May 2011 to May 2013

Monday, February 27, 2012

A New Area: Madera

I am now here in Madera. It is a city that is about double or triple the size of Patterson. My area encompasses about half the city and we are on bikes. I have had lots of funny stories here in Madera so far.
My new companion is from Ohio and his name is Elder Rodger. 
On Saturday, I went on a mini exchange. Elder Rodger blew his tire while going to dinner and he tried to fix it. The tire did not fix, so we were on foot on Sunday. That was interesting because we had one appointment, and so we walked most of the way there and got a ride the rest of the way. Then we walked part of the way to dinner and got a ride the rest of the way. So, I have had a good work out the rest of the week.
Madera is good. We have found a lot of people. We have spent hours just contacting everyone we see. I have met so many people so far. I am having fun here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baptisms and Transfers: Moving to Madera

There is this family we are teaching who just loves having us come over. They always feed us, so we have had lots of second dinners. One time we came over for a little bit to remind them of a lesson we had at the church. Then as we left they said we should come back over if our next appointments fall through, which they did. So when we went back over and they saw us through the window, the two little girls faces lit up and the mom screamed (that part was kinda scary). They are going to be baptized next week. I just love this family.

The work here in Modesto is really taking off. It is super cool to see. We have another guy who is very humble and very nice. He is going to be baptized next week, too.

I am hoping that I can come back for the baptisms because I am being transferred to Madera, kind of close to Fresno.  I will just miss the baptisms.

That has been my week. It is super funny because the longer I am on my mission, the more everything just blends together. It is a really interesting moment in time.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Pictures from the Modesto Area

Elder Zanudo, Elder Hernandez, Elder Rogers and Elder Melanson
The four elders covering the Western side of Modesto

After the 1st transfer in Modesto, Elder Melanson serves in a trio with Elder Zanudo and Elder Garcia
Pictured here with Cecilio and his family

On February 6, 2012, Elder Melanson and his two companions did some sight-seeing in the Modesto area.
Elder Melanson and a Camel

Elder Melanson and a Zonky

Elder Melanson Climbing Rocks and Fitting Through a Really Really Small Hole

Seeing the #3 Train, which was used in various Western Movies and Back to the Future 3

A Normal Week in the Mission Field

This week, on Tuesday, I went on another exchange and it was alright, but the area I went to covers the local college. It was awful, especially because President Gelwix told us to talk to everyone personally. I put an exception to colleges, but my companion for the day did not. So I went and talked to a whole lot of college kids while riding my bike through campus. It was awful because there were lots of awkward conversations, but we did find some people that were ready for the gospel. So it ended up being fun.

I spoke at a funeral again. I have now been to more funerals on my mission than the rest of my life. I sure hope it is not preparing me for anything in the future.

Thursday was a good day. We were able to get a lot done. It was a good day!!

The rest of the week we have been concentrating on getting investigators to church, so that is what we have been working on the most.

I don’t really know what else to say… it has been a normal week in the mission field.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some Sight Seeing in Old Western Towns

This week has been a good week. We have done a lot of teaching and are trying to get people ready for baptism. Last week, we found this really nice guy who lives with almost nothing. It is really sad, but yet, so cool. It would seem by looking at how happy he is at finding the gospel, that he has everything in the entire world. The gospel really does bless lives in every way.

Today was a fun preparation day. We went up to some old western towns, near Sonora.  We saw the train which is used for lots of old western movies. It’s train number 3. It was most recently in Back to the Future 3. It was way fun! We also climbed around in some sweet climbing rocks and rock formations for a good 45 minutes. We were climbing through holes and all sorts of stuff.  It was a good break from the normal everyday life. 

This week I have been riding my bike a lot, as I filled in for various Elders going into Fresno for leadership meetings or medical reasons. It’s nice to ride my bike, but switching from place to place every day isn’t one of my favorite things.  Because it is the Lord’s work, and not my own, I do it for Him. 

This week I have also missed the dinners I normally get from the Spanish people.  They are so good!

We have been doing lots of teaching, like always. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Zone Conference and Stake Conference with a Seventy

We are continuing to try to find new people, to get the group of people we are teaching revamped.

On Tuesday, we had zone conference. It was really good. It always gets me motivated listening to my mission president.

The big thing that happened this week was the branch had a big activity and dinner with Elder Alonzo of the Seventy. He is from Mexico. It was a big potluck dinner and then a fireside with him. He talked about not having fear and to not be depressed.  It was super good. I continued the listen to him and others speak on Saturday and Sunday as well. It was a very uplifting and rejuvenating weekend, and a bit different.

So, a funny thing that happened this week is we set an appointment with this guy, who we taught because he happened to be at a member’s house while we walked in to share a message with her. The guy was so interested! He had been talking to his friends and invited one of his teachers from college (I think) to come listen. We taught both of them! It was super cool to have people just coming to you, wanting learn about the gospel, not having to find them first. But, here is the funny part: after the lesson the member (who’s house we are in) started to try to sell us this type of coffee and said that is ok for Mormons to drink. She even called up an LDS guy from San Jose, who told us his temple president dad drinks it. It is not really coffee, but it taste like it. It is just super funny that she tried to sell it to us missionaries!