Date

April 24, 2017

Area

Santa Clara, CA, USA

Companion

Sister Huang

Kaylene's April 24, 2017 Letter

Well yep it sure sounds like you have had quite the week at home fighting between work and being sick.

See I never understood why it took months for people to do mission papers. If you want them done you get do it in just a couple of weeks. Haha mission prep. Well my excuse is he doesn't have to chose between dinner at granny's and mission prep like the rest of us did. Yeah the waiting game can sure be a fun one. But hey it's only a transfer.

Well let me tell ya my experiences for the past week have been way different than you all (or I) thought. Mainly because it didn't click in my brain until Tuesday morning that the Cupertino ward is not just another family ward...

So yes I'm in YSA again. This one they call a ward but it is still super small. Especially when it comes to institute and what not. I am used to the big institute dinners down in San Jose not these tiny little things. I swear there are more missionaries there than anyone. I am still not a big fan of YSA wards so that's probably why I am here cause guess where I get the privilege of going when I get home.

As for the Cupertino ward....yeah that's a Chinese ward so absolutely everything is in Mandarin. Well guess who has never learned another language in her life and is now being told to learn Mandarin of all languages. If I got pulled into another language I just assumed it would be Tongan because I have had some experience with that but nope Chinese it is.

So needless to say with those being our wards our area is rather large and we actually live in Santa Clara. I have now connected the dots. When I was in Livermore being an STL I kinda covered from the mission boarder there down to my Milpitas area. Which with the YSA and what not covered that down through San Jose. Now you draw a line straight over from San Jose and that's where I'm at and I cover from there up pretty well into my first area which again is the mission boarder. So I know this tiny little portion of the mission pretty well while the south is a foreign country.

We share both of our wards with Elders. I'm not used to sharing wards and work so it sure is fun trying to coordinate who is going to visit who and what not. And of course it is 2 different sets of elders.

Both wards are rather small and even though sister Huang has been here for a while she doesn't seem to know like anyone. So I've just printed off ward lists and am grouping them into areas and we will probably just drop by everyone active or not. It shouldn't take too long to do it either.

Of course like always I get sent to an area where the area book needs a good clean up as well as the apartment. And in this case their phone as they didn't change their contacts before they transferred them over to the new phone so they are completely messed up. And of course they already handed in the old phone so now I have to go through the phone with LDS tools as well as areabook and try and figure it out. Of course that's fun with the Chinese people as in half of the records it has their Chinese name and the other half are their English names. I also had to pull some strings and track down a mission phone roster too. So yeah that project will be a headache and a half.

As for people to actually teach well I guess it is a baby step ahead of my last area. But they still don't have a lot. And those few we have are at beginning stages and are looking a little flaky. So we will see.

And of course covering two wards that are tiny and are YSA and Chinese well let's just say dinners are non existent. We have to cook every day. Needless to say I'm glad I saved up my MSF throughout the mission cause I just spent the most I ever have on groceries.

As for companionship oh boy. This will be an adventure. It's especially super hard after leaving sister Gibson who is my all time favorite. It's hard as she is from Taiwan and super shy. The cultural and language barriers are so real. It's super hard. Honestly I feel like I'm whitewash training STL all over again. Like she's super sweet and everything but I just feel like if I want to get anything done I have to drag her along. I have to be the one to plan what to do and who to see. I have to be the one that tells her what to teach and how to teach it because she doesn't know. Even if the lesson will be 100% in Mandarin I have to come up with the whole thing in English and then have her teach it. She is so quiet it's like pulling teeth to get her
to talk. Her big thing is she visa waited in Taiwan and then spent 9 weeks in the MTC and is now here. (She only has 5 months left) Well she had sister smith as her first comp here and then sister staley both of which she did not enjoy. And then she had sister Brown and that was okay. But then she got sister carter and that went downhill again real quick. So yeah all she tells me is her issues with those three comps all of which have been my comps at some point. And last transfer she got in a fight with sister carter and just walked out of the apartment. So yeah president has pretty well told me that while I'm here for the people my big reason in being here is my companion.

So yeah I have also learned that it is super frustrating to sit in a lesson and not speak the language. When you only kinda sorta know what's going on and are just hoping that your comp is covering everything. Then there are those frustrating moments when they don't. Like when before you go in it's like okay we need a return appointment and they forget to ask for one... I just hate being silent and not being able to teach. First of all I'm never silent in general and then to be this far on my mission and feel like the greenie that doesn't know how to teach sucks. Especially when I have been working so hard these past few months trying to get to where we could actually teach. I mean I've done it for a day here and there on exchanges in the Spanish program and what not but even then it is easier to tell what's going on rather than Mandarin and this is going to be a lot longer than 24hrs or even a week.

My mission has given me many opportunities to learn patience but this is taking it to a whole new level.

What else happened this week oh yeah saying good bye to sister Gibson sucked. It was funny as President was like watching us all transfer meeting just waiting for us to cry. Actually our whole zone and pretty well anyone that knew us were just watching us waiting seeing as no one has seen either one of us cry haha. We like would not leave each other's side and were prolonging goodbye as long as possible. I'm not gonna lie when sister Huang first showed up our hearts sunk a bit knowing that we really weren't comps anymore. President came over to talk to us for a bit and kinda give me a run down on as to why I was magically going mandarin speaking and on my comp. (I'm beginning to see a pattern almost every transfer meeting he pulls me a side and says okay your new comp has been struggling so go fix it.) There at the end when sister Gibson and I hugged each other goodbye sister Gibson lost it. We look up and see this whole circle of people around us just staring. Sister Gibson wipes away her tears and says "I'm not crying" to which one of the elders goes "of course not it's just allergies". All I can say is I'm so excited for Wednesday because it's MLC and I'll get to see her again :) I know we have to love our new comps. and all that stuff but sister Gibson and I will always have a special relationship. I couldn't have made it through Livermore without her.

So yeah long story short I have a ridiculously long list of things to do to clean up and get this area going, a new language to learn (I wish I had more time to put into that one), and a comp to train on somethings and somehow "save her mission"....joy.... I may be slowly or not so slowly dying.

I hope you have a great week!

Love ya
Sister Doig




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