Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Catching Up: Part 2 - Little Rock

I pick up where the last post left off, November 17, 2014. At this point, Elder Sommerfeldt is just finishing up his first week in Littlerock, California:

So yes, I was sort of right about my prediction. I ended up in the same branch I was born (mission term for started) except this time I am in the little town just outside of Palmdale called Littlerock, so now i like to think of myself as the Guardian of the edge because my area is literaly all of Littlerock and it's the last town in the Bakersfield mission. Probably one of these days I will drive all the way to to border and take a picture of it, it's just a road. At least I get to come into Palmdale to do fun things. I'm now in Acton at the libary. My new comp is pretty cool, he's from El Salvador and suprisingly speaks decent english despite being in El Salvador his whole life. His name is Elder Hidalgo. There's 4 hispanics and 2 white guys (including me) that are serving here in Littlerock branch. The other ones cover the Palmdale parts of the Littlerock branch and one of them was one of my comps in Bakersfield (the one who likes Pokemon  so that's pretty funny. Oh and word of advice for everybody, don't move to a little town in the middle of nowhere, there's some crazies here. Oh and P.S. I ran over a dog last week. Yah kinda sad. Oh well what can you do. I don't know if it was a pet or a stray, lots of dogs don't have collars here in Cali. My area goes all the way in the mountains and there are places to hike. I did hikes last time I was in this branch. Oh and yesterday I ran into a missionary that I served with around a year ago cause he came down - he lives in LA so I just talked to him at church. It was pretty cool, he also sent me a friend request on Facebook. I'm at the Acton library because it's the best place to email. Everybody is rich out here so nobody uses the computers here so we get to instead. We have nothing really planned today, but don't worry Mom, the month is full of suppers. The Littlerock branch has practically 6 missionaries and 20 actives. Sad, there are more less actives here than actives. 

So this week I got a taste, or rather a smell, of farm life. Went to a part-member/less active house and cleaned out pigeon cages and chicken cages. Like those big ones. It stunk like poop (no doubt there). (BTW this is for Joshy) Picked up some Pokemon cards and guess what? I got a Mega GengarEX card, sweet. I played Pokemon last night against my old comp, it's tied 3-3. Thursday my comp and I were super bored so we went up exploring our area. I took some nice scenery shots. There is a road you can take to get up into the mountains and take a picture of the lights of LA. Yes they're that bright and yes, I live near the mountains, sort of. I also found out the San Andres fault line is in my area so if there's an earthquake, I'll probably feel it. Ummmm.... for Christmas I have no idea what I want Mom, so far just a tie, but if I come up with any more ideas of something I want I'll let you know. Until then I guess just guess, I guess. I haven't picked up a Cali accent yet. And I have been trying to make my comp say quotes from Nacho Libre because he has a hispanic accent but he won't do it. Sigh, oh well.

This week was alright. Not much happened this week, just taught a few people. However Thanksgiving was interesting, we were tracking and knocked on this door and the people inside told us to come in, so we were like, "what?" We came in and sat down and they gave us some food (so that's a first on my mission). Usually people here slam the door on you on holidays, so now I can say there is at least some nice people in Cali. After that went to our Thanksgiving supper with a member family, that was good. We also went up to the mountains Saturday night after some other Latino Elders had a baptism and ended up getting a flat tire there. It was cold, we used the phone and we were with some other elders who had their own car so they switched out the tire. It was super windy. It sucked at the time but now I'm laughing about it. So that was interesting, driving down a mountain on a spare tire. Hence why I am late writing emails. I had to go to a shop to get a new tire, fun. Thanksgiving was a mix of turkey and Hispanic food. We ate at a member's house. With all the food we eat, I'm getting fatter :( Although my belly looks bigger, I'm still the same weight I've been for the past 2 years, how does that work? It's been kinda cold here, but not cold enough for a coat so I tuff it out.  I brought my bike with me so it's here in Littlerock, but it's best to not leave your bike in the car of other elders. My bike is broken so I have to replace a back brake. I already removed the brakes myself and just have to buy new ones. My branch is in an english stake, the stake centre is in Palmdale. BTW, the members I served around when I was in Palmdale go to the church in Littlerock so I see them every Sunday. Well less than that cause a lot of them are less active now. I sent some photos of me on a Ducati motorbike. It's a less active's, I wish it was mine.

So there was a lot of rain this week, like a lot. The streets in Littlerock are mostly dirt so there are tons of puddles  and mud. Tthat was fun, driving through the mud like a mad man. Almost slipped out in the mud and almost tipped the car while driving, but yah, that's life here in Littlerock. We also watched the Christmas devotional so that was good. Got a new investigator and then got sick. On the plus side, I have a testimony that Pepto Bismal really works hehe. Oh and I accomplished my goal of writing one random girl on my mission, just did it, nice! It's a girl that Hidalgo knows from El Salvador. This week was alright. I was just knocking around on houses'  doors trying to find a tool to fix my bike and this family gave me a tool, but then they just started to Bible bash with me. I was like, "come on, I just wanted to get a tool not Bible bash!" So yah, kinda sucked. A part member family left their daughter at school and we were going to teach the non member. But then she remembered she forgot her at school, pretty funny. So we waited for a bit until she came back with her. Also found out riding in the dark in the sand in Littlerock is not really a good idea. I got some of your packages and some I haven't but I'll get them this week. They held mail at the office because of transfers this week (I'm staying in Littlerock with the same comp, yah fun fun). A lot and yes I did get the things from the Walters family, tell them thanks. 

