December 13th 2010
Man it sounds like everyone is busy back at home. That is grand. This past week has been a way busy week. I am just exhausted. We have been blessed more than we can handle sometimes and it has been amazing.
So on Monday last week, after emailing and shopping, we came home and just sat there for a while. I put all my Christmas cards in envelopes and it was good. I ordered 115 cards but they only gave me 92 envelopes so I only sent out 91 cards. I kept one envelope just in case I have one more person I think needs one. It was fun though. I hope you all enjoy them and don't think I’m too much of a retard. I took a little nap and kind of chilled for a bit. We are a half hour away from any other missionaries so it gets kind of boring on Pday but it sure is nice to relax. We went bowling in the afternoon. I suck at it but it was still fun. It’s probably one of the only things in life that I’m ok losing in. Then we had dinner and saw a few people. I mailed my cards off at night at the post office because they wouldn't all fit in the apartment mail box.
Tuesday was a good day. We had to go to the mission office to get one of our side mirrors fixed. Before I got here Elder Bowman hit it against a pole and tape was the only thing keeping it on. So we had to drive a good hour to get there. We finally got it fixed and came home. We went and saw a lot of people and tracted a lot. Then at 5 we went to our investigator named Rudy’s house. He wasn't home. Him and his wife had taken off out of town for the day spur of the moment so we were bummed they weren't there but we were happy they were together because they have been having some problems lately. Then at like 6 we went to the church and met up with the Bishop, Ward mission leader and the Elders Quorum president and went out and delivered cookies to our investigators and less actives we had been working with. It was a good time. Then we had to drive down and meet the Zone leaders for exchanges. Elder Bair came with us. He is from Iowa and has never seen Music Man...
On Wednesday we went and saw a guy named Don and found out he is the uncle of Karey, the guy we have been working with who is injured. It was fun to hear some stories about them. Then we went and saw a less active lady who believes the government is hiding aliens and killing people and all this weird stuff. It was fun ha. We had lunch then tracted for a while. We went and saw a few people up the hill where just a few weeks ago was under 2 feet of snow. Now you wouldn't even know it snowed. Oh yeah, It has been raining like crazy mom. I think we have gotten over 10 inches since I’ve been here. We had dinner later with some old people and it was a good time conversing with them. Later that night we had a lesson with a guy named Kyle. It went really well. We will be seeing him again tomorrow. Then we went over and had a lesson with Rudy and his family. It was just Rudy and his wife, Dusty, but it was possibly one of the more spiritual lessons I’ve been in. They were both crying and it was really good. Not them crying but the lesson. Me, Elder Brantley and Elder Bair all realized how true the church is. I don't know of very many people that could give marriage counseling like that at the age of 19 or 20. It was completely led by the spirit. It was amazing. It was too late to switch back up from exchanges so Elder Bair spent the night again.
Thursday morning we had a good district meeting. Afterwards we went out to lunch and Elder Buttars challenged me to eat 12 tacos. I did but it was hard and I felt sick the rest of the day. The zone leaders asked me to not accept his challenges because he is over 300 lbs. and is gaining weight. So that was a bummer. We went and switched up with the zone leaders to get Elder Bowman back and upon returning home we received a phone call from one of the assistants to the president. He told us to meet him in Lodi so he could give us our brand new 2011 Chevy Colorado! It was awesome! We met them down there and got the truck. I was super excited to be driving a truck. It is really nice. Kind of small but I don't know what else I’d expect for a mission vehicle. We had snow in our area and a lot of dirt and mud so they gave us something that had 4 wheel drive. I like it a lot. I think my companions are jealous they don't get to drive it. They always ask if I’m too tired or sick to drive and I just laugh and say nope. When we got it, it only had 51 miles on it. They drove it from the lot to us and now I have put over 300 miles on it. It’s a great vehicle. I hope I don't break it. So that was super exciting. Later that night we went out with one of the Ward Missionaries in the Ione ward and it was fun. He is a cool guy. He has really bad back problems and they put him on new medicine so he took it before we left and he got pretty loopy. We aren't supposed to drive anyone in our car but we couldn't let him drive, he was too loopy. It reminded me of Jeff a little how he gets all tired and says funny things. It was funny.
