Tuesday, February 28, 2012

28 February 2012

Hello family!  I hope you're all doing well.
I have been transferred to Mission Viejo (vee-AY-ho), in Orange County.
I was praying for a full-time bike area so I could lose some weight, but instead I got a full-time car area!  I'm with Elder Rupp, from Hyde Park (Logan), UT. We get along really well!   We're the zone leaders here in Mission Viejo Zone/Stake in south Orange County.  That includes the cities of Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, and Los Alisos.  We also cover the YSA ward, which includes two stakes, so we also cover the Santa Margarita Stake, adjacent to our northeast, which includes Rancho Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch, and I think one other city.  Cities here are geographically tiny but have tons of people.  The area we cover is probably about the size of Provo and Orem.
Elder Rupp and I get along really well.  He is a smart and capable missionary.  He went to Utah State and doesn't like BYU.  He has forgiven me for being from Provo!  I still haven't had a BYU fan companion my whole mission (on my 13th companion).  He uses big words a lot, so my vocabulary has increased a little bit!  One of the APs, Elder Eames, calls frequently and asks Elder Rupp what the word of the day is.  But E Rupp doesn't flaunt how smart he is, which is really nice.  He's humble and funny, and we get along well.  He's my first companion that hasn't complained about my snoring!
We have a really good teaching pool between the 2 wards.  We picked up 5 new investigators in the family (2nd) ward last week.  Elder Rupp has had one the whole time he's been here (3 months) so we were pretty excited!  There are 2 9-year twins named Angie and Alex that haven't been baptized and have only been to church once or twice before.  They get distracted easily, so we're going to use lots of object lessons to teach them!  There grandma, Sister Morales, has custody of them and is a less-active member.  A lot of good things will happen there.  We also started teaching Jolie, Ralph, and Roe.  Jolie is a Chinese lady from Mexico.  That wasn't a typo.  She speaks fluent English, Spanish, and Chinese.  Her two boys Ralph and Roe are 13 and 10.  Roe is a very high-functioning Down syndrome boy.  They both love baseball and are pretty good at it, so we get along well.  Jolie wants the boys to have a good male influence through the Church.  Her husband, a Mexican man, has to work in Mexico to earn money for the family.  Most of the time, a Mexican man will come to the US to work and send back money to Mexico, but in this case it's reversed.
In the YSA ward, we have two investigators we're teaching.  (By the way, we have several less-active members and lots of recent converts we're teaching, but I don't have enough time to tell about all of them!)  Anthony [edit] is dating an LDS girl and is coming out of a swamp of Word of Wisdom issues.  He relapsed smoking last week, but he's been clean.  We taught him about the word of wisdom yesterday and he said he already quit tea and coffee because he realized he was addicted to them.  This was before we ever taught him about that.  He called and asked if we could move his baptism day from Apr 10 to Mar 17 because he doesn't want to wait longer.  He is on fire and loves the Gospel.  He is changing his life around a ton right now and is on track.  His boss at Home Depot has been very reluctant to give him Sundays off work, so he hasn't been to the YSA ward church yet.  He did come for the first time to church this Sunday with us at our family ward and had a great time.  More to come on Anthony later.
We also started teaching Ashley [edit] yesterday.  We contacted her on the street on Saturday and she wanted to meet up today to talk more about the Church.  We had to meet her at Starbucks because she felt a little uncomfortable meeting us at the church for our first visit.  Elder Rupp and I tried Dirk (recent convert who came with us)'s favorite hot chocolate and it was nasty.  Too much hazel nut.  We had about a 90-min discussion with her.  She works at a born-again church and asked the typical questions, but not in a bashing way.  She isn't looking for the Restoration right now, but maybe she'll catch on soon.  She's not "golden" right now, but we'll meet with her again on Wednesday.  Hopefully something better comes out of that.
I hope you're all doing well.  Things are going great here.  Have a great week!
Elder La Follette

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