Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's So Beautiful Here!


I MADE IT TO CALIFORNIA! I am still in the Ventura Mission! 

We're here! We flew into the Santa Barbara Airport.

Only one of my MTC people went to Bakersfield.  Brother Howe went to Bakersfield.  I almost cried when I found out.  He was basically my dad in the MTC, even though he is younger than me. He gave me a blessing before we left the MTC and he basically took care of us sisters.  He is the nicest person, and I am devastated that I wouldn’t be able to run into him anymore.

The new missionaries. What a group!

Seriously this week has been so great. On Monday we were picked up by President and Sister Castro. We had interviews and training, then all split up to spend the night at members' houses. The next day was transfers where I saw Angela Linford!!!! [Melia's friend from Mesa] I love her and it was so great to see her the second day I was here! 
I saw Hermana Linford on transfer day this Tuesday!
I was so excited, I couldn’t stop smiling!

Basically I love my area and my companions! Yes, companions plural. I have not one but two trainers! Sister Randall is 19 and from Centerville, UT and Sister DiLiberto is 23 and from Milan, Italy. I love them so much and I have already learned tons from them so far.

Sister Randall, Sister DiLiberto and Me

I am in the Agoura Hills area and let me tell you it is GORGEOUS. The location itself is gorgeous and all the houses are just so cute and nice. Mom, every house has the prettiest flowers in their front yard and every day I wish you were here to see all the wonderful flowers we see because you would just love it.

The beautiful mountains of Agoura Hills

So the mission field isn't as bad as I dreaded! I thought it would be completely exhausting and I would feel so out of my comfort zone. That hasn't been the case. Don't get me wrong, it still is exhausting and tons of work but I have been able to handle it! I haven't been as shy as I thought I would be and it is awesome because I have been so blessed to be surprisingly outgoing and bold. I love it because I don't feel too much like a greenie and I am picking it up so fast. I honestly love it so much here and I wouldn't rather be any other place! It is exhausting to knock on so many doors and no one answers or to talk to people who just want to criticize and argue, but it is still so worth it. I know the work I am doing is so important and it can bring so much happiness to the people I am teaching, so that's what gets me through! Also, I think my hardcore side is coming out. Hahaha, I am always just so excited and I just push my trainers to meet with as many people we can each day and to basically run from house to house. Haha, ya I bet you can imagine what I am like. 

On my first day, we taught a FHE lesson to investigators Devon and Forrest. I am so happy because Devon and Forrest have had trouble quitting smoking. This week though they took quitting smoking seriously and they have been clean for about 5 days! They seem like they are doing great.

We went over the baptismal interview questions with our other investigators the Pernicones to get them ready for their baptism and that went really well. It was a great opportunity to see how strong their testimonies are and how well they understood the material we taught them.

 I am just sad because our ward mission leader called us yesterday after talking with Chris. Chris told our ward mission leader that he felt that he wasn't ready to be baptized. We are praying for him because we don't know if he is going to be baptized this Saturday, but hopefully Heavenly Father will give him the strength to press on and he will still feel the desire to be baptized. He has made such a huge change in his life and has come so far so hopefully he will be able to come through and make this important covenant with God. We also taught their daughter Alyssa about The Plan of Salvation. She is just so sweet and is really excited to get baptized on Saturday! This family is getting baptized this Saturday and we are so excited! 3 people are getting baptized on my second week here! 

The awesome thing is that Sis Randall and Sis DiLiberto have been working hard in this area over the last transfer so we have 9 investigators with baptismal dates. Crazy! We met with some other investigators and less actives this week. Some of the people we met with were frustrating because they were very contentious and were asking very controversial questions. It was hard to know what to say to them and to keep the spirit with us during a discussion like that.

I also went tracting many times this week! It wasn't as bad or scary as I thought and I kind of liked it. I know, I'm weird. I really loved the less active people I met this week. We met with this woman Barbara and she was the best! It was a miracle that we finally were able to find her house because she lives up on a hill with confusing roads. Anyways, when we got there she was so happy to see us and even though she had no idea we were coming, it seemed like she was just waiting for us. She was so great to talk to and she also ended up calling a potential investigator we have met before and invited her to church! That person showed up and we plan to meet with her and Barbara for a lesson next week! It was so cool to meet her and it was awesome that Barbara got Frieda and her husband to come to church. Also it was great because we didn't have any contact information for Frieda and now we got her number from Barbara and we will get to meet with both of them next week. What a miracle!

 We also we able to have 11 investigators at church with us this Sunday so that was so exciting! This week has been so great and I made it through my first week in the mission field!

We saw the broadcast yesterday! I hope you guys are all ready to become awesome member missionaries and refer a million people to the missionaries in your ward. Seriously, the missionaries need your help in this great work! Like they said last night, your job is to fill the missionaries' planners with people to teach! 

-Sister Mason

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