Monday, May 24, 2010

Another transfer is coming

So, do I go or do I stay?

Aaron among the wildflowers

Charlie and Phainyara's baptism has been postponed. It was really quite a bummer. Their dad wants them to learn more and show more effort, which is understandable. Their date has been postponed for a couple of weeks. Victoria, whom I started teaching and passed over to the YSA branch, will be getting baptized this coming Sunday. She's here at the library and told us. I knew she had a date, but I didn't know when. The craziest thing happened at church, yesterday. There was a member of the ward giving a talk, and all the sudden he keels over and faints with a loud crash. He's fine and all, and is getting tests done to see what's wrong (it's not the first time, I guess), but it was bizarre. I was reminded of that part in the movie 'Dave' when he collapses at the podium. After a minute or two, he got up and they helped him out. It was an interesting sacrament meeting after that, since he was the first speaker.

Saturday morning, a member called us and asked if we could help them replace their roof. We only had a couple of hours available until our appointments started, but we did what we could. He has wood shingles now. I had never imagined such a thing until I came out here. I guess it's dry enough that those kind of things work and they will be good for like 15-25 years or something...crazy-go-nuts) and is tearing it all up and replacing it all with regular asphalt ones. I enjoyed being up there and was wishing I could stay up there all day. It was fun and very productive feeling (as far as regular manual labor goes). Elder Hansen had never been up on a roof before, however. He was not a fan at all. He didn't like how he was having to walk on rafters and wooden slats, all of which were at a good angle. He was glad he was done, but I'm hoping he'll need more help with it, this week.

Elder Hansen and I will both be giving talks next Sunday. That'll be a first for me, giving a talk on my mission (in church, at least). Transfer calls will be on Saturday, so we don't know who will be going or staying. Elder Hansen has been here for four transfers and I've been here three. I figure I'll stay, or we'll be doubled out. I'm guessing I'll be staying, though, and that will be ok. I like it in this ward. I was at an investigator's home the other day and she was babysitting her grandson. They had The Incredibles playing in the background. Not only was I surprised of how much of it I still had memorized (not only the quotes, but also the inflections and sound effects), but also of how distracting such a thing can be when we're supposed to be teaching. Yikes.

It's been chilly the past week or so. It sprinkled a little a few days ago. Everyone's pretty shocked by it all. By this time, it should be much warmer. It was a much wetter winter than usual, so that may or may not have anything to do with it. I'm hoping it's a mild summer, but that hope will be vain, I'm sure. I know more of what I'm getting into with this one, though. I hope everyone is doing great, and I hope you have a good week!
~Aaron

Monday, May 17, 2010

I've had a good week.

Aaron enjoys a gooey dessert.

We had a really great week. I was on an exchange Wednesday in another area. The other companionship lives at the stake president's home. They have really comfortable beds and Sister Wasden makes them breakfast every morning. It was pretty good. Elder Hansen had his 21st birthday on Thursday. I have had four, or maybe five, companions having birthdays while I was with them. We still have cake in the fridge that someone gave us. It might still be good...maybe. I'll find out later, when we get back home.

We have an investigator, Charlie, that is getting baptized this Saturday. The whole ward is pretty excited about it. This week is going to be incredibly crazy and hectic trying to squeeze everything into it in preparation for that baptism. He and his sister came to church yesterday, and after church, Phainyaya (pronounced Pan-arra) told us that she wants to get baptized with her brother on Saturday. We're pretty excited about that. She has been telling us that she's Buddhist and a whole bunch of other things and we couldn't figure out why she was acting weird. It turns out that she didn't like being in the "big kid class". Their friend, Jim, is 11 and goes to Primary. We arranged it to where she could go to Primary with him (even though she's 13), and I guess she liked it. It's kind of confusing, but the ward is fully willing to make the exception.

This past Saturday...it was one of those days where everything could go wrong, but nothing did. It was great. There were so many variables with rides and lessons and everything, but everything ran very smoothly. It was great. We went to a baptism from another ward, and the girl getting baptized slipped coming down the stairs and almost went completely under the water (early). She laughed about it and wasn't hurt, so that was good. Then she had to do it again because her leg came up. She still had a good attitude about it, so that was excellent. It was scary and hilarious. My time on the computer is very limited again, unfortunately. Our ride that brought us to the library was a half hour late. I hope everyone is doing great!

