Monday, September 9, 2013

My Last Epistle

Heyyyy everyone!

So my last P Day has finally come! Elder Thompson is getting a named Elder Ganley. He's sweet I think they'll do really well together. I can't believe it's finally coming to an end. This week went by much faster than I anticipated. It still hasn't hit me yet to be honest. I think it's just been a gradual feeling.

On Wednesday we went to Valleyview for my last district meeting, and wouldn't you know it I forgot my training on the kitchen table! Again. So for the 3rd out of 5 times I winged it haha.

So it's pretty well over for me. I still haven't even started packing, so I'll do that after we're done here. I also have to do laundry, and start de-junking haha. Tomorrow we're leaving in the morning sometime and going Edmonton. I'm stopping in Spruce Grove to visit a couple people and we're eating dinner with the Sukhu's my favorite family! Then we'll be staying with Elder Nabrotzky and his companion :) So it'll be a family reunion before I die! They also live in the old Southwood apartment which is where I started my mission, so that'll be cool to go back.

On Wednesday the zone leaders called and asked to spend the night because they had to do a baptismal interview in Peace River and wouldn't get back in time. So we had a party! It was good to see them one last time before I leave.

Yesterday I gave my farewell talk here! Haha so I get to two talks within two weeks of each other. Lucky me! My topic was "What can I learn about Gospel learning from the Savior's example?" It was sweet.

This week we did a lot of finding, but we still haven't found anyone. It's been a trying 4 months but I've learned a lot with Elder Thompson. I'll miss him a lot. Whenever you serve with someone for this long it's always hard to leave. He and Elder Ganley will do well together! My mind was so frazzled this week I was a zombie just following him around haha.

Honestly I don't really care what we do when I get home. I don't anticipate sleeping much Wednesday night (Elder Penrod will be there haha), so I'll probably want a nap or something. Outside that go ahead and plan whatever! I'll go where you want me to go.

Well....I wish I had something inspirational or life-changing to tell you haha. My mission has been the best decision I have ever made and I'm eternally grateful for the things I've learned and the people I've met. There is no experience on earth that could rival this one. I recommend it to anyone! I'll miss the mantle of being a missionary a lot. I know now more than I ever have that God lives, that He cares for each and every one of His children, and that He knows us perfectly. I've seen that so many times out here. My testimony has been strengthened a million times over. I'll miss it out here, but I'm excited to come home too! Two years is the perfect amount time. I appreciate your guys' support over the past two years! It's made the journey much easier :) The church is true!

Here's one last picture of Elder Thompson and I, and the giant bee in Falher!

Love you all! See you on Thursday.

Elder Read

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Kyle! And Happy Labo(u)r Day! And Happy Week 6!

Hey guys!

Sorry I'm a day late with the birthday wishes. But just know that I
celebrated yesterday by going to church.

Alright just to raise a voice of warning to those who may be
interested, you CAN get white hair before you turn 60! So there I was
the other night, cutting my hair, and afterwards I went to evaluate
the job that I'd done and BOOM! I found five hairs! Five! I stopped
looking after about 20 minutes, but I bet there are plenty more where
I can't see! Good grief I'm barely 21.

Man oh man week 6 is here already I can't even fathom it. Fastest two
years of my life.

So last week I mentioned that we had met with the local baptist
minister. Well if you thought we were done having coordination
meetings with the local celebrities then guess again! We found
ourselves in the office of the town manager this week! We'd actually
met with him during our first couple of weeks in the area, but we
stopped in again and had a good discussion with him it was cool. We
just talked about how we were liking High Prairie, things we were
doing in the community, etc. We then talked about Mormon doctrine it
was sweet! I love being in a small town where we can do things like

On Friday we went on exchanges with Valleyview again, and I brought
Elder Searle to High Prairie again, and yet again we walked the entire
exchange because we're both exed haha. So yet again let me tell you
how excited I am to drive a car next week!

We ate dinner twice this week with members that are camping out at
Winagami Lake, about 30 minutes outside of town. It was so nice to sit
around a campfire again.

