Write Landon a Letter


Elder Landon Aldana
741 Plummer Road (appt 1503)
Hunstville Al, 35806

Monday, February 23, 2015

This week was CRAZY

Hey mom and pa..

Sooooooooo this week was CRAZY. If I could draw it out it would go up and down and up and down and in a circle and backwards and just all over haha. I guess I’ll start of talking a little bit about how my week went. So Monday I don’t remember a single thing that happened haha, but Tuesday was something crazy happened. So I’ve been telling that this whole time that we have been working, nothing has really happened as far as people wanting to talk to us, but we decided to talk to this black friend named key. He’s 17 and live about 60 steps from our church building, (which is on a street called Egg and Butter... haha) but we have been trying to get in and see him for about 3 weeks now, and we have had no luck. Tuesday comes around and we get in to see him. HOW CRAZY RIGHT? And we were not super sure on what we wanted to teach him. As we were walking into his house and sitting down I look over to my companion and he doesn’t know what he wants to teach and he’s like super into doing things fast and just getting in and out. But I felt like we should read something out of the book or Mormon, and I felt super strong that we should read from Alma, where it talks about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s.
IT WAS WAYYYY OUT THERE.. I’m thinking to myself. We have just brushed over the restoration and now I’m thinking about this.. o well I’ll try it, so we started to read a little bit where its talking about how they had just covenanted with god that they would not pick up their weapons of war again and would just lay down and die and the Lamanites came to kill them. I don’t know about y'all but when I read it for the first time out here I was super impressed with this, but it’s also kind of confusing to just jump in and talk about if someone knows nothing about the book of Mormon, there’s like 10 different people and things changing sides and moving around. I was amazed as we were teaching him he was totally understanding it and like engaged in the lesson. THAT NEVER HAPPENS haha. I was like jumping out of my seat when I was teaching him about it and saw that he was understanding it. And then to make things even better the spirit was SUpeR strong in the lesson.
I know that without the spirit, you can’t do anything as a missionary. But as missionaries we can bring that spirit into their house, and try and teach them. Another story happened on Wednesday. We were tracking somewhere that we had never gone before and the first house that we knocked on and started to get to know the lady. She says. Ya, I know Mormons, some live right next door. So were looking at each other and were like oooh well cool we will have to go see who all is over there. As were walking over to see them we see someone from our ward, we said hi and asked if they felt that anyone was kind of interested in learning about the gospel and if we could do anything for them. They were like noooo we don’t talk very much around here, so we said goodbye and kept tracting.
About 10 houses down we run into this lady named Carrie-ann. As we get talking to her she is telling us about how she’s super good friends with this Mormon family and that they would love for us to come over. So were thinking like way cool let’s stop by Thursday and she was like that’s perfect, so we came back the next day, we started teaching the restoration and she was super into it. She was like I’ve been super curious about the Mormons and stuff but no one has really said anything to me about it. Ooo I forgot to say that the Mormon family that we were talking with that’s she is super good friends with, the dad is the 1st counselor to our church. We were like WHATTTT? Why did y'all not say anything if she’s asking about the church and stuff. So it’s whatever. We’re going to teach her again this Thursday over at their house, so I hope that that goes over good.

That’s all the fun missionary stuff that went well. My companion got asked to do something for this big event down here, called like the sons of the American Revolution. We just called it big Boy Scout awards, because it was just a whole bunch or rich people giving themselves awards.... but anyway I was able to go out on an exchange with my zone leader. We were planning on tracting a new area for most the day so that was something to be ready for haha. We knocked 200 houses in the 4 hours we were out there between the 4 of us. And we got nothing..... Not a single revisit hahaha. But something amazing happened. We were going out to eat and I felt like pizza... why not right? But um, as we were sitting down and getting our pizza, we started talking to the lady that was making the pizza because it has super slow, and she was asking about "like so what do y'all do?" And so we told her that were Christian missionaries and we our just spreading the word of Jesus Christ for the next 2 years. Nothing really came of it till we were about to leave. She came over dropped a note on the table took our dishes and we left.

