Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

Greetings, from the west coast...or at least the valley! I'm out here working up my farmer's tan, and yes, Karen, my legs are getting their workout from all the biking. Elder Jorgensen likes to bike a lot and likes to bike very fast. I'm able to go a lot faster and for longer periods of time than when I started for sure...still hurts, but that's ok. The weather has been cooperating. There was one day where we were out all day on our bikes and it was up toward 100. The rest of the days have stayed down from 70-90. Apparently I have 100-115 degree weather to look forward to here in the valley. That'll be nice and fun. I bought one of these water bladders that I can put into my backpack that has a hose that you drink from. It's been pretty much a lifesaver. I still don't have my bike fixed. I'm taking it into the shop this afternoon. I'm really hoping it's just simple and cheap repairs and they can give me advice on how to avoid or fix it in the future...who knows. I've been riding Elder Whitney's bike the past week, the one that he left behind. I like mine, enough said.

We've had more success this week in the area. We've seen more less-actives that have shown interest in returning to church. We had a couple of investigators come to church (which a few weeks ago and the few weeks before that, hadn't been happening), which is really good. It's getting easier not getting into politics lately. Mostly that's because no one had brought it up very much. When people feel the need to inform me about injustices that are going on in the world/country...it's like Grandpa Simpson, "We're not allowed to read newspapers. They angry up the blood!" I'm just glad I'm only here to catch the very tail-end of the prop 8 thing. Apparently it used to be REALLY big. I was thinking of parts of The RM this week and they made me laugh pretty hard. I can't wait to watch that when I get home. I told Elder Jorgensen that and he suggested I'm getting trunky. If that was true, I would be in real serious trouble. 21 months of trunkiness would be very troublesome.

Oh, I'm mailing a CD I made at Wal-Mart, today. Mostly they are pictures from the MTC. I made sure I took a lot of pictures there (not as many as I would have like to, but a lot all the same). There are a few from when I was here, but not many. I need to start getting shutter buggy again, but I'm too busy it seems. Alright, well my time is running out, so I will say goodbye for now. I'm getting more regular letters written today (I hope), so keep writing! :D I hope everyone is doing really well!
~~Aaron

(Since Aaron says he mailed a CD with pictures, maybe I'll have something to put on the blog. Hopefully something good.)
--Mom

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 20, 2009

This has been a really good week. There hasn't been very much going on and our pool of people to teach had dwindled to almost zero. That was because no one was progressing and we were going about the wrong way of finding. Elder Jorgensen and I are changing things up and visiting all the members, especially less-active members and trying to build up the ward from the inside-out. It's really working too. We have a few families that we are teaching that are less-actives and several who have started coming to church just because we came over and shared a message and encouraged them to come to church. With many people, that's all that's needed is a little encouragement and a welcome. We have a few new investigators which is really good, but we're going to get more. The lady that had the baptismal date that had the stroke is doing good. She's now out of rehab, but is being cared for at one of her kid's home so she's out of our area (out of the mission actually. Modesto is the northern-most border of the mission). So we'll have to refer her over to whoever is in that area. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to oblige.

We're having zone conference tomorrow, which should be good. I have to get my bike repaired today. When I first got it, the back rim was really wobbly. Elder Whitney fixed it and had to fix it again about 3 more times during the transfer. Now he's not here or his handy-dandy tool that he used. I may have to take it into the bike shop and get a tune-up. Either the wheel is faulty from the factory, or I'm just a fatty and the bike doesn't like it.

It's funny hearing you talk about it being rainy and it not being all that warm. Here, it barely ever rains (and isn't expected to until maybe the Fall) and is very warm. It's supposed to get up into the 100s...110...thereabouts, sometimes, in the summer. I get to look forward to that. They claim the humidity isn't very bad, but it's been stuffy the past few days, so I dunno.

