Write Landon a Letter


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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It rains like it’s no one’s business

Grandma's the big 8 0 !!!!

For someone as young as that she should be jumping on the tramp with everyone haha. Grandma would fit in super well down here. I’ve become more and more convinced that the people down here in the south, they just live longer and look younger. The other day we were talking with a lady that was 78 and I had no idea, or there’s another lady whose like 83 I think, I just don't think the people age down here. The world just moves on without them and they can stay how they want down here.

Or how I was telling you when you come down here you go back in time. I think the people just lived longer back in the day where I’m at right now. My new companion Elder Whetton and I were talking with someone the other day and they were like. “Don’t you just love how you go back in time down here"? I was like “I KNEWWWW IT!!!!! " you really do just go back in time about 30 years or so and that's where I’m at right now. It’s fantastic to walk around and just see everyone sitting on their porch, everyone lets you in and your family, everyone asks you if you want water, or the  bathroom. It’s a really great place down here. I guess that's the best part about being in a small town.

This week we had interview with our mission President. It went super well, I really had a great time with him. We were talking and President Hanks says something like, "I remember the first day you came out, you did not like me at all" , " you were guns blazing ready to shoot anyone that got in your way"..... Man I’m a dork!! But we just laughed and talked a lot about just everything I guess. It was really nice just to be able to sit down and talk with him for a little bit. I like him a lot. I hope one day I can have the same presence that President Hanks has on people like me.

...... It’s so hot down here hahaha. Today the "Real Feel" is 106* and boy o boy does it feel like it haha. We got soaked yesterday from the 30 seconds of rain, but then it was a really nice overcast for the rest of the day and it stayed about 80* but boy does it rain here. It rains like it’s no one’s business. And I think it’s supposed to rain again here. So I've just given up and trying to stay dry and keep my cloths nice. ITS IMPOSIBLE! I hope that it cools of a little, no one likes to play street ball when its 105*

This week we were able to see a fellow named Vern, I’m so excited about Vern. he’s the first person vie met in Camden whose read from the Book or Mormon and I’ve been able to see again. We met Vern while we were tracking in town he was just sitting on his porch and we went up and were talking with him and started teaching the 1st lesson, it went SUPer good and he said he would reed but, that doesn’t always happen. But he DID!! It was super great. We’re hoping to see him again this Tuesday and start the 2nd lesson, he’s a very nice guy and really just wants to be the best person that he can for his son.

I was thinking a little bit about outside of Camden because Elder Whetton came from a bigger city, and I was thinking about if I had been to a big city ever. I like don't even know what I would do if I get put into a big city, my whole mission I’ve been in what we call Country Ghetto. Just super spread out super trashy and just like... I don't know it’s just home now. Shot up signs beer cans everywhere, and I just like really don't want to leave the country. I’ve really grown to love these small towns that I’ve been in and just really loved working with the people in them. I don't know. It’s really hard out here.

I’ve had a really hard time just understanding God. I feel like I kind of understand Jesus, and I’ve so thankful for everything he’s done. I just feel like I really know Jesus, but I don't know God very much. These last few days I’ve really just thought about what I feel about God, I believe he loves me. That he's just like Jesus. I believe he watches over me, answers my prayers, but I’m still very unfamiliar with Him. I believe as I come to know Jesus Christ more ill know my Heavenly Father more. The more time I spent searching for him the better ill understand him I think.

I love y'all a bunch I’m still alive down here!

Elder Aldana

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My new companion Elder Whetton is a boss!

Well from what I saw looks like you guy were really throwing a party..... Hope y'all are sore for a little bit. :) It looked like a lot of fun. It was good to see some pictures of everyone. And speaking of pictures y'all should be getting my SIM card. It doesn't have a ton of pictures on it but it has a few. I've taken quite a bit more just because we have spent a lot of time on of bikes down here and it’s easy to just ride with no hand and take a picture as you ride past haha. So I got a few pictures down in the country where we spend a good bit of our time.

Well this week has been CRAZY, My new companion Elder Whetton is a boss! He’s from Snowflake Arizona, (first companion not from Utah Woot Woot) but he’s a super solid guy, he’s been out about 20 months now so he’s a super old man. But he just came from a fairly big city and now he’s in one of the most country parts of the mission so I think he’s having a good time haha. We have been doing some work the last few days, and its soooo hot

So here’s my one problem with the south. So it’s super-hot right..... And you just get soaked, head to toe you're just wet, and that's alright it’s not the worst thing, but the worst part is when were out tracking we get soaked all the time, but we see a lot of people (inside), where it’s cool. So then all your sweat starts to dry and you get super damp. Then you have to go back outside and it’s like this nasty reheated sweat mixed with new sweat and it’s just a mess.