We still haven't met with Braden since he got the new job at the
lumber mill. So once again we're going to try for this week! There
isn't a lot happening these days, and it's been a test of our
patience, but we're still working hard! You learn so much more when
things aren't easy, so I'm grateful for that.

This week the local power company has been replacing telephone poles
all over town, and so the consequently the power has been in and out
all week. It's driving me crazy. Today, to my delight, I cleaned the
bathrooms by flashlight! Haha it reminded me of when I mowed the lawn
with a headlamp at 10pm one night to earn money. Light is no issue.

Yeah mom we get fed pretty well lately. This week we have every day
filled except for Saturday and Sunday! So we'll probably cook the
roast on Sunday :)

Alright that's all I've got for you. Have yourselves a good week!

Love Elder Read

Monday, August 26, 2013

Holidays in Edmonton

Heyyy my dear friends!

This week was like a vacation haha it was pretty fun. Elder Zwick is the man!

But we'll start from the beginning. So we've been meeting with the
local Baptist minister here in town every month or so haha it's sweet!
He knows a lot of the service opportunities in town so he's been
giving us ideas. So we go in and talk and usually get going on gospel
conversations. It's legit, how many missionaries can honestly say that
they have coordination meetings with the Baptists? He's a super cool
guy though.

So on Wednesday morning we left early and drove to Spruce Grove. I
visited some people there which was sooo sweet! We then cruised
Edmonton for awhile so Elder Thompson could do some shopping. I had my
temple recommend interview with President Manion and I'm worthy again,
don't you worry! We then went to the temple which was sooooo good! I'm
stoked to go again in 2 weeks (not trunky). After the temple we drove
back to Spruce Grove and visited the Sukhus! Man oh man do I love
them. They're just starting temple prep classes and all have callings.
They're hoping to go through the temple in late September, early
October. So cool! That's what makes this worth it.

Wednesday night we stayed with the Assistants which means I got to
sleep next to Elder Coe again! Boy oh boy do I love that guy. It was
so good to catch up with him. Thursday we had Mission Conference with
Elder Zwick and it was sweet! He talked a lot about post-mission life
and how our lives, spiritually and temporally, start on our missions.
Super good. He was supposed to end by 4pm so that the Red Deer
missionaries could go to the 4:30 session at the temple, but at about
4:15 he leaned over to Elder Coe and said "Call the temple and tell
them to switch the session to 5pm. Hahaha only a General Authority
could do that! President Manion didn't want to do that to the temple
though, so he just had them go to the 7pm session. The conference
ended at about 5:15pm haha so we all got to stay an extra night in
Edmonton! It was suh-weet! Elder Penrod had to get his recommend
renewed too, but President forgot his book, so E. Penrod couldn't go
to the temple. So we inherited him for the night while his companion
went :) We basically just went around shopping and visiting people
until the end of the day. Then that night we stayed with the
Assistants again :) so sweet!

So Friday morning we drove home and got right to work. They're having
a Breast Cancer Awareness contest amongst all of the small towns
around here. Basically the pinkest town wins, so businesses have been
painting walls pink, pink ribbons are EVERYWHERE, there are bras
strung across streets, etc. It's a little scandalous! Haha anyways we
volunteered to help set up for it, so we took about 100 pink paper
ribbons and stapled them on every power pole for about a 5 mile
stretch. It took forever and this was on a range road in the boonies,
so I had to maneuver around some pretty sketchy bushes.

So Braden is doing good....we think. He couldn't meet or come to
church on Sunday because he just got a job at the local lumber mill,
so we're hoping to meet this week!

Hey so crazy story. As I'm sure you're aware, you've been putting this
on a blog for the past two years. Anyways, this guy named Elder
Jennings walks up to me at Mission Conference and says "Elder Read I
can't believe I'm finally meeting you! You're famous!" So I asked him
what he was talking about and he said "My mom has been reading your
blog for the past 6 months, every since I got my call! She told me to
look for you when I came out." Hahaha crazy hey? I'll attach a picture
of him.

Anyways, that's all I have for this week. Love you all, have a good week!

Elder Read

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Sometimes I Throw Up!"

That movie has been running through my mind for the past 24 hours,
specifically that quote haha. I know I'm strange.

