On Thursday, Sam left the MTC and arrived in his first area, Barrow-in-Furness, just south of Lake Windermere, on the Irish Sea. A senior missionary couple there, Elder and Sister Luke, were kind enough to feed him and to send us a note saying he's doing great. Sister Luke says:
"What a great young man. We can tell already he will be wonderful Missionary.
"Elder Pimentel is easy to talk to and seemed comfortable about getting right in there. Everyone likes him and is already learning the names of Ward members. The members here are very humble and most of them are on welfare. They do not have the missionaries over to dinner very often so we have them all out here in groups. We had twenty three to dinner tonight and he fit right in with his great smile and good presence. He introduced himself and then gave a ten minute mini lesson as we had seven non-members here. He is well spoken and had no problem doing the lesson.
"His trainer is Elder Tomita from Japan . He is one of the finest missionaries you’ll ever meet. They seem to get on well together."
In a later note, she added, "Your son is in good hands with Elder Tomita, you would like and appreciate him. He is a good leader and does everything with excellence. He is also kind and very encouraging to his companions. Elder Tomita will be a perfect trainer for Elder Pimentel."
The Lukes gave some background on Barrow; their daughter was a missionary in Barrow 8 years ago:
"The people here in Barrow are poor and most are on welfare. They cannot afford to have us missionaries over to dinner (they call it Tea). So we have the families out here to the Farm House and feed them instead. We always have the missionaries too so they can teach the members and extra family that comes. Because our daughter was in this area and loved the people, the Ward members are happy to come be with us since we kind of know them too. It has jokingly turned into a Ward activity to guess who is coming to dinner at the Lukes. I think we have had the whole Ward over but for one family of 13 left."
There are a couple of pictures of Sam and his companion on the September 16 post on the Lukes' blog.
Needless to say, we absolutely love Elder and Sister Luke, who have been so supportive of our boy. We may hear from Sam as early as Tuesday or Wednesday, when he will have P-Day and will use the Lukes' computer to send us an email letter home. We are excited to hear from him.