Friday was a good day. We had our planning in the morning and then took off for a lesson with our investigator Tarra. It was really good. We took it slow and she soaked it all in. She wants to be baptized more than we want to baptize her but we are taking it slow. We went and saw a lot of people and then went tracting. It was fun. Then we had a lesson with the Peters. We found out the husbands name is Anthony. His wife wasn't there but a family friend who is like 18 was there and she sat in on the lesson. It was good. We taught him the plan of salvation. At the lesson before he told us he was only doing this for academic reason so he could know what we believe but at the end of this last lesson he told us that what we taught was different than anyone else’s teachings but that most of it he had come up with on his own with his own logic. It was cool. He said he doesn't think he will convert but it seems more possible than before. It was crazy. The spirit totally worked on him to get him to change. I think as we keep meeting with him he will come around. The spirit does some great things. After that we went to the Jackson ward Christmas Party. It was a fun evening. The food was ok and the program was kind of weird but when Santa came it was a real fun time. Rudy and his family came and we sat with them. Rudy has a son named Rudy Jr, and he is eight but is as tall as Porter. He is a big boy. He still believes in Santa and he was going crazy. He had a ball with all the little kids and with Santa. He was so happy. He and Elder Bowman really connect so that was good too. Too bad he is leaving this Thursday to go to another area. Elder Brantley surprisingly connects with the dad and I connect a lot with the kids and the mom. It was a lot of fun. We all sat on Santa’s lap and the guy playing Santa is hilarious. I got some good pictures. Even Rudy sat on his lap! It was amazing to see a guy who, just a few years ago was into gangs and stuff and was in jail, sitting there now and singing Christmas carols and sitting on Santa’s lap. He has changed a lot.
On Saturday we met with our ward mission leader in Ione. It was good. Then we studied at the church down there. At 11 we went to a funeral. A guy in our ward wanted us to be a part of the service. I had to say the opening prayer and Elder Bowman dedicated the grave. I bet not too many people have to do that on their missions. It was good. Then we had lunch. After lunch we went to see Karey. Brother Gonzales came with us. It was a good lesson. We finished up the Plan of Salvation. Bro Gonzales really related to him about his injuries cuz he himself was injured and was told he would never walk again and now he is walking just fine. It was really good. Then we went over to Rudy’s house to talk to them about church. He told us some really funny stories. Then we went to the Ione ward Christmas Party. It wasn't as fun as the Jackson one and I had the biggest head ache ever. I thought I was going to pass out or throw up from the pain. And I had taken medicine for it. The food was better though. We sat with old people and they just about talked our ears off. It was fun though. Then we went home and I passed out on the couch at like 9 and woke up at 2 and went to my bed.
Sunday was a random day. We had church. No investigators came so that was lame. Rudy was out looking for a job. We got a real Christmas tree from brother Roberts, the ward mission leader in Ione. We didn't have room for it so we hauled it in our truck all day looking for someone who needed it. We finally gave up at like 7 and took it over to Rudy’s house and gave it to him. He said on Christmas we can come over and he will have a huge bon fire for us with the tree. They have a big back yard. We talked to them about the scriptures a bit then went and saw a few more people then went home. The fog has been sooo bad in our area the past few nights. It’s hard to drive. Sometimes I just go over a hill with faith that a cliff won't be on the other side, and that’s hard because we drive on dirt roads a lot with cliffs. But we are always safe. Sometimes I can't even see the cars ahead of me. It’s fun though. A thrill. Well that might be all I have to say. We were busy this week so I am pooped. I can promise I will take a nice nap today. Well I hope all is well with things at home. I love you.
Love Elder Tyler Pete Arnett.
P.S. - Assuming you are going to send me a Christmas package, if you are putting anything perishable in it write on the box, forward immediately or they will hold it till Christmas, if you want them to hold till then, don't put perishable food items in it. :) Just a heads up.