Monday, March 23, 2009

Aaron's first e-mail (early March)

These e-mails, posted at Aaron's request, are late since he got confused about my e-mail address and sent them to the wrong one for about three weeks. Anyway, here is the second one: (the first one just said "I am here in California and wanted you to know I am here and doing well.")

The days have been going progressively faster, it seems. The first few days in the field went sooo slow and the days went sooo long. Now they fly by without reserve. We had two baptisms Saturday, very busy day. I did the closing prayer at Matthew's (9) and the Holy Ghost talk and a witness at Amanda's (23). Then on Sunday I participated in the confirmations for both of them...pretty sweet. We taught this 82 year old who was excited about it and committed to be baptized on the 4th of April. Then last night we get a call that she's had a major stroke, so we went to see her. She's paralyzed on the left side and there's a large possibility that it'll do it again and it'll get worse, who knows. As of last night though, she had her ability of speech and the use of the right side of her body. She certainly didn't lose any of her wit though. The told us she'd be up and walking around soon and available for her baptism on the 4th. Who knows, miracles have happened before. This week, we're hoping to commit four more people to baptism. It should all work out I think. I'm going golfing this afternoon, believe it or not. A member of the bishopric is taking us to lunch, then out golfing. If we have time to do the 9 holes, I'm hoping to get a good 30 or 40 over par. I'm a realist, what can I say. When we get back to the apartment, we're going to clean out the fridge. There's this potato/beef dinner thing that's been in there, uncovered, since before I moved in a week and a half ago, and if you open the fridge, it fills the apartment with the most horrible reek. So we try to avoid opening it as much as possible, and if I have to, I hold my breath, and go quick and get out of the kitchen. Fun stuff. It'll be nice not to have that in there anymore, we've just been forgetting about it. I had fish the other day, real fish. I have never had it unless it was tuna or if it was in portion or stick form. It was orange...something. Pretty tasty actually, I was surprised. We've done a lot of service the past week; yard work, painting, helping someone move a ton of heavy stuff...good stuff. Oh yeah, we went to the Fresno Temple on Tuesday. That thing is SOOO small, it's incredible. It's right next to the stake center (actually built on the stake center's already bought land). It's smaller than the stake center too...I think...pretty sure. I mean, you walk past the recommend desk, and look to the right, and behind glass doors is the baptismal font. It's all just right there, kinda thing. It's really pretty though. I'm glad I was able to go. We're allowed to go every third transfer I think it is. If you want, you can put my emails on the blog and use those. Mom & Dad, I got your letter a couple days ago, I was glad to get it. I'm still going to try to write real letters, but with the amount of time I have to actually write, I may just have to accept email as the main communication. I bought some cheap CDs at the MTC bookstore to listen to (all the hymns on 14 discs was like $7 and each of the seminary soundtracks were maybe $1.50 each), but I want more songs. So if people have missionary appropriate music they could burn and send me, I'd really appreciate it. Mom, if you could I would like a copy Hims, both discs, and whatever else. Jeanette, I want a CD with that one that talks about "He gave me nothing that I wanted, He gave me everything I need" and the Sharing Time CD. I'd really appreciate it. Having a budget of $135 a month actually isn't hard to live on when you have dinners scheduled most every night. Currently I'm subsisting on our member's (and investigator's) dinners, ramen, oranges, and cookies that everyone seems to think we're in diar need for...and a multi-vitamin every morning. So it all balances out. It still kills me that nearly everyone has fruit trees just growing in their yard, and most of the time, the trees will be filled with oranges or lemons and they just leave them. The blossoms on the almond orchards are still in bloom, but are starting to fall off slowly. The strawberries, I'm told, will be coming out soon. I'm really excited for that. I can't wait to gorge on those. We have cell phones in this mission which is really nice. You can get calls wherever you are. That has to be such a benefit over landlines, especially because we're home so seldom. Yosemite National Park apparently isn't too far from here; I'm hoping we can arrange for members to take us. I'm also hoping next spring I'll be serving in the Fresno area. The church owns a vineyard where the missionaries harvest, sundry, and collect them as raisins for (I think) the bishop's storehouse and to sell for revenue. I think that'd be pretty fun. We went to a bunch of houses yesterday, and twice, in two different families, the people tried to push off their nieces on Elder Whitney (who kind of looks like Matt Damon, who also is leaving after this or next transfer). It was all pretty funny. He was getting so uncomfortable and red in the face. I laughed at him -- a lot. I love the bike I got for the mission. It's a lot of fun to ride, being all brand new and all. It's pretty snazzy. Ok, my time is running out, but I want to say that I'm doing great, I'm working hard, I'm exhausted and hoping for time to take a nap as it's p-day, and pretty happy. So...yeah. I hope everything is going well at home, and I'll be happy to hear from everyone on this coming Monday's email...right? :D Ok, later--
Love,Aaron

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