Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 30, 2016

We got our car back this week which was awesome.  You don't know what you've got until it's gone :).  

Last week on p-day we played kickball as a zone.  Proud to announce that the Jurupa zone took the La Sierra zone down 14-13 in extra innings (15 total) when a Sister made the game winning catch at second to close it out.  Probably the most intense games of kickball I've ever played in my life.  I left with the "W" and no voice because I was shouting so much.  I also got a lot of sun so I added "100+ SPF" to my weekly purchases - you're welcome Mom.

I had my last regular interview with President.  It was weird. Time is flying too fast.

We had a fun experience when we were knocking a neighborhood on exchanges.  As we were walking we saw a big red Chinese character on this person's door that is traditionally put on for Chinese New Year.  We decided, hey, might as well knock right?  We knock and long story short, it's a Christian Chinese lady who wants to learn more about Jesus Christ and feel closer to God.  Hey!  That's what we do!  Fun blessing.

We made zone t-shirts today for our mission wide fashion show known as "Crossfit."  We'll be the best dressed zone, and the most in shape one.  Pictures next week!

zone selfie after a blitz. I wonder what everyone at the park was thinking?

mom, spot what is wrong with the picture!

in the office stealing the box!

he's just too cute

one chubby baby

many baby pictures, he's just too cute

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

Wonderful week but also hard because we didn't have a car.  We've been on foot walking and walking and walking.  I've realized how inconvenient it is to live in America without the use of a vehicle.  One night, we were trying to get to a lesson three miles away.  We walked but needed to get there faster so we ran about 3/4 of a mile.  It was fun... not...

We went to the Temple as a mission this week, then, later in the week, we got to attend the sealing of members in our Chinese group.  It was the cutest thing ever when the five year old came into the sealing room after her parents had already been sealed and just gave us a huge smile and waved!  We had our "Families are Forever" ties on (our Chinese ones).

Another of our investigators got baptized too.  She is from Chengdu, where Elder Zeng lives, so during her baptismal interview with him, they had a lot of fun talking about their "lao jia" [old home].

We sat down to have a lesson with this eight year old investigator and his parents asked what he had learned from church.  He started to sing the hymn "Praise to the Man" (he didn't have a hymn book).  I don't know how he remembered all the words because he's only been to church four times.  It was a very spiritual experience listening to him sing.  

We were sitting in a class on Sunday, and one of the member's sons (Peter) didn't want to go to his own kid’s class.  I had him sit next to me and asked him if he wanted to go to Primary.  He replied in the negative so I asked why.  He then said "because I love to cry" ("wo ai ku").  I couldn't hold in the laughter.  I got him to sit reverently on his seat though - by bribing him with Hershey's kisses.  

During English class we were talking about food and how to order at a restaurant.  We decided to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everyone to try.  I expected everyone to think it was gross, but out of the 25 students that came that day, only one of them didn't like it!  One of them asked us for the "recipe."  "Three ingredients" I told her!  They asked if they could add egg or cheese or something like that.  I told her that would probably taste weird but what is that to them?

We got visited by Elder Christofferson in our mission this past week.  It was an amazing experience to hear an Apostle speak to us.  He held a question and answer session and joked about how Mission Presidents cringe during this session because they worry the missionaries will asked "dumb questions."  It went well though. He joked about how the Apostles don't travel to Israel in pairs because of Revelations 5.  It was a very spiritually uplifting and inspiring experience.

Our group at the temple

At the baptism!

Selfie with our investigator last week during her baptismal interview

My piranha shirt for kick-ball

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 16, 2016

We had a very fun time preparing and setting up our zone meetings this past week.  Lots of food, lots of fun.  We had a human board game to help everyone practice their contacting, complete with chance cards and everything.  

We cover the University now as well.  It's fun to be back on a college campus and get to meet and teach college students.  We went to free lunch at the institute last week, and no Chinese people showed up.  We decided to go out and bring some in so we went out on the sidewalk adjacent to the building and started contacting people.  We managed to meet this girl whose family is from Guangzhou and grew up in the Bay Area.  She was interested but had already had lunch!  We just showed her the Hallelujah video and let her get on her way to class.

Elder Merriman had his outgoing interview this past week as well.  Things are getting real!  We were in the same incoming...

We were able to go over to a recent convert's house and have a LOT of food.

Our dinner at Ryan and Selina's

With "Ya Ya", a recent convert's daughter who got a new dress!

Our zone meeting human board game

Set up for zone meetings - healthy snacks in the bottom right corner for a sister that's doing a special diet

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 9, 2016

Fun last week of the transfer.  It started last week on P-Day with us getting a knock on the door.  Some people were trying to sell some service to come clean our carpets.  They were going to do some free cleaning first!  We weren't interested, BUT we obviously had to take the opportunity to turn the tables on them and teach and testify about the Gospel.  I now more completely understand what it feels like to be on the other side of the door.  We ended up getting the information of one of the salesmen (actually a saleswoman) and sent it over to the missionaries that cover the area.  Always be persistent!  I wonder what they were thinking when two guys in shirts and ties answered the door.

Serving a mission (particularly in Eastvale) is having a weird effect on me.  Members are way too nice and always seem to feed us dessert.  It's like Pavlov's dogs where after dinner now, I NEED to have something sweet/dessert.  It's bad, but sometimes we'll go to Chinese members' houses and be thinking beforehand, what can we eat for dessert after - because luckily they do not feed us dessert!

