What...a...week! Friday was my birthday. Happy 20th to me. On that morning, I woke up at 6:00 and went back to sleep for another 30 minutes. At that moment, I saw a bunch of balloons, but it didn't fully compute until I was really awake. When I finally got up, I fully saw my situation. I smelled pancakes cooking, observed 75 balloons in my bedroom, saw the saying HAPPY 20TH, and I saw a new game for me-SETTLER'S OF CATAN. The full version. I was the most happy person in the world at that moment. I ate the pancakes Elder Shepherd was preparing, and he explained all that happened throughout the night. He started the balloons at 1 in the morning, and finished at 2:00. When he got up from the couch, he fell down and was delusional--naturally drunk from the lack of oxygen/hallucinating. He convinced himself that if he rolled around in the balloons, he would feel better. After coming to himself, he delivered the balloons into the bedroom, while in my snoring state, moved the ironing board, and then moved in the white round table. After that, he put the game on there that he got the night before when we went on splits. He went with Brother Bell to get the present for me and give a me the biggest surprise ever. I am truly grateful for his huge sacrifice that he has done for me. We then had our normal studies, and then our weekly planning. Right in the middle, he just fell asleep because he was so tired. So then, I finished the planning, and ate lunch. After that, the Palmer's and the assistants called me to wish me a happy birthday. We also ate with the Bell's at Strings because they wanted to, and also because it was my birthday. They also brought a home made brownie dessert, and it totally melts in you mouth more than normal brownies. It was super sweet. Then for dinner, we had pasta again with the Ward's. Lastly, we get home to the Zone leaders (Elder Ahau, and Grover) who gave me a package from my grandma Wachter. Lots of goodies and rare chocolate from Germany. It was pretty sweet. Overall, it was a wonderful birthday.
Today, I bought a California flag as a souvenir. I may ship it home, or I will just wait till I get home and then fly it at my house. I am a Californian right now. California family pride!!! YEAH! I'm also wearing the red tie my grandma sent me. I like it. I can't remember if I already said it or not, but I'm staying here in the Northland Ward with Elder Shepherd for the last time before he goes home. After him, all my former companions will be home. I need somebody younger than me. That's coming up quick ya know. There is almost nothing left of the old missions. Which is good of course. Soon, after me and Elder Ashton, the mission will all be President Palmer's, as in all missionaries will have been originally called to the Modesto Mission.
So...actual missionary business. Well...we talked about transfer goal with Brother Nate in our complex. He is super missionary minded. He was spectacular in his mission. He showed us what it means to plan and set goals, so we set a bunch of goals for the area and discussed some more specifics during our dinner with them. He then said that we should ask the ward what each family thinks they can do to grow the work and the ward, so we will see how this will go. We haven't done a lot of teaching this week, so there's not much to update about here at this time. We were hoping that Corey Scherringa would make it to church this week, but his car broke down, so he couldn't come. Well, there's always next week.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. On Saturday, we had our Stake Pioneer Day Celebration. The food was good, and the socialization was great. We also watched an hour of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday night. That was pretty good. That's about it for this week. Thanks for being patient with this long letter, and as always, have a great week everyone.