Monday, September 9, 2013

My Last Epistle

Heyyyy everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all! See you on Thursday.

Elder Read

Monday, September 2, 2013

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

Hey guys!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Elder Read

Monday, August 26, 2013

Holidays in Edmonton

Heyyy my dear friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Read

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Sometimes I Throw Up!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Elder Read

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Love to Weed Gardens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Elder Steven

Monday, August 5, 2013

Happy Civic Holiday!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Read

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Beginning of the End!

Hello friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Read

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 6 Round #16

Hey all!

This week was alright! It rained a lot. All of the farmers (aka 90% of the population around here) are complaining pretty good about it too. We are too to be honest haha working in the rain is lame.

We went on exchanges with Valleyview on Wednesday, and I went with Elder Searle haha he's a funny guy. We both can't drive, so we stayed in High Prairie and walked the town for 24 hours! It wasn't bad since Elder Thompson and I spend most of our time walking, but man am I ready to drive again! This has been the longest timeout I've ever been put in haha lesson learned!

Soo bad news first I guess, Naomi called us on Friday and dropped was lame. She said it was because she needed to take time to look for a job and she's thinking that if she does get one it won't be in High Prairie so she's planning ahead I guess. So that wasn't good news but life goes on!

Haha mom and dad your emails made me laugh. I'm not trunky dang it! Haha I do think about home more frequently, I won't even try to lie to you, but it's nice being in High Prairie and training, I have more motivation to work. I don't wanna leave this place dead. I'm hoping I don't get transferred next week, I don't think I'd have much motivation to learn an area for 6 weeks haha. But don't you worry we're working hard! To answer your question though, Elder Thompson is done with training at the end of this week, so if we stay another together then we'll only have to do 1 hour of comp study again!

That's sweet that you guys are getting out and teaching New-Member Lessons! I actually haven't done that my whole mission, they push pretty hard for the members to do it. Do you teach them out of Preach My Gospel?

I don't have much more than that! Keep us in your prayers we're looking for a family to teach! We'll teach anyone, but a family would be sweet :) Have a good week!

Love Elder Read

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Week in Grand Prairie!

Dear family,

So we're emailing early because they want us emailing at the church to spend more time here, or something. I'm not really sure, all I know is that there's no time limit here and we can come earlier than 1pm so here we are!

This week I went to Grande Prairie 3 different times it was wild. I feel like I spent more time out of my area than in it!

On Tuesday we drove in to meet President Manion haha he's sweet! He's definitely different than President Campbell, but I like him a lot. We had our interview and we spent quite awhile talking about Portland because he spent a lot of time there negotiating contracts for Verizon. He talked a lot about how liberal Portland is haha. He'll be super good for the mission though, he's got a lot of ideas. I tried to subltley ask if I was getting transferred haha but he didn't say anything. So who knows what will happen in two weeks!

On Thursday we drove in again for Zone Training Meeting. It was pretty good! Afterwards Elder Thompson and I went shopping for satchels, side bags, whatever you want to call them. I got one that I'll honestly probably use when I get home. It's sweet! They changed quite a bit about the dress code. We can now wear khaki pants and light grey suits! It doesn't really do much for me but it's nice to know that I could if I wanted to :)

On Friday we drove to Valleyview and met the Zone Leaders for exchanges. I went to their area (in Grande Prairie) with Elder Stevens. He just came from Vermilion, one of the areas we blitzed when I was a zone leader so I've been on exchanges with him before. It was way fun. They play basketball every Friday night at the church with a bunch of non-member Filipino guys. It was actually a good finding opportunity. We talked a lot with the people there and plus we got to play basketball it was so sweet. We don't have a hoop anywhere in High Prairie so it was nice to play again.

On Tuesday it rained so hard! We were out walking to go tracting and we were probably about a mile away from our apartment. All of the sudden a thunderstorm hit and it started pouring rain. Elder Thompson had a jacket with a hood but my jacket didn't have one so we walked home and I was so soaked haha. Just thought you should know.

So we got a bunch of puzzles from the retirement home that we volunteer at, and we had this genius idea that we would solve them and put them on our wall with sticky tack! So we already did one but it was just a little 500-piece that frankly, was pretty easy. But now we're working on a 1000-piece puzzle it's so hard. I'm so stoked to put it on our wall though! I wish you could see our apartment, it gets homier every day! Haha

Naomi is doing well. We met this week and invited her to church, but she's still pretty hesitant I think. The member that we bring is super good for her and calls and invites her so that's a good start. We'll see what happens! We're still praying for a family to teach. This branch needs it big time.

Okay have a good week my friends! Love you all!

Elder Read

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I love the sun!

Hey there family of mine!

It's good to hear you guys had a good July 4th! They don't celebrate that out here, since it's only 3 days after Canada Day. On Monday we just sat like vegetables allll day! We worked on a puzzle most of the time haha we're party animals!

The weather has been great! Aside from one day this week it's been super sunny. I love not being a missionary in the rain :)

We taught Naomi again this week and she's doing well. She's still warming up to the Book of Mormon but we read with her every time so I think it's helping. She's got a lot going on in her life right now and I don't think she sees the connection between what we're teaching her and how it can help her deal with the stress she's going through.

So President Manion is out and about everywhere except Grand Prairie haha we're his last stop to tour the mission. SO tomorrow we'll drive in and have interviews. I've heard only good things about him though I'm stoked!

Thursday we have Zone Training Meeting in Grand Prairie too so we'll drive in again! We're going to burn through klicks this month.

We're also exchanging with the Zone Leaders on Friday and I'll be with Elder Stevens who I went on exchanges with multiple times in my last area so that'll be fun.

To be honest there isn't too much more going on right now....Have yourselves a good week!

Love Elder Steven!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Canada Day!


It's so hot here! Yesterday it got up to 36 C......I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit, somewhere around 95 I think? Anyways it was seriously so hot. Our apartment is only on the second floor though so it's not as hot as it certainly could be. Elder Thompson has been DYING! Haha he hates the heat, he reminds me of Elder Nabrotzky last Summer.

Hey Mom funny you should ask about learning "O Canada", because I put the words up in the shower the other day and have been trying to memorize it every morning :)

Naomi's doing pretty good. We taught her this morning and read a little out of the Book of Mormon with her. She likes to read a chapter out of the Bible and a chapter out of the Book of Mormon. I think it's helping her come to see that they're pretty similar. She's coming along slowly but she's a sweet lady. The two ladies we have coming with us are both converts and they help a ton. Members make the BIGGEST difference in missionary work, especially teaching lessons.

Hey President Manion's here! I haven't actually met him yet, but he's coming up next Tuesday to interview our zone. It's sad to see the Campbells go though.

So apparently sometime in the future Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy is coming to tour our mission. It should be in the Summer too so hopefully I'm still out. I'm stoked though the're always inspiring.

