Tuesday, May 31, 2011

31 May 2011

Hey family!
I'm rushed right now, the computers are weird here at the library today so I could get kicked off at any moment. If I do, I'll talk about stuff next week.
We went to the temple this morning. It's always a great experience. It's neat driving down I-5 and suddenly the big white castle appears out of nowhere! It's really neat. On the way back we drove on the coastal highway so we got to see the ocean a lot. It's really big. We saw an aircraft carrier in the distance.
The other day we were riding on our bikes to check on a person. On the way there, Kurt [edit] drove by and stopped us to chat! He is a member, who is dating Christine [edit], one of my favorite people to teach in Escondido. That was really fun to talk to him. After we saw the person, we were riding our bikes really fast to get to dinner. On the way, we saw a girl getting out of her car, so Elder Gale and I stopped to "contact" her. We started talking, and we saw Elder Fackrell speeding behind us. He looked at her to say hi, then realized we had stopped. He slammed on his brakes to stop, but only his front brakes work, so he crashed really hard right in front of this girl. It was hilarious. Elder Gale and I couldn't stop laughing for about 5 minutes. Priceless.
Saturday night we went to a wedding. Normally we wouldn't go, but there was a recent convert there that requested we go. It was really interesting to go to one of those! I've been to some, but I don't remember them well. They had dinner there too so we had about 2 platefulls of ribs. Mmmm!
Elder Gale has a metal slurpy straw from 7-11 that we've converted into a blow gun. You can fit pushpins perfectly in them and make good darts. We've been having target practice during lunch on a corkboard. So far I've been the best aim!
West and Ceyda are doing well. Ceyda has to be on base for 14 days, so she won't be able to be taught or go to church, but we will teach West by himself. He didn't show up to church on Sunday so we'll have to find out why, since he was so excited to go. Everyone is doing very well. We picked up another investigator lady yesterday. She is a Christian that was fascinated by the fact that Christ came to the Americas. I will meet with her tomorrow night! I say I because I go on splits with priests or the ward mission leader every night. We've split the area but I don't have my own companion for a few more weeks so we split up all the time. it's weird using the words "I" and "my". You don't say that muhc as a missionary.
That's about all I have for this week. I love you all and hope you're doing well.
Have a good one
Elder La Follette

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

24 May 2011

Hello family!
I'm back in the tri-companionship again. Elder Farley left Wednesday morning. Our mission president came to pick him up at 6:30. While he was at our apartment, he mentioned how nice and clean it was. We didn't do any extra cleaning so that was cool!
This morning during our companionship study we heard lots of yelling and screaming next door, and some loud crashes. We weren't really sure what to do, because it could have been one thing our another, but eventually the cops showed up and broke up a fight. Apparently he was beating his girlfriend and such. Never a dull moment around here.
A few updates on our teaching--
I don't know if I even told you about our/my investigators. I say "my" because we still divide our ward boundaries. Elder Farley and I worked north of the highway, and Elder Gale and Elder Fackrell work south of the highway. Now that E. Farley is gone, I still cover north of the highway by myself, so the priests in the ward and other members go on splits with me all the time.
I have 3 good investigators. One is Christian [edit]. He's about 21, and is dating a less-active member of the church. His brother Josh just got baptized about two months ago. Their mom, Georgina, takes lessons from the Spanish missionaries. They all come in for the lessons. It's really fun to be teaching a family for the first time. They have quickly become good friends and almost like family to me. Christian wants to get baptized but either has to marry Joselyn (his girlfriend) or move out first. They don't have any money to do so right now, so we are waiting until they can. Right now we have a goal for a baptism on June 25. They all come to church every week and have strong testimonies.
Elder Farley and I also found a young couple in the Marines (LOTS of Marines around here, especially in our apartment complex). Robert (goes by West) and Ceyda (Jay'-duh) Bridger. They are both in the Marines and have a little girl. They have always admired the Mormons they've known for being such happy people. She has a Christian background, but nothing too deep. He has basically been religion-less. They are growing in their testimonies very quickly and are loving everything we've taught so far. He is going to be deployed in about a month or two, for the third time. We will try to set a baptism date tonight.
One funny story--the other day we taught West and Ceyda, and we brought by Brother Coleman, the Ast. WML. He likes to talk about doctrine without realizing he's confusing people. We talked a little about the word of wisdom, and we all discussed the bad things caffeine does to our body. Then West left the room. Bro Coleman then brought up the fact that caffeine does have great medicinal uses if used properly, as well as other positive things. West came back in, and looked befuddled. Eventually we stopped talking and asked him why he looked so confused. He said "just a minute ago caffeine was awful, then when I came back it was awesome..."
Yesterday we had zone conference. Toward the end, President Cook and one of the APs was doing a demonstration on using the scriptures to help answer concerns. The Spirit had been really strong for several hours and had been really peaceful and quiet. He asked Elder Gale (one of my companions, and a goofy kid) to go up to pretend to be the investigator. Elder Gale had to come up with a concern. He said something along the lines of "last week was a really hard week. I work on a ranch, and my dog saw a rat, and started chasing it. It ran into the road, and my dog ran after it, and a truck came and hit my dog..." There was a moment of silence, then President Cook busted out laughing really, really hard. About a minute later, he tried to gather himself and continue with the demo, and then started laughing again and again. It was really, really funny.
Apparently the world was supposed to end last Saturday. I'd heard about it since last September. We've been joking about it to ourselves the whole week. There were a few people that were really worked up about it, and LOTS of people were out Friday and Saturday night drinking and drinking and drinking and having parties and etc... The last week there were a lot of people that yelled and cussed at us (nothing new), but this time they included "you Mormons are all liars!! You idiots! The world is NOT going to end on Saturday! Stop LYING to people!!" We got a kick out of that one.
Well that's about it for this week.
Love you all, have a good one
Elder Jon La Follette

