|Elder Nissinen with his new companion Elder "D"|
The Rancho Cucamonga mission is a BLAST!!!!! It's totally different than the MTC, or really anything that I've done, but I'm working hard and trying to be the best I can :)
So Tuesday night we got picked up by a couple random elders who took us to their different apartments and we slept there for the night. I got to sleep on the floor, but I was SO TIRED that day from everything I was OUT in a heartbeat! The next morning we got up, worked out, and then headed back to the mission office to get our new companions and to do a little training.
So drum roll........ my new companion is ELDER D.(rhymes with "C." and everyone gets it wrong haha). He's a really cool elder, and actually I'm gonna be his last companion! (For a good reason, not the same as Elder H.). He heads home in early November, so this'll be the last 6 weeks of his mission! He has a TON of experience here with almost 23 months under his belt, and I'm always learning from him and his teaching skills. We work great together. We both try to be out as late as we can before we have to be back in our apartment by 9. Elder D. is from Pennsylvania, and he just turned 21. I'll send you some pictures of us :)
Elder D. and I serve in the Granite Hills ward with another set of missionaries in the town of Apple Valley. I'll help paint a picture of Apple Valley for ya: Imagine the scenery in the movie Napoleon Dynamite and replace all the grass with dust. When we're biking to our appointments, I'm just imagining someone to randomly yell out "RAWHIDE!" because it's a total desert. They call the area the High Desert, and I can see why. But the weather is AWESOME!! We're in the sun just long enough so I don't get burnt, and it's around the high 80's everyday. People tell me I got here just in time to miss the really hot spell during the summer in the Desert.
The church here is pretty small, and the ward is mostly older couples with a few young families. The Bishop is cool. We had breakfast at his house on Thursday morning and his wife made everything GREEN since I'm a "greenie," which was pretty funny. We get dinners almost every night, and most of the meals I've had here have so far been casseroles haha. Oh well, a missionary is always hungry. The people here are really.....different too haha. Since it's SoCal, we meet all sorts of interesting people with tattoos, crazy hairstyles, and come from a poorer area. Most of the time we've spent here has been biking around our 2 square mile area and trying to set up appointments with Less-actives, Recent Converts, and the few investigators we have. BUT on Thursday we visited a former investigator named Debbie and taught her the Restoration. She was really receptive to it and told us she felt the Spirit. And guess who extended the baptism invitation? ME! She said......YES! And we have her scheduled to be baptized on November 9th. We're really praying for her to come to church, since that's something that a lot of missionaries struggle with is getting investigators to come to church.
Our apartment is actually a member's home that she doesn't live in anymore, so the missionaries use it. There's 4 of us in it, and we share it with our Zone Leaders, who are also really cool elders. It's honestly quite a dump haha, but we do with it what we can. Actually funny story, on Saturday we helped a member's neighbor move, and in return, we got a couch and table! So we took our dumpiest couch and table and put them on the street!! Haha only in California!! And...within 5 minutes someone pulled up and hauled the table away. And the couch is still on the street but no biggie - it's California haha.
Thank you SO MUCH for your emails!!! I LOVE hearing from you and everyone!!
Thank you for teaching me how to work hard. There's a lot of "free-time" on a mission, but the Lord will really bless us if we're outside our apartment working. We've also been trying to get the ward involved with helping us with referrals and lessons, but it's been hard, so we try to stay busy doing whatever we can to find. Thank you for your everyday example to me, your prayers, your love, your support, and every little thing that has prepared me for this moment.
I LOVE YOU DAD!!!!! Please respond when you can, since there isn't really a time-limit on the computers for missionaries :)
Your missionary and son,