Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 13: Oak Cliff

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Oak Cliff
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:18:19 -0500
From: Brett Hogg 

How's it going yall!

Well as you know I'm in the Kessler Park (the english ward in Oak Cliff) area now, my new companion is Elder Watkins. 

I was really sad to be leaving Plano. I was praying to stay lol, but I was telling everybody if i have to leave I hope it's either to Oak Cliff or Garland. Oak Cliff is supposed to be on of the most ghetto/dangerous/sketchy areas in the mission, and pretty hispanic, and Garland is supposed to be like little Mexico, so I wanted to go to either of those two, and I did! 

Elder Huber served here before Grand Prairie. Oak Cliff really isn't as bad as everyone made it out to be, it's actually kind of nice. I guess it definitely used to be worse, but it's getting gentrified by hipsters from what I understand. Think Bay View, except a bigger and a little more ghetto. It's kind of weird because it has some really rich, nice parts, really hipstery parts, and some really ghetto parts, it's a really neat area.

 Unfortunately I'm assigned to the english ward/work, but it's alright because I still have plenty of chances to use my spanish every day. The problem is its already getting rusty lol. Also, then church building here used to be a Dixie cup factory lol. I guess we bought it and renovated it into a chapel. Also were super close to downtown so we have awesome view of the skyscrapers everywhere we go in the area. We can pretty much see downtown from our apartment. And you can't see it very well in this picture, but the church building has a cool view of it as well.

In the following paragraph he talks about APs - which are missionaries who have been out for awhile that assist the mission president, President Taylor. They help the new missionaries and handle transportation and such.

Elder Watkins is awesome, he's an AP, so he does a lot of AP stuff. He's in Richardson (the mission HQ basically) a lot, so I wind up on exchanges with Elder Callister, who's companion is Elder Cox, one of the other APs. Elder Cox and Elder Watkins were companions last transfer in the English ward, while Elder Callister and Elder Morgan (the guy i basically replaced) were in the Spanish Branch. Elder Cox got moved over to the Spanish Branch (he has the best spanish in the mission by far) with Elder Callister and I came in to the English Ward with Elder Watkins. We cover the same area but if we get any spanish investigators we pass them off to them and vice-versa. There's 4 APs, 2 in Richardson and 2 here, Elder Callister and I are wondering what we did to be put with APs lol. It's pretty unusual for APs to be companions with a non-APs. We know part of the reason is they're both going home at the end of this transfer (they came out with Elder Finlinson), so they don't want to double missionaries out of the ward. 

The four of us are in one apartment, so that's fun. It's in the nice part of Oak Cliff, there's a golf course really close that we go running at sometimes, and there's plenty of big houses and stuff around too. There's only one bathroom so there's a lot of brushing teeth and shaving in the kitchen sink lol. 

Elder Watkins is really cool, he's from Hawaii (born in southern California), his dad is a professor at BYU-Hawaii. He super smart and really likes surfing. He's super awesome and probably the best missionary out here right now. He also like to take pictures so we got some cool shots of us for mom lol. You hair is kind of whacky right now because Elder Finlinson and I needed hair cuts so we went to this one mom in the Branch who cuts her sons hair. Well she's never done blond hair before and I pretty much told her short on the sides, long on top, and thats what she did! The problem is it looks fine if you have black hair, but in blonde it just looks bald lol. So it's grown out some and needs to be cut but it's still not long enough on the sides and too long on the top haha.

The work is really going well here too, mostly because Elder Watkins is really good at contacting and talking to people. We get a lot of Bible Referrals too. On you can order a free bible and we'll come drop isn't off and share a message, so we get about one of those a day at least.

Anyway, love you guys!
Elder Hogg 

Good bye pictures with cool people from Plano

the (Oak Cliff) church building
(Apparently used to be a Dixie cup factory)

Tacos de Lengua (Tongue Tacos.. eww) 

The view of downtown is better than I can get in a photo, and seems a lot closer in person

Elder Hogg & Elder Watkins

Oak Cliff area

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