Glad to hear that you and Brooke were able to attend the Front Sight class. It is a really good skill to carry around with you. I don't know if ever told you that we carried pepper spray in Yakima, but I would've felt more comfortable carrying a .40 or .45 just because I was more used to it.
My birthday went pretty well! We had to move John's baptism back a week due to the time it would take for he and Ashley to obtain a marriage license, but he is still an awesome guy who has such a sincere desire to learn more and come unto Christ. But the 19th was pretty much a normal proselyting day for me and Elder Allen. But during it, we were driving around, both of our plans fallen through, when we found ourselves parked in front of a member's home brainstorming where to go from there. While we were doing that, Bro. Belnap, the member who lives there, came out and told us his Dad, who also lives there, just had a stroke and needed a blessing. His oil vile had frozen over, so we happened to be at the right place at the right time. I anointed and he sealed the blessing, right as the EMT's arrived.
Another fun thing that happened was when we were with the Elder's quorum president visiting this one less active couple. The last time we visited was rough because they were struggling to have a baby or several years with no success. Well when we got there that night, they told us she was pregnant! And the husband now, because of it, is making a serious effort to get off smoking and drinking too! We called up Bishop right then and there to tell him the news, and he was over 10 mins. later! It was a wonderful visit, and in the end we gave them both blessings that it would all pan out well.
We also got to teach a new gal named Emily, who is super solid and excited to read the Book of Mormon; shake the hand of someone born without a right index finger (a less active guy super interested in coming back to church), and also meet another great part member family who are super friendly as well!
Go humanity! (Don't get me wrong, God is awesome too!)
The rest of my birthday panned out normal. Went out for lunch and dinner. That's really it. But Elder Myer's, one of the ZL's received a package from home with two pazookies earlier that week. So they stuck a red crayon in the top, lit it, and presented it to me as a "cake" so to speak. Mission life. Still, it was good pazookie too! You and Dad's package came in the mail that night. Appreciate the ties and socks! And the jerky too! Every time I see that stuff it brings back the good ole' days of contraband that I think only Paul and I would understand. Mckay practically summed up the jerky business with one line, "Mike, this is me literally throwing my college fund at you..."
Anyway, how's the rest of the family and ward doing? It's amazing to see everyone getting shipped out now if not soon! I often look back and realize how early I left after graduation, but I am so glad that I did. Granted of course had I not I would've been able to hit the nickle-cade in Povo with Mckay, but there will be a time for that later!
If you're looking for great insight on the Savior's life and atonement, I recommend Jesus the Christ, by Elder Talmage. It's such an inspiring book. Other than that Mom, keep up the amazing work you guys are doing back home. 9 months is going to hit pretty quickly, but there is so much more that needs to be done out here. Still, I'll go where the good Lord needs me to go!