This week was really good! We had the zone leaders come out on Tuesday
and we blitzed the area until Wednesday. I wish I could tell you that
something came from it, but all we got were a lot of good
conversations :) It was so nice to be around other missionaries
though, so it was worth it.

We also had exchange with the Valleyview elders. Okay get this! I went
brought a guy named Elder Babb to High Prairie, and he's only 5 months
older than Bryant! My mind was blown. He's so cool though, I love the
missionaries that are down to earth.

On Wednesday after the zone leaders left, we went out street
contacting, and talked to this guy named Braden Thunder (sweet name)
and set up an appointment at the church the next day. We showed up and
he was there and we had such a good lesson. We brought our new Branch
President and taught him the Restoration. We invited him to be
baptized if he receives an answer that the Book of Mormon was true,
and he said "If I come to know that it's true, you can expect to see
me on the 28th of September." It was dope! He's 19 though and our
Branch's average age is probably 40 haha so hopefully that's not too
big of a roadblock.

I've been having the craziest dreams lately. Mostly of an apocalypse!
So if the world ends, please keep me in mind. I saw it first! Anyways
last night I dreamt that aliens attacked the town I was living in and
they flew in space ships that were about the size of washing machines,
except they looked like little mini houses. They dropped bombs
everywhere and Mom and I were trying to escape the country! It was
pretty crazy.

This week we're driving to Edmonton! Man I'm so stoked. We have to
leave early on Wednesday because I'm not a current temple recommend
holder and President needs to do the interview before Elder Zwick
flies in. We're then going to the temple, and that night I think we're
going to go to Spruce Grove and eat dinner with the Sukhus :) Before
my interview we might go around doing some visiting as well. That's
one of the benefits of serving in Edmonton for most of my mission!
Thursday we'll have the Mission Conference with Elder Zwick, and the
entire mission is driving in. Never in two years have I been somewhere
with the entire mission. The biggest I've witnessed is half, so this
will be sweet!

No Mom I haven't cooked the roast, I think we're going to do that on
my last two Sundays (we have two roasts haha). The picture book is
coming along! Some of the pictures have been harder than others, but
it's coming along!

That's all that happened this week! Enjoy the rest of your trip in
Utah, tell everyone hello for me!

Love Elder Read

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Love to Weed Gardens.

You really do get your best thinking time done when you do things that
require zero mental effort. Like weeding! I thought about the
Red-Green episode where the guy proudly declares that he discovered
that he always gets some good thinking time when his wife is lecturing
him hahaha.

This week was the fastest I've had in a long time! It was weird.
Nothing too out of the ordinary happened but I feel like I was just
sitting in this chair emailing!

So first things first, mom how do I cook a roast? We got two of them
from the family that moved out last week, and we want to cook them for
dinner my last two Sundays hahaha. I know how to prepare it (sort of)
but how do I cook it? You're the best!

Soo we drove to Grande Prairie on Thursday which was sweet! Christmas
in August was pretty great! I got this legit paper football stand! It
even has a little leather paper football. It made Weekly Planning this
week a little more bearable :)

On Wednesday (I'm out of order again, I know) we had the library
carnival which was pretty exciting as well! We ran the "spilled milk"
station. Kids came up and threw baseballs at a stack of milk bottles,
just like at the carnival. It's interesting to see just how much of
the town we recognize now. We couldn't get away with anything in this
town if we tried!

Saturday before last we were out tracting in Mclennan, a little town
about 50 km to the NW, and as we were finishing up we saw this lady
sitting at a park bench. So of course we went over and started talking
to her and she invited us back for last Tuesday. The appointment fell
through because we couldn't get anyone to come with us, and so we
rescheduled for this last Saturday, but once again we couldn't get
anyone because it was Branch Temple Night aka drive into Edmonton for
two days. So we again rescheduled for tonight and our new Branch
President is coming with us so that'll be sweet! She's been pretty
willing to reschedule every time so we're hoping for a new
investigator tonight!

The Zone Leaders are driving down to blitz our area tomorrow, so all
four of us will work in High Prairie which is exactly what we need!
I'll be with Elder Doxey, who was in our zone when I was in
Londonderry so it'll be cool to be interviewed by him this time! It'll
be my last interview!

