Welcome to my weekly letter page! I am serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Sacramento, California.

Monday, January 30, 2012


It's been a crazy week.
Tuesday Harral and I headed "upcountry." We cover a number of small communities in the hills, about 2-3 thousand feet elevation. We found Pardee Lake, and drove over the dam (picture). I love working upcountry, it's so pretty. There's lots of big trees and green hills and rocks. I like rocks.
On Wednesday we had exchanges with our district leaders, Boeke and Jones. Boeke came to our area and stayed the night at our apartment, and Harral went with Jone's in theirs. Boeke's a cool guy! He's from Georgia, plays football and lifts weights (he could bench 600 lbs at his peak!), and likes to cook. He can cook some real good southern grub. He's going to make us some biscuits and gravy sometime. Because both of us are really new to the area, we used up a lot of our monthly allotment of miles on Wednesday. Ooops.
On Thursday our zone leaders called and told us that the whole mission is called to a conference in Stockton on Friday. We had to be in our best Sunday suits, hairs parted, shoes shined, the whole deal. Backpacks NOT allowed. (FYI, our whole mission never gathers at the same time for anything, so this is crazy) I figured it was something about our mission president because he's been in the hospital so long and he just got transfered to SLC.
On Friday we carpooled with Boeke and Jones to the church building Stockton. All of us were there, about 200 missionaries. We sang some prelude music, and then... Elder Jeffery R. Holland walked in. Woah! He met each of us and shook our hands. He spoke to us and told us that President Lewis will be coming back, but right now he'll be recuperating at his home in Salt Lake for a few weeks before he returns. He told us that he's proud of us, we're doing a good job-- "if you weren't, you would hear from me; I go ballistic!" Everyone laughed. He mentioned that some of us had to endure his "don't-you-ever-go-home" MTC tirade, and he explained that he can't stand the thought of returned missionaries going in-active later in life. The main purpose behind creating Preach My Gospel was to convert the missionary, so that the missionary could help convert others. He said much more, but an hundredth part I cannot write. I really felt of his love and care for us and his words were encouraging during this period while we don't have our mission president leading us. I really like Elder Holland.
While we were there in Stockton, we drove down the street to the other church building to the Gladys Knight fireside. Do you know who Gladys Knight is? I didn't until a few weeks ago when they told us that this weekend we would be having firesides for some of the stakes in our mission. It is an incredible missionary tool, so bring as many non-members and investigators as you can. Sister Knight came and sang with her choir, the Saints Unified Voices. The fireside was very.... "soulful" :) it wasn't like most of LDS meetings -- there was clapping, "AMEN sister!", "Praise the Lord!" The chapel, overflow, gym, and stage were PACKED. Sister Gladys Knight shared her powerful conversion story afterward. It was freakin' awesome.
On Saturday we went over to the Barkell's, a recent convert family. James and Brett live on a ranch with their 3 year-old son, James. We helped them move boxes and stuff, and then we proof-read their talks for Sunday. They have an amazing conversion story, too. The next day they spoke in church, and I spoke afterwards.
Dang, it's been a good week. Hope all is well!

Elder Chris Andrew
California Sacramento Mission
8267 Deseret Ave
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

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Elder Christopher Andrew
California Sacramento Mission
8267 Deseret Ave
Fair Oaks, CA 95628