Monday, August 5, 2013

We received Emily's first email from San Fernando, California, today--Monday, August 5, 2013.

Hello!  Hello!  I love you all!

Well, I am here!  I am getting over the shock!!  I am in the San Fernando Valley!  The San Fernando mission includes the San Fernando valley and the Santa Clarita Valley.  The mission home is in the Santa Clarita valley.  My mission is the El Camino Real mission!  Pretty awesome, right?  In our ward, I am one of 4 Spanish speaking sisters and our companionship is the only one on bike.  The other sister companionship is the sister training leaders and guess what!  The leader, Sister Clifton, is the daughter of the nice lady I met at the MTC!  I told her that I would look for her daughter and now we live right across the street from each other and she is actually in the same room with me right now!  

Ok, it is crazy here!  It is California!  There are so many Hispanics!  We say hi to every single Hispanic person we walk past.  They are really social, and friendly, and humble.  If I did in Salt Lake, the same thing I do here, people would just look at me weird, but people here like it.  

Oh!  Here is the address I'm at:
7220 Oso #216
Winetka, CA 91306

Our little apartment smells like a cheap Vegas hotel.  Apparently it is nicer than a lot of the places they have in Recita.  Don't worry, though!  It is a safe area and my companion and I are very careful!

So it's really weird being here because at the same time that I can't really comprehend that I'm here, it is almost hard for me to remember my past life.  And I think that the fact that I call it a past life shows that it really is very, very far from me.  I don't think it's really hit me yet that we ride everywhere on bikes and enter lots of Spanish speaking houses and that I am REALLY HERE.  It's kinda like a dream and not reality.  I can't imagine myself doing anything else though!  Like, home almost feels like someone else's story.

Ok, I am definitely supposed to be in this ward!  Our ward mission leader is AMAZING!  His name is Moroni and apparently his dedication and responsibility is unheard of in a Spanish ward.  I can help this ward so much.  They sing to a tape in Relief Society.  Doesn't that make you sad?  That is so pitiful and we can do a lot better than that.  I would've needed them to be this desperate before I would've volunteered to be the designated piano player.  If there was another girl who could play, I wouldn't have ended up playing.  Heavenly Father put me here so I would end up being the piano player.  I am sooo excited about this.  So, I'm going to be the ward Relief Society pianist, and who knows, maybe I'll get promoted to ward Sacrament meeting pianist depending on how my skills go.  I am hoping that because I am serving with everything that I have, Heavenly Father will bless me and help me to develop this talent.  

Also, we were brainstorming with the ward mission leader and trying to think of an awesome activity that we can get people to.  So here is the idea:  It is going to be a night of nourishment.  It could be called "Feed my sheep: primero con pan y despues con pan de la vida" (feed my sheep, first with bread, and then with the bread of life).  The plan is to have a pot luck/share your specialty food event, and then..........dah dah dah dah!: a little program centered around the Primary!  Basically the Primary children will be dressed up as people from the Book of Mormon and they will be on the stage acting-out/looking cute while there is some narration about that story.  Then they will sing a song that goes with that scene.  I wrote about 7 different scenes. 
It's going to be so adorable because all the little children are ADORABLE!!!  There are two girls in particular that I adore and they always run to me and talk to me and pull on me and touch my hair.  They love now naturally curly my hair is here!  I am so excited to make this program awesome and cute!  

Love you!

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