Okay! What a crazy week. It feels like it's been forever since I've written because so much has changed.
On Tuesday we went to the transfer meeting and I got assigned to go to Sylmar (still in the San Fernando Valley) and my companion now is Hermana Tavoian. Like I said last week, Hermana Mulliner is training a new missionary back in Reseda and so last preparation day we tried to both work on packing my stuff and also decorating the apartment for the new missionary. I wrote notes on the mirrors. On my desk which will be hers I spelled out Bienvenida with twizzlers haha. I hope she liked it!
So about Hermana Tavoian...She is probably the kindest person you will ever meet. I'm kind of hoping some of her sweetness will work on rubbing off on me. She actually has the same exact time out on the mission as me. We were at the MTC together but we were in different districts because I was in intermediate Spanish and she was in beginners. When President Hall announced that we'd be companions at the transfer meeting he made a comment about how we were at the MTC at the same time that President and Sister Hall were, so we are all MTC buddies. But yeah, she is from Milad, Idaho and she was going to school in BYU-I (I think) for photography. She grew up on a ranch and loves potatoes. The chile here is a bit hot for her still (haha-- mom, how long did it take for you to become able to eat it?). Something random about her is that she keeps on popping out with random talents that you would never expect. She comes across as a kind of timid and shy person, but there was one time this week when she broke out and was beat boxing. I never would have expected it from her! She's really great!! Oh yeah, and this is still her first area. She's been here for quite a while, so her theory is that I'll be in this area with her for one transfer (and this transfer is only 5 weeks long, by the way) and then I'll be training a new missionary. We'll see if that ends up being the case.
Sylmar is in the farther Eastern side of the valley. It is a lot different than Reseda. First of all, we are a lot closer to the mountains. It has a lot less of a city feel than Reseda. Reseda basically was a full city, some parts of it being a little more ghetto than other parts. But it was absolutely city. Sylmar is much more rural. In fact, I was shocked when were were out here knocking on doors and (Doodle will be so jealous!) a horse came up and was walking along the side of the road. Evidently you'll see a lot of horses out on walks around here. There was a different time that we parked the car before a dinner appointment and there were a ton of chickens just hanging out on the sidewalk by where we parked. It is also a bit colder here than in Reseda. In Reseda we were basically getting to the point where we didn't really need our jackets most of the time. Here we still definitely need them. I'm guessing that's because we're closer to the mountains. The ward is really nice and working on becoming a missionary-work oriented ward. But I had kind of forgotten what it was like to walk into a ward and not recognize anyone. It feels a little weird. But I'll catch on pretty quick, I'm sure! Oh, but the mom of Antonio (the person quitting smoking to get baptized in Reseda's) wife actually lives in this ward. It was cool in Relief Society yesterday because when she said a comment in class, I knew immediately she was related to that woman in Reseda because they sound exactly the same. That got me to thinking...I think we're way more like our parents than we give credit for or we think.
My new district is fun too. The district leader is from Idaho Falls, Idaho and this is his first time being district leader, so I'm excited to see what his vision for the district will become. Another Elder has been out in this area for 4 transfers. Another Elder has been out on his mission for about 18 months in Venezuela (where he was originally born but he's lived in the states quite a bit of his life). He was serving there, but then he got a call saying that he can be a citizen of the US but that he'd have to come to the states before March (I think the story was something like that), so he was reassigned to our mission for the last 6 months of his mission.
It was crazy that this past week Hermana Tavoian and I passed our 9 month mark. That is seriously so crazy to think about. That is our halfway point. I'm just excited to keep on working hard because I've heard that the last half goes by too fast and I don't want to lose a single moment!!
I guess a quick spiritual thought before I take off. I was reading in 2 Nephi 28 and that is such a great chapter!! It is a chapter about the apostasy, but it started listing all the tricks that Satan will use to bring people into apostasy (whether that is apostasy of an entire nation or even personal apostasy). I figure that when we know what the tricks of Satan are, we can start working to combat them personally so that we never fall into apostasy. There were so many that I found--like 20 more or less, but they are important. For a few examples, in verse 2 you learn that Satan would have you believe that the work you're doing is in vain and that nothing will come out of it. That is absolutely not true! For example, the fact that we have the Book of Mormon today is only because those prophets had the hope that one day their words would be of use to the children of men. That is just one small example. But yeah, we went knocking for a few hours the day I read that chapter and in each house that rejected us (there were many of them... and btw, you get to see the weirdest people by knocking! I don't know how we find such weird people!) and in so many situations I could see exactly which of the tools Satan was using to keep that person in their own states of personal apostasy. Crazy how cool the scriptures are and how much you can learn all the time!
Anyway, I'd better take off now. We're going to go to get frozen yogurt or cold stones or something to celebrate both of us having hit our 9 month mark. woohoo!!
Have a great day! and may the spirit be with you!