Well, I want to start off, by letting everyone know how proud I am of my good friend Elder Braden Banning. He is back in the field, and going strong! What a blessing that is to the people of the San Jose, California Mission to have such a great Elder back! Miss you brother! Work hard, and play hard!
Things here in the Rio Vista area are absolutely amazing! I truly do like this area, however I don't always feel accepted by the members quite yet. It’s kind of weird because this area hasn't had Elders for something like 3 or 4 years. Then 6 weeks ago they put Elder Olmos and Elder Bischoff in the area, and then 6 weeks later they brought me into the area, so I kind of feel like I'm third wheeling it. But that’s o.k. I know it takes time to build relationships and that’s what being in a new area is all about. I am focused on trying to get this area to its full potential more than anything.
On the other hand, some of the members just love me. Being from Idaho, hard working, and very blunt and open with them, they think I’m super funny. They are the same way, so I kind of feel like I am at home with that as well. There is a member named Bo Torres, who acts just like Dad. He is super funny, and never serious about anything. Ha Ha We get along great!
Rio Vista is super sick! The work here is progressing a lot. This past week we were able to pick up 6 new investigators, in which 3 were Spanish speaking, and the other 3 are part member families here in the branch! We are super excited because the part member families, seem like they are all ready to move forward, but the missionaries in the past had just a fear that they had already been tried, or that they just weren't ready! However we had no fear and have met them all, and are beginning to teach them all as well!
In fact yesterday at church we had a family come who hadn't been to church for about 2 years. They live in a tiny town called Collinsville, that actually just recently burnt down the day of 4th of July. They lost their home, but are doing pretty well recovering from it, and are back on there feet surprising well! We met him, John, at the church one night when he had an interview with the new branch President, and were able to set up an appointment and now are teaching his girlfriend who lives with him as well. They have 2 children and have lived together for 16 years. They said there is not a reason on why they are not married they just haven't gotten around to it. I think it will be pretty simple. They are amazing!
The Branch Presidency was just changed a month ago, so they are still trying to figure things out, and we are trying to help them to the best of our ability. They are changing a lot of things in the Branch, because a lot of families are moving out due to the fact they work on the Air Force Base here in Fairfield!
Overall things are going really well here in Rio Vista. I am truly trying to work on changing and bettering myself! We had a wonderful Zone Conference this past Friday, where a lot of great things were talked about. President Alba, talked a lot about the importance of our mission, and how we all need the full 2 years to change, however we have to be willing to accept his atonement to truly change. Just like our investigators or members that haven't been active can truly only change through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
This past weekend was huge in Rio Vista! People came all the way from San Francisco! It’s a huge event that has quite the attraction for people! The Bass Durby Festival! It’s a huge carnival thing, as well as a Bass Fishing competition where whoever catches the biggest bass wins a nice sized fishing boat! It was super fun! It kind of reminded me a lot of the Eastern Idaho Fair, however it was a little bit smaller in size, and not as many redneck things going on such as Tractor Pulls etc! It was still a lot of fun to be able to contact many people, and hand out a lot of pass along cards of Jesus Christ!
So a lot of people have been asking a lot of questions about my companions! How it is being in a Trio! ha ha. So I guess all I have to say is that it’s a lot of fun. We all have very different but similar personalities so we are always having a good time! Elder Bischoff is from Ely, Nevada. He was serving in the Ukraine for about a year and a half of his mission, but with all the warfare, and such going on there they closed down his mission, and reassigned him to our mission! He has a lot of interesting stories, which are super cool! He also speaks pretty good Russian.
Elder Olmos was born in Mexico City, but has been living in Bakersfield, California his entire life. He speaks Spanish about the same level as I do, which is super cool! He has a better vocabulary than me, however I know the rules and such, and can write better than him. ha ha
Things are going great here! Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes, and all the support! I love you all, and miss you all tons!
Welcome to the little city of Collinsville.
Working in the Nursery
as a missionary is definitely my style!
Mormon.Org Signs we made
and posted around town for the
Hot dog, pea, and corn soup!
Yuck!(love the Spidy cup though)