Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

    You're the best! Thanks a ton for taking care of all of that for me. Sister Campbell called me last night to tell me you were working it all out and she wanted to know the specific brands of all of the stuff that I need, which I'm assuming she passed along to you. So that was good to hear, because I'm runnin' low on the insulin! But I'll probably be good until Christmas. Thanks again though, I'm glad I don't have to worry about that. I owe you one....eventually :) Yeah Elder Crocco told me the same thing! He said he got a letter telling him that he wouldn't be able to leave the country on his mission because of Diabetes, but here we both are! Pretty cool, pretty cool.
    This week was pretty lame hahaha. It was fun, but we didn't get very much done. First off, our investigator didn't get permission from her parents. It's a super long story, but that's for another day. We haven't heard from her in a week so that sucks, but what're you gonna do? Haha. Elder Merrell was sick, so we sat inside for Monday, and most of Tuesday. Then Wednesday was DLC, so Elder Merrell went to meetings and I went with another Elder from the YSA ward in our stake to Waffle Wednesday at the Institute! It was sweet I hope and pray that some day I get to serve in a YSA ward. I love waffles. And they're free! Thursday and Friday he was still sick, and then Friday was Weekly Planning so we were inside most of the day for that! Haha then yesterday was good, but we did a lot of scripture reading this week! It was good though, we got to decorate our apartment Christmas style! It looks awesome, we hung lights everywhere, around our desk, along the walls, etc. Then we set up our little fake tree! I think you know how I feel about fake trees, but in the absence of the real variety I'll take what I can get. We even have ornaments! It almost feels like Christmas :)
    Thanksgiving was pretty good. We ate at two places, and ate a lot. We went over to a single sister's place for dinner with her and her kids, and then went to dessert at another family's place. They made pumpkin cobbler it was the bomb! I love Thanksgiving.
    I also got my pants unhemmed! They've always been a little short, and it kind of bothered me when I got them, but it's been driving me up the wall lately! So I had the Relief Society in our ward unhem them all! She's a hilarious lady. So now my pants fit! It's a beautiful feeling.
    The weather went backwards this week too! It was a weird week haha. Last week it was sitting at a nice -20 C, and now it's just about freezing all of the time. As weird as it sounds, it's so warm! I honestly could have walked around without a jacket. They were right when they said you get climatized! It's awesome haha. It's supposed to be about 7 C all week so that'll be sweet! The warm days are numbered so you have to take advantage of them while you can!
    This week should be good. We have the Nativity thing going on downtown, which is like the one they do in Vancouver back home...? I think it's in Vancouver. The one I sang at. So that'll be fun. Then we have the Ward Christmas Party, and then the Christmas Devotional on Sunday! Super stoked, it'll be a good week fasho!
    That's pretty much all I'ev got for this week. I don't care what you send for Christmas, I'll take anything! The speaker and the CD player along with whatever music you're feeling! Surprise me haha. I feel like I need something, but I can't remember what it I'll email you this week if I think of anything. 
    You guys are the best! Thanks for all of the support, I hear about Elders that come out without their family's support and it makes me grateful I have people back home like you guys! I love and miss you guys, do work!
Elder Read 
Ps - We live in 2 man apartments. They got rid of the 4 mans because nothing gets done with that much testosterone in one home. Hahaha

