I hope you had a great week and an awesome Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty great. We had two dinners on Thursday. We had one with a family from the English Ward and one with a family in the Spanish Branch. The Hispanic family had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner. The members here in the Spanish Branch sure can cook. I am eating more than I have in my entire mission and there are only seven families in the whole Branch. For the past 10 months, I have thought that being far away from my family during the holidays would be the hardest part. I was bracing myself for it. I was really surprised. Of course I missed spending the holidays with my awesome family, but it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. The whole day, I just felt really grateful for the family and loved ones I have waiting for me back home. I felt happy and so thankful. I am learning that I am a lucky guy to have such a big extended family back at home. I miss them so much and can't wait to see them again, but I'm so happy to be out here serving the Lord, even during the holidays. Being so far from home at this time of year just makes me appreciate my family that much more. I feel so much more grateful than ever before.
The rest of the week was pretty great. We had two exchanges, one with the Zone Leaders and one with the two Elders we share the house with. For the exchange with the Zone Leaders, we got to go to their area in Lancaster. I got to spend a day in the city and it was a nice change of pace. I spent the day with Elder Carter, who is super cool. We had a lot of fun and found a lot of people during the day. For the next exchange, I was with Elder Sawyer. He is hilarious and was a lot of fun to work with. He says some of the funniest things. So both of the exchanges turned out to be great.
This week we found some great people. We met Alicia, a super sweet lady who seems to be in her fifties or so. We found her watering her garden and she invited us back. When we went back and shared our message, she loved it. She takes care of her sister who is mentally handicapped. Alicia has such a good heart. She really wants to know what her Heavenly Father wants for her. She seems super prepared and I am so glad we found her. Its really cool how the random people we see on the street are people who are so ready for the Gospel in their life. We also found the Perez family. They are really cool and have talked to missionaries before. They love missionaries and seem to have a real desire to draw closer to Jesus Christ. We're so excited to work with them.
I am doing well. I can't believe it is already December. I still love being on a bike, even though it is getting cold. I've learned how to ride my bike with no hands on the handle bars. I'm pretty proud of myself. It is a lot of fun out here, especially living with two other missionaries. It reminds me a bit of Wasco, my first area. We used to prank each other all the time. Good times in the four man pad. I miss and love you all. I hope you have a fantastic week.
Elder Chad Thompson