This week was a little slow to be honest. But it was a good week. It was slow because the holidays seem to have a lot of people out of town, or busy with family so they don't really have time for us. It was good because the people we did get to meet with were awesome.
Christmas Eve we had a Mission Devotional/White Elephant gift exchange and breakfast. All 250 some-odd of us missionaries in one building. But the building was huge. Like made to hold eight wards huge. This was thing was a castle it was so big. I wish I had had my camera. But oh well. I got to see my Mission Papa's. (let me explain for those who don't know what that means; missionaries have their own terms for things. Your trainer is you dad/papa. Other lingo's are like me. I am a red headed step child. Which means this since I am a visa waiter I am a "red head" and since I was sent away from my trainer before I completed training I am a "step child". This lingo is as far as I know specific to the California San Jose Mission so if you ask other missionaries and they look at you like you're nuts that is why. :) Any way it was great to see the members from my last zone and the talks were great.
Christmas day was even better. Our zone had a breakfast of pancakes, bacon and steak. There were a lot of card games played and we had a great time. Then me and my companions went over to the Michael's house ( a member family in our ward) and they fed us breakfast and we opened our presents and then we had the piece de resistance. We got to call home. And for 45-55 fantastic minuets I got to speak with my family. I am not afraid to admit that I cried with each progressing family member to speak to me culminating with bawling at my Daddy and my Momma. Please don't think this has caused me to lose sight on my sacred calling. It has not. In fact it gave me a new sense of strength and purpose and comfort that my family is being taken care of by Heavenly Father while I am away. We were blessed with the opportunity to visit a less active member named Pete who we shared a movie with namely Mr. Kruger's Christmas and we gave him a blessing a few days before (actually it might have been a day before.) We got to eat dinner with a less active family and the day was all together wonderful. I received several letters from people; Sister Lewis, Sister Cox, Nikki Bradshaw, Bryce Barager, Auntie Jessie, Kristen (once) Kimball and Harry Steffens.
The rest of the week was great too but I am being told that we are over our time limit.
Love you all.
Happy New Year. This picture is for you Momma. It is your gifts to me. Thanks Momma. It may be hard to see.
Hey Momma just fyi, Elder Stimpson from my zone in the MTC got his Visa approved. Which means for me: I have no idea! My Visa could come soon or later. But I am so excited for him. This week has been good. The weather has heated up at least during the day it has. That is nice, although my comp Elder Sant still wears a jacket everywhere we go. He is like you Momma. :)
I love the people out here. We have a great investigator named Paul who is skeptical in a good way. He wants to know for himself wither what we tell him is true, so he plans on reading the Book of Mormon for himself. That is so exciting. He is a great guy and we have already taught him two lessons.
This week may be a little slow. I don't really know how many people will be home for us to talk to on the week of Christmas. But we wont be letting that stop us. We will keep up the good work.
We get to see the extremes of personalities out here. When we go street contacting we find people who are nice and thank us and even encourage us to continue our work, but decline the invitation to learn more. We get people who wont even look at us as they walk past. We get the great ones where they listen and ask questions and say they will go to mormon.org and do some research of their own, or even take a Book of Mormon. Then we get the ones who are not so good. But those are few and far between. So things are good.
The work is good and we have learned to work really well together as companions. I am so happy to be out here.
"Are you wearing any jewelry? Are you allergic to shellfish... Okay lets make it happen captain!"
Hey for those of you who missed the message I was transferred this week. That means that me and Elders Rollins and Arnell and I had to go to Mission office and have a meeting with everyone who was being transferred. Then at the end of the meeting we were told who we were companions with and where we were going. I am serving with Elder Mercer and Elder Sant. We are serving in Cambrian Park in South San Jose. Our address is 1977 Heimgartner Ln #17 San Jose CA 95124 in case anyone wants to know. So I said my goodbyes to my old zone and my hellos to my new Comps. Whats really funny is Sister Voyles of my old zone totally predicted that I would be sent here for my next area. How weird is that?
So the area is great and so are my Companions, though one of my companions and I have a few different opinions on how things ought to be done. Oh well, we are working through it and I am sure we will be all the better for solving our differences.
It is cool seeing how the work doesn't change even when the area does. But it is weird because I have had to change my usual habits what with new people., But that is okay to. All part of the work.
