Monday, June 27, 2011

Hotdogs and dehydration

Wow this week has been crazy. And super fast too. Its insane because last p-day seems like really ten years ago but it also at the same time feels like just yesterday! I have some good stories for you.
Okay first we went over to a members house for dinner named the Scotts and they had hot dogs and that is the one thing i cant muscle down so i was like "i will just take a bun and some salad" cause i really wasnt too hungry. But the next week at church i went into the Relief Society to get the missionary dinner calender and all the women in there were laughing at me cause I am the elder who doesn't like hot dogs!! They are all like "we will remember to not get hot dogs for you". And all this stuff. Then the next week (which is last week) all the women told their husbands and now i am the big joke! Its funny though! It makes the members like me more! The members are really starting to love us. They were a little held back but we have done some work and the area is already picking up and the members notice. So yeah, its nice here!

Elder Simons helping a family move on p-day

Another story! i was on exchanges with Elder Barron and we were in the Gridley third ward. We were at this investigator's house just talking to her and her son on the porch. And we were talking for like thirty minutes in the sun. I started to get really hot and sweaty. I was like "this is weird because i'm not even moving around...something must be wrong". Then i started to get super super dizzy and i was like "this is scary but i will endure as to not make me look like a total newbie at the heat". (which by the way is like 105 everyday). Fun stuff. so i am getting dizzy and then my vision is going like super black and i can't see. And Elder Barron was like "okay you guys have a nice day" and shakes their hands and i go and shake their hand and i am like "hey...i really need a drink of water". At this point i am dripping sweat. I never have sweated so much in my life. so i sit down and throw down this water and i go grab another one. But i survived without passing out! I bet i looked like such a idiot! Cause we were just standing there! I will for sure drink more water ahead of time! haha go elder simons! Elder barron is my friend so we laughed about it.
My head aches are pretty bad here. The only time i don't notice them is when i am bearing my testimony. Its funny but i feel so good when i get to do that. 
And you are lucky you got to go to the temple! i am jealous. Right now i don't get to. I actually may get to go because one of our recent converts invited us to go with him to take his own endownments out. i hope we can go! we will ask President Weston when he gets here!
i did get the package and stuff which was so nice! Thanks!! Really that was nice of you! And most of the meals here are good. They are a ton of nice fresh tomatos. Which are soooooo good!! I love them.
Have a good week and i love you!!

Elder Simons

Monday, June 20, 2011

Exchanges in Oroville (and more photos!)

Hey mom!!! This week has been another great one. Its weird to think its already p-day again!!! Time flies.
We have met alot of the members. People really like us i think. We get dinner usually six nights of seven. Its sweet. and yeah with the exercise i am getting i will lose some serious weight. its crazy!! although i try to eat as much as i can. Elder osejo notices i think. he thinks i eat alot [aka snack alot]. Its fun though! We have a ton of fun!
So we went on exchanges with our zone leaders on saturday and i went to Oroville and we had like ten lessons ready. So i was pretty nervous cause we are still working on getting people to teach besides the members. It was pretty new so i was kinda nervous! But i prayed really hard and i felt better. So we were driving all around Oroville (the lake up there was awesome).

Elder Galovich and Elder Simons in front of lake near Oroville
We got to talk to a bunch of people and teach lessons. but a couple stood out to me above the rest:
This lady named Betty who was about sixty and had about a second grade education. We were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. We had to get little visual aids. We taught the lesson and i know she felt the spirit while talking about the beautiful Plan of Salvation. In a way i learned so much from that lesson. Because zone leader Galovich has been out twenty months and he knew it so well and he taught it on such an easy level. I can't explain what i learned, but i truly felt the spirit so strong and it testified that the plan of salvation and all its complexites is very simple. I love it and i may or may not be getting a bit teary now.
Second i guy named Wiley [not Willey but Wiley]. We were teaching him the first lesson and i felt the spirit very strong and even after the first lesson he said the Book of Mormon was more important than TV which made me happy. but something way cool is i saw this kid out of the window throwing the football to himself and i felt like he was....well i felt he was important.. so we finish up with Wiley and we start walking back to our car and i look at the kid from across the street and i pretend to put my hands up to catch the ball and he smiles and then i look away for ten seconds then look back and he throws the ball to me. and i made a pretty sweet catch if i say so myself. but then we go over to talk to him (and mind you Oroville is twenty minutes away from Gridley) so we talk to him about what we are about and he was like "yeah come talk to me". and we were like where do you live? he said "Biggs". which is right by Gridley and its in our area!!! so we got a potential investigator!!! it was so nice. i know that Heavenly Father prepared all of that. He is such a genius. It just goes to show that the Lord is preparing people for you specifically to teach.
Man i am happy. i know this church is true and i know that everything that i teach is true. i love the gospel and i love teaching it to people who have no idea about what i have known my entire life. its a blessing.
Dad is amazing. he has taught me so much and i have learned so so so soso much from him. So many skills that i have picked up from him i am using daily here! i hope he had a great Fathers Day!

