Yes. I am still here. Yes. This is transfer #6. Yes that means that by the end of this transfer I will have spent half of my mission in the same area. Yes. That means I have still never moved apartments. Yes. That means I am still in Bel Air. Do you understand?! STILL IN BEL AIR! Unreal. Awesome. Crazy. And slightly ridiculous. I am super happy about it.
I was prety shocked, of course. But at the same time I had a pretty distinct feeling on Monday of last week that I was staying. So when they announced it Tuesday morning I was pretty OK with it. I still have my Pinto Bean. But we have a new pea to our pod, Sister Green. Yep, another trio. I was in a trio close to this time last year, too. Trios are funny. Our room is basically a bunk bed, another bed, and a desk. And a kitchen. We are having a good time. Sister Green...She is INCREDIBLE. We are super good friends all ready so we are having a blast. We wrestle a lot and just laugh and have fun. She is an awesome missionary and really ready to work. Being in a trio is always an interesting dynamic, but there is definitely a reason that we are all three together. Sister Green is seriously such a tender mercy for me, I haven't laughed as much as I have the last 5 days for a loooooong time. It's super fun. Sis Pinto mostly laughs at us or looks at us weird or takes pictures (like the other day when Sis Green and I played Bear, Ninja, Hunter to settle a dispute about who would make a very important and scary phone call) and thinks we are crazy. It's pretty hilarious.
Bro Simpson- We had one of the best lessons that we have ever had with him this week. The spirit was really strong and he was more responsive than he has been in a little while, so that is really good. He didn't come to church but that is ok, he will be there next week! I love moments, in lessons like those, where you just think "This is why I am here." As small of a miracle it may seem, they add up to make it one big giant cause that is so worth being on.
(Mom- Sis Pinto just got handed her package, and she was really grateful for it. The look on her face... Thank you. You are so sweet, Mom, thank you for sending it to her!)
Anastasia- She is hit or miss. Sometimes she will meet with us, sometimes she won't. When she does, she accepts the things we say and answers the questions and it seems that she is progressing. And then she won't meet with us for a week or so. But she will slowly progress, I believe.
We have a new investigator, a referral from a UCLA ward member. We'll call her K. Her name is MUCH more complicated than that. Ha. and we are meeting with her tomorrow and are so excited about it! She seems really amazing from what we can tell via the phone.
We have set some great goals for this transfer and I am super excited about it... Our vision of the Area is for reals good, now we just gotta get to work to see those things come to pass. I am so grateful to have another opportunity to learn and grow in Bel Air. Apparently I haven't learned what I was supposed to learn just yet... Welp, I've got at least 5 more weeks to figure it out!
The Talent Show is falling into place, thank heavens, and it seems that there are a lot of members inviting their friends. We still have a lot to do but that is ok! It will all work out.
I had an amazing talk with my mission president today. It was a really amazing experience because I KNEW that he is called of God and that he has been given the keys necessary to lead all of us 200 missionaries. I was so grateful for the counsel he gave and for the spirit that I felt while talking with him. He is an amazing man and I am so grateful for his leadership.
One cool thing about being a missionary in LA. Yesterday we talked with a guy from Chech Republic, a family from Kuwait who was here for a kidney transplant for their adorable son, a woman from Mexico, 2 men from Italy, and a few people from Switzerland. All within like 30 minutes of each other. A lot of these people had never heard of the Church before. Sometimes I have to really look at every single one of those moments and see that we are planting a seed that might not have been planted had we not stopped these people to talk to them. Pretty incredible.
The UCLA sacrament meeting yesterday was Missionary hour. All of the 7 missionaries in the ward participated, sharing a testimony and introducing themselves. I got out of it by singing instead :) I sang "I know that my redeemer lives" (which, the accompianist says, while we were practicing, "I love Rob Gardner music..." and I say "He's my friend!" And he says "WHAT?! YOU KNOW ROB GARDNER!" Bahahahahah. If everyone could only see the REAL Rob. Only kidding, You are the best, Rob. I'm priveleged to know you :) and while I was singing, I had this thought "I really do know these things..." It was nice. I love bearing my testimony through song. I really do.
Thank you all for your prayers and love. Even though some of you illegally call the Visitors Center to tell me Happy Halloween, I still love you. (You know who you are :) I have the best friends in the world. Even if you make the other sisters judge me when they are all standing around the desk when I answer the phone and it's someone on the other line that I should NOT be talking to. I love you anyways. :) Thank you for your support and for helping me keep going. You are all the bestest.