So yesterday was Canada Day and was pretty boring haha. We shopped at noon and then pretty much came home and slept/watched church movies ha. There was some kind of event happening in town but you had to pay to do anything so we just took the day off it was sweet! (We were supposed to do that, by the way haha don't think we were being disobedient)

We had exchanges with Valleyview on Friday and Saturday we had District Meeting. Four-man districts are so much quieter (obviously) than 6 or 8. It was good though. I went with Elder Stewart from Gilbert Arizona he's sweet.

I don't have much more than that! That is sooo sweet that the missionaries are playing basketball with people in the mornings I want in! Anyways you guys have a good week!

Love Steven

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom :)

Hey family of mine!

Before I forget, Happy early Birthday Mom! :) Hope you enjoy it!

The rain has pretty much disappeared (knock on wood) so it's been a good week regardless of anything else haha. Yesterday was so hot!

Yeah we got to see the broadcast yesterday! Did President Monson look skinnier to you? We were all hoping for some historic announcement but the best we got was when Elder Perry talked about new technology! iPads would be cool :) It stinks that I won't get to see much of it. It's an exciting time to be a missionary! I'm so glad I got to witness the Hastening of the Work it's been so cool from a missionary perspective. The whole feel of missionary work has changed a lot. When President Monson talked about the town of St. Thomas, everyone in our building was like, "that's High Prairie!!!" Especially when they talked about the same people doing everything every week at church haha.

We met with Naomi twice this week and she's solid! She has a lot of questions, and like a lot of people her hang-up is with Joseph Smith, so we talked a lot about reading the Book of Mormon and how that's the only way she'll know it's true. It's hard sometimes asking people to take that big of a leap of faith, but if only they'd try it!

We started doing service at another retirement home here in town, but it's more for older people with medical problems, and let me tell you, I love them! They are the funniest people. We were taking some people into one of the rooms for an activity, and one of the resident ladies said "I'm going to my wedding party!" I looked up at the nurse, wondering what she was talking about, and she told me that last time not many people came to the activity and this particular lady had gotten upset because nobody had showed up to her wedding :( so she was excited to see if anyone showed up to the party afterwards! They have us going around and just talking with the residents, it's been fun they're funny funny people.

Hey I got my famous "trunky call" this week from the mission office. All she asked was where I wanted to fly into and I told her P-Town, Oregon!

I'm still amazed that we have missionaries living in our house by the way, do they walk the house like normal residents? Where do they eat? Do they use our bathroom? How do they like their room? Haha it's sweet I hope they're there when I get home!

That's pretty much my week! You guys have a good one and I'll to ya later.

Love Elder Read

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I don't want to sound trunky or anything, but I may or may not have 12 weeks left on my mission! Today was transfers and Elder Thompson and I stayed the same which was pretty much anticipated. President did call this morning and ask me to be District Leader....again haha. They opened Fairview, an area about an hour north, so they split our district, and it's now us and Valleyview.

We had Zone Training Meeting in Grande Prairie on Tuesday, so we drove in and then exchanged with Peace River right after. I went to their area with Elder Hunsaker and it was sweet! Like I said lats week we'd been on exchanges when I was in Millcreek so it was just like old times! They even got us another desk and chair, so our apartment is pretty much functional! We just need an iron and ironing board haha.

Man I can't believe Kyle's home! He picked a lame time to leave but a good time to get home, right in time for Summer! Tell him I love him :)

It rained all week, so not much has changed there. Today is sunny, but tomorrow is supposed to go right back to rain. I think I prefer tracting in snow haha.

We didn't teach any investigators this week so it was pretty slow, but we have an appointment with a lady named Naomi tomorrow morning. She was that referral from the Slave Lake elders. She's super solid and we stopped by yesterday to see how she was doing and ended up talking on her doorstep for about an hour it was sweet. She asked us if she needed to read anything before the visit so we jumped all over that! Haha. We're excited.

Okay we're heading out, have a good week!

Love ya!

Elder Read

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away...

Good Afternoon!

This week it rained, and rained, and rained some more. I've never seen Alberta like this, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention last year. Anyways we've been walking around in it and I'm ready for some sun! I never minded it in Oregon, but I never felt guilty if I wasn't out working in it either haha.

We've been busy with meetings and stuff! It was almost like being in Millcreek again. We had Interviews with President on Thursday so we drove up that day. It was pretty sad to have my last interview with President Campbell, he did a mini exit interview since he's basically been my mission president my whole mission. I'm excited for my actual exit interview with President Manion. I imagine it'll go something like, "Well Elder, let's see.......have we met? Now where is it you've been serving again? High Prairie? Where's that again?" Haha just kidding, they actually told us that he'll get here on June 28th, and that week he'll come up and do a "meet the president" thing, then the next week he'll go around the mission again and do interviews. So that'll be exciting!

Anywho, that night we stayed with the zone leaders along with two other areas, so we had to split off into trios it was pretty sweet! Elder Coe stayed with us too it was so good to see him again! Then Friday we had Zone Conference and we said goodbye to President and Sister Campbell and then drove home! Our week has been pretty ordinary outside of that.

Did you guys know that Kyle comes home this week?? That's a pretty crazy thought if you ask me! You'll have to let me know if he's a weirdo :)

Another interesting fact! Did you know that High Prairie is the most expensive town in Alberta? True story! There's one grocery store and it's proud to be the only one! They charge sooo much. Anyways, our Branch President told us that this week so I thought I'd share that with you :)

Skylar got married on Friday yeah? Man is that ever crazy! My friends are actually getting married! Both he and Whitney sent me wedding announcements so I put them up on my wall! Haha

Hey speaking of, we got mail on Friday, Gramma you are the best thanks! :) I got both of your letters and all of the articles in them of course. I love those things :)

This week we have Zone Training Meeting in Grande Prairie again so we'll be driving out there tomorrow morning, exchanging with Peace River, and then Elder Hunsaker and I will drive back to High Prairie. It'll be sweet, he was in my last zone so we've been on exchanges before.

It sounds like you guys had a sweet week! I'm still amazed that missionaries are living in my old room. I've been telling everyone! Haha living with members has always been my dream. Make sure to be those cool members that missionaries love :) Then you'll become famous in the mission and everyone will want to come to our ward!

We met with Matt, who's technically still on date to be baptized on July 6th, but he sat and texted during the entire lesson on Saturday, so we eventually just told him we'd come back another time haha it was pretty weird. He hasn't texted back in the past couple of days, so we'll see what happens! We also got a referral from Slave Lake, and one of their members had talked to a lady from High Prairie that came into their store. She had a lot of questions so they referred her to us. We stopped by this week and she's sweet! She doesn't want to meet in her house though, so we're waiting for the rain to stop so we can teach her outside haha.

Mom sorry to hear you're still not 100% yet, hope you feel better soon! I still cough like a smoker but that's still all I have so I'm not complaining. Hope you guys have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, June 3, 2013

June Finally!

Hey friends!

This week was pretty sweet! I'll start from the beginning.

On Tuesday we had exchanges with the Peace River elders. I was with Elder Western, Who I went on exchanges with when I was in Millcreek. He is hilarious haha we had a lot of fun. His mom is the one that read that blog that you put my letters onto right before Christmas, so during calls she said "Do you know an Elder Read?" Small world! The elders there brought us a couch to put into our apartment, so now we have a little love seat AND a couch! It's becoming more like a functioning apartment every day.