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mother Read!
One of the missionaries in the area north of us went home last transfer, and left a brand new scale! So we decided to weigh ourselves! Bad idea. Who would have known I've gained 10 pounds since I entered the MTC? Members here feed us soooo much though I wish I could say I'm surprised. My goal is to lose it by New Years! This week the snow officially fell. And fell, and fell, and fell. Welcome to the Great White North! It snowed from Monday until Wenesday night, and then the temeperature plumetted and it's been -20 C for the last week or so. I've never felt cold like this! I'll probably die. We made a district rule that if anyone slipped on the ice and ended up on their back, they had to buy district donuts. I was so excited! An then I fell the first day. So donuts next Thursday! Haha other than that it's been a good week. Hey! We were at our Ward Mission Leader's house and they were asking what I was asking my parents for for Christmas, and so I told them I didn't really know, but that I needed my pea coat. So the son goes into his room an comes out with a pea coat that he said is too small for him, was 20 bucks, and he didn't want! It's sweet! So now you don't have to cram mine into a box :) I was pretty excited. Other than that, I have no idea what I want for Christmas haha. My CD player, the speaker, and whatever else you want to send! I'll let you know if I think of anything else. Okay so I attached some of the pictures from the soap incident! Haha they're pretty hilarious. There's also a picture of the Balut! Tell Bishop Keldson R-rated material is all you'll find in these emails. Just kidding. But seriously, it was delicious. In the picture with Elder Merrell, his beard looks way better. The hat I was wearing popped all of my bubbles :( There's a picture of the disaster in the kitchen haha, and a classic Steven picture, of course. So yeah it's been a good week! We're hopefully having a baptism this Saturday. We've been teaching this girl for the past couple of weeks, actually since I got here. Anyways she's GOLDEN in all aspects of the word. She keeps committments, her best friends are in our ward, we're teaching her at a member' house, she goes to seminary, church, firesides, the whole deal. But her parents won't give permission! There's always a catch. So we've waited a while, we all fasted (incluing her), and we gave the parent consent form to her last night, so we'll find out soon! She's a great person I hope she can be baptized. Other than that it's been pretty slow because of the weather. Haha no one wants to talk to us, and I can't blame them. I wouldn't talk to us either in this weather. The only reason people go outside is to shovel the sidewalk. But that's okay, winter will be sweet. Thanksgiving is Thursday! We're eating at a member's house, and then going to another member's for dessert! Remember that 10 pounds? Yeah, this is why. Bryant's birthday was Wednesday. I remembered right after I wrote him on Monday hahaha I felt bad. So we came back Tuesday and I sent him another email really quick. That's sweet though! Being 16 was the best. But yeah that's about all I got this week! I'll let you know if I think of anything I need for Christmas. Have a good week and a good Thanksgiving! I miss the jello!
Love you guys!

Elder Read

Monday, November 14, 2011


Today is officially the end of the transfer! It's hard to believe it's already been 6 weeks since I came out. Let alone another 3 weeks before that. Time is flying. Well I'm here another transfer with Elder Merrell! Which means we'll be here trough Christmas until the 28th. We pretty much already knew that though. The church recently started a 12 week training program for missionaries and so (most of the time) they keep us with trainers for the whole time. Elder Merrell will have been here 6 months at the end of the transfer though, so he'll most likely leave then. I could be here forever! Or until my birthday at least. Crazy. Walking around is fun and all, but it's starting to get cold haha....the other day it was -12 and the wind was blowing and I honestly was dying haha. I can't wait until -30 on a regular basis in January and February! It snowed this week! We woke up to a winter wonderland of 3cm of snow on Saturday! It's pretty much all melted though, so that was fun I guess. It was an exciting week though! Like I said last week we had two exchanges this week, and they went pretty well. They were the two coldest days though, so it was tough to stay motivated to stay outside. The coat I have is really good though. I actually had to wear a scarf! Which up until this week was TOTALLY a feminine thing to do. But I've completely changed my view on them. It's feminine not wear them. They saved me haha. Elder Merrell is a true Canadian though! He's still using his light jacket, which is crazy. So here he is walking down the street in shorts and flip flops and I'm next to him completely decked out in full eskimo gear. It's ridiculous! So one Monday when I was on exchanges one of the Elders I was with decided to be nice and load the dishwasher. We never use the dishwasher at the apartment because washing by hand is a million times faster. So I decided to accept his kind offering and run the dishwasher. So I took the dishsoap and poured it into the dispepenser haha.....I don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't think it would be that bad! Wrong. About 5 minutes in I went in to the kitchen and saw the winter wonderland starting to come out of the dishwasher! So I turned it off, called Elder Merrell, and he and Elder Albright came over with a mop and bucket! It was hilarious. We cleaned up the floor, but there was still soap and everything in the dishwasher, so Elder Merrell and I decided we'd take care of it the next day. So we spent companion study on Wednesday letting the dishwasher run it's course, and we cleaned up all of the soap as it came out. There was so much! Who knew that MAYBE 4 tablespoons of dishsoap could cause that much bubbles! We were waking it out in buckets and dumping it in the tub hahaha it was one of the funniest times so far. Then afterwards I went in and made a beard! So Elder Merrell and I made beards together. Then I found a toque (canadian hat) and we took pictures with those too! It was mighty hilarious. So now I know! Also this week, we were eating a phillipino (filipino?) member's house and we got to eat Balut! (buh-loot). It looks like a chicken egg, but instead it's a partially developed duck egg! They hard boil it though. So you crack open the top, pour some salt in, drink the juices inside, and then peel away the rest of the shell, and eat the duck! I ate 2, but the first one I peeled apart the yoke and everything and found the duck inside! So I took a picture :) It was actually pretty good. It tasted like a salted boiled egg. But man was it worth it! This week was a super fun week. I'm excited to be here another transfer. This area is awesome and our ward is the best! Sorry to hear about the stove :( but at least it still works! Thanksgiving here isn't celebrated, but we've had two members call us so far and say they want to celebrate it and so we're having 2 dinners that night! I'm gonna be huge haha. I hope everyone's doing well! I miss you guys! Send me things :) Alright my camera is dead apparently so I'll send some pictures next week!