So the lesson we have learned, it’s better to just get super wet and stay wet, or if you can just stay dry, but going from one to the other like 10 times a day...... that's just silly haha but that's the only thing that I don't like down here. Everything else is just great. Nothing is better than the country life, and it’s just the normal now.

We were talking yesterday, Elder Whetton and me, about how great the country is. (Bullet holes in EVER sign, beer cans EVERYWHERE, just super trashy country ghetto.) But I’ve only been there so it’s just all I know. But we were talking about what might happen and if I were to go to a city. I don't want a big city any time soon haha. I’ve just grown so use to how everything is down here. It’s just Alabama to me now. Its home! I just get kind of sad when I don't see stop signs knocked over or shot.

The work here is going alright; we have been doing a lot of tracking and talking with people and just going outside all day. We are hoping to teach some people later this week but for the most part we haven't got past a first lesson with anyone. ummm its going pretty well with the community though I really love the people down here. They’re just fantastic and the best people that you will ever meet.

But anyway were going up to Montgomery today for a zone party and then back up on Thursday for our interviews with the president so were pumped, then back up to Selma on Friday and we will most likely spend the night in Magnolia so it’s going to be a crazy week but it should be a lot of fun

Love y'all thanks so much for the pictures

Elder Landon ALdana 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

we found out we had bed bugs...... kind of bad

It’s a good thing I brought my camping tent down to Camden because I’m going to be staying here another 6 weeks. We just got the transfer call last night and Elder Anderson is going to be leaving Camden. It is so weird to think that we have been together for half of my mission!! It feels like just the other day we were driving home having met each other for the first time, but it’s good to have change. If there is no change you can’t really expect anything to happen different if you don't change things up. And it’s good to get out of this little town every now and then. This week we spent a lot of time up in Selma, Montgomery, and Magnolia we had a zone training up in Montgomery that took almost all of the day and we got back to magnolia around 7:00 on Friday, so we decided that we would spend the night down with them and go home on the 4th the next day.

Last week we were able to do a little bit of fishing. I've been mission out the last 12 weeks. Down at magnolia by their church (Being next to one of the Oldest LDS church's still up).... (If I’m not mistaken) they have a giant pond about 30 yards from the church, so we decided that we were going to go fishing with them. It was a lot of fun, I didn't get any pictures but we got a few Bass. Played with their 3 pet stray dogs, and had just a good time getting out of town for a little bit. Magnolia is the only place in Alabama that is smaller than Camden's population. They have about 1000 people in their area and they have met about everyone. So it’s pretty laid back down here. Get up go fishing go out for a few hours. Come home eat with the members that they live with, and go out with a member there all night. It’s very different from Camden ha-ha.

Last Thursday we found out we had bed bugs...... kind of bad, so this week we had someone from the mission office come down to help us kill them all. So that was a super trip. We had to heat our house up to 130* to make super that we killed them all and it was SUPER HOT. After the house had got up to 130* we were able to start cleaning up and vacuuming super good and we spent almost all of Thursday doing that. It’s been super HOT down here. The humidity kills you, you can get on your bike ride 5 minutes outside in the sun and be soaked.... so after the first 5 minutes of riding its not too bad because you just accept that you’re going to get soaked and enjoy it. The faster that you can ride the more the wind with blow the sweat off you.

Something that was super crazy this week that's been going on is since they did something about the confederate flag, (from what I’ve heard) people down here are going nuts about it. Everyone’s getting there flags out and are super mad that they took down the dukes of hazard because of the flag. But it makes sence down here. One of the things that you have to remember about the Deep South is that we're still behind a little bit. Half of my area doesn’t even have the internet, sooooo, but down here there was no Civil War. "The War Between the States" was all about the south wanting to leave the government, so for most of the people down here the confederate flag is very special to them. And they're super ticked about this whole flag thing going on. They’re all thinking that they’re going to make them change their flag next because the Alabama state flag is an old confederate war flag.

But on the plus side the work is moving on very well down here. We have been able to meet a lot of people the last few days. And not just the work down here but I’ve really been having a super good time with my studies. I remember the first time I came out here I was sooooo scared to think that I was going to have to study for 2 HOURS!!!!!!! I didn’t think that I was going to be able to do it, but the scriptures are just way cool. Everything is just super cool, Missions are cool. Hard but really cool. It’s nothing that you can every read about or try and understand, you kind of just jump in head first and hope for the best. They really are some of the best 2 years for your life.

