I'm here in my new area of the Cumorah branch here is Roswell Georgia! No more car riding for me, now it's all bike! It's actually the only bike area in this entire mission for Spanish elders. I have learned a great deal of things just in the first few days with regards to riding bikes. The first day I learned that the more I ride the harder it becomes to sing my favorite hymns out loud let alone do anything besides breath hard and sweat profusely. It hasn't rained at least. But then again, riding in full proselyting clothes in the blazing sun up-hill next to hot car exhaust coming from traffic next to you isn't the most fun thing to do either. It's kind of funny, the faster I ride the more the wind cools me off but to ride faster I put forth a lot more effort which in turn makes me sweat even more. There's just no way to avoid getting all red-faced and sweaty while riding a bike here in Georgia. At least for the first little ride out of my apartment it's peaceful. :)
Don't get me wrong, I do really enjoy being on a bike! I feel more like a missionary now that I can say I have been in a bike area. I must say though that I have found new aches and pains each night the more I ride. Shout out to my dad and his four brothers who are all road/mountain bikers themselves. I especially felt a little more like you guys after I totally biffed it on the side of the rode the other day. Supposedly riding too close to a six inch concrete curb will send you flipping upside down onto the grass and break the light off of the front of your bike.... psshhh, but I wouldn't know anything about that, I'm great with bikes! ...anyway.
This new area is great though. No more trailer parks but a lot of apartment complexes filled with Hispanics. A lot of cool members too who are impressed with the amount of Spanish I know for just four months. But of course it's all thanks to the 'How to make people think you can speak a foreign language in four months: For Dummies!' book I have. I hope the other one I got, 'How to ride a bike as a red-headed missionary in Georgia: For Dummies!', is just as good. It's crazy how specific those books can get! :P
One cool experience I have had so far here was the opportunity to go do service for a member of another ward here is Roswell. Sister Packer is a young at heart black woman who has the Elders over to her house almost every week to do service and eat. She was once a Navy Seal and has over four college degrees, two of which are masters. So she's one tough cookie. She loves to tease the missionaries, so the first thing she said about me was something about a show called 'Howdy Doody'. But I'm afraid that's not the first time I've heard that. I don't mind, I like my red-hair! :D The cool part is that Sister Packer lets us pick what we want to eat and then she teaches us to cook it. It was sea-food this time. We had a big pot of squid-octopus-shrimp-muscle-scallop-shark soup. No joke, that was all in there. Not my favorite but I ate it. I also baked pumpkin bread all by myself. Yummy!
And for those of you wondering about any new changes in mission policies such as dress code or internet/Facebook usage, nothing has been implemented yet in our mission. There is talk of allowing light colored pants as long as you can have a crease in them but that is rumor at the moment. And so far I haven't heard anything about Facebook. If things change I will for sure let everyone know. :)
Sorry for the long email this time, hope I didn't bore you too badly. I hope all is well in your lives. I would like to leave you with a quote from a church Seventy's wife:
"If you're not having fun you need to repent!"
Interpret that anyway which you feel. Have fun!