Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years!

Goood morning!

You will never guess what the temperature is outside!! It's like -4 right now, and yesterday it got up to 0 C. I know that's a little extreme to be excited about this, but I kid you not I was walking in just a suit coat the other day. It's crazy how acclimatized you get! It's supposed to stay this warm for the next week or so and then I;m sure it'll plummet again. Yeah Mom this Winter is supposed to be pretty chilly. It wasn't this cold last year.

This week was sweet! Christmas was awesome, I miss you guys! It was good to talk to you and also Bailey and Tyler! :) It definitely made my day. We have a sweet family!

Christmas Eve was good, just the normal Pday and then we were at the Macdonalds (in the Bishopric, not fast food) for the rest of the night. It was nice to have somewhere to go despite the famine of members in the land.

Christmas morning we went to Bishop Shipley's house, it was so nice to watch people open presents. I don't meant that sarcastically either haha it was honestly nice to be apart of that part of Christmas. They fed us a BOMB breakfast, we talked, and then we drove to Sherwood Park for calls home! After calls we had dinner with the Robinsons and then talked for a long while. Then we came home and spent the rest of the night there! It was a good day.

We drove out to St. Paul on Thursday morning for the outlying areas ZTM. Cherry Grove, Vermilion, and Lloydminster all drove in it was sweet! The meeting went well, and then we followed Cherry Grove home. They live like 3.5 hours out of Edmonton. It was beautiful. They live on top of a hill overlooking the huge countryside. Cherry Grove was apparently pretty much settled by mormons, and and so most of the town is LDS. Actually it's not a town it's a "hamlet" haha. I saw a moose! The first one in Canada! I was pretty psyched to be completely honest.

We had a slow week otherwise! A grand total of 3 lessons! Haha it was the worst week of my mission numbers-wise. But we were still pretty busy so it's all good. Most of the ward comes back into town this week so it should pick up soon!

New Years Eve will be a straight up party! With me and Elder Coe :) Haha we're supposed to be in at 6pm no exceptions so we'll probably watch Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration and eat junk food. Woohoo! I'd like to say I'll stay up until Midnight, because we are allowed.....but I don't really think I will haha it doesn't have as much appeal when you can only stare at the clock and celebrate when 12:00 comes. Last year Elder Wood and I went to bed at like 7pm haha.

So I played the piano in Sacrament Meeting for the first time in my life yesterday! We had another combined YSA church and there were actually quite a few people there. Easily enough to make a ward. Anyways our ward hosted and nobody else could play so they asked me last week if I would and I did! It was sweet. I still can't play the organ though so that's my goal when I get home!

Hey Mom Gramma's package still hasn't come.....maybe she wrote the wrong address on it? I have no clue. I'm going to buy the shoes today!

Alright I think that's're all the best! I'm excited for my black year to end! I have spent the entire year of 2012 as a missionary! I'm pretty great I know. Anyways we are going five-pin bowling today! I'm excited I've never been. Have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....for the past 2 months :)

Merry Christmas Eve!

We had a decent week, nothing to crazy going on. The weather is getting colder every day! It was -31 C with wind chill the other day it was crazy. I was on exchanges at the time. Elder Delaturantaye and I were tracting and we were dying! So we came in for a second to warm up and called the weather number. We were astounded! Winter is officially upon us!

We had two exchanges this week it was sweet. Tofield was fun, Elder Laceste and I did a lot of finding since they don't have much going on either. We have to look for ways to make it fun haha or it gets old, se tried the game where you give the other guy a word and he has to incorporate it into his approach. It gets interesting! We exchanged with Strathcona, the area next to ours, and that was sweet! Elder D (as he's come to be known) is sweet! He's from Fort Polk, Louisiana!

Zone Training Meeting went pretty well! We pretty much just had an open discussion where everyone gave their opinions on how we could improve as a zone and mission, and Elder Coe and I took notes! We're doing the outlying ZTM this week in St. Paul. So we'll drive out on Thursday and do the meeting that morning. Vermilion, St. Paul, Lloydminster, and Cherry Grove all drive in for it. Afterwards we're going to Cherry Grove to blitz with them and go on exchanges with so that'll be sweet! they're about 4 hours outside Edmonton so we'll drive home on Friday and get back that night. We're excited to actually stay busy! Haha

Yesterday we had a combined YSA ward with most of the Edmonton wards.....and there were like 30 people there haha. 5 of them from our ward, and then I think 2 of them left after church for home. So if I'm correct we have something like 3 people here for Christmas! :) We're all set for tonight and tomorrow though, We're going to one of the Bishopric member's house tonight for dinner. Tomorrow we're going to Bishop's for breakfast, then to a member's for calling home/dinner! After that we don't know what we're doing haha. Probably just coming home and partying on our own! :)

We've gone caroling 3 times so far! We get together with the Highlands YSA sisters, and the Strathcona elders and we carol on the steps of the church downtown! It's right on Whyte Ave, a super busy street, and so we get lots of people to talk to :) We've been doing it the past few nights, and it's been good to do something different :)

Hey I attached pictures! They should be in the following order: Me on the roof of Forest Heights my pajamas and heavy coat haha; Elder Coe and I with other missionaries at Christmas Conference; a Target hiring sign!!! Crazy; Me in Tofield with glasses. Classy I know; Our caroling squad!; Elder D and I on exchanges; and then our caroling squad again!

Well that's all of the exciting news for now! I'm excited to talk to you guys tomorrow! It'll probably be around 11am your time (12pm my time). Enjoy your festivities!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

P.S. Have some more! There are some from the rooftop again in Forest Heights; All of us at ZLC; a picture of the city just down the street from our apartment; and then just more caroling pictures!

Love you parents!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The End is Nigh!

Hey friends!

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, the internet was down at the library :( so here I am!

Man you guys are having a straight up party and I'm not even there! But I guess that's pretty appropriate considering it's the end of the world this week! I've been doing some solid pondering, and I feel very strongly that you should put a picture of me on a chair or something while you open presents, eat dinner, hang out, etc. You know, just so I can be apart of it.

You guys gave Bryant your bed and put the bunk bed upstairs!? Where am I supposed to sleep in 9 months!? I guess Bryant and I will just share...... :) I honestly am not sure at all how you fit the bed in there haha. That's sweet that Bryant's taking lessons again though. He's going to be the most accomplished of us all in life!

We've had a straight up BUSY week! Haha I feel like I type that sentence every week, but this week especially. I'll start from the beginning, but only because you asked.

Sooo on Monday after FHE we drove home, packed up, and hit the road at around 8pm. Our plan was to get there by 10pm. While we were driving out of town though, one of the walking areas called for a ride, and they were definitely going to be late if we didn't go get them.....missionaries these days! So we picked them up and drove them home, but we took forever to find them so it took awhile. By the time we left Edmonton it was 9:30pm haha. So we drove the whole way and got there around 11pm. It was sweet I got a lot of letter writing done because we aren't allowed to sleep in the car haha. Vermilion was sweet. They don't have much going on, so we did a lot of finding. We did a service scavenger hunt where we knocked doors and gave them a list of service opportunities and they'd pick something. We shoveled a lot of driveways haha.

Thursday was ZLC it was pretty sweet! President basically sat down and said " Let's talk about the coming year." So we spent most of the time talking about goals for next year, things we're doing wrong, how we can improve, and he told us a lot of what's going to happen with the influx of missionaries. We talked about the areas in our zones that could handle 4 missionaries, and all that good stuff! It was a good meeting. Plus it was good to see Elder Penrod again! :)

Friday was Christmas Conference it was a lot of fun. They asked me to play piano for it so that was fun I suppose. President gave a training, Sister Campbell talked about manners haha, we had lunch complete with dessert, and then we had the talent show! It was pretty good this year. I played Ukulele for 3 different performances it was insane! I sang "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" in a quartet, "Jingle Bells" with Elder Morley doing it in his Donald Duck voice, and then our zone skit was "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer".....accompanied by ukulele haha. So I'm glad that's done! Hey I got your Christmas letters! Those were sweet you guys are the best! :) They were even written in September that's festive! Hey I got you Christmas package momma! I haven't opened the presents yet don't you worry!

So as a result of ZLC, we're going to have Zone Training Meeting this Thursday, which is where we pass all of the ZLC stuff on to the zone. You're all invited! So that'll be fun. We have a lot of outlying areas in our zone too so we do a separate meeting for them in St. Paul, probably next week.

We taught a new investigator this week! His name's Cal and we talked to him downtown one night while street contacting - one of our favorite things to do. He agreed to meet the next day at the church and he actually showed up! He's YSA age too. We taught lesson 1 and he really enjoyed it. He asked a lot of questions so that was solid. Then we met the next day after church! It was pretty sweet! We're hoping to meet this week and invite him to be baptized. That would be pretty sweet. I love missionary work!

