Aaron didn't email last week because they did make it to the temple, which took their p-day. Here's a nice long one to make up for it:
The past couple of weeks have been really good. The biggest highlight was the temple, of course. It really magnified my testimony of everything. It was a far better experience than I had had in the past and received real insight and personal revelation that I had not gotten as strongly on other visits. It's always too short, of course, but it was really good. I look forward to the day after my mission when I can make a trip alone and stay until I'm satisfied. It was pretty amazing.
We had also had a pretty great zone conference a couple weeks ago. We're no longer doing the nightly call-ins to our district leader. It's bizarre, the difference in policy. I'm not sure why that makes such a big difference, but it really does. The whole point is so revelation and our thought process after nightly planning isn't disturbed by making our calls at the end of the night and rushing to get to bed on time. It was a really great zone conference.
I had mentioned before, during my first week in this area, about the investigator named Hilary. She's the one with pioneer ancestry and all that. I was kind of bummed because we had an amazing first meeting with her, then we hadn't been able to really contact her much for the next three weeks. She had gotten pretty sick and nothing seemed to be working out. We finally caught her again and took her on the church tour. We committed her for baptism for later next month. She's really ready too. It's what she's been looking for. We're hoping to be able to get her whole family on board, of course. She's married with two kids, 11 and 15. They're a great family and it would be great for them.
Friday was ridiculously hectic. We had a really early breakfast at Denny's with our bishop, then had to rush over to pick up a missionary vehicle and rush to Stockton (30-40 minutes away, and out of the mission) to get to my doctor's appointment. Then we rushed back to the apartment and picked up my bike tire from the shop (broke another spoke...hate my bike--ok, I love my bike, but I hate the sins it commits against me), and head over to our 12:00 lunch appointment with an investigator. After that we had to make a bunch of calls in the park across the street, rush back to the apartment and do a quick half-weekly planning session, then have a quick dinner in the apartment, and go out to work in the evening. It was a crazy day.
I had an exchange where I went to work in the Spanish elder's area on Saturday. That was so much fun. I half-wish I was a Spanish elder because it's so much fun. Most of the lessons we taught that day were actually in English, because many of the people are bi-lingual, but there were a few in Spanish. I kept wanting to jump into the conversations, but I really don't have the faith to let the gift of tongues to fill my words, I guess.
We spent most of the day down in airport district with all the gangs, meth-heads, and bums (not teaching them, but surrounded by them). It really reminded me of Visalia 1st in a way. It was also really nice being in a car all day. I would get pretty fat if I did that, though. I can guarantee that.
I spent the evening cleaning their vacuum cleaner (the filters) and making it work. The filters didn't dry in time for me to use it though. I was bummed. Their apartment was nearly as gross as ours was. We had a bunch of people come to church yesterday; it was great.
We only had one investigator there, but we had been trying to get him there for awhile. He had a great experience and told us that he hadn't had a cigarette in three days (which seriously cuts down from three packs a day). He had a great time while it lasted. He even showed up in his tow truck uniform because he had to work. There were also huge groups of families and individuals of less-active members that we are working with that showed up for church. It was a pretty good day at church.
Last week was really warm and we spent several days biking without a coat and it was dry too. Now it's wet and pretty cold. It won't last long, though. Pretty soon it'll be back to great weather. Then, when summer hits, it'll be miserably hot again. We'll take it one step at a time.
That's awesome about Michael being "The Beast". I can see that, I really can. It sounds like a lot of fun.
I can't believe Daniel is turning eight soon and getting baptized and that Sierra is going to be reaching double digits! That's just absolutely crazy. What's really crazy is when I was telling someone that I took French in high school and that I don't remember too much of it because I didn't do too well, I only took one year, and that was TEN YEARS AGO. I'm so old. I can feel it in my bones. Another six months and I'll be a quarter century old. I'm really glad that Andrew's procedure went well.
Today we will be having a zone activity. It'll probably be volleyball or something. Oh, I don't remember when I received it, but I don't think I've mentioned it, yet--my trainer is getting married. That's the weirdest thing ever. I guess it's been a year since he went home, but still, seeing a picture of Elder Whitney with his arms around a girl--so weird. I also heard from Elder Bean, who is going to BYUI and dating. That's too weird. I hope everyone's doing well and staying healthy.