This week is a long letter. Sorry. On Sunday, I had an extremely surprising event. I ran into one of my very good friends, BROOKE BARNETT! Although not so Barnett anymore. She reported to me that she got married 6 months ago to a returned missionary at age 20 for the both of them. She said that she and her husband, (sorry, I can't remember his name), took an 11 hour road trip to go see some of his family here in Manteca and then drive all the way back after church. It was a quick visit with her, then she left and I went to sacrament meeting. Now I know of a surety that I am missing out on a lot of news from my old friends. Oh well. That's the missionary life. It makes me wonder what other events have been kept from me? Perhaps I won't find out everything until I get home in less than 11 months from now. I would have never guessed that she would have gotten married so soon in life. I guess there is no time to have fun as a member of the restored church. I'm over here saying, "Well, I guess I'm going to be one of the last to get married when I get home." Me being one of the last in my graduating class to leave on their mission, the last to get back, oh and I mustn't forget that I will be the last of 2 elders of Fresno Mission, and one other from Sacramento before Modesto becomes all of President Palmer's mission. After I leave, everyone will be born in the Modesto Mission and know nothing else. That's quite all daunting to me. Maybe President will pair me and Elder Ashton our last 2 transfers together and then white wash our last area together. I doubt that though.
So, in other funny news, Elder Shepherd just got a dragon fruit from a member this morning. I tried some. The inside is a white flesh with little seeds like a Kiwi. It was okay, but it didn't have any flavor. Then, I wanted a real kiwi. The Morgan's went all the way to Modesto to find this fruit for him since he has sought it out for almost his entire mission. Now we both know what it looks like, and what it tastes like. It's just a fruity flesh without any flavor really.
Elder Shepherd's parents also sent him a new bike; although, it doesn't have any shocks, so he was afraid to ruin the wheels because of his weight, so he test rode it once and used his old bike. He says he is thinking of trading it or selling it back to the store and do something else with the money. He will figure it out soon enough. They also sent him a flash drive that is 128 GB big I believe. Very close to a terrabite. It's just a huge number. His parents are converts just before he was born, and they love their son to death. He's been out for 20 months now. He now has 4 months of his mission left. He's slowly getting anxious but also really loves his mission and Magic the card game. It was his 20th birthday on Friday and Elder Grover's on Wednesday, so we celebrated on District meeting by having brownies, and I brought my raspberry spice cobbler, mixed with sprite. They all loved my cooking. I was very pleased. His parents also sent him a carrot cake in the mail on the day of his birthday. The shield that he is holding in one of the pictures is also a Nerf gun. The shield does open and close by a button on the star. It's really nifty. That is why he was getting all this stuff. It was a fun day.
We finally got rid or all the empty boxes from moving. We now have more room to walk around, and it looks cleaner too. We also took a member with us to take a bed and couch to the dump due to missionaries putting it outside for the rain to slowly rot it away. It was heavy because it was a fold out bed. One step closer to closing that old apartment once and for all. We talked to the owner who is a member in Union ward and he said that he was offering the place at $850 a month. It's a lot in Utah money, but cheap in California money. Now I know that I never want to live out here when I'm off my mission. This is just ridiculous with housing and utilities costs. We also thought that we could move an investigator there so she can feel more comfortable to stop smoking, and move away from the problems she faces with her roommates. We told the ward council and they all of a sudden snatch it up so they can move a family in their ward that was going homeless because their old place was too expensive. The 850 thing was their upper limit. They did find a rent a week place and they have 3 more days before they need to move out. It was slightly annoying to hear that, but they needed it a lot more than our investigator did. We were just happy to help in any way we could.
To include in this week's letter, we have been teaching Maria Johnson. She is dating a member in the Union ward and has been interested in the church. She is on date for April 9th and is still looking for her answer from the Lord if this church is true. We have taught her all the basic principles of the gospel now. This week, we might occasionally come over to read the Book of Mormon with her and share each others insights from the reading. The other investigator worth mentioning was Bob Tigal and his wife. They are both Catholic and somewhere met the missionaries. They were interested to hear from us, and we have been starting to come over. We watched the new Easter video's for this year, and they loved it. Next time, we will be watching the Restoration and talk about that topic. They are very visual learners, so they may like the video. They are both from the Philippines. Lovely couple. Bob especially is really funny. She's more serious. They make a perfect couple. She said that if she knew that the church is true, even though she will be an outcast from the family, she would do anything to get baptized, so I hope the spirit really convinces her as we teach them. They also said they would be happy to feed us dinner one night in the near future. We did have an open slot at the end of this month, so we will try their idea. Last time I ever ate with an investigator was back in Clovis with Cole and Susan along with her husband.
These are the major things that happened this week.
Love you all,
P.S. We did have a dinner with the Relief Society birthday dinner. It was slightly weird but also cool to talk with the sister's at our table about what it means to perform service in secret and some other things. We did have other priesthood there too so we were good in being around the sister's and the sister's being good being at the church building.
Dragon fruit and Elder Shepherd's birthday