I love you guys!
Elder Read

Sunday, November 13, 2011

First off, I forgot to tell you how cool your joke was that you sent last week! It made me laugh. This week was pretty good! This transfer is coming to a close, and I can't believe how fast it went. This has easily been the fastest 6 weeks of my life. But that's a good thing I guess! We had a mission wide leadership training this week, so Elder Merrell got to go to 2 days of straight up meetings haha. We had the Wainwright elders stay with us for that, so Elder Crockett (one of my MTC companions) was my companion for 2 days. He's a crazy guy haha I missed him. But we were in Southwood so I was in charge I guess! I never realized just how much I follow Elder Merrell around haha it took awhile for me to figure things out but after that we did pretty well. We did a lot of tracting Wednesday and Thursday, but that's defnitely a good thing because the more I talk to people the easier it gets. You definitely meet some interesting people though! There are a lot of East Indian people here, like I mentioned before, and they're all really nice and love to talk until you mention that you're a missionary haha. Then they "no speak english" and close the door. Funny how that works! It's funny though I kind of enjoy tracting. For now :) We have 2 exchanges this week, and for both of them I'll be with new missionaries hahaha it'll be interesting. Meadows. the area north of us just got a "mini missionary" this week. They're missionaries from around the area that are waiting on visa's, and so they send them a few miles from home and have them serve here until they can go to the MTC. This one's from Spruce Grove, which is just outside the city, and he's going to California. ANYWAYS I guess you didn't need to know that, but my point is, I'll be with him and Elder Cone for one of the exchanges so i'll be 3 greenies running around Southwood! It's gonna be sweet haha. Halloween was sweet! Our dinner appointment gave us a ton of candy before we left, and so we sat, ate candy, and watched The Testaments. It was sweet! This week at a dinner appointment we had peroggies....? I'm not sure how they're spelled, but man they're good! They're like dumplings filled with mashed potatoes, topped with cheese and bacon! I ate a lot. The weather here is still holding up surprisingly. The coldest so far is -15 Celsius, which was pretty cold, not gonna lie. But still no snow! Everywhere around Edmonton has it except for us. BC, Grand Prairie, Saskatchewan, and Red Deer all have snow, but we're still dry. I'm definitely not complaining though, and neither is anyone living here haha. Dad, we can listen to anything that invites the Spirit, so yeah if you'd like to send stuff that would be sweet! Momma, I only want the peacoat for times when I'm not gonna be outdoors for a long period of time, which happens a lot, like walking to church and stuff. I bought a big coat this week, it's sweet and it's warm, but the peacoat would be sweet if you wouldn't mind sending it. I also still need to buy boots. I won't be devastated if you can't send it though, let me know. That's awesome that you guys got to go to Auburn. I miss that place! It's always cold though, so I'm not surprised. Nicole's job sounds sweet too! That's great that she got it. How's the rest of the family doing? What're Chris and Geoff's emails? And Nicole's? I'll write them first :) Yep Day Light Savings time was Sunday morning, and it was sweet! We were both up and awake by 5:30 though haha but we were well rested it was awesome. We cut our own hair a little while ago, it's sooo much cheaper than going somewhere for it. Everything is SO expensive is Canada! It's ridiculous. One of the Elders in our district is from Quebec, and he went to culinary school before he came out, and on the last Pday of every transfer he makes a feast at the church! Everyone pays 5 dollars and it's an all you can eat. I'm so excited. Anyways that's all I got this week. Send that speaker, Cd player and coat whenever you can. No rush at all. But hey I miss all of you guys! I wish I could be there for the holidays but I know I'm supposed to be here. I'm loving it so far! The ward here is seriously awesome. There are a LOT of Hydes from down south that visit our ward a lot. They're all from Medicine Hat and that area though. I keep telling myself to go ask if we're related but I always forget. What're some names I could use to see if we're related? That would be sweet. Anyways we're gonna head to the church pretty soon. I love you guys, and to all of those who don't have the luxury of sending me emails, feel free to send me letters :)
Love, Elder Read