We got the opportunity to help some women who own or run a art studio for kids. They were trying to move a large thing made for cooking glass and they were struggling with it. So I went and volunteered our assistance and they gladly took it. Acording to Elder Mercer, who has been in this area for a transfer those ladies used to give the Elders weird looks when they would walk past. Now they smile and wave at us like old friends. I think that is great.
That is about it.
"I see you have a sword. I have one too, they are very manly and... tough."
I wear the coat a lot. It is so cold and dry here, that it is rediclous. The only real problem is that my knee gets cold and starts to freeze up, and that makes it hard to peddle my bike. But I am surviving, and thriving.
We got to see half of the Christmas Devotional with the Taylor family last night since they had us over for dinner. It was pretty good the parts we got to hear, so you should try to find it.
When I wrote that letter to Daddy I was really missing him. I talk about him a lot while I am meeting with people. So I wanted him to know how much I miss him and love him.
My talk went great, I might send it to you. I talked on Christmas and two talks, one by President Hinckley and one by Elder Holland. They were really good talks and people told me I did really good.
I am being Transferred tomorrow, and so I will have to get my Comps to send me that package. We were invited out to Presidents house for dinner last night. It was really fun, and it was great to see them. I hear dad called President. Sister Watkins said it was cute.
Bishop Chambers gave us a tree for Christmas and a less active member gave us lights. I met a Sister out here named Sister Bodily, who we are related to. She asked for Grandma's number so she could see exactly how.
I don't know yet where I am being sent to, I wont know till tomorrow. Dovie'and Se Tiva'sagain and all that good stuff.
You are my rock and my light Momma. I feel your love and look for the moon nightly, finding it on the other hand is another matter.
I love you so much. "Have yourself, a Merry little Christmas. Let your heart be Light."
Here are a couple of photos from Elder Melot. The top one is of his roommates, Stimpson and Wright, the "skinny" ones. I do not know which is which. The other elder is Elder Butterfield his MTC companion.
Not much to report this week. We are continuing the work and I love the area. Which is probably why I am getting transfered tomorrow. Thats right you heard it here first,(unless you got a different letter from me) I am getting a new area and a new companion tomorrow. Please don't ask where or who, I wont know till tomorow. So on Sunday I said my goodbye's and I will pack today. All part of the adventure. Miss you all.
I looked into the money thing. It gets sent to my Senior Companion since I am a visa waiter, but once I get into Zimbabwe it will be put on a card for me. The money was transferred to it, we just didn't know it was.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't affected by not being with you for Thanksgiving. I was hit with a very real pang of pain and sorry, and it stuck with me for most of the night, once we had stopped and gotten home. I missed you dearly and even though the Bishop and his family had us over and treated us with their usual warmth and love, it wasn't the same. But I am okay, don't worry about me.
I think I am going to send Kenji a letter. I just got the feeling that I should make contact with him. Tell him the funnier things about what is down here. I don't really think he will respond, but I want him to know I think of him and love him.
I hope you and Mikayla will get better and that all will be well with Nicolas.
I am glad you were able to see the family (intimate and distant) and that your Turkey day was good. I really don't know what I could use for Christmas, (except for people to respond to my letters.
I think that it is very cool that Uncle Norm and Roger served down here in this area. But to be honest I don't really remember who uncle Roger is. Is he the one with the hat, or is that Uncle Blaine?
I think it would be cool if daddy came down here, but I don't know if I would be allowed to have lunch with him. Tell him I miss him to.
We don't yet have any baptisms on the horizon, but we are working on a few. The contacts are going well, I think I am getting better at them. I love my companions and we get along great. No word on the visa and I don't know if I will be transferred. They keep you with your trainer for two transfers, but they aren't really training me, not in the full capacity. They leave that for your actual area. We listen to music a lot, and my comps actually have some of the same CD's and my Comp. Elder Arnell asked me yesterday how I can sing all day everyday and not have my voice give out.
This song came into my head when I was a little homesick on Thanksgiving and it fits what I ask of you. "Think of me, Think of me fondly when we've said goodbye. Remember me every so often, Promise me you'll try. Think of me what ever else you choose to do for there will never be a day when I won't think of you." Phantom of the Opera.
Mom: I was hoping to have this email for you to read today when you prepare to send us one.... does this work or should I send paper letters instead?
