Well, this week has been really interesting and very different from
what I was expecting. We left on Tuesday and went to the good ol' town
of Cloverdale, or as one of the members here calls it "Clovertucky".
It's definitely been an interesting experience here whitewashing in as
Spanish missionaries in an English ward that doesn't even have a
spanish group. One of the first things we did was go to a Veterans
day program that the Young Women put on. It was really good, but it
was then that I started realizing exactly what we have in front of us.
The ward is a fairly small ward made up of mostly fairly old members
that have lived in Cloverdale basically their whole life. It makes for
a pretty interesting atmosphere. It was then that I found out that
there's really only one family that's hispanic in the ward and they
aren't active right now. There's a couple other Hispanic members that
are more or less active depending on the person, but not enough to
form a group at this time.
Even though the ward is pretty small, and the Hispanics in the ward
even smaller the good news is that there are plenty of Hispanics in
the town. For the size of Cloverdale there's a surprising amount of
Hispanics here. And we've definitely seen many miracles this past
week. We have been able to pick up 5 new investigators, 4 of them a
family, this past week and have taught quite a surprising number of
lessons for the situation. Also we feel like we can have a lot of
success with the less-active family, the Martinez family, in the ward.
We formed a plan to work with them more like "we need you to come with
us and help all these investigators we're teaching, so we want to
teach you the lessons so you know how to help us" instead of more like
"you're a less-active and you need to come to church and repent and
live the Gospel". I feel like it's what they need and it's true, we
really need them a lot in the ward. They basically are the key to the
spanish work going forward in the area because without them there to
fellowship investigators there isn't really anybody else in the ward.
And imagine how scary it is to go to another church for the first time
and then add in the factor that almost none of the people speak the
same language. That's how important it is to have the Martinez family
to help out. And so we set up to visit them 2 times a week already and
we really want to help them really improve and do what they know they
need to be doing.
Also this Sunday something pretty funny and pretty fun happened! So we
were in Sacrament meeting and apparently it was the Primary Program
this week. And so they called the Primary children up to the stand.
Then we notice the other Elders get up and are motioning us to go up
there too! We were pretty surprised, but we went and followed them up
anyways. It turns out that the Elders were asked to help the Primary
out by singing with them (there's really only like 10-12 kids in the
Primary with a good chunk of them sunbeam age). That was pretty fun in
and of itself, but then because we helped out with the Program the
Primary invited us to "Sharing time" where they played a game and also
had some snacks as a "job well done" treat for the kids. It was
probably the most exciting 3rd hour I've had in years!! haha It was
good though and the Primary kids had a great time too.
Overall it's going to be a very different experience here in
Cloverdale, but I know that there is a reason the Lord has me and
Elder Hansen here at this time. I enjoy it here, and I know we'll
continue to see miracles here!
Love y'all and have a wonderful week!
PS: My address is:
121 Vista View Dr.
Cloverdale, CA 95425