Hello from Yakima!! It’s an awesome place. There are a lot of different things about this area than the tri-cities area that is for sure. We cover a really big area. There is a ton of farm land and back wood areas! Last night after dinner the members that fed us took us out to see the bees that they raise up for the honey. I had no idea how much went into beekeeping. Every once and a while they like to just leave the hive they are in and find a new place so the members have to go and find where they are and then extract the queen bee and take it back. It was a really crazy process. So cool though. I never knew how much of a science it is behind bees. They said that each stack produces around 100 pounds of honey and they had like 20 stacks or something like that. They were saying that they are trying to raise more queen bees because they can be sold to other people to start up a new hive and they cost like 20 dollars for 1 of them. Each hive can produce a lot of them so they just go in and pull them out when they are ready and sell it to the farmers and others who use the bees to pollinate their crops.
Yakima is a very agricultural place. There are apple trees everywhere that you look. It is very beautiful out here. I don’t know it if truly is the “Palm Springs” of Washington, but it is a really nice place. At least our area is. We live with members. They are a really good family. He is a physical therapist and has two sons one is on a mission in Brazil and the other is still in high school. We live in their basement as well — just like our last house I lived in. The ward is huge as well. There are rumors about splitting and making a new one. We don’t know how soon that will be if it even happens. They would most likely need to build another building to have the new ward go. So we will see about that.
My new companion’s name is Elder Adling. He is from Orange County California — more specifically La Palma which is right by Knotts Barry Farm. He has been out for a little under a year and is loving the work. He is an awesome missionary and is very excited to get the work rolling. We are currently in a huge state of finding at the moment. We have been finding a lot the past few days and we have had some cool stories already.
We were walking last night to go and see a potential investigator that we had on a list. She lived right next to another lady that missionaries had previously taught a little, but nothing came of it. So while we were walking up to the potential investigator the lady next door just randomly opens the door. We saw her and said hi and went over and started to talk with her. She was a really funny lady who is retired and goes to the catholic church. We were able to talk with her for about an hour on the door step. We talked with her about what we do as missionaries and she had a million questions so it was awesome. She liked how we worked and what we stood for. She became very curious and said that she wanted to come and check out our church this next week. The best thing that she said was this. “Hey wouldn’t it be cool if I became Mormon”. We all laughed at that and said that would be the coolest thing ever! Elder Adling did an awesome job as he taught with power and authority. He is an awesome missionary.
A few nights ago we stopped by an inactive lady who had not been to church in like 20 or 30 years. We were able to talk with her about the gospel. She had just recently moved up to Yakima from Oregon and she was ready to start coming back to church. She came yesterday to church and loved it!! She said that she just felt so happy to be there and that she was planning on coming a lot more now. The Relief Society stepped in and helped out a lot. They took her to class and was able to help her feel welcome at church. This ward is really active in missionary work. There are a few people that have been going to church for like a year and are not baptized yet. Elder Adling and I were so curious on why that was. We have been asking around to see if they have been taught. Then at church this last week we had some good news that both of them are starting to open up and are ready to have the lessons. So we will be able to see some more amazing things happen the next few weeks.
I am excited to see that you have Woman’s Conference this next week. It will be a good one no doubt. I can’t believe Madeline is going to be 18 tomorrow. That was really good that you had a surprise birthday party. I bet she really liked it. Happy Birthday Madeline!!!! Welcome to adulthood. All that changes is now you have to deal with a whole lot more things. So have fun with that. Getting old used to be awesome when you were a kid, but now its lame. You have to make big life decisions and what not. When you rely on the Lord and follow his direction and counsel you will always make the right decision. I have seen this happen in my life time and time again.
Well I guess to answer your question I know I fly to you all on the 26th of August 2014. I don’t know much more than that.
Well I guess that is all the news for now.
Love Elder Hansen