I'm staying here in Eastvale with Sister da Silva! Sister Reed is going on her own adventure in the most amazing place on earth: Hemet! She's so excited and I know the Lord has prepared wonderful things for her.
This has been a week full of stress! The good and the bad, of course! But I've had a lot of fun along the way, so I can't complain.
For instance: After my final appointment with Sarah at the mission office, I was stranded there. For several hours! My companions were stuck in traffic so they didn't show up until after the mission office was closed!!! Luckily, Elder and Sister Just stuck around with me as the other office missionaries, the APs, and President Mullen had to leave. It was fun being with all of them for so long! I distributed grape scented stickers among the masses, so we were all unified in smelly fun. But while I was there, I checked the incoming group of missionaries for May. AND GUESS WHAT! My friend, Avery Hersom, is coming to the California Riverside Mission May 10th! Avery, you're going to love it. This is the best mission of all time.
Sister Reed and I were on exchanges with Hermana Burris, our Sister Training Leader. She came with us to our area while Sister da Silva went on exchanges with Hermana Stone. We had FIVE appointments that were super solid, so we were so excited to show Hermana Burris what our area was made out of... So of course everything went wrong.
Our first appointment didn't answer the door. And that's normal, but it's still really sad. We've been trying to get a hold of this individual since I came into this area! Our next appointment was with Ruben and David. We've been teaching them for a while, and it's great to see them progress as they come to accept Gospel truths. The hitch is... They have this uncle. Crazy Uncle Sam. He's friends with an excommunicated member of the church who claims to be "the number 10 rank in the Mormon church." I don't even know what that means, but Uncle Sam buys into it. He basically yelled at us for an hour and a half, and I'm pretty sure that we, the missionaries, got about 90 seconds of talking time in. My heart was racing and adrenaline was going through my body and I was so ready just to stand up and leave. I had never been so disrespected in my life. Ruben and David tried sticking up for us, but they were yelled at too! We finally excused ourselves and let Ruben know that we'd text them later so we could reschedule.
It was such an intense "lesson," that we needed to get our mind off of things. So we headed to Ralph's to buy some water and snacks. And then Hermana Burris was hit on by two lesbians. (She really is gorgeous, so it makes sense.)
And then we hung out in a limo.
We were stood up by another lesson, but our last two lessons of the day answered their doors!! Which is really good, because one of them was our dinner appointment. Oh, who did we have dinner with? The Turners of course! So when I introduced myself as Sister Turner, the four little ones shouted, "Hey! That's my mom's name!" How sweet! They told us the story of how they met (on their mission in Brazil) and made us authentic Brazilian cuisine... Of course the one night our Brazilian companion, Sister da Silva, was away on an exchange. But they were kind enough to send us home with left overs and Sister da Silva gave it the stamp of approval.
Saturday we had a blitz! I was with Hermana Babb, one of my favorite people on this earth. The Elders who we were blitzing for got in cahoots with some members, so not only were we finding referrals to give them, we were finding Easter eggs!... But the member in the area we were walking in forgot to put out the eggs. We found a rotten lemon! Woo! Between the two of us, Hermana Babb and I know three languages, and we used them to our full advantage. She spoke Spanish to several people, and I signed at a man who may or may not have pretended to be deaf to avoid talking to us. He didn't understand my sign and told us to go away. And then we met a pretty crotchety woman. But it was still super successful and we made lovely memories.
We had Women's Conference and that was BLISSFUL. Very service oriented. How can I be hands for the Lord?
Right after Women's Conference, we had three appointments. One was with a man named Albert. He used to be on date for baptism, but his work schedule prevented him from meeting with the missionaries and attending church. We were going to teach him at a member's home. The other was with Ruben and David, and the last one was with a member family. BUT! We had a very special couple coming out with us to two of these lessons... President and Sister Mullen! Very scary! They came out with me and Sister da Silva to teach Albert and the member family while Sister Reed went with a member to teach Ruben and David. Long story short, Albert didn't show up. Sister da Silva and I even walked down to his house to get him, but he wasn't going to come. It was terribly disappointing, but that's just how the work goes. We taught the members whose home we were using, and quickly headed to our next appointment. After that, we met back up with Sister Reed who had had a very difficult time. Apparently whilst teaching Ruben and David, Uncle Sam came out to yell at them some more! Sister Reed after a while was rather fed up and stood up and walked out. The member heard Sam say twice, "You'd better run!" Never going there again... Ruben and David texted later that night and apologized and set up a new location to teach them. President and Sister Mullen came to our apartment to daily plan with us, and that was so helpful. President has so many wonderful comments and pieces of advice to help us become super effective missionaries:) I love them!
Transfer calls came, but you already know the outcome!
On Sunday, I helped teach Relief Society! Shout out to Elder Haxton and Lagerstrom for teaching me the 10 commandment hand signs because that is what I shared with the Eastvale Relief Society! I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not, but a good chunk of our ward is Chinese, so we share the ward with Chinese Elders. One of the Asian women was so impressed with my hand signs that she insisted I teach her family. So out in the hall with Elder Warren interpreting a little bit for the both of us, I taught the hand signs. And then I found out who this woman was: the mother of Jessie Miao, one of my close friends at BYU!! Jessie is serving her mission in Honolulu and just hit her 9 month mark! The Miaos invited us over that evening, and they gave us two HUGE bags of oranges, gave us fresh orange juice, and promised to sign up on our dinner calendar! I love them!
And I love you:) Have a great week!!
Purifying trials bring us to Christ who can heal us and can make us useful in the work of salvation. - Neill F. Marriott