Wednesday we drove to Peace River to exchange back and when you drive into the city you can look down into the valley and the city is right along the river. It's a beautiful view, but it was completely brown! There are these little things called Tent Caterpillars that are all over! There are so many of them. We drove down one of the streets and they were all over the gutter. I'll send a picture. Anyways they're in High Prairie too!! I've never seen these little guys before but we've been having fun stepping on them while we walk around :)

On Thursday I woke up with a sore throat and a cough, the sore throat is gone but the cough has lingered and I sound like a chain smoker when I laugh or cough. It was a strange feeling considering I never get legitimately sick. Only the High School fever :)

Friday we had a local Street Festival here, and it was put on by the many local religious groups around town, so we had a big part in it. Our branch put on a Family History booth and we were there to talk to people it was pretty sweet. The older people in the branch (so pretty much the whole branch) ran the booth and we just provided moral support haha. It's interesting to be in a small town where we meet the same people over and over again. It's sweet though I kind of like that dynamic.

On Saturday we were out tracting and this guy comes outside and yells for us to to come over. It's Matt! He's a guy that we street contacted a week or so ago, and we set up an appointment but we had to cancel it and never got to reschedule. But he randomly got off the couch and saw us walking so he ran out and yelled us over. So we went in and taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he liked it lot! He's really interested in Eternal Families so we centered it on the that. We also invited him to be baptized on July 7th and he accepted! He's got a little while to go yet though. He's on house arrest and has some smoking and drinking problems, but he's super sincere so we're excited!

That was our week! This week we have District Meeting in High Prairie, and Peace River is bringing us some desks that they got at the Salvation Army place that they do service at so we're stoked! I've been studying on an old rickety card table that shakes every time I touch it ha. We also have Interviews with President and Sister Campbell on Thursday so we'll drive in right before, stay the night with the Zone Leaders, and then have Zone Conference on Friday. It's the Campbell's last one so we're looking forward to it. It'll be sad to see them go though.

Haha the missionaries are living in my old room....that's sweet. We only live with super old people in my mission so either you're super young or the mission there is different :)

Well that's my stream of consciousness this week! You guys have a good week and I'll talk to you next week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Hello family of mine!

This week was pretty sweet. For starters, my Athletes Foot is no more! I've been religiously putting stuff on it and she's lookin' pretty good now. Thought you might like to know.

We found new investigators! We taught a family named the Peacocks that the branch has been working with for the past few months, and we set up weekly dinner appointments with them so that's sweet! We're trying to teach their grandchildren that live with them as well.

We also taught an older gentleman named Menno Friesen! We tracted into him a few weeks back and just got to meet with him on Saturday. He's legit, I was surprised that he believes a lot of the same stuff that we do. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and that we could come back so we're excited.

We also found a bunch of potential investigators that we'll hopefully contact this week, things picked up a lot last week. We found weekly service at the library doing random jobs, and also at the local seniors lodge doing yard work and playing games with the seniors! Man we're psyched.

Tuesday the Peace River elders came down and blitzed our area until Wednesday afternoon. It was good to see other missionaries again haha.

I'm being eaten alive by mosquitoes. I'm pretty sure I wrote about this last Summer, but this place is the worst I've seen in my life. It's like we live on a lake. We spend 90% of our time outside so they just feast upon us! I feel like that one guy from Lilo & Stitch that gets so excited about mosquitoes landing on him. "A mosquito has chosen me as his host! And another, and another!" Haha seriously so annoying.

Other than that we're working hard! I'm jealous of your Memorial Day adventure! Have a good time and enjoy the ice cream that stuff is the bomb! Sorry for the short email this week, hopefully next week will be more exciting! Have a good week :)

Love you guys!

Elder Read

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy Victoria Day!


Sorry we didn't email yesterday, I forgot about Victoria Day yesterday so all of the libraries were closed. Was Memorial Day yesterday? I'm so disoriented with holidays haha. They're all the same to me!

So let me begin by telling you about my sweet experience at Target! For those of you who were not aware, Target just opened in Canada! None of the ones in Edmonton were open while I was there, but lo and behold we went to Grande Prairie on Thursday and there it was! Open and functional. Walking in there was like coming home haha all of them are the same! I spent a good 20 minutes cruising through it observing everything and it's like the Church, true and the same no matter where you go! Now for the best part! As missionaries we get mistaken for employees everywhere, so people always come up and ask us where something is,and we politely tell them we have no clue, we're missionaries. But not this time! You could have slapped a nametag on me and paid me, I had quite a few people come up to me and ask me where stuff was and I actually knew! I probably looked ridiculous and if I worked at Target and saw me I would've been a little confused. Elder Thompson thought I was crazy. But I was reliving the glory days so I didn't even care haha.

Anyways, my week. So this week was a little more structured but still a little more scattered than I cared for. We had District Meeting in Peace River on Wednesday, so we drove the hour there and back. It was exciting, that's the furthest north that I've been.

On Thursday we drove two hours out to Grande Prairie for Zone Training Meeting. It was interesting to hear the trainings regurgitated in a different way than the first time I heard them. Elder Cone is in the zone too so it was good to see him again :)

Mom I'm a leper!! I'm 99% sure I have Athlete's Foot. I thought you'd like to know that. My pinky toe is pretty well living under my 4th toe (I don't know what you call that one, or any of them besides the big and pinky toes for that matter). So it just chills under there and obviously doesn't get any breathing room. This is all a guess by the way, I've spent many a minute pondering the possible reasons why I got this. It's all red and peeling and it itches like you wouldn't believe! Anyways we cleaned our shower, I bought all of the stupid cream and stuff and now I'm determined to kill it. Sorry if that was gross haha I was just dying to share it!

We got to speak in church on Sunday! One of many opportunities I'm sure haha. My topic was "What does it mean to bear testimony?" It was a pretty easy topic to prepare for, and like always I prepared way more than I needed! Elder Thompson finished speaking at around 10:35 which gave me a solid 25 minutes to talk everyone's ears off! Which I did, and I even went over the hour by 5 minutes. I felt like a prophet because everyone knows only prophets can speak for that long.

Today the Peace River elders are coming down to blitz our area since Elder Hunsaker is the District Leader. I've done a lot of blitzing over the past few transfers, but I've never actually had to prepare for it. So last night's planning session took forever! It'll be good for our area though, we need the extra manpower. So they'll come down this afternoon and stay until tomorrow afternoon.

