(remembering beautiful Malibu)
Family and friends,
Oh my goodness, this place is just buzzing with excitement from the news of the lowered age requirement for full-time missionaries! I can't believe it! I had a seminary teacher once that read a phoney first presidency letter announcing that the age for young women was being lowered to 19. I was so excited and then very upset when I learned that he was kidding. He was funny, a little cruel, and come to find out not too far off! When President Monson was announcing the new policy for young men we were all just on the edge of our seats knowing that he would say something about sisters as well. We thought that perhaps he would extend the sisters time to two years and were surprised by the actual announcement. Awestruck I just said, " What..." and then, "How did I miss that by two years?" Sister Jones looked at me excitedly and proclaimed "Jesus is coming!"(We were all thinking it). And then explained that if her sister chooses to serve her family will have 3 missionaries out at once! Wow! Upon further reflection I realized what that would mean for my own little brother and how crazy it is that he could leave so soon and also how strange it will be when I get home and girls from the ward that I would fully expect to be in college could be gone on missions by the time I get home. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it all. We are all betting on when our first 19 yr old will arrive. I'm guessing January at the earliest, but S. Jones is pulling for December. I guess I should talk about something else now... I could go on and on.
This week has been great. Richard came to the last session of conference and while he did think it was long and maybe a little intense afterward he said "this is all upsetting my life! The crazy thing is that I know what it's going to take and I still want to do it." He hasn't said he will be baptized, but he mentions it and knows that it's where he is heading. I guess his wife gives him the stink eye if he ever talks about his investigation of the church and (we haven't even taught this yet) he doesn't think she'll be on board with tithing, but he has a lot of faith and we are promising him blessings like crazy and praying our hearts out that his wife's heart will be softened. Susan has been really sick this week and we were only able to meet with her once. She doesn't really go out and so we're foreseeing a bit of a challenge getting her to church three times before her baptismal date. So every week for the next three weeks.
Because of the Visitors' Center and general conference I haven't actually attended my new ward yet and I won't next week either. it's stressing me out just a little that i haven't really met any members yet, although we have been to ward council and coordination meetings. Still, the few members that i have met are great and I can see that Marina del Rey is more of a melting pot than Malibu. Surprise! We have this sweet recent convert in our ward named Crescencio and he fed us Filipino food. It was delicious! He made us adobo which I recognized because dad makes it and he was very excited to hear that my dad served in the Philippines. He is seriously adorable. He shuffled up to me the first time I met him and said, " I always pick a feature to remember the missionaries by." Then he pressed his pointer fingers into his cheeks and said. "Sister Dimples is Sister Davis."
The visitors' center has been fun lately and especially exciting since the announcement. We had a non-member man come in while conference was being shown whose name was Joseph Smith. Needless to say he was highly confused... Otherwise everything is going well. We are praying our guts out to find a family to teach and bring into the gospel.
Love you all!