Monday, March 15, 2010

Loving it here in Redwood City!!!


I feel like I say this in every letter I write, but I feel like I have never been busier. I love it!!!! Elder Tidwell and I have really been going to work in Redwood City. I can't believe they had to consolidate this area; there is so much work to do. Last week we were a little disappointed because we taught a grand total of one lesson.

This week has been much better. We went from having zero new investigators to an amazing ten. Of these ten, we have set baptismal dates for five. So far we set five dates in the last four days. We've been on a roll and hope to commit some more investigators tonight. It's amazing to teach people that have been prepared. We have felt the Spirit in every single one of our lessons but are always amazed when these people commit to baptism. It usually ends with fist pump as soon as we get in the car. Sometimes, I just hold my breath and wait for Elder Tidwell to confirm that I translated what they said correctly. It's an amazing feeling.

Speaking of translation. This week I had my first major translation mistake. We were introducing a young man to the Book of Mormon. This young man was very interested in how the Book of Mormon could bring him financial success. He then proceeded to try to sell us on a multilevel marketing scheme from Amway Global. Both Elder Tidwell and I knew the ethical implications of this and felt very uncomfortable. I decided to end it by mentioning our next appointment. Here's what I said "necisita salir. Tenemos una cita." Translated I said, "you need to leave; we have an appointment." I guess it came off a little rude, but it did the trick and got us out of an awkward situation. Oh, I forgot to mention that he picked Starbucks as a meeting place, so we felt very uncomfortable. I guess there are worse things to say in Spanish.

I love this area. The people here are so humble. We often find single bedroom apartments with a family of eight living in it. They are usually furnished comfortable, but you will often find a closet full of twin mattresses for the end of the day. I also love the diversity of people in this area. We have taught people from Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, and Honduras. This leads to a very diverse diet of Latin foods, much of which is very good. It makes me glad that I'm in the US because I get to experience all of these cultures, but enjoy the comforts of stores like Target, Grocery Outlet, and Taco Bell.

As for our apartment. I feel a little spoiled. Our apartment is in the heart of downtown Redwood City. We have a very large living room and kitchen with granite counter tops and large picture windows that look out on City Hall, the city library, and the Caltran station. Needless to say, it was a sisters apartment. The members in this area are amazing. There is a strong young adult population with Stanford ten minutes away which helps us to ensure that we always have a priesthood holder with us when we teach single sisters.

We will be exploring Stanford today, which is very exciting. We have proselyted just off the campus. This experience makes me appreciate the humble Latinos even more. I would much rather talk to a Catholic than an Atheist who wants to talk about Jesus as a philosopher. I hope all is well back home. You would be surprised how much Redwood City reminds me of Lakewood. All the rain lately has made me feel right at home.

Con Amor,

Elder Badger

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