I have finally made it to California! I am currently in a city called Mira Mesa. We are about 25 minutes from the beach. It is right next to Miramar, where the military base is. We are serving in the Mira Mesa 2nd Ward, and the Black Mountain YSA branch.
The first day or two I was dying because I was sweating like a fire hydrant from the humidity, but I've gotten used to it now. Some days it's hot, but it's not unbearable. Short-sleeved shirts are awesome.
President Cook and his wife are so awesome. They are great leaders and great listeners. He said my name right the first time, which was cool, because no one ever does. My companion still messes my name up sometimes.
My companion's name is Elder Hinds. He is from Pearland, TX, which is just south of Houston. He has been out for almost 15 months. He, along with all the other missionaries, is extremely obedient. The mission is full of obedient missionaries. A minute late to get up, get to bed, be in the apartment at 9, etc, is unacceptable. It's awesome. He has a strong testimony, and is very faithful. He doesn't have the most upbeat personality, but that's okay.
Mom, my bike is WONDERFUL. It's a smooth ride, the gears work, and best of all, it's really light. Apparently it's made of aluminum so it's light and therefore easier to pedal.
The night I got here, we set down my bags in the apartment and jumped right to work. It was a little intimidating, but oh well. We had an appointment with our best and most progressing investigator, Becca (edit last name). Becca is around 24ish, going through a divorce, and best friends with another girl in the family ward. We taught her about the restoration, and committed her to read the BoM and pray. We also watched the Finding Faith in Christ DVD. She is having a very hard time in her life, but she is so awesome for trying to press through it. She is going to be baptized on September 18.
It's amazing how many people we teach. We currently have about 7 investigators, 2 others who are almost investigators, 8 referrals, 4 LARC (less active/recent converts), and about 20 potential investigators. As well as seeing as many of those as we can every day, we tract and contact about 2-3 hours a day. Needless to say, work is very busy. We have a car-share, which is we get the car Thurs-Sunday, and the companionship in the area next to us, who we share with, gets it the rest of the week. Mon-Wed we use bikes, and Tuesday is our P-Day.
Our district is awesome. Elder Snyder is our District Leader, and he is from Sandy. He's been out 13 months I believe. His companion is a greenie like me. Next week we go on companion exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I am going with Elder Kim to Del Mar, and Elder Hinds is staying in our area with Elder... I forgot his name. Del Mar is the richest ward in the church, and pays the most tithing. It is right next to the beach. I am excited for that day!
Other investigators are Charles, who is divorced, in his 40s, and going through the lowest of low times one can come across. He's been out of work for 15 months, and has been back and forth between his sister's house in our ward, and a homeless shelter in downtown San Diego. But, he has some of the strongest faith I've seen anyone have. He still trusts in the Lord that he can find a job and get on his feet.
Another is Ben and Kristin (edit last name). Kristin is a less active member, and Ben is a non-member who has a big problem with the Word of Wisdom. He smokes a drinks a lot, and has admitted to an addiction to coffee. I challenged him to not have any coffee today, and take an ibuprofen for the headache. He said he would, and I will call to see how it went. They met with missionaries before, but ended up being flaky and cancelled appointments a lot. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he agreed to read it with us as much as he can, since he can't understand it very well (he and Kristin both have learning disorders). They are wonderful souls, and I think they will eventually be baptized.
I am out of time, so I will have to send it as it is. Everyone have a WONDERFUL week and send me mail!!!
Love you all
Elder La Follette