If there’s one thing that you really have to put in to practice when you come out, you just got to trust in god that everything is going to work out. My friends my family those I meet out here. I really to believe with my whole heart as I do everything that I can to serve god he will keep everyone safe and doing well. That’s my motivation every day, because it’s really hard out here but thinking about the people that you can help every day I work as hard as a can. Nothing else pushes me harder than that.

I love ya, with my whole heart!

ELder Landon Aldana

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wow... that's a huge dog.....

Mom and Dad survived!!! I’m super glad to hear that y'all enjoyed the trek. I remember the trek very well. It was the first time that I can really remember feeling the spirit, and one could not forget the bus ride. It was the first time that I ever bore my testimony in front of anyone was on the trek, when we got back and had a testimony meeting. I remember crying so much and was just so confused on why I was shaking and crying, I just thought I was hungry or tired, or both which I knew I was but it was a different feeling. I'm so happy for you guys. I wish you guys could be down here to see Alabama; just living here has changed my life so much.

But more than just changed my life, I'm a firm believe that it changes our nature. We don't "Try" and live the gospel, we just "Do". I feel like a total baby down here because I'll read my scriptures or watch a Mormon message or read the ensign, and have to grab a tissue because I find myself crying. This gospel changes our lives. It takes us Punk teenagers and Young men and turns us into disciples for the Lord. You stop thinking about what you should do and tell yourself what you need to do, you find yourself doing it and learn about who you are. This week I needed a spiritual recharge, and we got it.

These last few weeks have left me a lot of time to think about what I'm doing. Camden makes you think a lot about what you do. Not only because everything you do everyone sees, but you have to motivate yourself. Keep yourself positive. As we make our mistakes like everyone else we turn to the Lord in prayer. We ask for his help. His guidance in our lives. His protection. As I found myself striving to serve the lord with everything I had, nothing seemed to be working for us.

As we came back from the temple charged and ready to work we started back up tracting, and we must have picked the one road that was not having a good day. As we started our first door, we were properly greeted with a quick smile and door slam, as common in most places nothing out of the ordinary. As we continued to work we received more and more rejection. Till the last house of the street, as we said hello and began to walk over they simply ignored us replayed, we’re Baptist and continued on with their conversation. Nothing too out of the ordinary for a day here but it didn't just stop there.

As the week went on everything just went downhill, we had no luck for the several days we were out, we found the bed bugs in our bed. and the 3 or 4 random people that tried to teach us about Jesus and correct us of our false teachings. We continued to work and pray for strength to keep moving. We decided last week that we were going to go down to a place called Coy on Sunday and work in that area for the day.

After several houses we found ourself's walking down a dirt road to another house. As we got a little bit closer to the house one of the dogs chained up to the side of us began to bark as they always do, but there was more than one dog this time which was a little bit new to us. We still walked closer to the door we here a LOUND bark, and this HUGE bulldog rips around a car and charges straight at us as fast as it can. Within 2 seconds the dog was right in front of us.

As the dog charged at me a series of thoughts went through my head. That went something along this line...
Wow... that's a huge dog.....
Crap.......that's coming right at us.... were dead
Well at least I don't have to go to school anymore.....
As the dog charged right next to us close enough to pet a sudden peace come over us. Like how you feel when you know everything's all right. So contradictory from what I was seeing the dog ran right past us and charged at a dog that was following us. As we hurried to the door and knocked, the man answered the door and invited us in because his dog was off its leash....... as we found out

We told him about how it ran right past us and began to teach just as we normally do. James, the fellow we met seemed not interested from the start but we kept on like he was the most interested person we had met. As the lesson went on he stopped us when we began to talk about Apostasy, and asked us a Question, something we ask everyone. Why are there so many churches, how do we know what one is true?

We bore our testimony's and spirit was right there with us, we continued on and left him with a Book of Mormon, understanding the Book of Mormon answers questions we asked him if he ever had a question that we might give him a chapter to look over. He went on to ask us  Why do bad things happen to good people? We left there so excited, that all of our work had paid off for that moment, with a lot of help from our father up stairs we kept on working.

I don't know what's going to happen these next few weeks, but I know that God knows our needs. He watches us, knows when we need something to hold on to to, keep pressing forward. I love this gospel more than anything right now. Alabama is the promised land. I love this mission, love the people, just love Alabama...... even the heat

Hope y'alls week goes as well as mine did

Love Elder Aldana