This week has been pretty nice. It starting to really warm up here in California. It got up to 80 this week while we were doing service. It is hard to believe that the northeast is still having snow storms and negative degree temperatures. Everyone in southern California is opening up their pools, so I am getting a little jealous when I see people out swimming. This morning, we came to email and they said they wouldn't be open for another hour because of the holiday. It is a beautiful day so Elder Dee and I just decided to drive to the nearest mountain and climb it while we waited. It was so much fun. The mountain was steep and a little sketchy to climb, but it was really cool to see all of Lake LA from the top. That is one thing I really love about Lake LA, you are always right next to a mountain.
We have been really busy this week and we have been teaching a ton. We have been able to visit a lot of people this week, recent converts, less active members of the church, and investigators too. This week we started teaching a man named Victor Espinoza. He is a friend of one of the recent converts in the branch, Hermana Doris. He is probably one of the coolest people I have met on my mission. He is from Colombia and speaks really good Spanish. He has been teaching us some Columbian phrases and slang. He is such an amazing guy. He is going through a little bit of a hard time, but I really admire him because he doesn't feel bad for himself. He doesn't complain or get a bad attitude. He realizes he is going through a hard time but he keeps the faith and tries to make the best of it. That is a really awesome attitude to have. Sometimes life is hard and we aren't happy with the situation we are in, but our attitude about the situation is always a choice. We can choose to be miserable and unhappy or we can choose to make the best of our current situation and try to make things better. That is exactly what Victor is doing. So we met with him on Wednesday and it was one of the best lessons ever. The Spirit was so strong and he was so happy about what we were sharing. I think there are a lot of good things in store for Victor. He recently got in a really bad accident that tore up his hand. He can't lift anything so he has to take a couple of months off and rest. It is hard on him because he likes to be active and work, but he has a good attitude about it and he is excited to keep meeting with us. I am so grateful we get to share the gospel with Victor.
Church this Sunday was really great. Manny and Victor came and they both enjoyed it. One thing that is a little stressful about church is that I now have to teach a class all by myself. The other Elders used to teach a class during the second hour to members of the branch. It is a class to prepare certain members of the branch to become teachers. Elder Dee and I would always teach Gospel Principles together. Now that the other missionaries are gone, Elder Dee and I have to split off and teach the classes separate. So I have been teaching the teachers class solo. It was really intimidating because most of the people in the class are in their 50s or 60s and know a lot, while I don't really know much and my Spanish certainly isn't as good as theirs. It was intimidating, but class ended up going really well. It stressed me out a lot at first, but it is really helpful for my Spanish and my teaching skills to be able to prepare a lesson and teach alone. It is a little hard, but it is making me stretch, which is good. I know if I try to do my best, Heavenly father will help me accomplish hard things. He will make up the difference.......and that is just what happened.
I am doing really well. I'm still loving Lake Los Angeles so much. I love the people here. When one of the members of the English ward found out that we were attacked by some dogs, he made us a little weapon to carry around. It is called a monkey fist and it is basically a little metal ball tied to a cord that you carry around and attach to your keys like a lanyard. It is really cool, I feel a lot safer now. hahaha! I hope you all have a great week. Hopefully Michigan warms up pretty soon. I miss you guys. Take good care.
Elder Chad Thompson