Monday, May 18, 2015

April 27 Week 90 - Week of Change: Almond milk, Speaking English, Little Mexico; Elder Muir, Elder Zeng, Lucy, Diana and Jonny

Well this week has been full of changes. First I decided to try drinking almond milk instead of regular milk. I tried it on exchanges last transfer and thought it was pretty good, so I bought some this week. I think since I am so used to skim milk, it isn't that big of a change. Another change is the new area. Night and day. Just over the freeway from Eastvale in Mirao Loma. It is absolutely crazy that they are so close to each other yet they are so different. (see the quote) It is the area that you guys google mapped when I first came in and asked if it the part of California I was in was really rural. The missionaries call this place little Mexico. Some of our lessons I have not understood because the member and investigator were talking in Spanish. The investigator pool is really different now too. In Eastvale and UCR I worked with pretty educated people, but some people here really struggle reading anything, let alone the Book of Mormon. It is really different work than what I am used to. I am really enjoying it though. It feels like more of adventure out here. With the roads flooding, dogs biting my shoes, and no sidewalks, it feels more like how I pictured missionary work before I came out. I live in a home share in Mira Loma, California. The Mom and Dad are really nice, and they have a son named Bryce. Bryce is 15, and he really likes having missionaries there since all his siblings are grown up now. He comes in and talks to us every night. My new companion is Elder Muir from Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been really good in helping me get adjusted to English work. For example instead of flat out saying "we want to share about how a prophet restored Christ's original church" which works for Chinese work, Elder Muir always says "We want to help you grow your faith in Christ." We have a lot of meetings this week. It should be a lot of fun. I just got my suit dry cleaned, and and sewed up the back pocket which got ripped. So I should look good for all the meetings. I just have to say that I have really felt helped a lot this week. I was amazed at how quickly I got the hang of things, and how I wasn't sad and missing Chinese all the time. I have been blessed with the ability to be more grateful for things, and more self discipline to study Chinese in every spare second of free time I have. I feel like I haven't lost it yet. So here is a quick rundown of the highlights of the week. Tuesday we went at 4:00am to drop off Elder Carling and Elder Dalmer.

Dropping off Elder Carling (Murray and Dyer), Elder Dalmer, Elder Jones from Dyer blog

 While there I ran into Elder Simmons from the MTC. It was cool to see him there. He was dropping someone off too. He was the Zone Leader of the first all Chinese speaking Zone outside of Taiwan. Sounds like he is doing good. Wednesday we had meetings and I met Elder Zeng (Elder Dyer's new companion.) He is really cool. He reminds me a lot of Shawn Choi. Same sense of humor. I have asked a lot of Chinese questions to him. So that will help me not lose my Chinese too; along with having to go help at English class. Since Elder Zeng is learning English himself, he can't really teach it that well, so Elder Dyer asked me to come. Heavenly Father has got my back. Elder Zeng's story is cool. They had a friend that introduced him and his mom to the church when he was 13 and living in Cheng Du. They had to fly to Hong Kong to be baptized. His Dad is still not a member, but fingers crossed. So get this they have not one but 2 branches in his city cheng du. From these two branches they have 20 missionaries out. I am talking native mainland China people that all got baptized out of China. So crazy. That is just one city. I am so glad to know the church is doing well there. I am excited to see it grow through my life, and feel like I helped with it a little.
Elder Dyer and Elder Zeng from Down by Riverside Blog

 Ok so our investigators. We have this really solid person named Lucy. She wants to wait till September though so her husband can fly from Texas to baptize her. We have Jonny who is 8. His parents are not interested, but he is coming to church. Then we have Diana who 21 and knows everything is true, but is getting a lot of grief from here Catholic family. Ok sorry I to not do a play by play, but that is who we are working with. I will write more on them next week. They are all awesome and I love them all! Notable Quoteables: Me to Elder Zeng at district meeting (before he knew I spoke Mandarin) "You speak Chinese?" Him "Yes, well Mandarin." Me "Oh that is so cool! Can you say something to me? Or like ask a question in Chinese?" Him "Um ok, "Ni cong nali lai?" (where are you from in Chinese.) He was pretty shocked when I responded. Everyone got a kick out of it. Elder Muir introducing me to the area. "This section and this section are pretty ok, but then everything else is just poverty." (It isn't that bad, but definitely won't be walking around some places at night.) I Love you guys! -Elder Murray

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