This place is freaking awesome. They call it the "celestial kingdom" of the mission, and for good reason. It's just a small agricultural town near Gilroy, but it's the closest thing to home I'm going to find on this side of the country.
My companion/trainer Elder Kyle Methvin was a rancher in Kansas so this is pretty much home for him. I'm in Hollister First ward and they spoil me rotten. I get fed just about every night, and they come to half (if not more than half) of all our lessons.
The weather is gorgeous. it feels better outside than it does inside. Y'all need to look it up on google maps to see what I'm talking about when I say it's a small farming town. Also one of my friends from the MTC Elder Azuara Espitia lives like 5 doors down from me so I see him every day.
President and Sister Mella are the nicest people ever. Literally all I did the first day I was here was play ping pong, fuse ball, air hockey and basketball, and then I stayed in a queen size bed (because I'm the biggest) in the Mella's guest room. I only get $30 a week for any expenses (food, haircuts, etc) but our freezer is packed with wild game like pheasants, Venison, and elk so that's what I'm eating at my apt.
We've already had quite a few teaching appointments and got a lot more scheduled this week. Also, I already get to go to the Oakland Temple on Friday! We are going with a recently baptized couple. They might not be able to go in yet, but we are still going to the grounds and to the Visitor Center. There was a baptism set up for Saturday, but he needed to go to church one more time and he decided to go to the A's game instead yesterday haha. When it comes down to eternal salvation, or the Oakland A's, that's a tough choice if you ask me.
For P-day today we are going to a zone sports thing where I get to see Elder Banks again (which is awesome) but apparently when there's nothing to do we'll pick up the Spanish elders and run down a turkey up in the mountains and have a thanksgiving lunch!
I'm so happy I came out here and I got put in the best situation possible. And since Elder Methvin is a ZL, every Monday night we go to the other ZL's place and have a little elder slumber party to do the weekly numbers. My new address 500 Hillock drive, Apt. 133 Hollister, CA 95023.
Btw I don't have any pictures because we don't get our Ipad until our second transfer and I kept forgetting my camera, but I swear i'll do better next week! Mom has a few pics of me that President Mella sent her so imma have her attach those.
Love yours truly,
Elder Garrett Barker