March 1, 1998

Well, the time is nearly upon us - I mean, the time when the district splits and we all go out seperate ways. I don't think that I am ready for this, in fact, I know that I am not ready for this, but I also know that I will survive. Well, last night Elder S~ finally opened up and we had the best Companionship Inventory ever. I finally got to go to bed happy! Life just goes so much better when you don't have to worry about your companion 100% of the time. I think that I might actually like this companionship if Elder S~ stays with the flow of his new found self for the next few days - I will be just great, I just want to spend my last day and morning with him happy. Up! time to to go to our last District Meeting, I will be back! Chow! Jake

P.S. I forgot to tell you that last night we had a sleep-over party in Elder's W~, T~, and S~ room... They and Elder K~ got the bunks and Elder S~, W~ and I took the matresses from our bunks and put them on the floor for beds. It was great fun... But alas, I do believe that is all I have time to write at the moment, everyone else is packing so I figure that I might as well start on my stuff as well... I will be back later, chow (once more) Jake.

March 2, 1998

Well, yet again I have encountered a few more minutes to write so I thought I would just write in and say how strange it feels to have people leaving the District. First Elder K~ and Elder W~ took off for Torreon this morning at 5:30 a.m., it was strange seeing them walk away, down the sidewalk, knowing that I may never see them again... sad indeed, and now my companion is zipping up his suitcases for the last time and in just a minute I am going to go and see him onto the bus and off to Tijuana, Mexico. Infact, it is time for me to go with him right now, so I will write back a little later to tell you how this sad day ends. (sad, yet happy?)

The day is now 2/3 over and I am feeling a little better - here is what has happened, first I saw Elder S~ off - and he is probably off knocking on doors right now - he left at 8:00 this morning for the travel office and then for the airport at 8:30... He was going to San Diego first and then down thru theborder to Tijuana... Well, everyone is trying to get me to arm wrestle - so here I go. Okay, well I am done with that now, I beat Elder S~ at it, but then I was so worn out, I ended up loosing to Elder W~... but alas, oh well, anyway, as for tonight, besides the fact that I am going to be sleeping in a new room... strike that everything is different, but I will be okay... I'll have to stop by once more to tell you how it goes... Chow Again. Jake

March 4, 1998

Well, here I am, out in Babylon, FINALLY! except for now, I am a little scared. In fact, I am really scared, I don't know what to do, and I am basically alone in this place... But of courese, I do have my travel group, and, of course, them that be with me are greater than them taht be with them. Yet, I still have fear and yes, I know it's silly, but I have it still the same... Only one thing that I thought of though, was to split up and see if we couldn't sit strategically so that when the seats in the lobby start to fill up, the people will have to sit next to us and then we ccan talk to the, oh well, I am just waiting here now, I will have to tell you what happens later, but for now, lets move on, I am also just a little scared about meeting my new Mission President, what to say, what will he do with me? Where will I go? How will I be received? I just can't help but wonder. But enough of that, all this worrying wasn't ever good for anyone, let alone me... You certainly must know by know that I worry to much, and yes, at times way to much - however, this time I think that I am justified of the worrying. Also hard for me today was that I had to say goodbye to my family once again. I just about KILLED me, but I am going to be okay... Well, I don't have much more to say as of right now, other than the fact that I am sorry for this bad handwriting, but I am writing on my lap - so you should be praising my abilities, oh - one more thing before I leave, I found out the name of the cafeteria lady who I made friends with at the MTC, her name is Sister Leonor Solis, and would you believe it, she got me a card and two pads of stickers, the sweetie, she did this for me for a going away present, and in fact, she even brought them in on her day off, because she had forgotten them earlier on. So she made a special trip out there just for me. She is so sweet, I wrote her a letter already, so anyway, there is the story, I shall go now, but fear not, I shall return. Jake