Hey Dad and Chris happy early birthday! :) You guys are getting PRETTY old, in case you weren't aware. But that's alright somebody's gotta do it! Haha I hope you enjoy them :) Oh and tell Debbie happy early birthday too and that I miss her! She's not old though :)

Hey random question what's Isaac's address?

Oh so I went to church yesterday, and the Kingsway YSA ward (the Ed North stake) meets right after us, and I saw Shelby Sukhu there! Man oh man is it good to see recent converts still active! :) So we talked for awhile, and they're all doing super well. I miss those guys.

So our ward isn't meeting together next week haha. Most people will be back home, so they're just not meeting and telling us to go to a different YSA ward that is meeting. Should be fun!

We have two exchanges this week with Tofield and Strathcona. Tofield is actually right after this, and I'm going out there so it'll be sweet I'm excited. I love going to the random places in Alberta! It's like 40 minutes East of here.

Alright my friends, have a good week and don't party too hard without me! Make the most out of the next few days it'll be our last! December 21st is actually here it's weird. I remember in Elementary School worrying (typical Steven I know) about it! If by some small chance the Mayans are wrong then I guess I'll talk to you next week! Oh Christmas calls!! So we're going to a member's house at around noon our time, so I'll probably call around 12:30pm OUR time. Is that 11:30am your time? I'm pretty positive it is, but in case I'm wrong like last time, just remember 12:30 my time haha. Yeah google sounds good :)

Love you guys!

Elder Read

Monday, December 10, 2012

New area excitement

Hey family!

This week was a typical busy week in downtown Edmonton! I'm starting to get used to the area and just being around YSA people in general haha. It makes me super trunky seeing young people hanging out! We went to drop something off at our Ward Mission Leader's house and there were a bunch of people there playing cards, singing around the piano, etc. Plus they're all my age! I live a hard life, what can I say?

Soooo to start off the week we went on exchanges with the Assistants. It was good! I realized that I haven't stayed in my area for an exchange since I was with Elder Fifita haha. Crazy! So yeah this exchange was the same, I went to Southgate with Elder Fitzgerald. Oddly enough, his best friend is serving in Kyle's mission and they're super good friends! So we're all gonna hang out when we get home it'll be sweet.

We had our monthly meeting with the Stake President and President Campbell this week. It was good they talked a lot about how it's going to work with all of the new missionaries coming into the mission. President still isn't really sure what's gonna happen haha he doesn't know where to put everyone. But other than that we just talk about each area and how they're doing.

We also went on exchanges with the Forest Heights missionaries. They're the other area downtown but they live in the heart of it all. They're apartment is on the 9th floor of a huge building, it's sweet. I was with Elder Western from Roy, Utah, and we went up to the roof that night and took pictures, but I can't attach them because it's the wrong file type....? I dunno. Anyways funny story! So we went and played basketball that morning with the Spanish missionaries, and on our way down in the elevator Elder Western turns to me and says "I'm having a hard time breathing......weird." Haha so I asked if he wanted to stay home and he said no because it's pretty common (he has asthma). So we get there and he goes out to the foyer to sleep while we play because he hates basketball haha. Halfway through I hear this sound like someone's gasping for air, and I immediately think of what he said in the elevator, so I book it out to the foyer, and there he is, leaning over the garbage can yarfing his brains out haha. He goes for another minute or so, looks up and me and says "I had an asthma attack." and then goes right back to throwing up haha. It was pretty funny. So we took him back and he threw up the rest of the morning. We think he's sick and that's what caused the asthma attack, so hopefully I don't catch it....There were 6 other people in the zone sick this week so....

Elder Coe and I are doing really good together! We get along super well and we see eye to eye on most things. He's super organized and always pushes me to think things out, so it's been really good so far :)

Haha at church yesterday the Elders Quorum President got up and lectured the men about getting married. "Let's face it, YSA wards are for getting married, so we need to keep that in mind. I think some of us are too involved in hanging out and not going anywhere. A number of the girls have expressed to me that none of you ask them out on brethren get on it!" Haha it was funny. Elder Coe and I committed to taking that to heart! Only in a YSA!

This week is super busy too! Tonight after FHE we're packing up and driving to Vermilion which is about 2 hours to the East near the Saskatchewan border. We'll stay there all day Tuesday and then drive home Wednesday morning. Then Thursday is zone leader council, and then Friday is Christmas conference! They asked me to sing with my ukulele, and I wasn't about to do that alone! So I asked around and have a few people singing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" with me :) Should be fun!

Okay so for Christmas calls.....I have no idea yet haha. Our Bishop offered to have us over for Christmas morning since nobody else will be around haha, so I'll get that figured out this week and let ya know :)

Alright we're headed out. I miss you guys don't have too much fun without me! And Dad you owe me so many cinnamon rolls, ebelskivers, cobblers, etc that you've promised to "email me." So don't think I'll forget!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, December 3, 2012

Still the new kid on the block


Man oh man it's been a crazy 4 transfers. I've been the new guy in the ward ever since I left Spruce haha I'm starting to feel like I'm just shadowing my companions. I was only in Red Deer for 2 transfers and then left before Elder Cone, then went to Londonderry for 1 transfer and now I'm in Millcreek it's been weird. I just want to settle down and get to know my area! Hopefully Elder Coe won't crash a car and I'll stay here :)

Millcreek has been sweet so far. Our area pretty much just covers the University of Alberta campus and the surrounding area so 99% of our ward are students and 75% are girls haha it's weird. I feel so disobedient when we meet with a house full of girls haha but it's what we're supposed to do so I just go with it! There are a bunch of returned missionaries in the ward though so they're SUPER missionary-minded so that's nice :) The only problem is that it's hard to get lessons with people because when we try to meet with one person we end up getting the whole house and so we knock out like 5 or 6 members in one lesson. PLUS everyone's leaving for Christmas....our ward won't even meet in the weeks around Christmas haha we don't really know what we're gonna do because Elder Coe's only been here 6 weeks haha. Our area's gonna be dead so we're planning to do a ton of walking around talking to people I guess! We're pretty excited....haha.

We had our ward Christmas party and it was pretty sweet! There was a talent show and it was your typical YSA talent show complete with a guy singing while doing the worm ha. It's a pretty good sized ward though I was surprised.

We spend a lot of time at the Institute building too. They have Friday Forum every....well Friday haha and they feed everybody lunch and they have a guest speaker come in and speak it's pretty sweet!

Yeah Dad our zone's way big actually. We go all the way out to Lloydminster which is right on the border of Saskatchewan, and we go north to Cold Lake so it's sweet! We have a pretty busy transfer too, we're going on exchanges to Vermilion, a little town outside of Lloydminster, next week and we have Christmas Conference, 5 other exchanges, etc. It'll be crazy! But with no ward in a couple of weeks I think we'll be pretty open haha.

Other than that things are going pretty well. It's been -15 for a week straight haha I'm so glad I have a car :) The snow just keeps on falling! It'll probably never melt. We're going on exchanges with the AP's tomorrow so that'll be fun! I also haven't stayed in my area for an exchange since Spruce this rate I never will again!

Okay well I'm out of here! We get to go clean our apartment :) I still haven't unpacked either so it'll be good to do that. Have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

PS - Could you send me Tyler Brown's address? I would very much appreciate it.

Monday, November 26, 2012



Transfers were this morning, and I'm going to the Millcreek YSA Ward. He just switched our two areas, and so I'm going with Elder Coe, and Elder Wood's coming here to Londonderry with Elder Penrod. It's actually the same Elder Wood that I served with in Southwood! Anyways I'll be in the Bonnie Doone zone and our area covers most of downtown Edmonton haha pretty crazy! I don't know how I feel about going to a YSA but I'm sure it'll be fun! I don't know Elder Coe all that well either, I've just seen him at ZLC. I just know he's younger than me and that he's pretty quiet, so it'll be cool to get to know him. I'm bummed to be leaving Elder Penrod, but I'm glad I'm the one leaving. I definitely didn't know this area well enough ha. But I'll have a car again! I'm just a permanent co-pilot haha. It'll be a crazy transfer for sure.

We had an okay week. Elder Penrod got sick pretty early on and so we spent a lot of time indoors. We just went to set appointments. He was feeling better by the end of the week so we were able to get some work done. We didn't have very much contact with our investigators this week, but we taught Brother Smith on Saturday. President Campbell texted us and asked to go to a teaching appointment with us sometime, so we decided to invite him to this one. We were pretty nervous haha but it went well! He's a good person to teach with, and the lesson went super well. Brother Smith is pretty solid, and we're going to commit him to baptism soon. We want to make sure he's doing it for himself and not his family though.

We went on two exchanges this week. Once with Sturgeon, and another with the Castledowns area. Both are in Edmonton so we didn't have to travel very far. It was good though I love exchanges! Elder Knapphus is from Holiday Utah and said he went to the little elementary school just down the hill from Grandma and Grandpa's house! Small world. He's even thrown rocks at the water tower haha.