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

17 May 2011

Hello family!
It's been a good week. Last Tuesday I got my new companion, apartment, car, and area. He is Elder Matt Farley, grew up in Spring City, UT, lived in Alaska for 5 years, and then to GA for a few months. We got along really well. He got his visa really quick, and will be on his way to Brazil tomorrow morning. We are both sad. This also means I'll have to go back into a threesome for the rest of the transfer. President Cook said they requested another visa-waiter, but one wasn't able to come. Elder Farley has taught me some Portuguese! I can say it better than I can spell it though.
We have the nicest apartment in the mission, according to the assistants. We have lots of space, a great kitchen, a couch, and even our own washer/dryer. We are spoiled!
We didn't have a lot of success late last week so we counted the people that waved to us as we walked around town. In one day, we had 26 wave/smile combos, 3 nod/wave combos, 6 smiles, 95 waves, 10 nods, and 2 honks. We also had 1 nod/smile/wave combo.
We picked up an investigator couple last night, West and Ceyda (jay-duh). They are a young military couple that looks really promising.
On Sunday we were asked to do a fireside for the youth. We gave a 30-min presentation on missionary work, then they played a game called "stump the elders". All the youth brought inanimate objects in paper bags. Elder Farley and I (north side) and Elder Gale and Elder Fackrell (south side) competed to find scriptures that related to the random objects, such as a stuffed duck, a container of bubbles, a mascara thing, etc. It was really fun.
Towards the end of a relaly long day on Thursday, we walked by a shop, and a mid-aged Mexican lady called "elders! Elders!" She asked us to come to her home and give her mother a blessing. We went there, found out neither were LDS, but loved Mormons. We taught about the priesthood, gave her a blessing, and she immediately felt better. It was a good day!
That's all I have for this week. Sorry it is short. Have a great week!
Elder La Follette

