Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014

So – tragedy hit the Riverside mission today.  I realized that I only have one more necktie before I have to start repeating ties in the mission field.  The future looks bleak, but I think I'll live.  

I'm pretty much down [OK] with the whole idea of waking up at 6:30 and going to bed at 10:30 now, which is like totally different from the Brown time zone (which is to shift everything later a couple hours).  I find you can accomplish a lot more in the morning when you get up early.  It will be 9:30 and I've already been awake for three hours!  Seems weird I know.

We ran into this 81 year old man, Easley, from Texas.  He is the funniest guy in the world!  He's obviously retired, and loves to bowl.  He taught it (bowling). [He says] it's just like combing your hair, which is hard to explain in writing - you bowl and end up with your hand by your hair - to put a natural break on the ball.  Anyways, we talked to him a couple times.  Before we leave, he always gives us these root beer candies.  

He says the funniest things too.  He grabbed Elder Johansen's hand before we left last time, and said, "Hey, you lookin' good... BUT YOU'RE (pronounced 'butcha') STILL UGLY" and just starts cracking up so hard.  He's super fit too, still works out at 81, apparently he could beat us in a footrace - still have to try that one out.  He's always drilling holes into his bowling balls - because [having] three finger holes is apparently better than having one.  Anyway, we invited him to church and he said he'd love to [go], he just has to buy his wife something pretty first, so she'll come with.  Hopefully we see him at church sometime!

We go to a park with softball fields sometimes at night.  They have a big "Major League Softball" league going on every night, it seems, so it's fun to watch it and meet people.  We picked up this one guy there who was super interested.  We met him at the church and have him on [schedule] to be baptized on September 28th (which will be moved back because he couldn't come to church on Sunday).  It was really fun talking to him.  

It's interesting how nice people in California are. They won't turn us down directly (like people in Rhode Island or New York would).  They just say come back later or they send their kids to say they're not home, when they obviously are.  But sometimes nobody's home - like on Saturdays.  You'd think Saturdays would be great for proselyting.  They're not.  Everyone goes to the beach so walking through neighborhoods you get the occasional guy watering his lawn (which you need to do a lot here - in the desert) but we are surprisingly close to the beach.

The "jeep guy" that we go to visit, Brad, is super chill.  We go over there to just talk to him and his housemate, Andre, sometimes.  They're fixing a jeep to go off-roading (is that what it's called?) so it's kind of cool seeing their progress.  

But anyways, the last time we dropped by, Andre told us after what we'd said about getting married for time and all eternity, and just talking about marriage in general, he kind of took it as a sign that it was time.  Not saying it was us that are the reason he's proposing, but he said he was going to talk to her parents that weekend which is super cool.  We're super excited for him.  

It's great to meet just nice people, that don't call us misguided children or more colorful names.  He gave us otter pops last time, and when we visited again on fast Sunday (where we don't eat for two meals), he offered them.   We explained fasting, and Brad just couldn't get his head around not eating 12 times a year.  He was like, "all right, that's it guys, I'm getting you a pizza."  Super funny, super nice.  

We met with all the Chinese elders in the mission with President Mullen to discuss the future of the Chinese program.  Someone suggested Johansen and I get moved to the University of California Riverside area, Chinese speaking.  Even though President pretty much said that's not happening, it got Johansen super excited about Chinese.  So the goal is to have him fluent by the time the next two months are over - when he leaves.  He's picking it up really fast, his tones are surprisingly good.  It's really fun though, saying stuff in Chinese and trying to have him understand it.  

So the mission is fun, the days are hot (and humid - it rained for the first time), and basketball p-days are on a whole other level (lower) than soccer p-days.  The fun part is Thursday morning soccer - 3 vs. 3 on the wet grass before the sun rises.

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