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Dinner with the Voice

Hi fam!

This week we had 7+ hours of church, which was different. It was cool to be able to be in Sacrament meeting twice, so that you’ve already had one to focus, and two hours of meetings, then you have another to really get the spirit of the Sacrament. And then you still have two more hours 🙂
So, Tuesday we helped out with a super dope service project, we were teaching kids with special needs to ride bikes. It involved lots of running, so I got some good cardio in! Most of them will never be able to get drivers licenses, so a bike is going to be their main form of transportation on their own. I got to work with some amazing kids, and the other volunteers were super nice, and it felt amazing to be able to help them learn and see the progress they made.
Then, we helped an investigator with service, putting together office chairs and helping them get an office set up. Pretty good stuff.
Wednesday, we went back to that service project and helped more kids learn to ride bikes. They were getting faster, so it was harder to keep up. We were also teaching them how to use the brakes 🙂 Then we spent the rest of the day trying to track down some potential and former investigators, so that was cool. And then we tried to go and meet a bunch of the people in our other ward council, but nobody was home 😦 No matter, we met ’em Sunday.
Thursday was District Meeting, we played a bunch of get to know you games and talked about what we want to accomplish this transfer. Then, we tried to find potentials and former investigators, and alas, nobody was home. I’ve learned that people in California are just never home, they live at the beach.
Friday, we helped some members move out of our ward, got some lunch, and did our weekly planning. Oodles of fun. Then a member took us out to dinner, and I ordered a carnitas sandwich, which had jalapenos in it. Way more than I thought. I took one bite and my mouth was Mt. Vesuvius. Fire and brimstone style. But the sandwich was so good that I ate the whole thing.
Saturday, all the missionaries in the Stake got together and pulled weeds and planted trees at an Elementary school in the morning, then went to a youth baptism in our ward. In the evening, we met our new Bishop, Bishop Swanson. He’s a cool guy, really missionary minded. The ward has an entire month of activities geared around missionary work coming up in September, so we’re super excited about that.
Sunday, 7 hours of church. Then dinner at our ward mission leader’s house, Brother Eyre. His daughter Hannah was on the Voice. I don’t know if any of you watched the show or have seen it, but it takes tons of talent to get on the show. Super cool. I had dinner with a semi-celebrity!
Well. This next week we’re gonna be teachin like mad. Our investigators just doubled, and we have tons, metric tones of people to work with.
Love you, miss you,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

I Freakin’ Love California

      So, transfer calls came in what feels like ages ago (Saturday night), and we got some good news, and some unexpected news. The good news, Elder Crone and I are staying together another transfer! I was super happy when I found that out, he and I have hit a good routine that is working really well. But, BOOM unexpected news came in:
Elder Crone and I are taking over the Laguna Niguel ward as well as the Aliso Niguel ward.
     TWO WARDS!? I know, some Utah missionaries are thinking “lulz, that’s easy, we cover two stakes”, but, I’ve never had two wards before. I’m super excited though, the new ward is super cool, and there’s lots of work to be done. It’s gonna keep us busy for sure.
     The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. It gets the ward members more involved, since we can’t be in two places at once, we have more members to sign up on the dinner calendar so we get into more members’ homes, and we have a broader range to find and teach. It’s another thing that adds to my faith in President Clark to be making the decisions that at first don’t make sense to the rest of us, but the more we think about it, the more we understand. I love being a missionary!
      So, stuff that happened this week.
Monday, the usual P-day madness. Shopping, lunch, talking to you guys, and we got together and played water balloon volley ball with the Elders in the zone.
Tuesday, we had district meeting, and a super cool senior couple, the Nygrens, came and talked about using our agency to navigate life, and being agents to act, rather than waiting to be acted upon.
Wednesday, we had dinner with an investigator, Sheri, and three of her friends. It went really well, they were all super nice. We had a lot of gospel conversations, and at the end, we were running out of time so we decided to just share a quick scripture. Elder Crone shared one of his favorite scriptures, and it was exactly what they needed to hear. They all really had a good time, and hopefully we can go back this week!
Thursday, I cannot remember a single thing that happened Thursday, and I don’t have last transfer’s planner to see what we did. But, it was a good day.
Friday, we had another ton of service. We helped a new family move into the ward. It was the hottest day of the summer. I got a nice tan though! Then, we helped a member paint their kindergarten classroom, so that was fun! We had a good time chatting with them.
Saturday, we did weekly planning since Friday was so full. And in the evening we had transfer calls.
Sunday, the last relaxed Sunday for the foreseeable future. Our new ward starts at 9:30 and goes until 12:30, and our first ward starts at 1 and goes to 4. Church all day! Yaaaaaaay!
Well, that’s it for this week!
Love you, miss you,

– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

Cleanin’ Crew

So. This week. Went by. So fast. It feels like this transfer just started. And now it’s week five of six.

Monday, we did the usual P-day shenanigans, frisbee and volleyball, shopping and the like.

Tuesday, we had district meeting at the Laguna Beach building because the Stake Center parking lot was being re-done that week. I played a hymn on the guitar for the closing hymn, it was If You Could Hie to Kolob. Then we had a lesson with a less-active, we got together and read Jacob 5 with her. We usually go over every week and read with her in the Book of Mormon, and she started to read on her own, but then got to that chapter and well… even I still have trouble with that one. But the lesson went well and she felt the spirit.

Wednesday we helped with some service, helping someone that recently moved in organize her stuff. There were like, 8 Elders there and we got work done! Cleanin’ Crew, comin’ through!

Thursday, we spent nearly the whole day trying to track down some former investigators that haven’t been responding lately, and no such luck was found 😦 But, we saw another less-active that we work with, and had a great lesson with her. Towards the end, her older son walked in and sat with us through the end of the lesson. He knows a lot about the Bible, and was really nice. His girlfriend is a recent convert up in Irvine, so he’s been to church a bunch up there. Hopefully we can start working with him too.

Friday, weekly planning day, metric tons of fun. I forgot what I was going to write about, crazy library people seem to feel like I’m a listening ear today. But, it was a good day, we met with the Ward Mission Leader and coordinated for the next week or so.

Saturday, the whole Zone went up to Newport Beach to help clean the temple! It was so cool. The temple usually asks the mission to help when they close every six months for the deep cleaning. It’s amazing, because we get to see cool parts of the temple. And I saw some members from my greenie area.

Sunday was super great as always, we had a 5th Sunday meeting all about preparing for natural disasters. There was a couple that was in the Tokyo earthquake with their 5 kids, and they talked all about what they had done to prepare, and the revelation they got in the months before the disaster. It was super cool to hear them talk about their experiences, and another reminder that the Lord is in the details of our lives.

That’s about all for this week folks!
Love you, miss you,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

Bean-Boozled!

Hi everyone!

This week was great, we didn’t have the chance to teach too many lessons, but the few that we did teach, we made good progress with them.
Monday was p-day, we got together at a park and played volleyball and frisbee. Boat loads of fun.
Tuesday we had district meeting and played a game to help us remember certain points in each lesson, and each time a team lost, they each had to eat a bean from that bean-boozled game. Which, by the way, is a horrible game if you team loses every round, and that’s exactly what happened to my team.
Wednesday night, we had dinner with our investigator Veronica and her two kids at a member’s house, and afterwards we showed a video of Elder Holland talking about the Atonement of Christ, and the Spirit was really strong. She had some questions, so we started talking about the restoration, the Book of Mormon, and the Priesthood. We were able to answer her questions and she is still very interested in learning more. She has brought her kids with her to church four weeks in a row now, so they are pretty solid.
Thursday, we had interviews with President Clark and Sister Clark, which is always amazing. I have grown to really love and respect them so much. President mostly asked me about school plans, they’re starting to plan my travel info… That’s weird.
Friday we had weekly planning and coordination with Brother Wilson, our Ward Mission Leader. He’s awesome, really on top of things and loves doing missionary work.
Saturday we helped our investigator Sheri with a bunch of service around her house, fixing bookshelves and such. Her friend John came over with some power tools, and we found out he was a missionary (for a different church) in American Samoa back in the day. He was super nice.
Sunday was great, a missionary gave her homecoming talk. She was serving in North East Brazil, and she spoke a lot about the sacrifices people there have to make to go to church. It reminded me how lucky I am to be here. This mission is seriously amazing, I couldn’t think of a place I would rather be called to serve.
Well y’all,
Love you, miss you,

– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

Family History Blitz!

Hey fam!

This week was awesome!
So, to start out, we went on exchanges, I went with Elder Fife, our district leader, and it was 7/11 day, so we got free slushies at 7/11. We had a great district meeting, talked about being positive and working with members, and after district meeting we had family history training. I still don’t know what I’m doing though… It’s a work in progress 🙂
Then we went with the bishop to a few lessons the next day, so that was pretty cool. Our bishop is awesome.
Friday we had a few lessons with less actives which went really well, they are starting to make some real progress. Then we taught a pass-off lesson with the Hermanas, one of them was Sister Brown, who was in my MTC group. The rest of them go home soon, which is weird to think about. This whole mission thing is getting pretty real guys.
Saturday, our ward organized a family history blitz in our area, where we went on splits with different ward members and talked to their neighbors about family history, or we went tracting and did the same thing. Everyone involved had a great time, and it was cool to see some results from it. We met some pretty interesting people, we might go back and talk to them again, I’ll tell you more about them if we do.
I read a talk the other day by Brad Wilcox called “After All We Can Do.” It’s a BYU Education Week talk, and I think everyone ever should read this talk. It answered questions I’ve had pretty much my whole life. Here’s a link:
Anyways, I hope you all had a great week, and I hope you have another. Serves you right!
Love you, miss you,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

Le Bacon-Fest

Hey Fam!

This week was really good.
We had lessons with a few investigators, one was Mike. He’s been investigating for six years now, and we made some good progress this time. Before, he wouldn’t accept any invitation to do with baptism, but this time he agreed to pray and ask God if he should get baptized! He’s really knowledgeable with the Bible, he’s studied the Book of Mormon, but he hasn’t seen a need to be baptized yet, so hopefully this does it.
We helped out with Trek for the Stake, helping them load the buses and get the things organized. We didn’t know how long it was going to be, or that is was outside, so we were out in the sun for 5 hours or so. Needless to say, I got sunburned. Pretty bad. But, it’s all but gone now, and I’ve got a nice tan. If only I didn’t have those weird missionary tan lines…
We helped our investigator Sheri with service, helping her fix some things in her house. She was really grateful, and came to church on Sunday!!! We invited her to our ward’s Independence Day breakfast on Tuesday, otherwise lovingly dubbed “The Bacon-Fest”, so hopefully we will see her there.
That’s about it for this week! I’ll try and send some pictures, hopefully I can figure out these dang library cam-pew-tors
Love you, miss you,
Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

It’s transfers and I’m……………..

Hey, Everyone!

Hey fam!

Another Baptism

Sorry, it’s been a while since there’s been a blog post. I usually just can’t remember what we did all week, or I just forget to write this email. Either way, forgetting happens, and this doesn’t.
But!

I have pictures of Jazz’s baptism (finally). My previous companion Elder Cheever came back for the service. Turns out, he met Jazz a couple times in a street contact when he was in South Coast the first time. Small world, huh?
Well. Transfers happened a week ago, and nothing is changing with our companionship. I’m super excited about that, it’s been a while since I’ve had a companion for longer than a transfer. So that also means I’m going to be in the South Coast ward for six months total!
That’s about it for this week.

Love you, miss you,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

 

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