So the first week in a new area is hard only for the reason I am having to meet new people from the ward and completely re-learn an area! And I am the designated driver here (insert Courtney's note: that doesn't mean he drives in case his missionary companion is drinking...it just means he has been assigned to drive in their companionship...obviously, as missionaries--or members--of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, drinking alcohol is against our Word of Wisdom) so I am having to get good really fast... But so far it has been amazing!
In a YSA (young single adult) ward, you have to strike up a friendship with the investigator and get them involved with the ward immediately. It is fun though because I'm getting a lot better at being personable. Haha driving is fun! Im driving a 2013 Toyota Corrola. so not bad. Keep up the missionary work! haha i know doing our blogs is an amazing missionary moment every week but see if you can go above and beyond!
Elder Reid and I are really trying to get more out of language study by setting aside an hour a day to focus on improving, because to be honest back in Fresno I didn't really use language study as effectively as I should have. But that is another reason I am grateful for Elder Reid! We get along really well and this first week has been a fun one. We do a lot of finding on the college here "College of the Sequoias" It is the most effective way to find here. It is a super small campus but it works. We set a baptismal date with someone we met there but later in the week when we tried texting him to set up a time to see him he texted us back saying his pastor told him we didn't have the authority to baptize. Rather frustrating because we wanted to meet with him again and explain everything and resolve his concerns but he didn't want us to talk to him anymore. We will continue to work hard and talk with everyone so that we can find those prepared people here in Visalia! I love the new ward! It is a lot smaller than Heritage which I love! It is like a small family here. Everyone knows each other and they love the missionaries from what I can tell which is great news! We cover a huge area.... 3 stakes (insert Courtney's note: Stakes are to wards in the Mormon church as school districts are to schools) to be exact. And the funny thing is our branch is only about 30 people.
So my last name is throwing everyone off. haha yesterday considering it is a new area i got up and introduced myself in fast and testimony meeting and told them to just remember it is pronounced "shane" because if they read it they will just be thrown off. So after the meeting everyone was coming up and pronouncing it how they would have if i didn't say how to pronounce it. Rather funny. The craziest pronunciation was "Elder Shelby" courtesy of a member of our ward who forgot my name and just guessed and that's what he thought my tag said. I laughed pretty hard. Now it is an inside joke with my companion and me.
The area here is reallllllllly slow right now but we are hoping to fix that through A LOT of finding! My companion and I are going to get along great. He loves basketball and hes chill so we are a lot alike;) So my favorite chapter this week that i have been reading through is Alma 32! If you ever need a good scripture on faith just study that entire chapter! The analogy to planting a seed is perfect. We need to understand that Faith is not knowing something perfectly, that only comes by sight. Faith is a HOPE for things which aren't seen which are TRUE! And the important thing is to not stop nourishing our faith.
Do the small things i.e. read scriptures, pray daily, go to church, keep the commandments. If we do those things we are promised the "fruits of our labor"! I love you all sooooo much and Hope you all have a fantastic week!