March 5, 1998

Well, here I am in my new apartment, unpacking, waiting to meet my new companion. Constantly mopping my brow with an old sock - it is so HOT here! Aye de mi! The Stake President sure knew what he was doing when he gave me a blessing that I would be able to withstand the heat, yet right now, I just don't know. I think that Heavenly Father is just testing my faith perhaps. Well goodness, I just sat here and pondered why I am even here, can you believe it? My first transfer just barely complete and look at me, already thinking of going home. Goodness Gracious. I should be ashamed of myself. But let me tell you what it took to get to this apartment. First you must know that this whole apartment is over a strip mall and to get up here you have to climb a stairway and go through a two-foot wide hallway to get to the apartment. The apartment is actually quite roomy, but as for the other accomodations, they are at a null. The beds are make-shift plywood things with a matress on top, and the whole palce is covered in linoleum... But enough complaining for now, I need to get back to unpacking. Chow, Jake

March 6, 1998

Yes, here I be again, feeling much better, we taught my first person yesterday, or at least tried to. But I will write about that later... First I need to go get breakfast, chow, Jake

Goodness Gracious, do I have a story for you. Entonces-Empezamos! The day started out with some tracting, we taught the first discussion twice on the doorsteps of the homes. Then Elder S~ took me to the Stake Patriarch's home to introduce me to him. Brother M~ is great, but he ahs something wrong with his health, but yes, he stays optimistic of the outcome. Then, after eating hamburgers and taking gifts of shampoo and lotion, we went to visit Veronica, a new member, and she gave us a thing of cookies. After we had left, my companion told me how poor they were and how much of a sacrifice they had made to become members of the church. But anyhow, we then went to Rachael's home - she is a progressive investigator, the only problem is that church was to long for her and she doesn't really want to go back. Yet she wants us to keep on coming over to visit with her, and she has a baptismal date set for the 4th of April. Hopefully she will keep it. After her we did some follow-up visits to try and see if people were interested in hearing more, but this was done to no avail. After the follow-ups we went to the Segovia family and taught thema second, it was really great, they are a golden family, hopefully the Lord will help us to do what we need to do to get them baptized. On our way to a dinner appointment we stopped by Veronica's house again to meet her sister, and that is where the fun starts. We were riding down a narrow road, when all of the sudden a car came up close to me and I tried to get out of the way, only right there, as I swerved out of the way, there was a big hole in the side of the road, my wheel got stuck in the hole and yes, I went flying. I landed on my head first (good thing I was wearing my helmet) and then went sliding down the road ripping my shirt and pants and slicing my elbow and my knee to smitherines. So I got up only to find that my watch had been ripped to pieces and that I had popped my front tire! Thus, we began to walk... As we did so, a past investigator saw us and gave us a ride to a gas station where we tried to fix the flat, but we couldn't so he gave us a ride to our home. From home we called and cancelled the dinner appointment, but somehow they knew that we were hungry, so they brought the dinner to us - and then after that - we borrowed the neighbors bike for Elder S~ to use and I used Elder S~ bike and we went to an innactive member family and showed them the Family First video and tried to get them to come back to church. Then we went home. What a day! My First! Jake.

March 8, 1998

Okay, I am here in the Laundrymat of the real world now, I thought that I would write in and so now, here I am saying hello again. I have already gotten most of my letters written, so now you get to hear from me. But I don't really know what to say, because I don't really know what to say, I guess I need to work on my journal personality a little bit, but I can do that on my own, as for other things, my companion is awesome - his name is Elder S~ - if I hadn't already told you that i - and he is supper friendly. I can tell that he misses his old companion, but I hope that he will grow to like me and know that even though I am a quiet guy one moment and then completely talkative the next, I like him being around. You see, he is the kind of person that you can just love because he loves everyone. The only thing that I wonder about is if he was serious when he said that he had been noticing alot more cars yelling at us now, then he had when his old companion was there. Elder Claig. I know that he missed him - oh well, I suppose that is enough for today - chow. Jake

