Monday, April 26, 2010

Lots of Service

April 26, 2010
(I just put in this post and the next one too, so you'll need to read both.)--Mom

Well, here we are on Round 3. This is the third transfer that Elder Hansen and I are in the Modesto 2nd Ward. It really doesn't seem like it's been that long. It only feels like this is our second, maybe. We did a lot of service this week. We've been more willing than usual to help members in whatever they need. Saturday involved a lot. The whole morning consisted of a semi-annual deep cleaning of the church building. The one I'm in is the oldest one in Modesto. It was built in the 50s, is made of brick (almost nothing was made of brick here), and is two stories! It's a two story church building. I had never seen one before I came here. ...Well, I might've once, but I'm not sure. It's much cleaner than it was before. Right afterwards, a member asked us to come over and turn over the dirt along the fence in their back yard. It always amazes me when I dig in California dirt and it's easy to do. With very little effort, a shovel can dig into and pull up a shovelful. It's not quite that way in the Ozarks. That same night we were pulling weeds at an investigator's house.

We had a ward activity on Friday with a really great turnout. It was a potluck. It had a much better turnout than their previous efforts with no food and just a game night...things like that. The secret to making people happy and plentiful in attendance is food. It's a universal law, I think.

The ward had its ward conference on Sunday. It was very similar to the one when I was in 8th Ward (same stake). It was like watching a good movie for the second time, except there were little things that changed to fit local circumstances.

I'm in the process of making a new map and ward lists. I copied a map, made it the right size and color-coded the areas and all the preparation work. I'm now in the process of taping it. Once the areas are color-coded and the ward list is also color-coded, it'll make finding people a lot easier. It's finding the few minutes here and there to do it that makes it a slow process.

I can't believe it's been four months since Christmas and that April is almost over. Mother's Day is only a couple of weeks away, too. How weird is that. I'm not sure, yet, what is going on for the call. It'll likely be sometime in the afternoon/early afternoon (our time). I should be mailing a box today that will have my picture CD. Have a great week!

Aaron

Staying in Modesto 2nd Ward

April 20, 2010

It's just so crazy. We had to wait an extra day to hear about transfer calls, again. The crazy part is that Elder Hansen and I will be staying together in the Modesto 2nd Ward for a third transfer, together! I've only heard of it happening a couple of other times, myself. It just doesn't happen. It's a good thing we get along. We've been joking the past couple of weeks about the idea of us staying together again. The thing is, everything we say to each other (any story, comment, or opinion), the other one says "You've already told me that before." It's mostly my stories, actually. I'm a story-teller and it turns out I've told most of my stories to him at one time or another in the past few months. He'll be having his 21st birthday this transfer, as well. I think this'll make it my fifth companion out of the seven that will have had their birthday while I was with them.

We had a really busy day on Saturday. Our days are usually pretty busy, and if they aren't, we make them busy. This, on the other hand, was rushing around all day as fast as we could because we had appointment after appointment. We also had some service-yard work we did in the afternoon. It was nice getting a weed eater out and destroying four foot tall grass and weeds and getting covered in plant muck.

The day of transfer calls (well, the day they're supposed to be) are always a little stressful, anyway. You never really know when the call is going to come. If it's any kind of leadership position for yourself or your companion, the call can come anytime in the morning or afternoon. Otherwise you're likely to get the call sometime in the late evening. We've been making goals and plans for the upcoming month and a half. We're going to change some things up in both our missionary work, as well as the apartment. I'm not sure how we're going to go about it, yet, but some of the furniture is going to be moved around to give it a new look. The new look should give it a fresh look, I'm hoping. It'll be a good transfer.

I'm making a picture cd today. I'll mail it next week. I have a bunch of other stuff that I'll need to mail home, so I'll put it in a box. Umm....I can't really think of much else to write on here, so I'll write again in...oh...let's say, a week.

Aaron

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Last Rain?

April 12, 2010

It rained so hard yesterday. We were soaked through. It'll be one of the last rain showers this year, though...probably. Soon enough it won't rain anymore until maybe October. I'm not looking forward to the blistering heat of summer, nor do I enjoy being wet and cold. It was fun, though. Seeing the looks of pity of the faces of the members as they drove past cheering on made me laugh enough to where it was worth it.

I got the backpack you ordered for me, Mom and Dad. It's amazing and just what I need. This summer will be a lot better than last with this. I got it on Tuesday when they all came up for the zone conference. I was pretty psyched. There's a rule that we can't open packages or letters until after all the planning is done at night. I had to hold onto it all day (well, it sat in the apartment), waiting. It was worth it.

We'll be getting transfer calls on Saturday. I'm predicting that I'll be staying and that Elder Hansen will be moving on. No one ever really knows, but that's what I'm pretty sure is going to happen. We'll just have to wait and see, I suppose. Have a good week.

Aaron

Monday, April 5, 2010

I loved General Conference

General Conference was amazing. This weekend was the first time I had ever really appreciated it. When I was home, I would slog through as little of it as I could justify and get on with my life. The last April Conference, I was newly out and still had much of the same mentality as before. The October one, I was pretty sick and I was pretty out of it the whole time I was watching it. I remembered Elder Holland's talk on the Book of Mormon (who could forget it?), but that was pretty much all I got out of it. This time I took six pages of notes (front and back) on college ruled paper and got so much out of (most of) the talks given. I really loved Elder Holland's talk, as well as the ones on family history, family, and person revelation and responsibility. We watched a couple of the sessions at member's homes, then the rest at the stake center, here in Modesto. I discerned a lot of the things I need to do to help our investigators and to find, as well as things I need to do in my personal life, during Conference. I really loved it.

