I'm gonna do the "main" email first to make sure I have enough time.
It was a good week this week. First off, transfer calls were Saturday, and Elder Bailey and I are staying in Escondido, like we requested. Woohoo! So I'll probably be leaving Escondido in 6 weeks.
Wednesday I got my first official dog bite. We got a call from a random number, the guy on the other end said he was a member and wanted a blessing. We went over to his address, but there was a locked gate. There was a 3 foot fence, so I just climbed over and we went inside. Just then some lady yelled at us from behind and said something along the lines of "what do you think you are doing!! You just climbed over the fence!! This is our yard!" Then the guy came out of the house who was expecting us and said "it's okay, they're here for me." She calmed down. Then a medium sized black dog came out of the house and barked and barked and barked and barked. We just ignored it so it bit me on the leg just above the ankle. Didn't hurt that bad so I just ignored it, then it bit me again harder. The lady got mad at the dog and started frantically asking if I was okay and if it drew blood and whatnot. It was really annoying, we just wanted to get inside to talk to the guy. Eventually we made it in and sat down with the guy. He said he was an RM and his name was Chris . He had been inactive and about to divorce his wife. He wanted to see the missionaries so he called the San Diego mission, who gave him the number to our mission. The office gave him some missionaries' number, which were the wrong missionaries. Then he called back and got our number. We gave him a blessing and he felt better. On our way out the lady came again with her dog (he and his wife were renting from the lady, who turned out to be a retired cop), and she started being frantic again and made me show her my leg to prove there was no blood. That wasn't good enough so she got down and checked herself. It was really awkward. She mentioned she was going to such measures to make sure I wouldn't call animal control. Oh my... We assured her we wouldn't then left. Chris came to church this week.
We met with Richard that afternoon, and had a good lesson. He said no to baptism right now, but said he wants to work towards it. He wants God to tell him why he went through his hard times before he accepts baptism. Kind of bizarre, but we couldn't convince him otherwise. He is also moving to AZ the first week of May so we need to hurry!
There were lots of people dressed in green on St. Patricks day. More than I ever saw in Utah! Everyone was dressed up. Downtown there is R. O'Sullivan's Irish Pub which was decked out with balloons and whatnot and there were TONS of people there. Apparently it's quite the holiday here! We had corned beef and cabbage at the Boroughs.
Saturday was Shai's baptism. Or as she says it, "bapatism." She was remarkably well-behaved, which was nice. There were a lot of people that showed up (more than Billy's) and it was a really nice service. August baptized her, and we were the witnesses. He had been practicing the prayer with us all week long and said it perfectly the first time. I got some pictures. I look like a goof but oh well. I will send them in the mail. We are so excited for August and Shai. They are excited to go do baptisms for the dead soon.
After the baptism we had dinner with one of our favorite couples, the Velasquez family. They are a lot of fun, and made breakfast for us. Dessert was some really, really good cupcakes. We asked why they were so good, and Sis. Velasquez said the secret ingredient was Guinness beer. Cooked the alcohol out, of course. We thought that was funny. I've now had beer on my mission.
We saw John a few times. He is struggling coming to church, and with humility. On Sunday we had a lesson, and it was really hard to teach anything. He said several times the words "I'm perfect. I'm saved. I'm perfect." "So there is no room for improvement anywhere?" "No. I'm perfect." Oy... He was less dumb the next day but we're trying hard to get him to church. Hasn't been since January.
Christine went without coffee 6 of the last 7 days, since we taught her about the Word of Wisdom. She makes our job easy. We will introduce a principle, any principle, and she will then tell us why it is important, and then promises to live by it. We don't even need to invite her to do anything! She said she can go 7/7 this week easy. Other than that, she is ready for baptism. Still waiting on Jamie's letter from Salt Lake.
Yesterday we had some pretty crazy hail in the morning. It covered everything, so it looked like winter for about 10 minutes. At the biggest, we had dime-size hail. Thank goodness there was no damage to our car! Elder Bailey and I decided to run through it to the garage and back as many times as we felt like. I don't know why. Probably because we're stupid. It hurt!
