This week has gone pretty well. On Tuesday, I went to a leadership meeting in Tehachapi, so we left Elder Dee in Lancaster and I went with the other district leader in the zone to the meeting. It was pretty cool. Tehachapi is a nice town up in the mountains between Bakersfield and the Antelope Valley. There were missionaries from all over the mission. I felt a little out of place, because I didn't really know anyone there. I feel like after six months exiled out in Lake LA, I've missed out on a lot of missionaries coming in and going home, so I don't really know that many missionaries anymore. Almost all of the missionaries I have served with have gone home since I got to Lake LA or are going home at the end of this transfer. My two best friends in the mission, Elder Martinez and Elder Dee, go home in two weeks. That is crazy. I guess I am going to have to make some new friends. hahaha....The meeting was pretty great. We talked about some of the things that hold missionaries back and it seems like the two big things are desire and faith. Sometimes when missionaries have a rough couple of weeks or have a lot of discouragement, it is hard to have the desire to go out and talk to people and keep trying. In my time on my mission I have had disappointment and I have definitely felt discouraged at times. I think for every missionary, you have times when you just feel like giving up. I know there were times at the beginning of my mission that I felt discouraged, but I have learned to keep on going, no matter what. I have tried to have faith and hope that God has a plan for me. Life is full of disappointment, but if we stop and feel bad for ourselves every time we get discouraged, we won't be able to accomplish much. While life can be full of disappointment, it can also be full of miracles and joy if we keep on going and try to see the plan that God has for us. My life is so much better when I lean on the Lord during tough times.
We were driving back to Lake LA after the meeting was over and we got a flat tire. It was frustrating. We had to go to Palmdale to get a new tire. So we got to take a bonus trip to Palmdale, which was so much fun. I love Palmdale, it's one of the the nicest cities in the mission. After we got the tire fixed, we went out to eat. We went to Baja Fresh and there was a member there who offered to buy our dinner. It was such a nice thing to do and we were grateful. We had a fun trip to Palmdale. What started out as a flat tire, ended up being a fun trip.
The other day we had a really good visit with Victor. In addition to meeting and talking with new people every week, we usually have set weekly appointments with Victor, Dulce, Dione, Ernesto, and some other people. Our appointments with Victor are always awesome. His neighbor is Doris, a member of the Branch. They are both from Colombia and are really old friends so every time we have a lesson, we have it in her home. She always feeds us lunch and then we have a lesson. Her cooking is probably my favorite that I have had on my mission. She is awesome. I love Colombian food!
So Elder Dee and I are doing well out here in Lake LA. I really have grown to love it here. Last p-day, we visited a movie set out in the middle of the desert where they filmed two of the superbowl commercials and a recent Miranda Lambert music video. We got some cool pictures there. This morning we went to an Indian museum with DJ and it was really interesting. There really are fun things to do in Lake LA if you know where to go. Elder Dee goes home in two weeks. I am excited for him and he is pumped to see his family. I'm happy for him, but at the same time I'm a little sad that he is leaving. He has been my companion since early November. He just kind of feels like one of my brothers now. I will really miss him. It will be strange to get a new companion, but I look forward to meeting him. I'm really happy for Elder Dee, he has served a great mission. Alright, I better get going. Take good care and enjoy baseball season. Go Tigers!
Elder Chad Thompson