Thursday, April 29, 2010

Transfer Day!

This is as close as Zack has ever been to the ocean in New Jersey. Most of his areas were closer to Philadelphia.

Hey Mom!

Thanks for the luck!

This week I spent most of my time at the office, working on the slide show. The slide show turned out better than it has in the past. I got it done pretty quickly and it looks pretty good. Sis. Taylor said that it might be the first time that the slide show has been done on time since they got here. We ate with the Sikahema's for the last time, but I forgot to get pictures. psych! Of course I got pictures with the Sikahema Family! But I don't have time to send them today. I'll send them next week. I got some pictures with some other families in the ward too. particularly, The Duns and the Clevelands. We taught Leslie again this week. I love going over there because both times we've taught her, they've been the best lessons of my mission. She asks questions, she takes notes, she wants homework. She REALLY wants to know. Most of the time we kind of have to push people along a little bit; Just nudge them onto the path. But with her, she does it on her own which makes it great for us because then she progresses so much easier.

So today I got transferred to Barnegat. It's down the shore. It's in the East Brunswick Stake. President told me that I would be here until either next transfer or until July. At that time I'll be back in the Cherry Hill Stake. From what I've seen (which isn't much) it looks pretty similar to everywhere else. Lots of trees everywhere. From what Sis. Rasmusson(sp?) told me it's more rural in this area. She is the kind member that gave us a ride home from transfers. She's pretty cool. She's from Utah and she and her family like pretty much the same things that we do. Shooting, riding quads, that kind of stuff. I felt that we connected pretty well. When I was looking at the map at my new apartment, I realized that she was right about the rurality of the area. There really isn't a whole lot compared to my previous areas. Possibly due to the fact that this area is a branch. It could also be that there are a lot of shore-houses in the area that are vacant until its warm. My companion is Elder Pena(pronounced pen-ya). He's cool. He's from the Philippines, but he has lived in California for a number of years. I came out with him. I haven't served around him much, so I don't know too much about him, but I'm learning as I go. Our apartment is nice. It's upstairs. It's got a washer and dryer(JACKPOT!) an couches and fridge and microwave and beds and a pretty big bathroom. It seems like a pretty nice apartment. It recently had bedbugs in it, so I'm a little bit leery about that. From what others have said, it seems that this area is kind of difficult. We don't have any investigators, so it's just tracting and potentials. Oh and I'm district leader now so you'll probably get something in the mail about that.

Good thing Aunt Joyce got back in time for the wedding. Bummer that she had to pay $600 to leave the car there.

So Grandma Holladay is living with you now huh? That's cool. So which room was Spencer's room?

It's cool with me that Spence is my roommate. I don't mind sharing a room with Spence, just as long as he helps me keep it clean.

I'm not sure how the 'going home' thing works. I haven't gone through the experience yet. From what I've seen in the office, I think you'll get an email or letter or something telling you what my flight is and all that stuff. I'll get what they call in the mission, 'trunky papers'. It's got my flight info and other stuff, I'm not sure what.

I'm back down to just one companion, even though I can be a handful.

Well it's time to go, so I'll peace out.

Love ya!


Monday, April 26, 2010

April 21 Zack note

Me, Elder Okamoto, Sis. Okamoto, and Elder Theilen

Hey Mom mom mom, mom mom moran!

Things are pretty good this week. We're working with another less-active, Mark Lazano, to get him reactivated. It's pretty easy when he already has a strong testimony. He's a smart guy and I can relate with him pretty well. We also started to teach a new investigator last night who is the girlfriend of a less-active member. Her name is Leslie Rowley. She's Catholic, but sometimes she comes to church with her boyfriend, Mike. She said that she wants to learn more because sometimes she has no idea what people are saying at church. I guess her family wasn't/isn't very religious, so she doesn't know much about the Catholic church either. We had a pretty good first lesson. She was taking notes and asking good questions. Leslie even asked for a homework assignment!(never happens) She said that she wants to find a church where she would want to be and not like other people who almost dread going to church. I think she'll get baptized one day. We also did a service project for a elementary school on Saturday. We basically gardened all morning from 8 am to 1pm. We were pulling weeds, digging up unwanted grass, making a path of stones, weeding, spreading mulch, getting rid of weeds, and planting a few things. Even as a missionary, you can't get away from gardening... I haven't spent much time in the office, because I was waiting for a missionary to send me their pictures because I couldn't do anything with out them. They finally arrived today, so I have my work cut out for me this week.

