Tuesday, November 12, 2013
First Week in California
OK, so I have a million and two things to tell you!!!!
First off, I miss my district like crazy. Second, I had a great day when all my district was gone and it was just me! I stayed with the newest district and I got to be really good friends with the sisters there. Fast forward 24 hours and what am I doing?!?!!? Eating dinner with THE Larry Gelwix in his dining room!!!!! There were three big tables, and I was assigned as the only sister missionary at HIS table, with five other elders and him and his wife!!!! WHAT?!?!?! SO cool right?! Loved it. He is so great! I thought he'd be more intimidating, but he is super duper nice! In my interview with him he only asked three questions.... tell me a little about yourself and why you are here, what can I do to bless your (me Kelsie) life, and finally, do I have to be worried about you or are you going to do what you know is right? Super great, super fast. Got my bike, got my new companion!!! Haven't ridden the bike at all, and it sounds like I probably won't while I'm in this area, which sounds like could be a long time because my trainer only has three transfers left! She has two for sure with me to train me and then only one, so she thinks I'll take over this area as Senior companion when she's done. That's her guess, we don't know. Obviously. Her name is Sister Organista, she's from El Salvador!!! So I'm being taught Spanish by a native speaker, so great! My spanish has launched, I know so much more and am comfortable with so much more in this past week than 6 in the CCM and WAY more than 3 years in High School. Gracias por nada Chisago! (Thanks for nothing). Anyways, so excited. She is helping me so much. She says that she is really impressed because I'm not afraid to talk and that I like to take the lead (in English lessons anyways) and she's really good about pulling me into Spanish lessons and helping me say my part, however small. She is so good for me. She's pretty quiet, but happy. It's good for me to slow down and talk less haha. Interferes with the Spirit a veces when I'm so crazy and talking all the time. (a veces is sometimes). Speaking of which, last night I was writing in my journal and I could NOT write in English! It was the strangest thing! Spanish just kept coming. Here in Kerman we teach both English and Spanish, non discrimininatory. For some reason this small ward managed to get three sets of missionaries... the district leader, the zone leaders, and some fierce sisters! I don't know how that happened. Some areas don't even have missionaries, and it's not like it's a big ward, or even a big town! It's pretty similar in size to Forest Lake I'd say.
By the way, I love California! It is so beautiful! It's so strange because it's well into the 60s everyday, but in Walmart there's Chirstmas stuff everywhere! The trees (that aren't palms) are turning colors, it is so gorgeous. Kerman is very beautiful, pretty sure I'm going to live here someday. I love it.
There are so many poor people here... no one has a car to get to church. The members are so great. Sister Nehring is a ward missionary and she does so much to take care of us and drive investigators.... so much! And no we aren't living with her, she just really takes care of missionaries! She's awesome. We live in a very nice apartment... two full bathrooms plus showers just for the two of us! So we each just take one, it's great! We have about 35$ a week to live off of... nigh impossible. especially this week cuz I had to buy sheets and shampoo and a lot of extra stuff besides groceries. Soon I'll be able to figure out how to shop... it's really hard because you never know when someone's going to feed you. I have never been so hungry or so full than now... Either you're with a member and they stuff you or your own your own trying to ration the food you have.... it's nuts.
Also can you please send my red and yellow piano books with LDS arrangements?? Kerman has like no musical abilities. I'm going to try to change that, but they haven't had a piano player for the Spanish group like ever, so I play for their meeting on Sunday and like no one leads music really.... I don't know. They are so so grateful... in sacrament meeting they said "We have a new missionary, Sister Zollinger, and she is going to be playing piano for us. Thank you so much Sister Zollinger for your years of study! We appreciate it!" all in Spanish of course. And then they told me I was already a great blessing to them. They are so kind! I don't even play that well because I don't really have time to practice!
I'm much healthier now, also no one here can pronounce Zollinger, Hipanic or white, it's hilarious. My first baptism is this Sunday!!! Her name is E, she's 17. So excited. We're working on her mom and her younger brother. L hopefully will be ready to be baptized by the end of this month, along with her two oldest daughters. Our goal this month is 4 baptisms... definitely possible, God willing. Pray for them!!!
Well I love you all so much, so good to hear the update!!!! Thank you for all your prayers and support!
LOVE, Hermana Z