Yesterday we had a cool experience. We went out walking after dinner since High Prairie is so small and we don't wanna waste clicks driving around. We were contacting some potential and former investgators from the area book, and decided to go try a lady named Diane. As we walked up to her apartment building this lady was smoking on one of the balconies. She started yelling at us sarcastically to keep walking and was being pretty rude in general! So we just ignored her and went into the building and tried the room number, only to find out that Diane didn't live there. So we turned around and walked out of there, and once again this lady starts yelling at us, and by this point I'm done listening to her haha. She finally says "what's that you're holding?" (I had a paperback Book of Mormon). I ignored her, but Elder Thompson being the humble man that he is, turned around and told her what it was, and she asked for one. I was still pretty apprehensive, but she told us to come up to her place and give it to her. She had a few friends over and they were all smoking on the balcony. So up we went and gave her and her friends a Book of Mormon. Come to find out that she was Diane! She had just moved to a different room. So we talked for awhile and they seemed genuinely interested in what we were talking about, so we set up an appointment for Thursday! It was sweet. It just goes to show that you never do know.

That's sweet that you guys are Ward Missionaries together! They make a huge difference.

Hey I've been doing lots of Sudoku's! Yesterday was Pday and there's only so much you can do in the apartment haha and there isn't much to do around town. So I went on a Sudoku spree! Thanks for sending that book it's saving my sanity haha.

Well....I can't think of anything else to ramble on about. Hope you guys have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Monday!

Hello my friends!

It was really good to talk to you guys too! This week has been so crazy haha I can't believe I was in Edmonton less than a week ago.

The library doesn't open until 1pm on Mondays and when we tried to come earlier all of the computers were taken!

Tuesday Elder Weber and I were super busy while we (okay mostly he, I was pretty checked out haha) planned Zone Training Meeting, I packed, and I said goodbye to people.

Wednesday I went to trainers meeting and met Elder Thompson! He's from Payson, Utah which is where a few people in this mission are from. He's sweet I like him a lot! He's not 18 either, in case any of you are wondering :) I feel bad that he's starting his mission opening an area in the middle of nowhere though, that would have been hard for me. He's taking it like a champ though!

Anyways we drove to Valleyview and stayed there Wednesday night, and then Thursday morning we drove into High Prairie and met the Branch President and his wife. They had already moved all of our furniture and stuff in, we just had to move our stuff in and organized everything. We're still missing a lot of little things but the members have been really good about getting that stuff for us.

So for the rest of the week we've just been trying to get organized. The elders that were here 3 years ago kept a really good area book which is so nice when you open an area. There's a lot of former and potential investigators to work with which is awesome. They also made a good impression on the land lady (we live in the same room that they did 3 years ago) because our first day she came up and gave us money for laundry and said that was her donation to the missionaries! Pretty sweet.

Church was interesting haha there were a total of 12 people including 3 kids and 4 Priesthood holders. So we said the prayers, blessed the Sacrament, and we're both speaking next week for 20 minutes each! :) It's definitely different getting used to such a small branch in a small little town (2800 people), especially coming from a big YSA ward in downtown Edmonton where people roam the streets like ants! But I'm excited to be here, the few members that are here are awesome. We've been fed by all of the active ones that we've stopped by, and we even got a lunch on Sunday! They're excited to have missionaries again it's great.

We went to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, it's Canada's federal police force) Station today and talked to the Staff Sergeant about service opportunities in High Prairie and he gave us quite a few phone numbers for people to call so we'll try that this week. To be honest this week has been super stressful trying to figure out what to do, I'm ready for things to just figure themselves out :) Give it a couple of weeks and I'm sure we'll have a nice rhythm going. I hope :)

We're in a 6-man district with the Elders in Valleyview and Peace River, both around an hour away. On Thursday we're going out to Peace River for District Meeting, and then Thursday we have Zone Training Meeting in Grande Prairie which is where the Zone Leaders are. I was at MLC when the trainings were given so it'll be fun getting them again! Haha

Other than that not much else to report on! Hope you guys have a good week and I'll talk to you next week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm being exiled!

Hey everyone!

Transfer calls were this morning and I'm getting transferred! It's been a good run. I'm going to open up a little town called High Prairie, which is somewhere north haha it's near Grand Prairie aka the middle of nowhere haha! I have no idea what it's like because it hasn't been open to missionaries in a few years, but I'm assuming it's tiny. I'm also training again! So that'll be cool. It's funny because I trained Elder Nabrotzky exactly a year ago! I'm like an animal, I only breed once a year. This week will be a gong show though with moving into an apartment, meeting the branch (I'm assuming that's what it is), and getting situated in general. I'll leave on Wednesday I'm stoked!

So Mothers Day calls....haha I have no idea what the deal is. I'm guessing we'll get ahold of the Branch President when we get up there or something and then figure something out? I'll probably email again before Sunday to let you know.

This week was pretty busy. I'll explain what happened out of order like usual :)

We had Mission Leadership Council on Saturday, and the Sister Training Leaders were there. Other than the fact that they were there, Sister Campbell was there, and they both gave trainings, it was the exact same as Zone Leader Council.

We had exchanges with Stathcona, and I went to their area with Elder Hale, who I was in the trio with when Elder Coe went AP. It was good to go back to my home of 1 week! It's gonna be so weird to go back to 2 exchanges a transfer!

We went to the CES devotional yesterday it was sweet! William R. Walker (who came and visited our mission last May) spoke about President Monson haha it was actually really good!

Yeah it's so hot here! It's like 25 C! I don't know what that is in F though. Heat>Cold. I was actually sweating in the car yesterday!

Mom I'm glad to hear you're feeling better! Just don't die or anything.

Okay that's pretty much it for this week's edition, have yourselves a good week and pray for me! Haha

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Good morning!

Elder Weber have been trying out emailing in the morning. It's been working out well, we'll probably continue it.

This week we went out to Cherry Grove! It was sweet. We had our outlying Zone Training Meeting on Tuesday afternoon in St. Paul, and then we drove from there to Cherry Grove and spent the night and the next day with them. They live about 5 minutes from the Saskatchewan border, so of course we had to stop by and take a picture :) On the way to St. Paul we also stopped in Andrew, Alberta and got a picture of the "World's Largest Mallard Duck", then in St. Paul is the UFO Landing Pad, and then on the way to Cherry Grove we stopped in Glendon and got a picture of the giant Pyrogy! It was a road trip very rich in culture. They were all on the way too, so don't think we just abandoned the work and went joyriding :)

We had Stake Conference this week, and Elder Choi of the the Seventy came up. He's from Korea and he's hilarious, it was like a comedy act the whole time!

Our car got broken into! Yeah! We went out Saturday morning and my door was open. So we went in and evaluated. They could have stolen, Elder Weber's wallet, my mp3 player, and all of our CD's. But all they took was my gum in the glove compartment, and a $10 bill sitting in the center console haha. He was a thief of simple tastes thank goodness!

Frane came to church yesterday, but we couldn't meet with her this week because she had to leave right after. Hopefully we'll meet this Saturday though. Andy came to church and is doing really well. The ward's been doing great with fellowship now that he's baptized.

That's all for this week! I attached some pictures for your viewing pleasure. They are all pretty self-explanatory :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy 22 Months to Kyle!

Hello my friends!

For all who weren't aware, today is Kyle's mission birthday. Please celebrate accordingly.