Me: I get the emails and letters just fine. The letters are nice because it is fun to get mail in the middle of the week, and the emails are nice because I can reply instantly (on Mondays).
Mom: Did you get the letter/package that we sent to you? Am I ever going to get a picture of you with your badge on???
Me: I got the package and the letters. Thanks mom, the letter brought tears to my eyes. I can't send pictures without something to hook my memory card up to the computer with. Sorry.
Mom: Quickly, I wonder if you have heard about the typhoon in the Philippines? I am sure that you have. I want to assure you that Cousin Geoffrey is fine. We have heard from him since the disaster and other than the fact that he will be without electricity for 3 months or so he is ok. The island he is on was not hit as badly as some of the others so he will be alright. Pray for him and his companion as they help with the clean up and recovery efforts. What a mess.
Me: It is good to that Geoffrey is okay. We had heard about it, but there were few details that we could get. I am glad he is safe and sound.
Mom: How are you?
Me: I am okay. I wrecked on my bike on Friday right outside of the house. Shocker right? My chain came off the gears and I took a chunk out of my knee. But it is healing and so will hopefully be better in a few days.
Mom: Bro. Bradshaw asked about you in Sunday School yesterday and they passed out the addresses of the missionaries from our ward. Did you realize that there are 6 of you? They mentioned that our ward has not had that many missionaries at one time in many, many years. How cool is that?
Me: I didn't realize there were six of us out here. That is very cool. What did Brother Bradshaw ask? How is the ward doing, and do you know if Nikki got my letters?
Mom: Please, do not stress our missed phone call. I have saved your message and it brings tears to my eyes but joy to my heart to hear your voice. Don't focus on it anymore, ok? I promise I am fine and each day brings us closer to our next chat...which I will not miss!!!
Me: I am okay with the missed call. I am glad that you got to hear my voice and I look at the moon every night that it is out and I think of you. Can you feel my love through the Bond?
Mom: FYI... Orting football lost their game on Saturday to White River so they are out of the playoffs. Apparently it was a hard fought game but Orting really did not stand much of a chance. We did not attend.. it was wet and cold and dark so we stayed home and I slept in the chair. Shocking, huh?
Me: It is kind of sad that the team lost their game, but they had a pretty good year so they can be happy with that.
Mom: What are you going to be doing for Turkey day? As you know we are going to Utah... are you being fed or making your own?
Me: I do believe that the Bishop and his family are planning on having us over for Turkey Day. We had a Ward Turkey Day on Saturday and I made a pie. It turned out pretty good too.
Mom: Is there anything that you need? Want?
Me: Now that I think about it I could use some more stamps. I wrote several letters today. But I could find those at the store if you want me to. I want Kenji and Bryon's email addresses if you can give them to me.
Mom: Take care of you and remember that "men are that they might have joy"... I hope you are enjoying your missionary challenges and having some success along the way.
Me: I am really enjoying my time here and I love the people I am with.
Hey, sorry now message about how the week went last week. Nothing new happened. We just went about the work.
This week was really good. And kind of not.
The only real problems are I had to get a new rim from the bike garage down here, and I popped my bike tire two days in a row. One time about a mile or so from our house. We walked home. We got caught in the rain going to a service project for the Tri City food bank and were soaked. That is all that went badly this week.
My knee injury is fully scabbed up, so it should be done healing soon.
The good were last Monday Brother Taylor (the High Priest Group Leader who lets us live in the add on of his house) took us to the driving range and taught us how to golf. It turns out he could have went professional if he had wanted to. Elder Arnell broke one of his drivers, so that wasn't so good. We got to take Ronnie on a church tour, and that went really well.
Turkey Day the Bishop and his family had us over for dinner. That went well. Bishop actually called Grandma, and wanted to know about some of our genealogy (Turns out I may be related to the Elders Quorum President.) I also got to play the Bishop in chess (I won). This week has been very good. But it was hard to get through my first Thanksgiving without my family. Once I sat down and realized that I wasn't with them and thought about it I got really sad. But I am okay, and the work moves on.
I can't believe that it is December. By the way Rabbit Rabbit! The time is going fast. I think I have been out here for almost two months now.
Transfers are next week, and we will know on Saturday if any of us have been transferred. I don't know if I will.
I have to give a talk on Sunday. That should be fun.