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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Santa Cruz 05/04/09

Dear Family,

Although my sickness had barnyard-esque symptoms, you can rest assured that it was not the swine flu. Thank you for your concern.

In less than a 10-minute time-frame today, I saw 6 people with dreadlocks, 3 street performers, and hundreds of otters and surfers in wetsuits. That's right - we visited Santa Cruz.

Taking a windy road into the Eucalyptus-tree-filled hills of Santa Cruz, we approached the area known as the Mystery Spot. The Mystery Spot is renowned for its strange effects on certain laws of physics and perception as well as its ability to distribute large amounts of bumper stickers. Balls roll UP slopes instead of down, people change heights and size depending on where they are in the Mystery Spot, the downward pull of gravity is not a factor in the Mystery Spot.

I'm sure you can read a lot more of the fantastical descriptions of this place online. But to tell the truth, I was a little disappointed about the whole thing. Most of the tricks didn't seem amazing, or even made you wonder how they did it. Actually most of the effects were based on that you were in a crooked house on a slope. I guess I've just lost my childlike imagination and wonder about things like that. I hope it comes back someday though. I'll just have to wait until I'm old and senile I guess.

Seeing the ocean was great, and seeing surfers wipe out was even greater. Santa Cruz would be a fun place to surf - I mean serve.

We've had some great lessons this week. We have two investigators preparing for baptism in a few weeks - Gian Singh (An Indian from Fiji) and Florence Ting (Chinese lady that we've been teaching with Elder Young - from Provo High).

We also had a very spiritual lesson in a Starbucks this week. It was the first time teaching a 25 year old named Lewis, who studied to be a Lutheran preacher, but then 3 years ago decided to convert to the Greek Orthodox church. Lewis lives with his parents, so he wanted to meet at Starbucks instead of his place. Not the best environment to teach, but we agreed anyway. We brought Dave Barney, a member of the ward to help teach Lewis.

As we taught, Lewis had a lot of really good questions. Honest, sincere questions and not wanting to bash (most of the time) even though he knows the Bible really really well. As Dave Barney testified of his own getting an answer that the Book of Mormon is true and that Lewis can get an answer too if he reads and prays with sincerity, real intent and faith, I remember how all our loud, distracting surroundings melted away and the Spirit could be felt and recognized. Great lesson. Members helping out with teaching investigators makes it SO SO SO much better (most of the time). And yeah, we probably won't be teaching Lewis at Starbucks again in the near future.

Anyway, I'll think of some good stuff to tell you all when I call on Mothers Day, and you all do the same. Can't wait!

Love,

Elder Karlsven

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