First week in the mission field....holy cow.
The past week has flown by, but at the same time it feels like it took forever if that makes any sense. But LA is great! It's nice and warm. I'm so grateful that I don't have to buy winter clothes!
My plane landed about 9:30 Pacific time on Wednesday morning, and we were met by President Weidman, the mission president. He's a cool guy. We went to the mission home, which is behind the temple (which is absolutely beautiful) and had a new missionary training, met our new companions, and ate lunch. My trainer is Elder Richeson from Tennessee. We are getting along great and working well together, and he's made my transition to real missionary life a lot easier. My first night, we went to visit some families. I was basically in shock the whole night...that plus the fact that I'd been up since 3:30 in the morning didn't help haha but the next day was a lot better.
It actually got a lot better the next few days, and at this point, I'm doing pretty well. There are a lot of awesome families in this ward. There were about 100 people in sacrament meeting this week. Our ward mission leader is brother Le'i, a big Samoan guy. He's a really funny guy, and at church he wears a lava-lava and carries around this big staff. Pretty awesome. and when I introduced myself in Elders Quorum meeting, and said I was from Alabama, he shouted out, "Potatoes!" like Alabama was known for potatoes or something....most people would have said something like rednecks, racism, nascar, football, moonshine etc. but he thought of potatoes....
There are two other Elders in our ward, Phelps from Utah and Tupou'ata from Tonga. Since we have a car and they don't, we drive them around a lot. They're great guys though. We got me a bike that was left by an elder when he went home. The seat is at a weird angle, the gears won't shift right, and there are a lot of holes in the back tire, but Elder Phelps is like the bike whisperer so he was able to fix most of the issues and it rides pretty well now.
there are two other visa waiters in my district, both sisters. One of them is in the same mission as me, Fortaleza East! She's been here for one transfer.
Elder Richeson and I live in a pretty nice place, it's a one bed one bath apartment with a living room and a kitchen. It's pretty nice, and my only complaint is that sometimes the neighbors have karaoke night with mariachi music and it's pretty loud...but there could definitely be worse things!
There's a family called the Saunders in the ward, and Brother Saunders served a mission in Brazil and sister Saunders is Brazilian, so I have someone to practice a little Portuguese with! I have to ask sister Sanders to "fala devegar, por favor", speak slowly please, but its a blessing to have Portuguese speakers here!
We have a lot of part-member and or less active families here and we spend a lot of time visiting them, and we have a couple investigators we're working with, one with a baptism date! so we'll see how all that plays out.