The Elder Simons we all know and LOVE!
And dang sometimes i smile too! {Note from editor: I had written to him that thinking of him on a mission just makes me smile all the time} Cause its like wait...i am on a mission?? i am just a kid! But i love being out here! Really! I am glad i have a way supportive family though! You guys are all so awesome!! I love you to death everyone!
Be happy! and always be living your life as Christ would. because there is always someone watching.
I love you people!
Love Elder Simons!

Also one last quick thing!
so we were at dollar store picking up some paper and i have made a goal to talk to more people more often. So i decided to talk to this worker lady. i was so nervous. and Elder Osejo will admit that he had no faith in the situation! but i went up to her and talked to her about the gospel and we totally have a lesson with her planned on Wednesday! i was so happy i was jumping around like a wild man. it was the best! see ya later!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hello from Gridley, California

Hello world!!!! I am in California!!! Gridley California to be frank. California Gridley first ward to be the frankest! My companion and i were "shot-gunned" in here. Which means the other elders that were here both got transferred out. Anyway my Companion is Elder Osejo. Man it was hard to pronounce! but oh well i am good at it now. He has been out twenty months so he will probably "die" with me so i am his first born son and last born. so its been cool. he has taught me alot. i like him a ton. He is from Bristol Tennesse! 

Elder Osejo in front of the missionary house in Gridley

we live in our own little house! its really cool! we have a car which is uncommon for a greenie. but we whip out the bikes every once in a while. its crazy. the weather here is hottttt! but its been fine.

Elder Simons in first area: Gridley, California
Oh by the way guess who i went on splits with??? Elder walkenhorst! Man that guy is so funny!! we went tracting and he was just singing his songs to me and i was laughing pretty hard. but its been fun. elder osejo and i are starting to really get closer. its nice. i am glad he is my trainer. we have fun. the beds are nice and comfy.  i need to find pillows though. no where sells them here. Gridley is such a small town. The work is just a bit slow right now cause we are so new and stuff but we got to know the ward leadership so thats been nice. we found a couple potential investigators while tracting so that has been cool. So a cool story acutally...we were walking down this street knocking on some doors and this guy is like 'no get outta here!' and i was like 'dang!' but we kept going to the next house and it was some members so they let us come in and we talked for five minutes or so. So we leave and this guy is like 'hey come back guys'. He is sitting on the curb and said, 'talk to me'. So we started to and he believes in Jesus And everything good and also feels a need for modern day prophets. We are going to go back wednesday or something. He just got out of jail so he needs some help. but he is pretty stuck at home, he has to watch over his dying parents. i hope we can  meet with him and everything goes well.
It was so hard to leave Elder bowerman. Man i cant wait to see him again. i miss that dude!
HMMM oh dad.. sister justesen? or something like that. she wants you to give sister wright her best. and said that she is taking care of elder simons.

So yeah this has been fun!
Elder Simons

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Photos of Elder Simons arriving at the mission home

We received a letter from Elder Simons' mission president along with these photos.  We hope to hear from our missionary tomorrow, which is his new p-day.