Other than that we are doing well. It has been really nice weather-wise down here lately. We've had a hard time finding new investigators. We didn't have any this last transfer. We had 8 the first transfer Elder B was here. Hopefully we can pick up some more this next transfer.
That's about all I have for this week. I hope you are all well and happy. Thank you for your love and support. Have a great week
Hey family It's 12:34:56 wahoo! It's been a better week than last. Going to the temple last week was awesome. It's always a good experience. I have some new pictures I'll send. Tuesday night we had a lesson with Christine  and Kurt  in Christine's car. We usually meet with them at the church every Tuesday which is a little ways from our area, but this time they were crunched for time so we had a lesson in the car. That was fun!! Wednesday was John's birthday (49) so we had a lesson in the afternoon, and then we went to buy a cake for him. In the evening we brought Brother Smith with us to sing happy birthday to him. He was happy because no one else really did anything for his birthday. John missed church this week because he drank and drank Saturday night again. This time he felt REALLY bad about it and wouldn't stop apologizing to us. We were nice, but he said 'no, this is unacceptable. This is unacceptable." That was good to see him humble for once and want to be better. It is a good step for him. Thursday we spent the morning doing some service and I made an awesome cardboard version of Lehi's dream. I painted it black after, and soon we'll add color to it. We took our car to Pep Boys to get its brakes fixed, and we had to wait for about an hour before they could start working on it because Elder Denos (the car coordinator for the CCM) took forever to approve it, even though he sent us. Ha ha! I also learned how to play "Come Thou, O King of Kings" on the piano. Now I can play it while Dad whistles! I'm getting a lot better at piano on my mission. In our mission leadership meeting on Saturday, EB and I set up because it was actually held in our building (usually in Vista or C-Bad). We had some extra time so I started fiddling around on the piano. Pres Cook walked in and liked what he heard. He told the APs to take note that I can play piano well. Dang it! Now I'm stuck for a year and a half playing piano... Sunday we ate with the U of U alumni in our ward, the Juliens. They are a really fun family. At one point Bro Julien said "Honey, they are Ute fans! These are our people!!" That was a fun dinner. Still no word from Salt Lake for Jamie. Someone in Utah should go up there and ask the First Presidency to hurry! Elder Bailey and I will likely be in Escondido another transfer (6 weeks). We've been asking Pres Cook to let us stay, and he said we will stay together again. Transfers are in a week, and we won't know until Sat if we're going, but it's likely we'll stay again. We are very happy about that. That's about all the great stuff for this week. I hope you all have a great week. Love you all Elder Jon La Follette
It has been a long, unproductive, and trying week for the most part. But that happens.
The most fun part was Wednesday-Friday we were inside because I got the stomach flu. Woo... On Wednesday I felt okay until about 3:30, then I had to go to the bathroom. Next thing I knew I was in front of the Borough's fireplace for about 9 hours just trying to live. I barfed 16 times between Wednesday and Thursday. That was super exciting.
We only had 9 lessons this week. We usually get about 20. John was wacko for Saturday's lesson. We started to watch a general conference talk like we do a lot, but this time he just spent the first 2 minutes of the talk constantly making fun of the person who was giving the talk. He didn't stop talking, so we just turned it off and left. He didn't want to go to church either because he doesn't like testimony meeting. That's the only one he's been to, and that was clear back in January. He was a punk this week. We only had 1 investigator show up for church, Christine. She is doing super well. We taught her the word of wisdom yesterday. She drinks coffee a lot but was willing to give it up starting today. She has so much faith. We are still waiting for a reply from Salt Lake for Jamie. We didn't see Richard this week. We will probably get Shai interviewed this week and then her baptism will be next week. That's all the updates we have.
Today is temple day! Once every 3 months we get to go. We'll leave for La Jolla (city where the temple is) in about 10 minutes. We're very excited.
The weather is warming up again. Can't wait until it reaches 100+! Mike and Emily know how fun that is!
That's honestly all the updates I have for this week. It was a long boring week with about nothing exciting. Except yesterday we got yelled at by someone (like usual) saying "You're going to Hell!" This time I decided to reply "why?" He thought for a minute and then screamed "because you have 25 wives!" "Oh really! I didn't know that. Where are they?" He swore again then went away. That was fun to joke about for a while.
