Deaf Day!

Hey Fam!

This past week was pretty cool. Saturday was probably the best.
So, it was Deaf Day (at least for missionaries) and that means that we went around asking people if they knew anyone that was deaf who wanted to learn, and then we would refer them to the ASL missionaries.
Then, we got a call back from a less active that we had left a card with after trying to knock on their door (which rarely happens, people calling back). He asked us if we could meet for dinner, and we set up a time in the evening. We met him at this diner, and we learned his story. He’s super cool, said he wasn’t quite ready to come back to church just yet, but he still wants to keep meeting with us. And he’s taking us out for dinner again on Thursday.
We also helped with a service project. We helped someone move from their apartment and pack everything into a storage unit. After we went to the store to get something before we all headed back to our apartments. One the way back to our car, a man approached us and started to ask us for help, but he had a stutter and had trouble asking, and he seemed to be down on his luck. We gave him some food and money, and it was the best feeling in the world knowing that we had helped someone in such a real and tangible way.
Well, that’s about it for this week!
Love you, miss you,
Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

Lots of Lessons and a Fuzzy Memory

This past week was pretty cool.
We went on exchange with our zone leaders, and that day we taught like, four lessons, even though two of our investigators fell through. It was pretty sweet.
Okay, there’s this thing that happens every time I sit down at the computer to email, and like, every thing we did this week falls out of my brain. I’m going to work on being better at writing down stuff that happens, but, ya know, I’m me. 😀
Well. Like I said. Fuzzy brain today. Partly because we were roped into helping with a move this morning. In the rain. For three hours. 😀 So, not everyone is going to get a reply today, but we will be coming back tomorrow for more emailing. Don’t worry.
Love you, miss you, talk to you tomorrow,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

Talofa Fam!

This past week has been full of miracles!

We met with our investigator Renee on Tuesday for the first time, and set a baptismal date for the 25th! It’s exciting and awesome to see someone make progress in following the Savior. This was the first lesson we had with her, she had been taught by the previous Elders though. We decided to pass her off to the Sisters because they will be able to relate to her better. She’s 19 and has a 3 year old son, so we figured it would be better all around if they taught her.

Then, we met with another investigator, Touttou. He is from Laos, and he has lots of questions about a lot of things. We are still trying to get him to come to church, and with the time change that should be easier.

Okay. Miracle story. We got a phone call from this guy named James. He asked us to come pray with him, and we went over, but we didn’t have his apartment number, so we stood outside for an hour to see if he would come out. He didn’t, but the next night, he called us again, and we got the unit number this time. We went over and he had been asking for a blessing, so we gave him one. He told us his story, that he had met with the missionaries four years ago, and was about to be baptized, but he had a Dr. Pepper the day before his baptism, and they had been telling him that caffeine was against the word of wisdom. He told them, and they flipped out and said he couldn’t get baptized, and the bishop said the same thing, that they would have to cancel the baptism and move it back. He just called the whole thing off after that, and hadn’t seen the missionaries for a few years until he called us! We taught him the Restoration, and he remembered a lot of it and asked when he could get baptized! WHAT?!

So. Awesomeness. Things are happening here in Cali.

That’s about it for this week.
Love you, miss you,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

  1. Views of the beach in San Clemente
  2. Probably the best sunset picture I have taken
  3. My desk
  4. Our kitchen
  5. Our awesome couch. It’s so comfy it’s dangerous!

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Returning to Newport

It’s Transfers and I’m…………………………………

Going back to Newport Beach! (I’m actually there right now. They changed a few things with transfers)
I’m in the Southcoast ward now, and my companion is Elder Cheever. We both got transferred here today, but he has served here before and knows a lot of people in the area.

It was a little bitter-sweet leaving the area so soon, I was 90% sure I was going to stay. Elder Tracy also left, he is in Mission Lake now. And Elder Janson is staying for another transfer in San Clemente. He will have been there for 9 months at the end of this new transfer!

I’m excited to be back in Newport, even though all the missionaries here are different, and I’m in a different area, but it just feels right being here again. It’s kinda weird sitting in the same library I emailed in every week as a greenie. Some of the same homeless people are here. They said hi and welcome back lol!

Well. Not sure what this week holds, but I’m excited!

Love you, miss you,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

HAPPY 2017 FAM!!

“Glad 2016 is over, I wish I could kill it with fire.” – a lovely quote from over the pulpit on Sunday, which I feel really captures the spirit of the season. Man California is so different.

2016 was a great year for me, all but 20 days were spent in missionary service, and I’m sure that if I came home now, I would be a very different person than the one who left. I’ve been stretched and pulled and pushed, lots of times in places or directions that I didn’t want to go at first, but looking back on my experience so far, I can say for sure that I have been changed for the better.

Let’s do it all over again, shall we?

I’m looking forward this next year with a lot of anticipation and I’m sure that by the end, I’m going to be a very different person than I am now. Let’s just hope it’s in a good way 😀

Love you, miss you, see you next year,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

First Christmas and an Empty Base

Merry Christmas Fam!

It’s just under a week from Christmas, and I’m super duper excited! It’s my first Christmas on the mission, and my second time skyping home, which is weird to think about. I’m almost halfway done. That’s too crazy.

But, this past week was great. We have been doing a lot of stop by’s, where we just well, stop by and see if people are home. Which they generally aren’t, but, well, what else are we doing, ya know? It’s been a little rough not getting in for the most part, but when we do it’s worth it.