On the note it said something like, I want to talk more about God please come and talk with me. Here’s my phone number and email address.... MIRACLES the lord will help us as we put in the effort to do his work. But that leads me into talking about the last thing this week. While we were out tracking on Saturday, I was with the zone leader again he says something like, another one of the sisters that came out with you went home. And I was super confused because I didn’t know anyone else went home, other than one of my mtc district friends, who left the day we left the mtc.. And my zone leader says ya, like 7 of the group that came out with you has come home.
I don’t even know how to say something back to that other then, well who? The first person he could remember was my MTC companion. If nothing else I was crushed...... I've just gone through this super hard week and I was able to get out of the mtc and were just now getting something good happening and my mtc comp had gone home about 2 weeks ago... it’s just SUPER hard for me to think that I might have been able to do something, had I been writing him an email or just wishing him better luck when we left at the start. Of the 5 that came out of my district to Alabama 3 have gone home.
For anyone at home or reading who is thinking about going on a mission, READ UP!!!! I’ve had so many thoughts of going home over the last few weeks, even this week I’ve felt like going home. You HAVE to want to be out here. If you’re just out here because you want to make someone happy, or you’re just doing to do it, or you don’t want to do anything else. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, find some reason to be out here, any reason and stick with it. I sometimes have to tell myself I’m not out here for me anymore. I was before, but now I’m here for the kids that I’ve met. The people that I know I have to see and talk to. I’ve found ways to love my mission even if there’s no work to do, just find ways to love the people and ways to help the people.
Love y'all at home so much and miss you lots. P.s. my comps sick and I think I’m getting sick J pray for me please
Elder Aldana

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rules, work and divine help

Family :)

     So I guess to start off I should start with Monday, the only problem is that this week has been so weird I don’t even remember what happened Monday Tuesday or Wednesday. On Thursday I was able to go out with other elder for the day, it was super good and we were able to get in with a few people. One of the people that we were able to get in with is a Methodist, youth minister. He was super open to listen to us but I don’t think that he really is interested but he was just being nice. I think that he’s going to make a good friend but were going to go try and see him later this week. It was nice to be able to work a different way. We tried to knock doors a new way and have tried to implement it in the way that we knock doors.
     For the most part this week has been super hard also. This Friday was alright, we were able to help this lady move some of her furniture up stairs and she said that we would be able to come back some day and be able to teach her whenever we had time to fit her in. Saturday was one of the weirdest days of my life. It started out with us going to teach this non active fellow. It was not bad but he was just coming back from Iraq, and was getting a divorce, and had some fairly bad PTSD. We came over and it was more of him just telling us his whole life and kind of venting to us. It was just a scary/weird place to be. At the end he gave us some book called Mere Christianity. I don’t think we're supposed to have other books so that’s coming home sometime this week haha. You’re going to have to tell me if it’s a good book or not.
After we had that in the morning we were thinking that it would be best for us to try and do some store contacting because it was around 8ish and we have had the cops called on us a few times for tracking too late. We ended up at a place similar to Wal-Mart, but as were going around talking to the only people we could find. We were thinking that it was probably not the best time to be trying to start up conversations with everyone. Because it was around 8 on Valentine’s Day at the store,  and we didn’t think that people would get the best idea of 2 guys talking to girls that late by the candy so we decided to try something else.
    We ended up going over to these people named Jama and Lance. I don’t know if I have said anything about them before but there like the biggest red necks of the south. THERE SOOOOO FUNNY. We found there house one day while tracking and just became super good friends. Most of the time they feed us. I don’t know also if I said last time but they blessed us, by letting us eat the chicken gizzard last time we were over there :). There just so good. The non-Mormon people in this area are so good to us.
   We have had a hard time with the ward here as well. No one really cares about the missionaries, they all say that they are willing to help but when we need them to come around team ups. It starts out with trying to get ahold of them but all the numbers that we have for them are way outdated and don’t work anymore. Plus anytime that people do say they can come when we try and call them the day that supposed to come out with us, something comes up. The problem is that we are just not getting a lot of help from the members around here. In the mission program called 12 weeks that we start when we get out here, it talks so much about working with your bishop and the members.
    We were lucky enough to get a brand new bishop the week that I came to Columbiana. He doesn’t really talk to us all that much and it’s hard to catch him and tell him about all of the investigators that we have, and we’re not really invited to go to the meetings with them every week. So the only time that we get to talk to anyone is a church. It’s just a big mess. Today I was thinking a lot about coming home because of the lack of effort from everyone around here. The 2 elders and 2 sisters here are busting our  butts every day all day and it kind of sucks to see nothing happening. We are trying our best to plan church activities to get the members to come out and get to know us better and get to know the investigators better. (The 2 investigators...) the only thing that keeps me going down here is all the kids that we are able to see. Also all of the non-Mormons that take care of us. We are super blessed to have such nice people down here.
   I would dare to say that anyone in the south over here is probably in one of the hardest missions. Between the members that don’t really want to help, and everyone being some other religion its super hard to get anything done. But when you are able to get in and talk with someone, anyone, member or nonmember it’s so nice just to be able to get to know people. I’ve been able to see that when we do get into a house and are able to talk to someone. They let us in almost every time that we come back to their house.
   We pray every day, probably 10 times a day, just asking that the work that were doing will bless us latter on or the next people that comes after us. There’s a talk given by I think one of the 12? It’s called the vision of the south. it talks a little bit about one day when the south start to see that the church that they are going to starts doing things that they don’t agree with, they will come searching for the truth. It goes on to say that he believes that one day the south with have some of the most members in the church, and also be one of the biggest growing area.
   Sorry that there’s not a lot of good news haha but its super hard down here. I’m just praying that it’s going to get better but, the people here that you do get to know are some of the best people that I’ve have been able to meet.

