Hey Mom! December 12, 2016
The Christmas gathering, bike crashes, colder weather, and white elephant exchanges!
To answer your question, yes, I do know Elder Bird. As a matter of fact, he came out with me to the WYM. Funny story about that, when he stepped into the airport, Pres. Lewis embraced him and said something like "Elder Bird! Now all we need is Elder Bee," and then Elder Bee walked up and said "here I am." Yeah, kind of an old joke from the guys that came in then.
Also had to chukle at your Driver's license escapade. I always liked to say my incarnation of hell was being stuck in the DMV, with your number about to be called, but never being called for the rest of forever. Gives me the geebies just to think about it.
Yep, this week was the 2nd Christmas gathering of the mission, housed by the Yaetes in Quincy. They are a very kind family, when I served in Ephrata they had us over for P-day at their home a few times. All the North zones in the mission came down for the event, so I got to see Elders Painter, Allen, and a few others again! There was a very nice brunch, one that included famous Washington apple pie, and during the program every zone gave a musical performance followed by testimonies of Christmas. It was a lot of fun! We sang Little Drummer Boy, and some other zones included cello solos, ukulele accompanists, and professional-grade singing as well. After that we all watched Ephraim's Rescue, a very appreciated break from our media library.
I also got your packages,(Grandma Camit's also came on time as well!) but I haven't opened them yet. I decided that this year I would wait until Christmas to open them. That being said, is there anything perishable in any of them? Just thought I'd ask because I'd rather not have anything go bad for the sake of holiday tradition. That would be quite tragic. But either way, thank you so much for sending them! A package sent to a missionary is kind of like winning the lottery for most of us. Thanks again for all you love and support!
When we got back, it appeared that most of our appointments had started to fall through. Blast it all, the Sanzone's lesson fell through, but 7th ward is doing a great job in keeping them friend-shipped, so we can at least know we're not the only line of contact between them and the church.
For the rest of the week, things got a lot colder in terms of the weather. The first snow actually fell on Monday, and the first bike crash occurred the following day. You see I'd be fine and all to walk, but along with there being a mile-gap between our areas, Elder Sorenson insists that we bike for the sake of time. Guess I can't blame him. But several covered-ice slip and falls later, I think we may decide to change that. Especially for this next week, as on Sat. the high is supposed to be 9 F with a low of -7 or something like that. Yeah, it's getting cold here on the basin. As a matter of fact, Sorenson is actually getting transferred to Zillah on Weds. I'll be receiving a certain Elder Mays, so it'll be fun to see where that goes!
Work wise, we got in with a lot of Less Active families this past week, and most all of them agreed to let us come by and practice the lessons with them! It helps a lot to be a friend before you try anything else. Actually, just be a friend. Christ-like Love has a way of making things fall into place. One experience that sticks out was while we were out tracting in the said-cold, Matt Alvarado, a Less Active but super-solid member, was out to get his mail and invited us in. We talked a lot about his mission experince, and we got to practice a lesson with him. That prompted him to share with us what he called a "3-min Restoration," something he learned on his mission from the grandson of Pres. Packer. It lasted more than 3 mins, but let me tell you, it was like a spiritual shock-wave that showed us a new perspective in teaching. Hooray for being in the right place at the right time!
On a more humorous side of things, we had a breakfast/white-elephant party with the 7th ward council. It's funny because the last white elephant gift exchange I went too, I got that bar of Jesus soap that Hill had found from somewhere. I wasn't expecting that again, and fortunately I landed with some creme wafers instead. I think the next time I do one of those I'll just wrap a picture of myself for my gift. I'm not trying to be prideful, but someone suggested it and I thought it'd be pretty funny.
Anyhow I'd better wrap this up before I become too concerned in what I don't have time to include. There's so much that goes on, I wish I could just write it all so fluidly. But, life marches on. But yes, I am super looking forward to Christmas to skype back to you guys! I think it'd be a little fun to try to do a family Christmas sing-along or something like that. But always know that I love you guys no matter what season it is. I love how the Savior's love goes to all mankind, I've been turning a lot to hymn 198, O Savior, Thou who wearest a crown recently. Truly remarkable how much He lives for us, all of us. Sometimes I'm in awe in how patient he is with me. But we all have a divine potential, and He's helping us get there!
Love you all!Michael