Monday, April 25, 2011

25 April 2011

Hi Family!
I hope you all had a great week. We had a good week here.
It was a long week, not a lot happened, unfortunately. A few days we spent all day trying to contact referrals and potential investigators without really any success. We did pick up one new investigator, who actually used to be taught 3 years ago-- Antonio [edit]. He is a single dad, 33 years old and has an 8-yr-old son, Eddie. He is a super-active athlete between soccer, volleyball, and softball. Strong Catholic background, but he said he is always willing to learn more about other religions. When we went over there, he said he still had his Book of Mormon from a few years ago, and it was in a very accessable place. Most people put theirs in a box or throw it away but that was good news. We've had some other new investigators but some of them are more promising than others. Antonio has some good potential.
We had a hard time getting a hold of Max recently but we finally got to teach him again. He and his wife Becca are still focused on the temple and getting him baptized. Because we hadn't met for a couple weeks we'll have to push his baptism date back, but he will be fine.
Elder Bailey was sick this week, so we had to stay in for an evening on Wednesday. We had some weird concoction of Billy's on Monday that probably started it. He gets really bad stomach pains after every meal but he's feeling better now.
We weren't able to get a hold of John all week, which was strange. He's usually home all day every day, but ever since he got his car and bucks, he's been out doing who knows what. He's been drinking pretty heavily and smoking and probably other stuff. He's taken several steps backward as far as spiritual progression goes. We hope we can get a hold of him and help him start doing the right stuff again. He's starting again to really screw up his life. He got a great blessing in permanent disability income, but he's spent all of his money so far on stupid stuff, especially vodka. Let's hope he turns around soon.
Jamie, Christine, Billy, and August all went with Bishop Marler to the temple last Tuesday to do a baptisms for the dead session. They all had extremely spiritual experiences and loved it. Their testimonies grew a lot in just a week. For example, Jamie said "The last 16 months and after I got baptized, I thought for sure this was the right thing to do for me and my children. It all seemed right. After having gone, I know. I know I know I know it is the best thing I can possibly be doing." Christine and Billy said something similar. We haven't been able to talk to August much about it, but he did mention he really enjoyed it.
One of our zone leaders, Elder Brown, is a trombone player from Brighton HS in Cottonwood Heights. We talked about band and I'm pretty sure he's going to join the Utah marching band when he gets back (goes home next week). He said that'd always been a dream, and after talking, he decided he'd audition. That would be really neat to have a buddy in the trombone section when I get back!
That's about all I have this week. I hope you all are doing well. I appreciate your support and emails and stuff. Mothers Day in a couple weeks, and it's time to talk again! Hurray!
This will probably be my last week in Escondido, which is tough. I really love it here. Transfer calls are Saturday, so I'll let you know next week.
Love you all
Elder La Follette