We baptized Andy! He ended up having to be confirmed on Saturday right after the baptism, rather than the next morning at church. He had to go get his gun license or something before he goes back to China so we got President's permission to do it on Saturday. It was sweet though! I got to baptize him and Elder Weber confirmed him. A lot of the ward showed up it was a way good turn out! Andy goes back to China in May so we're going to help him figure out how to attend church back home over the Summer. He should be back in September for school.

Elder Weber was sick for the last half of the week. We spent some time in the apartment, so I wrote letters and exciting stuff like that! He's been doing better though so this week should be a little more busy.

We had Zone Training Meeting on Thursday, and it went really well! The trainings that they gave at ZLC were exactly what our zone needed so we're excited to see what happens! We have the outlying areas ZTM tomorrow, so we're going to drive out to St. Paul in the morning, give the training, then follow the Cherry Grove elders out to their area and spend the day with them! Then we'll drive the 3.5 hours home on Wednesday night! It'll be good because I have some mail to catch up on.

Frane, the other Chinese girl that we're teaching, is on date for May 11th! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to be baptized and she agreed! It was awesome, things have been picking up a lot!

On Tuesday I got to go on exchanges with Elder Coe! :) Man oh man was it good to see him again. It was nice to get closure, his departure left me scarred. Haha he's doing well though!

I wish I had more to talk about....We decided our zone would be festive this transfer, and so we made up a bunch of holidays! Today is White P Day! So we told everyone to wear all white to the church today to play sports! We're pretty festive. Thursday was Mr Rogers Day so everyone wore a sweater, Tuesday was "Diabetes Day" so everyone had to say something nice to a diabetic! I got lots of nice phone calls haha. Friday was "Ginger Day" (because Elder Weber has red hair) and so everyone had to say something nice to a ginger! I know, we're creative. Anyways that's about all! It snowed again this week, but it's all pretty much melted. I'm looking forward to short-sleeved shirts! Have yourselves a good week!

Love you guys!

Relder Ead

["Kyle" is Kyle Johnson, who is on a mission in New Mexico. -Ed.]

Sunday, April 14, 2013

General Conference!

Hey fam!

Conference is the bomb! I loved President Monson's talk on Obedience, and of course, Elder Holland delivered again. I liked Elder Cardon's too, and then Elder Callister's in Priesthood session was dope! Super good conference.

Andy came to Priesthood Session, and we set up a Mandarin translation for him which worked out well. He loved it! He really liked how simple and human President Monson seemed. He then came to the Institute the next day and stayed for both Sunday sessions. So far so good for his baptism this weekend. He was interviewed on Friday by Elder Bowles and he passed! But then he texted us today and said he might not make it for Sunday because of some Gun License thing, so we might have to switch it to next weekend.....but we'll see! Keep him in your prayers :)

This week we had ZLC at the mission home and that was pretty cool. President and the AP's gave super good trainings and this week we get to give the same trainings at Zone Training Meeting! So we've been planning those and putting the trainings into our own words so we're not just regurgitating them.

Tomorrow we get to go on exchanges with the AP's and I'll be with Elder Coe! :) man I'm psyched. I've missed him. So we'll probably go around and let him say the goodbyes that he couldn't do before.

We taught English Class on Thursday, and we had a "Back to Grade School" theme. It was sweet. We had a Spelling B (Bee?), a book report on Prayer out of True to the Faith, and music class! Haha I took the chords out of the primary hymn book for "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man" and played it on guitar and we all sang along! It was sweet! I love English Class.

Hey did anyone ask the Jenkins if they know the Webers in Middleton?

That is pretty much all I have this week. Glad to hear you guys made it home safe! Have another good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Fools!


Hey sorry I forgot to tell you that the library would be closed yesterday because of Easter, so here I am!

I totally forgot that you guys went to Utah! It sounds like it went well, and Calista's engaged that's sweet! I expect a wedding invitation or I'm not coming. Haha. Seriously though.

This week has been pretty sweet! Transfer Meeting was on Wednesday and it was good to see a bunch of people again! The sisters that I was in the MTC went home this transfer! It was crazy to see them leave. Anyways it's been a good week though Elder Weber is the man. He's hilarious! He's from Middleton, Idaho and doesn't know the Jenkins, but I don't really know how long they've actually lived there so maybe that's why? Anyways he's been out for 15 months and just came from the Olds area. His personality is a lot like Geoff's except he has red hair! It's awesome haha. We get along super well. He pronounces it like "Webber."

We've been busy planning this transfer out and it's gonna be another fun one as usual! We're going on exchanges today with Forest Heights it's about to be fun! Cherry Grove just became a District Leader area so now we get to drive the 3.5 hours out there this week I'm pretty psyched! I don't have to drive :)

It's been super warm the past week, like 8 C! I don't know what that is converted. I just heard some guy talking in the library though and he said it's supposed to snow this week. Sweet. On a brighter note, we get to take off our jackets this week, and since it's my last General Conference I don't have to put them on again :) I'm ready for slacks!

General Conference is this week! Man oh man do I love this time of year. I definitely didn't take it for what it was worth back home, but it's seriously solid gold. We're watching it at the Institute building with the other YSA missionaries so that we have a neutral place to invite investigators. So we're hoping Andy and Frane will come.

Speaking of Andy, he's still solid as ever! We met this week and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we talked about the Sacrament, and he said "I never really understood church, I thought it was just for fun. But now I understand that I have to come and show my commitment to Christ each week." Score! He's still on date for the 13th of April, but he needs to come to church so let's hope he does! Keep him in your prayers.

Frane came to the last hour of church because she slept in and missed her bus. But we taught her after church about the last half of the Restoration and she soaked it in! We're planning on teaching her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week and inviting her to be baptized!

I think that's really all I had. Hope you guys have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Miss Elder Coe :(

I feel like I have sooooo much to tell you every week! Does anybody get annoyed that I basically just give a stream of consciousness every week? Haha or does this work? Feedback if you please.

This week was an unexpected gong show! Let me start with Monday night.

We had just finished planning for the night, and I had changed into shorts and a hoodie. I decided I would spend my evening laying on the couch and sleep until bed time haha. So I laid down for 5 minutes, and then the phone started buzzing like it normally does at least 17 times every night (not really, but you know what I mean). I look at the Caller ID and it's President Campbell. It then clicks that tonight is the night of the AP call! I answer the phone and my heart leaps for joy when he asks for Elder Coe, who is currently in the washroom. So I call out to him that President's on the phone and he doesn't believe me! So I spend 30 seconds trying to coerce him off of the throne, but he thinks I'm lying! So I tell President that he's in the washroom, put the phone on mute, and then yell at Elder Coe that he had better come out, or I'm coming in. Once again he says no, so I go over, open the door and throw the phone in like a hand grenade. Mission accomplished. So he packed the rest of the night, and then left early Tuesday morning. I then spent the week in a trio with the Strathcona elders, Elder Mann and Elder Hale. It's been fun! This is the second time I've been ina trio because of an AP call (remember in Red Deer with Elder Kember?).

