Well hello there!

Sorry this one’s coming a day late, but we got roped into a massive service project that ate up our whole yesterday. We spent three hours shoveling dirt out of a U-haul. It was good exercise, and it put my protein shake to work for sure!

Well, this past week was great! A few highlights from the week:

District meeting on Thursday, we talked about focus and developing love for everyone.

We met with Nevaeh, she is a foster child living with some members in the ward, the Cooks. She is almost ready to get baptized, but they just need to get permission from her birth mother. It’s exciting!

We got together with the whole zone and painted an elementary school classroom. It was lots of fun! It reminded me of painting stuff in the garage.

We’ve been over to the McCarrolls a bunch, helping them with work in their back yard and talking about well, nearly everything. We’re hoping they come to an activity at the stake center tonight, we think it will help them a ton.

Tonight we’re meeting a returning inactive, Nathan. Last week, he walked into church for the first time in 20+ years and said he was wanting to come back. We gave him a blessing last week, and he agreed to take the lessons to refresh his memory. I’m interested to learn more about what has brought him back, but I can tell that the Lord has been in his life recently, guiding him back home. I’m so grateful for a Loving Father in Heaven who is willing to help us when we remember Him and ask for help.

So, since starting the 40 day Book of Mormon challenge, Elder Crone and I have been reading the Book of Mormon like it’s our full time job or something. 13 pages a day. But, I’ve been learning so much! It’s amazing how much better my studies have been. I don’t remember if I told you all before, but, I decided to read the book from back to front, starting in Moroni and working my way backwards book by book. It’s been interesting to read about these things happening to the Nephites and Lamanites, and then to go back and read all the prophesies and connect the dots. It’s really helped me get things in order as well.

Well, that’s about it for this week!
Love you, miss you,
Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom


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