Elder Dana

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Goat Likes Them


How is my family doing? I see that Brayden got my email haha. It sounds like you are all just chilling having a good time down there. I can tell you that we are doing some work down here haha. It’s just stinks that not a lot is coming from it. I’ve just grown to love my P days haha and Love the people that are nice to you. I don’t care what religion you are, the people that are nice are the ones that you remember. There are a few ladies that take good care of us. One is this lady names Ruthie. She’s catholic and she is the best person that I’ve met here in Alabama. If she doesn’t go to heaven I don’t know who is. She has been taking care of the missionaries for a long time haha.

I almost forgot, I miss ya family. Mom dad you’re all so good to me. That’s for the letters you send every week there sooo good. And you too Shea. I love reading them and about what’s going on in all yalls weeks. There are so many people, that think were Jehovah witness, it just makes me laugh when we’re standing at the door and someone yells. "OMG ITS THE JEHOVES WITNESS MOM!!!!!!" and the door locks and they walk away hahahahah. It’s one of those things where you just walk away but you can’t stop yourself from laughing.

But ya I love you family. Also ya if you see anyone at reams tell us to email me just like a one sentence message like "what’s up thug" and I’ll be happy haha. I don’t think I told anyone down there what my email was so that would be nice.

I guess that I have to finish the story about the totem pole story. We didn’t go back to the place after they had been super creep to us, but we got the number of the lady that we wanted to call. So when we got back to the house we decided to call them the next day. When we called her the phone call went something like this. "Hello", "Hey it’s the missionaries", "click" so that kind of ended all of our relations with her. So we decided that she was not that interested. That’s kind of how the that week ended.

To start off this week it was super fun. Once again the 2 appointments that we had set up fell through so we ended up tracked for about 3 hours. While we were tracking we starting walking up to this house. When we started walking up we could see that something was on top of this person’s car. We were both super confused but as we started to walk closer we started to see that it was no something like an object, but it was something. As we started getting closer we see this "Goat" stand up onto of this car. by now me and Elder Vincent are looking at each other, and are trying to get out our cameras super fast so that we could get a good picture but it jumps off the car and starts walking over too us.

