Monday, August 5, 2013

Solvang = Danish for Sunny Field

Mom's note:  Jen sent a copy of a letter from the missionary department of the church indicating that her visa has not yet been approved, but they are doing everything possible to secure her visa.  In the meantime, they encourage her to work hard, remain focused and to be involved in all aspects of missionary work.

Hola familia!

I hope you are all still alive! I haven't gotten any letters from you. :( I'm not sure if you've done dearelder. I don't know how that works. I have gotten one from Aunt Kathy and one from Aunt Mary. Just send them to the mission home and they will forward them to me. I'll send you more info about my address in a real letter because I forgot the paper that tells me my address and how to send packages (not that I expect any but just in case).

Email time is cut in half between you and my mission president so I'll have to learn to only tell you the most important things.

I am in a town called Solvang. It is a little Danish town that looks like it is in the middle of Disneyland or Gilmore Girls or some crazy movie.

Picture of Solvang from the internet

Another picture from the internet.
Jen's pictures did not come.
It's basically insane though. I love it. It gets pretty cold at night but hot during the day. It's very touristy and there are all sorts of little pastry shops (we're planning on trying one today) and random stores along the main road (There is a picture-if it sends-of a Christmas all year long store. Isn't that awesome! I thought Nicole would appreciate that.) They also have lights on the trees that they light up every night. Seriously G squared status. (Mom's note, for those that don't know, that is another Gilmore Girl's reference.)

My companion is Sister Cannon from South Jordan, Utah (she is actually in Bishop Buckner's ward). She has been out for about six months. She is great. She went to BYU for a while studying psychology.

There are four hemanas here in our town/ward and not a lot of Spanish work. Hermana Wright and Hermana Tokalogi (might be spelled wrong) are the other sisters. They are both from Hawaii and Hermana Tokalogi flew on the plane with me and is waiting for her VISA to ARG as well.

The whole ward is English speaking and so far we've spoken to maybe two or three people in Spanish. Therefore, I'm loving teaching in English but my Spanish is suffering. I'm working on speaking Spanish with Hermana Cannon on our own time but it's hard because it's just so much easier to speak English. She is completely fluent. She studied it a lot in high school, lived in Spain as a foreign exchange student and lived in Spanish housing at BYU. She can help a lot but it's hard when she can speak so much better with everyone we talk to. I'm working on it though.

To answer your question Dad, one of the mission couple elders was waiting for us at the airport when we got in. I don't think they were upset we were late as it wasn't our fault.

We have a car (I won't drive because I wasn't asked to send in a driving record or anything else). It's a Chevy Malibu, but it's kind of messy on the inside (dang elders lol). Our areas are half of Solvang, Ballard, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos. The other hermanas have half of Solvang and Buellton.

Oh random fact: Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch or whatever it was called is in my area and the Bachelor mansion is in my mission. Que que!?

We have one family of investigators that are really promising. The dad, Carl, called the Elders who were here in the area on Monday and said he is ready to commit. We met with him and his son Woody (10) on Thursday and he, woody and his girlfriend Dawn came to church yesterday. We then had an awesome lesson in a member's home with them that evening. The spirit was so strong and the member's 12 year old son was awesome at sharing his testimony. That family was sooo cool and the lesson went really well. I'm hoping we have a baptismal date with them soon. We can't meet again until Sunday because Dawn works until late every night but we will stop by and maybe read with Carl and Woody (Carl is on disability for back issues and has a hard time reading).

The members are wonderful! They have all been so nice. I definitely appreciate missionary meals. (You should feed the missionaries). FYI I might have to use more of my debit card money this month. $140 isn't a lot of money for food especially when the only thing we had when we got here was some cup of soup and ant filled cereal. I also had to buy another pillow and blanket, shampoo and conditioner etc. My blow dryer also died and I may have killed my companions so I need to buy one for each of us. Sorry to use all my money. I'll be a better budgeter later.

There is a Cecil Millet (pronounced a little differently) who is the stake patriarch. I think we're related somehow.

Also, a little girl gave me some paper flowers at church. Her mom told us she has been praying for sister missionaries to come to the area for a while.

Ah! I'm almost out of time! Will you edit all my mistakes!? I'm so sorry! I promise I know how to write!

My pics won't attach. :( Sorry

LOVE You! Write more in a real letter.

Love Jen

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