I hope you all have had a great week. Week 13 in Lake LA was pretty good. Elder Dee and I are finishing off his mission strong. The Sion branch is doing well. We are few, but we are strong. For the longest time, Elder Sawyer has been the pianist for the branch, since there is nobody in the branch who knows how to play piano. Now that Elder Sawyer has been transferred, we have no pianist. So this week Elder Dee and I were out doing missionary stuff and knocking doors when we met Jose Gomez. Jose is awesome! He is a really cool guy who invited us in. He reminds me of my brothers. He is fun and really into sports. He was really open to visiting with us. We shared a message with him and afterwards we were just talking and getting to know him a little better. It turns out he plays piano for the church he goes too. He is a nice guy and really wants to learn more. We are excited to meet with him again and hopefully have a new pianist soon!
Elder Dee and I are loving Lake LA now. Before, our area was super tiny. It had grown on me and I enjoyed it, but there just weren't that many people. Now that we cover all of Lake LA, our area seems huge. It has been a lot of fun to go visit and talk with people all throughout Lake LA and near the mountains. We have a car now, but we stay on our bikes to save miles. We have been biking all throughout Lake LA, and sometimes we even have to bike up the side of some mountains. It can get pretty intense. I have really grown to like doing missionary work on a bike. The only downside to being on bike is the occasional crazy dog that chases you. We had a pretty close call the other night. We were on our way to dinner and it was pretty dark out. Out of nowhere we hear super loud barking and we look behind us and see two huge german shephards gunning it for us. We immediately took off, biking as fast as we could. Well I got a little bit ahead of Elder Dee and the dogs passed him and were trying to catch me. I was doing everything I could to shake them, biking through yards, but nothing was working. Finally, I hear a whimper and a crash and I turned around and saw Elder Dee on the ground. He hit one of them with his bike. As a result, he fell and scraped his hand on the ground pretty bad, but it sent the dogs running. I am so glad I had Elder Dee, he saved me! haha I think every missionary has to have a good dog chase story while on their mission. I hope this one was my last.
This week we also taught Dulce. She is an investigator that the other Elders met and she is awesome. She has been reading the scriptures and has great fellowship from women in the church as well. We brought one of the Hermanas with us to a lesson and they hit it off. It went great. We also had a lesson with Manny. We taught the about the 10 commandments and keeping the Sabbath Day holy. It went really well, as it always does with Manny. He has had a lot of pressure from his family to stop visiting with us. A lot of members of his family, including his mom, are really against the church. But he has kept visiting with us and coming to church. He is a great kid. After our lesson he said he felt kind of uneasy about taking the lessons at first, but he said that he feels comfortable now and he is really glad we are teaching him. He asked when the next transfers are because he doesn't want us leaving. When we told him that we still had five weeks he said, "Oh that's not too bad, I will probably be baptized by then." Fingers crossed! I just love this area and the incredible people here. I would have never expected coming into this tiny town, that I would love it so much. It is full of great people. I'm really looking forward to the next five weeks.
Oh yeah, last week Elder Morales and Elder Bennett, my trainer and first companion, went home. I am going to miss them. Those guys are two of the best friends that I have met out here. It is so weird seeing past companions and friends going home. It is starting to make me feel like one of the older guys, but I guess I am at this point. It's going by so fast. Well, I hope you all have a great week. I miss you guys.
Elder Chad Thompson