Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Singing In The Rain!

Oh my goodness gracious! The heavens opened and it came pouring down. We had 3 solid days of rain! There was no chance of being dry during the days. We constantly changed shoes and dripped dry next to our umbrellas. It was hard to complain about the rain because we have needed it so much. I wouldn't be surprised if we did get 6 inches of rain. In a canyon pretty close to us there was a mud slide 4 miles up. We were all preparing for the worse. Some backyards ended up in pools because there was no vegetation to hold it in. There were some fires up here over the summer and with no rain to help the grass seed sprayed onto those areas we were at high risk for mud slides. But all is well and things are going to take a while to dry out a little bit. 
My new companion is Sister Hatfield. She is 19 years old and is from Spanish Fork, UT. She has never lived on her own before nor has she lived outside of Spanish Fork. We have had some adventures learning how to bake/cook. And we have had some tough days of homesickness. I wish I knew how to help her better. All I can do is listen and tell her I love her.
 I am currently serving in an area called Castaic (cast-ay-ick). hmmm how would I describe it to you? Its a town located north of the Santa Clarita Valley. The homes and the town are surrounded and built into the bluffs. Its beautiful. This morning I woke up to a fiery orange sunrise just coming over the east bluff. There are lots of canyons surrounding us that we drive through to get to the ward members homes. The "downtown" part of it reminds me of Cheyenne Wyoming. There are lots of semi truck gas stations. The drivers here dont drive like California drivers. Most of the homes are ritzy but the owners aren't rich. Everyone buys the big homes just to go to work everyday to try and afford them. There are also some places of mobile home parks.So its a mix of hick and rich. Interesting, right? Our church building is 9 miles away and for us to go grocery shopping somewhere cheap we have to go down into Santa Clarita. I have definitely been spoiled by being in San Fernando Valley for way too long.... 
This week has been a little frustrating to say the least. When we got to the area I just about died. I quickly realized that the past/previous missionaries were very very disobedient. The ward doesn't know what obedient missionaries are. It has taken a lot of effort to explain why we cant leave our area for dinners (which is an absolute fiasco!), why we cant hold their children or why we have to stay with our companion. I found out also that an Elder who has since returned home from serving his mission made out with some of the young women....yeah, bad missionary!!!! I got so overwhelmed I called President Hall. He assured me that I had been put there for a purpose and that he trusts that my companion and I can get things set straight. We walked all day long in the rain for several days. We quickly learned no one answers their doors! We are learning just how much we will have to work with the ward members. So it may be extremely slow the next couple weeks. 
Last Monday night I made a big boo boo. The apartment I was staying at with the Sister Training Leaders has some problems with cockroaches. One walked over my night guard. So thinking about the easiest way to sterilize it I went to boil it. BIG MISTAKE!!!!!!! I totally warped and shrunk a $400 mouth guard in a matter of seconds. I was totally devastated. I went to bed stressed and woke up sick the next morning. I kept thinking what am I going to do? I need it! I can't afford a new one, not right now. So the rubber one from the store is just going to have to work for now. It isn't the same but it is a solution that will have to work for the next few months. 
So this week has just been an adventure. I know that this next week will get better. So there you have it. =)
I am glad that all the kids from the family were able to get together. It was fun to "see" everyone. 
Well, I need to go but I love you all and I hope that you are staying dryer than I have!
Hurrah for Israel,
Sister Cottrell
My New Companion- Sister Hatfield
Preaching in the RAIN!

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