Hello from the land of the free!
I flew back from Mexico this week and it has been awesome being in the states once again. But more importantly, it’s been awesome here in my mission in Washington. Let’s start from Tuesday.
Tuesday morning I woke up at 2 AM to be on the bus at 3 for a flight at 6:15. We then flew 2 hours to Dallas, then 4 hours to Seattle, then 30 minutes to Pasco. That last leg was really cool. We only got to 17000 feet in a Q400 prop plane. That was really cool. Once we landed, the 6 of us that flew to the Kennewick mission walked inside and were met by the President, his wife, and his two assistants. They loaded our bags into a trailer and then we all drove to the mission home. It was weird being able to read and understand road signs once again. Back at the mission home, we met the rest of the 22 missionaries that had flown in from Provo earlier that day. Of those 22, there were actually 5 who were waiting on Visas to fly to Denmark and 1 waiting for a Visa to Australia. It was interesting hearing prayers in Danish. Anyways... after we took care of some quick pictures and the like we walked to the church just around the corner and had dinner. Although I’m sure that after 6 weeks of cafeteria food anything would have been good, dinner that night seemed especially amazing. Especially when they pulled out fresh homemade brownies for dessert. It was a little slice of heaven. After we had meetings and then dispersed to some various places for the night before heading back to the church again the next morning. We had a little bit of introduction to the area and rules about the phones/money cards/cars/etc then gathered together with some other missionaries that had come together to meet our new companions/trainers.
My companion is Elder Rosero from South Jordan, Utah. He was born in Columbia and lived there for four years so Spanish is not a problem for him. Which is great news for me. Overall he is a great guy. We are getting along fine and have been progressing a lot in the work. He says my Spanish is good but I sort of just laugh. With time, maybe, but not right now.
We are currently serving in an area called Benton City. It’s a little town off the side of the main highway. A lot of the people here work in the farms just outside the city so there isn't too much income but overall it’s a pretty nice town. No Irvine by any means but Irvine, as we already know, is its own little bubble. We are staying in a little side house of a sweet older lady who lives in the ward. Pretty small but it’s still rather comfortable. The members here are fantastic. Everybody is super nice and welcoming and supporting. We have dinner appointments every night and they are always super enjoyable.
Since Benton City is kind of small, we are the only missionaries in the area. As such, we get to teach in both Spanish and English. They just put Spanish missionaries here a few months ago so the Spanish population in the ward is pretty small but it’s growing. We have several investigators we use Spanish with but also have English. It’s nice switching between the two.
The weather here is great. Well, at least for me anyways. I just missed the hot season so we shall reevaluate when I’m walking around in 100 degree weather. So far it’s been pretty chilly. Lots of wind and cloud cover more often than not. It has rained a few times but pretty light and not for very long. We are at the foot of a hill (they call it a mountain but the hill behind Northwood is bigger than their hill) and so the winds can get kind of crazy. But it’s always fun walking into the wind and having your tie fly into your face.
Sunday here was a little weird. It’s was kind of strange going to a normal meeting again but the great thing about the church is whether you're in Irvine or Benton City, Washington or the middle of Siberia the meetings all work the same. The one thing that is different is we get to translate the meeting for the few members that only speak Spanish. They don't have enough Spanish members for a Spanish branch so we have a little system where we sit in the front off to the side and speak into a little headset that transmits to several receiving boxes/headphones. It’s quite nifty actually. Thankfully my companion translated this week but in two weeks after General Conference yours truly will be the one sitting in front of the ward trying to translate to Spanish in real time. It'll be challenging but I am excited.
That's about all for this week. Next week I'll try to have a little bit more about the daily life.