But to be honest I really miss Elder Coe! I've been with him forever we're practically the same person now. I keep wanting to make inside jokes but neither of my comps know what I'm saying haha. I'm so used to the Coester it's been a rough transition. I learned a ton from that guy, it was definitely an inspired companionship. But at least he's close and we'll get to go on exchanges this transfer :)

So we had to cancel our two exchanges this week. But I felt bad canceling on Tofield since Elder Deladurantaye is going home, and I was canceling his last exchange. So I talked to the Assistants and I decided we should drive the hour out to Vegreville where their apartment is and interview them at least. It was good!

It's been crazy cramming two areas into one schedule this week, but it worked pretty well. We met with Andy this week and he's so prepared! We taught the 10 Commandments and decided to include the Law of Chastity with it and it went amazing. We also taught about the Sabbath Day and he said he'd for sure come to church this week and he did! We think he'll be ready for his April 13th baptismal date :)

We also met with Frane and she's solid! We taught the first half of lesson 1 aka Prophets, and she agreed with it! I love Chinese people.

They opened Yellowknife this transfer, which is the most northern point of our mission! I'm super jealous of the missionaries going up there. It's far enough away that they have to drive for two days....Crazy!

I totally didn't even tell you who my new companion is haha. I'm staying in Millcreek and am getting Elder Weber! He's way sweet we've served around each other before, and he's been out for a little over a year. That's pretty much all I know about him! I'm excited though. Our whole zone got rocked this transfer, and almost every area is changing. Pretty crazy! I'm excited to go back to my area though.....and sleep in my own bed :)

That's all for this week! Mom no package yet but it'll probably be there by Wednesday for Transfer Meeting. Thanks for all you do! Have a good week.

Love you guys!

Elder Read

PS here's a picture of me with a Maple Leaf we found downtown! :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

To My Future Posterity

I started my journal off like that the other day and so I decided that I'd try the same for my email home! (Side note: I want to print all the emails off that I've sent home when I get home.....if that makes sense haha. Can I do that when I get home?) anyways, let me tell you about our week!

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were pretty crazy. Monday night we skipped FHE to plan our trainings, but we didn't finish. Then Tuesday was interviews with El Presidente himself, and we were at the church until dinner checking planners and area books and/or planning our trainings. We finally finished them in time to give the first one at the Stake Coordination Meeting that night. It went well! It was a little hard to train with Brother Svenson just because we're so used to teaching together, but it worked out alright.

Zone Conference was sweet. We felt like our training went well and nobody died so it was a success in our book!

So now all of that is done and we're on Cloud Nine! We went on exchanges on Friday with the Strathcona elders and I brought Elder Hale here. He's 6'8" and I'm a humble 5'5" so it was funny street contacting downtown. We got some sweet looks :)

It randomly went from 5 C to -15 C and it's dumped almost 2 feet of snow in the past 3 days. It's crazy! Here we were thinking Spring was coming soon. Not!

We taught Frane this week, and finished the Plan of Salvation. She told us it was amazing and that she didn't believe in Reincarnation anymore! It was a really good lesson she's solid!

Andy is still on date to be baptized on April 13th. We taught him the Word of Wisdom on Friday because he smokes, but he told us that a week ago his girlfriend told him to stop, so he did haha. He's sweet.

This week is the last week of the transfer! Elder Coe and I will almost indefinitely come to an end. 3 transfers is as long as I've ever seen. But I'm bummed because I'm so used to him haha it'll be weird adjusting to someone else. We have two exchanges this week with Forest Heights and Tofield so another busy week! But in a better/less stressful way.

That's all I've got for ya! I'll attach some pictures for you of the Star Wars thing last week. Have a good week :)

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

6 Months to Sexy!

Hey everyone!

In case you're wondering, this Thursday is my 18-month mark, which means I have 6 months left! Can you believe it? It's missionary tradition to spend your last 6 months getting back into shape, so let "6 Months to Sexy" begin on Thursday! It's also on Pi Day (3.14) so we'll be celebrating with some pie. Ha. Happy Birthday to me!

So last Monday while we were all at the church playing basketball and such, one of the companionships came in and announced that President had sent out an email saying that the email policy had changed, and that we could now email anybody we wanted! But none of us believed them because it's always been just family and President Campbell. So we called the assistants and they denied it too, because they had already finished emailing. But this companionship had just come from the library and apparently the email from President went out late. So long story short the Assistants called President and he confirmed it! The church changed the email policy for missionaries world wide and now we can email anybody! We were all pretty psyched! So my friends, you can all email me now and I can respond! Unless of course you like letters, either one works for me! Pretty dope.

This week was so sweet! We found two new investigators, and they've all come out of nowhere. We met with Frane, one of the chinese girls this week, and taught lesson 2. We had three members come that spoke Mandarin, which was critical haha it would have been a disaster without them. Frane's awesome though. She grew up in China and always believed in God, but they didn't have any chance to or knowledge of how to worship. So when she got to Canada she began looking for a place to go, and she came to our english class and bada bing bada boom! She's solid.

On Wednesday we got a a call about a handover lesson from the YSA sisters on the north end, and so we met a girl named Kayleigh at the Institute on Thursday. She just moved up from Calgary two months ago and was taking the lessons down there from Elder Nabrotzky's twin brother hahahaha. Small world. But she wants to start over with the lessons now that she's on her own. We're super excited.

Also on Wednesday, the Assistants called to let us know they scheduled an appointment with a potential investigator, but then found out that she's YSA. So we're meeting with a girl named Katelynn on Wednesday night! :)

We drove out to Vermilion on Thursday night, stayed all day Friday, and then drove home Saturday morning it was way fun!

Andy came to church yesterday! Technically. He slept through our ward, so we invited him to the 1pm ward and he came there instead! He promised us profusely that he'll never sleep in again haha he's sweet.

This week we have interviews with President Campbell tomorrow from like 8am-5pm. So we'll be sitting around checking planners and area books all day! Then that night we have a Stake Meeting with all of the Bishops/Branch Presidents, Ward/Branch Mission Leaders, Ward Missionaries, and Full-Time Missionaries. President Campbell and President Mendenhall, the Stake President, will be there too. It'll be a giant coordination meeting basically, and we've been planning it with the High Councilman for about a month so we're excited to get it done tomorrow! We're giving a training with the High Councilman, Brother Svenson on "Being an Effective Member Missionary" so I'm hoping it goes well. Then the next day is Zone Conference and we're combined with the Ed North Zone so I'll get to see all my friends there! Pretty stoked. We have to do a training there too on "Daily Contact with Investigators." It'll be a busy couple of days!

Today we went to the Star Wars Identities Exhibit at the Telus Center (OMSI in Edmonton) it was so cool! They had all of the original costumes from the movies, concept art, and you basically go through it and discover your "true identity" by answering questions and stuff. It was sweet but it took up like our whole Pday! But that's alright it was worth it. I'll attach some pictures next week this computer's USB drive doesn't work very well.

Yeah Daylight Savings time is sweet! I can't wait until it starts getting dark at 11pm again. You never see darkness as missionary in the Summer haha it's so sweet. Right now it gets dark by around 8pm but it's getting later every day. The weather has been super good too, it's been above freezing for about a week now.

