Monday, October 24, 2011

Hey mom and family!
This week was pretty good. We had a lot of appointments fall through, which sucked. But that's nothing new haha. People are more than happy to schedule appointments if it means getting you off of their doorstep, and then they're conveniently not home when we come back! It's the best. One of the guys we came back to was upstairs when we rang the doorbell. He got up, peeked his head barely above the window to see who it was, and then then slowly crept back down hahaha it was hilarious. He was so sneaky we didn't even notice! We never do. But things are still going really well! I enjoy being with Elder Merrell. I've gone on a lot of exchanges this week because he's the District Leader, and every time I come back I'm so much more grateful for him hahaha there are some interesting people out there. We're teaching an East Indian family and they've been taught for a year now. They don't really understand the whole Priesthood authority part of baptism so it's a struggle to try and help them grasp the concept. We had a member come with us though and the lesson went really well. We invited them to be baptized, again, and they said it's something they think is important and that they're pray about it. Which doesn't sound like much but it's better than the answers they've given in the past. They're super cool though. All of the East Indians around here are really nice. And they're a million of them haha. So this week my diet was pretty terrible hahaha. Monday was Pday and we shopped at Costco so we ate there for lunch, then Tuesday was exchanges with the zone leaders so Elder Frazier and I went to Costco and had Poutine (Poo-teen) which sounds gross but it's actually delicious! They serve it everywhere here. All of the fast food places have it. It's french fries with gravy and cheese curds haha it's awesome! Anyways so that was about as unhealthy as it gets, then wednesday was district meeting so we went out for district lunch at A&W, then thursday our dinner appointment cancelled on us so they brought by pizza and cheesecake! Man I was in heaven! Then Friday we had more pizza and cheesecake, and then saturday was exchanges with the Spanish Elders and all of our appointments cancelled on us so we had a comfort blizzard from Dairy queen! It was much needed. Haha exhchanges with spanish was crazy. We went to a lot of member's houses and they just spoke spanish so I did a lot of smiling, nodding, and spacing out. But yeah Dad my ward's great! They're small but mighty. We're fed every night. If we don't have a dinner appointment we go over to the Ward Mission Leader's house. I never realized how important those guys are! And Garth Martinson is seriously the perfect guy for it haha. They save us. Sundays are super good. We wake up, go to 9am church, talk afterwards until 1pm, and then go home and study until 4 because we're usually studying from 8am-11am. So we study, then usually go to dinner, then visit less actives or potential investigators. Usually pretty low key I love it! Tell Nicole congratulations on the job that's great! That's a sweet schedule too. I wish I could've worked 9-5 M-F. That's my dream haha. No mom no package yet, but I'm alright so far. As long as it comes this week. Mail in Canada is seriously sooo slow it's crazy! So that's pretty much it for now! We've got to go get a coat and some boots. The weather sits just above freezing every day but the sun's still out. They're predicting snow some time next week. So I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Hey I need email addresses! So will you send me all of the family's? Including grandma read's. Okay we're leaving now.
Hey I found out how to send pictures! They're all from the mtc though. In the picture where we're all in street clothes my companions were Elder Atwood, who's in the green, and Elder Crockett who's to my left in the light blue with the glasses. But other than that I don't remember which ones I attached so if you have any questions about them then ask! I don't very many pictures from this area yet. Except the view from our apartment! Super cool. Plus the huge pig! That was dinner at a member's house. So good. Anyways that's all I have for now! Have a good week I love you guys!
Elder Read


Monday, October 17, 2011

Hey mom! This week was a pretty crazy week. Thanks for sending the
package, I haven't gotten it yet but I'm glad it's coming, I'll need
it soon. Life here is good! We've been busy, but that makes time go by
faster. We haven't taught many investigators yet, but that'll change
pretty soon. We'll be blessed for our efforts for sure! We went
tracting last Wednesday and it was actually a lot of fun. We met this
big black guy that opened the door with a pink Playstation controller
in his hand, and when I started talking he turned around and started
playing video games again hahaha my companion and I lost it it was
hilarious. He just turned around, smiled and said no thanks. I love
the people you meet. Then we bible bashed for a little bit with a
black minister. It's so pointless to bible bash haha nobody wins! We
gave up and told him to pray about it. I'm sure he will :) We had
donairs this week! I think they pronounce and spell it different in
Germany, but that's the Canadian way. They were mighty delicious. I
love them! But they were so bad for me. It was awesome :) I haven't
gained any weight yet! That's why it's nice to be in a walking area
for Christmas, because people literally dump food on us all of the
time! They feed us really well here. My ward's great. Honestly I can't
think of anything to tell you guys about....canadian candy is the
best! I've eaten so many Wunderbars lately it's awesome haha. I love
them! We're going shopping at Costco today and I'm determined not to
buy any in bulk......pray for me hahaha. Anyways I love it here! It's
still no too cold, but they're predicting the longest and coldest
winter on record this year, so we're going to buy a coat and all that
good stuff today. The wind is crazy here though. That's the one part I
hate, but it's all good walking is good for me! I can't think of
anything I need from home.....if you ever get a chance I could use my
white speaker, but that can be whenever you get a chance. Not crucial
at all. Anyways glad to hear everyone's doing well! I love you guys! I
wrote a ton of letters today so I think I'm all caught up! Haha. Okay
it's sacred basketball time, I'll talk to you next week!
Elder Read