Aaron

Monday, May 10, 2010

Good to talk to you all.

I'll have to make this kind of short. We made our reservations here at the library, then went to do our shopping, and got back too late. I only have this computer for 50 minutes, but also will be sharing that time with Elder Hansen, as his computer was taken by the time we got back. It was so nice talking to everyone on Sunday! Most of the things we talked about had already been discussed via email or regular mail, but to hear each other's voices is always great. It may be in the letter you sent, Mom, but did you get my package I sent home?

We had our zone conference earlier this week. Twice a year, they have the big ones like they used to (I think I mentioned this last week, but I'm not sure), so it was out of town and there were a lot of missionaries there. Things are really beginning to pick up in our area. We have been changing the way we've been doing things, a bit, lately, and I think it's starting to work.

All the stakes in California did a Mormon Helping Hands project where we cleaned up parks. It wasn't nearly as big a job as I thought it was going to be. Mostly it was painting, weeding, or picking up trash, but there was a huge turnout and we all wore the yellow vests with the hands and everything. It was a lot of fun.

I ran into a family I taught at the beginning of my mission, the Mau's, this morning at Wal-Mart (That was why we were late getting back to the library, actually.). I had run into him once before, but his wife, who had gotten baptized soon after I left, was there this time. He's in the elders’ quorum presidency, now, and they're really doing great. There was such a change in each of their countenances, since I had first met them. It was really great. I think she was going in for the hug when I came over to them, but I diverted it into a handshake, and all was well.

Both Elder Hansen and I were talking about how weird it always is after you call home, yesterday. Once you get off the phone, it's kind of like, "Well...that's that, then. Hmm... Yep." It's a strange sort of happening when the two worlds collide. I'll have another call, but it was especially weird for Elder Hansen because he goes home in October, so this was his last call home.

I'm definitely cutting my hair today. It has gotten too long to be acceptable back home, let alone the mission. I hope everyone has a great week!

Aaron

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'll be calling on Sunday

I still can't really believe I'll be calling home next weekend. Well, I guess I won't really be calling "home", but I will be calling family. The weather is really warming up. I think the rain is officially behind us. I'm going to regret being glad of that in a month or so. I'll have been out 15 months, tomorrow. The weeks used to go fairly slow, but anymore... Every day, it seems like it's another weekly planning session, Sunday, or preparation day. I still don't know why it always shocks me, how fast time goes.

This past week has been really good. We found more people than we usually do, including a family who appear really interested in really learning more. We should be taking them through on a tour this week. This next weekend, the church in California is doing a massive service project. All the stakes in California are doing a Mormon Helping Hands (with the yellow vests, and all) thing and we're cleaning parks, all on the same day. It'll be a really fun activity, I'm sure. I'm told the park we're going to is pretty much a homeless park, so it'll be lots of trash, and quite possibly plenty of medical waste. Fun times...I'm looking forward to it.

We had a really awkward dinner this past week. We were at a family's home and they had invited a man who they were going into business with for dinner, as well. He was a middle-aged man that was incredibly wealthy and he spent the entire dinner talking about all his many businesses and ranches. I guess he's the largest beaver owner in the world (meat and fur). One might think that would be really fascinating to hear about and to talk with him, but he just talked and talked and talked and wasn't mindful of anyone else in the room. It was interesting.

Things are going really well, here. The ward is showing more trust in us and is giving us people to go see (less-active members). They're trying to get the home teaching/visiting teaching going better, so we're helping with that. Yesterday afternoon, we were with a team-up and he wanted to stop by someone he home teaches because he thought he should. We get there and other family members were there, just about to give her a blessing for her surgery today. She was in tears that her family would be there, then the elders and her home teacher would show up, all without communicating with each other. Things just work that way sometimes. We'll be having a zone conference, tomorrow. Twice a year, they have a big one, and that'll be tomorrow's. It'll be four stakes'-worth of missionaries, like it used to be.

I'm looking forward to calling on Sunday. I hope to talk to lots of you (very briefly, of course) then. Have a good week!
~Aaron

P.S. Ok, I'll be calling at 1:30 pst(3:30 central) to the number you gave me (Amy's). I'll get the 40 minutes, as usual.