Thanksgiving was sweet! We had District Meeting that day so the sisters (of course) planned a thanksgiving dinner for lunch. So each person brought something. I brought mashed potatoes and I even peeled and mashed them myself! Complete with sour cream. You'd be proud momma! It was a lot of fun. We went to dinner at the Calvert's house, and they invited the Spanish Missionaries as well. They're in a trio and so it was the 5 of us, and then like 10 of them. Party! They made the traditional turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and all of that good stuff. It sounds like you guys had a party too! I miss Thanksgiving!

The weather is still cold. But not too bad. It's around -5 but it's been snowing a lot. There's probably around 2 feet of snow laying around everywhere, it never gets warm enough to melt. I'm ready for the rain again!

Other than that I don't think anything else exciting happened this week. I sure am excited to pack all my stuff up again! Haha but I think I'll be with Elder Coe for awhile though so hopefully I won't have to pack up again. It's weird to think this could be my second to last area!

Hey why isn't Encore singing in Sacrament anymore? That was the best! No mom I can't think of anything I need in my package. Honestly I don't need much, I get a lot of packages haha I'm spoiled!

Have a good week and I'll talk to you next week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

PS I attached pictures, but not all of them fit so I'll send them in different emails, but I'll explain them all here. One is of a cake the Graus family made us last night, another is of me and Elder Penrod with the cake, then all of us with the cake, then one of when we went to Dairy Queen and I got a bigger ice cream cone but we ordered the same size haha, another is of us at the Calvert's for Thanksgiving with Spanish, another is of the district at Thanksgiving, us at the temple, me depressed because we're walking, both of us at a bus stop, and then yours truly at the bus stop! So there you go.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy 10 Months!


So in case you weren't already aware, today is officially 10 months until I'm home! That's right, on September 19th, 2013 I'll fly into good old Portland, Oregon again. Start preparing! Just think, 10 months ago I was finishing up my time in Southwood and was almost getting transferred to Spruce Grove! Time goes by too fast!

We had a super good week this week! Walking around is the worst, don't get me wrong, but you sure do talk to a lot of people. We had 17 QGC's (Quality Gospel Conversations), which is a ton; the most I ever had is 19 in Southwood. Anyways, it's all because we walk everywhere. It's good that it happened in Winter too because our numbers always plummet once the cold hits. Nobody wants to be outside contacting haha. So this forces us to!

I don't remember if I already mentioned this last week, but I don't really feel like going back to check so I'll talk about it again ha. We're teaching a guy named Darcy. His wife's a member, and they were on the verge of divorce, but decided to try and work things out. So as part of that, he agreed to take the discussion to see where she's coming from. So we met with him and his wife this week and talked with him to see where he's at. I think his initial interest just came from trying to please his wife, but he seems really solid so far. He's got a good understanding of God and the Gospel, we just have to help him become personally converted to the gospel. So we went over families and how it could help him in his specific situation. We're excited to see where he goes!

Ray and Mike are doing alright. Mike doesn't have much real intent and Ray can't seem to make it to church. So we're focusing on coming to church, because that's the only way they're gonna go anywhere. Ray's solid though so we're hoping we can get him out, he just has a lot of health problems that keep him home.

Hey Maggie was confirmed last Sunday! I just forgot to tell you last week. I got to confirm her so that was cool! I've never done that before it was a cool experience. She's funny haha. She's still a little shaky on english, and so it's been hard to get her to say prayers. But last week we were meeting with her and we invited her to say a prayer and she accepted, and then proceeded to say a BEAUTIFUL prayer haha Elder Penrod and I were so surprised! We just looked at each other. When we told her, she just laughed and showed us her phone, where she had written her prayer down hahaha. She said she had been writing it for awhile :) So then yesterday at church we had asked her to say the prayer in Gospel Principles, and we told her she had to say it from the heart haha without reading it. So we were sitting in Sacrament Meeting and I looked over and she was reading over another prayer she had written down and was trying to memorize it! Haha we laughed for a long time. She's hilarious.

This week we had exchanges with Clareview, the area next to us. I was with Elder Bachuluun from Mongolia he's sweet! He played on the Mongolian Basketball League back home and was on the national team too. He's super humble tough and is hilarious. We had a lot of fun together. He tried teaching me Mongolian, I'm terrible haha. Then the next day Barrhead drove down and we all worked in Londonderry. I worked with Elder Johnson he's from Washington! Somewhere on the coast but I don't remember where. We had to walk though haha so that sucked. But it was okay. Having four missionaries in an apartment is so sweet though it's a party! :)

So this week is Week 6....the last week of the transfer :( we're still bummed and depressed haha but it's all good we've had a good transfer together. Next Monday we'll find out who's leaving. To be honest I don't really care if I stay or go, because I've only been here for 6 weeks and don't know much of the area. So I'm not too worried about it. I'll just miss Elder Penrod! Seriously it's like serving with one of my friends back home. He actually reminds me a lot of Skylar ha.

It's starting to warm up a little bit. It's about -5 outside, which is still cold but a lot better than -19 man that's brutal! I'm used to it snowing and then it being gone in a week, but that same snow that feel 2 weeks ago is still here. I'm looking forward to Summer.

Hey it was Bryant's birthday that's sweet! 17.....he's old. He sounds so busy though haha how does he do it? Yeah Gramma's birthday is today....? Is that right? If so, happy birthday Gramma! I finished a bunch of letters last night while Elder Penrod called around, and so I'll send yours off today!

Yeah Dad our zone alone has had 3 accidents so we aren't alone! Haha we went to the Body Shop again today to drop off some paperwork for the car, and they are SWAMPED. Snow's no good. Mom that email from Bishop Keldson was so funny I laughed pretty hard :) Hey if you could send me that letter that would be best. I have to use it to fill out the application. Thanks!

Okay I think that's it... enjoy your weeks and have a good Thanksgiving! I'll be there next time! :)

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

These boots were made for walking.....

Hey fam,

Sorry I didn't email yesterday, we went to the temple today and so they switched Pday to today instead. It's been a few months since I'd been to the temple last and so it' was super nice to get back there. I love it! I can't wait to be able to go more often when I'm home.

This week was busy! When I was in Southwood, the area wasn't very big and so the longest walks we'd have to take were 30 minutes or so. Here, since our ward boundaries are so big it takes about an hour to get places haha it's brutal on time. We spent a lot of this week getting to know the bus system and trying to figure out what goes where. We discovered that there's a light rail system here too and so it's made things a little easier. We've gotten used to it though. We've been able to talk to a lot of people though, so our finding is definitely improving! I definitely miss our car though haha. It's pretty damaged, and it's a costly repair, which doesn't help ha. We had to file a police report this week because the insurance company (and Canada) require it when the damage exceeds $2000. We've both been depressed this week hahaha it's been a hard pill to swallow. When you've got nobody to blame but yourself it's hard to accept. Elder Penrod and I get along super well, it's like serving with myself haha. So it's hard to think we'll be split up in two weeks because we were being dumb. But what're you gonna do! We've been enjoying walking around though, it's at least nice having someone I get along with out there freezing with me.

Speaking of, it got down to -20 this week! Man alive is it cold. I was in my heavy thermals and my big November. Last year November was so nice! This winter's going to be a terrible one ha. Thankfully we'll have a car again before winter hits. There's been a ton of accidents lately. We went to the auto body shop this week to get some things out of the car, and there were a ton of cars waiting to be looked at. Winter surprised everyone!

We had our Zone Training Meeting this week it went really well. We just train on what we learned at ZLC, and so we talked about focusing on helping people develop a belief in God and who He is. Something we do a lot as missionaries is just gloss over that particular principle because most people believe in God already. But President talked about focusing on who He is, what his attributes are (physical and spiritual), and what His relationship is in our lives. It was a good training it went really well. We had to announce to everyone that they needed to really be careful about driving in the winter and use your cars wisely, haha so we used ourselves as an example. It was good I think it really opened peoples eyes when they realized that President will actually take away your car ha.

Fort Macmurray drove down this week too since we can't go to them haha. They stayed two nights because it's a 5 hour drive down here, and so it was a lot of fun! I love exchanges.

This week we have two exchanges I'm way psyched. We're going with Clareview which is the area next to ours and is our District Leader, and then Barrhead too. I'm going to Barrhead so it'll be cool to be back there! I went on many exchanges there in Spruce Grove. Speaking of Spruce Grove, one of the members there texted us and told me that Tony Sukhu blessed the sacrament on Sunday! That was really cool to hear. I'm hoping to get out there on exchanges next transfer (if I'm still here) and see them. I miss the Sukhus!

