God Bless Johnny Cash

November 10, 2014

That was what was on the first bumper sticker I read as we drove into my new area. I’m now assigned to work in Studio City, which is right outside of Los Angeles, where a lot of the film industry is located. It’s a total culture shock, to be working in such a metropolitan area of the mission. It’s a pretty wealthy area, but there is a huge mix of people, which I love. Sister Cox and I have been trying to do more street contacting – it’s much more fun than knocking! The God Bless Johnny Cash bumper sticker made this little country kid (because Connecticut truly is country compared to here) feel at home. My new companion is Sister Cox, who is an ASL missionary who is hard of hearing (she’s got a 75% hearing loss, so she’s REALLY hard of hearing), so we do a lot of signing. Sister Cox and I worked together in Canoga Park a few months ago, and we so stoked to be companions.What’s better is that we are both from Upstate New York – she was born and raised in Owego, so we both have a tendency to be a little blunt (okay, a lot blunt), and have a strange sense of humor to most Californians. I love it. It was pretty hard to leave Mission Hills, and transfer meeting was pretty tough too. I had jokingly asked Elder Villejo for his badge converter since mine was breaking, and had totally forgotten about it until he passed it down the pew right before President called the departing missionaries to come sit with him on the stand. It’s so hard to see missionary friends go home!! I may have shed a tear or two for the elders and sisters that I’ve served with and have come to love who transferred home this past week. Thank goodness for email! :)

Right before I left MH, the Lapena’s threw me a belated birthday party, which was a blast. It was my last night of Filipino madness, complete with rice, flan, and the youth playing guitar after dinner. I really love the people here, they make all the difference. Studio City is super interesting, as an area. You’ve got a mix of apartments, houses, and shopping centers that make life crazy. Sister Cox and I went to contact a less active, only to walk into their yard to see it covered in snow. With 80 degree temperatures. We found out that earlier that day, they had shot a commercial for Christmas. Only in LA would you find snow on people’s yards with no meteorological explanation. It was definitely a conversation starter, and I may or may not have been super tempted to peg Sister Cox with a snowball. Or at least bring some home and put it in our freezer. :)

We had zone training this week, which was pretty interesting. Armenian elders from another mission came to give us training on how to contact Armenian people who would be interested in the Gospel. It sounds an awful lot like German, but I’m still 99% sure I butchered the whole thing. It’s fun! And I have an hour of ASL study each morning with Sister Cox, so I’m really pumped for that. I’ve really missed signing. Well, sorry for the short email – better one next time! And with photos! This week has been crazy, so I’ve not got much time to write, since we have so much to do. Just know that I love you!

Sister Redner

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