Well my official year mark is on July 14. Saturday. But because you finish about ten days earlier than you started, my last day as a missionary will be July 3 next year. So I have passed that. I have been thinking a lot about what I want to tell Riley, and some things I want to send him. I have a really good idea, but he might think it is lame. I will probably send it in a couple of weeks and hope it gets there for his birthday. I'm sure his visa will take much more than 8 weeks. But luckily he will be in the MTC for like 3 months, so i'm sure it will be sorted by then.
Girls camp sounds fun. I just remembered a time that I think me and dad came to a girls camp for a few hours and hung out. That was weird.
But that is a very good story of running up the hill. You're really good at using personal stories to illustrate points. I really like it when people do that.
I am trying to imagine Alyssa painting that fence... I am sure you have been met with all sorts of opposition from her about that.
The boys are going to have so much fun this weekend. I am really jealous. I really want dad to organize another one for next summer when I get home. I would love to do something like that. And I have a ton of survival/camping gear with me that as long as I don't need to use for 2012 I will have to use for stuff like that.
The fact that the Byams got a house by us and even better the Pitchers got a cabin in montana is amazing! I'm seriously so excited, what is their cabin like? We are going to have a blast down there once we are all off our missions.
Okay, for Riley.
I have probably 60 kg of stuff with me in my 2 suitcases. For my first
2 areas I was hauling it around with me. But then I could only take 20 kg to Guernsey. And so I had to leave a ton of stuff behind at the mission office. What I have learned, is most of that stuff they tell you to bring/pack is totally unnecessary. At the moment, I have 3 short sleeved white shirts, 2 long sleeved, 7 pairs of garments, 7 pairs of socks, 2 tshirts, one pair of shorts, one pair of sweats, one pair of dress shoes and also my running shoes, one suit, and 3 extra pairs of trousers. And some ties. And that is all I brought and I am living very comfortably with just that. So you really don't need to get everything the list says. My advice, especially for Guatamala, would be to pack light. One of the worst things is having to spend like 3 hours packing all your stuff when you move areas and also having to lug around 2 massive suitcases is always tough. I would just make sure he has money and he can buy whatever he needs when he gets there. You really don't know what you need until you get into the field and other missionaries tell you. But make sure he has a good pair of shoes. Most people here have eccos, and they seem to be really good. My pair I brought wore out after about 8 months, and they cost
130 dollars. Eccos are about 300, but everyone says they last a lot longer. Also, don't get that Mr. Mac raincoat that I got. The long black one with a liner in it and a hood and it is kind of like a trenchcoat. I wore it once in my first 6 months and then just left it behind in my first area. My companion now has one that he wears. It just isn't really a great looking jacket and only really greenies wear it and only until they can find a new one to buy. If you have any other specific questions just ask.
So do you remember when I first got to Guernsey and there was a ton of families and kids and cool people coming to church? Well in the last few weeks, they have kind of been wavering and cooling off. So this week was an interesting one for me because of the incredible number of people we dropped this week. We dropped like 5 young families that were just wasting our time, and also a few other individuals, and got dropped by 2 other young families. Our teaching pool literally just went to like zero at the start of this week. And that was compounded by the fact that our bike was broken so we were on foot, the 4 people from Utah who had been here for 4 months were moving away, we got news that the senior couple that was supposed to be coming couldn't find a place to live, so they had to change those plans, it won't stop raining, and we also had only one d.a. booked. My companion didn't really understand how bleak things were looking, which was good. He just had the casual faith of 'okay well we lost all our investigators, lets just go find some more.' Which was cool. So we did a ton of finding this week. We had to do all of it close to where we live, which I was a bit concerned about because I had assumed that these nearby areas must have been worked to death by other missionaries. But everyday we walked by this one street and I have always just noticed it and felt good about it. So one of the first streets we decided to knock was this one. It was literally the best street I have ever knocked. The first door we knocked was a lady who had met Elder before, they used to volunteer at a community center and she always saw them there and was impressed with them. Her name is Emma. We booked a return appointment. A few doors later, we knocked in! For my first time on Guernsey. A lady openend the door, and she had met missionaries before because they once knocked on the door of her cousins house when she was there. Because it was raining so much, they let them in and chatted for a minute. We taught her the restoration and it went really well, we have an appointment with her tommorow. Her name is Maile (pronounced Miley). As we went down the street, we also met a lady who was lds when she was a child but slowly just drifted away but said we could come back, and two other people who were busy but who we were able to book return appointments with. It was crazy how many miracles we saw on this street. And then also some opposition. We were knocking, and some guy with a name tag saw us, stood really close and watched us while we knocked on someone doors and then when we finished talking to them came up to us. He was trying to be really intimidating and went on to tell us that he owned this block of houses, and that we were bothering his tenants and we needed to leave. I was very polite, but I just told him no. He wasn't very happy about this, he tried to sound really smart and throw some legal jargon in there but when he realized that I knew he couldn't stop us he tried to tell us he is just concerned about our welfare and it is a dangerous area and got our contact info and stuff. And we kept knocking. We knocked a lot this week. Nothing was quite like that street, but we did meet a lot of cool people.
The week that started out so poorly turned around. We found a good bike that was on sale and we are mobile again. One of the less actives we visited for the first time came to church yesterday for the first time in months. And incredibly, just as the Utah people moved away, 2
19 year old guys from the UK moved here for the summer to work. One of them is preparing for a mission soon and will not only strengthen the branch but also hopefully help us on teaches. We are going over to where they are camping to have a BBQ with them on saturday. The senior couple found somehwere to stay and should be getting over here in a couple of hours. We booked 4 da's for this week. When we went back and taught Emma (which also went really well) it turns out she is actually really good friends with Holly (the one who was just baptized). We got back into contact with 3 of our portugese lady investigators who we hadn't seen for over 2 weeks. Holly was called as the 1st counsellor in the primary presidency! I tried to tell Elder Erickson that we were like the Edmonton Oilers. We had a big firesale and are now in a rebuilding phase, but that the future looks bright. He doesn't really understand hockey so he didn't really have any idea what I was talking about. But whatever. We have had a great week. I think that the 'greenie faith' is helping great things to come to pass.
He is such a funny kid. But he is a very hard worker, and by me trying to push him to the limits I am finding I am pushing myself as well. He is a good cook and likes to stay very clean, which I like. He is going to see things on his mission he has never dreamed of living in Centerville utah, but he is going to have great time and be a great missionary.
Love Elder Steed