Okay I'm done rambling....haha sorry this is long one! I miss you guys and I'll talk to you next week!

Love you guys!

Elder Read

Monday, March 4, 2013

I love China!

Hey friends!

This week I learned how to Index! They announced last Sunday that that's what the Family Home Evening activity would be, and to be honest I wasn't looking forward to it. To be even more honest it wasn't even that exciting! But now I know how to do it so there you go :)

Hey remember how I talked about Target coming to Canada? And how they've started hiring? They've actually started remodeling all of the Zellers (the company they bought out) stores now!
It's so exciting I can't wait to go in there! It'll be like going home....kinda.

Sierra Sukhu was baptized on Saturday which is dope! I couldn't go because of ZLC which was lame but at least she's baptized :) Elder Nabrotzky went and told me it went really well.

Soooo this week the Forest Heights elders got infested with bed bugs! Honestly I didn't even know what those things were until my mission, but they've been popping up everywhere over the past few months. So they've been cleaning, I kid you not, all week. They've had to steam EVERYTHING in their apartment that's made of cloth, and they've had to wipe down every page of every book in their apartment. I don't envy them. They've also had to wash all of their clothes, including dry-cleaning their suits, and then stick them in vacuum-sealed bags. AAAND since they're walking, we got to drive them around to do all of their errands this week :) On top of all of this, I slept in the bed that they found the bed bugs in not once.....but twice! So after finding out Elder Coe promptly came home and ripped our mattresses apart looking for them (figuratively, we didn't actually rip them up) but thankfully we're clean. Pretty crazy! Bed bugs are like cockroaches apparently and they'll sneak off anywhere. They're having the exterminator come in this week to poison the place so we should be good next week.

We also went on exchanges this week with the Clarkdale elders! They're in Sherwood Park which is 15 minutes East of Edmonton. I went to their area with Elder Groskreutz from......I-don't-remember-where, Utah! They were walking that week so we trekked it in the cold. It was good exercise though :)

Zone Leader Council was this week and it was weird not having Elder Penrod around since he got transferred. But it was fun, Sister Campbell made a St. Patrick's Day themed lunch with meatloaf! I never really like meatloaf back home, but it was delicious! Honestly I don't know where the picky-eater Steven went, but sometimes I wish he was back haha. Just kidding.

So last week I talked about one of the members in our ward that had a friend that wanted to be taught, and we met with him yesterday after church! He's not really sure he believes in God yet, but he seems open to it. We taught him lesson 1, but then found out he lives on the south end so he's in a different YSA we'll probably have to pass him over but that's alright!

Echo, the chinese girl that's been coming to our english class, came to the CES Broadcast last night with Elder Bednar! She didn't understand much of it haha but she enjoyed the parts that she did! She told us that her friend, Frane, who also comes to english class, wants to become a member of the church haha! So we're going to talk to her this week and try to set something up! Things are picking up fast it's been sweet. I swear all of our work is Chinese people. Did I already tell you that we're getting Mandarin-Speaking missionaries some time this year? We don't know when, but with all of the new missionaries coming out we're slotted to get 4 of them! Hopefully I'll be transferred by then haha they'll steal all of our work! :)

Bryan's doing really well too. He told us this week that he's "more open to God" than he was which is fine by me! He'll probably come slowly but he's working like a champ to know if God exists.

Hey tell Gramma Read that I've gotten her letters! Thanks :)

I think that's it.....we're going to go clean our humble abode. Have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week # 72....done! Just kidding that was a guess. How close was I?

This week was another busy one! Transfers were this week and like I mentioned last week, two of our areas split into four missionaries, so it was a straight up gong show getting everything settled. One of the areas was sisters, and I swear they had enough stuff to supply the zone! We helped them move into their four-man apartment on Saturday, and we literally had to pack an apartment up into the mission trailer and van. It was fun though! Saturday mornings are usually pretty dead so it gave us something to do. Their apartment is beautiful! I asked Sister Woodruff (the Housing Coordinator) how many more moves we'd have to do to get one of them. They live right downtown and overlook the river valley, I'm jealous! Things are starting to calm down now that everyone's moved in and they've figured out boundaries and everything. Until next transfer I'm sure! :)

We also helped one of our recent converts, Sophie, move on Friday. She's from mainland China and was baptized just before I got here. She lived in the dorms on campus, but a dude moved in with her roommate so she decided it was time to leave. She moved in with one of the houses of girls in our ward. It was a pretty easy move though, she lived on the 5th floor of her building, but she didn't have a ton of stuff so it wasn't too bad. It was good to get her out of there.

We actually got a 19-year-old sister in our zone! We're also getting a Tongan sister in the next two weeks. She didn't make it out of the MTC because her appendix burst, so she should be out soon. Maybe she'll know Elder Fifita!

We sat down and planned our transfer, and it was a struggle to fit everything into a five week transfer! I don't remember if I talked about that.....but I'll do it again! This transfer is only five weeks to match back up with the MTC since they just cut down time in there by a third, so two weeks for english speakers. Anyways we have like two exchanges a week and we have zone conference this transfer, which will be interesting because Elder Coe and I haven't had a zone conference as zone leaders haha. We're excited though!

The Tofield elders randomly texted us on Thursday and asked us to come out and do baptismal interview since Elder Williams is the District Leader there. So Friday night we drove the hour out there, and I interview the guy. His name is Terry Roncin and he's sweet. Interviewing people is so fun. They're always so ready!

Yeah they made the Oregon Salem Mission! That's so sweet. Do you know what the boundaries will be? They also called our new mission president. His name is Larry G. Manion......and that's about all we know! Haha. He'll send me home though, which is lame because he'll only be here for 12 weeks before I leave. Oh well!

So earlier this week the temperatures went down again and we saw -15 for like two days, and then over the past couple of days it's been around 2 C. It's funny to hear people pray and say things like "We're grateful for the beautiful weather we've been having." Haha meanwhile I'm wearing thermals and a sweater.

Hey this week we got a text from one of our members saying her mom and then a friend of hers want to meet with us! So we're meeting with the friend on Thursday and then the mom we'll hopefully be able to set up a lesson later next week. We'll end up passing the mom to the family ward but it's still sweet! Hopefully that goes well.

That's pretty much the week! We have ZLC this Saturday, so that'll be sweet! Have yourselves a good week and I'll talk to you next Monday!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Family Day


Today is history in the making! I am beginning my 3rd transfer with Elder Coe, which is my longest companion (and generally the longest they leave anyone together, for that matter). We pretty well expected it though so it wasn't a surprise. They started dividing areas, and out of the 6 in our mission that split in half, two are in our zone, and they're all training! So we'll have a bunch of newbies, including the 19 year old sisters which will be weird ha.

Today is Family Day which means everywhere is mostly shut down.....except the libraries for some reason. It's also Reading Week. Is that just a Canadian thing? I don't really know much about it except that everyone (including University students) gets the week off. So naturally, considering 99% of our ward is from Southern Alberta, we're a ghost town again! Church was pretty scarce, and the only reason we're being fed every day this week is because some people signed up twice. So I'm not complaining :) Our ward is sweet.

