Hello from San Jose, California! I love it here!
So, I haven’t written a weekly email in a few weeks, so I’ll talk a little bit about my time at home! It was a pretty crazy six weeks that I had there, but I’m super glad I was able to have that opportunity. Spending time with family was awesome, and it was fun experiencing a lot of the things I hadn’t had for a long time. Some things that amazed me: carpet, garbage disposal, nice cars, air conditioning, how nice houses/cars were, yards, city-managed sidewalks, and many others. We were very blessed to live in the U.S.
During my time home, I was unsure as to whether or not I’d be able to be reassigned. After several weeks of uncertainty as to whether I should start trying to get stuff ready for college and work, or stay in missionary-mode, I got a call from my Stake President with the news that I’d been reassigned to the California San Jose Mission! It honestly seemed unreal until I was on my way to the airport for the second time. A few details on my service:
- I will be Spanish speaking! I am currently assigned to a Spanish speaking ward (Las Colinas), and there are plenty of people here where that is the only language they speak
- I don’t know when it will be when I end I’m coming home. They said they are still waiting for further guidance. I’m guessing it’ll most likely be when I was originally coming home in October.
So, I arrived in California at about 10:45 am on Wednesday and my Mission President, President Hunt, was there waiting for us with Elder Jensen, a senior missionary who served his mission in Rosario who was very excited to talk to me about that haha. They took us to the mission offices where we ate lunch and had several hours of orientation, mainly on the stuff required to be able to drive (which still seems weird that we can do haha). After that, we met our companions while social distancing hahaha. We were sitting on two sides of a basketball court, all of the new missionaries on one side and all of their “trainers” on the other, when President Hunt would call out the companionship and they’d shake hands and go sit by each other haha.
My companion is Elder Christiansen from Ogden, UT! He’s such a nice kid and has been an awesome companion so far. He’s been out in the mission for about 9 months, and speaks Spanish better than I do. We live in SUCH a nice apartment compared to everywhere I was living in Argentina haha its crazy, and we live with two other Elders. Elder West from Provo (who we found out we went to a summer camp in Idaho together like six years ago), and his companion Elder Anderson, who was serving in Peru before all of this started going down. We are in the Las Colinas Ward, and are very well taken care of. It’s a beautiful place in San Jose with awesome members that take good care of us. I’ve felt very welcome so far.
Missionary work in quarantine has been much more effective than I’d thought it’d be. We are able to do lots of work through Facebook, video calls, phone calls, group chats, and lots of other stuff. I’m still getting used to having technology as a missionary and learning how to use it, but its been super helpful and a huge blessing to us. We have some great people we are teaching! One is the Ramirez family, who are loving learning more about Christ through the Book of Mormon. Another is the Montaña family, who are working on getting married and then right after baptized!
San Jose is an awesome place. I haven’t been able to see too much of the city yet, but I’ve been able to tell that it’s super diverse here. There are missionaries in our mission speaking nine different languages, because people come from all over to work for all of the tech companies here in Santa Fe (Google, Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Yahoo!, etc.) There are billboards everywhere in Spanish and Mandarin. The majority of members in are ward are from Mexico, so they’ve all been making fun of me for my Argentine accent haha, but they’re awesome and I’ve loved being here.
I got my Facebook all set up to be a missionary, and posted my first thing in a bible study group. I asked “What is your favorite Bible verse and why?” and in two hours, it had over 1000 reactions and 1.2k comments, and now, it’s more than doubled that. So we’ve been trying to respond to some of the comments, including them to listen to our message. Not too much success so far, but we’ll keep trying.
There’s obviously been lots of new things that I’ve been learning this week, but I’ve also realized that’s that’s lots of things that I love about the mission that I’d forgotten about. It’s awesome just being able to feel every day that I’m doing exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing. I’m so grateful for the Book of Mormon and for prayer. I’m especially so grateful for my Savior. My new Mission President recommended that we read a book called The Infinite Atonement by Tad R Callister, and its been awesome so far. I invite you ask this win to learn more about the Atonement! It really is the most important thing that ever had happened and that ever will happen!
I love you all! Thank you for your prayers. Know that I am happy, safe, and very well taken care of. I miss you all, but I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be!