By now were starting to get a little worried because we could see it lower its head like it was going to charge us or something, so were trying to hide behind trees and such and it keeps getting closer and closer. It doesn’t look like it’s going to charge at us so I like peek my head around the corner to try and see it better and it starts to lower its head again, but I just held my hand out to it like a dog. AND IT COMES UP. Just like a dog. So I was like what the heck and started to pet it haha. Turns out it was a super nice goat. But we were like, O CRAP are people here? We didn’t want them to see us like messing around taking pictures with their goat haha. So we like quickly ran up to the front door and gave it a good knocking.

Lucky for us no one was there so we then started to take some pictures with our new "Goat" of a friend. Haha he was a super nice goat I’ll say that right now. That was I think the best part of the week. All jokes aside this week had been super hard. We were able to play some night games with some members the other day. Which I don’t know how or what you can and can’t do it was but it was nice to just hang out for a second & get to know the people a little bit better. But that was super nice to be able to do was just hang out get to know them a little more. The members at least.

As far as getting to know new investigators, its hard I think from the time I have got to Alabama to now we have set about 80 to 90 appointments, and we were able to get back in with the the people 0 times. It sucks to be straight up honest. I’m not too bummed out about it but its super hard down here. No one wants to talk to you. If you do get to talk to someone for a good minute or so they never get back to you. It’s been super hard but at the same time I don’t mind it so much. I don’t know how well Elder Vincent is taken it but for me I don’t care how many people we get to teach or how low or high our numbers are. I just want to get in and "TALK" with people. Not  saying that I don’t want to teach people, but here in the south,  or right where I’m at you don’t do a whole lot of teaching. Everyone here goes to some sort of church. EVERYONE, and there dog.

I just hope that when I leave the other missionaries will not get so down. I don’t care that we are not getting any work. We try and see people from when we leave at 10 to when we come home at 9 were out trying to see people.  One of the things that I love doing here is just being able to play an hour of good basketball on Wednesday nights with all the neighborhood black friends. There all just super funny to talk to and to get to know. This week a new black person came named.... Mayo? But he’s a super funny guy. He was like "Sup Vincent and you are?" I’m just like "Elder Aldana." he just looks at me like. "What did this white guy just say????" he goes on and is like can I call you Stretch. They get me to crack up more than when we just talk about life.

I love the people here, there not very receptive to the gospel but there all good people. I wouldn’t mind spending a good amount of time here. Now more about Leo? He’s the one with the super marked up bible. I’ve been told from the elders teaching him that he’s going to be baptized in about 2 weeks haha. I’m super happy for him, I think that he was a super elect person and a one in a million find. But I’m not satisfied. He learned for himself what was right. He had done all the missionary work himself. I want to find someone. And be there when they start to understand a little bit more about the gospel. I want to be able to teach them the best I can and be able help them understand what they need to do to find out for themselves.

I don’t want to say that I know a whole lot about the gospel, I DON'T know a lot about the gospel. I know very little about it, But I do know some about the gospel. I’m frustrated that I didn’t get to know it more before I came out here but it is what it is. I’m just trying to learn all that I can before I go home. I know that it’s not what you know. It’s the effort that you put in that counts. And we try so hard to get as much work as we can a day. I can’t say that I know but I hope that all the work that we are doing is going to pay off, if not for us, then for the next group that comes in.

Elder Stretch.

                                                            The goat that we met 

               I'm going to print off this and put in my companions BOM one of these days. 
                                    That's what I did on P day when he was sleeping.

Monday, February 2, 2015

This week was soooooo crazy/scary and just like freaky!


Well I guess to start off this week it was soooooo crazy/scary and just like freaky! But ya so we were just enjoying our p day and cleaning up the house a little bit, and the sisters call us and were like we have a referral for y'all if you want to go and look it up that would be sweet because we can't find the address. So the address was close to this other house that we were going to be at that night so we decided that we were just going to try and find it while we were down there. We finished talking with these 2 kids, both recent converts and they were just like funny. The boy, he's 15, he was talking about avatar and this other Japanese anime. I was just like OOOOMMMMMGGGGG you're so cool lets talk about how cool anime is and like party hardy!! He was getting all excited too, and was saying something like "OMG ELDER TALL YOU like ANIME!!!!!!!!" It was super fun, haha, but anyway we finished talking to them and go looking for the house that was supposedly just down the road a little ways from where we were. But um it was about 8:30ish at night and we start driving down the road looking for their house. We would normally be on bikes but my companions bike is in the shop for the last 10ish days........ anyways we pull up to the house, and we see these 2 HUGE TOTEM POLES!!!!! Like legit ones, they were probably about 30 to 40 feet tall, and they're on both sides of the road when you pull in. 

