Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I wrecked my bike.

It's starting to get more rainy. So far it's been pretty good. I don't mind gentle rains, which it is mostly here. Even when it pours, the raindrops are still quite small. It's just a lot of little drops. Every once in awhile we'll have a real downpour with big drops and the works, but it isn't the usual thing. It's Elder Goodsell's birthday, today. He's 20, and is pretty excited about it. It kind of reminds me of Jason, a bit. We have a couple people set up for tonight that know it's his birthday, along with the lessons. I'm sure it'll be recognized and everything. I wrecked my bike this week! It was a real blow to my pride--an even bigger blow to my pride than my body and bike. It's the first time I have ever wrecked my bike, which was a pretty good accomplishment and I was hoping that I would never do it. There was a storm drain grate that is broken or too small or something that my front tire went into and I almost went over the handlebars. I was able to go sideways, somehow, and only landed on my side. My front wheel got messed up and both sets of brakes. They're mostly fixed, now, but I may have to have the bike shop look at that back brake...I'll look at it again today. Apart from that, I skinned my hand a bit, my right leg got scraped up by the front gears, and my left leg is kind of bruised and swollen in places from my bike (and me) landing on it. I'm ok, though. Like I said, it was mostly my pride that got hurt, thankfully. I need a little humbling every now and then. I did a couple exchanges this past week and will be doing two more this week. Today, like I say every week, is going to be very hectic. I have a lot of cleaning and other things to take care of. It'll get done, though. Last week, they wanted to go play basketball and it was a waste of a needed day. I have to go, but I love you all.

I'm on the 15 minute computer again. This is the second time I've logged onto it, so I have to do my emailing in spurts and hope no one reserves the computer. The week went pretty well. We still haven't been able to meet with Erin, which is really a bummer. We're going to call her member sister today and try to get that going, again. We had stake conference, yesterday. It was...pretty boring. There were one or two interesting things in the talks, but it was overall pretty boring. One guy from our ward spent his talk expounding the book of Revelation about the seals and the eyes and the horns and the books, etc. It was...interesting. We had several investigators there, though, so that was good. None of the ones there are progressing toward baptism, though, so that's too bad. Maybe they will, though. Who knows. Our mission president's wife and another senior sister have been touring the mission to certain areas and doing apartment checks. It has always been the zone leaders that do transfer apartment checks to check up on their cleanliness, but they were doing something special. They stopped by our apartment, and although overall it looked pretty good, there were a lot of things they were asking for that was mostly deep cleaning things...and a few regular maintenance issues. It's all about having time for it though. I just need to be using all my time effectively like I used to do. Today will be a lot of cleaning after I get all the preliminary things done--mostly finishing the district meeting agenda and things like that that I have sitting around. I also have some sewing I really need to do. I have a couple pairs of pants that I can't wear because they need sewing that badly, which shows just how bad it has gotten. Not too, too much is happening right now that's too exciting, but I will be sure to make exciting things happen. Have a great week everyone!

I asked my mission president again about Christmas CDs because apparently the music policy has changed a bit. It doesn't necessarily have to be an LDS artist. If you could sent the Josh Groban: Noel and the Christmas In Europe CDs again, when you get home of course, that would be outstanding. I was excited to hear that they are now allowed. My bike's problems now aren't due to it breaking just because it stinks, but from an alternate source, which is nice. Like I said in the other email. It's ok mostly. I just need to do something about that back brake. Hopefully it won't take too much. You're on the train right now. The Amtrak comes through Merced all the time with three or four cars on it. I always love seeing it pass by. I'm pretty sure I never came through central CA before, but just on the coast, but I don't know. Either way it's interesting to see. I love you both--out of time



Monday, October 18, 2010

The work progresses well.

The beginning of every transfer is always so busy and hectic. Things are going really well, though. I'm glad I stayed again, because things really are going quite well. The ward has been slowly but surely stepping up to the plate on everything and showing a lot more support of the missionary effort. We had two baptisms on Saturday and they were confirmed on Sunday. We have one person with a date in late November and another that we'll have to reset the date with. She's embarrassed about some stuff and feels she needs more time, which we agree with. She was trying to rush herself and jump into something she wasn't really ready to be fully immersed in (not a baptism pun, but it works). It's mostly a whole social thing. She's 15... It was overall a good week.

