Before I forget, my address is 3975 Mclaughlin Ave. Ste A San Jose 95121
It's actually the mission home address, but how they do it out here is they divy all the mail out to everyone from there. So ya, I'm in California :) I'm in one of the most Northern areas in the mission, Fremont. Are apartment is actually in Newwark which is right next to Fremont. We are just a half hour South of Oakland next to the Southern tip of the Bay. It's a super diverse area. India Indians, Middle Easterns, Chinese, Filipinos, some Hispanics, of course, and a few white people. It's quite a bit different than Utah, but fun. My comp is Elder Burton from Riverton, Utah. He's been out about a year and I'm his first kid (trainee). He's an awesome Elder who's been in this area for awhile so we don't get lost so that's good. His Spanish is really good so hopefully that will rub off on me. Real Spanish is a lot different than MTC Spanish, that is one thing I've found out thus far. I've got my work cut out for me in that department but I know I can do it. Another thing I've learned is that Hispanics are super nice, and they make lots of really good food. If I eat like I have been this weeks dinners, I might be in trouble:) So ya, the area I'm in hasn't had a ton of success in the past, but my comp and his last companion have been prepping to the point where we think we're about to start reaping.
One family we are working with that seems pretty golden is the Santiago family. The Dad is awesome, he gave up smoking, cold turkey, and he knows it's true. Hopefully we'll have a baptismal date for him, his wife and two kids this week. We have a few other investigators as well. But the difficult thing with the Spanish culture though is that because they are so nice, they commit to baptism after the first lesson, just because they think it would be mean to say no, then you try to get another appointment with them, and they just end up dogging you. Kind of frustrating.
The branch we are working with is pretty small, we had about 50 at church on Sunday. The Presidency is awesome. We've had dinner with all 3 of their families already. President Gonzalez, the second councilor, is especially awesome. He's been a member for only 3 years, but he is always wanting to teach lessons with us when ever he can. What else... I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday. I know I probably didn't make much sense in my broken Spanish, but some members told me I did great and they at least understood what I was trying to say. So ya I'm excited to be here and I think me and Elder Burton are going to have some success together. Hope all is well back home.
Love Elder Flake
Hey Fam, Sammy sounds really cool and I hope you have fun in Portland. Let's see, We have a car, Elder Burton drives and he scares me some times but I guess I just got to get used to California driving. My P-days are Mondays... We were going to get up at 4 this morning and hike mission peak with a few other Elder's in our District, but it was raining:( So we went back to sleep. My mission President is really cool, animated. He's excited about the work and in his year and a half here he has brought a ton of improvement. Well I love you:)