19 April 2011

First off, Happy Birthday Mike on Sunday! 31?? Sheesh. Hope it was a good one!
It was a quick week, but a lot happened! I will have to shorten my stories considerably because it took a week for them to happen but I have about 15 minutes on here to tell you.
I'll go in chronological order except I'll start with the best news-- Jamie and Christine are officially baptized and confirmed members of the Church! Saturday was a great day! President Cook and his wife came to the baptism service. Bishop Marler baptized Jamie, perfectly on the first time. Elder Bailey took 3 tries to baptize Christine (rookies...). He did fine, but her hair and much of her knee came up the first time, and the second time her knee came up again. Before the 3rd time, President Cook suddenly appeared right next to me (not 10 seconds before he was standing in the back of the room with a giant crowd of people between us--I was a witness) and told Christine to sit down in the water. We had told her before but she had forgotten. He reminded me of the butler guy on Mr. Deeds--"I'm very sneaky sir." Later Pres and Sis Cook were talking to Billy outside in the parking lot. We were in our car watching them briefly. When they were done, Billy walked in between them and us, and when he passed them, they were gone! We looked around and they had vanished. We drove around and within about 7 seconds they had made it from the door of the church to their car halfway across the parking lot. They are QUICK!
My camera came in the mail that I ordered so I can start getting y'all more pictures now. Hopefully I can get some off this week in the mail.
Had a sore back for about 4 days this week. One morning was really really bad. Mom (and Camille I think) remember my sophomore year when I hurt my back really bad and I couldn't even walk the day of the parade? It hurt that bad on Thursday. Ouch. I took 5 ibuprofen and that did a good job. Still hurt but we could go out and work.
On Friday we had our monthly ward dinner in the gym at the church. This time the YMYW were doing a fundraiser where people brought in stuff from home to sell, and all the money would go to the YMYW. We decided to contribute too! We put in our Book of Mormon and a Finding Faith in Christ DVD. The silent auction happened throughout dinner. We watched the bidding for other items all around go up and up and up and not one person had bid on our stuff! People were buying cakes and thank you cards and stuff but no one wanted the word of God. We eventuall went to our book and took the starting bid price off and put "FREE" on it. Still no bids. When the auctioning was over, Chuck Borough went and bought our book for $4. He said "hey maybe I can read this again!" We all had a good laugh. No one bought the DVD though. For dinner, we sat down to eat with some of the young couples that we're buddies with. In a short time, about 6 people at the table were all ganging up on and giving Elder Bailey a hard time for being a Red Sox fan. It was really funny. When the dinner was over, 3 people handed us desserts that they bought but didn't want. So we went home with a cheesecake, a GIANT chocolate/cherry cake, and some weird oatmeal or something.
Saturday morning we went to help Brother Olsen in his yard. We helped him last week, and this week we helped him get rid of some brick walls he didn't want up anymore. I did most of the sledge hammering (my hands are still sore). It was so fun! Then he whipped out a jack hammer to use to finish the wall off. Those are so fun to use! Very heavy but really fun. We split the jack hammer time 50/50 because it was so tiring to use. Elder Bailey didn't want to try so he didn't get in on the fun.
Saturday night after the baptism we had dinner with the Velasquez family again. They are a young couple that we're buddies with. All of the last 3 times they've fed us it was after a baptism. Part of the conversation we talked about stake conference coming up. We asked if they knew a Brother Weddle in the Felicita Ward that they could point out for us. Apparently Eric Weddle and his wife are really good friends with the Velasquezs and they hang out a lot. Sis V texted him to come over, and we were really excited! But they were in Utah watching a movie. We'll have to try again in a week or so.
On Sunday after the confirmations for Christine and Jamie, they were getting the sacrament ready. It was going to be their first official sacrament, and they were really excited. Then Jamie's little baby Fiona starting screaming so Jamie had to take her out. When she was halfway down the aisle, Sister Fraedrich, the RSP, stopped her and took the baby so Jamie could go sit down, and Sis F took the baby outside. That was really, really neat to see that. Jamie and Christine had a really good experience with the sacrament.
The past two times we visited John, he was plastered drunk. He bought a car--I don't know what for, but what the heck. The first time we went over he brought us outside to show us his new car. He showed us our own car. He started rubbing it and said "look, it's even your color! Isn't it pretty?" Then he kept hugging us which was weird. Yesterday we went back and this time he showed us his real new car. Showed us 3 times. We also went with him to throw his vodka and cigarettes away in the dumpster. He's pretty remorseful when he's drunk. I wish he'd be that way when he was sober!
That's all I got for this week! I hope you all are well. Thanks for your love and prayers. Have a good week
Elder Jon La Follette

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

12 April 2011

Hello family!
I'll start with the best news.
After 16 1/2 months of waiting, fasting, and prayer, we have finally received permission from the First Presidency to have Jamie get baptized. It is such a wonderful relief and is fantastic news. Jamie cried and cried when we told her. We are all so excited. Christine and Jamie both had successful baptism interviews on Saturday, and we made baptism plans yesterday for the baptism service this upcoming Saturday. We will probably have to do it in the chapel instead of the regular room because there will be so many people coming. Elder Bailey will baptize Christine and Bishop Marler will baptize and confirm Jamie. A bishopric counselor will confirm Christine. We are so excited!!
The same night we told Jamie and Christine the good news, we had another lesson previous to it with Malina, a recently-activated recent convert. She told us a really neat experience. Long before she investigated and joined the church in Washington, she was living in Riverside, CA. She knew some Mormons but didn't like the church very much, and didn't care. Everyday she would go to work by walking a half mile or so to her bus stop, then ride to work. Many times, she would pass a man that was dressed very business-like, well groomed and whatnot. He would tell her every day in passing, "Minette is looking for you." This happened over and over again. About 6 or 7 years later, she missionaries in Washington state, and accepted the Gospel and was baptized. Soon after she came out of the water, it occurred to her what that man had said such a long time before. She had been baptized into the Minette Ward in Washington.
We've had some good lessons with John this week, finally. He got a new laptop, and his favorite website recently has been He's been watching a lot of Gen Conf talks from past years and this past conference. He still didn't come to church this week, but we are still hopeful for him
We have started teaching Max [edit]. We found his wife, Rebecca, several weeks ago when the relief society president gave us a bunch of unknown sisters' names to find. She had grown up in the church and married Max, a non-member. They came to church about 3 times, then now we have started teaching them. They told us before we taught anything that he wanted to join the church so they could be sealed in the temple. That makes our job significantly easier! He is scheduled to be baptized on May 7. He is super. They are a young couple, Max is 21, Becca is 20. He is in the Marines and they both work on Pendleton. They read and pray and go to church, and are getting to know people quickly. We are excited for him and her.
August got his patriarchal blessing this week. He is officially engaged, and he and his fiance are about to take temple prep classes, as well as Malina.
The Boroughs went to Salt Lake last week and brought back some Grandma Sycamores bread. It is so, so good. I miss it.
I ate a PB and honey sandwich this week. Ate most of it, and before I took another bite, I realized a live earwig was sitting in my next bite. I threw it away. Yuck.
Ren [edit] (one of our favorite members) showed us a picture he took in Salt Lake on his mission (SL South mission). It was one of the highway signs that usually tell travel times or amber alerts. It read "It's the 31st! Have you done your home teaching?" Only in Utah.
We've heard some reports that archeologists are finding metal plates containing old records all around the world. They are very similar to the gold plates Joseph Smith had. Some news stations apparently have said things like "maybe, just maybe the Mormons have it right." Do y'all have more info on that? That's sure awesome, because most poeple think it's really weird that the Book of Mormon came from gold plates.
That is all I have for this week. Pictures of baptism and today's zoo trip are coming soon. Lots of hot weather and sun down here. Hope y'all are enjoying the spring wherever you are. Love you all very much. Have a good week
Elder Jon La Follette
PS-- P-Day for the last week of April is on MONDAY because Elder L. Tom Perry is coming to our mission Tuesday, Apr 26. So make sure to send your emails before then.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