The arriving elders and sisters along with President and Sister Pendleton

Elder Simons with President and Sister Pendleton

He can only receive and send emails to and from his parents and siblings.  The address to send letters and/or packages is the mission home address, which you can find at the top right-hand corner of the blog.  Thanks for all of your love and support for Elder Simons... it truly means the world to him and to us!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First email from California

Hey mom! i just got in. well like a couple hours ago but i am in the mission office right now. we will be going up to Yuba city i think to meet my companion. EEEEE scary. just wanted to let you know. its awesome up here!! i will email you as soon as i can. i love you guys! i am on a mission!!!

An unplanned meeting

Okay, I'm just saying.... I was feeling a bad for Bob because he was going to be out of town and wouldn't be here for when Elder Simons was able to call home from the airport.  As luck would have it, their flights were going out at similar times, and they saw each other.  In fact, when our cute missionary did call home, he was using his dad's cell phone!  He said he saw Bob in another line going through security and just about took down the security gate to get to him.  They had a great time catching up for a few minutes, and then they were off on their respective trips.

Monday, June 6, 2011

MTC Photos!!!!

We received some photos today of Elder Simons at the MTC!!! I was so excited to finally see a photo of him with his missionary badge on.  Notice you can't really see the badge in any of the photos.  I guess we'll have to keep waiting...  :)

 Elder Simons and Elder Bowerman in front of the Provo Temple.

Elder Simons and Elder Bowerman

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Last email from the MTC!

{Editor's note: I want to go through and separate his letters into paragraphs, but somehow it wouldn't be the same...  :) }

OH mother! you are the best mom in the world. i love you so much!! i miss you like crazy. keep weeding. i remember my days back on the farm when i used to weed acres of land. so i know exactly how you are feeling. wow.....i am so sorry about last weeks email. i was such a downer. but today i am so happy. and like the whole last week really. i have been getting some awesome mail. i get some like everytime i go there. i love them. they help me remember why i am at the mtc and remind me that i have people who love me and who are supporting me. its such a cool thing to know so many people are behind me.  you guys are so great. really i miss you so much. i took you guys for granted. tell robbie he is probably doing a better job at mowing than i ever did. i wasnt the best. anyway i do need some multivitamins or something. that would be nice. and i have bumped into everyone here. cousins, north, friends. there are ten people from alta i think. my appetite is getting better. i eat more. i did lose thirteen pounds in the first week though. i gained half a pound back so i am feeling pretty confident.  man i have made some serious friends here. some that i am going to miss so much. for example elder friel. he is like a giant and he played basketball at SUU. we are getting pretty close. he is going to romania in like seven weeks! so long. i would die. i want to get out there though! i want to hit the pavement and start tracting. i know when people read that, they will laugh but i do really want to. i want to go find people. people need me. which is crazy to say! anyway i am so proud of lindsay and ryan both. man i want a Baptism so bad! but really they both are really cool for going through that. i sent them a letter today. well...yeah i think i did. anyway our district is seriously the closest district out there. we do our banana phone skit and people love it. because we were so valiant and good some older elders found favor in us and passed down the book of three bills. scripture written by elders on advice for the mtc. it is so much fun. i wrote mine about homesickness, my family, alta, the food here. it is awesome. really that has been so much fun for me. really!!! anyway i totally got dominated by a bird the other day. well i think he thought i was trying to disturb his nest but i wasnt. i was trying to get to class. but he almost got me. but i was protected! time is seriously flying. well i think it has. it sorta has been a huge blur. thanks for the dear elders yesterday! everyone sent one! it was so nice! as the district leader i do nothing except get the mail and decide who prays and what song we sing. it reminds me of dad picking one of us the pray! its crazy. and mom the flowers here remind me of you big time. and robbie everytime i put on my nametag i think of the good example you are/were to me by going on a mission and also when i play basketball. i think about whitney and mike when i am journaling and when i am at the temple! and lindsay i think of you whenever i see an insane elder. it just makes me smile and think of your cats! i really think about you guys all day long. it doesnt distract me though! at all! i promise.
i miss you family!!! so much! i would stop sending letters to the mtc on friday though. send them to the mission home! thanks!
i love you guys
ps. i may be leaving the compound to go to an eye docter to see if elder bowermans eye is alright! i hope we can go out together!!