We don't have a ton of time so I will make this one quick. Transfer calls came this Saturday and I am staying for round four in Delano with Elder Myers. I thought I was going to leave so I was pretty set to go. I feel like there is a lot that I can still do to help the people here in Delano and so I am thrilled to stay. Two of my favorite missionaries are leaving Delano so that is a bummer, but I am looking forward to meeting the two new guys. One of them will be a greenie! I'm excited to meet him. It feels like just yesterday that I started my mission here in the North Bakersfield Zone. Oh and another cool piece of news about transfers: The mission is getting smaller (losing missionaries) so they are closing some areas. Well one area was recently closed and we got a call from the Assistants letting us know that we will now be covering the town of....... McFarland!!! I am super excited!!! I love that little town and it will be cool to cover the no-name little place that was made into a movie. The McFarland Elders already took us down to introduce us to some of their investigators and I am pretty stoked to start working with them. The only bummer is that we are still in a car share.. So we will be covering Delano, Richgrove, and Earlimart and only have the car every other day. Yikes.
This week we had a really good lesson with Jeremy, Anderson, and Jeimy. For the past couple of lessons we have been really trying to get them to read their scriptures and pray. They always end up forgetting so we decided to raise the stakes a little bit and we told them we would bring them soda if they were able to read and tell us about what they read. So the next time we went to visit I brought some sodas and stuffed them in my bag. I wasn't sure if they had remembered or not, but they came running to the door, as we walked up the driveway, yelling the story of Nephi and his brothers. It was so funny and I was glad to see that they had learned something from what they read. We are going to be doing our best to teach them along with their less active parents. They have support from their grandparents, but they really need support from their parents as well. I love their grandparents. They are great and faithful members of the church and they are really hard working. We stopped by the other night to visit, but only their grandpa Hermano Gomez was home. We asked if there was anything we could do to help him and he told us we could teach him English! We were caught a little off guard, but were happy to give it a try. He said it is really frustrating that he has been in the States for a couple of years and still doesn't know English. He asked us to speak with him in English. That turned out to be really weird and difficult. I went to speak to him in English, but it was like my mind wouldn't let me! I speak English all the time of course, but when I teach Spanish speaking people, my brain is wired to go into Spanish mode. It took a couple of tries to say, How was work today, Brother Gomez? I couldn't believe it, but it was kind of funny I guess. It is amazing how sometimes I am more comfortable speaking Spanish than English.
I am excited to stay for a few more weeks in Delano. I really do love it here. I feel like Elder Myers and I have put a lot into this area and we will continue to do so for the next six weeks! We have to get going, but my brother Matt gave me a great idea to end my weekly letter with some prayer requests. If you get the time to pray for these people, it would really help and be appreciated so much:
-Jose, to help him quit smoking. He is cutting way back and trying so, so hard.
-Jeremy, Anderson, and Jeimy, so they can get the family support that they need.
-Fransisco and Josefina, so they can get married and be baptized.
Thank you guys so much for everything. I love you all and miss you a ton. I am loving Delano, especially now that it is getting cooler. Life is good and I am loving my mission. You all take good care and have a great week.
Elder Chad Thompson