I haven't registered for classes yet because I have holds on my registration. I email my counselor to see what I could do to get that taken care of. She told me to take some class online which I did and I faxed the paper to her that said that I completed it. I haven't heard from her since. I'll shoot her an email today to see if she received my fax. I probably will wait until next semester to take the Japanese class. I might explore other ways to learn the language if I have time.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my bike. I lent it to another missionary because his bike was broken, but I found out this morning that it's broke. I'll talk to him to see what happened and see what we can do to fix it. The gear guard broke by the pedals. I was going to try to sell it to another missionary, but at this point it doesn't seem probable. Since the areas are getting bigger, there are less and less bike areas. So less people need a bike and more people are trying to sell theirs.

I checked and so far the airline I'll be taking is Delta, but that's not final. Most of the time it's Delta, but sometimes they change it if they find one cheaper(I think). Everyone else that is going home at the same time is taking a Delta flight as well.

That stinks about the sickness. Have you gotten over it yet? (almost)
I hadn't heard about the Iceland volcano. That's pretty intense! Signs of the times I guess. How big of an area is it affecting? All of Europe? Hopefully Aunt Joyce can get back safe and on time for the wedding. (she did)

Jake wanted Brats for his Birthday? (Brats sausage) Isn't that... like a little girls' play doll or something? Something to do with a fashion doll for little girls I think. Well what every floats his boat I guess.. how big is his trampoline? (13 ft.)

Who won the racquetball game? You or Uncle Mark? (me, of course)

Well I that's all I can think of, so until next week!


PS: Tell Mark and everyone I said Hi!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Roomie!

This is Dave's mom, Gennie. She decided she is too lonely to live in her big house so she has moved into Spencer's room. It was kind of a surprise to all of us, but we just took a big breath and adjusted. So far so good! When Zack gets home, that will make 8 in our household.
Here's to a new adventure! :)

Gennie and her oldest son, Bob.

Knock, Knock, Kocking on Heaven's door.

Isn't he the cutest guy ever! This is my sweetheart, Carl Blad. He is my friend, Rinda Christensen's dad. I love his smile and his twinkling eyes! I got up early this morning and ran down to Fillmore to see him. I took my guitar and we made beautiful music together. It was so cute that he sang with us. Rinda and her family came down right after I did and they sang with us too. This is a sweet, sweet memory I will never forget. Love you, Carl! Remember, we'll always have Fillmore! Big eternal hug!

Steven gets his own Mrs. Glenn!

My nephew, Steven, married Megan Sears on the 22nd. We were worried that Joyce and her girls would not make it back in time for the wedding. They were in France when the Icelandic volcano went off (don't ask for the name of it, cause it's just to weird to type) Anyway, the ash from the volcano floated over to Europe and canceled a bunch of the flights that would return to USA. One of those canceled flights was Joyce's. She was able to drive down with the girls to Spain and catch a plane coming home from there. They were only 7 hours delayed, which is a miracle, since many people were stranded for days.

The weather was chilly, but sunny and the reception was very nice! Congratulations Steven! Welcome to the family Megan!

Catch up-Spring Break

Spencer and Dave inside the volcano

Did you know that Heber/Midway has these volcanic springs all over? These were just around the condo area where we were staying. The one we could walk in was over at the Homestead. People do snorkeling and swimming here.

People swimming around at the Homestead

On the top of the volcanic hill where you can look down into the water inside.

Shauna gave us a couple nights stay at her condo here for my b-day. It was fun! Thanks Shauna!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Zack Update X2

Hey Mom!

No I haven't gotten registered for classes yet. I tried to register, but it said I wasn't allowed at that time. I looked a little further into it, and the calendar said that the freshman have to wait until the 14th which is today to register. I guess since only 6 of my credits counted towards my major, I would still be considered a freshman(or something like that). So I would have to register today. But we don't have very much time today because we have a zone activity this afternoon so I'll try to register tomorrow.

