To answer your questions, no, not everyone gets the opportunity to train, especially language missionaries. Even English missionaries don't always get the chance to train for whatever reason. A lot of it has to do with the logistics, for example if you hit your 7 or 8 month mark during the slow season for incomings, usually the winter, you aren't likely to train before you get leadership. And then if you're a really good missionary, you might be a ZL when busy season for training starts so you can't have a greenie companion. A majority of missionaries do get to train though at some point in their mission.
The temple trip this week was really good. They showed the older version of the video, which was kind of funny because that means I have seen a different video every time I have been there. It was really good though to go to the temple; it always is. It is much closer to Moreno Valley than it is to Corona, it only takes about 15 minutes to get there. We of course went to Cafe Rio afterwards as per tradition, and Ken also had to stop by his P.O. Box in Redlands on the way home so I got to see an additional half a dozen blocks of Redlands. It is significantly greener than Moreno Valley is for some reason.
Valley View ward is really good. It seems a little bit smaller than Prado View or our home ward, they never open the overflow and it is a smaller building to begin with. It seems like the ward is generally a little bit older, though there have been about half a dozen young families move into the ward in the past year and that has helped the various auxiliaries grow. They feed us pretty well, most weeks we have 5 or 6 dinners still, and we get 2 or 3 team ups as well. I don't really feel like I know enough of the ward to tell if they are good at missionary work yet or if Moreno Valley is even conducive to it, but they are good people like you find everywhere in the church.
For people that we know we can meet with on a weekly basis, we don't have anyone at the moment. But Cyrus has some cousins that are living with his grandparents in our ward and they have expressed some interest for us to teach them, so we will hopefully start teaching them this week. There is also a less active family we found that we hope to bring back to church and baptize their kids who are old enough as well, so that would be another 3 or 4 investigators. Our current "teaching" pool only has a couple of people who are really nice and when we stop by will talk for a bit but they have a limited schedule (one or two days a week they can meet with us), and recently those days have all been filled with other activities for them. But I see a lot of potential in the ward as well as the neighborhoods in the area, there are a lot of good people here.
We don't use our bikes in our ward really. To put it the way that Elder Truman did, "Elder Dall and I biked up the hill to Ken's once, and only once." Just getting to any neighborhood that would be good for finding people would probably be a couple of miles, and biking up the dirt road to Ken's house would not be fun, especially if we were doing it a couple of times a day. If the ward were to be split again though, the south half would use bikes and also there are 2 wards on the west side of the Valley that are on bikes.
Helping Elder Truman is a process that I'm still trying to figure out what will be best. This week I tried to just let him recoup a little bit. He's been having a lot of trouble waking up on time, so I kind of just let him catch up and I had extra personal study time. But after a week with little change I have decided that might not be the best method. He has given me permission to wake him up with a squirt bottle, so that will probably be what I do this week. Basically I was hoping that it was just stress and he could correct himself and get out of whatever funk he was in, but that's not the case. Ken said that he has seen Elder Truman go through cycles like this before. He is a lot more homesick than he will admit and he has trouble letting go of some things. He is a little too lax about the mission sometimes, he doesn't really have that fire the President is always talking about. He reminds me a lot of how I was a transfer or two ago, or even just a few weeks ago. But as I've studied more I've really caught the fire and hearing him say some of the things that I know probably came out of my mouth not too long ago, is starting to bug me. It's just the little things that sort of show you're not fully committed to the mission or entirely focused and I have changed a lot in that way in the past few weeks. You would think that because I've had extra time for personal study I wouldn't want any more, but I've actually found myself reading scriptures and other missionary materials more in my spare time as a result, and it has helped me keep the Spirit and fire much more. So this week I'm probably just going to transform into the super-obedient, sometimes naggy missionary companion that maybe he needs to get back on his feet. Hopefully it will help.
That sort of answers your other question. I find that I tend to become sort of an antithesis to my companions. With Elder Camper, a dying missionary who may not have been the most obedient or traditional Mormon, I took pride in being, for the most part, a good stereotypical Mormon kid. With Elder Walker, it was the opposite, he was in some ways so sheltered that I took a little bit of pride in being a more "normal" person in some ways from my experiences outside Utah, especially at college. With Elder Truman, I think he has helped me realize exactly what things I was maybe holding back on or certain aspects of my attitude and thinking that needed to change. Hopefully I can effect that same change in his attitude.
As for the rest of the week, one of the highlights was definitely Crossfit. It was at the building down in Menifee, and since I haven't been on this half of the mission for very long there were only a few missionaries I knew well that were there, but you kind of get to know everybody by word of mouth. Crossfit itself was pretty brutal, I told dad what the work out was. Basically it was rounds of exercises with an increasing rep count with each round. I made it through the round of 14 before I cut out for a couple, and then came back for the rounds of 22, 24, and 26. It was so tiring. The MoVal zone had made matching shirts. There is a member in the Samoan Ward that owns a company that does that, so on the front it said MoVal - CRM and on the back it had our name and number of choice. The numbers had this tribal print in it, they were pretty cool, hopefully the zone leaders send us some of the pictures they took. I also got to see Elder Frost again which was good, we didn't get to talk much, it's hard when you're that out of breath, and then we were doing different things the rest of the day. He's still a DL in Hemet and his comp is an American Sign Language Elder so I don't know if he is doing any of that at the moment. The highlight was the Elder Mecham was there, one of the super cool board game people who was in Corona with me. We all got together and played a game called "Betrayal at House on the Hill". Someone had it at a Cornaby family reunion once, though I didn't play it, and I think Shauntel might have played it. It was super fun, though and I got to hang out with some old friends.
Other highlights for the week, we found a really cool less active family that has a daughter who will be turning 8 soon, so they want us to come and teach the lessons to help her get excited for that and the parents also want to work towards getting temple worthy because they haven't been through since they got married. On Saturday night, we stopped by with our team up to try and teach a lesson, and it turns out she had been sick for a few days so we were able to give her a blessing. That night it actually so happened that all 3 of the people we stopped by needed a blessing so it was one of those times where you are in the right place at the right time.
That's all I really have time to say this week, I've still got to write president really quick. Wish us luck this week, hopefully we can reach the potential I see for the week!
See you soon,
"Get on your knees and pray then get on your feet and work." - Gordon B. Hinckley