I am here!! I finally made it to California! It's hot, humid, and sunny! I love it. I'm serving in the very north west corner of the mission. We serve in the Tujunga Spanish ward, which covers pretty much all of the northwestern corner of the mission. Our area just includes 3 cities for the most part: Tujunga, La Crescenta, and La Canada, but most of the Spanish work is in Tujunga. My trainer's name is Hermana Mulitalo. She's from SLC and is really nice. She's fun to work with.
My first day here, we landed in Ontario and Pres. and Sister Becerra picked us up and took us to the mission office in Arcadia. We had an orientation, lunch and they let us take a nap before we were paired with our trainers. Once we were paired off, we headed out for our areas to start working! (they told me as we were walking to the car that I'd be the one driving...luckily LA traffic isn't very different from Boston...at least not so far!). We taught a couple lessons that night. One in particular was to a man named Andy. I wish I could describe him, but really, you just have to know him. You can tell he's been through alot in his life, he has kind of a rough exterior, but he's pretty harmless. He talks alot. He goes off on tangents alot, which makes teaching him in any reasonable amount of time kind of difficult (on Sat. we were teaching him for an hour and a half!!) and he'll try to contradict everything that you say, which is kind of frustrating, but it's all just part of teaching him. We teach him in English, so that was nice the first night. We taught another woman who was really sweet, I think she was a less active. We read with her in Alma 32 about faith. It was a good lesson.
Alot of what we do here is very much Spanglish. And most of the time, I don't really understand anyone when they speak Spanish so I just smile and nod alot. I can usually catch enough words to know what they'd talking about, but not the details. I know it'll come with time, but for now it's been pretty interesting to hear, real native Spanish. It is definitely not what we spoke in the MTC :)
We've been driving back and forth to and from Arcadia this week for training/ orientation and so didn't get alot of full days of missionary work. One of the things that have been the hardest have been to make every moment productive and effective. It seems like there's alot of time we could probably take more advantage of if we planned better. We spend alot of time trying to visit less actives and potential investigators and most of the time, they arent' there and so we have alot of time we didn't plan for. However sometimes it works out really well. We went and visited a potential's house the other day and placed a BOM with a teenage girl named Jocelyn. We will hopefully be teaching her this week, so we'll see what happens. We also visited with some less actives. Most of the lessons with them this week, we just read with them through the LDM. One woman we went to visit, Maria Lena is really nice. She stopped going to church after her recommend was taken away, but is still really receptive to missionaries. She fed us some really really good pineapple water (exactly what it sounds like- water with crushed pineapple in it and sugar, but soooo good) and we talked to her about faith, etc. She's a good woman.
The APs just called us last night and told us that we'd be taking on an English ward too, so now we'll be serving the Tujunga Spanish Ward and La Crescenta Ward. We live with an LDS family from that ward so that will be fun to serve in their ward. It's a little weird to serve in English, but I'm excited. We had just passed off a golden investigator to the english sisters because he wanted to go to the english ward, and I was really sad because I wanted to teach him really bad, and now we get to!!
I'm excited to be here. I can't believe I am here already! I can't wait to see real citrus trees and avocado trees!! Life is good.
Love you all!