Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Hike To The HOLLYWOOD Sign

Hello! The missionaries have a mean joke they do to the new missionaries in Los Angeles. There are airplanes constantly flying over us, so the older missionaries ask the younger missionaries how far away the plane is, and the new missionaries say "hmmm, I don't know, maybe 4 miles", then the older missionaries say "no, IT'S 2 YEARS AWAY" hahahahaha they did it to me. Very mean. Now we ask Elder Hopoate how far away the planes are and they are less than a month for him! He will be leaving us on the 18th of August. Too bad for him. He will be missing out on some awesome missionary work!

The work is going really well here. We teach a lot of female Latinas. Dad said he taught male Latinos, but they are always at work for us, so it's usually the wife who we teach. We had a really really awesome experience this past week!!!! There is a recent convert we have been teaching. She is probably in her 60's, and she has a son who passed away in 1997. She is a really awesome, faithful convert, and when she found out about baptisms for the dead, she really wanted the work done for her son. She got the name ready for him and everything and we were able to go to the temple with her for her first time ever, and we were able to see a returned missionary in our ward be baptized for her son! It was so awesome! She was soooo happy that her son was able to receive baptism, even though he was passed away already. The Spirit was very strong, and my testimony of work for the dead was strengthened. Now he will be ready waiting for her when she passes away. The work is moving forward!

On Sunday we had four people who have baptismal dates who didn't come to church. It was a bummer. It is really hard to get people to come to church sometimes! Especially since so many people here don't have cars or they work on Sundays. But hopefully this next Sunday they will be able to come. The recent convert, walks about 2 miles to church each week because she wants to go so bad. She is very faithful.

Oh yeah, I have a new companion! I forgot to tell you! His name is Elder Cruz, and he is a Latino from Boston, Massachusetts! He is half Puerto Rican, and half Dominican Republic. He is a pretty awesome person. He is really short and speaks fluent English and Spanish! It is really nice to have him around. We still have Elder Hopoate too. We are in a trio until he leaves in August! It is really fun being in a trio. I am still in the same area, Jefferson Park.

Yesterday we had a really awesome preparation day! The Assistants to the President, some other elders, and our companionship went up to the HOLLYWOOD sign! It was pretty awesome! We drove up through Hollywood and hiked up the mountain (it's really a hill), and we went up to the very top and we could see the city to the north, which is another mission! We could see the Animation center for Disney productions, and we could see the graveyard that Michael Jackson was buried in haha! Anyway, so we hiked up to the top and we could see the city of L.A., Hollywood, Santa Monica, and the city north. I guess people call the northern city "The Valley", but I don't know it's real name. We couldn't go touch the HOLLYWOOD sign though. There are fences around it and everything, and it's against the law to cross them. But we were just up the hill from it. It is REALLY BIG. The letter are HUGE! On a clear day you can see the sign from miles and miles away. I can see it from my area sometimes.When we went up it was a really really smoggy day, so downtown L.A. wasn't really visible haha. We saw wildlife too! There were lizards and we even saw a snake!

That is pretty awesome that Alesha is going to the Dominican Republic! Elder Cruz says it is tropical there! He has been there a lot before. Alesha sounds like she is having an awesome summer!

Funny story. The other day we were eating at a member's house, and she made us a cucumber juice. It was pretty nasty! We didn't really like it, but I drank mine anyway. But my companions couldn't put it down, so when the sister wasn't in the room they poured it back into the pitcher!!! Hahaha! I'm pretty sure that's a transgression! Haha Elder Hopoate said it tasted like she took a cucumber salad with Italian dressing and put it in the blender! It was salty too. Haha

The Merrell camp sounds like a ton of fun! I'm pretty sure I've been to that lake before on a scout camp with Brother Collett. It's very nice up there, and I believe there is a forest fire watch tower up there too. It's a big white wooden tower. We tried convincing the younger scouts that there were snipes up there and that we should go snipe hunting hahaha, it didn't really work out though. I really hope everything works out well with moving and everything. That would be really awesome to move up to Dry Fork! Oh, and mom, you can e-mail me Tyler and David's e-mails. That is allowed. I'm just not able to receive anything directly from people other than immediate family. But we are allowed to communicate to others through our family, so you can just forward their e-mails to me if you would like. That is the same for anybody else too.

Well, I love you all very much. The work is going forth very well. I will work hard to do the Lord's work well. It makes me happy to know that I have such a strong, large family to support me while I'm out here. Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador, y por medio Su Expiacion, podemos vivir juntos despues esta vida. Yo se que Dios nos ama. Vivimos in el ultimo dispensacion, y la obra de Dios progresera. LES AMO mi familia. Vayan a con Dios, y tendran la vida eterna!

Con Amor,

Elder Ross Watkins

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