Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 28, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                           November 28, 2016

This week:

Thanksgiving! The John Scott connection, holiday sweets, and the beginning of the season...

So it's now officially official, we're out of Vegas? Well, that was a pleasant, lesson filled episode of life. Still, got some un-finished business I'll need to take care of there...

The past week was very very full of fun surprises! For starters, there was Thanksgiving. Compared to last year's Thanksgiving at the Van de Venters with Elder Beatty it wasn't as exciting. But still! It was a great day. The only problem was that up to that point in the week we had done some service at the food bank and proselyted a little too. But when Thanksgiving rolled around things were just a little different. For starters, we couldn't tract, and it was pretty obvious that anyone and everyone would be preparing for the festivities later in the day. Stacked on top of that is that we had zip on scheduled appointments for the whole day practically, and it was safe to say that there wasn't much going on.

So what did we do? Well we sat inside until lunch time trying to figure that out. I know, kind of not the best plan of action. I guess on an even lesser note I may have read a couple soliloquy's from the Jones's " The Shakespeare Star Wars trilogy." Those were pretty funny. I'll probably look into those when I get back. I have to say, as awesome as it is living with the Jones's, it's kind of hard because they have entire bookshelves of Clive Cussler novels just sitting there waiting to be read by someone who actually can read them. Finally around 1 we broke and decided we'd just go bike around until 3 when we had dinner. Ride was nice. 

Anyway, the Barlows had us over for dinner. When we arrived their son in law John helped us chain the bikes and invited us in. We got acquainted with everyone there, and they are a very kind and polite family. What was really cool is after we introduced ourselves, John asked if I knew Brooke. Believe it or not it took me a few half-seconds to analyze what he was asking me. As a matter of fact I heard my mind going "Brooke, Brooke, is there a member in my family that has the first name of Broo....OH WAIT! MY SISTER!"  Well turns out that this fellow John Scott had lived in Chicago when Brooke had lived there. He then pulled up her facebook page on his phone to confirm it, and sure enough, that was my dear sister sitting on that swinging park bench. Heh, I'm finding all these "small world" moments in the mission. I guess that means I need to find someone who knows you and Daniel and I would have completed the family!

Speaking of Brooke, where does she get all these connections? An island off of Portugal? How'd she even get there in the first place!? Did she do a kind deed for the Godfather's mother or something while she was living in all those  big cities? And now Ireland, of all places. Heh heh, I guess if we ever go back to Italy for the temple with Daniel I'll be the only one who feels out of place in the travel group among siblings. 

The Barlows made a great Thanksgiving dinner! And the spirit of thanks was felt pretty well there as well. We played a few rounds of a fun drawing game plus Sorry!, and then we had pie. Safe to say that we were pretty full afterward. It was mixed blessing too. Because there was a furious wind that picked up that we had to bike head-long into to get home. I've never had to pedal down-hill before to maintain momentum before, so that helped work everything down. The picture you got that day came from the home of the Hansons, whom we stopped by to share a brief spiritual thought with afterward. Sis. Hanson is probably the nicest lady I've met on the mission so far. She loves missionaries so much. 

The rest of the week served as a prelude to the coming season. Apart from spreading the #LightTheWorld initiative, we've started to see the sweet side of things. Literally. The Jones came home from their Thanksgiving holiday with a boxfull of assorted goodies. And last night as we visited the Aceys, another family in the ward, they fixed us up with some goodie bags of assorted cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. Yeah, it's going to be a great season. We've been sharing the initiative with as many members as we can, and so far it's going pretty well! Everyone seems very excited to try it out, and it's a perfect way to spread the Spirit of Christmas around. I'm looking forward to see how it works out with the world. But I am super glad to hear that the Ranch is still holding up. Say hello to everyone in Alton for me. Hard to believe that all the guys I knew down there are out and about now on their missions too. I guess I'll be skyping to the ranch again! 

I love you Mom! I hope you guys have such an amazing time living at the ranch again for some time. I also hope it snows too, but not so much for the power to get knocked out. But hey, I guess the generator can always be hooked up to the water machine. Still! Good and Awesome times lay ahead. I hope you guys have an amazing start to your holiday season/time!

Love you all!