Sketching Things Out

Hi all!

This week was eventful to say the least! We did a lot of finding again, taught some people, and went on exchanges. We also helped out at senior centers for service, as well as journeyed out to the smallest town in the mission.

Our finding efforts weren’t entirely unfruitful this week! We found a new investigator named Julio! He’s a pretty nice guy and loves the idea of modern prophets. He seems like he may be fairly solid as an investigator! Hopefully this goes well!

I don’t know if I mentioned Menkaure last week. We started teaching him last Sunday. He lives out in Oakley and was meeting with the sisters in the family ward there, but they passed him off to us last week. He’s a pretty interesting guy. Loves to study religion, but solely for the purpose of learning, not acting on any faith. Also, he’s a pharaoh. Not sure where meeting with him will go.

On exchanges this week, I was able to work with Elder Struve in the Spanish program. Elder Struve’s a pretty cool guy. The best word to define him is “clever”. He’s really clever with his sense of humor and I had a lot of fun working with him. I didn’t understand much of what happened that day since most of it was in Spanish in his area, but it went well enough! I don’t really have anything notable to comment on from that day.

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Exchanges with the Spanish Elders! Elder Struve is the one on the far right.

Our Ward Mission Leader lives in a small super-rich community outside of Brentwood called Discovery Bay. There’s canals out there that run through everyone’s backyards there. It’s that rich. Our WML had us over for dinner and he made pulled pork from a wild hog he hunted himself. I can never go back to regular pulled pork again… Anyway, on our way out we made a detour to visit a semi-active member who lives in Byron, California.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned Byron before, but it’s the smallest town in our mission and is out in the middle of nowhere, amidst farms and cows and power lines. It’s a strange place, but kinda neat. We had an odd visit there.

Today, we went on a hike up to the Black Diamond Mines above Antioch! It’s suuuper green out there this time of year! The trails lead up to some old mines that have been shut down for a long time, and they do tours in them (but they were closed today). Apparently, the mines are haunted, as well as a lone cemetery up in the middle of nowhere, but it was neat to get the view of Antioch and the green hills surrounding it! Our whole zone went for a zone activity.

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The whole Antioch zone up at Black Diamond Mines today.

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Elder K and I. We’re pretty much the goofiest zone leaders in this mission. I’m surprised the zone hasn’t burnt down yet.

On another note, completely, last night was one of the weirdest nights of my mission. We went to contact some potentials in Antioch. Keeping in mind that Antioch is a pretty ghetto town (it’s pretty bad), I learned a lot about the power of the Spirit last night. When we got to the homes of two of the potentials, the second we stepped out of the car, we both immediately felt very on-edge and uncomfortable. We don’t know why, but it happened with both people. The second we got out, things were weird and we could feel the Spirit withdrawing in such a way as to help us be safe. I don’t know why it happened, but it was a very real, very sudden feeling. It was pretty sketchy (Don’t worry Mom, I’m completely safe, I promise!).

As I’ve served out here in California, I’ve learned so much about the Spirit, but this night, to me, was a big lesson on how the Spirit functions. It functions, mostly, through thoughts, feelings, and impressions, and it was clear to feel that last night. VERY clear. Always remember those three things. They are key to understanding the Spirit, and were key to helping us last night.

So, that’s about how our week went. Nothing super exciting, but we did do a lot. We’re going on exchanges with the APs tonight. Hopefully, I’ll have some cool stories to report on from Oakland next week.

I love you all! Have a great week!
~Elder Pike

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