Welcome to the Yawk

Hi everyone!

I have arrived in my new area, Antioch YSA. Antioch is the far end of the mission here so I’m pretty cut off from the rest of the mission. The Concord hills between Antioch and Concord create a small separation from the rest of the mission, and then the whole Antioch zone is cut off from the surrounding areas by the Delta. It kinda feels like being out in Cache Valley because of the isolation.

Saying goodbye to Elder Scholes. I’ll miss this guy.

Our zone is made up of four major towns: Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley, and Brentwood. Being in the YSA, we cover the whole zone. Half of it is pretty shady. Antioch and Pittsburg are kinda run down and Antioch is known as “Little Oakland” by some people. Oakley and Brentwood are the opposite. They are really nice and pretty well-off, and most of Brentwood is farmland. It’s just open country for miles on end. On the far reaches of the zone, there’s hundreds of windmills and open sky. It’s a shock to be here now because I spent so long in the congestion of the city and its suburbs, but it’s really nice. I love this area, and it’s nickname in the mission is kinda funny: “the Yawk”.

Anyway, enough about the area. My new companion is Elder Khamvongsouk (or Elder K for short). He is from Akron, Ohio, and he is Laotian-American. He served in the Laotian program for a big-chunk of his mission here, and he arrived in the mission the same transfer I did. Elder K is super cool. We connected really fast and get along super well. He’s super quirky, but really mature. We have a lot in common. It’ll be a fun transfer working with this guy!

Elder Khamvongsouk and I. Sorry, we ate fried chicken for lunch.

This week we didn’t get to do a whole lot of work. We were busy doing administrative work for the zone. My first week as a zone leader was kinda weird because of all the paper work we have to do and all the assistance we had to give to missionaries for transfers since we are so far from the mission home. It kept us pretty busy.

In addition, we were allowed to watch two movies on New Year’s Eve since we couldn’t go out and proselyte. Our mission president was talked into allowing us to watch Star Wars Episode VII, which was pretty sweet. His wife talked him into it. Funny stuff. So that’s how we spent our New Year’s Eve here.

The whole zone gathered together to watch movies on New Year’s Eve. You’ll notice my son, Elder Castillo, whom I finished training three months ago, got transferred out here, as well.

I don’t have too much to say I guess, besides explaining where I’m at. Things are hectic and this new area is great! I look forward to working with Elder K this transfer and serving the missionaries in this zone. It’ll be an excellent opportunity to learn and grow.

Thank you all for your support! I love you all! Have a great week!
~Elder Pike

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