We had this big two liter bottle of root beer a member had given us and did not know what to do with it.  Neither of us drink soda.  So, I had some baking soda and seemed to remember remotely that in elementary school, when you put baking soda in things like soda was it? or vinegar? they will explode!  I got some baking soda and put a bit inside.  Unfortunately we were unable to cap it fast enough, and my thumb in the opening of the bottle just made the pressure go up so it was spraying everywhere.  That particular experiment has been fun to clean up.  We keep finding random places with spilled root beer.

We had mission leadership council this past week and it was the last one Elder Westenskow is attending.  Transfers were also this past week and he's no longer in the office :(.  I'm going to miss his training.  We got a picture with some of the missionaries from our outgoing group at the meeting. There's a lot that go home with us!  Still have ample amount of time though!

We visited an investigator while he was having a barbecue one evening.  His backyard had the little barbecuing thing that Chinese meat stick salesmen have.  The long rectangular grill that makes it easy to make lamb meat sticks.  It reminded me a lot of home!

I did my last Skype call, got to talk to the family which was fun but weird.  Time is flying by faster than I can imagine.  Transfers this past week brought Elder Merriman to Eastvale for his last transfer with Elder Warren and me.  Getting that trio life again!

For our English class Friday night, the Stake was having a big "Fiesta Latina."  We decided to have a "Cultural Field trip" to the Stake Center to let them experience Latin culture, because there are so many Hispanic people in Southern California, so a group of 25-30 Chinese people descended on the party.  The major consensus was that the food was not good, but the atmosphere was awesome.  They all seemed to miss the crowds in China.  All of them were not however, used to having all the "weird" (their words - I thought the food was great) food.

We decided to walk around our Apartment complex to find all the "Birth Centers" where Chinese people come to deliver their children.  You can tell them apart because they all have a little table by the door where someone brings food every day.  It was fun and now we know where all the Chinese people live in our complex.  Also, we got a return appointment by a lady who was freaking out about us speaking Chinese.

Today was Elder Fischer's last day in the mission.  I'm going to miss him, he's like a brother to me.  He came up to Jurupa to finish out his last P-Day.  We started with golf.  Got my baseball swing out again.  I'm slowly but surely looking more like Rory McIlroy (and playing like him too).  Then we moved to soccer and finally to basketball.  We matched for most of it.  Last stop was In-N-Out (I'm addicted).  I strayed from my normal "healthy" "protein style" burger (lettuce bun) and went crazy with a regular bun to complement my fries and lemonade.  Pretty cool.  I'm going to miss him, it will be weird not having him in the mission.

the jurupa zone!

It was an elder's birthday at district meeting

The Canadian stealing candy!

one footed district picture

 Kitchen cleaning

Golf - at it again

terrible form (baseball swing)

one more picture of the pod

 throwback to la sierra heights, with Bishop (matching pants and socks)


elder foy making a guest appearance

la sierra heights ward - matching arm sleeves, matching socks

apparently I was supposed to be line drying a lot of my stuff... so here's my jump rope drying line

 last pic of the pod :( 

last MLC with Elder Westenskow :(

missionaries from our outgoing at MLC

nobody wants pineapple gummy bears

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 1, 2016

We went to help a recent convert family move to a new house and in the process met an awesome new investigator!  We walked in and started to speak to another recent convert who lives at the same house, in Chinese of course.  We heard a little scream and a lady ran over freaking out about how us "white guys" could speak Chinese!  She quickly handed her phone to her friend and had her friend take a picture of us three.  She then told us she has a lot of interest in Church and learning more about Jesus Christ!  Pretty fun experience.

Got fed a lot this week.  We showed up at one of our member and investigator's houses and it turns out they were celebrating a birthday party!  They quickly ushered us into their home to join in the festivities.  Lots and lots of food.  This was after our dinner that night, so we were already full!  When I told one of the women I couldn't eat anymore, she quickly put more in my bowl and said, "You have to!  You can't waste food!"  Very typical Chinese hospitality.

Had an interesting lesson at their house that night.  While we were there, another Chinese woman showed up.  My heart immediately fell because it was someone who really is not a fan of our church and tells everyone else about it.  We had taught her once before but she does not really like us - just very passive aggressive behind the very smiley face.  She came in and was obviously surprised to see us.  She didn't know that the owner of the house was one of our members.  I was expecting her to bring something up about the church during dinner and she did not fail to do that.  She started talking about how crazy we were.  I asked her why and she said she didn't want to say anything because it would "cause contention."  I told her to say it anyway because I wanted to clear up her misunderstandings.  She went on to say that our "Bishop has 40 wives."  I just started laughing and told her how ridiculous SHE was.  She didn't quite believe me when we said there is no polygamy in our church...  Not a fun experience, but the family all still came to church on Sunday anyway!

We volunteered at a Relay for Life in Eastvale on Saturday.  It was really windy, so we had to stop tents from flying!  It brought me back to high school days.  Our Relay for Life's back home were very well attended.  We had fun, especially with the free Chick-Fil-A!

We had our Stake conference during the weekend, so for one of the sessions, Elder Warren and I were in the translation booth looking at the little TV.  Translating is really tiring.

The Stake asked our Chinese group choir to sing during the conference.  Naturally as the missionaries, we got roped in with everyone else.  I managed to get Elder Mock to come up on short notice with us.  It was hilarious, but he sang well.  Hilarious because we sang in Chinese.  He still pronounced everything very well!  Proud of him.

I got to visit La Sierra Heights, my previous ward, on a short exchange last week.  It was awesome because we had dinner with the Solorios, one of the great families.

visited a member and investigators and got pulled in to eat dinner with them

I ate too much

back in the translation booth

 Translation is tiring!

visiting the Solorios on exchanges back to my old area!

visiting the Solorios on exchanges back to my old area!