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 May 2011

Hi family!
I just talked to y'all so I'll keep this one short. It's been a good week in my new area, Vista 3rd Ward. It's been way awkward to be in a threesome but it looks like that'll end in a few minutes here. My new companion should be in Vista by now. He'll get all orientated and such then our threesome and the Cooks will go with him to lunch, and then he'll come to our distrct activity. President Cook said he's a sharp kid so that's good. I hope he's not a square. I'll let you know next week.
I still don't know where I'm moving to or when, but apparently I'm moving today. Still don't know what my transportation will be like, so I guess I'll just have to plan on biking for now.
We did get to play with a cool sword the other day. We had dinner with Bro Porch. He is a single older member that is crazy, but he is awesome. He's a butcher by profession and always makes us fresh steaks. I'll take you to meet him Dad, don't worry! He pulled out a sword he wanted to show us and let us wave it around and take pictures.
We've been playing basketball for exercise the past week. It's been very humbling. I just now realize how much skill I've lost. I'll hit about 1/15 shots. It's embarrassing!
Well that's about all for this week. Y'all have a good one
Elder La Follette

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

3 May 2011

Hi Family!
Last week we had Elder L. Tom Perry, his wife, and L. Whitney Clayton and his wife come speak to us and the San Diego Mission. That was a really uplifting experience. I don't have my notes with me so I can't tell you everything they said, but they talked of course a lot about missionary work, how members need to involve missionaries in their missionary work, and how the missionaries need to use all their resources.
Just before that meeting, President Cook met with just our mission (he asked us to show up an hour earlier than San Diego). There, he announced some changes in the mission boundaries. San Diego mission is short on units (wards/branches) and the missionaries are getting crammed. They have requested more area, so we gave them two of our stakes (2 zones). We gave them Penasquitos Stake and Poway Stake. Mira Mesa, my last area, was part of the Penasquitos Stake, so my last area is now out of our mission. Now the Escondidio Stake (I was in the Esco South stake, but on Sunday they combined with Escondido Stake to make one Escondido Stake) is one of the southern borders of the mission. No missionaries will be changing missions. We lost 38 missionaries' worth of area, so to balance that out, the Riverside Mission is giving us the Temecula Stake. Now Temecula is in our mission.
I am being transferred today from Escondido. I've been here 6 months and I've really loved it. The members and investigators have been great. If any of you come with me to visit later on, you'll be able to meet some of them. I've loved the people and the area. I'm sad to go, but it was expected because I've been here so long. Elder Bailey is staying, probably for just one more transfer (6 weeks). I'll send you pictures soon. Mom, I hope you got the pictures I sent last week. I don't want to lose a 3rd SD card!
Elder Lynn G Robbins came to the stake to help reorganize it, since they were combining. On Saturday we had the Mormon Helping Hands service project (I don't know if they even do it in Utah), and all the missionaries in the stake went. He showed up, as well as Elder Haynie and the new Esco Stake President. Elder Robbins shook all of our hands and took pictures with the missionaries. Look for a picture in the next Ensign! We did our service project in a local park, Kit Carson Park. Us missionaries had 2 jobs-- first was to rake and spread out some very thick mulch that a front-end loader dumped, and second was to cut and clear giant reeds around the pond. I got the job of being a reed cutter. A few minutes in, the mud got really thick and mushy, and I started to sink! I went to another spot to cut and got more stuck. I tried to get out, but just got further stuck in the process, so I decided to just cut all the reeds around me while I was stuck. There were 3 of us that were brave enough to go into the deeper water (we got permission, don't worry) and cut. I ended up going the deepest in mud. At the deepest, I was up to my thigh in watery mud and on top of that, up to my waist in water. Needless to say, I got pretty messy! I used one of the rakes to pry myself out, and upon getting out of the water, I realized our phone had been in my pocket the whole time, as well as our keys. The keys still worked, but the phone was dead. We took the phone home, showered, and tried to dry it. We put it in a bowl of rice and brought it to Ren Livingston's house (he's a nerd with electronics skills!). We took it apart and dried it. He gave it a 10% chance of living. We left in in a bag of rice all day, and thank goodness, it was working by night time! Whew! The main light doesn't work, but everything else does. We have to go in a dark room to read texts, but it's okay.
That's about all for this week. I hope you all are doing well. Congratulations Joe and Daniell! Y'all have a good week, I'll talk to you (at least some of you) on Sunday. I don't know what time, it depends on when my new wards' meetings are in the morning. I don't know where I'm going yet, but I'll find out in about 5 hours.
Elder La Follette