In the upcoming week, we have a big Christmas activity for half the mission at the mission office. They are making us breakfast/brunch depending on what time we go. It’s going to be nothing like Herms, but it will have to do. We are also not going to be going on Camp Pendleton for a while because all of the marines in training are going home for the holidays.

Well, that’s about it! I’ll send some pictures in another email, waiting for another missionary to send me some.

Love you, miss you, Santa coming soon,
Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

Well, just another week in beautiful San Clemente!

I love it here. It’s one of the last true Surf towns in So Cal. The weather is great, there’s tons of cool surf shops to check out on P-day, and the members are all super cool. Like, all of them.

This week was amazing. We had a baptism Saturday for a Marine named Kevin. He had been learning about the Church since he was 15, but his parents wouldn’t give him permission to join until he was 18. He turned 18 while on Camp Pendleton, and we got permission to baptise him (since usually we don’t get to baptise the marines there because they are only there for a short time.) I promise I will send pictures next week, I just don’t have my camera with me right now. I’ll see if my comp can send you a picture, though.

Some of you have asked what kind of things we do on base. In a typical week, we go on base a couple times. On Tuesday, the Marines graduate, so we go and support them at the ceremony (which I will record for you tomorrow), and then on Sunday we go at around 3 to give the Sacrament to the Marines on the range. We only do this every other week, and this week it was cancelled, so I still haven’t done this part yet. Then, we go back at about 5:30 – 6 to set up for Sacrament in the chapel, where we teach afterwards and then a different ward in the Stake brings dinner for us and the Marines. We end up teaching quite a few people there, and it’s a good way to stay fresh on your teaching skills.

Well, that’s about it fam!
Love you, miss you, Christmas coming soon,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

First Week in San Clemente

Well yall, it’s just another week in Paradise!

My new area is amazing. The ward is super awesome, like, all the members are cool. I didn’t know that was possible! Usually, there are a few duds here and there, sometimes you get mostly duds and a couple shining stars, but this ward is just awesome! Something about San Clemente. Also, last week I told you I was only going to be in SOI (School of Infantry), but we are also covering the San Clemente Ward.

My companions are awesome. Elder Janson is awesome, he’s from Idaho, been out for 14 months, total hick, but you can’t help but love the guy. Elder Tracy is great, from Nevada/Utah, been out 2 months now. He’s a little quiet, but between Elder Janson and I, we can get him out of his shell just fine.

So, in the area, they had a baptism last Saturday, a 14 year old named Oliver. He’s a great kid, just got ordained as a teacher on Sunday. His family is returning to activity since they returned from Japan (military family), and they are super nice. We have a baptism next week too! It’s a Marine who was taught when he was 15, and was taught as well in boot camp, and when he got to Camp Pendleton, he said he wanted to be baptized and we got permission! I will take pics and let you know how it goes. We have other investigators we are trying to work with as well, I haven’t met any of them yet, but I will make sure to tell you all about it.

That’s it for this week!
Love you, miss you, pictures coming soon!

Drum Roll Please!

*Drum roll*

It’s transfers and I’m…………………………………………………..

Leaving Laguna Hills 2nd Ward and headed to…………………………….

CAMP PENDLETON!!!!! The area is called S.O.I. (School of Infantry) It’s in San Clemente, so there will be a big change of scenery, and the missionaries in that Zone are awesome to boot. I haven’t heard if we will be double-covering another family ward, but that is what has typically been done in the past. Y’all will know by next week I guess! I’m going to be in a trio again, helping to finish a new missionaries training.
One peculiarity about the area is that when we are on the base (which will be most of the time, seeing as we will be doing lots of service there) they don’t let us wear name tags or proselyting clothes, so I’m gonna need to get more t-shirts… 😀

So, this past week, lots of stuff happened.
First and foremost, we had Thanksgiving with a member who is an AMAZING cook. I’m still drooling over the food. She had her daughters-in-laws​ there, and they are all non-members. A few of them got a bit tipsy, but they were all very nice and considerate. We played bingo and hot potato with an orange with a bunch of grandmas. Great night! I did miss seeing all my family, running around with my little cousins, and the home-made root beer, but it was still a good night.

Then, we had a Zone Training Meeting, where they showed us a new video that the church came out with for the Christmas season. I’ll put the link down at the bottom, but you should all go watch the video. It’s all about service, and there is a video advent calendar that goes along with it.
In Ward Council on Sunday, the video was introduced and we discussed ways to get the ward involved, and the video was shown in every classroom THAT DAY. It was really great to see the ward so readily adopt a new initiative and get things rolling.

And then, we got a call about transfers and I’ve been losing my mind, packing and un-packing and re-packing all my stuff. Packing and I have yet to come to a mutual understanding. Wish me luck!

Well, that just about does it for me this week! I’ll talk to you next week when I’ve settled in to my next area!

Love you, miss you,
Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom

P.S. Here’s the link to that video: Light the World.

Mission Rumors and Elderly Visits

So, today has been like, the weirdest combination of Fall and Spring that I’ve ever seen. Rain in full sunshine, with fall leaves on the trees and ground. So weird.

Well, this past week there have been weird rumors floating around our mission as the year is coming towards a close and the transfer is only a week from being over. It’s been difficult to separate fact from fiction and figure out what my life is going to be like for the next year, but, ya know, life rolls on.

We’ve been working on stopping by a lot of the elderly people in our ward lately, spending some time to get to know them, and seeing if there’s anything we can do for them. It’s been good to get out and meet so many people and learn from their life experiences.

Well, that just about covers it for this week yall!

Love you, miss you,
Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom