Tuesday, February 10, 2015

First Week in the Office!

This week was crazy. Actually, it was pretty much the hardest week I've had on my mission so far. Why? It wasn't a bad week. I am using hard in the sense that it took a lot of time and effort. It's been hard to change my life around. On Monday I packed up my home of 6 months, climbed onto a bus, showed up at a new house, and tried to start over again. It's very weird. I definitely think that the life of the rolling stone is not for me!

The office is hard. It just sucks time. We have a normal area, just like any other missionary, with the office as an extra job. It takes a lot of work and self control because, as you might assume, you can get sucked into wasting time for hours!

Love you all. Please pass on my love to the family. I got grandpa Steve's package and it was super exciting. I love all of you so much and appreciate all of you so much. I'm working on sending more letters, but they take a long time to get there. (note from mom: Alex sent a letter to us approximately 4 months ago, and we still haven't received it.) In the meantime, please give my deepest love and appreciation to all. Also, I got your Valentine's Day card and package. (One of the perks of the office - ha ha)

Love you all,
Elder Ahlstrom

(note from mom: Alex asked if we could try to email chat next week. It requires me to get up in the middle of the night, but it's worth it. Hopefully, I will have news to report about Alex's new companion, life in Tana, and more. Please leave a note on this blog or send me a message if there is anything that you would like me to ask Alex or tell him.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Let me start with the news that you're probably all waiting for. I'm going to Betongolo (many onions in Malagasy). I will be serving as Office Elder. I'll be working in the office for a little bit each day and then I'll be working just up the hill from the office. Very exciting! I'm nervous because it's a new area. But it is super fun that I will finally get to work in Antananarivo. (note from mom: Betongolo is not clearly marked on all maps. It appears to be just north of Tana. I wonder if it is the equivalent of a suburb?)

Mom, you need to stop posting about Mada's political unrest. You are scaring all the other moms, and the other Elders said their moms were worried! Also, say hi to everyone, especially Brother Volney. I haven't responded to his emails because of my limited time, but I really appreciate hearing from him and everyone. They're so nice and their prayers are so important.

I'm busy packing and getting all the last things ready so that I can leave tomorrow. Also, I'm really upset with you (mom) and dad for not teaching me how to drive a stick, and now I have to learn. The Office Elders drive in Tana, which makes San Fran hills look cute and Los Angeles traffic look like child's play. So I need extra prayers that I don't die learning how to drive again! (note from mom: in our defense, we truly tried to teach Alex to drive a manual transmission!)

Lots of love to all!

Elder Ahlstrom