The "ghettos" of Yakima, the penthouse big-house, polite folk, Seahawk fandom, and rain!
Ok, to answer your questions, I got the box, logistics here are good (they're working on fixing our iron), my hand here is healing pretty decently, and it's all going pretty well so far!
Please don't be panicked by the first phrase in my week in words. But yes, I am serving now in the lesser-down, but not-to-bad area of Yakima. I say not-to-bad because normally I would define streets named after numbers as being a little sketchy, but 16th Ave, is actually pretty decent. The neighborhoods are practically the kind Uncle Larry lives in.
In fact, this whole transfer really shook the mission up, A LOT. So I don't know if you know, but the Yakima mission has been open literally for as long as I've been out (total time). So to get 27 new elders really was a huge addition for them. But because of the huge increase, there was a lot of scrambling done here, and in the end of it, I found myself living in an apartment for four with just me and Elder Beatty, with a new car, and a new phone! I guess it's safe to say we got the light side of that one. Our ward is named formally the Yakima 1st ward, and before the transfer we used to cover a YSA branch as well. Now we only cover the family ward. The Trunk or Treat is coming up too! We hope to really use that as a finding event, along with a Harvest dinner that they have here in November. Actually we had a baptism my first Saturday here. His name is Javier and he is 9, and I guess Elder Beatty and the previous Elder taught him. Still, the spirit was there! Everyone seemed very happy for him.
Oh, and yes, send packages to the mission office. Also, if you were wondering why I didn't call the day I departed, well...let's just say that I wasn't quite feeling like it. I'm sorry that's a horrible reason, but I guess I was more anxious to get going to Washington.
The town of Yakima itself is actually pretty nice. You've already read about my first street-contacting in the letter. I guess people here are more prone to being polite than in Vegas! In fact, we have found a new potential investigator named Jesse who we found through tracting out of all things. So we hope the best for him and his family! Still, we went to Wal-Mart my first day in, and funny thing, this elderly gentleman walked up to us and first asked Elder Beatty how come his shoes weren't as shiny as mine. We got talking to him and he expressed to us his concern for declining morals and how his grandchildren were going to go through that. He was very appreciative for the work we did. Whether or not he was a member, I don't really know, but people here are somehow kinder!
Heck, just right now, somebody called out my first remark about Yakima over my shoulder in the library in a friendly way!
Unfortunately, due to transfers, we lost a good amount of investigators in the YSA ward, but I have faith that through the spirit, grit, and hard work, we can find people to teach here as well! I guess it would help if I was a Seahawk fan. Everyone around here has some kind of fanfare for the team. I asked if team spirit was like this before Feb. 2014, and turns out they didn't. I've also heard they've been doing rubbish this season, but I don't really care. Feel like there's too many strings pulling the pros.
Oh, right, my companion! Elder Beatty is from Snowflake AZ, and he's a pretty cool dude. Has cleaning standards as well! So we do our best to keep the apartment in good condition. Every morning we usually take a jog around town, so it helps to know the area.
Right, how's Vegas going for you guys? It's about the time of year the weather starts cooling off there. I don't really know what you'll be using my room for now. Storage? I don't know. But be certain Smokey's staying in good condition. Tell Evan I said hello! I hope she gets better some way or another. But still, thanks for all the love you guys have sent me, I'll be certain to keep you updated on what happens.
Got a picture of a caricature that Elder Bass (an MTC missionary who's practically a younger uncle Gus) and other MTC pics that I wanted to show you guys. Thought you'd like it.