Ray, one of our investigators, is on date for December 1st, and we started teaching his son, Mike, last week as well. This week we got them both on date for December 1st! We're pretty excited. We'll probably have to change their date because of smoking, but it's sweet that they're at least willing to set a date. It says a lot about their desire to be baptized. We're hoping to go over the Stop Smoking Program this week and get them to quit. Pray for them!

Haha yeah Canadians are way involved in American Politics! Most of them are conservative too so they weren't very happy with the election. But once elections are over they seemed to go back to normal haha nobody cares anymore. Life goes on!

Mom I bet you're an awesome nursery leader! Weren't you mine...? Or was that just Primary? That's funny that you bought new toys. You have to be up to date!

Dad's a rap star....can't say I'm surprised! I always knew he had it in him. Go get 'em! :)

Okay it's time to go to the Stake Center. I miss you all!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Accidents happen.....

Soooo we had a crazy week, and not really in a good way haha. I'll get straight to it! So on Saturday we were driving back to our apartment, and the sisters texted us and asked us to open the church library, and Elder Penrod had to use the washroom, so we decided to just stop on the way there and open the library. So we pulled into the parking lot, and we usually park at the back, so we got to the first turn, and I definitely could have been going slower....but I wasn't....and it was snowing and icy. Long story short we end up sliding pretty bad into the curb. We hit it pretty hard. When we pulled away from the curb our car was shaking because the two right wheels were bent out of shape. So we called President, got rebuked, and then called a tow truck. It was brutal President wasn't very happy and I can't drive anymore.....but the worst part is that Elder Penrod can't drive either, so one of us will be getting transferred next transfer. Until then we're both walking for 3 weeks haha so when I thought I was done walking in the winter I was wrong. But on the bright side I can now say that not only are we the only walking zone leaders, but we're also the biggest walking area in the mission :) I feel pretty bad about it actually, it'll be an expensive repair that the church's insurance will have to pay for... so yeah. We're good though President told us that he' seen worse but that we need to stop "hot doggin" around haha. So now the missionaries in Fort Mac have to drive down, and actually all of the exchanges have to come to us haha. But things will work out!

On a lighter note, Maggie was baptized! I'll include pictures :) She was super excited and it went really well. When she got into the font she yelled "I should have taken swimming lessons this water is deep!" haha it was pretty funny. There was a good turnout too, the ward's been really supportive of her.

So like I mentioned before, the snow's been coming down hard! We had a good 6-8 inches this week it was crazy. I was gonna talk about how hard it is to drive in wet snow, but I guess that's not a problem anymore...haha. At least tickets will never be a problem anymore.

ALSO on Saturday morning (Saturday just wasn't a good day haha) we were being dumb and swinging from our pull up bar, and Elder Penrod fell pretty hard on the floor. Then while i was showering a lady came up from the room below and told us her smoke detector had fallen when he fell....she was actually super nice about it and we were glad she came to us and not management. So we ended up buying her a new one and all is well.

Halloween was super good. We had dinner at a member's house and they loaded us up with candy! So we came home at 6pm and played ukulele and guitar all night. We've been writing in the chords for all of the hymns in the hymn book lately, and so we just took videos of us singing haha. That's awesome that you had the missionaries over you're awesome! How is it having elders? Ask them if they know an Elder Richardson. He's best friends with Elder Morley!

Hey mom when you called the office last week to check on the package, I was standing right next to Sister McFadzean! We go in every week to get mail and report numbers. Haha so she put the phone down and was like "where is Elder Read serving?" because she's new and doesn't really know the mission. So I looked at her and said "I think he's in Londonderry" haha it was funny. I thought about yelling in the background but I realized that might be a little immature ha. But just know I was there when you called! So yeah I got the supplies, and now I have enough for the Millennium haha thanks. Plus my new pump arrived and so she's up and running. It's so much nicer haha I didn't realize how much wear and tear my old one and gotten.

Hey yeah tell Gramma that I definitely got the letters! I normally write letters on Sunday night but ever since I've been here my Sunday nights are booked making calls it sucks. But Elder Penrod did the calls last night and I wrote letters so her reply should be there soon :) She's awesome!

We had a lesson with Rick, one of our new investigators, this week and it was a gong show haha. He just dominated the lesson and we honestly didn't even get 10 words out the whole lesson. So we're debating on whether or not we'll go back haha. But the work has been really good here I love it. Our investigators are progressing really well! Hopefully I stay after this transfer.....we'll see!

I included pictures! I don't remember which order they're in, but one's of ZLC, a couple are from our first night walking around haha, another is of me in a shirt I found laying around the apartment and put it on over my pea coat, cool right? Another is of us at Maggie's baptism, and another is of me at the accident scene. So there you go!

Alright we're going to go shopping, have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, October 29, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland.....

The snow hit! Let me tell you, I didn't miss it ha. It started snowing earlier in the week but none of it really stuck because it wasn't cold enough, but then it sunk down to like -6 C and has been there ever since. So the snow stuck all yesterday and this morning! Our little Chevy Cruze doesn't do so well in the snow either. I drive like a grandma now! Speaking of which, I started driving again. But not by choice. Elder Penrod's exed and can't drive, so once again I'm the designated driver for the next 3 months! Haha I'll never get away from it, but that's okay it's not bad.

This week was sweet! We drove up to St. Paul on Friday to visit the elders up there. Their area is SLOW haha I don't envy them at all. Elder Morley was my zone leader for a long time when I was in Spruce and again when I was in Red Deer so it was good to see him again. It was a 2 hour drive and it seemed way longer! Driving in Alberta is so boring haha it's so flat! Driving the 5 hours to Ft. Macmurray is gonna kill me!

The temple dedication was yesterday and it was soo sweet! We went to the first session, and so they showed the cornerstone ceremony. President Monson is a funny funny guy I just enjoyed watching him be normal. Elder Ballard came with him and talked a lot about his time in Canada as a mission president, and Elder Christenson and Elder Walker of the Seventy came too. They're both from Alberta! They did 3 sessions and the members that went to the last session said that by the end President Monson looked exhausted haha poor guy.

Our investigator Maggie is doing really well! She's being baptized on Sunday, so she's way excited. We were supposed to have it on Saturday but we have ZLC that day so we pushed it back to Sunday.We went over and taught her tithing yesterday with her husband who's a member and it went really well. They're concerned about paying it right now because they're in a tight spot for money. I guess they have a lot of unpaid debts in China still, and so that's where their focus is. But we read 1 Nephi 3:7 with them and explained that God prepares a way for people to keep the commandments He gives us. After awhile they agreed to give it a try and put their trust in the Lord and see if He doesn't bless them like Malachi talks about. She's solid though!

Ray, our other investigator is so solid. I love that guy and I've only known him for a week. He's in his 60's and has a big problem with smoking, but he really wants to obey God and be baptized, he just can't because of smoking. So we're working with him on the Stop Smoking Program. He'll come around eventually, it'll just take awhile.

We called a former investigator last week and set up an appointment with him, his name's Rick. We met with him on Wednesday and jus talked with him about his religious background. He studies a lot of history and so he's pretty interested in the Book of Mormon and the origin of the Indians, etc. His teaching record didnt' say why he was dropped though so we'll see what happens! Haha

Hey Mom I called Animas and told them about my faulty buttons on my pump, and they're sending me a brand new one! How sweet is that? They say it'll be here on Thursday :) A new pump and meter remote in less than a month! I'm spoiled.

Hey tell Ethan Happy Late Birthday for me! I miss that little guy. It sounds like you had fun talking with everyone that's sweet :)

That's sweet that you're having the missionaries over on Halloween! It does my heart good to hear that! Do they have to be back in by 6pm too? We do it sucks haha. Our meal calendar is barren right now! I don't know what it is with zone leader areas, but everyone I've seen has such a hard time getting dinners it's garbage!

Hey I went on exchanges with the Assistants this week! It was way sweet. We ate dinner at this young couple's house, and he served his mission in Portland like a year and a half ago! His name was Elder Gregson if anyone knew him.....anyways we talked a lot about Oregon it was sweet! If I didn't live in Oregon,I would have loved that mission!

Hey tell Grandma that I do need new shirts, but I need new shoes too...but I don't want her to send me something and have it not fit or something. So if you wanna just send me the money and I can buy them, whatever works for you. I can't really think of anything else I NEED. Just surprise me :)

Alright I'm out of things to ramble have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, October 22, 2012

Welcome back to Edmonton!

Hey family,

This week has been sweet! Haha sorry if I wasn't clear, but I got transferred to the Londonderry Ward, which is on the north end of Edmonton. I wrote Edmonton North District in my last email, but it's the Edmonton North Zone haha. Sorry for the confusion. Spruce Grove is in our zone, but no I'm not in Spruce Grove again. I wish :) My companion is Elder Penrod and we probably get along too well haha if you can imagine. I was in the MTC with him and we've been close our whole missions so it's been sweet serving with him! We have a lot of fun.