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Man Holiday Pdays are the best! They don't want us out proselyting after 6 tonight, and that's when Pday ends, so it's an all day event! We're planning on watching the Testaments, I'm in Heaven.
So this week was a good week! We've really been pushing to get 20 lessons a week, and Presidents been coming down on everyone to get them. So we really worked hard this week and got 19....haha it was brutal but at the same time that's still really good for us. We're only teaching 2 investigators right now so we had a lot of member lessons haha. But they count dang it! Haha so funny story. Last week at church this guy from Palestine showed up to the ward after us. They could barely understand him, but they found out he lives in our area so they passed him over to us. So we went over to his house on Wednesday and tried to talk to him. I say try because he was seriously impossible to understand. he could understand us well enough but we understood about 20% of what he said, and even then it was just the subject of what he was talking about. I'm very immature, and almost laughed, a lot. But I didn't :) Anyway so we realized there was no way we could teach him so we invited him to church this sunday and figured if he understood us then we'd teach him then. So yesterday after Sacrament meeting we go out and there he is! But he's holding a big folder of papers and stuff. So we start talking to him, or trying at least, and he starts pulling out passports, visas, and other travel documents hahaha. He thinks we're from the government so spent the entire second hour showing us his passports and giving his life story and how he's living here legally. Hahahaha man it was one of the funniest experiences of my mission so far. He's a great guy, and I THINK we might have convinced him we were missionaries, and that we didn't care whether he was legal or not haha. So we invited him back to the church on Tuesday and we'll try and teach him there. We're going to get a whiteboard to draw some pictures. Haha so that was a funny experience.
Other than that it was a pretty normal week. It was the first week since I got here that we didn't have any exchanges, so that was nice. Mom I got the package finally! Thanks a bunch I was starting to get low on supplies. Hey so I have a I want my peacoat hahaha. I know I know I should have taken it....but I think I want to send this CTR coat home because it's seriously huge, and then replace it with my peacoat. Also, I bought a nice winter jacket last week, but my VISA doesn't work anywhere I used my mastercard. Oh well! So yeah if you wanna send my Peacoat that would be wonderful :) you're the best! 
Hey by the way, if you were planning on sending me anything for Christmas, then I would send me the Hallowed Journey! Haha it's a dramatized Book of Mormon recording! Seriously it's the best. The Spanish elders have it in their car and they listen to it everywhere. It's the best. Look it up :) also, I need a CD player and my white speaker. None of these things are urgent, since Elder Merrell has a CD player and we don't have a car. But whenever you're feeling particularly loving, you can send those. If you want :)
So yeah let me know if we can do that jacket swap. This jacket I brought is good, but big. Give it to Bryant :) So yeah, that's all I need. I think I'm gonna send home some lancets with the jacket. I have WAY too many and they take up a lot of room.
Hey random but I just remembered I saw the Northern lights! They were super bright but I couldn't get a picture, it was too dark :( but seriously it was the coolest thing I've ever seen. They were just green, but still awesome. This is super early in the year to see them too so we got lucky! One of the many benefits of a walking area :)
But yeah it's been a great week! I've felt the Spirit stronger than I ever have in my entire life here. I've never read so many scriptures or prayed more in my life either, but it's great. I love it out here and I'm doing really well.
Hey also random but I just thought of this too, have you ever eaten rice crackers??? They are the best. Elder Merrell got hooked on them and passed it on to me. They're super cheap too! Man they're good. Hey how's oreo??? I miss that little guy. He'll probably be gone when I get back so take a picture of him and send it to me! Not the cat though, she'll live forever. It's still not snowing yet, which is weird for this area, but I'm not complaining! It's getting cold, but nothing too bad. I bought some light gloves and the jacket I bought is a good one so I'm doing good. But yeah that's about all I got! Have a good week! I attached some pictures. I haven't taken pictures here yet, my camera's been dead and I keep forgetting to charge it. So I'll send some more from the MTC! :) I have a lot of those haha. Sorry if there's repeats, I don't remember which I sent last week haha.
I love you guys!
Elder Read
PS funny story about all of those dryer sheets. So I bought a box in the MTC, and we were doing laundry the last day, and I kept that box at the bottom of my laundry basket. So we went in to do launndry and I just dumped all of my clothes out into the dryer, and I didn't notice the box go in I opened it up and they were everywhere! 75 sheets went in with the load hahaha. All of my clothes had this nasty waxy feel to them forever! They're good now. What's worse is that they were whites, which is 90% of what I wear. Haha it was awesome.