Hola familia y amigos!!
Dear President Alba,
Although I miss serving in San Rafael, serving with Elder Perez, and serving with all the members of the branch there, I'm excited to be here in Vacaville. To tell a little more about it, it's a single city that has it's own stake with, I believe, 5 wards and one Spanish group (where I serve). This means that there's a large number of members in a relatively small area, and it reminds me a bit like Utah. The members are very strong though and love to help the missionaries. The problem is that they're all American, which means that few of them speak Spanish. There are returned missionaries and others that know it fairly well though and we are able to take them out with us fairly often.Now about my companions! I quickly grew to love both Elder Lenon, and Elder Debora, thanks to prayer, and the fact that they're both very like-able people. Elder Debora is great to have around because Elder Lenon and I are more quiet types and Elder Debora is not. He likes to tell stories and has some pretty great stories to tell! And Elder Lenon is incredibly kind and unselfish. We already have had some great times together and I'm sure we'll continue to have many more. That being said though it's very different being in a trio and every trio has difficulties in some way. The companionship wasn't a trio before, and Elder Debora and I are both new to the area so we're so far avoiding the third wheel difficulty that often comes up in a trio. It is different to teach as a trio, and it'll be hard to figure out how to stay focused and unified in our teaching, but we're already working on that, and with the Lord's help we'll figure it out.
About the work in the area. It's a fairly different kind of work than what I was used to in San Rafael, but I like it and Elder Lenon and Elder Ford (Elder Lenon's previous companion) did some very good work here last transfer from what I can tell. There are some very open, interested investigators in the teaching pool right now, and we just have to work with them to help them progress to baptism. There is one investigator in particular that is awesome, and is seriously progressing well, Juan. We've already taught him twice since being here and taught him the Word of Wisdom one of those times (often times a toughy...). He read the pamphlet before hand and told us that a month ago, before he met the missionaries, he drank something like 7 beers a day, but that in the month that he's been taught he has cut back, of his own initiative, to one or two a week. And when he read the pamphlet he knew that he needed to stop completely, all of which he concluded on his own. We just had to review everything and check for understanding of a few things in the lesson and that was it! He's great and will be baptized soon if I have anything to do with it!
I'm excited to be here in "Cowtown", and I'm especially excited to be in my specific area, with my specific companions because I know that this is where I need to be right now. It will be hard, we've already noticed some things that will be difficult in a trio, and other difficulties will come later as well, but they are the difficulties that we all need right now, and I want to continue to apply the slogan, "Come what may, and Love it" in this area.
I love y'all and especially wanted to let the Mount family know that my prayers are coming your way. And for all that are struggling through hard times know that in troubled times, sometimes all we can do is turn to the Lord, the Prince of Peace. Let Him fill your hearts and lives with His Peace.
(below is a part of his letter to his parents and he mentioned that it could be shared with everyone)
The area is a car area, which means air-conditioning!! but also means we have to keep track of, and plan around, miles, which sometimes means a good bit more walking (and sometimes some biking anyways...). There's only a Spanish group here, with about 20 people including non-native leadership people (Group leader and counselors, and their wives, etc.) that are active, and most of the non-leadership members need a good bit of strengthening. But it's really cool because we get soo much closer to the members that we do have. We can also be more unified between the group and the missionaries. It also means that we eat with members from one of the English wards. So we get fed every single day, literally. And the bishops and stake leadership get on to people if we don't... haha. So here's to a constant struggle to not get any more fat than I already am...