Monday, September 13, 2010

Crazy, busy week. . . .

This past week was so crazy-busy. It was really good because we really only had to plan backups...mostly. Some days were more filled than others, but it was pretty packed. We had a lot of appointments, mingled with two exchanges, church, weekly planning, zone/district meeting, preparation day, two days of 'specialized training' for the new Preach My Gospel focuses, etc. It was nuts. This week will be calm...er. I was with one of our zone leaders in their area on one of the exchanges. It's always kind of awkward being in a Spanish area because, well, I don't speak Spanish. I spend all day with my eyes flitting back and forth as they fluently prattle on, with a half-smile on my face so I don't look bored. I never really know what to do in situations like that, so I just look like an idiot. Every now and then someone will say something, and everyone's eyes will look in my direction and everyone laughs. Language barriers...I definitely need to break through a couple of those some day.

I was on a normal (English) exchange on Saturday. We spent the morning doing service for a friend of some members. She is older and disabled and her garage was packed and unusable. We and several members of the ward went over and took everything out, organized it, cleaned out the garage, then put everything that didn't get thrown away back inside it. It was amazing toward the end, because we were telling more about ourselves and she asked us why we were helping her, and she bursts into tears and says "I mean, you don't even know me!" She continues by throwing her arms around the other elder who, with wide eyes, pats her awkwardly on the back. Then she turns to me and I just put my arms out and accepted the inevitable. She was very appreciative of everyone's help and invited the missionaries back, any time, to talk. Earlier in the day, I overheard her say, "Oh, it's just a bag of old coins. It was my parents, but I don't really care about it. Just put it over there and maybe I can find someone who wants it." I felt like a dog who hears the words, "Do you wanna go out?" I asked her if she wanted to sell them, but she gave them to me. There isn't anything (to my knowledge) too valuable, but I just love old stuff. It was really nice of her.

We had a reorganization of the Elders Quorum in our ward, since our president moved due to work. Now, the man who was serving as 1st councilor is our assistant ward mission leader. He'll do really well with it. We'll be having a zone activity, today. It'll probably be volleyball or something, with fewer missionaries as last time. Some of the companionships that live farther away have decided to not come. There are still a lot that will be there, I'm sure. I spent most of last preparation day catching up on some stuff.

We had two days of the specialized training in Turlock. President Gonzalez bought everyone lunch from a taco truck (mobile Mexican-food) on Friday. A lot of them look like a converted RV or something, kind of like you would see at Grayville Days or something, but this one was a huge bus converted into a sit-down or take-out restaurant. It's kind of bizarre, but amazing food. Amazingly fatty, I'm sure, but really, really good. We have one more day of the training; then we will get the new DVDs and training packets for the new focuses. Applying them in teaching is actually really amazing. They're all stuff we should have already been doing, but now the focus goes onto teaching skills over learning and giving lessons. It's the next step, like Preach My Gospel already did. It's the middle of September. The days are starting to get cooler, sometimes. Some days it's still in the high 90s or in the 100s, but lately it's been in the 60s-80s. Last year, in Visalia, it was 100+ constantly until one day, all the sudden, the 'fever' broke and it was in the 70s. That was hard on my immune system and I quickly developed a terrible cold and lost my voice for a few days. I'm glad it does a gradual thing, here. I hope everyone has a great week!

Aaron

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