On Friday we're exchanging with Valleyview and I'll be in High Prairie
with Elder Babb. He's brand new, 18, and from Delta, Utah. He seems
like a good guy though I'm excited to work with him.

Hey so when Calista gets married, are we traveling to Utah for the
reception there? If so, when? Is there any sort of schedule worked out
for that whole event? I guess I could just ask her haha.

Oh yeah tell Nicole that I can't wait to play Masterpiece! I've had
two years to polish up my lying and deceit!

Haha you guys take care of yourselves and have a good week!

Love Elder Steven

Monday, August 5, 2013

Happy Civic Holiday!


Today is a Civic holiday in case you couldn't tell. The whole town shut down because they can!

This week wasn't too bad considering we didn't have much going on. However it's the only week this transfer that we don't have something planned. I'm still the district leader so I may or may not have planned something on all of the dead weeks so now no week is dead for the rest of the transfer! We found out that we're driving into Edmonton on the 21st for Elder Zwick's visit. I guess he originally wanted to do a separate conference in Grande Prairie but 5 hours is a little far! So we get to drive in I'm stoked.

This week we're driving into Grande Prairie on Thursday for Zone Training Meeting. Our zone leaders are sweet too haha we're having a "White Elephant Christmas in August" party! So we're all going in Christmas ties and sweaters. I'll send pictures :)

On Wednesday (I'm out of order I know) we're helping at the carnival at the local library here in town. Our land lady works there so she volunteered us, not that we're complaining! We're just a running a station I guess. Should be fun!

We still haven't found anyone to teach yet, but we're always looking! It's been good for us. When things are slow you really start to self-evaluate yourself and identify things you can do better.

So the Elders Quorum President moved out this last week, reducing the number of Priesthood holders in the branch to 4 not counting us. So yesterday the Stake Presidency drove up and reorganized the Branch Presidency! It was pretty exciting.

Ward Campout! Woo! We had dinner with a member family the other day at their campsite at the Lesser Slave Lake. It was so nice to be around a campfire again. You'll have to let me know how it goes though!

Man Bryant tore a ligament? Isn't that going to affect his playing ability? Is he playing snare? I heard Warren is still there is that true?

It's been hot this week! We had a couple of thunderstorms but no rain outside of that which we were grateful for.

I can't think of anything else that happened. Have yourselves a good week! Love ya!

Elder Read

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Beginning of the End!

Hello friends!

Going into this week I thought it would be brutal because I'm always on edge during week 6 but it flew by! It was supposed to be an empty week with nothing to do but once again the Lord provided us with stuff to do it was awesome.

So for starters I watched a dog give birth yesterday! I can now die a happy man, dreams fulfilled. Haha we were at one of the member's houses eating lunch after church, and their pregnant dog just starting giving birth! It was pretty cool, thought you might like to know.

Transfers were today actually, and Elder Thompson and I didn't get a call so we're staying put. Which means he will be the one to kill me off! I don't mind staying in High Prairie, it's nice to know now where I'll be for my last 6 weeks. I'll never have to worry about a transfer call again! :)

We did a lot of service this week. Those same members had us over twice to help them build a dog kennel for the previously mentioned pregnant dog. It was a pretty basic do-it-yourself kennels, but it was still fun. We're still volunteering at the local retirement home, and we did some more yard work this week. I enjoy it. We also went to the hospital and made charts for patients. It was fun for a missionary haha but I don't think I'd enjoy it otherwise.

We did a lot of finding here in High Prairie, but don't have much to show for it. Lame! We've also knocked almost every door in town here so this week I think we're going to start range road tracting! A lot of the solid families live on acreages outside of town so if they won't come to us then we'll go to them haha.

Man it sounds like the Reunion was a success! Dad you advertised the beach very well, I wish I could have been there! I miss the beach.

It rained all day yesterday, but the forecast looks good for this week! August last year was really warm in Red Deer, so hopefully it'll be similar 6 hours north! Ha

Hey by the way I requested my Line of Authority on and it came today it's pretty sweet!

I think that's all for today! Love you guys have a good week.

Elder Read