We had our Easter dinner right after the last session on Sunday at a member's home. They were having a big family meal and afterward they gave both of us a big Easter basket each. I got the Easter box. Thanks so much! I loved the picture of Pakamer on her back, half-hanging off the couch. It seemed like a pretty typical pose.

It's temporarily back to being kind of cold and rainy the past week or so, but spring is inevitably just around the corner. It's actually already spring. It's been spring for a couple of months now, but it's still occasionally jacket weather. It can be in the fifties, though, and not be jacket weather. I've become acclimated to the climate here. It feels hot when it's in the 70s. Last fall, when it hit the 70s, I was freezing so badly. Summer will be coming on soon enough. I have a couple of months before it really sets in, but once it's here, I'll know it.

Today (as every Monday is) will be pretty busy. Thankfully we will not be going off to play dodge ball, basketball, volleyball, or any other kind of ball (I enjoy those things, but they are timely activities), today. Today I am cutting my hair, writing letters that I'm backed up on, and cleaning the apartment. The apartment got to a point where it wasn't disgusting anymore, so a lot of the fun has gone out of it, and a lot of it is to normal maintenance (sweeping, dusting, etc). It needs all that, and more of the deep cleaning. I bought a new scrub brush weeks ago and haven't used it once.

It's all been pretty busy. I hit my 14 month mark yesterday. We are going to be having a zone conference, tomorrow. I have a package I need to be making soon, to send home. Most of the stuff that's within it are stuff that I've had sitting around for awhile that just need to get sent at some point. It's building up, though. Some of it that I was going to send, at one point, I won't, though. Some of it is just junk that I've collected.

There's a member family that told us this past week that they want us to come live in their home. It would be amazing. They're really good ward missionaries, have a good home for it, live in a pretty central location in a nice neighborhood... It'll just be a matter of time. It likely won't happen anytime soon, but it would be amazing if we could live there. I've never lived in a member's home, before. That's the way the mission is pushing, though. It's much cheaper, and better overall. So, what did you all do for Easter? Have a great week!

Aaron

Saturday, April 3, 2010

March 29, 2010

Well, finally I was able to get Aaron's blog website to work right. For the past couple of weeks I could not get it to sign in so that I could put his emails on. It was frustrating. I did put them on mine, but all of you don't see that. So here they are. We should get another one on Monday. Cross your fingers; you may get to read another.
~Mom



March 29, 2010

I had salmon, this week. It was the second time I've had fish on my mission, and the second time I've had fish (unless, of course, you count tuna or fish sticks). It was pretty good. It isn't my favorite thing, but it's good.

I had a pretty cool experience happen, as well. We got a call from another companionship in the area because someone needed a blessing in the hospital that is in our area, here. It turns out it's from the 5th ward, where I started my mission. The guy who needed the blessing had had a heart attack, or something. I knew the family pretty well. I was able to catch up a little on their lives in the past year. Also, their home teacher turns out to be Bro. Mau. When I met them, he was a member, and very less-active. The rest of the family were not members of the church. I started teaching them and they started really doing well. After I left, they were all baptized. Now, they're all doing well and active, more of their extended family are joining the church, and he's a dedicated home teacher that is giving priesthood blessings. It was an awesome afternoon to be around them and see the change.

We had a good Sunday. We had four investigators at sacrament meeting. They all seemed to have had a really good experience there. They all stayed the full time, as well. We were pretty excited.

I think it's crazy that General Conference is this weekend. We just had it, but here it is, again. On the other hand, even Christmas seems just recent, but that was three months ago. To hear that Andrew is starting to walk and talk is pretty weird to me. After all, he's only -4 months old. I'm going to try to take a lot of pictures today and the following week, and get a CD made next Monday. I have maybe two or three transfers-worth of pictures on this card. I'm afraid of it doing like that last card did.

We have our zone activity this afternoon. I'm sure it'll be volleyball or something. That's good, though. I like volleyball. It's a good day.
Aaron

March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010

No coat is such a nice luxury. It may have dipped into the 20s a couple of points into the winter, but only a couple. Most of the time it was cold enough to need a coat, but only a lightweight jacket that would cut the wind. Most of the time it seemed to stay in the 40s and 50s most days. It should still rain a little, later on, but for the most part, it shouldn't rain too much more until maybe September or October. I'm not looking forward to the summer months, but I will be glad when I don't have to worry about being rained on for awhile.

I never got out to the portion of our area with the almond orchards. I'm sure the blossoms have fallen and the leaves are coming on by now. It's interesting here, though, because when it's maybe 45 degrees, it feels great and there isn't too much need for a coat (unless you're biking and need it due to the added wind).

I can't believe it's already two weeks into the new transfer. It's almost like I'm in a bobsled, speeding along. We had our zone conference on Tuesday, which, as always, went really well. I liked this one especially, because there wasn't a single role play where we broke off and pretended. It was all instruction, study, and council.

This month, the mission has been focusing on study skills. Every month (it did change every transfer, but now it's every month) we have a mission-wide focus. March, the focus is on learning to study more effectively and all that from chapter 2 in Preach My Gospel. It's interesting and my study is a lot more satisfying.

I'm looking forward to general conference coming up. I can't believe it's only a couple weeks away. It seems quite recently that the October one happened. What made me even more shocked is when I realized that Mother's Day is only about a couple months away. It seems like Christmas just happened and I had just called home. It'll be crazy.

We committed to playing dodge ball, today. We'll be spending our afternoon playing that. It'll be a good day.

Aaron