Companion: Hermana Perry
This week was my first week in Bakersfield and everything is going great! It is super hot, but the people here are super cool and I love being companions with Hermana Perry. She is the greatest. We came out at the exact same time, so we already knew each other a little bit from the first day things. We are the youngest Spanish speaking Hermanas in the mission, so we have been having a great time and working a lot.
This week has been a scorcher! As soon as I got down here, the air conditioning in our apartment broke. It was so bad. The first night, I woke up completely drenched because it was so hot during the night. Weekly planning was almost unbearable because we were inside the apartment for a couple of hours. Luckily, we were able to contact the apartment management and they came by to fix it. I never appreciated the magic of modern technology until I felt that sweet air conditioning again.
This is a great area and we have been working really hard. We are in the La Cresta Spanish ward in East Bakersfield. There are a ton of Spanish speakers here. It is really nice and I have had lots of opportunities to work on the language. It is a little funny because Hermana Perry and I have about the same amount of experience in speaking Spanish, so living with the language barrier has been really fun. One day this week, we were calling one of our investigators to confirm our appointment with her. Towards the end, she said something that neither of us could understand. I thought that she had said, "I love you" which seemed a little weird, but I told Hermana Perry. She responded to Rocio (our investigator) "I love you, too!" She sounded really surprised. That was when we realized that she hadn't actually said I love you. Awkward! Despite that, we have been able to do pretty well with the language together.
We have been working really hard to follow the promptings of the spirit this week. When we get to any area, we pray to see what we should be doing and who we should talk to. We have had a lot of adventures and some really cool experiences.
One day, we were going to go and see one of our potential investigators. When we pulled over to the side of the road to pray, a lady walked out of her house and started looking at us really strangely. We finished praying and she started to walk towards our car, so I rolled down the window. She introduced herself and started talking to us. After a second, she told us that she was going to get into our back seat so that she could talk to us better. Then, before we could say anything, she opened the back door of the car and hopped right in. We were sitting there in shock, but she just kept asking us questions. It was really strange! She told us that she was schizophrenic and bipolar, which explained a little bit about why she would do that. While we were talking, her mom came out, saw that she was in our car, gave us a strange look, and walked back into the house. I wanted to talk to the mom, so I asked the lady in our car if she would go into her house to get us some water. When she got out, I turned to Hermana Perry and told her to grab her stuff, then we just followed the lady into her house. We didn't end up talking to her mom, but we were able to talk to her sister-in-law and we did a little bit of service and helped them to pack up for their move later this week. It was a little strange of an experience, but I think that we were able to meet some people who were prepared.
Another experience where we had an adventure because we followed the spirit. We were walking down a street where we have been a lot this week. One of the houses on the street had a couple of really big and scary looking dogs that were kept on chains. They had looked so scary that we decided that we probably shouldn't try talking to the people in the house. As we were about to get in our car to leave the street, we decided to knock one more house. They weren't home, but from the porch, we could see that one of the scary dogs had gotten loose and that all of the family from that house were outside in the streets. We both felt prompted to go and talk to them. Right before we got up to the house, the dog that had gotten loose started running up towards me. I saw my life flash before my eyes. It sort of jumped on me, and then it ran away. Nothing happened (but I did have some dog slobber on my watch). The dog's owner came out swearing up a storm and apologized so much. We gave her our card and were able to talk to her about our message. Her mother came out and started talking to us to. It turns out that she is actually an extremely less active member. We were able to talk to her a bit and she said that she wants to start coming back to church. We probably wouldn't have been able to find her if we weren't listening to the spirit (even though the prompting didn't make much sense!).
I am super excited for this transfer. It is going to be seven weeks long, but I am sure that we are going to be able to do a lot of good work during this time. I have already seen a lot of miracles during my first week here. I am positive that they are going to just keep on going!
I love being a missionary and seeing the difference that I am able to make in people's lives. I am sure that I am where the Lord wants me to be and I am trying more and more each day to be doing what he wants me to be doing. I love you all and I hope that you have a good week back at home. Keep cool and have fun!