Well I gotta go now. I hope you all have a great week.
It's been another good week. Our investigators are still doing well. We haven't found a new investigator for 3 or 4 weeks now, but we are working hard to find one. So far it's the same people-- John, Christine [edit last name], Jamie, Donna, Richard, Shai, and Lahraseb. We haven't gotten a hold of Lahraseb for a while now, but we're still trying.
There are a few stories from the past week.
On Wednesday, we were going to contact a referral that we got from other missionaries. We got down there, and the lady that answered the door (not the referral) spoke only Spanish, like most people in that part of town, and we gathered that the referral wasn't home. We turned away and went back up the driveway and began to open her gate. Just then, a car full of spanish elders drove by, all of whom I know, and one of them, Elder Thorsteinsen (a big BYU fan) leaned his head out the car window and screamed "UTES SUCK!!!" It was loud enough the lady at the door came back out to see what had happened, and of course the car had driven on and we were the only ones out there. It sounded like we yelled "you suck!!!" right after we had gotten turned down at the door. We exited the gate, turned sheepishly to the lady, and smiled and waved goodbye. She waved back. Good thing she didn't speak english...
Some of you (Joe) might be interested to know that on Thursday, the front page of the major San Diego newspaper sports section had a huge picture of Jimmer Fredette, and the headline was "Year of Jimmer". There was then a page and a half dedicated to him. Apparently Kevin Durant said that Fredette was "the best scorer in the world." He better live up to that now.... This was before the big game on Saturday. We heard about the game from almost everyone we talked to, and President Cook even mentioned it in zone conference yesterday. Poor Aztecs.
We finally got Richard to church on Sunday. It's always a delicate situation taking investigators to church for the first time. You are around them a lot, mingling them with the best members, and trying so hard to ensure that their experience at church is the best possible. Sacrament meeting was first, and we looked at the program. Sister Pate and Brother Sommer were speaking, so we figured they are spiritual, calm people, this should be a great meeting.
Sacrament came around, and the second prayer on the water was SO LOUD. I don't know why the priest didn't take his face away from the mic. It was to the point that the speaker maxed out and got really fuzzy, but he just went on with the prayer. After the sacrament, Sister Pate spoke. The subject was visiting teaching. She did a really good job making it sound like people like Richard and other teachees are numbers and important projects. Not to mention that IswearSisterPatenevertookasinglebreathduringherentiretalkandspokesofastitwasreallyhardtofeeltheSpiritanditwasveryanimatedandSUPERCRAZY!!!!!!!
I wanted to die. Brother Sommer was next, hopefully he would calm it down and have a great talk. I don't like to be critical, but it sounded like a bad general conference talk, sounding very rehearsed, like a script. He also ended up being very bizarrely animated in the way he spoke. He ended, and I was happy to hear the closing song. At the end of the song, the prayer person was coming up, and the Spirit was almost there, and then Bro Sommer jumps up to the pulpit yet again, and yells in the podium "OH Yeah!!! I almost forgot the most important part! Well not the MOST important, but VERY important! When you're done home teaching for the month, REPORT YOUR NUMBERS!!!" and sat down.
I wanted to go run full speed into a brick wall.
But then I thought of Dad's story, how he got an investigator to church finally, and then some lady bore a crazy ranting "testimony" and he felt ruined. But the investigator didn't remember it, but remembered the Spirit. So I was optimistic again. We talked to Richard after the meeting to see what he thought, hoping he looked past the insane speakers. But he said he did not enjoy sacrament meeting. He knew it didn't apply to him and he thought the speakers were weird.
But he stayed the other two hours, and he really enjoyed those. He met lots of people and participated in class with good comments. Then he saw my quad scriptures and said he really wanted to get some of them. Hopefully next week (fast Sunday) will be better. Hopefully.
The 2nd hour of church, Brother Snapp, the gospel doctrine teacher, had us do a portion of his lesson. We were supposed to talk about righteous judgement. But he wanted to be fun and introduce us. So before our segment, he got out a CD player and played a song by the Righteous Brothers (non-LDS singing group back in the day), then said he had brought the Righteous Brothers to our church. Then he introduced us and we had a good lesson. That was fun. We were celebrities for about 15 seconds.
