This week has been pretty cool. It has been a little bit of a bummer because some of the people we have been teaching are seeming to lose interest or stop progressing, so we've been trying to kick it up a notch on finding new people. We spent a lot of time doing that in McFarland. I am loving McFarland more and more every time we go there. I really love the people we have been able to meet. When I first got to Shafter last year, I'm not going to lie, I really didn't like these little farm towns. They were too small, they were too dusty, and all of the stores were Hispanic shops. It was different than what I was used to. It is funny how much I have come to love these little towns. I have grown to appreciate the small size of the town and I really love the kind of people you meet here. Almost all of the people we talk to are Hispanics who came to the United States in search of work so that they could provide for their family. Most of the people work as field workers.
It is grape harvesting season right now and there is a ton of work for the people here. Everyone and their dog is out picking grapes. These people sacrifice a lot. They leave their home, their country, their friends and a lot of their family so that they can provide for their family. They work hard jobs, in the hot sun, all day for a small wage. I've really come to appreciate the sacrifices these people make for their families. I think that says a lot about the people I get the chance to teach. Two of those people, Adan and Vanessa, we found today! They are a really young family, probably in their 20's, with a little three year old boy named Jacob. They are really nice and really fun to talk to. Adan works in the fields and Vanessa takes care of Jacob. We taught them the other night and they had all kinds of questions. They were good questions too. The lesson was awesome, one of the best I have had on my mission. The funny thing was, my Spanish was all over the place, but the Spirit was there and it was really strong. We were able to answer all of the questions they had and it was a great visit. They are really great and I am glad we get to teach them. We were walking out of that lesson the other night and I just felt so happy. I used to think that it was a big sacrifice to leave home for two years and drop everything.
I used to have the idea that I sacrificed so that I could help other people be blessed. And while that is true, I just remember walking out of that lesson and thinking to myself that I was the lucky one. I have never felt so good about what I'm doing. I feel so privileged to be able to share something so special with such great people who need to hear it. I get to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. In so doing, I get to see the Lord's hand so powerfully in the work and in my life. Doesn't that really make me the lucky one? I don't know.......it's hard for me to explain. Missionary work rules! While sometimes it is hard and grueling, its awesome at the same time.
The rest of the week went well. We still have some great people we are teaching, but we are going to be focusing a lot on finding new people. We've still got Eliceo, Jeremy, Jaimey, Anderson, Jose, Adan and Vanessa, and a few others, but we know there are a lot of other people out there waiting. We will do our best to find them.
Today has been a cool p-day! We got to go down to Bakersfield so we went to Costco for lunch. That was fun. Then we played some sports with some other missionaries. Good times. Well we have got to go. I love and miss you all and I hope you have a wonderful week. I just got the news that the Bucks won their first two games. O-H!!!
This week if you could keep Jose Villapudua in your prayers, that would be fantastic. He is trying really hard to quit smoking, but he is struggling. Thanks!
Elder Chad Thompson