August 2, 1998

My poor head! I have just had a very LONG experience with some crazy Montoya girls and I am exhausted! Oh one neat thing that I forgot to tell you about is that every time that we go over to Oscar's he hints to the idea that we might just have come in answer to his prayers! It is neat - and he has that three times now, if he says it again I am going to reel him in.

August 5, 1998

Welcome back! I know that you are just dying to know what I have been up to these last few days - so let's get right down to it... Monday was a fairly productive day except for the bad news that I haven't gotten a letter from Travis in three weeks now. I think that he is trying to make me homesick and it is working. I got a box, or an envelope rather from dad full of fun little stuff - he said that more is on the way. I can't wait. Elder Hammond's eyes are bad right now - so I just arranged our day so that we can accomodate him. Fun huh? But the best news of all is that I fixed my bike. Yep, is that not great news? I went and got some spokes for my tire yesterday after interviews at Bicycle World and then I went to a little ma and pa shop that let me use their tools at no charge to fix my tire... a $15 charge at Bicycle World. And my rim is saved! Yes! Jake

August 6, 1998

Have I told you that my companion is dumb? Well he is. Yet again we had a stinky day because of his grouchyness. Apparently I started him off on one of his tangents when I asked him what he was doing in the middle of the road. He went bollistic, I couldn't believe it! Anyhow, I spent the rest of the day in a poopy mood because of his poopy mood. Oh well, I am tired and I don't have time to worry about this today. The other thing that I wanted to talk about is that we taught a media referral by the name of Terri and she is awesome. You should have seen the way her face lit up when we told her about the geneology program of the church. She is excited about her ancestor's history and can't wait to check out the library. Neat huh? Just like Elisha said, "I will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to their fathers." Goodnight! Jake.

August 12, 1998

Here I am agian, going lax on my journal writing. I truly am sorry. And that is what I wanted to say. Talk to you later - ha! Jake

August 16, 1998

I suppose that I truly have not repented of writting often enough yet - because here I am again after quite a lapse - but anyhow, I am back and that is what matters. So, where to start? First off, I wanted to tell you that a couple of days ago we met some nice Southern Baptists, they were (are) a funny couple. The man is ancient and works on a farm. And the wife, well, she is ancient also, and you can tell that in her days she was quite the cow girl. They are from Kentucky. But the funny thing that I wanted to tell you about is the dog. After being invited into the home by Jorge, the first thing that I noticed was the wife and her dog in a throne-like lazyboy. What a couple. They both had their hair done the same way with big poofy bangs and then curls going down the sides. It was hard not to laugh after I came out of shock. As for other news, Jorge Tallabas is going to be baptised today at 6 p.m. He is so cool - I have really been blessed to find people so prepared to ehar the gospel like him. Yes Siree! Well, I will get back to you after the baptism. Jake

August 17, 1998

Hello there! I just wanted to stopin real quick and tell you what happened yesterday that I forgot to share with you. I didn't even catch on when it happened, but found out later what I had missed. And it is pretty funny. You see, what happened is that Brother Garcia had been asked to give the opening prayer in sacrament meeting and he is a fairly new member and had never been asked to give a prayer before or even to be up at the podium, so he was very nervous. Now, gues what he did? to close off a beautiful prayer, he said, in the name of Joseph Smith, Amen. It was pretty funny, in fact, Brother Garcia didn't even notice, but his wife did, and she hasn't let him forget about it. Well, that is what I wanted to say today. Jake.

August 18, 1998

Guess what, I saac just came and got us and took us to Burger King for breakfast. Cool huh? Also in the news is that I went through a dust storm on Tuesday... cool huh? It was pretty neat, we were waiting for Jorge to be interviewed for his baptism and we saw some strange clouds coming towards us. We didn't know why they were brown at first but we soon found out. They were gigantic clouds of dust. It was really messy, I had a ring around my collar after the storm... but the worst of it was when we got home and remembered that all of the windows in the house were open. The plant in the kitchen was badly damaged and upside down in the sink and the counters were filthy, but luckily the cabinets were all closed. However, in the bathroom everything was filthy and muddy, the counter, the floor, and all of my toiletries. thus I had a big clean-up project and that is what happened.

