On Wednesday, Elder Summers and I drove out to Ojai, a hippie town, to visit some less-active members. One of them had a little land and was raising a couple of 4-H calves, a pig and a few horses. They had a nice pig. After that visit, we saw a Prius that was stopped. We waited awkwardly for the lady to get out of her car so that we could offer to help. We asked if there was something we could do to help her. She casually said that we could help her lay sand bags in front of her place. We were dressed in our nice clothes, so she expected that we would hesitate or say no. When we accepted, she was super surprised and impressed. After checking that we wouldn't charge her and we wouldn't make her go to church, she accepted. She was worried about our clothes, but we told her that they were our work clothes. We got her place sand-bagged really good. She so appreciated our help. Linda was probably 50 or 60 and not very capable of lifting the heavy bags. She called us angels and said that she would always believe in the Mormons. We told her to believe in Christ instead. Her neighbor wasn't home, but he had all his bags set up in his driveway, so we decided that we would help him out and lay them down for him. Linda helped and could hardly contain the joy that she felt. Toward the end, it began to rain. When we finished, it was pouring. We didn't mind. My cup was overflowing with joy as we ran a quarter of a mile back to the truck. Serving others is really where we find the most joy.
Have you heard of El Nino? Well, we got sooo much rain on Wednesday and Thursday! There was a lot of flooding (that's why Linda needed our help). At one intersection we saw a gray Corvette stuck in probably 2 feet of water! The firetrucks and police were there to help get it out. We are alright, don't worry. We stocked up on canned food, rice, noodles, and other things just in case.
On Thursday, Elder Young, President and Sister Felix and I went through the process of a mock transfer so that we can be more prepared for this change. It took over five hours! President and Sister Felix took us out to eat after that. Wow! What a puzzle. We found out that we will not be able to use the trains because it is too expensive and complicated. So, we will have to be the train and drive up and down the mission picking up and dropping off missionaries as we go and meet at central points. It will be fun, but a challenge.
Here is some advice he gave Rowen and Lily that is good for everyone.
I hope you stand for right and don't support anything that goes against your standards. President Felix has taught us that if we question if something is wrong, then don't do it. He also said if it's awkward or uncomfortable, then get out! If you ever see a kid who doesn't have anyone to play with, will you please invite him or her to play with you. It's okay if they say "no", but it helps the other kid feel better.
May the spirit be with you :)