I've been exhiled! But it is okay, it's pretty awesome out here. My new area is a tiny little town called Lake LA. It is way out in the middle of the desert, and it is about thirty minutes from Lancaster. There are about 12,000 people that live here. My new companion is Elder Dee, from Idaho. He seems like a great missionary, so I am looking forward to a good transfer. We also live in a house with two other Spanish speaking missionaries, Elder Iguasnia and Elder Sawyer. Elder Iguasnia is really cool. He grew up in London and then came to the United States for the first time for his mission. His parents are Ecuadorian, so he speaks fluent Spanish, he just also has a British accent. It is pretty awesome. Elder Sawyer is pretty cool too. He is way funny and is hilarious to be around. Those Elders have a car and cover the outer parts of Lake LA, while Elder Dee and I cover the central part of the town. The area is pretty great. It is surrounded by mountains and the air here is so clear! It is so much different than Bakersfield. You can see a ton of stars at night, whereas in Bakersfield you could only see like five or six. It is really cold out here though and super windy, which makes it pretty tricky on bike. I have even heard from some of the people that we talk to that it could snow! That would be so awesome, I never expected snow when I found out I was going to California. I really love being on bike. I have been able to talk to more people on the street than when I was in car. Elder Dee and I are both new to the area. They just split this area and created the bike area, so we didn't have many people to go visit when we first got here. So we have been knocking on a lot of doors and talking to a lot of people. We have met some pretty cool people. Just last night we tracted into a husband and wife who joined the church in Palmdale. Then they moved out here to Lake LA and didn't know that there were services in Spanish so they stopped coming. They were really happy to find out that there is a Spanish Branch out here and want us to come and teach their kids, who aren't members of the church. They seem like a super solid family. They are going to Mexico for a couple of weeks, but we are looking forward to meeting the whole family when they get home. We also met Leo, who is an older man with a wife and kids. He doesn't attend a church, but he believes in God and says he would like to start going to a church. We taught him and are hoping we can teach the whole family next time. I love Lake LA. It is small, but I can see a lot of potential here. I feel like there are a lot of prepared people out here, just waiting to hear the Gospel.
The members here are fantastic too. There are only about 44 members that actively attend the Spanish Branch, but they are all awesome. Seven families here in the Spanish Branch each have a day that they invite us over to eat, so we never have a day without dinner. They are so generous. They all are supportive and helpful with missionary work too. Most of the members here joined the church within the past decade or so and they were almost all introduced to the Gospel by their friends. They have strong testimonies of Jesus Christ and they have a sincere desire to share it with the people around them. I know that a lot of the people we are going to find in the coming weeks and months are going to come from the members. They are excited about sharing the Gospel and it is awesome. Missionary work becomes a lot easier and more productive when members of the church help out in finding and inviting their friends and people they know to hear about the Gospel. I am looking forward to working with and getting to know these members better. I am excited to work out here in the middle of nowhere. It is a tiny little town and only has one stoplight, but I already love it. I hope you have a great week. My new address is 41056 168th St. Lancaster, CA 93535. I'd love to hear how you are doing. I miss you guys, but I am doing great!
Elder Chad Thompson