Hello from the Sunnyside ward in Happy Valley, Oregon! The names of the cities and wards definitely fit the area. The ward is amazing. they had to bring another set of elders (Me and Elder Hudson) to the ward because it is booming. It has been hard splitting the ward and working out dinners, but we are making it work. They are pumped about missionary work. they have an assistant ward mission leader. They love the missionaries, too. I am good for dinners through August.
We only have one car for all four elders, so Elder Hudson and I are on bikes. WE asked if any of the ward members had bikes and the next day we had two bikes, two helmets, two locks, and a set of lights for each. It is awesome and I am so glad that this is my first area. Then I saw my area on a map, I thought I would be in the ghetto of Portland, but it isn't and I haven't seen anything too crazy. Just an Amish dude in a kilt and a lady with a helmet and horns on her head. Kind of like on Loony Tunes!
Yesterday we had a crazy experience. After dinner we were deciding who to visit. We came to two less active families and we were off to go see them. We came to the first place was an apartment complex. The people weren't home but this lady called us in from her window and she said she wanted to talk. She told us how she had no money, no job, her son overdosed, her dead ex-husband was haunting her and her daughter, etc. We said a prayer with her and talked about he church. Hopefully she will come around and realize that the church has good, positive things to offer her. I don't think it was a coincidence that we just happened to run into her. One thing that has surprised me so far, is how people will just open up to us. We haven't taught very many lessons, but on tow of them, I was learning the deepest, darkest secrets of people on our first visit. There must be something about us. HaHa. I certainly know that this church is true and that through Jesus Christ, we can be saved. He still works miracles today and will continue to do so because He loves us.
It was so awesome to talk to everybody on the phone.. It was funny, nobody has called me Jaxon in a couple of weeks so when I heard it, I know that it was somebody I knew from home and it turned out to be Lance and Angel. It was so nice that she let me use her phone.
Carson! Way to endure through scout camp. That is actually a really hard thing to do. You are away from home with different people. It definitely gets you out of your comfort zone. I saw a quote at the MTC that said, "there is little comfort in a growth zone, and there is little growth in a comfort zone." It is so true and I am glad that you made it.
Austin, way to work hard at football camp, bud. I don't think I have many good memories from football camp Haha! But it will help you in the future though, and the coaches are looking for who is real and who isn't. It is brutal, but it is worth it.
To answer your questions: my companion is Elder Hudson from Calgary, Alberta Canada. The first counselor in the presidency, President Anderson, said I must have been righteous in the pre-existence to get him as a trainer. He is really smart, has a great memory, knows the scriptures by heart, and gets familiar with an area really quickly. However, I am this first trainee and he has only been out three months and this is a new area to him as well so we are learning right with each other. Once we get settled and figure out what we are doing, we will accomplish great things.
My transition was fine. I am still getting used to the area and the people here. President Taylor told me I would experience a bit of a culture shock so I thought I would be going into downtown Portland, but it is actually the richer part of Portland so it hasn't been too bad. We are teaching several people, one of them with a date for the 23rd of August. I have made several connections. the first day I got there, the couple in charge of the housing, the Gilberts, told me their daughter in law was at my farewell. Also,I am eating dinner with Rex Fullmer's roommate in college this Thursday. I also met a guy in the elder's quorum from Sugar who said that his brother married Buzz Rasmussen's daughter! I was visiting this older member family that lived in Idaho for a time. We started talking about Newdale! It is beautiful here, even thought it is in the city. There are hills and green trees everywhere. Just what I was hoping for.
I really hope the Cavs hold off on a championship for a couple of years. You know, develop the young players, get some experience, and most importantly, wait until I get home!!!! Thanks for the updates.
So I was thinking of how different the Sunnyside ward is compared to Tetonia 1st. I thought they were really different, then we helped a couple move in to their apartment with the elders and high priests. I was rarely involved with a move at home, but the people reminded me of people from Tetonia. There was the guy that talked more than he lifted, the guy that showed up late but made sure everybody knew he was there, the guy who brought his kids that can't lift anything, the guy who thinks he is a genius when he goes to the back of the trailer and started handing stuff to people and the guy who started organizing and coordinating people even thought it's not even his own house! It was funny and I think it is the same thing must be everywhere.
I will send pictures next week. I have taken a bunch, but I forgot my cord today, so I will send some next time. I love you all.