Londonderry is sweet! The ward is awesome and they love the missionaries! I love members that love me. Haha. The north side of Edmonton is nothing like the south end was. There are way more black people, whereas Southwood had a bunch of East-Indians. It's a huge area too, we cover part of downtown, which is a complete gong show haha. I think I prefer the smaller-city scene, but it's still a lot of fun. We exchange with all of the district leaders throughout the transfer, which is actually pretty sweet because we go up to Fort McMurray, 5 hours north, for two days, then this Friday we're going to St. Paul which is about 2 hours to the northeast, for two days. They're both too far away to drive there and back in one day so we just go up and blitz the area with them. I'm way psyched to go up that far! I'm also going back to Spruce next week :) We're going on exchanges with the Assistants tomorrow and I'll be with Elder Paulson, who was my zone leader in Red Deer before he went up the ladder :) It'll be fun I love exchanges. I always feel like I learn something, regardless of who I'm with.

I feel like we're always busy though! There's so much random stuff that we have to do. But it's good. Plus our ward mission leader is this super-analytical business man so he makes us write out what we teach investigators, what we talk about before and after the lesson, how they respond, etc. He's pretty effective, but it's time-consuming! Our Pdays apparently take forever too because we have to drive into the office, grab mail, report numbers, etc.

We have investigators! Ahh you have no idea how nice it is haha it's been too long. We're teaching a girl named Maggie, she's from China and came here about 7 months ago. She had no concept of who God was, and in the month and a half that she's been taught, she's developed a super strong faith in Christ it's awesome. She's on date for November 3rd and is doing really well. We have other investigators, but we haven't been able to meet with them since I've been here.

Yeah the Calgary Temple Dedication is this Sunday! I'm so excited. They're broadcasting it all around Alberta. Pretty exciting!

Hey so I requested a transcript from Aloha and told them to send it up here if they could, but if not to just send it home. When it gets there can you just ship it up here? I need it to fill out some stuff on the application.

Mom you had poutine that's sweet! To tell you the truth I'm not the biggest fan of it but I won't turn it down :) Your trip sounds legit! I want to go to all of the church history stuff some day. It would be a sweet mission to serve!

Anyways that's all for this week. You're all the best!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, October 15, 2012

Transferred Again!

Hey there!

Dang I didn't even realize my letter didn't send! I wrote one out, then put it in the drafts like I usually do. I send it at the end just in case I remember something, but I forgot last week. My bad! So I'll send both :)

So transfer calls were today, and I was fully expecting to hear that Elder Cone would be leaving. He's been here for 6 months and that's pretty good for areas around here. But with all the new missionaries coming out (60 from September until Christmas), President had to make a lot of unexpected changes. There are so many crazy things happening and tons of new areas opening. He called me as Zone Leader in the Edmonton North District, which is where Spruce Grove is. Which means I get to go back to Spruce Grove on exchanges. YA DIGG! I'm so excited haha. My new companion is Elder Penrod, who is also a guy I was in the MTC with. I'm wayy psyched because he's probably my best friend out here on the mission! This about to be a sweet transfer. Elder Cone is staying here and they're combining our area with 3rd ward, so they'll be in a trio. I'm pretty jealous! He's also the new DL out here and he's pretty nervous haha he's been asking questions and stuff all morning!

Speaking of trios, we've had Elder Kember with us since Tuesday (see last weeks letter). It's been way fun because he's also one of my best friends out here. It's been a sweet week! We've just had a ton of fun and we've worked pretty hard. Trios are of the devil though haha it's so distracting. We've just laughed for a week it's been so fun. They've been trying to keep the fact that Elder Paulson is the new AP a secret, because missionaries spend too much time speculating haha President's sick of it. Once week 6 rolls around everyone's texting everyone to see who went up. Anyways so we had a Zone Training Meeting on Thursday and the ZL's give the training. Butttt Elder Paulson was already gone by then. So in order to cut down on the spec (speculating), the AP's drove down to Red Deer, dropped him off for the morning, then drove back down to pick him up again haha so nobody knew about it but us :) We had to keep it on the down low the whole week it was hard.

We had a bunch of referrals this week it was sweet. We're hoping this week to have like 3 new investigators. I'm glad Elder Cone has something to work with now! We got another Church Headquarters referral on Thursday and she wanted to come to church and take the lessons, we were super excited! But then we called on Saturday and told her we had a ride for her, and she told us that she couldn't come because she couldn't leave her client (she's a caregiver) for 3 hours. But we set up a lesson for Thursday, so they're going to ask her if she can just come to Sacrament at least. Things are starting to pick up! Woo!

The Calgary Temple Dedication is on October 28th we're way psyched! They're planning on broadcasting it to all of the Stake Centers in Alberta so we're so excited! President Monson's coming up to dedicate it, and we're hoping he'll visit our mission :) :) :) probably not, but a guy can hope right?

Hey momma I got the package on Saturday we're good! Thanks for sending it up so quick, I really appreciate it. That's a TON of insulin haha I'll be good for a few months easy. You're awesome :)

Hey by the way thanks for the yellow tie in that last package! It's sooo sweet I'm wearing it right now :)

Man it sounds like you guys are having a party in Utah and New York! That race sounded sweet haha. Anyways, have yourselves a great week and I'll talk to ya'll later!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Happy Thanksgiving!

What up family!

This week has been pretty fun! Thanksgiving was yesterday, but it didn't feel like Thanksgiving haha. Holidays on the mission are bogus! I can't wait until I can feel the holidays coming again. But anyways, so yesterday was also Pday, so we did our usual thing, minus emailing. Libraries were closed yesterday. We went to the church, played sports for awhile, then we went out to dinner with 3rd ward and the 4 branch sister missionaries. It was pretty fun but I wish we would've had a dinner, ours cancelled. It's all good though! We were told that we couldn't do any proselyting after 6pm, and that if we didn't have anything to do, we could have a quiet evening in our apartment with other missionaries. So we got together with the 3rd ward elders after dinner and just hung around until 9. It wasn't exactly exciting haha I would've rather been out doing something.

So last night as we were about to hit the lights for the night, the Assistants called us and told us that Elder Paulson, one of our zone leaders, is the new assistant, and so they have them go into the office a week early to learn the ropes, which meant that his companion, Elder Kember, would be in a trio with us! So this morning we went and picked him up it's been way fun. Elder Kember was in Barrhead when I was in Spruce Grove and so we know each other really well. I'm excited to for this week! We're splitting time between the two areas and so we have to cancel a lot of appointments and such but no big deal!

General Conference was LEGIT! There were so many good talks. I especially liked Uchtdorf's first talk on Saturday morning about taking advantage of the time we've got. It was much needed. Can you guys believe that announcement about the missionary age!? We're way excited missionary work is gonna take off! We were sitting in a group of missionaries and the spirit was way strong when he announced it. So psyched!

The work is still slow, but we're still working hard. Haha remember that Church HQ referral from last week? It's a funny story. We went to contact him, and when we knocked on the door this old Spanish lady answered and told us Stephen didn't live we left confused. We got in the car and called him, and he told us he was home, and that he was in the basement suite. So we walked around the back and knocked on the basement suite, and the old lady answered again hahahaha she probably thought we were messing around with her. So we explained the situation to her and she told us that nobody by that name lived there, and shut the door haha. So we left pretty confused again, and called Stephen. He then told us he lived at a different address, and so we wen to THAT one haha. We knocked his door, he let us in, and we all sat down at started talking a little bit about the weather (it was cold out). Finally we started talking about how he referred himself on Haha and he said "I'm actually a member, I just wanted a fresh copy of the Book of Mormon." Hahahaha. We were pretty disappointed actually but we got a good little member lesson out of it! So that was our valuable referral. The Lord has a sense of humor :)

Hey Mom i went to the doctor this week and got the insulin, and yeah sorry about the whole confusion with Sister Campbell. I think we've figured it out though. Thanks for all you do trying to figure it all out, I appreciate it a lot :) Hopefully the package comes soon though, I used my last cartridge last night haha. I have faith!

We're back in suits......this sucks hahah I hate suits! But thankfully this is the last time I'll put them on! It's weird to think that next October Conference, I'll be watching it from home! Especially since I feel like I was just in the MTC watching it. Missions go way too quick.

So we're pretty sure Elder Cone will get transferred next week. He's been here for 6 months now and we've been together for 3. He called a bunch of members trying to see them one last time, and he told all of them he's leaving for sure haha. I told him I'd laugh if he stays.

Alright that's all I've got this week. I miss you all!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy October!