That's good that Fran is doing well in working her way to the temple. Maybe I'll get to meet her when she goes to Utah...

That's interesting that J&J are 19 on the 19th, I'm 21 on the 21st and Spencer is 13 on the 13th! What would be super crazy is if Mike was 28 on the 28th as well. Silly boy! Mike's birthday is on the 29th (he was very late!)

That's pretty intense that you ran out of gas! What a blessing it was that the gas station was down hill instead of up hill. I think we've come close to running out of gas once. I recall that we had less than a quarter of a gallon left in the tank when we got to the gas station. We've learned to fill up before we get to that point again.

I wasn't thinking of how I'd get my guitar home. When I first got it, I figured I'd probably give it to another missionary. I still have it and I try to play it every week. Mostly I practice my chords and try to learn chord progressions. One of the missionaries had a guitar book that had all the chords in it and a little bit of music theory. I copied what I thought was important out the music theory section onto some paper. I figured if I knew that stuff, I could figure out all the different ways to play the chords on my own. I'd like to take the guitar home, but it may prove difficult/expensive. I do know someone who has family in New York, but I don't know exactly where. I'll talk to him and see what I can do. I'll try to find a way to get it home, but if not, I'll just have to hand it down to another missionary.

The Old Testament is great. Its hard to read sometimes, but it's got a lot of deep doctrine in there. I want to study it more fully when I get back.

Those missionary chapters are great! There are a lot of good examples of how to be a good missionary. Ammon was a great teacher and leader. I also liked the sermons of Alma and Amulek. They taught with such power.

Not too much went on this week. We tried to teach some people, but they aren't keeping their commitments. It's kind of difficult to teach people who are wealthy. We are working with some less-active members to get them reactivated. They're progress is nice and steady. I've been busy in the office with the departing slideshow. I'm waiting for two people to send me their pictures. I think that may be the hardest part of the slideshow is having to wait for people to get their pictures in. Because the more time they take in sending in their pictures, the less time I have to work on the slideshow which causes more stress for me. My goal is to have the slideshow finished so that it can go in the departing packet like it's supposed to. Apparently it's been quite a few transfers since it's been done on time.

That just about does it for this week.


Hey Mom!
The work is still going. We have an appointment this afternoon. I think Ray(investigator) is taking us out to lunch. I don't know where. We had an appointment for tonight, but they(Annette[LA]) thought it was yesterday and they planned something for today.

Yeah I watched all of Conference. I thought it was great! I loved all of the sessions. There were a lot of good talks. Elder Holland gave yet another powerful talk. I thought it was cool that one guy, I can't remember his name but I know he's in the 70 somewhere, talked about his experience with Pres. Eyring in making assignments for missionaries. Sister Christensen (who is in charge of the meals for the missionaries) gave us a big bag of Easter goodies. She gave each of us our own light house that says New Jersey Cherry Hill Mission 2010 and tons of candy. We're going to give her a thank you card.

It's been super nice since last Friday. We've been up in the 80's since then and I think today we're supposed to hit 90. But I believe it will be getting cooler tomorrow back into the 60's because we've got a storm rolling in.

Where is Midway? I think I remember hearing a commercial a ways back about a Midway racetrack? or maybe I'm thinking of something else... You'll have to look into that one. I'm not sure.

I was thinking about making my own departing slide show, but it's too much work in a short time. I'll make one when I get home.

The classes I was looking at are:
(3 credits) CS 1400 Fundamentals of programming
(3 credits) ENGL 1010 Intro to Writing (the one I failed)
(2 credits) PES 1097 Fitness for Life
(4 credits) MATH 1050 College Algebra (I already took this class, but in order to get into other math classes I have to have taken it within the last 2 years. I took it 4 years ago so I'll have to take it again.)
Maybe[(5 credits) JPNS 1010 Beginning Japanese] depending on how many classes I can afford
12 (or 17) Credits Total

By the way, thanks for helping me get my schooling stuff prepared.

That's all folks!