Monday, July 28, 2014

From Trash to Treasure

Another week in the blossoming metropolis of Hesperia, CA.  We continue to boldly forge through this mysterious country known as the "High Desert."  In very few missions do you have to deal with culture shock when you get transferred from one area to another, but the Rancho Cucamonga mission is just special like that.  It's always a big transition when you move from the valley to the desert or vice versa, but it's almost always a good transition.

This week our stake had its Pioneer Day activity.  I'm proud to say that I bested many in various feats of strength, most of which required lots of pulling or tugging things.  Too bad the pioneers didn't have Magic, that probably would've kept them more entertained.  I also got the chance to shake a little plastic container of cream into butter, but then at the last minute when I was about to open it and enjoy the hard earned fruits of my labor I accidentally let it slip and it got everywhere.  That was a sad point of my mission.

Tender mercy of the Lord: One of my good missionary friends who I spent three transfers with in Chino, Sister Toolan, was transferred out of Chino two transfers before I was.  She's here in Hesperia and though we're not in the same zone we DO share the same church building, so Elder Brown and I get to see her and her companion (who's also pretty legit) fairly often.  I've included pictures of the three of us.  By the way, in that picture of us and Sister Toolan she looks super awkward and it totally looks like we're super lame and creepy elders that forced a girl to take a picture with us.  But I want ALL OF YOU to know that Sister Toolan LITERALLY threatened to kill us if we left the Pioneer Day activity without a picture.  So it was totally her idea.

Speaking of Elder Brown, he's dang good at taking pictures of me.  I've included a picture that he took of me riding my bike along the road.  He took that picture WHILE HE WAS RIDING HIS BIKE AS WELL.  That's crazy!  We've been compiling an "action shot" series of me while on my mission and it's turning out fairly well.

While wandering through the desert we found a pile of trash and I used some of it to turn me into a modern day stripling warrior.  Pictures are included for your enjoyment.  Also, by that pile of trash there's never ANYONE, especially cars.  Yet while I donned my armor THREE different cars passed by.  That was pretty embarrassing.

The California aqueduct runs smack through the middle of our area.  So anytime we want to cross our area we have to bike through the undeveloped desert, find a gap in the barbwire fence, throw our bikes and ourselves under it, find a bridge that crosses the aqueduct, lower our bikes into the four foot pits that guard the bridges, lift them out again to cross the bridge, and then repeat the whole process except in reverse when we get to the other side.  It's quite an adventure.  But as we were crossing the aqueduct we actually ran into a group of kids sidling along the side of the bridge, which is weird because you NEVER see anyone by the aqueduct.  I made a joke to them that when they fell in I wanted pictures and they stopped us and asked us what religion we are.  We told them that we were Mormons and they said they wanted to ask us some questions.  So we hopped off the aqueduct and were able to teach them about the Restoration which was super good.  They all took copies of the Book of Mormon but most of them were just visiting from out of town so we won't be the ones teaching them.  It was super cool!

Fun fact: I am scheduled to fly home exactly one year from today.  Get ready, everyone.  The time is not far from my triumphant return.

For all you future missionaries out there: Want to be a good missionary?  Be a good home teacher/visiting teacher.  Home teaching is just missionary work to members and missionary work is just home teaching to non-members.  Also learn how to make LOTS of small talk.  I find testifying of the Gospel to be easy, it's the small talk on the streets that's harder.

Have a great week!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

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