What a week! Despite the fact that is was super busy, I feel like it went suuppperr slow. We had Interviews with President on Tuesday and those went really well! It was good to talk to him about our area and what's going on down here. After interviews we had dinner at the stake center, provided by the stake, then we had a stake meeting with all of the bishops, ward mission leaders, ward missionaries, full time missionaries, President Campbell, and the stake presidency. It was way good! They talked about ward mission plans, working with full time missionaries, etc. Elder Cone and I were supposed to give a presentaion but they ran out of time. Darn.. :) The missionaries from Rocky Mountain House stayed with us and we partied all night! The next day we had Zone Conference it was way sweet! We just had it here in Red Deer at the Stake Center since it was only our zone. The assistants drove down as well, so we had some good trainings, and it was good to see all the missionaries in the boonies. We got out at about 4:30 it was long!

The work is still dead haha. But we're confident we'll see improvement! We had a ward fast yesterday it was awesome. Also, last night we had a fireside with Richard and Linda Eyre. Have you guys heard of them? Apparently they're these best-selling LDS authors and they write books on parenting and interesting stuff like that! So they flew in and did a fireside at the local Sheraton Hotel here and they invited all of Red Deer. There was actually a really good turn out, and they did it on their book "The Entitlement Trap." So hopefully people brought their friends and we'll see success from that!

We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Friday it was sweet! Elder Paulson and I were in their area, and we went and contacted this referral in the BUSH. They were these old people on a farm and they have a house in the middle of nowhere, built of complete wood, and it's lit inside by a single lightbulb. It reminded me of the Jenkin's house haha except this house was MESSY. Anyways so they weren't interested but we talked for awhile then left. The next morning while we were studying, the guy (Norm) called and asked us to come help gather bales of hay! So we went and rode in the back of his truck and stacked square bales all morning it was exhausting but pretty fun actually. We stacked it like 4 high and then rode on top the whole way back to the house where we stacked them. Then they fed us lunch it was sweet!

We had Brother Lahoda, a less active we've been working with, come to church again yesterday and he got up and bore his testimony in Sacrament! It was sweet. He's come a long way since we first met him.

Hey super random but as I'm writing this, we just got a text from Church Headquarters about a referral from haha so we're gonna go contact that after this. We'll let ya know how that goes :)

It's supposed to snow this week. Dang it. We get up in the morning to go play ball at the church, and it's 10 degrees outside and I freeze! I'm gonna die when it goes sub-zero.

Anyways, that's all I've got for you this week. Glad to hear you're all doing well! Tell Craig I love and miss him :)

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pink Eye!

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty sweet! We still haven't found any investigators, but that's old news! We did a ton of finding, and most of it was street contacting downtown. I've realized that tracting is good and fun, but people are much more talkative downtown, and there's way more of them too, so it's a win win situation! We found 3 referrals for other areas haha but nothing for us. We're determined to find someone this week though! Our Bishop asked us to get up yesterday in Sacrament Meeting and ask the ward to fast for missionary work. So we both went up and bore our testimonies and thanked them for all they do for us, etc. Fasting worked when we had the mission fast a few months back, so this will work too I'm sure.

Man Craig comes home this week hey? That's so crazy! I feel like he just left. It seems like only yesterday he came over to the house to say goodbye! From the sound of his emails he's changed a ton! I miss that guy a lot. I miss all of my friends! Some day we'll all have a glorious reunion.

So Elder Cone woke up yesterday and his eye was SUPER red haha. We figured it must be pink eye (for the record, no I did not fart on his pillow. Everyone keeps asking me if I did haha). So we went to church, not knowing how contagious it is. I don't think I've ever had it. During church I texted the Zone Leaders and asked them about it, and they told us to call Sister Campbell. So after Sacrament Meeting Elder Cone called and she told him not to go to church or touch anyone.....haha. He told her that he had just sat through Sacrament and probably touched everyone in the room hahahahaha. So she told us to leave and go buy eyedrops. So we did, then sat was BRUTAL! By the time dinner came around we just said to heck with it and started proselyting again haha. I hate sitting around! We just don't let him touch anything, and we keep wipes in our backpacks, just in case haha.

This week we went and helped a member family in our ward move their relatives. They called last Monday and told us that the move was just outside Red Deer, or so we though haha. We got permission to go since it was out of our area, and so on Saturday we showed up in the morning to go. We started driving, and driving, and driving, and finally 45 minutes later ended up in Didsbury! A town about 15 minutes from the mission border hahaha. When Canadians say "just outside of town", apparently that means 45 minutes in either direction. So I got to add a sweet line to my line map and we repented when we got home haha. It was fun though.

Tomorrow we have interviews with El Presidente himself and then Zone Conference on Wednesday. It should be fun. I've never been to a Zone Conference with just one zone though, they usually combine them. But since we're one of the two zones in the middle of nowhere (the other being Grande Prairie), we get to meet as just one zone. It'll be cool!

No way Grandma and Grandpa are going to the Calgary Temple Tour?? That's literally like an hour south of me haha. Most of the members here are already booking appointments to go see it too. It's a way sweet looking temple, they're gonna let us see the dedication too! I guess President Monson is coming up to do it himself. Should be cool!

Hahaha Phil Darrah is the Primary Chorister? That's sweet. I wish he had done that when I was in Primary! He probably does super well with those kids haha I hope he's still there next year!

Hey Mom they're gonna bring the package down on Wednesday for Zone Conference. They called me a week ago to ask if there was insulin inside. Send that insulin asap! Haha I'll be good for another 3 weeks or so. Thanks Momma!

Anyways that's all I got for you this week. Enjoy your week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dog Days of Red Deer

Hello my dear friends,

We had a pretty rough week again. We had a lot of cancellations it was TOUGH, but it's all good that's missionary life! Still nothing new in terms of investigators either, but things will come around I'm sure. We've been praying and fasting a lot lately, and I know the Lord will throw somebody in our path! We're still having fun though, Elder Cone is the perfect companion for all of this because he's always enthusiastic and optimistic, and I have a tendency to get a little disappointed sometimes :) So we're doing well together!

Elder Cone and I hit our year mark on Friday it was sweet. We didn't really do anything special haha, it was a pretty normal day. On Saturday, however, we went to a member's house and burned a shirt! :) I included a picture of Elder Cone burning his. We used hot dog sticks hahaha. On Thursday I can start playing the "This is the last September 20th I'll have on my mission" game, I'm pretty excited.

I got to do another Baptismal Interview. The YSA Sisters have been teaching a guy named Jordan for a few months now and he' set to be baptized this Saturday. I love doing the interviews because you can really tell how prepared people are in their lives to receive the gospel. He'll do great!

Not a whole lot going on this week. After this week things start to pick up like crazy though. We have Zone Conference, interviews with President, General Conference, exchanges, Canadian Thanksgiving, it's gonna be crazy!

The weather is still holding up pretty well actually. We have had mid 20's weather for the past week it's been way nice. I hate the cold, I don't know what I'm going to do when winter comes around haha. At least I have a car this winter though :) Speaking of, I still don't drive haha. I drove for a couple days a few weeks ago to learn the area better, but I just worry about tickets the whole time so I'm back in the passenger seat :)

Other than that I have nothing nifty to report! Thanks for all the prayers you send our way, we can definitely use them :) PS I included a picture of a sunset we saw. Tell me that isn't flippin sweet!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me :)

Friday is my mission birthday! It's sad to think you only get two and then die, but that's life I suppose. I can't believe how fast it goes! I still feel like I was in Southwood last month! Time flies.

Right now there's a HUGE thunderstorm outside and it's lightninging (I made that word up) like crazy! I'm glad I'm indoors. The weather has slowly been getting colder. It's starting to freeze overnight, and it'll only get worse! Haha it's still in the 20's during the day though so no jackets yet. We have to put suits on in a month though, how lame is that?

So to start off, this week we had a little bit of success. We got a referral from the 2nd ward elders, and they had contacted a former investigator that said he'd be willing to meet, but he had moved to our area. So we went over on Saturday and talked with him it was pretty cool. To be honest I don't think he's "seeking" by any means. He spent most of the meeting teaching us about 7th Day Adventists haha, and he won't commit to read the Book of Mormon, but he agreed to have us back next week, so we'll go over and see if anything's changed, otherwise we'll probably drop him. It was still nice to teach an investigator lessons again. Honestly I feel like the Lord is giving us small tender mercies every so often to keep us going, it's really cool. We'll find someone soon! :)

So this week we actually did really well. Our numbers were super good and we taught a BUNCH of lessons it was sweet. We've kind of figured that since the investigator lessons are a little scarce, we may as well try and focus on less actives. So we've been working with quite a few people, and we had Brother Lahoda come to church again yesterday. He's the one that hasn't been in a long long time so it was cool to have him there again. We meet a couple times a week at the church. It was actually kind of cool we just showed up at his house one night before we went in, and his roommates told us to go away in a very vulgar manner haha. So we turned around and left with no intention of coming back. Then the next week he called us and told us ever since we came he's been wanting to call us back, so he did! Now he's back at church :) pretty cool.

