Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

E-mail – “Another day, another broke spoke”
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 1:51 PM

Imagine this, last Tuesday I found a broken spoke. I've been riding on it for a week, which isn't really a big deal, but I forgot to take it in yesterday... Oh well. I'll be a little wobbly for another week. I bought a full size bike pump yesterday, but I'll have to return it for another one, because it doesn't make any sense. It doesn't have any nozzles on the end of it. It just ends with an open tube. All of that same kind were like that. It was peculiar, and I can't figure it out. Well this week has been pretty good. There were several people with baptism dates when I came into the area. They all fell through. This past week we have been resetting them and we're still doing it. They'll happen...even if they do happen next transfer. In answer to your question, Mom, I have a 4x6 of the one that I think was the best one of the nuclear family in front of the temple. I don't have any other ones though. Also, yes, the goatheads will stab your finger when you pull them out...when you're not very careful. Only once did it draw blood though, and that was my own fault. I thought it was a rock in my shoe, so I brushed it off...not smart.

Zone conference is this week. I'm looking forward to it more than usual, because this will be the first one where I find out if anyone I had taught before had been baptized. I got a letter from one of my investigators from Modesto that I had taught a few times that said he had a date of August 22nd. I got the letter on the 22nd, so I assume it happened, which would be wonderful. Elder Bean's (my current companion) last companion in now up in the Modesto 5th ward. They switched it up, up there, so now a companionship covers both 5th and 7th wards. I'll have to write him and ask him how everything is going there. There are still tendrils of my roots fighting to survive and be involved in that ward.

I can't believe Dustan is, will be tomorrow anyway, in the MTC. He (I assume) is officially a missionary already. That's pretty freaky, weird, and awesome, if I do say so myself. I've been out almost 7 months...that's weird too. I realized it a few weeks ago, but I forgot to mention it. On August 10th, it was the 10 year anniversary of moving to Salem, MO. I haven't heard of any parties taking place, so I'll assume there weren't any.

I don't know if I've mentioned the grape harvesting here before. The Church owns a grape vineyard and the members in the entire surrounding area take care of it. They're pruned and harvested and all that, set out on rows of paper and allowed to sun dry. The subsequent raisins are sent worldwide to humanitarian aid. So harvest time is coming up, (over)
and I'm in the southern part of the mission. That means I'll get to do it. I think once I'm in the dusty fields with sweat and filth dripping down my back I'll change my mind, but I think it sounds like fun. I have a feeling it won't be anything like A Walk In The Clouds.

Speaking of movies (no, it's not what you think), toward the end of last transfer there was a movie-in and we went by to welcome them to the area. In the resulting conversation, the wife mentioned something about her sister, I think, being named Dorcus. I made the innocent comment about it being like Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. She about flipped and they told us that she absolutely loves that movie. I guess it's relatively popular, maybe? Anyway, as we were leaving the house, I couldn't help but burst out into a rendition of Bless Her Beautiful Hide. Gotta love it. Fun stuff.

We committed an investigator, Betty, to baptism last night. She said, "Yes, absolutely.", but then wouldn't commit to a date. So...I guess she hasn't made a real commitment, but next time I feel as though she'll accept full-heartedly. She's fairly golden.

Whoa. I was trying to think of what to say next, so I started moving the mouse down to the Start button to bring up Minesweeper. I haven't done that my entire mission. It just seemed such a natural thing to do. This is Elder Bean's second to last transfer in the mission. I figure, if both of us stay this next transfer, I'll be here for another three months--unless they double us out, which isn't too likely. It's been good hearing from everyone who wrote. I hope you're all doing really well!
~Aaron

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August 18, 2009

Well, I'm in my new area. It's just north of my last area. I'm excited for this transfer. We get to help with the grape harvest and we'll have a temple trip too. There are...were...maybe...five baptism dates set in this ward already. One of them has fallen through, and we've had to push most of the rest back until later, but I feel confident that a few of them will happen at least.

Surprise, surprise, I got another couple of flats this week. The thing is, Visalia has the goatheads. 2nd ward area had one place where you were likely to run into them. 1st Ward, I swear instead of using gravel to put into the asphalt to make the roads, they pave the roads with them. My front tire had already had, at least some of the Slime in it from before. I had to go buy a bottle because I kept getting slow leaks. It'll do fine now, maybe. They do make the solid rubber or foam tires, but I don't think they make them in my size tire. I'm not sure. 1st Ward, I swear, has more small children than they have youth and adults. The entire congregation was filled with children, and none of them all too quiet. It's weird, I keep running into people from 2nd Ward.