My email time is limited today as well. This time I'm on a 15 minute computer and a lot of that time was spent reading emails. It's started raining again. It rained a couple days a couple weeks ago, but it's starting to be more constant now. I don't mind it really. I'm just not really looking forward to being constantly wet and cold and never really drying out. It'll be good though. The rain hasn't washed the roads yet, so it still has dirt and sand and everything else on it, so our pants and shoes are still being covered in splatters. That should start going away as the roads are cleared by the rain.

We had a really good day at church, yesterday. We had a few investigators there, and some less-active members we've been working with. After all that, we had some good meetings. This week we have a zone meeting and our president's interviews which is now only every other transfer. The temple trip that would normally be this transfer is rescheduled for around Christmas. Have a great week.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yosemite was amazing!!

La-de-da-de-da...I'm walking from priesthood opening exercises to elders quorum in another room, passing the foyer..."Tom!" I come across Tom Wilson and his wife and kids. It's really kind of freaky, the worlds colliding like that. We talked for a little while, took a few pictures, then we went on with our days. He was visiting Jeff, who was blessing his baby in the branch.

Yosemite was amazing! It's absolutely gorgeous. All places have beauty, but this place really does. All of the mountains are granite that had been carved by a glacier, so even the sheer rock themselves are all sorts of colors. The waterfalls weren't rushing, but most of them were still going. We took a lot of pictures and climbed on a lot of rocks and had a good time. It was really really good to get out into the country and far out of the city. It puts everything into perspective.

We set a couple new baptism dates last week. One of them is for the 17th (Sunday) and the other is for the 27th of November. We should be having three baptisms this weekend, when all goes well. A lot of preparation still needs to be done. I'll write more about them later.

I got to do some interviews for these four youth in the Hmong branch, then on Sunday we attended their baptisms. Their ages ranged from 9-16, so it was kind of fun determining how I should approach all of them, especially when asking about the law of chastity. They're good kids.

All of the transfers went well. The work is moving forward and is doing very well, here. It's really good to see that, too. At the end of this transfer I'll have been here for about 6 months or so. This is the longest I've stayed in any one area. I only have two more transfers after this, so I'll likely have one more area, somewhere. I have to get rushing, but I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Captain Aaroni (Captain Moroni is his scriptural hero)

He is working to develop a good healthy diet.

Aaron in the church's grape vineyard.
They pick these to make raisins for the church's welfare system.

Here he is again in the vineyard.

None of these are his current companion but it's a good picture.

We got our transfer calls. Both Elder Goodsell and I are staying. I pretty much expected it. All three district leaders are staying in their place this transfer. I figured they would do that as much as possible because of the new training and all. We usually receive our calls on Saturday night, but I'm guessing due to Conference, and not having as much time throughout the day to make 'leadership calls', it got pushed back. The zone leaders are in my district and one of them is leaving to be the new assistant to the president. Another elder is going up to the Modesto 2nd Ward. I'm pretty jealous about that, to be sure. I'll be sure to give him a small list of people to go to and advice and everything else that every missionary who has served where you're about to go to does. It was a really good ward. I'm glad to be staying. Things have really started looking up in the work, here, and I would hate to miss it.

I turn 20 months old today. It's insane that I only just a little over 4 left. The craziest part about that is that I still feel like I should be new--not that I feel new--but I feel like I should be new. I'll hopefully be going to Yosemite next Monday, so I may not email next week. The senior couple in the district have asked us if we'd like to go. As I've never been and want to go and don't have too much time left to procrastinate it any further, we're going. We're just waiting to get the green light from the mission to be able to go.

General Conference was amazing. I loved all of it, but especially the priesthood session. Every talk in there was really good. The biggest focus that I could catch in all of it was letting everyone know that Lucifer was around before and is here now and we need to not be hooked by him. That's what I got more than anything else, I think. It seemed like every talk came back to that, just about.

We set up two baptism dates for later this month, this week. Tomorrow, we're going to set up another. She will almost for sure say yes and probably have it done before the end of the month. I'm really glad I'm staying in the area. I would have hated if it had been like last time when I moved and we had a triple baptism planned that weekend. The elder that is going to Fresno to be the new assistant will be leaving this afternoon, so we'll have Elder Arias with us for a couple of days, in a 'threesome'. It'll be interesting, fitting everything in. It'll be good. Everyone have a great week