There's a member in Visalia that owns an awesome restaurant and has told us that once a week we can eat there free. It's called Rio Brazilian Grill. They have kind of like a food/salad bar, but the main thing there is the meat. They come by from table to table with a big hunk of roast or a shish kabob of meats on a long poker, then cuts off slices onto your plate with this really sharp sword-like knife. It's really, really good and a lot of fun. Hey, when the price is right... We went last week. I'm not sure if we're planning on going again this week or not.
My bike is back and is "fixed"...I should say that the spokes and wheel that I asked them to fix are repaired. There's a few other things that need done, but I can do some of them myself with the handy little bike tool I have now. Thank you again, Mom and Dad. My card was rejected at the bike place so I had to use money from my allotment (which we're not supposed to use for bike repairs), so I'll have to take some money out of the account sometime, probably today.
We might be going to the Sequoia National Park next Monday. It hasn't been finalized, but hopefully so. It's closer I guess than Yosemite. I'm not sure if I'll have time to email next week, but we may. We'll find out later I suppose. Last week was so busy with shopping. Since my bike was in the shop, we got a ride with another set of elders to go shopping. We didn't get back to the apartment until maybe 5:00. I didn't really get any letters written, but I'll do better today, hopefully.
Jeanette, did you ever serve in Cody, WY? I might have asked you that last week, but I can't remember, so I ask again. Elder Dickson (and also Elder Carter who was both my MTC companion and Elder Dickson's last companion and Elder Jorgensen's current companion in Modesto) is from Cody.
There are a couple of things that I would like, but nothing (that I'm listing :)) that costs much. If someone could print out instructions on how to "true" bike tires with a spoke wrench to get it spinning straight, and send it to me in a letter, that'd be great. I have a multi-tool that has a spoke wrench on it, but I'm not sure how to use it. I think it's a matter of tightening some and loosening others, but I need some kind of Dummy's Guide or something. Also, I still want pictures of everything. The picture album you sent, Mom and Dad, is great. I pretty much want to fill it now. Family pictures, pets (past and present), houses (past and present)... I sound so needy, but there we have it. :) Oh, also I want pictures of when I had the Scottish/mountain man beard, as well as the goatee. No one I tell it to can imagine it.
I forgot my camera/picture card at the apartment, so I can't make any picture CD’s to send home this week. I'll try to remember next week. I have enough I think, to make two. If we go to the sequoias, there may be a third; we'll see. Good stuff.
So yeah, the work is going good. There are a lot of people who are willing to talk with us (more than in Modesto, I think we have the plague up there), but not a great number (like anywhere) who are really wanting to sit down and learn for themselves. It's a nice area though. It's another area where you have everything from very rich to very poor. It's not quite as much of a contrast as the Modesto area was, but it's still there. There are pros and cons of Visalia vs. Modesto, so it's good. It's a lot more rural here than Modesto was. That's really good. I'm more comfortable in small towns and country (granted 130,000 isn't exactly a small town, but compared to 200,000, there's a big difference. One of these transfers I'm hoping to get transferred to one of the booney areas. Well, as boonyish as anywhere in the valley gets. The foothills of the mountains are more laid back, I hear. Hopefully in the next few weeks a recent convert here will be going to do temple baptisms. We can go to that. On the 24th, an investigator, Ann, is getting baptized. We set up another baptism date this week with Sandor. He doesn't turn 18 until late August though, so it'll be on August 29th. He's been waiting for some time, being taught the lessons over and over, waiting until he becomes an adult and can move out. We have our zone conference this Thursday. That's always something to look forward to. This ward is really, really good about team-ups. We have one pretty much every night of the week, and some days twice. It's nice to get around faster and be in air conditioning once in awhile.
I don't remember if I mentioned what we did for the 4th or not. We went to a member's home for the evening, and then when we were at our apartment planning, we heard the fireworks, so we stepped outside and were able to watch them. Aside from the laws in CA about fireworks, there were many remnants littering the streets of what's considered illegal here. Anything that explodes or shoots up is against the law. I love Missouri's fireworks laws...or lack-thereof. It's drier down south, here. Well, I'm off. I'm going to try to get a few letters written today. I haven't kept track of who I wrote and when, so if some of you get more letters than others, I'm sorry. It's not that I like anyone more than others, but that I'm not well organized. It's a work in progress. I hope everyone is having a great week.