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hey Mom and family!

Sorry I didn't email yesterday, it was Canadian Thanksgiving so the library was closed. But here I am now! Haha so my mission president sent a letter? Which picture was it? In the airport? Man it's been a
crazy week! I'll start from the beginning, because that's where most stories start.

So we reported to the travel office at 4am, rode a bus to Salt Lake City Airport, and then sat through security forever. Then we came to the gate and I called you guys. After we got off the phone we all
boarded our flight on a little airplane with only two rows of seats! Maybe that's not small but I'm used to the big planes! Anyways we flew for about an hour and a half or so to Denver, which is a cool place.
We flew over all of these crazy looking mountains, and then the mountains literally just ended and it was plains as far as you could see, and there was Denver! So we ran from our gate to catch our
flight, which had finished boarding by the time we got there and they were calling our names. Then we sat through the 3 hour flight to Edmonton. I slept for most of it haha so it wasn't bad for me! After
we got there we sat through customs and immigration forEVER! Man we were there for seriously like 2 hours. Then we finally got out of there and we went out and President Campbell, Sister Campbell, and the
assistants met us. We took pictures for some reason in the middle of the airport (everyone looked at us funny haha) and then we piled all of our stuff into the trailer and rode in the mission MAV to the
mission office. We were finally fed after almost 24 hours of no food. I almost died. They copied all of our documents and President interviewed us to make sure we could safely drive vehicles. Thank goodness none of my accidents are on the record :) haha anyways then we drove over to President's house, hung around, got a little orientation, and then ate dinner and hung out with the assistants.

They're cool people. In fact one of them, Elder Knight, is Josh Balaeza's (sp?) brother in law! Haha crazy right? He asked if I knew them and I said they were in my ward! His sister is Sister Balaeza.
Small world huh? He's actually training Elder Atwood now in Lloydminster. So after dinner we wrote letters home, and then went down stairs for a devotional. It was sweet. Then the Elders went over
to the assistant's place to spend the night and the Sisters stayed at President's place. There were 10 of us in that apartment haha it was crazy.

So the next morning we went to Transfer meeting and met our trainers. Elder Merrell is a cool guy. He's from Springville Utah and he's been out a little over a year. He's pretty patient with me which is nice because I don't know anything haha. I'm learning fast though.

So after that meeting we left for our apartment. We organized a little bit, and then went shopping with the other people in our district. There's 6 of us and they're all training haha so I'm with people from
my district in the MTC it's nice. So after we shopped Elder Merrell and I came back home and I got the low down on everyone in the area. Oh by the way I'm in South East Edmonton in an area called Southwood.
But we like to call it Sikhwood hahaha. There are SOOO many Sikhs everywhere! But the nice thing about East Indians is that they all like to talk about God and they're really nice. They're just really
non-committal. But whatever!

Our ward is cool. It's a little smaller than ours, but everyone's really nice. Our bishopric reminds me of the one at home. Two older guys and one young guy haha. We've eaten dinner
at a few member's houses but not a lot. Elder Merrell's last companion was sick for all of last transfer, and actually just went home, so they've been sitting around for while so this area is ripe for the
taking! So the members don't really know us yet. We've got a lot of dinners lined up this week so that should help. We also don't have many people to teach either, since no teaching was done last transfer.
So we're basically white washing this area. It's good though. Like I said it's a walking area, and I'll probably be here until at least December 28th, so I'll get to walk through a lot of winter! YES! It'll
be good though haha apparently you gain the most weight during Christmas so I'll be able to walk it off :)

We ate Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at the Mcritchie's house and they, like everyone else so
far, fed us Thanksgiving dinner! I'm seriously gonna be sick of turkey and mashed potatoes pretty soon. But so far I'm not complaining :) I haven't had to tract yet, and Elder Merrell does all of the street
contacting for now, but it'll be my turn soon! That's honestly my biggest, and really my only fear. But I'll get used to it! Yesterday for Pday we went shopping at the only store that was open yesterday,
and then went and played basketball at the church! I was in heaven! I miss playing at the church more than you could imagine. It was really fun, we played with the zone for about 3 hours then we had to leave
early for our dinner appointment.

