A Letter From Lombard Street


Hello everyone!

This has been a CRAZY week. CRAAAZY. I served in five different wards (and if you can’t tell by that picture I got emergency transferred to the very heart of San Francisco)! Lemme ‘splain:

So, this week started off as any other (serving in Clayton Valley 2nd and 3rd ward), and then on Wednesday we had exchanges with our zone leaders, so I spent the day in the Walnut Creek YSA ward with Elder Apostolos. In the middle of our studies on Wednesday morning we got a call from President Frandsen and he was looking forme:

Me: “Hello, President! How are you today?
President Frandsen: “Good. I need to transfer you to San Francisco, and I need you there in 24 hours.”
Me: “…”

I wish I was exaggerating, but that was literally the conversation I had. It was half a minute long and highly unexpected. So… Yeah. I am now serving in the most coveted English ward of the mission: the Golden Gate ward. Mostly everything about San Francisco that comes to mind when you think of San Francisco is in my area (it’s very large). We cover the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Pacific Heights, and about half of downtown San Francisco. It’s NUTS.

Bein’ goofy on the eighth floor of some apartment building in the city.

Honestly, I’m still taking it in because the work is so different over here. I went from the epitome of suburbia to the middle of one of the largest cities in the nation. The people are different, the culture is different, the environment is entirely different. Heck, the language might as well be different too! I’m writing this from the middle of Chinatown (what a joke, hah) and I really don’t understand about 75% of what’s outside in my immediate surroundings.

As for the fifth ward I was in? We had exchanges planned here too, so I spent a day with my new district leader, Elder Oborn, down in the south city (pretty much everything from South San Francisco down to San Mateo).

Anyway, this week has been insane. I might as well be in a different mission! Here, lemme ‘splain again: our mission is (unofficially) divided into three big areas: the peninsula (San Francisco, San Mateo, Daly City, Half Moon Bay), everything on the coast of the bay (Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, San Leandro, Hayward), and everything east of the tunnel (Concord, Walnut Creek, Antioch, Brentwood). It’s divided that way socially. Everybody in each area does not know any of the missionaries in the other areas because there is a large geographic barrier between them all. The missionaries on the peninsula in particular are a mystery to everyone else. In fact, whenever anyone would be transferred from the peninsula to the east bay, nobody on the east bay ever knew who they were because there is no contact between the two, ever.

That being said, I might as well be in a different mission because I do not know any of the missionaries over here, really. I went from being surrounded by missionaries and members I knew and was very close to being surrounded by complete strangers. It’s been an interesting week.

This not-so-strange stranger is my new companion, Elder Barnett!

I wish I had a spiritual thought, as I usually do, but my head is spinning still from the events of this week. I’m super excited to be smack in the middle of San Francisco. The work is very challenging here, but very rewarding when we do have success. It’s very fast-paced, but very fun. I look forward to my time here, no matter how long or short it may be.

Hope you all have a great week! I love you all!
~Elder Pike

Yes, that little island by my head is Alcatraz. Technically, we cover Alcatraz in my area, but… Not really, hahah.

Saying goodbye to Dave and Sarah (the best people ever!) in Clayton Valley 3rd. They also own a Polaroid camera, so I have a similar picture on a little Polaroid photo, so that’s cool!

Due to language barriers, I carry a Mandarin Chinese Book of Mormon on me regularly. Fun stuff.

The Presidio in our area is basically is a jungle in the middle of the city. Wut.

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