But after that day, none of the rest of the days this week seemed too bad - high 90's mostly. You sweat but you're not dying.
My new assignment, Zone Leader, provides an opportunity for personal growth. So Elder Young is teaching me all the things I'm supposed to be doing. For the most part it involves a lot more keeping tabs on the zone than when you're a missionary. If I'd ever been a DL the transition probably wouldn't have been quite so weird, but the jump is interesting. We get accountability texts from the whole zone every night reporting on certain key indicators we feel are important to track and improve in the zone. We also get those same number from the Assistants so it can becomes a little bit of a competition for some people. Also if there is an area that has been struggling or the numbers don't seem to add up, we call and make sure they're doing okay. Then on Sunday nights we collect everybody's numbers for the week and wait for the AP's to call us so that they can gather them and give them to President Mullen. That's the main difference, but it's interesting to see how the work is progressing in the area. I like it. But I also feel like I'm the bad guy when we call people, even if we just call and ask how their day went. I remember how I felt about my ZL's and sometimes dreaded or questioned their calls. I don't want people to think the same way about us. But that's kind of just how things go I guess. Oh well.
My new area, Mt. Rubidoux Zone, is pretty small because it covers only half of the City of Riverside. We have 6 companionships. There's us, the American Sign Language Elders, the Office Elders, Elder Walker and Elder Hoyt (who share a ward with the OE's), and then two sets of Sisters in the Mt. Rubidoux and Canyon Crest Wards. There are two districts, Elder Walker is our DL, and Elder Smith, one of the OE's is the other DL. We definitely have a car for several reasons. First off, we don't quite live in our area, second as ZL's we have to drive up to the mission office every once in a while, and third, we cover 3 Stakes for the YSA Ward so if we have investigators to teach we'd definitely need a car to get to some of those places. So I probably won't use my bike anymore here than I have anywhere else. And not only do we have a car, we have one of 3, brand new 2016 Nissan Rogues the mission has purchased. Way better than having a little 2013 Corolla like I've had for most of my mission.
Sundays are definitely interesting. So we have ward council for the family ward at 7:30 in the morning, then we have sacrament meeting at 9:00. We stay for Sunday School then head over to the YSA Ward. We have a brief meeting with the ward mission leader and meet and greet people until the YSA ward meetings start at noon. We stay for all 3 hours of meetings. It's a long time to be in church, and you don't really get to eat any lunch so that will be an adjustment. But the YSA Ward has food after church pretty much every other week so that will be nice.
We get fed dinner by the family ward every night except for Thursday. Thursday is the YSA Ward's night to feed the missionaries. Sunday through Wednesday the members feed all four of the ZL's in Riverside. Friday and Saturday are dinner appointments with members feeding only one set of the ZL's.
For our one year mark I'm not sure what we'll do. We share the Arlington Heights (AH) ward with the Riverside ZL's and they live in the same complex, and one of them came out with us as well. So the four of us are thinking about maybe going out for lunch that day, we were talking about Red Robin, but we haven't really decided yet. Mostly just working like usual I would guess.
I don't know if I can actually pin point a single experience that really defines my whole mission experience so far. It's so much and so different from what you expect and there are so many different parts. I don't know if I could even pick an experience that defined each transfer. But if I had to pick one experience, I would probably say the Dotson's baptism. Because that is the ultimate goal of missionary work - to convert and baptize families.
Sorry I'm low on time so I didn't really get to tell you about any teaching experiences from this week, but we are finding, teaching, and baptizing! We actually had a baptism for the YSA Ward this week, but I didn't know the guy until a week ago, so I figure there's not much to say about him other than he's really cool and I'm glad to have him in the ward. It's nice to not be the only new one there.
See you soon,