First Area - Corona California - Prado View Ward
Thanks to all those that did send snail mail. I feel bad for calling you out last week in my e-mail because we went home that day and there were like 3 letters sitting in my mailbox.
The biggest adjustment for me as a full-time missionary is just understanding what the work is. You think that it will be walking down the street all the time, or teaching new members, but a lot of the work is actually working with less active members. And it's also figuring out what an effective use of time is. When I first got here, driving around to less actives and stuff seemed like being lazy, but it's actually useful. The first few days no matter what we were doing I always thought there was something better we could be doing, but you just have to trust in your planning and in the Lord to help you find people as you do what you're doing. Elder Pratt today was saying that following plans is important because if you pray and plan and tell the Lord you're going to do something, and then you go somewhere else, the people he had prepared for you won't be wherever you are.
My class at the MTC. Four of the Elders are going to Ventura, California and the rest of us are going to Riverside.
MTC World Map - This is where I'm headed!
I have a lot to catch up on, I think I finished my last e-mail on Monday night before we left the MTC, so I'll pick up there and try to answer all your questions along the way.
I'm writing from the family history center just down the road from our apartment. This e-mail won't be super long but I have some time to update you on my last few days at the MTC. We came here immediately after we left the Mission office for transfers, and we won't be here super long. Still no pictures because of time, and I couldn't get them to work at the MTC(the computers were super locked down) so maybe on Monday I'll have time. We get 90 minutes a week on P-Day.
I'm in the Prado View Ward, it's in the nose of the bull dog(very west tip of the mission). My companion's name is Elder Camper, he's been out almost a year, he's from Maryland, and seems like a cool guy. I'd heard some really good things about him from the person I stayed with last night so I'm pretty pumped.
I'm glad you liked your surprise mom, you should send me a picture, I didn't get to see it, just record the voice. And I can't wait to come back and have just as much fun with all of you when I get back.
I'm glad to hear that you made it home safely, I figured that since I hadn't heard anything you did. I'm sure that the days that you were driving seemed long, but some of the days here at the MTC seem pretty long too. That first half day I think has probably been the hardest and longest, just because I didn't know anyone and you were constantly going. After you left, we were snaked through various buildings to get various paperwork and things like key and ID card. Speaking of which, when I was getting my ID card, who should I meet, but Elder Morris' mom volunteering at the MTC! She said that he had been home for less than a week at that point, but that she would make sure to tell him that I said hi. And that was just the first of a bunch of coincidences that I think are pretty cool. After all the paperwork was done, we stopped by my room for about 3 seconds, long enough for me to claim any bed I wanted, being the first one in the room. After that I was taken by my host to my classroom, which we spend more time in than our dorm room. I wasn't the first one to arrive, but the others were already starting their online training. Eventually everybody finished that and I got to meet my two teachers, and the rest of the class, which comprises my district.
I'm a missionary for the LDS church, teaching the Gospel while soaking up some California sun!