On Tuesday we had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) in Oxnard. Before MLC we had a breakfast at the mission home. They made us super good waffle treat things (Eggo waffle, carmel, Eggo waffle, dulce de leche, peaches, strawberries, whipped cream) Yum! That morning was crazy though. We had a lot to do and we actually had to drive one of Santa Barbara's cars to the meeting so that it could get some work done on it. Needless to say, we planned on getting up at 4:50am so that everything would run smoothly and we could get to Ventura on time. We woke up that morning to our usual 6:17am alarm! No shower, no prayer even :( (first time in a long time that I hadn't prayed before I left the apartment or home). We ended up making it to the breakfast right on time. Traffic was pretty good. I realized later that day that something was off. Then I remembered that I forgot to pray formally. I had some silent prayers on the way down but nothing formal. At that moment I repented and prayed. The day/meeting went much better after that point. Elder King and I led a discussion on teaching the Plan of Salvation simply. One big thing that we emphasized was teaching the doctrines found in Preach My Gospel instead of telling the story of the Plan of Salvation. I thought it went really well.
After MLC we had exchanges with the Assistants. I stayed in Ventura with Elder Young. I really needed that. We were led by the spirit to be at the right place at the right time to help a less-active lady from one of the the Ventura family wards move. We had no idea she lived there and had we not been there, the ward/missionaries wouldn't not have been able to contact her at her new address. She was throwing away a bunch of Mormon books. I grabbed 2 copies of "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" which I will be keeping in my luggage or sending home. I forgot them in Ventura, so I will get them in a couple of weeks at Zone Conference! I know Mom really likes that book. I do. It is one of my favorite books!
This week has been really good. We have a couple of new investigators: Phillip, who likes comic books, video games and FRIENDS. His mother was a member of the church. She died a month ago. Phillip has a slight mental disability because of an accident when he was young. He is really searching for something (the gospel) in his life. We gave him the Children's Book of Mormon. (We told him that it was the comic book version of the Book of Mormon) and he was already almost 100 pages into the Children's BOM when we saw him again on Sunday! Also, a guy named Justin walked up to us on Sunday after sacrament meeting and told us he is just checking the church out. He stayed the full 3 hours. He told us afterwards that he used to go to the Calvary SLO, but he feels there is something missing in his life. He said he is almost thirty and he still feels "off" or he feels like life is short and he needs to put God as a priority. Also a friend of his recently passed away and he wants to know what happens after this life. Justin is someone we would call. . . PREPARED! We also learned of an investigator moving to SLO from Fresno on Wednesday. She sounds super solid.
All in all, things are pretty good!
As for my 1st year reflection . . . I have learned so much this last year. Like I mentioned in my first call home, the first thing I learned was how much I don't know. I thought I knew the scriptures. I thought I understood the Atonement. I thought I knew how to repent. I thought I knew how to listen to the spirit. I thought I knew how to help people with their problems. Well, I did know how, but I relearned those things and it humbled me.
I've run out of time to write you, but there will be more next week. I love you all. May the spirit be with you.
The number of missionaries now serving in the California Ventura Mission:
27 English Sisters and 26 Spanish Sisters
81 English Elders and 17 Spanish Elders
Total of 151 Missionaries