What a busy busy busy week! It has been full of adventures and awesome experiences.
So much has happened that I am not sure what to write about so I am going to just start typing away and hopefully something meaningful comes out! To start off, I am so jealous that Emma gets to know who made her mission assignment! That is so awesome! I showed the pictures to my companions and they were both going crazy, like that's complete nuts! It is really cool. Now Emma can say she has been in one of Elder Oaks Facebook posts! Not many people can say that. I am really excited to find out when and where Emma will be going. I thought that maybe since we were emailing so late this week that even with the holiday and all that she would have her call by now but I guess I will just have to wait until next week. Now that I have seen those pictures I keep having Argentina come to mind... Who knows!? Elder Oaks does ;p
We had quite the adventure on P-day this week. Because of the holiday we knew the library would be closed so we planned on emailing on Tuesday so we knew we had the whole day to do fun Memorial Day things. We had been up in the Santa Cruz mountains earlier last week and we had come across a really cool looking trail that was closed to cars but was open to bikes, horses, hikes and so on. So Sunday night I am laying in bed and doing the whole I am not tired enough to just pass out yet so I will talk with my companion. I asked what he wanted to do tomorrow for Memorial Day. he had nothing in mind. I said, "Do you want to bike the trail we found earlier?" He said yes. Honestly it was the most emotionless exchange of words I have ever had. I didn't know if we were both excited about it or dreading it or just didn't care at all. The next morning we woke up and we both had emotion again. We were pumped about the bike ride. Elder Hamilton who was hearing it for the first time at this point wasn't quite as excited as we were but was still down for having a good time with us. He also is a more logical thinker than we are. He said, "Elders, we only have one mountain bike." I instantly knew the solution to our problem. Our ward mission leader had two very nice mountain bikes in his garage and we called him up and asked if we could borrow them he said we could, he said they were about a year old and we would be the first ones to put some miles on them. So myself and Elder Hamilton did our mountain biking on $2,000 mountain bikes. That was probably more terrifying that actually mountain biking. The constant worry of possibly hurting one of the beautiful bikes. SO now on to the good part. As we are biking I stop to get some pictures and my companions continue on. After a couple minutes of trying to get some good pictures I get back on my bike and start to head off to catch up. As I round the first turn the trail turns into a steep downhill. I was trying to catch up so I decide to go down the hill at a good speed. On the hill the were these dip/bump combos where water had ran across the hill at one point. I hit the first one at a pretty good speed and I was worried that I was going to die, but my very good mountain bike took the bump very well and sent me into the air. I got about a second of air time and then was back on the ground biking again. Right after the first "jump" was a second and I hit it again, going a little bit faster that the first one. I was flying through the air like a champ! I hit the third jump the same way. Then, like you have all seen coming, I hit the fourth jump. I was so high! If there were people around they may have mistaken me for superman. I was flying through the sky as if I was on that plane home! :) haha, just kidding. All was going well on the fourth and final jump until the landing. I landed right on a sizable rock with my front tire. Now mountain bikes are built to go over rocks but this one was pretty big. It threw the front of my bike off to the left but I was ready for it so I moved my weight and was able to regain my balance and right as I was about to regain control of my bike, there was another rock. This time there was nothing I could do. It threw the front of my bike off to the left again and I flew over the front right of my handle bars at about 25mph. This is when everything slowed down and I remember flying through the air head first thinking, I really don't want to land on my face. I spun my body in the air so I landed on the ground on the right side of my back. I slid for about 10' on the rocks and then came to a stop. It all happened so quickly that the first thought through my head when it was all finished was, I just destroyed a $2,000 mountain bike. I jumped up and walked back up the hill to the bike. I stand it back up and begin looking for broken parts. The miracle, everything was fine. The bike didn't even have a scratch. On the other had there is me at this point. I felt all the pain start to run across my back and that warm wet feeling of blood. Both of my companions were still up ahead so I decided that this was no time to stop so I got back on my bike and started off again. Putting all the pain in the back of my mind. It only took about a minute from there to catch them and that when I had them examine my wounds. They weren't nearly as bad as I thought they were! Whew. I was able to finish the ride and I haven't been slowed down by them at all this week! BLESSINGS!!!! The true miracle is what I discovered at the end of the ride. When I took off my helmet. The entire back of my helmet was shattered as if someone had thrown a rock at a window. I realized that if I hadn't been wearing that helmet that would have been my skull, shattered open on the rocks of the Santa Cruz mountains. That's very gruesome... All said and done, we had an awesome trip, everyone came out of it alive, and we got some sweet pictures! Ill send them your way!
Last story I have time for is what happened on Wednesday. We had mission wide iPad training. We got together with the entire mission and Elder Evans of the 70 cam and spoke to us about how technology is here for us to become the disciples that God needs us to be. He said that missionary work is not what they are trying to change. They don't give missions iPads to try and make them better at doing missionary work. They give missions iPads to help missionaries become better disciples of Christ. I loved that. There was a lot of talk about having moral discipline when using technology. The only 100% effective safeguard is yourself. Moral discipline is when you exercise your agency to do what is right because it is right, even when it is hard. I have learned so much about being in the world but not of the world over the past few days, it has been very amazing. The second best part about this meeting was that I saw Dana! Well, Elder Forsgren. He is doing great. He loves, loves, loves his companion Elder Call but he is experiencing what I like to call area trunky. All new missionaries go through it before they get to their first new area. He is so accustom to his area that nothing seems new anymore so he is looking for some change. Eventually you realize on a mission that no matter where you go it is the same work. The part of a mission where you are a missionary is when you are in the living room of someones home feeling the spirit with someone and that is exactly the same all around the world. No matter where you are called. That's not 100% accurate but it is true. Being a missionary isn't about sight seeing! I have some pictures of us at the meeting I will send as well.
I also took some before my haircut pictures! Did someone say Albert Einstein? Throw back to fourth grade! hahaha, it was definitely time for a cut!
I love you all! Have some fun out there! Hopefully next week I will be emailing you from my ipad!
Best of wishes,Elder Maxwell