Monday, March 3, 2014

I'm in Love with Ventura!


First of all, I love Ventura and I absolutely love my companion Sister James! She is 19 and from Orem, Utah. She is amazing and absolutely adorable! I'm pretty sure that Ventura is my favorite area so far! It's a total beach town here and it is beautiful! We are so close to to the beach that we can hear seagulls.
Aah, I just love it here!

It's also so fun because Sister Bartschi and Sister Hegstrom (2 of the Sister Training Leaders) are in our ward here! I love both of them so much! Plus, it basically has been raining like crazy and it has been too much fun! We have been soaked out in the rain talking to people, but it has been such a blessing because California has been in such a drought lately!

Near the beach! Notice the seagull in the sky.

So one crazy thing is that we took Sister Snow and her companion's place here. It seems like I keep following her to my new areas! It has honestly been such a blessing that Sister Snow took the time to have everything set up for us when we got here. She and her companion had many appointments set up for us. For the first few days we didn't really know what we were doing, so we just showed up to the appointments with investigators that were already planned for us. It has been so much easier than I expected because the sisters before us had everything scheduled for us!
This is Sister Snow (3rd from left) with all her companions so far.
I was her MTC companion. The Ventura stake center (where I go to
church and where we have transfer meetings) is in the background.

It's kind of strange, but I really like whitewashing (both me and my companion new to the area) and training. I thought it would just make things a lot more stressful, but I think it is great because it puts Sister James and me on the exact same page! We both end up having to figure out things together and it has just been great! Believe me, we have been making fools of ourselves calling people the wrong names and not having an idea what we are doing. I have loved it so far and it has been keeping things very interesting!
Sister James is a great missionary already so she makes things much easier! She is bold with people, especially less-actives, because she will ask people point blank what their problem is with the Church. She is also really willing to do uncomfortable things, and she really likes learning! She is such a blessing and we have been getting along wonderfully already! She is honestly such a great person to be around and she reminds me a lot of Lolo (my cousin Lauren Zaharis). So of course that makes her even better! We actually confessed to each other a few days ago that we both had been praying for a companion like each other. Too precious!  I am so excited to see what this transfer has in store for us!

Me with Sister James! Isn't she adorable!

This week we had a lesson with one of our investigators D. She is 17 years old and she is just the sweetest girl! We went over to her house and read 2 Nephi 31 with her and talked to her more about baptism. We set a baptism date for her on May 3rd and she is so excited! We are seriously just so happy for her and she is basically soaking up everything we teach her! We came back for another lesson later in the week and taught her about temples, family history work, and doing baptisms for the dead. She was getting so excited to be able to do baptisms for the dead after she is baptized. It was great to see! We are really excited to be able to work with her because she is so nice and so sincere.
We also were able to visit with one of our investigators A and his family. It is frustrating because his mom has recently become reactivated in the church, and his dad was baptized 2 years ago, but he feels like he isn't ready for baptism. We went over and taught a couple of lessons there this week, and it is so interesting because he is so smart and knows all the lessons front and back by now. He also is really looking forward to serving a mission, but then he doesn't want to be baptized right now. I love this family. They are really great, so we are just working with all of them to prepare to go to the temple, and for A to be baptized!
Look who I get to see at emails every Monday! Hermana Linford is serving in the
Spanish branch in our stake, so it looks like I will be running into her more often!
It was a little embarrassing because I actually squealed when I saw her today!

We had a lesson with another one of our wonderful investigators R. He has only been meeting with missionaries for a month and he has a baptismal date coming up in 3 weeks. He is just such a faithful man and really wants to know if what we are teaching him is true! He has been reading lots of the Book of Mormon and has been coming to church regularly. He is just so great because he listens so carefully to what we teach him and nods his head throughout our whole lesson. He really has great potential and I am looking forward to being able to get to know him a little more. Hopefully we can help him, if even just a little way, to come closer to Christ!
Lehi - I think they spelled it wrong though

Another wonderful thing was that Sister Snow and Sister Parker had set up a few service opportunities for us this week! We were able to go over and help clean for this less-active woman who is pregnant and cannot do a whole lot right now. It was a great opportunity to be able to talk to her and her family and also find out what some of her concerns about the church are. We were also able to help another woman organize things in her house while she is trying to move into a new house. It was so great to be able to spend a little bit of time with some families from our ward and get to know them better!
I really love it here and things are just going great! We are still trying to figure out what in the world we are doing, but it has been so fun and we have seen miracles already!
Much Love,
Sister Mason

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