It has been a pretty crazy week and half since I last wrote. Elder Casey and Atwal, serving in St. Austell, have not been getting along these last 5 weeks. Which is too bad, becuase it is Casey's first moves in the mission. So on Sunday night, the zone leaders called and told us they were both being e-moved up to London, closer to President. They each had their own problems as well. Turns out though, that it was like a massive, mission wide emergency move. Ten companionships were changed around. And we all got an email from President and it sounds like he is making a lot of changes in the mission and is cracking down for his last few months before he goes home. We are on the outskirts of civilization though, so we don't get affected by that much stuff. So we ended up doing a two day road trip up to Staines, Catford, Croydon, Wandsworth (all boroughs of London) and then coming home. I was the only driver as well, and although I thought it was cool to drive in London, I did not enjoy driving two seven hour days in a row, but it is done now and we are alive so can't really complain. I also got to stop off and get breakfast with Elder Palmer and everyone we were with, in Wandsworth, which was like the highlight of the trip. I have missed him, and it is crazy that he goes home in 4.5 months. When I came out he still had a long way to go.
I can't think of anything really awesome this last week in terms of the work. We did A LOT of finding this week. But actually one huge thing that happened, is Chris Thomas quit smoking. He has been smoking for 25 years, was smoking like 50 a day, and has been meeting with Elders and coming to church every week for like 9 years, and last week he just quit cold turkey. I was on exchange with the italian elder, and he commited him to quit. He only lasted like 4 hours, but we went back the next day and told him he needs to just try again and again until he does it. That was on saturday. He hasn't had a cigarette since. We called him every hour the first night, and like 4 times the next day, and now we are talking to him like twice a day. We are going over to see him today as well. I just can't belive it has finally happened. He is going to get baptized in two weeks, if he continues to not smoke. But we are very hopeful.
Also, I called Fiskani this week because we haven't seen her forever, and it turns out she is seperating from her husband. Which is really good, because they had the most horrible marriage/living arrangements I have ever heard of. Her husband was a pig. Sorry, that isn't very Christlike, but it is true. So hopefully when that is all done with, she can get baptized as well.
Thanks for sharing that stuff you taught the young women about with me. That is cool, because that is exactly what I have been studying and focusing on lately. I have just about finished Jesus the Christ, that massive book, and at the moment I am reading it like a novel. It is so fascinating and makes the life of Christ actually seem real and not just like some story you hear in church. The chapter about the atonement was incredible. And I found one of the talks Dad put on my iPod that I just love. It is called 'The Saviour in Gethsemane,' and is seriously maybe my favorite talk ever. It is by someone Skinner. You should really listen to it. I gained a lot of insight from it. So thank dad for putting that on for me. Oh, and the part about you asking for the spirit to be there. I have noticed that that is something that Elder Bednar does every single time he begins a talk. So it is probably a good thing to do.
I can't wait to try dad's new smoker when I get home. I'm sure he will have many new tricks up his sleeve for cooking by the time I get home. I will have a few of my own too. Like how to make rice. It took me like 4 months to get it down. The italian elder helped me out a bit.
How are the pitchers doing? I was actually planning on going to that same YSA fireside, but something else came up last minute and we had to miss it. Is Landon excited to start getting ready to go on his mission?
Alyssa got a whole month off school? That is madness.
Ya being first-born has its ups and downs. But to be fair, it is probably more downs. Noah is gonna have it so nice. Just make sure to keep those kids away from sleepovers still. Well I am glad at least someone is reading my letters home as well as you guys. I really was well taken care of this Christmas... say thank you to everyone for me just in case I forget! But I am in the process of sending off a bunch of post to say thanks to a lot of people. Good luck with finding our Prussian ancestors. If you want the kids to help you, just have them read that talk by Bednar that tells youth they need to do family history. Oh, If you had to sum it up, what would my main lineage/country of origin be? English or Welsh or German? Oh, and I have heard rumors of a site that can trace your ancestry back all the way too Adam. I'll let you know more about that if I can find it.Love Elder Steed