I guess I won't make you wait for the big news or skim through the rest of the e-mail. I am headed to the Valley View Ward in the Moreno Valley Zone. We had joked that I would be going there because a missionary in Corona left there a couple transfers ago after training someone there. So I'm going to be his trainee's 3rd companion. His name is Elder Truman, and that's really all I know about him. I am super pumped though, because we will be living in a home share situation. And not just any home share, we live with Ken. Ken is a legend throughout the mission, just because he's a super chill kind of guy and he's always willing to help out the missionaries if they need it. Apparently he has a pretty nice house and he lives on the highest point in Moreno Valley or something like that. Anyway, that should be a lot of fun from what I've heard. Elder Dall also said the ward is really great, though it has it's quirks like every ward does.
Last P-Day we made cookies and played board games. I would have taken pictures, but we were busy playing games and making cookies. I need a picture taker for my life. As for this P-Day, there is never a zone activity on transfer day, because it is so hectic. However, it is a little bit of an unusual P-Day because I'll be eating dinner at the mission home. There is only one Elder going home (Elder Greenburg, he used to be in Corona with me), and I guess President didn't want to have an awkward dinner with only him, his wife, and Elder Greenburg, so he was allowed to invite some friends. So he invited his current companion (Elder Truman), who is my new companion so I get to eat with them. I'm super excited though because I also get to eat with Elder Calvert and Elder Ferrin because they got invited as well! It should be a lot of fun.
My best teaching experience this week. . . Well for one we met with a part-member family. Or rather we only met with the part that wasn't a member because his wife was sick. We talked for a while and found out he's part of a worship band at another church and he's only been Christian for a few years and a couple other things about his background. But he was still really open to hearing from us. He goes to church and likes the general feel and message, but he doesn't have much of a doctrinal understanding, so he said we can come back by and explain more about Christian beliefs and Mormon beliefs in general. That was just really cool because I figured without the wife to be there he'd just blow us off.
Another cool teaching experience, was that our dinner on Friday had originally told us that we were just going to be picking up a pizza from them because they're son was having a birthday party. But when we got there, they invited us in and let us sit down and eat with them and watch him open presents and stuff. They also had the parents of some of their son's friends there so it was cool to meet them. Then, our hour was drawing to a close and the party was winding down, so we were getting ready to leave, when the family asked if we could share a brief message with them. I was kind of surprised, I hadn't really been thinking about it, but we did, so we pulled out the Restoration pamphlet and started at the beginning, talking about families and how important they are. Afterwards, when everybody was cleaning up, I heard the family invite their friends to an FHE and also to become part of the cub scout troop. So I'm glad that we were able to be there at the right time to help make that opportunity happen, and who knows where it could lead a few months or years down the road as her kids make more friends and get more involved.
The most interesting thing that happened to me this week is that we met with a guy named Jeff. Jeff was a referral from our blitz forever ago, but he'd been really busy so this was the first opportunity to sit down with us. And it sort of ended up turning into a little bit of a bash. Not that either of us were contentious, but I mean that we, or rather he, kept bringing up scriptures and trying to disprove our beliefs. Eventually he asked what the difference between our two religions was, so we started to teach the points of the Restoration to him. But we got stopped at the first one. We started out by explaining that God is our loving heavenly father, and he stopped us there and explained to us that God actually doesn't love all of his children. And at that point, Elder Walker and I just kind of looked at each other and realized, we have no idea how to talk to this guy because he doesn't even believe the same things about God, and he was so unwavering on that point there was nothing we could do. So I'm just thankful for the knowledge we have of the Plan of Salvation, because it truly lets us understand why we are here, and our heavenly father's role in our lives. He had absolutely no concept of that, he had it all turned on it's head, and it was so sad to see his beliefs, because even though he knew he personally was saved, it was almost as if he was saved from God, not saved by Christ to be with God again.
So anyway, that was definitely very interesting. Along that same thought path, in the Restoration DVD, there is a part where a preacher is talking to Joseph Smith and he's quoting the part of the Bible about there being "ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing", and so that had sort of become a joke between us and some other missionaries. But we legitimately were told that by 2 people this week, just thought that was kind of funny.
Another funny contact we had was with this lady who had known some Mormons who lived next to her, so she just started asking about our missions and everything, and when I told her we go all around Riverside County, she said "well let me tell you where you don't want to go. Moreno Valley." That was on like Wednesday, so I thought there was probably little chance I would actually be going to Moreno Valley. But now I am, so we'll see what it's like.
The goodbyes were even harder this time around. I'd gotten really close with my district the past couple transfers, as well as some of the other missionaries in the zone that had similar interests to me. And when you are leaving you have 19 people to say good bye to as well as the whole ward, where as when you are staying you only have to say goodbye to the few that are leaving. But I made it through all right, and I'm sure we'll see them again. We have Crossfit this transfer, and sometimes MoVal does it with Corona, but sometimes it doesn't, so we'll just see what happens. If we don't do it with Corona, that means we'll be doing it with Hemet, so I can see Elder Frost and Elder Mecham again. So it's sort of a win-win situation, but if I think about it too much, it's more of a lose-lose situation :P
Pictures will probably come next week, and I may have time to send some later today, I'm really not sure what will happen, I just wanted to get this e-mail off early before people started coming and going from the apartment and I end up leaving and such.
See you soon,