When I think about it, leaving Los Altos was probably harder to do than leaving home for my mission. I hope none of you are offended by that. But I'm not one to live in the past (my only regrets in Los Altos is not getting a picture with the guy who invented the microwave, and the founder of KFC) - I'm really excited to work in a city where many can be labeled "poor and humble," even though many don't or claim to not speak English.
The majority of our ward missionaries here play for the Hartnell College basketball team. One we went out with this week is named Bo Hunter. Not only does he have a name fit for a celebrity, but I found out he went to Provo High. He was a freshman when I was a senior. It was nice to get updates on mutual friends in Provo from him, and to know that D-Wing of Provo High is somehow still standing even though we were predicting its collapse since I was a freshman.
I also found out that at one point, Kenyn Koop was seriously considering coming to Salinas to play for Hartnell College. I heard that from Coach Vasher here (who also happens to be in our ward's bishopric). Man, that would have been awesome to have him in our ward. I could've have brought up all the embarrasing scout-camp stories about us when I bear my testimony in church. On second thought, maybe it's better that he didn't come here.
Our ward is great, and is a bit different than that in Los Altos. For instance, the lack of lap-tops in ward council meeting tells me we aren't in Silicon Valley anymore. Also, there are more who work blue-collar jobs, which is a nice break from having to interpret computer-programmer lingo at every dinner appointment.
I can tell Elder Finlayson has worked hard here. We have a baptism coming up in October. It also seems that wherever we go, he can point out some sort of service he did for one home or another. And not just little things - but things like painting an entire outside of a house, removing huge trees, planting new trees and bushes, etc. He loves to help people.
The ward is great. The bishop is great. My only awkward moment at church was when I called Brother Birchall "Brother King" even after I had asked his name twice and he had given me a business card to remember it. I still maintain that he looks like a "Brother King."
Have a great week. I'm praying for you - so the least you could do is do the same for me!