Thanks for emailing Toni. I think she loves getting emails from you. And also from Elder Simmons' mom. She loved seeing those photos. She showed me them as well, I loved the one where I was playing hockey. I think I am really going to miss doing that this christmas. Don't worry, we aren't spending too much time there. We teach them about three times a week, and almost always have a member present. But part of the thing with baptismal dates is you have to make daily contact, so we will call them everyday or stop by if we are in Falmouth just to see how they are doing. To be fair, sometimes our teaches do go over and hour, especially if the member we bring and Ken start just chatting about stuff (Ken has a lot of really good friends in the ward now) and we don't want to be rude. But we try to keep things reasonable time. We both know that our main focus right now is finding, and that we need to find new people to teach. But they are going to get their marriage papers in this week! We have some members working with them to find out all the details, but we are pretty sure now that they will be able to do Nov. 20. I really don't want to push the date back again.
Just thinking about what you wrote last email, I am sorry if I was confusing. I was just in Newton Abbot for the day. And turns out Elder Oscarson is just too nice to play any pranks on. He doesn't have really that side to him. He is from a small farming town in Utah, pretty shy and maybe a little bit sheltered. He is really trying to go out of his comfort zone and talk to everyone and be friendly with everyone he sees, so he is doing his best. He has only been out 5 months, so we are both quite new. It is really hard to do everything with Elder Simmons gone! Because he doesn't know the area or the people, all of a sudden I am the one who has to be making the phone calls and creating the lesson plans and deciding what people we will stop by and all this stuff. Luckily he is the district leader, so I don't have to deal with those responsibilies as well. Elder Oscarson is the best guy ever though. He is really humble, and the most grateful person I know. He is literally looking for any possible chance to express gratitude or to praise something you do. It is really nice actually. We are pretty opposite personality, but we are both pretty laid back so we are getting along really well so far. I am working on trying to help him become more assertive and decisive, and he is helping me on becoming more loving and humble. So its a good companionship. But a lot different than it was with me and Simmons.
I'm glad you are fitting in well with the ward. Don't give up on your degree! I don't think getting that degree is ever something you will regret, but if you back out now I bet it will be something you regret for a long time. Kind of the same as a mission... I may have specific regrets of things I did or things that happened on my mission, but I don't think I will ever regret the choice I made to serve a mission. But if I didn't go, I'm sure I would have regretted it my whole life.
I got a letter from Grandma and Grandpa, they sounded like they were doing pretty good. I hope they are not too lonely. Its good that you are spending some time with them. I was really grateful for the chance i had to spend that weekend with them and Ryan in June before I left doing their roof.
I hope Grandma Phillips is alright. That whole facial nerve thing she has going on is just a bad situation... if it is any consolation, the health care system here is way worse. Even longer waiting times, worse care, run down hospitals. I am starting to believe the socialist mentality is not the way to go at all, I think private buisness' is definitly the better choice. Like the government here pays a ton of money to anyone who doesn't have a job, who is a single parent, or a bunch of other things. And people just come to rely on this support. I know people who haven't had a job for like a decade because they can live comfortably on the money the government sends them. And there are people who will get pregnant outside of marriage just because they know the government will pay them a bunch of child support money if they do. I really don't like it, but whatever.
I bet Aunt Joan's party was a blast! I saw that pic of you guys all dressed up... thanks for sending all those pictures by the way. I love seeing photos of what is going on. But no, Halloween really isn't that big here. Actually a few weeks ago in a ward council meeting, we were brainstorming possible ward activites we could do and I suggested a ward Halloween party. One of the older members of the ward just got really upset and told me how he things the idea of Halloween is like evil and we should not support that at all. I wasn't too bothered, I was just like whatever man, but I guess the bishop thought I was going to be really offeneded by that, so he has helped plan like a 'secret' halloween party to try to make sure my feelings weren't hurt. We have Ken and Toni, and a bunch of the younger members of the ward coming, and the bishop, but we tried to make sure the older members of the ward didn't find out about it. It is really weird to tell you the truth. But it should be a lot of fun. I think I am going to dress up as Elder Oscarson.
Thanks for that inspirational message.
Just as a final note, I thought I would send you a Christmas wishlist. I do not want, or expect, you to get all these things for me, but it is just a list of a bunch of stuff i have thought of
2 new white shirts, one short sleeve on long sleeve, both wrinkle free
A nice leather belt (I wrecked mine trying to kill a fly on the ceiling)
Some more reactine extra strength
An iPod (any kind, I have found out that even iPod touches are allowed in this mission. A lot of missionaries have them, they just have to keep the wireless internet off)
A chocolate orange!
Joseph and the Amazing technicolor dreamcoat soundtrack (with Donny OSmond)
Some stick deodorant (they only have spray here... I like old spice or the dove man)
Thats pretty much all I can think of. I promise not to open it before Dec. 25. Thanks so much!Love Elder Steed