Another benefit of being in California is that a lot of my family lives there. In fact, it was pretty much just my parents who decided to join the flood of Californians moving up to Washington - a lot of the others stayed put. On my dad's side, a lot of my family comes from the Huntington Beach area. And, as it just so happens, Anaheim, the location of the training I went down for, is just next door to Huntington Beach. So, I took a couple days during the first weekend for a little family reunion.
On Monday, the 3rd of July, I met up with my friend Chas and another trainee, Steve, for our drive up to Anaheim. It was there that we joined the Semiannual Summer Training, which preceded the emigration training for Germany that I mentioned in my last post about San Diego. This one-week training is done twice a year in order to encourage, enlighten and build us up together while providing us with the latest words of the ministry. Many other trainings and conferences are also held for this purpose, but these two are quite large as believers come together from all over the world in order to be trained both practically and spiritually. Needless to say, the world is full of darkness - it doesn't take a spiritual giant to see that! So, these trainings are provided as a way to shed a little light on how one can see, express and cooperate with God's plan. This plan is honestly not at all complicated in itself but, like many universal truths that encompass our existence, it's hard to accept, apply and trust in it without the proper context and experience. Hence, the training.
On Sunday, after the church meeting, I met with some of the Spanish speaking ones for lunch before heading over to Huntington Beach to visit some family. I took the opportunity to share with them a bit of what I had enjoyed during the training. Also, that evening, my uncle Mike cooked up a really nice meal - he's got a few skills in the kitchen this guy! The next day we worked together on the pool deck (see the first photo up top), had some grilled veggies and bratwursts, and went to Disneyland.
One of the rides, the original Pirates of the Caribbean, was really interesting because you could see where the movies got a lot of their inspiration. We also waited in line for the Indiana Jones ride or, as my uncle calls it, Indiana Jones and the Broken Down Ride... This, unfortunately, proved to be quite the prediction as, after we waited in line for probably half an hour, the ride actually broke down. Of course, I think the best ride was Stars Wars - must have been, seeing as the line was probably over an hour long! This was actually, according to my uncle, not such long wait for this ride when you consider its popularity. He would know too because he and my aunt go there all the time. Not only do they live around the corner, but they have discounted season passes thanks to my cousin Ryan, their son, who works there. He's also the reason why we were all able to get in for free during my visit.