August 19, 1998

I just wanted to let you know that it rained today! And that is the good news. Bad news is that it ruined yet another white shirt. Oh well. We went out to try and give a 93 year-old woman a blessing but she said that she was to sick. Go figure! The trip was not a waste however, because we did get to talk to her 75 year-old daughter Ellen. She was so happy to have visitors. She got a gleam in her eye, and you could see the energy rush into her body as she stood and formally introduced herself to us with her FULL name and a handshake accompanied with a curtsey. We visited with her for a while and then had a prayer with her. As we were biking home I found myself contemplating the journey out to their house and my ruined shirt and I remembered the story of the busy father who scheduled one trip for one weekend with his son per year. Well, the trip came and they went fishing. After the trip was over they both went home and wrote in their journals. The son wrote about how much fun he had with his dad and that he had the best day of his life with his father fishing. the father likewise wrote in his journal at the end of the trip only he wrote "Another day wasted." As I rode my bike home I found myself contemplating what I would write in my journal that night about the long journey out to Ellen's house. I decided that it was not another trip wasted but a trip well worth it! Life is good, and it felt that way today as I reflected on the happiness we brought to that old woman's day. Life is good! Also in the news is that tonight is transfer night and thus, if there are any changes, I will be back to let you know. And if there aren't, I will still be back sometime, I suppose... just not tonight, adieu, Jake

August 20, 1998

The weather was so nice this morning,I couldn't help but take advantage of it and mop. It was badly needed. Transfer calls came in last night and Elder Thomas is the only one leaving from our district. yep, that means that Elder Hammond is here for the rest of his mission. And I am STUCK with him! :) Jake

August 25, 1998

I have so much to tell you, I just don't know where to start. Well, I finally talked to the President's wife, Sister Dyer about my hands and she is going to get back to me on what I should do next. Also, one of Jorge's "friends" at work gave him a "testimony" tape from a lady named Kathy Easton, a preacher at the Bread of Life (TOAST) Church. Anyhow, this tape is completly ridiculous. She starts out with, I am going to talk to you today about the evils of the Mormon Church so that you are not deceived. She then continued to say that life means nothing to us Mormons, because in the temple we promise that if we ever leave the church they have the rite to slit our throats. Now, that is completly preposterous. Needless to say, she is completly lost. Moving on, another thing that happened last Sunday is that a drunk semi truck driver wrecked in the church's parking lot. Taking out the power lines and covering the entire parking lot with about an inch of dirt. It was an interesante day.

August 26, 1998

Guess what happened today? We went to dinner at Sister Evans and when we got home there was a party in our front yard. It was pretty neat. It was actually a quincenera for Sandra, one of our next-door neighbors. The had a DJ, a cook in a portable kitchen trailor that spent the night making Fajita Trompo - fajita meat with big blocks of pineapple at the top and bottom to marinate it. They also had really nice tables and chairs. Later we found out that the aunt of Sandra owns a night club and so they let her use their DJ and tables and stuff for her party. It was fun, but it was kind of slow, none of the men would dance, so everyone just sat around talking. But, that is what happened last night. Talk to you later, Jake.

August 29, 1998

The day is nearly over, we just got back from a long walk and my feet are TIRED. You see, we walked about 8 miles or so today in one long stretch. It was sooooo hot! But I didn't mind to much; the walk gave my hands a chance to rest for a bit. The other thing that I wanted to tell you is that I popped three spokes yesterday and I am MAD. I hope it doesn't cost to much to fix. Well, I better be going, see you soon. Oh - I almost forgot to tell you, Elder Hammond goes home in a month, so hopefully we can talk for longer soon, because if he sends me his laptop, then I will definitely write more. Love you! Jake.

August 30, 1998

Elder Hammond was sick today - so we stayed home for most of the day. But, the time that we did get out was good. Whe had splits with Brother Reyna and so we visited with the Reyes Family. They are so cool. I found out the other day that Sister Reyes used to be Jewish, but when her husband had the missionaries at the door, she felt the spirit and they invited them in and the rest is old history... they were baptized. We also had a good dinner at the Avalos Family's. Brisket and rice, Yummy! :) Love you, Jake.