Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Californiaaa, here we cooome...

Oh, how blessed I am to be here in San Diego!! I've had an incredible first week and am so excited to finish up on my mission here. I would never take back the hard times in Chile and will forever remember all that I learned while serving there--But man, if this place could have been my full 18 months...
It's incredible to me how much trust President Clayton has with his missionaries. I swear, it feels like I am breaking a million rules everyday with what I was used to with Pres. Kahnlein. It's interesting to see how much more obedient these missionaries are here with fewer rules than in Chile - where it's a serious boot camp...And yes, I CAN drink Diet Coke here :)
I don't know if Aunt Sharon or Uncle Craig have gotten in touch with you yet, but I have been assigned to Chula Vista and my Spanish ward meets in their same building! It was really fun to see Sharon and Uncle Craig and catch up with them. I don't know if any of you have seen "The District" but our church building is the same one that they film all the activities and interviews. Also, The Robles Family and German meet in our same building as well! It's so funny to have been trained watching these investigators and now get to serve with them. 
I love my companion Hermana Kelemen. The first few days, the only person I could relate her to was Deb from Napoleon Dynamite. Super awkward, hates giving hugs and pretty quiet. I just kept making jokes, telling crazy stories and tickling her earlobes to make her feel super awkward. Hahah, then one day, BAM,  she totally opened up and now we're besties. She's from Provo. Studied 2 and a half years at BYU-I and guess what?? She loves to run! So we get up every morning and go for a BEAUTIFUL, California morning run. The weather here is incredible! I think they said the weather is going to get up to 80 this week. Today, we are doing a zone activity--bowling and then going to the pier for ice cream! So excited. All the missionaries are really close here (another thing I'm really not used to. We were only allowed to be with our zone once every transfer in Chile. Here, we do an activity every week!)

The Mormon Battalion on our first day.
I even got to meet the sister (middle) who
opened up her mission call the same day her
mother and two brothers opened theirs as well.
There are a lot of different things about the mission here--I'm content with all the changes except, 
it's a bit sad not using Spanish 100% of the time. It took me a couple of days to get used to contacting and teaching in English. If we are teaching anyone in English, they also speak Spanish. So, I guess you could say I'm in a Spanglish Speaking Mission. The people here are incredible! We have SO many investigators we're trying to juggle and lots of less-actives. They focus a lot on reactivating people in this mission, so we work with a lot of less-actives and part-member families. It's awesome! We were able to set two baptism dates yesterday! Bertha: 50's, single, lives with a couple of her older kids, hates her job, the church is trying to find her a new one, reaaaaally happy, reeeeally humble. Araceli: also 50's, lives with her sister, her family is from Mexico and Kansas, works, is pretty well off, has the cutest little Cali house. We have a lesson with her on Thursday and are hoping her sister, Perla, will be there so we can set a date for her as well.

Honestly, it's really weird to be out here on the mission again. It might not have been exactly what I would have wanted to be doing right now, but I felt strongly it was what the Lord needed me to do. I can't complain for the two-month, home vacation! Little Scotty being born and his blessing (who, I'm sorry, but probably miss the most), Thanksgiving, Jamie's Wedding, Christmas, New years!!!! I miss all of you, but it'll be good to finish and I couldn't be happier with my circumstances. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways. This is the least I can be doing and a sacrifice I am more than willing to make. I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and am ever so thankful for the gospel and the restoration. 
Happy Birthday, Begga boo!!! I was thinking about you all day on the 10th ;) I hope you have a fun date with Jordan! Make sure he doesn't take you to breakfast because, remember, going out to breakfast does not count as a "date". Tay Tay, have you been able to help out Emily and Millie's family? They are really looking forward to having you in their house! Keep up the mission prep! It'll be a great blessing to you! Cam, sounds like you had an awesome game this weekend. Wish I could have watched you shoot some hoops, bud. You're my favorite little brother. 
Thanks for all you do! I love you so much! If you're ever bored and need some sunshine, you'll know where to find me :)
All my love,
Hermana Pendleton 

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