Mission life has been pretty awesome recently. The work is coming along great and I am really enjoying everything. Here are some fun points for this week.
Since Benton City is only about 3000 people, there’s only one High School with a population about the size of my graduating class. As such, the entire town rallied behind them for homecoming this past week. All over the town they had signs painted onto the windows in support and things like that. It was really cool.
The weather up here is really nice. It’s a little bit chilly right now – it’s about as cold as Irvine will get in the dead of winter (although I would hardly consider what Irvine goes through a winter) - so we will see what this winter brings. Everyone is saying that it is supposed to be a pretty bad winter but it should be interesting nonetheless. Thankfully since I'm Spanish speaking I have a car so I am not too worried about it just yet.
Our mission president decided to change one of our key indicators last week at zone conference. We used to report every week how many OYM's (or Open Your Mouth's) we had (essentially how many non-members we talked to through knocking doors or responding to potential contacts) but he has decided to do member lessons instead. We now are focusing on working with the members to try and help show them that sharing the gospel isn't as bad as it may seem at first. Hopefully we will help them gain confidence in sharing a brief message which we hope will find new investigators. So far it’s been working great.
Here in the east part of Washington it’s pretty flat but we are right at the base of some foothills and had the opportunity last week on P-Day [Preparation Day] to go hiking a bit up a hill called Badger Mountain. Why it is called Badger Mountain instead of Badger Hill I have no idea since it is by no means a mountain but alas it was still a cool hike. The view from the top was pretty cool. In the picture below, the little valley I believe is Benton City.
I think I mentioned this earlier but either way Benton City is what we call a "zebra area" because we as missionaries speak both Spanish and English. Right now we don't have enough Spanish people to create a branch and so we have the opportunity to translate what they are saying in Sacrament Meeting into Spanish. Yesterday I had the opportunity to do so. It was kind of crazy because a) I'm still learning Spanish and b) they don't really go that slow for us to translate. But it was still a neat experience. I feel like I did pretty well but there was definitely some heavenly help going on.
As for an update on my Spanish it’s coming along really well. Still having a bit of trouble understanding when they start speaking super fast but overall its coming along great.
So to end this, I have some exciting news. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is coming to our mission!!! It is super rare to have the opportunity to hear from a member of the Twelve like this and he is coming just to speak to us. It’s gonna be amazing!
And with that, I sign off. Everybody have a great day and I'll see you again next week.