5 April 2011

Hello everyone
It's been a good week. It was really hot this week. It was around 94-95 degrees all day most days this week, with about 50% humidity. Not fun! I saw on Gen Conf that it snowed in Salt Lake. That sounds nice!
We have a baptism date for Christine [edit]. She was going to wait for the permission to get Jamie baptized so they could get baptized together, but Christine basically is tired of waiting, so she wants to be baptized soon. We picked Apr 16 (a day before Mike's birthday!). We are all excited to get that done.
This week Christine and Jamie both threw away their coffee makers. It has been quite a while since either of them have had coffee, but now they got rid of any temptation. Christine is very ready for baptism, and so is Jamie.
I was on companion exchange Sun-Mon with Elder Griffin from the San Pasqual ward. Monday morning we went to the church building to make copies of Gen Conf talks in 2008, and suddenly our mission president randomly walks in the door to the library. He was looking for a district meeting for the Spanish elders but had the wrong building. I asked if he had any word on Jamie, and he said he got a call from Salt Lake, but he will have to return the call. He is confident it is good news, so I hope he is right. Maybe, maybe Jamie can be baptized soon!!
In General Conference, they sustained several new Seventies. One of them was a Haynie. He is the stake president for our stake, the Escondido South stake. We are excited for him! The missionaries get to know him well, including me, so that is awesome. He is very fit for the calling.
Also while I was on exchange, we knocked on a random door, and a mid-aged lady answered. Her first words were "all right Elders, who sent you this time??" We thought that was funny. She said if she found a divorced LDS man with 6 sons, she would happily join the church. Until then, she wasn't interested. That is the most interesting "concern" I've ever heard!
We got another new investigator. Max [edit] and his wife Becca have lived here for almost a year. They are a young couple, and he is in the Marines on Camp Pendleton. She grew up a member, but they haven't been to church much since they were married. They have been to church 3 times since we first found them a couple months ago, and now we are teaching him. Before we started teaching anything, they both said their goal was to be members of the church together and get sealed in the temple. That sure makes our job easy! He'd read some of the Book of Mormon before when he was in Afghanistan, but he wants to try again. We are excited to be teaching Max.
This week we have spent most of our time finding former investigators. We have been trying really hard to find new people to teach, so we tried that route, since there are many dozens of former investigators' records in our area book. We ended up destroying about 40 teaching records because we can't get a hold of them anymore. About 36 of them have moved within the last year. I didn't realize the population comes and goes that quickly!
Daniell might know about Cruisin' Grand. Starting last Friday, every Friday from April to October, all the people around Escondido with old cars come and park them on Grand Avenue. It is kinda a flashback to the 1960s or something. It's really neat to see. Probably a hundred or more old cars line the streets and thousands of people come and look at them, listen to their engines roar, sit in them, and take pictures. It was really cool to walk/drive through and see all the different types of cars. We're trying to get Bro Borough to take his Model T racecar to Cruisin' Grand. You should all search Cruisin' Grand on google. It's so cool!
Well that's about all I have for this week. I hope you all listened to conference or will in coming days. It was awesome. It's cool as a missionary that we have to see all 5 complete sessions, so we get it all.
I hope y'all have a great week