March 9, 1998

Okay, here I am again, same day as yesterday except for the fact that I corrected the date (so in reality the 8th and the 9th are the same entry). But, anyway, I am back to let you know how much I spent so far on my mission. Laundry $8.22, Bike Repairs $13.99, Food $30.00 (approx.) I need to be more careful with the bike, I think. Talk to you later. Jake

March 11, 1998

Humm, what to say about today? The first part of the day was great - it was Mission Conference and Brother Arnold and Elder Sedwick came and spoke to us for the most part of the day about how to be more effective missionaries and on things that we needed to improve on. Then after Mission Conference I went to go pick up my bike from the A.P. house, only to find that they had ordered the wrong one. So now I have to wait again, meanwhile - the bike that I am using on loan by Elder O~, my first Zone Leader, continues to have problems daily... But I think that it will live! Or at least I hope that it will. Alas, I am very, very tired and it is 10:30, entonces, I will now go to sleep - after prayers of course. Jake

March 12, 1998

Well, the day is only half over, but it seems like a lot more has gone by - but just in case I don't get a chance to write in again, I wanted to let you know that today I found a place to do e-mail. Chow! Jake

March 13, 1998

Well, no committments today - but we had a good day - it is just a little frustrating is all, but alas, I don't know what else to say except that I will try and write in the names of the families we have been teaching tomorrow, oh, but before I forget - I rode my bike to the carwash today without a plastic bag over my shirt and yes, I think that I may have ruined yet another shirt! Love ya! Jake

March 14, 1998

It rained all morning long today - good grief! And we were walking and I didn't have an umbrella, thus I got wet. But alas, what's a guy to do? Anyhow, it's nap time - because we are going to have a long day. It is hard to get people to listen to you, especially on rainy Saturdays, but anyway, I will try to get back after the baptism tonight, Jake.

March 15, 1998

Yes, I am here again, but don't worry, I am doing jsut fine, a little bummed, but still just fine. Elder S~ and I took a magazine over to RC Clark, a guy that we met the other night who liked the lights on the back of our bikes, so we told him that we would take him a magazine and we did. And thus it began... by the end of the night we had gone on the official tour of his home and backyard, and since we were there we decided that we might as well start teaching him a first, and so as we started, his drunk Brother-in-Law came over to the house and so we taught him to. RC said that he wasn't to interested but he did say that his niece might be interested in our message and that we were welcome to go teach her. What a day! Well, time to go, see you soon! Jake

March 18, 1998

Days go by so quickly when you are tired! Today was an adventure. It was my first splits with someone for a full day without Elder S~ and it was also my first teaching experience with Brother V~, the Stake Missionary/Ward Mission Leader for our area. Anyhow, that is what happened today - oh - I alos go e-mail from Paul and Tom, my uncles came through, but none of the rest of the family yet. Right now I am enjoying my bed, lying down, the air conditioner is blowing and I have about five more minutes of relaxation before I go off to sleep - I hope - Moving on - Today while on splits with Elder Morrison we taught one member referral dialogue with Sister Rodriguez where we got referrals for the California missionaries and to top off the night - we taught a progressive to Fred and Kathy Rodriguez - that was a third - oooh - I can't wait to see them in white - but that is a story for another day, see you soon! Jake

March 19, 1998

Today was Elder S~ birthday and here is how it went - every appointment that we went to had made him a cake and then when we got home last night, the cake that I had asked for the neighbors to get had come in and thus I set it up and the apartment Elders and I sang Happy Birthday to him and then he blew out the only candles that he had during the whole day, and then we put the cake away for another day because we were so full from the dinner that Rachael's mom had made for us. Oh WELL! That was the quick run down for the day, I will tell you more later, Jake.