Me and my companion just like look at each other and were like so do we want to do this? Lets pray first!  We start praying and we open the door after we finish, and there's like 4 people on the porch like 30 feet away from us just looking at us under this one light. IT WAS SOOO SCARY, and then to make it even better about 5 feet away from us we hear someone yell at us. WHAT DO YOU WANT?! haha I was so scared and my companion was like "We're just missionaries looking for an Amber." He's like "No she's at work try again some other time." We took the hint and jumped back into the car and start pulling away, and we see the guy that yelled at us like hunch over and run back into the house and everyone else like runs back inside. We both start pulling away in silence for about 30 seconds, then we both look at each other and were like I WAS SOOOOO SCARED!!!!!!!!!!. We decided not to go back at night to that house. 

We asked the kids that we were teaching that live next to them like what's with totem poles? They were like WAIT, you went over to there house at night?? You're crazy! He like shoots people that come over at night.... So the Gospel is real haha. That's how we started our week. That was like one of the scary things that happened this week but whenever theres something scary theres something super good. We were able to go on exchanges this week, and I got to swap with our zone leaders. I wasn't super excited because I was able to go on a half day exchange the day before and we did nothing for a whole half day so I was kind of bummed out, but I was still ready to work and do anything that we could. Anyway me and my zone leader pull up to the apartments that they're staying at and we wave to some people that are also walking into their houses. This one fellow stops us and asks us "You're the missionaries right?" Needless to say were super pumped because no one asks us if we're the missionaries, they just know and avoid us. We start talking and he tells us that he wants to know more about our church and has been looking for a church to go to. It was just like something out of a cheesy roll-play but we start talking to him and he's like ya I've been looking for a church that I can go to and learn from someone.  He then went on to show us his bible that is FULL of marking and tags when he has had questions and gone to pray and then read to find out about what he should do. 

I just sat there dumbfounded, like is this REALLY happening? He then went on to tell us that he had gone to the Baptist church, Catholic & Protestant. He didn't like them, he said they made him feel good I guess, but he was missing that spirit that comes from it. I just can't even write how ready this fellow was. I was just amazed that he had converted himself without even knowing it. Miracles do happen. I realise here in the short time that I've been here that you don't pray for miracles on your mission. Miracles happen everyday. I pray to be able to see the miracles in the week. 

One other thing that happened this week is that we were tracking and we haven't had any sit down lessons since I've been here and it kind of stinks. We decided that we were going to get a sit down lesson no matter what that day. We go to the next house right next door. and the lady named Consuela and she just invites us in and wants to know about the Gospel. CRAZY!!!!!! anyway its so good out here haha

um ya its great down here.Tthanks for the calender, I love it and those CADBERRY EGGS.. YUM!!!!! thanks so much! Its getting cold out here. Every time I tell someone that I've only been out for about 2 weeks and love it they say. "Bless your heart, boy y'all crazy" so its going to be a fun summer haha

I'll send some pictures for y'all so you can see how much fun its down here. Here's a little about my house - our kitchen "was" a huge mess but its all cleaned up. That's what I walked into on my first day here. I was not happy. You can also see the HUGE cockroaches, I HATE THEM! If Satan was on earth it would be in the form of a cockroach. I forgot to tell you I think but we live right in the middle of 3 cemeteries so that's fun. haha Our neighbor to the left of our house is a funeral home so you could says its dead quiet around here at night. Its scary.

love you all lots. thank for the emails they're so good. 
Elder Aldana

P.S. tell braden he stinks and smells, and hes not going to be 6'4 hahahahahaha.