Hey so I set a goal of being in the 140's again for my year mark and you better believe I nailed that sucker! :) I'm quite proud of myself actually. We celebrated by going to Five Guys today.

Dude so I woke up on Thursday I think it was? Maybe Saturday I can't remember. And I checked my blood sugar, and then put my meter down. When I went to check my blood sugar again before lunch, the screen was cracked! I can't see anything on it anymore which is kind of bad. Luckily I have a back-up meter that I brought out with me. Anyways so I kind of need that meter because it's also the meter remote for my pump haha. So I called President and he gave me permission to call Animas, and they told me it's covered by warranty, so they'll ship a new one to the house. Could you send me that asap? :) It would be much appreciated.

Hahaha Dad you bought a scooter?? That's awesome please send me a picture :) You are so cool! You should grow a sweet handlebar mustache like the American Chopper guy. At least think about it.

Mom I'm way jealous to hear you get to go back East! I really want to go to all of the church history stuff out there when I get home. Road trip!

Anyways, it's time to go get our inner pday baller on. You all have a great week and I'll talk to you next week! :)

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Transfer Down!


So Labor Day was yesterday, as I'm sure most of you are aware :) and so libraries were closed.

What a fast 6 weeks! It's unbelievable how fast time passes out here. I feel like I was just in Spruce yesterday! So transfers were pretty boring for us! We bet 5 cookies each in district meeting last week, everyone but me saying that Elder Cone would leave, and I'm happy to report that Elder Cone and I will stay together another 6 weeks which means I win :) I've only had one companion so far that wasn't with me for 12 weeks and that was Elder Wood, who was for 6.

So this week was slow for investigators but was pretty solid in terms of less-actives. We've been meeting with a few and tone of them came to church on Sunday for the first time in years. It was pretty much like having an investigator there because it's been so long for him haha it was sweet! It's cool to see the lost sheep finding their way back to the fold. We're still looking for investigators! It's been a good week though, we're trying to stay positive haha :) I'm still getting over this cold but it's pretty well finished I think.

Yeah that bike is sweet! I put new tubes in the tires and fixed up the brakes and she works like a charm! Road bikes are way better than mountain bikes I love it I can ride circles around Elder Cone on his little doinker of a bike :)

So we've had a lot of cancellations this week, especially for dinners. So one of the nights we were canceled on, we decided to eat the pain away at a buffet....just kidding, but seriously we really went out to a buffet. We went to this Chinese/western buffet and when we walked in this member from Lethbridge introduced himself while we were in line, then went back to sit with his family. After Elder Cone and I finished eating, we went to go pay, and as soon I got up to the counter, I felt someone grab the bill out of my hand and say "I'll take that!" It was the member and he totally paid for us it was awesome :)

That's sweet that you finished Bryant's Eagle Project. How many merit badges does he still have to get? Man I can't believe Craig comes home soon!! That''ll be cool :) I've almost been out a year! Next Friday! Don't worry mom we only burn stuff outside ya crazy! I already have the shirt picked out to burn. It's a junky one with a bunch of stains on it. I could definitely use new ones haha. And shoes but it's all good I can wait.

Anyways that's all I have for this week! I think. Have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Anniversary Parents!

Happy 31st Anniversary Mom and Dad! I honestly don't remember which day it is/was, but I know it's sometime in the 20's of August! I'm guessing the 28th or 27th am I right? Man that means Chris will be 30 this year! You guys are old :) In celebration let me share a scripture in the good book of Proverbs 20:29.
"The glory of young men (and women) is their strength: and the beauty of old men (and women) is the gray head." Love you Mom and Dad! :)

Anyways hello dear family of mine!

Man oh man has it been a crazy week! Our numbers were in the toilet to tell you the truth haha. I say "haha" only to keep from crying. Haha in all seriousness though it was kind of a garbage week. Health-wise and in terms of the work. I've been sick all this week which is totally weird because I never get sick. Honestly I don't remember the last time I had a fever, cold, etc. I just like getting the big stuff like Diabetes! Go big or go home :) Last Sunday we went over to the sister's house (they live with an old member lady and she was present don't worry haha) and gave Sister Bunker a blessing because she was sick. In the process, I think I caught it from her, because I woke up the next day with a super sore throat. Over the next couple days my nose started running a straight up MARATHON and I'm coughing. I've been loading up on Mucinex though which is working wonders! My throat is fine but my nose hasn't finished the race yet. But I feel okay.

Elder Cone and I are still on the hunt for investigators, and it's not looking good. We sure do love tracting though! It POURED rain on Thursday or Wednesday, one of the two, and we were out tracting on our bikes without jackets. So we just kept on tracting haha. Finally I decided I was done and I felt like junk so we came back home and I took a nap. It was glorious and much-needed. So Ray, who was supposed to be a sweet investigator and was super interested at his door, called us on Tuesday and hour before the meeting and told us he's not interested. Sweet! We haven't had any contact with Lillie this week, and so hopefully this week we'll find her home. Other than that we're actually having a lot of fun. Elder Cone is the biggest goofball on the planet and he keeps things interesting and we laugh a lot which is good :) Things will move forward just like they did in Spruce. My testimony of Prayer and Fasting is going to grow a ton!

It's the last week of the transfer! I can't believe how fast it's gone by. I think Elder Cone will stay another transfer but he's thoroughly convinced he's out next week. We'll see what happens.

So on Saturday we stopped by a garage sale and they had this sweet old road bike for $25. The bike i'm using now has a bent back wheel and it scrapes the outside metal all the time it's super annoying. So we used our bottle money that we've been saving up and bought it! After we bought it we realized the tires were flat, and so we threw it in the back of our Malibu because who knew that it was against the rules? Honestly we had no idea haha. Anyways so we got it about halfway in and it wouldn't go any further, so I just sat in the back seat and held the door closed, and we drove about a kilometer down the road to our apartment. Once we got there, we realized the bike was caught in the seat belt, and the seat belt had locked. So we had a bike hanging halfway out of our car that couldn't go in our out because it was entangled by a locked seat belt. So we called around for 15 minutes trying to find someone that might have tools, because all we had was a dinky pair of pliers. Nobody could help us, and so we started trying to take the front tire off with the pliers. That didn't work, so we went over to the handlebars and took those off, and finally after almost an hour of pushing and pulling, it came out of the car :) So that night I took it apart and today we have to go buy new tubes for it and grease it up and she'll be good as new! It's bringing me back to the Target days! I actually really enjoyed working on bikes that was a sweet job.

Hey I wanna vote in this election! All the Canadians are telling me I can get some absentee ballot or something like that? Is that the truth or are they lying to me?

What the heck is Bryant really doing marching band and cross country AND he's center snare? Man that kid is in for a ride of a lifetime! What a stud :) Tell him to email me and update me on his life!

Hey tell Lorena thanks for the picture of my Eagle Project! Looks like she's still standing! It expertly crafted so of course it is :) Anyways that's all for this week. Thanks for all you guys do and I'll talk to you next week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, August 20, 2012

Now Hiring Investigators


This week we decided to give up on the Family History Center because everyone and their mom seems to be going there lately. So we're back to the library now. But an Elder from my last area gave me his old library card, and the guy I replaced here gave Elder Cone his library card, so we both have two which means two hours of emailing again! It's so much less stressful. Plus there's not much else to do before 1pm when we all go to the church.

This morning I cleaned the bathroom like I do every week. I don't know what it is with clean bathrooms, but I really have a problem when they're dirty haha. Random I know, but I thought you might like to know :)

Hey mother of mine I went and got an A1C today and it was $125. 125! I can't even believe that. I guess since we're in a different health district they charge more down here. That's what I get though for coming to a country with free health care! I'll be getting my A1C's in Edmonton from now on. They'll let me know sometime later this week or the next what the results are. I feel great though!

So this week we met with Lillie, the chinese lady that came to church last week. We went with two sisters from the Relief Society and it went really well. She said she believes there must be a true church out there, and she's willing to look for it. Golden! She really liked the Restoration. We're hoping to meet with her next week because she has family in town this week.

Ray, who was that potential we contacted last Sunday, didn't want us to meet in his house and was under the impression we'd be having lessons on his doorstep haha. We brought a member, so we decided that wouldn't do. So we scheduled another appointment for tomorrow at the church. Hopefully he shows up :)

Despite the fact that we have zero progressing investigators we still keep pretty busy. We've been trying to contact all of the "unknowns" in the ward. Aka the people nobody's heard from or seen in years, OR the people we've never met. It's been keeping us pretty busy, and since we're on bikes it takes a little longer. I love bikes! It's such good exercise and I love being active so it's a win win! We have to take advantage of them before everything turns white for the next 8 months! Honestly I'm really not looking forward to winter. It got down to a whopping 12 degrees the other day and I had my peacoat on all day, no joke haha. My body gets acclimatized pretty easily, but when it gets cold it's gonna be rough until it does.

