I'm gonna be the first to admit that holidays on the mission are always super weird. The world around us is centered on the festivities of that day but mission life is like groundhog day, it's always the same and especially difficult on those days when everyone is out and about with family and friends. So in honor of Halloween this weekend; I hope everyone watches Hocus Pocus for me, knocks on doors (to get candy, not investigators!), fills a pillowcase of candy and inhales that sweet smell of candy and eat a cavity's worth of reese's peanut butter cups. Thank you. 🍫🍭🍬
But this week has been great for Sister Maukeni and I. On Monday night we were given permission to leave our zone so that we could go to the pumpkin patch in one of the other zones. We had already gone to a pumpkin patch a few weeks ago but it was fun to go with our YSA. It felt more like a carnival with all of the people there and the different activities to choose from. We weren't planning on doing the corn maze or haunted house but our branch presiden't wife is a charmer and was able to get us into the haunted house without having to pay. I would have been perfectly fine not going in but everyone else was going and I got dragged into going. I hate, I repeat hate anything haunted (even when they end up not being haunted and pretty stupid) but thankfully the haunted house wasn't scary at all. I was walking with one of the YSA and she told me that if you pretend to be a secret agent and shoot guns at them when they pop up on you it helps to not feel as scared. My companion was taking a few pictures and she managed to snap one of me in the house. It reminded me of the days when we went to the beach and Cooper would play house of the dead at the arcade, shooting away at the zombies as they got closer. But it was fun, I'm glad we were able to go. It's starting to get chilly in the mornings and at night, California is still struggling with this whole "fall season" thing, maybe in November things will cool down more.
Tuesday morning we had a meeting with the other sister training leaders, mission president, his wife and the assistants. They were having a new missionary meeting later that day and wanted to discuss with us some of the needs or concerns we've been having recently with our sisters. All of the sisters we steward between the 4 of us are either training or being trained so there were quite a few things to discuss. It was a really good meeting and brought a lot of clarity and assurance that I had been needing. I'm not sure if the other sisters had been feeling the same that I was when I wrote my email last week but it gave the peace that I needed knowing that we're doing the best we can and helping them the best ways we know how. We had to attend a few more leadership meetings and went back to the mission office to pick something up. While we were there, president asked us to talk with for a few minutes in his office to tell us about the new missionary meeting they had just had. Some of our sisters came up and their housing situation. They've been living with the bishop for one of the wards and they need the sisters to find a new place to live because they have family coming in soon. We have a housing coordinator that helps find missionaries new apartments but I guess it wasn't much of a priority so president asked us to go up to their area (almost an hour away) to start looking for apartments for these sisters...President and Sister Palmer went up again on Saturday so hopefully we'll find a place for these sisters soon. I never thought I'd have to apartment hunt on my mission, but it was fun.
Wednesday we got to work with some of our sisters that are in our same zone and went out biking. It was so much fun and it's been great to watch some of these sisters who have progressed so much from their first day in the field to almost a transfer later. They're talking with people, taking the lead during lessons, having productive studies etc it's been so great to see how much they've improved. One of the things that we discussed in our meeting Tuesday morning was how these sisters need help in their teaching and that we as the sister training leaders can and should be participating in trainings, so Thursday we went up to Lodi to have studies with some of our sisters and attended their district meeting as well and were able to train. That went really well, it's something we'd like to do with all of our sisters.
Saturday we had a fun relief society activity carving pumpkins, I'm a failure of a carver but it was nice to be with some of the sisters from the branch. We delivered the pumpkins and little goody bags to others in the branch. We've been trying to contact potential YSA members that have records in other wards in the stake. We went to go contact one, his mom answers the door, "Sisters! What a surprise!" We walk in and her husband comes to shake our hands and introduces himself as President Marshall. My companion and I both asked ourselves ...president for what? Young men? Elders quorum? Nope turns out he was the stake president ha! He thought we were there to talk with him. Really nice guy though, his son who we were trying to meet is at BYU. We wished we could have stayed longer but we had to leave and they had grandkids with them. Sunday was great, president and sister palmer actually came to our branch for sacrament meeting, it was nice to have them there. The talks and lessons were especially good this week, that's something I'm loving about the YSA. Even though it's small, the spirit is really strong and we have some incredible members who have returned from missions and have such solid testimonies.
Anyway, I better get going there are several other missionaries here waiting to email. But hope that you all have a good week and get to do something fun for Halloween!
Love you all!