6 months) and loaded all of her stuff to come move in with me. Yea, pretty lucky that I didn't have to move. Truly a blessing with all the schtuff I have accumulated. (Not that that would be a surprise to anyone). And then we drove back to the temple apts and moved her in... Then we worked at the VC after I gave a LENGTHY description and instructions for the sisters staying in Santa Monica. I want them to take care of my peeps, of course. They are in good hands, that's for sure.
The real treat was Saturday because the days before we had little appt's here and there, and then worked at the VC but Saturday we had from 3-9 in the area and we had 2 girls from the UCLA ward with us. We went tracting in Beverly Hills. Um. Scary. We got yelled at a bit. But then Sis Franks and I tracted an apt building on Campus and I met a girl who is a broadway performer so of COURSE we hit it off. We are going back in a couple weeks and hopefully she will want to read the Book of Mormon. She was way cool. It was a tender mercy from the Lord to meet her because we had had NO success, NO one would talk to us, and then this lovely performer talked to us for like 20 minutes and she and I really did become friends. She is darling and said she would come to the VC in a couple weeks. She saw "Next to Normal" here in LA an said my friend Preston did a FANTASTIC Job! (Linz- send Preston a message and tell him that. And that I love him. And that I am sad I missed him all 3 times he tried to visit me. Such a bummer). It made me so proud of my dear friend Preston. LOVE YOU PRESTY! Anyways, so fun to meet her. Her name is Julie Garnye and she has stuff on youtube if you wanna check it out.
Oh I got a lovely surprise visit from Jeremiah at the VC! It was so fun to see him. And his friend Greg which was way fun to meet him too. So much fun.
OK conference. MAN!!!! It was AWESOME and I'm sure you all agree. I seriously was so exhausted after every session because of how strong I felt the spirit throughout. I LOVED Elder Oaks talk about desire. I LOVED Richard G Scotts talk and I just want someone to love me someday like he loves his wife. So sweet.I definitely teared in that one. I LOVED Elder Holland's talk (of course). I am just so grateful for revelation. The fact that these men can talk about things that might not exactly apply to what I need (how to help Bel Air, for example) but I can receive answers and "tips" through the spirit to guide me is an absolute testimony to me that these men are called of God and have a responsibility and sacred calling to give us that guidance. I hope we were all able to understand what we can do better, differently, and change. I learned a LOT about who I am, what I want to become, and how I can become that person. I am so far away from the person I want to be, but thanks to the Atonement, I can inch toward that person. And just like Elder Bednar taught, sometimes it is actually a inch forward. Which can be very frustrating, but we must be patient with ourselves and allow ourselves an opportunity to grow through adversity. That was a HUGE subject throughout and I really believe and have a testimony in that principle. We really are refined as an outcome of our weakest, hardest and darkest experiences. How grateful I am for the atonement. Whew. I could go on all day.
We went to the BEACH today! Don't tell President. Just kidding, he was there, and so were a lot of other missionaries. We had a "beach p-day". SO those of you who are expecting a reply to a letter, I wasn't able to write today because our rules changed and we are no longer allowed to write letters while working at the VC and I was playing volleyball at the beach, not writing letters sorry :( . But I love you all! And guess what? I definitely saw my favorite AVP and Olympics champion Walsh practicing today at the beach. I can't remember her first name. But she was there. With her 12 pack abs. No worries.
Well I think that is all for today. I am so happy to be a missionary! I love you all very very much, thank you for your support, love, prayers, friendship, thoughts, lives, smiles,... Whatever.
XOXO (Ps RWLJ and my Mom are now pen pals. And RWLJ thinks its so adorable that my Mom writes xoxox on all of her e-mails, so he now does it too. Haha)