Man it sounds like you guys had a way busy week! The beach is always fun though, you have no idea how much I miss it! When I get home that's the first place I'm going. Haha when you guys talked about Sister Little at Bryant's Eagel Project I laughed so hard. I love that lady she's one of a kind! Hey send me pictures of Bryant's project I want to see it.

That's crazy that Skylar's back. I wish I could've been there at his Homecoming! Somebody tell him hello for me :)

Okay we're going shopping, have yourselves a great week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy 11 Months!

Hello dear family and all other listeners!

Tuesday I hit 11 months! Man it's flying by. This time next year it'll have been a year. Crazy. So we had a nifty little week! We started it off by dropping every single investigator we have haha. Very productive. None of them were progressing or willing to do anything, so we started off Tuesday with 3 investigators and by the end of the day we had zero. We met with them all and told them though, we didn't just stop talking to them haha. So we spent quite a bit of time finding this week. It paid off too! Yesterday at church this lady from China walked in and said she had just moved from Vancouver and was looking for a church, so she walked down the street to ours! She wants to know more about the church and what we believe in, so we're going over to her house tomorrow afternoon and hopefully teaching her the first lesson. THEN we were out contacting potentials yesterday night and we decided to go try Ray, a potential from about a year ago. He answered the door and we started talking, and actually ended up talking on his doorstep for about 45 minutes it was sweet! We shared the first vision and Moroni 10:3-5 and talked about the Book of Mormon and he started tearing up and told us we could definitely come back. So we're going back tomorrow night :) Way cool! It was a super good day yesterday.

We've been biking this week too it's soo sweet! I love it. Let me tell you, I've never felt like a missionary until I started riding bikes! We only have 150 clicks in this area so we try and bike as much as often. Plus it's good exercise :)

Hey Mom before I forget, we went to get an A1C this week.....but we got there and I realized I forgot my I rescheduled for next week haha. I'll get there I promise! Also, so Jessica Sellers was in the MTC at the same time as I was, and she stayed in the same room as the sisters in my MTC district. So Sister West, who was in that room with her, is now in my district here, so she wants to know how Jessica is doing. Do you know? Haha random I know.

Sunday we broke into a car! One of the girls in the YSA ward came to church early, just as we were leaving, and told us she had locked her keys in her Elder Cone used his expertise to sneak a hanger down adn pull up the lock. It was very impressive. I've never actually witnessed someone using a hanger so it was quite interesting to see.

So today the Sukhu's were driving to Calgary, and so they drove through Red Deer and called me up and we went out to lunch! It was awesome to see them. Tony just got ordained a Priest, and they've got Hometeaching and Visiting Teaching routes they're way excited. It's cool to see they're still doing well :) Hopefully I'll be near Edmonton when they go through the temple! Woo!

The other day I was thinking how sweet it is to see all of the different people in Canada and where they're from. Our Ward Mission Leader is from South Africa, yesterday we ate dinner with an older couple from Zimbabwe, the day before that we ate dinner at a lady's house that was from Switzerland, etc. It's awesome I actually really enjoy seeing people around here and where they're from.

This week we'll finally get mail! I've been waiting for what seems like an eternity for mail to get here, and finally the Zone Leaders drove up to Edmonton this week! So we'll get mail today!

I'm trying to think of what else happened....and I'm drawing a blank haha. I'm doing really well though, and I'm still learning the area slowly haha. I still refuse to drive and don't see that changing any time soon! Elder Cone loves to drive though so it's all good. Anywho, we're going to shop. Glad to hear you're all alive!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, August 6, 2012


Hey team!

Libraries are closed this week because of some random Canadian holiday. I'm not really sure what exactly it is though haha. So we're in the Family History Center at the church! They let us come in here it's way sweet. So no hour time limit like at the library!

This week was another crazy one! But a little less than last week. I'm starting to get the hang of the area, and another week at church helped too. We visited a lot of members this week trying to get to know more people, and we taught 19 member lessons it was crazy! Every mission is so different, because I don't remember the missionaries ever calling us to come by and share a message with our family, but honestly that's how we spend 70% of our time. I love it! Members are so good to us :)

I did baptismal interview for a little 9-year-old girl, and it was way cool! It's amazing to me to see young people like that, who honestly probably have stronger testimonies than I do. I was amazed at the knowledge she had, because I definitely didn't have it when I was that age. Children are amazing!

I'm still boycotting driving! It's beautiful just being able to relax, enjoy the scenery, save money, etc. I'll drive again when I'm in the land of sensible speed limits again :) Think of the money we'll save!

We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Friday, it was awesome. I love exchanges. We drove out to Sylvan Lake, which is a little town about 20 minutes outside of Red Deer, and spent most of the day out there. I was with Elder Morely, who was also my Zone Leader in Spruce Grove for a little while, so it was cool to see him again.

We've had some crazy weather lately! Alberta gets some wild thunder storms, and Saturday night we had the biggest one I've ever witnessed. We had just gotten into bed and all of the sudden we heard this super loud thunder and lightning illuminated our room. So we got up and went out on the deck and I saw the most lightning I've ever seen in my life! It was honestly like the movies, where there's no pause between each lightning strike, and the rain's coming down in buckets, etc. It was so cool! So we stayed up for about an hour and watched it. I didn't even think to get pictures though....

The other night we went to a members house and she made us sushi! I was in heaven. I honestly think it's one of my favorite foods without a doubt. She even gave us all of the extras to take home! It didn't last very long.

Hey the Trek sounds like it was way sweet! I'm glad you guys had fun. Yeah Mom I heard about Sam! That's crazy about his appendicitis, now he's part of the club! It's all the rage to get appendicitis on vacation :) I'm glad he's doing alright. So this area is pretty much dead hahahaha so I wish I had more to tell you.....but I don't :) This isn't the first dead area that I've come into though, so hopefully things will pick up like all of the other ones. Time's flying though, so that's good! Anywyas, that's all I've got for you this week. I appreciate all you guys do for me!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lost in a Strange Land

Hey fam and everyone else!

So it's been a crazy week, and I'm waiting for things to slow down, but they aren't haha. I never realized how much I was used to the happenings in Spruce Grove, because I honestly feel like I just left home and started my mission again! Change is bittersweet for sure. But anyways, things are going really well!

Red Deer is a beautiful town! Of all the places I've been so far, Red Deer is the most like Oregon. It's SUPER green I love it! It's quite big though, easily bigger than Beaverton. I'm in the southwestern corner of the city, and it's not too big of an area, actually it's quite small. But not small enough that we don't get a car :) I've given up on driving for now haha. I'm much happier sitting in the passenger seat not worrying about the speed that I'm not aware of haha and constantly being on the lookout for photo radar trucks. I'm scarred for life. So today I was supposed to drive (normally we switch off weekly) but I decided I'd rather not so Elder Cone will drive this week :) We'll see how long he likes driving 24/7!

The ward is sweet I love it. It's about the size of our ward back home, and it reminds me of Southwood a lot. They asked me to come up and introduce myself/bear my testimony. Nothing I don't do every day anyway so it wasn't quite a Baptism by Fire :)

Elder Cone is pretty good so far. Like I said I was in the MTC with him so I know him pretty well. Which is probably a good thing! He's not very familiar with the area though haha so it's been a gong show but I love it! We're having fun. I wish I could tell you all about the work we're doing haha but honestly I don't know the names of any of the people we're working with nor have I met them hahaha did I mention I love getting transferred? :) Give me another week. I'm trying to push myself to learn the area and the names of the members quick because we won't get anything done until then!

It really is it's own mission here haha we have our group of 8 missionaries here in town and other than that I don't see or hear from anyone! No complaints though I'm just glad to be with other missionaries. So normally we ride bikes around our area to save on clicks, but our WML took back his back this week for vacation so we're either legging it or driving. But there's a sweet park with a bunch of fields across from our apartment so I run there every morning while Elder Cone does his own thing.

This old lady does our laundry for us haha it's so sweet! We just take it over on Friday and pick it up on Saturday. She makes us shampoo our collars beforehand though and we HAVE to give her 7 shirts every week. No less or else she buys us more. I know because she bought me 2 already hahaha.

Hey Mother Read I got the package just in time! Like it didn't come on Monday so I was freakin out a little bit because mail takes forever to come down here. But lo and behold there it was on Wednesday for transfer meeting! Our prayers were answered!

That's sweet the Trek's this week! You'll all love it that was one of my best memories in Young Men's. But I was with Kyle the whole time so that could be why :) Yeah Dad there was crazy rainfall here a couple of weeks ago, so there was some flooding. When we did the service we wore our service clothes, no way am I ripping up wet carpet in a suit :)

Welll other than that I'm doing really well, just trying to get into the swing of things. Hope your week goes well!

Love you guys,

Elder Read