I hope all is going well. We got transfer calls on Saturday and I'm getting transferred! I was sad to get the news at first, but I knew staying was a long shot since I have already been here for 6 months. This area has been the hardest I have had as far as finding new people to teach, but I have met some of the greatest people and I have had a great time. There have been a couple of really discouraging times here, but I have learned to deal with it and keep moving forward. Lake LA has really come to be my favorite area. I feel like I am leaving home. I am being sent to Delano. I will miss Lake LA, but I am excited too. Ever since I left my first area, Wasco/Shafter, I have wanted to go back. Delano is the town right next to Wasco/Shafter so I am happy to get back in that area. I will probably end up seeing a lot of old friends. My new companion is Elder Tapia. All I really know is that he is going home really soon. I will probably be sending home another companion. I have heard that he is a great missionary and I am excited to work with him. I will also be serving around a couple of old friends, Elder Iguasnia, Elder Sawyer and Elder Hullinger. I am bummed to be leaving, but I am excited for a change.
The rest of the week was awesome. Elder Dee and I went at it hard for his last week in the mission! We visited a lot of people, but we didn't have any luck until we visited the Oliva family. They are a great family in the Branch. They live in a tiny little house with their two sons and their son's girlfriend. Every time we go over they always want to feed us. This past week was our first time meeting their son's girlfriend. Her name is Danya, she is not a member of the church, and she is awesome. She is 19 and she is one of the sweetest girls I've met. She told us that her mom (she calls Sister Oliva "mom") said she needs to meet with us and she was really open to it. She told us all about her life and how both of her parents are still in South America. She told us about the struggles she is going through and she really opened up. We taught her the first lesson with her boyfriend there and she really loved it. She accepted a baptismal date for May 23, 2015 and we are so excited for her. The next day we stopped by to give her a Book of Mormon and when we gave it to her she acted like it was the best gift in the world. We stayed for a bit to talk to Sister Oliva and in the corner of my eye I saw Danya reading through the pages while talking to her boyfriend. She is so cool. I wish we would have found her sooner, but I am excited to hear about what happens with her.
We also had a great visit with Larry and Adrienne. They are so cool. We did service for them and then we had lunch at one of the park's campsites. After lunch, they asked for a Book of Mormon. So we ran to the car and brought one back for them. We explained what it was and they were so interested, especially Adrienne. We left her with a little chapter to read, 3 Nephi 11. It is a great chapter to read for anyone reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. They were both pretty bummed when they found out we were leaving. When we went by for pictures, they gave us each a mug and a card, which was really nice of them. And Adrienne says that she read the chapter we left and that she loved it. We are so excited for them to keep learning more. We will miss them. We have loved doing service for them and they have been so good to us.
The end of the week we said a lot of goodbyes. It was hard, really hard. The Spanish branch here is really small, so they really depend on missionaries. They care a lot about us and always make sure we have a dinner and sometimes even a lunch. Well on Saturday night, one of the Hermanas asked us to come by the church for something. When we got to the church and walked in the gym everyone started clapping. Almost the whole Spanish branch was there! They had thrown a party for us because we were both leaving. It was crazy, I have never heard of anything like that happening. It was one of the coolest things ever. They had all made some of our favorite Mexican food and deserts. Before we ate the set aside a time for people to come up and say something to us. It was strange at first to have all of the attention on us, but it was so cool to hear what they had to say. I was emotional. Just to see all of the members along with the less actives that we had taught and even a couple of people we had taught like Dione and Danya, was something I will never forget. When Danya got up to talk, it was awesome. It was definitely one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. I will miss this tiny little branch. I have come to love these people and I have been so lucky to serve in their area.
Well, we have a busy day today. Elder Dee and I have to finishing packing and saying more goodbyes. I am sad to be leaving, but excited at the same time. The Thompson and Dee era of Lake LA had to come to an end sometime. Delano, here I come! I love you guys and I hope you are all doing well. Take good care for now.
Elder Chad Thompson