March 22, 1998

Okay, you just have to hear what happened today - I actually had a great day. I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and then I ended up with an invitation for them (the ward) to help us in Missionary work - but the real happiness I got today came when I found out that part of one of our investigator families came to church - the Castillo's - now we can teach another discussion to them. Well it is Sunday and time for companionship inventory, so I will be back later - Chow! Jake

March 23, 1998

Well, I have a few minutes right now - so hear, gosh such a terrible speller am I, here is the story of my Preparation Day, we prepared! At least for most of the time, but then as time grew nearer for Preparation Day to end, we all remembered something that we had forgotten at the store, so we all ran over to HEB to get it and then got back at about 6:15 p.m. Shortly after we got home Elder M~ came into the room and asked Elder S~ and I to please come out to the hallway and help with a situation. I asked what was up and he said that the neighbor was being held up with a knife by her son. Imagine that! So, after deciding that he wasn't just playing aroud with us, I went out and sure enough, there was the neighbor and there was her son lunging at her with a butcher knife... Aparently the boy was high on some kind of drug and was angry that his mother wouldn't give him any money for a movie. Needless to say, after a short scrimage involving Elder S~ and I and the boy, Elder S~ got the knife away from him. During the fight, Elder M~ had called the police, so shortly after the knife fell to the ground, the police came in and took the lad off to juevenile hall. After the fight, we all went in a calmed down for a while and then headed out for work again... We spent all night talking with a man named Jim. He is cool, and said that he would come to church on Sunday! Woo-hoo! Jake

March 24, 1998

What a day! Started out early with a District Meeting and then continued on to the local school for service in the "Host" program - which is basically a spanish to english tutoring program. But anyway, after tutoring we went to try and meet some appointments, but to no luck - (or avail, I suppose) anyhow... we taught a first to a few people with one really good one to a guy named Jesse - we have a return appointment with him tomorrow - JK - It is really for next Tuesday! Anyhow, we taught a fourth to Fred and Kathy and their children and it was really good. They have comitted to keep the Word of Wisdom and obey the law of chastity. But, after that, the day went downhill. We lost track of time at Fred and Kathy's and ended up missing our appointment with the Barragan family. It was very frustrating because it was the second time that we had missed the appointment with her... arrgh... ouch, bad for us - oh well, we will do better tomorrow - see you later, Jake.

March 25, 1998

Today was an interesting day - I went on splits with Elder W~ for the first time today - he is quite the character - definately not ashamed of the gospel, but I fear that he may be just a tad bit to bold and overbearing. You see, twice today he managed to stun people - they would ask us what we do - and he would reply "Baptize people into the true church of god - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" - boy did that tell them. I have never seen people so speachless in my life - it was pretty funny - oh well - time to go, lots to do, love you much. Jake

March 29, 1998

Well, yes, yet another day has gone by - pretty much uneventfull. Went to church, went home, went to Fred and Kathy's and showed them a video and then talked with them about some of the things that they have been reading in the Book of Mormon. and then Fred gave us a ride home and we had the roast that I made. It was gooooooood! And then I came in here and, while I am ready for bed, Elder S~ is not, so here I be. And yet another weekend has come and gone without a companionship inventory... And boy do I need one of those - I would really like to talk to Elder S~. I am FRUSTRATED, but oh well, no one cares! Jake

March 31, 1998

I am so sorry, but I have to much to say tonight, because I used up my journal writing time with story-telling time - yes, I know that is bad, and I am sorry, but I will do better tomorrow. However, just so I don't forget - I want to remind myself - tell the Jesse story and also share my feelings for e-mail (which I have) and then also something else that I will just tell you about tonight... Which is this, they have changed the baptism thing on us again. From now on, baptisms are to be on Sunday and the Holy Ghost is to be given on the following Sunday or when the Bishop deems apppropriate. What a headache - anyhow - like I said, my time is up, it's 11:06 p.m. and I am being a bad missionary by still being up - but alas - I had to write, so see you tomorrow, okay? Jake (Yeah sure Jake, quit when the pen starts working agian... aye de mi!)