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.