Yesterday we had zone conference from 7:30-3:30. That's a long meeting. But it was good. President Cook and Sister Cook talked a lot about having good studies in the morning. That's my favorite part of the day so I enjoyed it. I really like reading the scriptures. Not a lot else to tell about that though, other than boring missionary stuff. I did see most of my missionary friends though. Seems like most missionaries I know happen to be in the Escondido South zone. Cool! 3 of the 4 companions I've had were there. Only E. Child was gone, obviously. He's home.
Last night we "street contacted" a group of teenagers. They were nice, until the girl in the group realized who we were. She handed back our pass-along card and said "Jesus didn't die so you could have religion. Remember that!" and walked away. I think she was largely right, but she meant something different. We thought that was funny.
This mornign we had our regular once-a-transfer breakfast with our stake president, Pres. Haynie. He invites all the missionaries in the stake over. It was awesome. Then after, I redeemed myself in beating another missionary at ping pong, after last time. I talked a lot of smack last time and got my butt kicked. It wasn't even close. But this time was better. Then Elder Bailey and I slaughtered two other elders in pool. We're becoming quite the pool sharks because Bro Borough has a pool table.
Billy is doing super well with the Holy Ghost. He is a changing man.
That's all for this week. I love you all. Have a great week! Send me pictures, but not food right now.
Billy was baptized on Saturday afternoon. It was awesome! It was my privilege to baptize him. He really felt the Spirit, as did everyone at the service. His knee came up the first time, so we had to do it again. The second time he went down he went under, and I couldn't lift him back up when I tried to! I redid my footing, and while using all the energy I had, finally lifted him out of the water! I almost slipped into the water myself but it worked out! He is a very dense person! Heavy for his size. It was awesome. While we were changing, he said "that hot feeling I had... was the the good comin' in, er the devil leavin??" That was funny
We got the letter we needed from Jamie's probation officer that is proof that she is doing well in her probation. That is exactly what we needed to send to the First Presidency. We got a hold of it, gave it to Bishop Marler, who faxed it immediately to President Cook, who relayed it to Salt Lake. We are awaiting word now. Jamie will be baptized soon after we get approval. Christine, her roommate, FINALLY accepted baptism, and wants to be baptized the same day as Jamie. Hopefully we'll have another couple baptisms soon!
August got clearance finally from Bishop Marler to baptize Shai, and set a date for March 19. I still will be here for sure by then, so if all goes well we'll have another baptism in March.
Many blessings this week!
Ruben decided he wasn't interested in the church anymore and didn't want to waste our time. He is no longer investigating. But I'm sure someday he will again. We had two companion exchanges this past week. You can ask Joe what those are. They were both in the San Pasqual ward, where our DL Elder Walters is, which is my most recent old ward. It was neat to go there again and see everyone. The Jahns are leaving for Provo MTC tomorrow, and then will be in the Iowa Des Moines mission within a couple weeks. We exchanged contact info. They'll get back home a month after I do. I'm excited for them!
Last week on Tuesday night we went to the Christensens for dinner (one of our buddy families), and while they were cooking the fabulous steaks, Bro. Christensen played Wii golf right in front of us. That wasn't cool! It was tempting, but it was funny. We didn't give in, don't worry. The steaks were good, and EB and I got a large red velvet cake out of the dinner. Yum!
On my exchange yesterday, we helped the Kunze family with their yard in the morning. They live right across the street from the Jahns so we got to know them well (non-members). E. Hart and E. Walters had organized doing this service with another member family, keeping it small,but helping out a lot. When we showed up yesterday, the whole street was full of cars, and there were over 50 people helping in the yard from the ward. Of course someone provided donuts and lemonade, and there were 3 trucks. Good ol' Mormons! There were people from age 3 to age 75 there helping. We got a LOT done! We packed 32 large yard bags full of weeds and leaves and stuff. It was awesome!
Well that's about all for this week. I hope you are all doing very well. I'm sorry this was kinda short.
I love you all
Stay warm in Utah!
PS....Go AZTECS!!!!!! (that is the hometown team so I can say that...tee hee)