First off, I've not been working in Taft for most of this week. I went on an exchange with the Zone Leader Elder Gigena on Tuesday, we spent most of Wednesday and Thursday in the apartment because Elder Buckmiller was sick, and then on Saturday with Elder Shurtz. It was cool though, because we were on bikes on Saturday! Whoo! That was really super fun, although I feared for my life almost the whole way. I'm not the best biker, and the drivers in Bakersfield are almost as bad as the ones in Georgia. Also, I'm definitely feeling it now; I hafta sit kinda funky on my seat. Some cool things happened out there though. The highlight was probably when we were riding down the road, a van drove by that was painted with a bunch of "religious excitement" graffiti, and there was a man in there shouting out to the people to come on down to some religious get together or something. As we rode past he shouted out; "And the boys in the white shirts! Come on out to blah blah blah..." MAN I wanted to go SO BAD! We were both excited for it but wound up on the other side of town at the time it was happening, so we didn't have the chance. It'd have been cool to get up and "soapbox it" though.
In other news; Elder Buckmiller and I are hyper excited for this week, because Jose's going to be baptized on the ninth, and Cami and Josh are both going to be baptized on the tenth! Whoo! Jose's been an absolute BOSS about this all. Last week he went out to the Temple with the youth, even though he couldn't enter, and he spent five hours in the visitors center, and said he loved it! He couldn't get over how good it felt and how awesome it was. He's gonna be an AWESOME missionary here soon. Cami and Josh are doing excellent as well. Josh has really opened up a lot, and is truly growing in his own personal testimony in a very cool way. Cami's been doing really well too.
As far as Tana (Josh's mom) goes, she's kinda progressing off and on. She really struggles, and if she hears anything that doesn't fall right RIGHT AWAY, she takes it wrong and goes off about it. But after we explain what it was she's miss-understanding, she relaxes and gets it. We're... workin on it.
Another highlight of the week was when our whole district, (minus me, cause I didn't know.) came to district meeting with their hair all gelled up like Elder Buckmiller does! It was hilarious Then, about halfway through the meeting, (as they're all sitting there exactly like Elder Buckmiller would) they all whip out a pen and stick it behind their right ear, which is where Elder Buckmiller keeps his. It was really funny, but most of all, it was cool to see them having fun with and supporting Elder Buckmiller. Especially since being so far away; it's hard to tell if they feel his support and care, and vice versa.
So, I just want you all to know I love you. I know you're all doing awesome; make sure you let each other know that! Relax a bit when you don't feel like it, work a lot when you definitely don't, and make sure you're helping out those missionaries! (feed us, laugh at us, and most of all, teach strangers for us and then let us know!)
Elder Matthew David Clough