Elder Bean is great. We get along really good. He's more serious and a little severe at times, and very strict to the littlest rules and has to be as he's the district leader, which is good. I worked hard last transfer, but wasn't always the most reverent I could've been. It'll be good for me. Being the companion to a district leader has its ups and downs. The downs are things like: at night he has to make and receive lots of phone calls, so doing our nightly planning is difficult. Other times it cuts into our working time because he has to do meeting stuff or baptism interviews. However, the pros outweigh the cons. I never, no, not once, have to carry the phone! Wa ha ha! I'm going to get spoiled and out of the habit for later, but I don't care.

It turns out, now, I can receive pictures attached to my email, but would also like real prints of stuff. I can only look at pictures on my e-mails if I search for them through the emails when I'm at the library. Whereas if I have prints, they go in my album. Sorry no letters were written yesterday. It was crazy busy. I didn't get half the stuff I wanted/had to do. I didn't get letters written, shoes shined, desk cleaned, bike serviced (by myself), and definitely no nap taken for sure. Next Monday I will devote lots of time and be faster. They'll get written soon. I hope you all have a great week!
Aaron

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009

Aaron with a family from Modesto
Aaron with a giraffe from Modesto

Well, I have to make this quick, unfortunately. The Visalia library is now closed on Mondays so we'll have to e-mail Tuesday or something. Today is my birthday. Yay! I'm now 24, single, and a menace to society, and proud of it. On the 30th was Elder Dickson's birthday and I had bike trouble. Today is mine, and his is the one that was in trouble. It's fixed now though, but I guess he didn't want to break tradition.

We went to the Sequoia National Park last Monday on a zone activity. It was a lot of fun and made me awfully sore. Good stuff. I'm being transferred tomorrow to Visalia 1st ward. I'm currently in the 2nd, so I guess it's a step up. My new companion's name is Elder Bean. I sort of know him, but more know of him. He's a district leader, so that will be different. There will be more exchanges and more planning on my part. :Þ It'll be good. As much as I hate the planning part, I need to get proficient at it. Elder Dickson (my current companion) will be training this next transfer. It'll probably be good for him.

Yesterday was a good preparation day. We got a lot of stuff done around the apartment, cleaning, etc. I got several letters written too. In the evening we had two really good lessons and two really good church tours (which I had never done, but works really well). Right before I leave, some of our investigators start showing a little bit of promise. It'll be good. Hey looky there, Elder Bean and his companion came in just now to use the internet. It's strange knowing who your companion is. Every other time it's been people I haven't heard of before.

Oh yeah, on the 4th of August, I hit my 6 month mark on the mission. Wow, I'm an oldie. Well, not really. The way everyone seems to see missionaries is as follows. If you're 0 to 12 months, you're a greeny, plain and simple. If you've been out for 12 to 18 months, you're experienced enough. If you're 18 to 24 months, you're trunky. As far as I can gather, this is the way it goes. I really have to run now, but I hope everyone is doing well.

--Aaron

Monday, August 10, 2009

Aug. 10, 2009

Some Elders in Aaron's area
I didn't know he could do a pogo stick!
Care to see Aaron's new friend?

We didn't get an e-mail from Aaron last week since he was finally able to go to Sequoia National Park on his P-day and didn't have any time to get to the library to e-mail us. We did get a letter this week though. (That's how we knew he went to the park.) He said that it was very tiring since they hiked most of the day. They climbed Mt. Baldy and saw two of the biggest sequoia trees -- General Grant and General Sherman. I'm sure he took lots of pictures which we will see later.
He said that transfer calls were Saturday (two days ago). Of course he wrote the letter prior to Saturday, so we don't know what the results of that call are. I'm assuming he will stay where he is since he's only been there one transfer. You never know though; I've seen missionaries come and go that quickly.

I'm attaching a few photos that Aaron sent a week or two ago. He sent a bunch, so I'll attach some and then some more later. Anyway, he is doing well. We should hear some more today.
--Mom