So my last week in the MTC was great! I really did like the MTC a lot. It was so cool to stay in BYU dorms. I learned a ton there and made a lot of friends. It was actually a bit of a bummer to leave. We had really awesome teachers at the MTC. They were all returned missionaries who had been home for about a year or two and they were all really cool and helpful. The night before my District left the MTC to go to our missions (Cali, Texas, Mexico, and Costa Rica) we all took pictures in front of our apartments.
I'm gonna miss them because for those six weeks in the MTC, they're kind of like your brothers! So we said goodbye and went to our dorms. I had to leave at 2:00 in the morning, so I didn't even bother going to bed. I didn't think I'd be able to sleep much anyways. So I got up, grabbed my bags, and went to get on the bus. There was one other Elder from my District leaving at the same time, so we both rode the bus to the airport together. Once at the airport, we hopped on a plane that took us to LAX in Los Angeles.
We had about a two hour layover there, so I spent every second that I could at a payphone talking to my Mom and Dad. I even got a chance to talk to my cousin Meghan for a little bit!! It was so awesome. Hearing my parents voice was the coolest thing ever! I have to admit, when I made the phone call and I heard my Mom answer the phone, I almost lost it for a second. But I am proud to say, that I held it together! So we talked for two awesome hours and then I had to get on the plane. We got on a tiny plane that took us to Bakersfield Airport. There, the Mission President and his wife picked us up. My Mom had been talking with one of the Mission office workers (of course :)) and so I talked to him for a while about Ohio State. It was awesome. His name is Elder Jensen and he took me to the church building where all of us greenies (new missionaries) and the Mission President and his wife met up. They gave us lunch and we filled out some paper work and stuff. And after that, they sent us out to go do some knocking on doors! It was super freaky at first but I got over it really quick. Is really cool! You get to meet a lot of cool people knocking on doors. So after that, we had dinner and then spent the night at the Mission Home.
The next day was the Transfer Meeting! It was super cool! I was really nervous about my first companion and my first area though. I was wondering if my companion would be cool? Would I be in a bike or car area? Would I be somewhere where I had to speak complete Spanish? So they called my name, and I got sent to the Wasco area with Elder Bennett as my trainer. After the meeting, we all went with our trainer back to our new area. Elder Bennett is pretty sweet. He is from Idaho and he as been out on his mission for about a year. He is hilarious! We work hard and have a lot of fun. Wasco is pretty cool too! It is a small town surrounded by a ton of fields! There is farming all over the place here. They grow a lot of almonds and oranges and stuff here. This is a car area. The people are super nice too. I would say that about 50% of the people speak Spanish and 50% speak English. So, I am learning a lot of Spanish, but I still get to speak English a lot too. I like it.
My first few days, I will admit were hard. There weren't many people we were teaching when I first got here. We would go looking for people to teach, but it was hard and not many people wanted to hear about it. I was feeling kind of down, and then we knocked on the door of this guy named Crescencio. He is about 55 years old and is the sweetest guy ever. He invited us to sit down and we talked with him about the Gospel and about Jesus Christ for at least an hour. It was so cool. He was really open. He invited us back for another lesson this week. That really boosted my spirits.
The next day was even cooler! We had met this woman named Angela who is about 45. She is way sweet and really likes to talk with us. We were at her house on Saturday, teaching the Plan of Salvation and how families can be together forever. She loved it. We were teaching about the purpose of life here on Earth, and she talked for a good ten minutes straight. I didn't really have any idea what she was saying, but she was getting really emotional. Near the end, I understood her say how grateful she was for us to come and visit her. Now, I know I am a greenie, and I don't really have any idea what I am doing, but it felt right so... I invited her to be baptized. And she said yes. It was so great. That is so amazing, to just share the Gospel with people and just see it change them. It is so cool to see people feel God's love. It makes them want to do the things that He wants. There is nothing better than that. So, we set her with a baptismal date of April 12, 2014. I really hope everything works out. Angela is really great.
Then, on Sunday we met the ward! They are all really nice people. There are only 70 some people that go to church every Sunday. They are really great people. They were super welcoming and we have a dinner appointment almost every night! I'm really liking it here in Wasco. I know this is where I'm supposed to be and I'm having a great time. There is a lot of work to do here, and I am excited to do it. Well, it is time to finish up! I hope you all had a great week! I hope the weather is getting better in Michigan... I hear it has been freezing... The weather is nice here in Wasco, sunny and 70's all week! Well, adios! Until next Monday! I love and miss you all. Have a great week!
Elder Chad Thompson