Dear fellow family and friends,
So as you all remember from last week I mentioned that I was getting transferred and becoming a zone leader. Well that was a week ago and now I am transferred and a zone leader. I am so glad that I am a zone leader because that ended up meaning that I get to serve in the coolest ward in my new zone! I am also very grateful that I get to serve and uplift other missionaries again. I love all my new friends here in..... The Menlo Park zone! I serve in the Stanford area! We are right on the Stanford campus and it is so amazing! I am serving in the Stanford singles ward and it is so crazy! The Central Park ward would on average have 75-100 wonderful people that I absolutely love every Sunday. The Stanford singles ward has over 200 wonderful people that are all between 20 and 30 years old. It is so crazy. After church yesterday I was honestly overwhelmed with how many sound members there are in this stake! It's so awesome! The Menlo park zone covers one of the richest zip codes in the United States and that means that you see a lot of really nice cars every single day. This area is very, very, very affluent. I feel like I don't stick out as much walking around in a shirt and tie because everyone is always dressed up in super swanky clothes. They are all so good looking, I love it!
My new address is:
2369 Wellesley Dr.
Palo Alto CA, 94306
My new companion is Elder Reid. He is from Maryland. He is really cool. I served in the same zone as him before when I started my mission in Greenfield. I got to know him a little bit then and it was really exciting getting called to serve with him up here in Menlo Park. We are the Zone Leaders for a zone of 30 missionaries. Our zone covers all of the Menlo Park stake and it covers a big portion of the Polynesian congregations. We get along really well. He loves to play golf so we have a connection there in the sense that I was the one that would cut the grass for him before he would show up early in the morning. He seemed pretty grateful for that.
Funny thing happened yesterday. We went to dinner at a home that has about five members that all live together and they had invited about ten more members to join all of us for dinner. They called it a group dinner. It was a lot of fun and the food was delicious. We were about to start eating when they said that we were all going to do introductions. So we all went around and said where we are from and our favorite tasty treat. The last person to introduce herself was Brittany Molina. From Beaverton Oregon. What a crazy coincidence! She just moved into this ward two months ago. She is working in accounting over here in the Menlo Park area. It really is a small world.
We had some really cool things happen this past week. On my first day here we were walking around Stanford campus and I met a man named David. He is here teaching a course on how the internet works. He stopped and was willing to let us talk with him. We told him a little about the church and invited him to come to institute later that evening. He gave us a not so reassuring answer and said that if he got everything done before he would come on by. Later that night as we showed up to institute he was there waiting for us. We were very surprised and very happy to see him there. We took him on a tour of the building and ended up having a talk in one of the classrooms. We started out talking about the timeline of the world and when it was created. Then we went even deeper and talked about when the universe was created and there were some equations put up on the board and then we plugged in the Book of Mormon on the giant timeline and then we all sat back and looked at it. Then we asked him about faith and how we can develop a testimony. We had an awesome lesson about building faith as a foundation of our testimony. The spirit was definitely there and it taught us all that night. We invited David to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know the truth. He said he didn't know if he would pray but he would definitely be picking it up and reading it some more. It was such a great ending to a wonderful day here in Stanford.
We had a lot of other cool experiences this week. One other one was with a young man yesterday. We were walking down university avenue and we saw him standing alone so we talked with him. The first words out of his mouth were don't waste your time. But we were a little more persistent this time and we continued to talk with him. After about five minutes of talking he agreed to let us share a scripture with him and he was completely open with us about his religious background. It amazes me still to see how the spirit can soften someone's heart so quickly. We only planted a seed last night but that seed will continue to grow and soften his heart over time.
The time is flying by. Can you believe it's already almost September! That means the kids are going back into school again! Whoa! That's crazy! The year has flown by so fast. Just think, this time next year you all will be getting ready for me to come home. So weird to think that I have already been gone for almost a year!
I love you all and I hope you all make it home safely or you have a great kickoff to the new school year!
Love, Elder Maxwell