Dear family and friends,
I'm so excited! I'm now part of the Kennewick Mission!!! I feel like so much is changing, and it's all a little too big for me, but it makes the missionary life fun. :) I have two district mates from the MTC in the Bakersfield Mission now, Ben is in the Queretaro Mission, and I am in the Kennewick Mission with every missionary I know from my MTC district. Our President is President Ware, and he's vice President of Deseret Book or something. We'll be meeting him on this wednesday. So, another 2.5 hour car ride. But that's what happens when you are in Oroville. On another note, while Kennewick is closer to most spanish areas in the mission than spokane was, for oroville it is now a five hour car ride down to the mission home instead of three hours to spokane. They're not as happy about the change up here but... Well, at least I am! :D
I'm going to note, that I'm copying and pasting parts of another letter to this one, so there will be information that the majority of you already know. Sorry about that! It's faster!
So to explain a little bit about Oroville. I officially found out from a government agent the other day, that it has about 1500 people. He said it was a big growth from before when it had about 1200 people. :) We cover 6 other towns named Ellisforde, Tenasket, Moulson, Chesaw, and Loomis. We've got plans to visit Loomis for the first time on saturday, and I've only been in Oroville, Ellisforde, and Tenasket, other than that. We don't have any on-dates right now, and while we didn't have investigators at church, we've got a few people that say they will once the cherry season ends, we're looking hard for new people to teach, and we did have a number of less active members at church. Kyndra, Kayla, and Mariya are a few less-active/recent converts that we've been making a lot of progress with, helping them overcome their major problems, and getting back to church. In the seven (or is it eight?) weeks I've been here, we finally got Kayla to come to church for the first time in months! The Elder who baptized her will be pleased to hear that (He's in Moses Lake). Also we have got the Luna family, another less active family, reading the BoM daily, and praying together as a family each day, and we have plans to challenge them to come to church this coming sunday, tomorrow, so pray that they'll be able to do that!
I am step-training Elder Heward, who has been in the field about 6 weeks now, and is waiting for his visa to go to Brazil. He's anxious to speak his mission language, but in the mean time he's been humbly learning so much here in Oroville. I'm so proud of how much he's been growing, in such a short time, and how he's borne his wait patiently! I recently taught him how to say a baptismal invitation in spanish, and in the middle of one of our lessons in spanish, he asked me if he could ask our investigator a question. I curiously told him to go ahead, and he invited this man to be baptized at a very random point in the lesson, but Guadalupe said yes! He is busy with the cherries, and wants to be sure that the book of Mormon is true, but because of Elder Heward acting on the spirit, we now know that Guadalupe truly does have a desire to follow God's will in his will, during a lesson that I had been wondering in the back of my mind if we would have to drop him soon. He's a great missionary. :)
I read a talk this morning, the subject being that we should have faith, not fear. It talked about how on a canoe trip, while you generally enjoy the calm portions with near still waters, your favorite parts of the journey is when the rapids come. Although it's more difficult, there is a sense of exhilaration, and you feel accomplished when you've conquered them. This is how it should be in life as well. While we do have rapids, and it may seem that we are in danger at times, we must remember that 1. God will make sure everything turns out best, according to His plan! and 2. That there will always be challenges in our lives, but if we can learn to enjoy them, instead of dread them, we will be able to achieve and grow more each day. I have a new personal goal because of that talk! And a new quote in my book. :)
There's Jig again. I met her in Moses Lake during my day there. She's the fattest, walking dog I've met in my life. And another couple pictures of our beautiful area.