On the Topic of Change

Dearest family, friends, et. al.

We’ve had a most blessed week here in San Mateo County! We had lots of progress in the work, knocked on many doors, preached with boldness, and did many other necessary missionary tasks (including service for a 95 year old man who’s still going strong with life…he has a girlfriend and it’s kinda weird).

I hope you are all having a great day! I know I am…and, as per usual, I find myself sitting at a computer, not knowing where to start.

Me practicing calling sinners to repentance from a soap-box with an XL copy of the Book of Mormon. We don’t really do this in our work…obviously.

I think I’ll start by talking about the new investigators we found: Eric and Pamela. They are separate investigators, not a couple. Eric is a former gang member (we believe) who is just trying to help as many people as he can. He’s very giving and service-oriented and his beliefs are already pretty much in line with the Plan of Salvation. Pamela is an older woman who had been expecting us to come by for three weeks (she was a referral we received this week) and is suuuper open to learning. Her friend is a member who referred her and set a good Christlike example so she’s super open to learning.

I know I keep talking about how green it is here in San Mateo County, but I actually got some pictures of the area to show you this week. It’s very green and smells like eucalyptus all the time. Eucalyptus trees line a lot of the streets. Speaking of streets, the drivers here are nuts and super aggressive. Luckily, we don’t deal with super crazy drivers like in the city.

Elder Olone took this picture when I was driving. Eucalyptus trees lining the streets!

The people here are a cross between my first and second areas. They are much more receptive here than in the city, but still pretty closed to the message. But that’s quite alright. We are having success in finding people to teach, despite the close-mindedness of the people.

When I say close-mindedness, I refer to people with many false preconceived notions about our church. For example, someone (about two weeks ago) tried to tell us that we aren’t Christians because we worship an angel. I told him: 1) we are Christians, 2) we do not worship an angel, and 3) what angel are you even talking about? Anyway, after I told him that, he still didn’t believe me, an actual member of the church and representative who teaches the doctrines of the church. People don’t make sense. I don’t understand it.

But! That’s the exception, not the rule. People don’t have that exaggerated of misconceptions about the church very often. And a majority of people are kind, even if they are not interested.

Anyway, I digress. I want to talk a bit about something I have noticed being on a mission. When I was with Elder Forsyth, he said to me that “the mission transforms the missionary.” That is an entirely true statement, and I have been reflecting on it a lot since getting here.

I am no longer the same person I was before my mission. For a wise purpose, the Lord puts us all in places we need to be in order to grow and progress. The Lord is in charge of this work and directs mission presidents through revelation. I do not doubt that. From each of my areas and each of my companions I have grown in a way I never thought possible. At least, not at the speed in which I changed.

That all being said, deep down I’m still the same person. I will not come back a complete stranger. I’ve just noticed some deeper-than-expected and obvious changes in myself. For example, the Lord has allowed me to be much more comfortable with myself than I ever have been before. My social anxieties I grew up with no longer hinder me like they did. And y’know what? The Lord put me where I needed to be for that change to take place and I’m much happier because of it.

District activity last P-Day. We hiked a mountain in South San Francisco that overlooks our area.

Anyway, I love you all and hope you have a great week! Know this: the Lord loves you all and will bless you and help you grow if you let Him work in you and with you!

Keep the faith.
~Elder Pike

This mountain across the bay is Mt. Diablo. At the base of Mt. Diablo is my first area. It feels so very far away.IMG_7943
Another picture of our district activity.

Companionship reunion! Elder Barnett and I at the top of Sign Hill in SSF. Everything in the background is in my area.

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