It's been a great first week in the Santa Gertrudes Ward. It's an English ward, but it's super awesome. Most of our work is done in the southern portion of the area, which is just a normal suburban-city area. The northern half of the area, La Habra Heights, is a huge, sprawling hill-type area that makes Getchell Hill look like a teeny-little ghetto in comparison. For the sake of gas mileage and time and such, we normally only work up there a couple days per week. One interesting thing is that the mission president has authorized us to take some out-of-mission routes to go up to that area when necessary. It's kind of weird driving through "outer darkness".
Anyhow, the work in the area has been great. Elder Jeon has been in this area for 5 transfers already (~7.5 months), which makes for 9 months by the end of this current transfer (note to self: it's weird to think that would have been my year mark if it weren't for the whole jaw debacle). The president has already told him that this will be his last transfer in the area (most likely), so Elder Jeon has really been focusing on getting me to meet as many people as possible: members, investigators, former investigators, potential investigators; the list goes on... I already feel like I have a pretty good handle on the area now (at least geographically).
Elder Jeon is really cool. He's originally from Korea, but his family moved to the states when he was 14, so English is his second language. He's glad to have me with him so he can actually have some language-study time. He has a good sense of humor and we like to talk to each other a lot. I've had a lot of good conversations with him already about some of the fundamentals of missionary work, not to mention the usual subjects of favorite colors and movies and such (sidenote: I have come to the frightening realization that I've forgotten much of the plot sequence in The Princess Bride).
The work is going pretty well in the area. Our main baptismal prospects right now are a couple of kids who actively come to activities and church and such, but since they're minors the main obstacle here is parental permission. We also had some surprising success finding this week, mostly through former investigators. One of the people we found yesterday we were having a doorstep conversation with, though it was teetering on the edge of being combative/bashy and he didn't seem interested in listening to us in the first place. However, when I simply gave my testimony about a few things, he opened up a lot more and told us at the end to stop by anytime later (and he gave us a cup's worth of peanuts as a parting gift (delicious)). Following the spirit. It works.
Also, I think mom would like to know this: I've been studying Isaiah daily for the past couple of weeks. I'm only in chapter 4 (after 3 weeks), but I really really like it. I don't know how, but somehow I'm managing to gain a lot of insight from it on a relatively intuitive level. It's rather impressive at how many different layers of meaning you can find in a single passage. It's sad though to think that somebody thought he should be sawed in half. He deserved better.