After the Skype calls with our families on Christmas morning, the rest of our day was pretty relaxed. Some other Elders came over to our apartment and we played games and hung out for a couple of hours before we headed up to Riverside. We didn't have to take the key back the same day, that would have been a total of like 3 hours of driving, and neither the vehicle coordinator or I would have been happy about that. He says some other people have locked the keys in the trunk as well, and Elder Walker and I were reading in the Corolla manual and found out what really happened. I was 90% sure that I had unlocked the car on the way out, which means I could have opened the front door and popped the trunk if I had to. But the Corolla has a safety feature where if you unlock the car, and then don't open a door within 30 seconds, it locks the car again for you. So I was thwarted by the car's safety features. But overall everything turned out alright. After that we had dinner with some members and the Spanish missionaries tagged along because they couldn't get in contact with their scheduled dinner appointment. After that we went caroling, which was fun but not quite what I was expecting. We all met at the stake center and left in our districts, and we ended up going to about 5 houses, a few in each of our wards. So that was fun, but we spent as much time in the car as we did talking to members, so we didn't really get to talk much with the other missionaries, but the purpose wasn't for us to just hang out anyway. We got back to the stake center around 8:30 and we decided to make some hot chocolate I had brought, though by that time the whole zone showed up, so our quiet and cozy district activity turned into a loud and crowded zone hangout for a bit, but that's alright. We couldn't find any cups so people ended up drinking out of pitchers and syrup dispensers and whatever else we could find. We eventually headed home a little later and got ready for bed.
We did get to meet with Cecilia on Saturday, so that was really good. After not being able to see her for 2 weeks, I was worried she might have forgotten or lost some of her desire, but she was just as strong and excited as ever and it was a really good lesson. We finished up teaching the Plan of Salvation to her and talked about prayer, and she finally felt comfortable enough to say the closing prayer! That might seem like a little thing, but if they don't do that, we don't really have any way of knowing if they're praying or what they pray for, so that had been one of our goals heading into the lesson.
That night was transfer calls, and that sort of bummed me out, for several reasons. That morning we had gotten the calls for leadership, and what we knew was that Elder Beck was training and that Elder Mecham was going to be a DL and finish someone's training, and that Elder Frost was a DL as well, and that Elder Ferrin was a ZL. So all of that led to us formulating plans about who was staying and who was leaving and where they'd go and who would move in with who. But it turns out that pretty much all of our guesses were wrong. Elder Ferrin is leaving to go to the La Sierra Zone, which is just next door, so we will probably see him at Multi-zones and Crossfit activites, but I'm still super sad to see him go. We thought that our district was safe because we were all training, but I guess not. Elder Frost is also leaving, which is so weird. I knew it was coming because he'd been here so long, but I'm still sad to see him go. I remember taking a picture with him in the MTC and thinking I wouldn't see him for a long time after that. And I definitely remember the 18 weeks we spent with our goofy trainers when he was at our apartment every single night. So it will be hard to see him go. And Elder Mecham was just such a fun guy to live with, even though it was only for one transfer, so I'm sad to see him go. Sister McCulloch and her trainee are so excited that they're both staying, and there are still some super cool nerds I can play games with on P-Days if we're not playing frisbee. But it won't be quite the same. And also I was half expecting to leave Corona. I love the area and the missionaries in the zone, but 5 transfers is a long time to be in one area, I already feel like I've walked every street and asked every member for a referral and all that jazz, so another 6 weeks here will be really hard. I'll definitely be having Elder Walker take over and direct things a little more, partially for his benefit and for mine. We'll see how long I can fight the Cornaby instinct to control everything.
We will be having a zone activity on New Year's Eve, but the youth are having a dance at the stake center so I don't know where/what we'll be doing. Probably just at one of the smaller buildings. It doesn't matter how big the gym is if you just plan on playing card games though.
That pretty much sums up the past few days, I feel like this is shorter than usual. And I don't really have any pictures to send because my camera was locked in my car for all the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day excitement. Sorry, I'll do better next year, or maybe get some pictures from the apartment this next week. Elder Beck will be having his new missionary move in with us at least for a little while. Apparently they'll be opening a new apartment in Corona that will be closer to his area and he is on a bike, so he'll probably go there halfway through the transfer. But the next few weeks should be interesting. A two man is good for motivation, there's nothing to do but go and work, but a four man is more fun in the morning and at nights when you're done working for the day. So I'll get a little bit of both this transfer.
See you soon,
"Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work." - Gordon B. Hinckley