We've been biking a lot lately. Like Elder Whitney, Elder Jorgensen likes to go fast. We're biking about three times as much as I used to, as well. It's really good because you get around faster and my legs are getting much stronger, but ouch. My poor legs... :p I think we may be getting more support out of the ward though, with our new approach. The last three weeks of last transfer we had no investigators at church. We've only had one and then two this transfer, but we're going to continue to increase that. I used to feel the same way about the missionaries only being in Salem every now and then, but I understand now. We cover four towns. We only go to two of them. There isn't anything going on in the other two, really. We'd like for there to be, but there's a very limited amount of things we can do...and tracting is just about completely fruitless. (I've yet to have anyone allow us to teach them, from tracting.) It has to be the members and the ward auxiliary leaders that really get things going in an area. I dunno...no more preaching. Today is going to be so busy. I have to fix my bike, write letters, cut my hair, and shop still, before we start doing missionary work again tonight. It's going to be tight, and I don't think I'll get my nap this week either. :( Oh well, I'm doing well and am happy. I hope everyone is doing really well at home!
Love,
Aaron

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009

Well, here I am again. Elder Whitney is home and my new companion's name is Elder Jorgensen. He's from northern Virginia and has been out roughly eight months. He's 6'4", so that's nice. It's so weird; I'm driving now because he isn't allowed. I know the area pretty well now that I'm in charge of it because I'm the one that's had to find everything so far. I actually scraped up the hub cap this morning pulling up to the library, on a curb...yikes. I take a relatively new car and put the first flaw in it...poo. Well, at least it wasn't the bumper or something. The work in the area has slowed down lately. When I first got here we had a couple of baptisms coming up and we were teaching several people, now we're almost back to ground zero. So Elder Jorgensen and I are changing things up and visiting mainly with members and less-active members to get the ward excited about missionary work again. Before, we had only been visiting people and a lot of potentials that really weren't interested. It'll be good. I've been keeping an active journal, thus far. It's more about my thoughts and impressions about the day than actually names and things. On Easter we did work as usual. Our message was just more on the lines of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I'm not sure when I'll be calling on Mother's Day. I don't even know when it is, to be honest. But I will be calling. I may know before that time comes. I haven't gotten the package yet, but I probably will on Thursday. All packages get sent to the mission office where they then get distributed. Instead of forwarding them like they do letters, the assistants give them to the zone leaders who give them out when they're in the area. So I'm thinking since we have zone meeting on Thursday, I'll probably get it then. Karen, when I think of your Huggabunch thing, my first thought is Heart and Souls. Then it goes to whichever King's Quest game it was with the freezing iceberg lettuce that you throw into the boiling puddle so you can cross. Man...I suddenly want to play those games really bad! Oh well, I think I can resist the urge. We haven't had an area map with the pins in it yet, that tell you where everyone lives, which would have been very helpful, but we're going to make one this transfer. It'll make coordination a whole lot easier. I need to start taking pictures again soon. I haven't taken hardly any since leaving the MTC. Granted I've been extremely busy with no time to take pictures, and not really much to take them of...but still. Although I'm still always tired, I'm no longer falling asleep all day long. Church doesn't count, does it? Anyway, things are going great here and I hope everyone else is doing well too.
--Aaron

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Aaron says that his apartment is very bare. Their living room has two folding tables with matching metal folding chairs and a floor lamp. Missionaries are in their apartment to sleep at night and the rest of the time they study and then get out there and work, so there's not much use for other furniture. The neighborhood is pretty friendly. The apartment complex has weird knotty trees that look rather like the whomping willow from the Harry Potter books. He says that luckily none of them have attacked him yet. They walk everywhere in Modesto (the town where he is living) and ride bikes in Escalon (a town about 10 miles away) He said the biking was killing his thighs until he realized that he needed to adjust the height of the bike seat. All of this exercise will probably really get Aaron physically fit.

The Modesto Ward that he is in has been very good about inviting them to dinner. They are very grateful to have those good meals prepared for them. He says that some of the people keep wanting to tell them all about what is going on in the political scene; he has to just ignore it and get back to the missionary work. This should be a very busy week for Aaron since his companion goes home on the 8th. Oh, I forgot to say that he gets to attend the temple every other transfer, which is about every three months. That's pretty good.