Hola from California!
I always forget to write about the previous week in my emails so I am going back and starting from Wednesday of last week to update you all. We had sister exchanges on Wednesday (it's where you switch companions for 24 hours). I was put with Sister Falesui. She is from Samoa - she is like 6'2 and could put me through a wall. She was sooo different from my companion, Sister Madsen. The night we switched, Sister Falesui asked me if I knew how to iron. I was like "uhh, yeah" and she was like "oh good, can you iron my hair tomorrow?" and I said yes, thinking I would flat iron her hair. Nope, she literally meant iron, with a clothing iron. It was so funny. I walk out of the bathroom and she's like "I'm ready." I was like wtf?? She has a TON of hair so apparently ironing it goes faster. Haha. The exchange was an awesome learning experience and it allowed me to really appreciate Sister Madsen more.
On Friday we got to go see the movie "17 Miracles." It's about the Willy Handcart Company and their journey to Utah. I seriously love learning about the pioneers! It's so fascinating and really makes me sooo grateful for all I have. I cried at the end of it. It was def wroth seeing at least once. I really want to learn more about my own heritage. (cough, Dad and Mom, send me stuff about our heritage please!! Where did our ancestors come from?)
Saturday, our investigators, Aaron and Jessica were married. It was very cool to be a part of that. Aaron gets baptized this Saturday and hopefully Jessica will soon after. (And we are not allowed to hold babies because of legal issues, Mom). We picked up a couple of new investigators over the weekend. One is a total alcoholic/druggie. But I love her. We haven't gotten to see her in a couple days so hopefully this week we can get to meet with her more and help her. We also contacted a kid while walking around Mission Lake and he is very open to the gospel. He is 21 which sucks because if he is really into the gospel we have to pass him onto the singles ward elders. I totally understand why missionaries don't like passing people on. We've walked the 3.1 miles around the lake three times and he is the only one who let us come teach him. It's hard work finding investigators and giving them up sucks!!
Yesterday at district meeting, I had my first deep fried Oreo. Oh my delicious! Oreos are apparently the worst cookie you can eat and deep-frying them makes them like 100 times worse bit I LOVE them!! All you do is dip them in pancake batter and put 'em in oil. Try it, it's heaven.
Anyway, last night we taught a younger couple, the Woolston's. The husband has a very strong testimony of the Church but has been inactive for 20 years. The wife took the discussions, but decided it wasn't for her, which was really hard on the husband. We contacted them and they liked us better than their last missionaries which is why they let us come back to teach them. It was intense. I cried when we got in the car afterward because I really felt for the wife and want to teach her so badly. I get so attached to people and it was only our second visit, but I love them and want to help her understand the gospel so badly! Oh man. We left it in their hands to call us and invite us back and you better believe I am praying hard to hear from them.
I don't know if I have explained this but every morning we have personal study of the gospel from 8am to 9am and then we have companion study from 9am-11am (it's two hours for the first twelve weeks and then it will go down to one hour). Anyway, during my personal study the other morning, I read Alma 34 which talks a lot about the Atonement. I have always had a lot of questions concerning the Atonement and while I was reading, I had a whole new level of understanding about it brought to my mind. It was so awesome!!! I don't want to get too deep into it but I just wanted to share my testimony that the Atonement is real and can be used in our lives every single day. We needed to have Jesus Christ be sacrificed so that we could find mercy and sorrow in ourselves and have the desire to repent of our sins and be forgiven. I love personal study because I get to dedicate more time than I have ever had before to learning answers to my own questions and to help my investigators.
So today was also a great day. We got to go to Newport Beach Temple....in a limo. Yes, you read that correctly. We got dropped off and picked up in a Hummer limo. Haha. Not only that, but the guy driving the limo (who is the ward mission leader for some of our elders) needed to be to an appointment and was running late so we were forced to go to Dana Point and walk around while he met a client. Haha, it was so illegal because Dana Point is way out of our area and it's the beach but we didn't have a choice. Our zone leader was having a mini panic attack but we called President and let him know the situation so it wasn't bad. We walked around the boardwalk and enjoyed the beautiful ocean. The waves were huge and gorgeous crashing against the rocks. Haha, it was my first time in a limo. They are def overrated but it was fun. We watched a Joseph Smith movie in it and took lots of pictures. I'll send some next week.
That's all I have to report. Missionary work is hard. A lot of times I feel super inadequate and miss home but it's those little moments where someone understands us, or a light bulb goes off, or when my own testimony and understanding are strengthened, that make it worth it. I love and miss you all like crazy!!!