The work's been slow so far, but hopefully it'll pick up pretty soon. It's not cold yet. It's usually about 50 degrees outside, but give it a month and it'll be a solid 5 degrees outside! The metric system is so weird. So I refuse to use it!

Dad those pictures were sweet I miss all of your faces! But this computer won't let me send pictures through my camera. So I'll have to print them out and send them. Gah. But anyways I'm not dead! So don't worry about me. Only send mail to the mission office, they don't want us to get mail at our apartments for some reason. And for those of you who have written me letters but haven't gotten a reply, it's coming I promise, and if you have received a reply, I expect one back dang it! But yeah we're going to go eat lunch, have a good week!

Send mail to me!

8925 51st Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T6E5J3

Love you guys,
Elder Read

Monday, October 3, 2011


Hey Mom! And everyone else :)
     So today is the last day in the MTC, so they give us time (a lot of time, actually) to write home! Cool eh? I've been spending the past week with Elder Atwood trying to perfect my Canadian, he is a very good teacher. I refuse to say rolls now. They're called "buns". And the bathroom is now the "washroom". "Been" is now pronounced "bean", and "sorry" is now "soary". Yes sir they're gonna be asking which province I'm from in no time! 
     Today we had both class sessions pretty early on, and we just barely finished our last one, so I'm done! Now we spend the rest of the day packing and studying. I have so much to squeeze into those suit cases, but with the Lords help, I'll fit everything. Haha so today I got to give a baptismal interview to one of our "investigators", and the rest of the district watched from the other room. They have observation rooms with a one-way window, so they could see and hear us but we couldn't see. It went really well.
     General Conference was sweet! Dad I listened to that talk and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I was called to my mission for a reason, I'm excited to get out there. You get so much more out of meetings when you take notes! Seriously it's sweet. I really enjoyed both Sunday sessions. Sister Dalton's talk was really good too. If you haven't heard it, do it! Last night after Conference we went to the Departure Devotional, and they basically just told us to make a good impression for our Mission Prez and don't be stupid! I can handle that. Then we had the Sunday Evening fireside and Chad Lewis and his wife spoke. He played for BYU and then played 9 years for the Philadelphia Eagles. I bet he's rich. And I am jealous. But it was a really good talk, he spoke about losing ourselves in the work and letting our light shine. He had some really cool stories too. 
     Tell me about life at home! Bryant better be emailing me pretty quick here, and so should Geoff and Nicole! And Chris, I refuse to reply to a letter that talked about nothing other than the fact that you were writing me a was a good letter though don't get me wrong! 
     So Friday we had In-Field orientation. Which is basically Sit-on-your-butt-and-listen-to-them-talk-about-the-mission-field orientation. It was soooo fun! Haha longest day of my life. 
     Don't worry I've been taking pictures like you wouldn't believe! I can't believe you would doubt me :) I just can't send them home unless I print them out. The USB connector won't work on these computers, so I'll send some home on my next Pday. 
     The other day I was eating raviolli with a spoon (don't ask me why) and it got caught on my plate and flipped raviolli and the sauce all over my Donald Trump tie that Geoff and Nicole gave me! I was so mad! So now I have to wait until I'm in the field to dry clean it because they were closed for conference. Ridiculous. Everyone is jealous of my brown shoes. I knew these babies would come in handy :) I'm wearing them as I speak! 
     So tomorrow I leave at 4 in the morning, which means I wake up at like 3. Then we leave at 7, get into Denver at 8:30, then leave for Edmonton at 9:00, and fly in at around noon. So hopefully sometime in between those times I'll have time to call home. I'll do it somehow! But be ready for a possible phone call any from around 4 in the morning on :) I will not hold back just because you're asleep! So think of things you want to say and write them down so that in your tired state we can still have a civilized conversation. Transfers aren't until Wednesday, so we'll probably stay at the mission home overnight. I'm hoping I have a good first companion. Okay my time is up, so I will hopefully talk to you tomorrow!
Love you guys!
Elder Read
P.S. does this baby make it onto a blog!? I'm famous :) Tell all your friends about it so they can hear about my adventures in the land of the Canadians!