Alone in the Inner City

Hello everyone!

What a week it has been here in San Francisco. I don’t really know where to start. We were very busy all week, despite the fact that almost all our plans fell through. It’s weird how busy we are here.

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A great view of the city and the Bay Bridge. The uneven streets allow for a ton of views like this all over the city.

That’s right, I did just say that almost all our plans fell through. It was a rough week in that regard and I am a little frustrated because of it. Missionary work in the city is different. It’s hard and people are not so welcoming here. The work here is difficult, lonely, and painful even, but it’s a lot of fun and absolutely rewarding when we do see success here.

So is it worth it? Most definitely. Am I exhausted? Absolutely. How about my stress level? It’s through the roof.

But that’s alright because these things are what give us experience. Difficulty brings growth and trials bring results. The whole purpose of the Plan of Salvation is just that, is it not? We are here to learn and grow. It wasn’t meant to be easy, but it was meant to be worth it in the end.

Now, I also said it is very lonely in the city. Why is it lonely? I’ve never met people with such absurd work schedules before. The members, investigators, and everyone else work obscenely long hours and never have a chance to so much as blink here. Missionary work without members gets very difficult because they help us fellowship the people we teach. They also provide emotional support and the help we need to keep going when the going gets rough. We currently do not have that here (there are some member trust issues we are having to work with that some recent missionaries left behind).

In addition to that, the other missionaries are very far away. We sometimes see the Chinese Elders, but not very often. Being able to see other missionaries from time to time is refreshing and we do not have that here either. Missionary work in the city is very impersonal. It’s very lonely here. Funny how you can be surrounded by people and feel completely alone like that.

Regardless of all that, though, I am loving my time here! It’s a very fun, very exciting work environment! There is just a little bit of an adjustment to make from where I just came from and Elder Barnett and I are working very hard to overcome these barriers and make the work run a little bit smoother here in the city.

Now, despite the less-than-positive tone of this email, San Francisco is a lot of fun to work in! We are crazy busy and talk to so many people every day. Every culture that exists in the world exists in this city. I’ve heard every language you can name and seen every type of person you can think of here. We meet some of the most interesting people and some of the craziest people here, and we get a good workout in every day walking up and down these hills.

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We have copies of the Book of Mormon in all these languages in our apartment. We have to call and request some in French today for a potential investigator of ours which will add to this pile.

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Elder Barnett and I out for service in the Presidio, a massive forest in the middle of the city.

I look forward to this coming week. Elder Barnett and I have very thorough plans so we don’t run into the same problems as last week where everything fell though. It’ll be great.

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

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We get a lot of Chinese food here in Chinatown because it’s cheap, delicious, and convenient when we don’t have time to travel all the way back home for meals.

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Here’s an idea of what the Presidio looks like. It was VERY foggy the other day when we were there. In fact, I was probably about 300-something feet away from the Golden Gate Bridge this day, but the fog was so thick that I couldn’t even see it.

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Me, pretending to be bigfoot. #whatatool

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