This past week was a lot of fun, but it was sort of bittersweet, for Elder Camper that is. For me it was much less so because I was fairly certain that I would be staying here in Prado View a little while longer. It was great to see how many people loved Elder Camper and would miss him. And he's already planning his return trip next August because some members in Corona are going to be sealed.
Elder Camper ended up having to leave behind a bunch of his stuff because his bags would have weighed way too much. He said that he had like 15 lbs just of ties, and I'd believe it. He had a ton he'd collected and traded over the course of his mission. But he eventually figured out what he needed to keep and the rest is staying here for missionaries to scavenge from. I've learned a valuable lesson about hoarding as a missionary. Don't do it!
I honestly don't remember much about this week anymore, I'm not sure why. We did meet with Dylan this week and finish teaching him the Plan of Salvation. We're having trouble getting him to read the Book of Mormon between our visits, and he wasn't able to attend on Sunday, so I don't think he will be able to get baptized on the 29th. But he still has the desire, so he will be baptized this transfer I'm sure. It might just be a couple weeks further down the road.
This past week on Friday, we went to the Jurupa Stake Center to receive training on the Christmas Initiative this year. What that is, is basically the Church's efforts around Christmas time to further missionary work. This year that includes a new video, called "A Savior is Born" and a webpage, christmas.mormon.org. The video is really cool, it shows video clips of children reciting scriptures about prophecies of Christ and his birth, and ends with the tagline "Discover why". So as missionaries this is a really great tool for us to use, especially because it is going to be on the front page of YouTube from what I hear. So we can just ask people "have you seen the video" or ask them to pull out their phones and look it up. Also, just about everybody celebrates Christmas so it is an easy way to start a conversation. But even so, it is still more effective if members bring their friends into their home to show it to them, and that is what President Mullen asked us to talk to our members about. So we'll be making visits to a lot of people trying to ramp up their excitement a little bit.
Now for transfer talk. So this transfer, our apartment is a 4-man again. Like we thought, they re-split the Spanish ward, so I'm living with 2 of the Spanish Elders. Elder Mecham, who was trained by Elder Barton, and his companion is Elder Beck, who just finished being a Zone Leader up in Riverside. It should be a lot of fun to be living with them, especially because Elder Mecham has a lot of board/card games we can play on P-Days. And Corona Zone as a whole has a lot of changes coming, between a few elders going home, a few people training, as well as just the normal ins and outs of missionary work. So it will definitely be a little weird to see so many new faces. Corona has been a little static because of all the people that got trained when I came in.
Saying good-bye to Elder Camper and Elder Higashi was a little surreal and so busy it didn't really hit me until later. We were busy running around getting companions and moving people in and out and trying to e-mail and shop and all that stuff, so we literally spent about 3 minutes taking pictures and saying goodbye before we ran out the door and they had to get ready to go to the mission home. They'll spend the night there with all the other missionaries and then fly out tomorrow. It wasn't until we were driving away that I was like "Oh dang, I probably won't see Elder Camper for a long time!". Elder Higashi will be back for a baptism in a few weeks, but Elder Camper won't be back until August and who knows if he'll even have time to find me wherever I am. So hopefully I'm in a ward having dinner with one of the members he's really good friends with around that time.
My companion is coming from far away, so I actually haven't met him yet, so I'll e-mail you more about him next time and send you pictures then too. I will be staying in the Prado View ward though, I do know that. It will be really exciting to see how this next transfer goes as I shoulder a little extra responsibility. In the mean time, Elder Ferrin and I are companions until our new companions arrive, so I'll enjoy that while I can.
I'm running out of time, I'll try to do better next week. I love you guys, keep me posted on your life!
See you soon,
"Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work." -Gordon B. Hinckley