So the end of my MTC stay was good. I am glad to have left but I miss my district. The trip to California went well despite the fact that we had to wake up at 4 in the morning. We arrived in Oakland around ten in the morning and President Meredith picked us up there. He and his wife are super cool and super nice. We also met the AP's who are really cool guys. One is a Laotian speaker. Then we went to the mission home and did a bunch of administrative stuff, went to lunch, and walked around the temple for a while. Then we got assigned our companions and areas. My companion is Elder Schaeffer from Bel-Air Maryland. He is a great missionary, really obedient and hard working. This is his first time training so we are both learning. I was assigned to the Hilltop Second Ward, which covers a huge are at the top of the mission. Starting from the north and going down we cover: Crockett (across the bridge from Vallejo), Rodeo, Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond, and El Serido. So I am in a car and we have a lot of space to cover. It is an interesting area. We spend most of our time in Richmond, which is a bit ghetto. But I am having fun learning the area and driving across the area.
I'll briefly cover the first few days of my mission from here.
Wednesday we did all the stuff I told you about, and then went to our apartment. Then we had a couple hours to unpack or whatever we felt like according to President, but we decided to go tracting in the neighborhood across the street. It was actually not that bad! The first door I knocked got slammed in my face, but we got one potential investigator so it was alright. That was it for the night so we went to bed.
Thursday was my first actual missionary work, we visited a recent convert named Gerold. He was inactive like three months ago but he is super solid right now. It is really funny because he just talks about the most random stuff the entire time. I love him. On Sunday he took up like half of elders quorum doing the same thing. Elders quorum has only 5 people too including me and Elder Schaeffer so he pretty much dominates. Anyways, that night we just visited a few members and practice taught the restoration and then tracted a bit more. We got this one guy to listen to us for like 15 minutes but he went to some other church and wasn't interested in setting a return appointment. But he was cool and he asked to pray with us at the end, and we held hands and he rubbed my hand which was pretty weird but happens a lot apparently. Then we went home.
Friday I had my first experience in Richmond, we had a new missionary training in Oakland and then had a dinner in Richmond. Then we visited a less active and I had my first lesson with an actual investigator. After that we OYM'd McDonald, the main street in Richmond. OYMing is a key indicator that the mission tracks which is stands for Open Your Mouth. It is where you talk to someone and have a gospel conversation and leave them with an invitation, and the goal is to get 10 per day. They are tough but I like street contacting. Most people you can only leave with a pass along card and an invitation to visit mormon.org, and then like give a small testimony so it is easy. We are going back to McDonald tonight so that should be fun.
Saturday we spent like the entire day planning after doing some service in Concord. Usually we do not plan on Saturday but it was a weird week since I am new and it got bumped by training.
Sunday was fun. Church is pretty crazy. We have a lot of old people. The Bishop is really young though and he really focuses on missionary work which is good. That evening we went out to visit some people and I ended up giving out my first Book of Mormon and a couple of pamphlets which was sweet. I ended up with 4 legit OYMs which was good. Then today is P-Day and I finally got to go to the store and get food which was good.
We didn't do that much teaching last week but we have a lot scheduled for this week. I am excited to start teaching actual lessons and stuff. Lastly, if you want to send me mail, send it to the mission home with Elder Hyde on it and they will send it to me.