First week in Cali!

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I’ve been in California for almost a week! The weather is PERFECT. It’s gone by so fast! Also this will probably be a longer email since I just got here… sorry!
So since I came in kind of on a last minute notice, I didn’t get to meet the mission president until my fourth day. So the first day, I was picked up by the APs. Elder Adamson went to Skyline (along with at least 3 other missionaries in this mission) and Elder Merrill is from the Chicago area (Wilmet)! Anyway, President and Sister Villanueva are the best! They are the nicest and I love them so much. When I had my first interview with him, I got another confirmation that this is where I am supposed to be.
And guess what? I’M IN A TRIO AGAIN! The day I get put in a two man companionship will be weird and sad. Trios are so great. It’s funny too because my trainer is also Sister Huang. So since we’re not allowed to have nicknames, it’s a rough time when people try to call one of us. But I just assume they’re calling her because I’m still new haha. Sister Huang is from Vancouver Canada (shoutout to Sister Chan!). She was also born in Taiwan but moved to Canada when she was very little, so we have that in common! She is an amazing trainer and I’m so happy and blessed to be her trainee. She has taught me SO much. My other companion is Sister Xia! A lot of people in the MTC told me to find her when I go out in the field so i was super excited when I met her and found out she’s my companion! Sister Xia has been out for almost a month but she seems like she’s been out for much longer. She’s from Cheng Du China and graduated in NURSING! She was baptized four years ago with her mom and she is seriously beyond awesome. The first time I met her, she was incredibly shy so I was kind of nervous. But it was because we were with the APs and we were all speaking English so she didn’t really understand. Story of my life except Chinese haha. But once we got home and it was just us three, she got super excited and happy. Both of my companions are such good teachers. And I really know that Heavenly Father put us three together. It is no coincidence. We all have different personalities and there is definitely a language barrier but it’s been so good so far and I know it’ll get better. I think the thing I love most about my companions, Sister Huang and Sister Xia, is that they are shy, but EVERY time they talk to someone, whether that be an investigator, member, or someone they contact, they glow and get super excited. You can really tell how much they love being missionaries and how much they love those they work with. They are consecrated missionaries and I hope to be like them! And it’s also great because I have not only one, but two chinese teachers. And Sister Xia has two english teachers!
I’m in the Arcadia area right now. It covers Arcadia, Temple City, Pasedena, El Monte, Rosemead and i think that’s it… We are on bikes now so we usually only stay in Arcadia unless the elders drive us somewhere. But yeah, in the whole Arcadia mission, Chinese speaking only has 3 areas and one of them is an elders only area. So basically I know I’ll be transferred to the Alhambra area, it’s just a matter of when. My district are the missionaries from Arcadia (our trio and the zone leaders) and the ones from Alhambra (2 sisters and 4 elders). There’s also an Elder Huang so three Huangs in one district! Our zone is just our district plus the other 7 elders in the other area.
I serve in the Mountain View Ward. The five of us cover one small ward. Very small. But it’s a strong ward. The people are very loving and friendly and humble. You can tell they all want to serve to the best of their abilities. Also, we had a Chinese New Years party on Saturday so I got to meet a lot of members there! The party was awesome and a ton of our investigators came. Our district also sang a hymn as one of the performances. And then the next day before church, we called a lot of our investigators to remind them to come to church. But none of them showed up and it was super sad. But the Lord is GOOD and EIGHT of the investigators we didn’t get to call came! Sister Huang said that was a record! Also, yesterday, I did my first baptism invite. It was super rough because my Chinese hindered me a lot but my companions helped and we were able to set a date! Companions are a huge blessing. And once again, the Lord is so good!
Like I said, the language is rough. But it’s coming along! When I came out, I thought that I would be able to understand the majority of what people say, but being out in the field, I think I understand like 30-40%. But it’s okay because I have my companions and I have the Lord and it will come in due time through faith and hard work! It’s funny though because Sister Xia and the elders in my area always make fun of my for my Taiwanese accent and say I have to change it because most of the people here are from China…
The work here is going well. Although we can’t do door to door, we have a lot of ways to find new people. One our most successful ways is through our English class! Us missionaries hold an English class at our church building on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm and Saturday at 1:00. I think teaching English is one my favorite parts of the day because i get to utilize my English, Chinese and we also get to introduce them to our church. It’s so fun! And when we street contact, we give out flyers for our English class that also has the church’s name so we can introduce both to people.
Sorry I’m so sporadic during this email. There’s just so much to tell! I love being a missionary! There have definitely been very happy times and times when it’s been very frustrating. But the good times overrule the bad times all the time! There is so much for me to learn and so much for me to improve on and that’s exciting. Daunting but exciting. I have been blessed with amazing companions, an awesome ward, great district and a wonderful mission president. And of course, I am blessed with the knowledge that I have my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to rely on and help me through my hard times and weaknesses.
I love love you all! I am grateful for each one of you!
Sister Huang

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