Awesome 1st week in Riverside CA 8-18-2014

18 08 2014

Hello Family and friends! You guys sure wrote to me a lot…It’s good to hear from you and all about your lives. It sounds like you are all doing well. I wish I could respond to all of you and address your specific comments but that’s not possible.
Soooooo I am in Hemet California. It’s kinda like…the hottest and poorest area of the mission. haha but I love it so much. Everyone says this is the most ghetto area but that just means there are lots of people out and about to teach all the time. And we are on bikes:) My companion is Elder Randall. He is pretty great. I try to be the best I can for him. Everyone said we will be a power house companionship and said he was lucky when he got me. I guess because I didn’t look like a lot of the awkward 18 year olds….He just hit his 20 month mark in August so he has experience. We have a lot in common so that is really good.
I don’t even know what else to tell you guys…Soooooo much has happened. There have been miracles and humble blessings of the Lord every single day. The fact that I had a quick goodbye at the airport was one of them. Another cool thing that I realized is how special of an experience it is to have a missionary mantle placed over you, removed, and then placed over you again. I appreciate it soooo much more now.
The first day that I got here, we picked up some OYM’s which are pretty much just contacts. A mother and a girl seemed to have some sort of promise but they weren’t in our area. But the other Elders taught them and said they were awesome.. The second day, we taught a few investigators, and did some more OYMs. So far we are focusing on Keoni (11) and his mom Val. Keoni is for sure going under on the 6th. He is super elect and blows my mind with how much he already knows. His mom has felt the spirit. I can see it when we teach here but she is struggling with her testimony of the BOM and Joseph Smith. I know she will get there though. She says she likes our teaching more than the last missionaries. She said she understands it more. Our other two focuses are Susan (11) and her mom Betty. Once again the younger is super solid and going under on the 6th. Her mom has picked up and grown stronger recently and I am pretty confident that the Lord will continue to work on her and she will accept baptism. Keep them in your prayers!!
The ward here is pretty awesome. Our ward mission leader, Brother Leighton, is incredible. He makes our job so much easier. We have team-ups every night and that is a huge relief. It’s nice to not always be on the bikes. I haven’t even gotten my bike yet. I’m borrowing one from the other Elders. Our bishop is also really good – kind of intense but also really good. He threatened to cut us off from meals if we didn’t ask our dinner appointments if they had any less actives, nonmembers, or recent converts that they knew and could come to dinner. He is a good man though. The whole ward is super excited about missionary work and that makes our job much easier. We had 3 investigators at church on Sunday, so that was good!
One cool story from this week came when we were out on team ups. We asked our team up, Brother Cabrea, if he knew anyone we could visit. He mentioned a family and we called them. Right when they picked up they asked us to come over. We found out later that they had just been discussing how to help their dads back feel better. His wife said he needed a blessing and he said yea I know- maybe later. Then called the missionaries! haha. It was a huge testimony builder to me to see the Lord in the details of our lives.
I’ve really begun to find so much joy in contacting and talking to people. Every night we talk to people in a parking lot before going in and it’s so interesting to meet them and see what they have to say. One time a security guard kicked us out and said we weren’t allowed to be there stopping people. So I got his information and we are going to send some elders over his way. Haha. They say talk to everyone!
So far I’ve had quite a few awkward experiences. They are always with middle-aged to older ladies too…I had one whisper in my ear that I was “an extremely good looking man”. That’s happened a few times and has been really awkward but it makes for a good story and laugh I guess. Then Brother Fisher from our ward, came up to me and Elder R. and said which one of you is Elder Fischer? O the good looking one..I was like.. uhh yea. I guess that’s me. Really awkward since my companion is right here. t’s all in good fun though. I appreciate the self-esteem boost I suppose.
P-day has been great. We went and did a crossfit work out with the president and then played basketball. We ran the court the whole time. But well… Ballislife. I was able to dunk too so that was good.
I feel like I have endless stories to tell all of you already but I really don’t even know what to tell. Oh yeah! On Friday, we were doing oyms and we finished about 40 mins early. We were close to the apartment but we decided to do an “obedience walk”. We had a very inspired and spirtual lesson about the plan of salvation with a young mom who really didn’t want anything to do with us to start out with. We hope to be able to teach here again soon!! Obedience brings forth blessings!
I’ve made really good friends with a lot of ward members and young men. It’s really nice to have that support. I really really have fallen in love with this work and the Lord has blessed me so much. It’s hardly even been a week but I feel like I never want to leave. Each day is harder than the next but there is nothing that will bring you more joy than just “opening your mouth” (OYM) to someone about the gospel. I wish I could serve these people forever. The feeling I have when I lay down at night is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I love this place so much even though it is supposed to be the poorest and hottest in the mission. I can’t wait to see what else I will encounter. Any time I have felt down, I’ve prayed to my father in heaven, told him exactly how I was feeling and I was comforted within the next hour with some sort of miracle. He really is there and he really does want to help. He is anxiously waiting to pour his blessings out to those who will humble themselves enough to receive them.
I do miss the North Carolina green though…these people have rocks in there front yard and then they paint them green…I’m like noooo that actually doesn’t count as a front yard try again….I’ll try to send pictures if I can! I love you all so much and I pray for you every single night! My testimony has exploded in the time that I’ve been out here. Heavenly Father really loves us soooo much and has a plan for us. He is in the details of our lives. Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and I’m so grateful for the perfect life that he lived for me and sacrifice that he made for me. I feel their comfort and love daily. Well I guess that’s it for now!

-Attitude determines Altitude

Love you all!

-Elder Fischer

 

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