This week was somewhat eventful, while I was biking I almost had to kick a dog. It came right up to me and tried to bite me, luckily I got away. Also while biking, a random dog ran out in front of me we both got scared cause the dog didn't see me. It ran out from beside a car and I got freaked out cause it was a big German Shepherd, so I biked around it as it attempting to chase and bite me. Luckily it was lazy so it stopped, but man was that scary. Also both times people were driving by in cars and laughing at me. This week we had this special Christmas fireside, one the councillors in the mission presidency shared a spiritual thought then we watched Mr. Krugers Christmas. The fireside was with just the missionaries here in Palmdale and Lancaster, pretty much the whole Antelope Valley missionaries. It was pretty fun seeing a lot of old friends. An investigator we had to pass on to the YSA elders asked my comp to baptise her this Saturday, yah sweet! Thanks for the Bobba Fett Jumpin' Jammerz Mom, the house gets cold at night so it helps. I'll probably send a quick email on Christmas just to let you know to turn on your electronics at noon. I suspect I might be eating lots of spanglish food then, just guessing.

Not much happened this week since we talked on Wednesday. The only really exciting thing that happened this week was we got two new investigators. They are formers; we found them while we were walking, they gave us a ride. Hidalgo knew them cause he was teaching them before, but they then had to go to LA because of the wife's pregnancy. And when I was walking to church I found some ice on the sidewalk. Elder Hidalgo and me grabbed this table that was outside and brought it home (it said free on it so I didn't steal it in case you were worried). That was pretty much the only exciting thing that happened. Haha I'm kinda surprised how cold it is here. I haven't worked out for awhile, and no, I don't use weights when working out, just body weight. Shelli, I sort of have looked back on 2014 but that's a "no" on the goal setting for 2015. I did make contact with Orion on Christmas too Mom. To answer Karen's question, the farmers here raise usually horses. That's about all, oh and cats and dogs. There's not enough space to farm anything out here.

This week was alright, not too much happened minus the snow. Yes, it snowed here finally! I thought I would never be able to be around it while I was here in Cali, wow what a surprise  Hidalgo hates the cold and snow though. Other than that not much else happened. We taught people, oh but for New Year's Eve just hanged with the other elders inside, so yeah that was fun. Funny story: while we were walking around we stopped to talk to these old ladies and while my comp was talking to one of them, the other one was staring at me with a creepy smile, woah old people! Yikes, I think I understand why David has a fear of old people - it's not an irrational fear anymore David, it's a rational one. Maryn, that Yoda joke that you sent was pretty funny! It took my comp forever to figure it out though haha. This week I picked up some moccasin boots from a native shop, they're pretty nice. PS Feliz an(y)o! 

So not too much happened last week. Got really sick, I think it was food poisoning yah. "Do you not realize I've had diarrheas since Easters??" I let my comp drive this week, never again. He's a crazy driver cause he's from El Salvador. People over there drive crazy. We helped move a pine tree (their Christmas tree) from inside somebody's house outside. I  found out it's a good idea to wear a long sleeve when moving a pine tree cause my arms after looked like I got some weird skin desiease, pretty much looked like a rash. Anyways, after putting the tree in the back, one dog came over and tried to bite me in the heel, luckily I was walking so I hit it with my back heel, woah luckily. Elder Hidalgo was not so lucky, a dog's teeth got through his shoe but luckily it didn't break skin. Also we went over to the Native store in Littlerock, and Hidalgo bought an ocarina, unfortunaly it didn't work really well, haaha I laughed at that. For our ZTM we watched the Hastening The Work broadcast, it was pretty good. Some recent converts gave talks yesterday, you could tell they were pretty nervous, but good talks nonetheless. The Buckeye/Ducks game is this next week. Josh keep cheering for the Ducks, they are better anyways. Just kidding, go Buckeyes go.

Ok so first off I am emailing right now in a makeshift Family History Center which is in the office of a branch president's office. Not my Branch President, another one. That one's closed here in Littlerock for the holiday which is why i'm doing this at 6 in the morning. I'm up at 6 cause that's when the member was going to be here. And the english elders who might use this as well never answered my text last night so I decided to get here first so that they would have to wait until i'm done, the proactive always win. So yah sorry if you won't be up for this conversation. As a missionary I don't like holidays especially on Mondays, I love Mondays too much. And yes I have had trunky dreams Maryn. For all of you who do not know missionary slang, "trunky" refers to, in a sense, somebody getting ready to go because they are packing up their "trunk", or suitcase in modern terms, early. Anyways, it was a rather boring week, we met a JW (Jehovah's Witness) who thought we were JW's. I probably said we were LDS 3 or 4 or more times but apparently it didn't get into her head very well. Hay, at least later we were able to get a new investigator yah. Other than that no other interesting stories, just taught some people. Oh yes, before I forget, my comp did get Dear John'd a few weeks ago, haahha. To Karen, some advice for giving a talk on gospel discussions, don't use deep doctrine. And yes I am surprised to hear some of you are  waking up at 730! I never woke up that early minus the few times for work, and don't worry, after the mission I probably won't ever wake up at 630 - probably closer to 10. Since it's a holiday hike we possibly might go on a hike. I don't think the parks would be closed. It's cold right now but it's the morning. Ok got to go but love y'all. And don't worry, things will be back to normal next week hopefully. Man, I really don't like holidays as a missionary."

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