Monday, October 8, 2012

Hola Elder

Dear Family,
I feel like a salmon going upstream, and by that I mean I'm in my original proselyting zone (not the exact same area) and am thus having some serious deja vu at points. I can't say I'm really familiar with the area I'm currently serving in, so it's not that bad (other than the occasional "oh hey I remember driving down this street once"), but driving to the church where district meeting is at was quite bizarre, to say the least ("oh hey there's that intersection... and post office... and grocery store... etc.). Also, I got to see people from all three of my previous wards in the stake during general conference.
Anyhow, about the ward and area and such... I'm serving in English (again), so this transfer will mark the year mark of me not being in a Spanish ward. Aesthetically, the northern half of the area is pretty unique: houses and small apartment complexes indiscriminately mingled together, plus the whole "Uptown" area (quite classy looking). With general conference and a relative dearth of dinners, I haven't gotten to see as many of the members of the ward as I would have liked. There was a ward activity on Friday, and the people seem nice enough, but I can't say I remember very many of the faces. On the plus side, our ward mission leader is quite awesome. He used to be part of the stake presidency, and he's very motivated.

Our teaching pool seems pretty good. We have somebody lined up for baptism in a couple weeks: James. He's a nice young man who referred himself to the missionaries a couple weeks back and already knows the church is true. And he wants to go to BYU. You can't get much nicer than that. In addition, we have about 5 or 6 other people that we are teaching, with varying degrees of progress and understanding. Also, something we've decided to do as a companionship is just to man up and plan a little bit of knocking every day. It keeps us from being rusty, and we've seen some interesting things come of it.
Also, we're in car again (I'm the driver because Elder Jenson is currently at war with the DMV (long story involving long lines and bayonets)), though judging by the gas prices we'll probably be using our bikes (or walking) quite a bit.
Elder Jenson and I get along very well, both in terms of proselyting and personality. Terse and to-the-point describe his contacting and tracting approaches, which works quite well. Teaching-wise we're good at letting each-other have the chance to speak and jumping-in when needed. We're also pretty good with our random conversations together. Out of the nine companions I've had, he is only the second one (well, I guess technically first) thus far with which I can have an intellectually stimulating conversation about BurgerTime.
General conference was quite good. One thing I've noticed is that when you're scrambling to take notes that the whole thing seems to go by quite a bit faster.
Elder West

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm Sooooo done.

I thought I'd better post some pictures before I passed out from deck stain inhalation...

All I see when I look at the deck right now is the 50 trillion pickets, 10 billion rails and the 2 million posts that make up the railings on the deck and arbor. Seriously, If I had realized how much work would go into staining these puppies I'm not sure I would have wanted to even start the project.

...pickets, pickets, pickets...

I would like to add a final THANK YOU!!! to all the people who helped put this project together:
Mike Carr (and his crew) for the cement work
Delvin Tapasoa (and crew) for framing the deck
Cory for flying out here from South Carolina and working so hard
Stephanie for letting Cory fly here...
Nathan, Andrew and Danny for giving up some of their summer vacations to help out
Kelly, Tia, Suzanne & Keira for last minute (pre-wedding) heroic help ( up vacation)
and last, but not least-ish in the least...
Steve - for spending every minute he could spare this summer (and more money than we would have liked to spare) on getting this project started AND finished (ish).