Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

My new area is pretty cool, I cover two wards.  One is a family ward and one is a YSA (young single adult).  So it's cool to be around young people a lot.  

I live in a barn so my eyes itch a lot, and it gets hard to breathe sometimes.  Lots of horses in Norco!  The temperature is pretty crazy too! It'll be 80 something degrees we go to bed, and in the morning it will be in the 60's! Freezing! California has made me weak.

The one bummer is that I can't speak Chinese often, but I'm still working on it.  

One thing I have noticed, is that I'm being blessed with just tons of spiritual lessons.  I don't know if it's the language change or what, but all of the lessons I'm having are just great inspiring experiences, very spiritually enlightening.  My investigators are feeling it too!  The Book of Mormon can change people's hearts.

The nice part about this area is that we're getting blessed with lots of miracles.  On Sunday, my first day at church, a 14-year old walked up to me and asked "so what do I have to do if I want to be baptized?"  Not bad!  He's on date for the 1st of August.  

In Corona, it can sometimes be hard to find people to teach.  A lot of people kind of keep to themselves so it's hard to catch them outside or in their garage.  So when a brush fire broke out near a neighborhood, we obviously had to hit it up.  There were TONS of people out on the streets, it was great! No houses got burned and no one got hurt so it was all good.

I didn't send this picture last week, the last night before Murray went home, we (Chinese missionaries in the apartment) decided to take our mattresses out in the living room and "pangea" for the night, which was obviously a party! 

The barn 1

The barn 2

Fire is too hot for me 1

Fire is too hot for me 2

Fire fighting helicopter

Brush fire 1

Brush fire 2

How I'm greeted as I walk out to the car (I couldn't take a picture of the sound.. for some reason) 

He's not cute in case you're wondering

"Pangea" matress party

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 13, 2015

I moved. I'm in Corona with Elder Foy who loves baseball too, still a zone leader! I'm not in a Chinese area anymore which isn't that cool, but my new address is:

Elder Jacob Dyer
5398 Trail Street
Norco, CA 92860

Norco is "Horsetown USA" by the way and I somehow ended up with the original Mulan car - Chevy Cruze.

This past week was amazing.  It was Elder Murray's last week in my mission so all of the Chinese members in our ward invited us over to eat food.  By Thursday I was dying - too much good food.  

Pretty interesting thing happened this week.  We got a call from the Irvine missionaries saying they had a referral from Arcadia (Chinese missionaries).  She needed help translating something in Corona, so we headed over.  She was there with another Chinese woman and the woman’s older American husband.  They had us translating to help them give the ownership and business license of a massage place to the Chinese woman (the single one). 

So we were talking to the government employees and they said it was closed last week by the police for shady stuff happening, illegal stuff.  So they said they'll have an agent go check it again to see if it's approved to open again under the new owner.  Elder Murray, bless his heart (bless your heart Elder Murray), left our number so the person checking could call us and we could translate whether they passed or not.  So they left to their massage parlor store place and we left to meet them there to translate some utilities thing.  But I decided to go back and ask if we should be translating. 

After talking to the worker there, she said Corona has a lot of these massage places that get busted and try to reopen under a new owner.  So long story short after going there and telling them we couldn't go inside because we're missionaries, we took our phone number off the application and called them and told them we couldn't translate because they were involved in illegal activity, she asked "what activity, did the government people say?" And I told her, "you know what I'm talking about." because she did, so we got out of being the translators for a brothel.

We were meeting with a recent convert and his wife and talking about prayer.  They said they both prayed this week about a city inspection on their home (they're doing extensive renovations) to pass.  He prayed to God in the name of Jesus Christ, and she prayed to Buddha, and they passed!  And they were in an argument about "whose God answered their prayers?"  Selina said it's very important to know who helped them pass.  I thought it was a funny argument to have.

The week culminated in Sister Xiong's baptism.  Her husband was baptized last November.  At the start she was really standoffish, not really wanting a lot to do with the church, but we kept working with her, and she finally made it into the waters of baptism!  That was an awesome feeling, seeing their family together.

During the baptism, Sister Xiong started plugging her nose before her husband started the baptism prayer, so by the time he was saying “Amen” (which is only like 10 seconds), she was gasping and hitting him to tell him to go faster. It was funny.  Their three year old son, right before they started the prayer, reached down in the water and shouted "SO HOT" (in Chinese). At least we had warm water this time!  But it was an awesome experience to help her to be baptized.  Now on to the Temple!

We were saying bye to a lot of investigators this week and one of them, when it really sunk into her, started crying.  Not fun to have a grown woman start crying on you, so I just told her it'll be all right (her husband and son are in Beijing getting visas to come visit right now).  She wants to move to Utah which will all work out because Elder Murray's there to translate (have fun Murray).

Bye bye Elder Murray - have fun at BYU!

Our Chinese missionary cool club together for the last time

Our really ripped friend Luo Yuan and his family

Hiking with recent converts and investigators - I'm popping a squat at the top

Selina and Ryan - recent converts - you gotta love their smiles

Sister Xiong's baptism

Tony got a suit!

With the Liangs - a recent convert family - after English class

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6, 2015

I'm probably getting transferred next week so here's my address until I know my new one:

Elder Jacob Dyer
5900 Grand Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504

We were talking to some recent converts this past week, and one was telling us how she's not a studying type of person - so she doesn't really like to study the scriptures.  She'll be all sad sometimes because she's in a new country and can't speak the language, but all she has to do is watch one of her favorite Chinese reality TV shows and she's happy again.  Her husband was telling her how that wasn't long term happiness and it won't last, but she said, "If I just keep watching them then I'll always be happy." I love the members here!

We were eating lunch with some investigators at their house, and it turns out my mom isn't the only one who doesn't like "cuts by Elder Dyer".  After lunch, our investigator said she wanted to cut my hair.  So I agreed to it.  She had this mini hair salon in her garage even with the cape/apron thing you wear to prevent hair from getting on you, I need to look into investing in one of those! Let the record show she cut it really weird and I had to shape it up at home, sorry mom.

One of the things you'll run into as a missionary in Southern California are door-to-door solar or pest killer salesmen try to sell to you.  When I say sell, I mean trying to hire us.  It's a pretty regular thing at this point. Apparently, Mormon door-to-door salesmen are really sought after.  One of the many we ran into last week had his whole sales pitch in under 2 minutes! I've gotten quite a few numbers from these kind of guys - lots of business cards.  Elder Murray is an especially good target because he's about to go home.  This one guy though, he brought out pictures of his brand new orange Lamborghini - pretty tempting I must say.  Summer sales.

We had a mission leadership conference/council (MLC) last week, which lasted a really long time - 8am until 4pm. Meetings are a hard part of missionary life!

For the 4th of July, we had a church activity car show to go to in the morning (lots of classic old cars) which our investigators loved a LOT, and a huge potluck for the Chinese members after.  Their food is too good! There were about 50 people in attendance.  Lots were members, lots were recent converts, and lots were investigators.  It's nice to see the fruits of your labors come together!

He's a big boy!

Tony in a 60's (?) Corvette in the church parking lot

With Tony and Tina at the church parking lot car show!

Finally a picture with our really buff investigator and his wife - he loved the 4th of July car show our church had

With recent convert who moved :( to an area with a Chinese ward

Mission leadership council

I'm getting into dish soap art (that's a very accurate portrait of Elder Murray)

New Mulan!!! 2015 Toyota Corolla

16 miles on it, not bad

new mulan > old mulan