We went on exchanges with the Nottingham elders out in Sherwood Park, and I brought Elder Boatman to Millcreek it was long! We spent 2 hours out street contacting because we had no set appointments. It was like 6 C outside though so it wasn't too bad. People actually talk when it's above freezing :)

Speaking of, it's been a warm winter up here. I've only been in -20 C a few times, and outside of that it's pretty well stayed around freezing. No complaints! It's just strange. Global warming! :)

We taught Bryan again this week and taught about Our Life on Earth, and focused it around prayer. It was a super good lesson! We're trying to help him pray on his own. He's been reading the Book of Mormon though which is solid!

Dad that sign still looks good! Thanks for the pictures. I can't believe that was 3 and half years ago.

Yeah Dad for Quidditch you have 6 people out at once - One keeper, two beaters, a seeker, and three chasers. The "Quaffle" is a volleyball, and you run around and throw it through hoops hanging from chairs and basketball hoop. The beaters run around and throw foam dodge balls at the chasers and if they're hit they have to drop the volleyball. The keeper protects the hoops, and the seeker chases the snitch, who is someone wearing a yellow jersey, and tries to pull one of his flags from his waistline. Pretty sweet!

Hey my plants are doing well, in case you're wondering. Leonardo (the money tree) has been looking a little under the weather lately, but I think he's still adjusting to my desk. Mahonri on the other hand is blossoming no pun intended! I brought him into the apartment and I swear I heard him "shudder", and then he promptly dropped his leaves in the days following. But now he's growing again. I love plants!

I forgot my planner with everything on it that I wanted to right about.....and I can't remember for the life of me anything else that we more next week! :)

Love you guys!

Elder Read

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm a Wizard!

Sorry I don't even remember if I told you about the temple today, but Pday was moved to today so we could go!

Yesterday for Family Home Evening we played Quidditch it was so legit! Basically you're on brooms and instead of flying, you run! It was difficult in a suit, but we made it work. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to get my inner Harry on. YSA is where it's at!

My birthday went really well! I remember last year it was just a gong show since I got transferred to Spruce, but this year it was way better. I actually knew people around me! Haha at Zone Training Meeting they surprised me with a cake and apple pie, and then Elder Coe made me pancakes, and then everyone in the zone wrote on a card! It was sweet. Then dinner at Shawna's was super good. Mom that was the exact cheesecake I was talking about! It was delicious. She asked me what I wanted for dinner that night and I told her......chicken enchiladas! Remember how I hated those? Old news I eat everything now!

Lloydminster was sweet! I've now been to Saskatchewan! It's a lot like Alberta, at least on the border. Weird I know! We stayed all day Tuesday and then went straight from there to zone training meeting in St. Paul on Wednesday. Then we drove home! I missed my bed.

Transfers are next week, and Elder Coe and I think we'll stay together. But who knows! Assistant calls go out tonight so we're hoping that Elder Coe gets a call....then I can say I produced an AP! They told us we might be moving this transfer....and we think it'll be because they'll move us into a four man apartment, which would be a party! We're crossing our fingers.

We had a Chinese New Year fireside on Saturday it was sweet. They showed the Restoration in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English in different rooms, and then one of the guys in the Mission Presidency spoke. Then they fed us a bunch of Chinese food! It was delicious. One of the girls in our english class who isn't a member came and really enjoyed it. She has some questions so hopefully we'll be able to meet this week and answer them :)

Other than that it was a normal week! Glad to hear you're all doing well, have a good week :)

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sometimes boys paint their nails too


I've been putting this nail polish on that tastes super bad (it's actually made to be like that, this isn't actual nail polish haha) and it makes my nails sparkle, so for whatever reason everyone's been noticing lately! I've had so many people ask me about it after lessons. It's pretty effective to tell you the truth. I stopped at the beginning of my mission and that lasted for around 9 months, but then I fell back into it and so I'm trying a more permanent approach. It's been good for like 3 months so that's good enough for me.

Let's talk about the weather! This week when we went to Vermilion it was -40 with wind chill. So in accordance with the mission handbook, we went to scheduled appointments only! But considering it's such a small area with a tiny branch and not very many investigators, we sat inside haha. It was fun but only because there were 4 of us. Anyways, I digress. Once Friday hit the temperature went the opposite way and now we're sitting in a balmy 3 C. Yesterday it was 7 C and we were walking in just our suits! I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some consistency.

This week was exciting! Vermilion really was fun. We actually did have a couple of appointments, I was just being dramatic. We did some service and a local Elementary School feeding little kids lunch (just handing them soy sauce actually, we didn't actually feed them). Then we helped this older guy clean his house. It was a little gross because it had been some time since their last visit, but it was good to help him out. That night we drove out to this little town called Derwent because they have this famous pizza! I honestly believe that that's why the town was created because there's the pizza place, a gas station, and maybe 4 houses haha. It was super good though! They had a guest registry book thingy, and people had come from New Orleans, Toronto, California, etc.

We've been teaching english classes every Wednesday and Saturday it's been sweet! There are a bunch of Chinese people coming and a few of them are non-members so it's been really good. We teach with the sisters in our zone and honestly they are way better english teachers than we are hahaha but they don't like teaching every time so we take turns. We mostly just play games that get them talking in english, and then we go over the vocabulary from the opening hymn! Very subtle :)

We went on exchanges with Forest Heights, the area to the north, and I went to their area with Elder Hathaway. They're a walking area, but it was a warm day so I actually enjoyed it. They cover the more busy part of downtown so it was a complete gong show walking down the street trying to talk to people haha. But that's what makes it fun :)

Yeah it's my birthday on Friday! I don't really know what to do with myself. It's Weekly Planning so I'll probably just.....plan! Mom don't you remember that delicious cheese cake you'd always make with the blackberries and blueberries either in it or on the bottom? Then you'd put it in the fridge and Bryant and I would eat it? If you can't remember then ask Bryant he'll know :) That's the one I want Shawna to make! Hey thanks for the package! The cookies are gone haha and the little puzzle books are perfect! I loved the pictures too especially of the light sabers! I knew Grandpa was a Jedi. You're the best!

Zone Leader Council was on Saturday and that was pretty sweet. President showed a video clip of Russell M. Nelson talking about how the Lord is hastening His work with all of the new missionaries. He also talked about how exciting it is to be a missionary during all of the craziness! It was sweet. So as per usual, we now have to plan zone training meeting for this week! We'll do the outlying area meeting on Wednesday and the city meeting on Thursday.

Tonight we're driving out to Lloydminster which is literally right on the border of Saskatchewan. It splits the city in half. So we'll go out tonight, stay all day Tuesday, and then Wednesday we'll all drive to St. Paul for ZTM! Then we'll drive home. So it'll be a pretty busy week! No exchanges though so it won't be too bad.

Bryan our investigator is doing really well! He's still pretty skeptical about Joseph Smith and really just God in general, but he's open to it which is all he needs. We're trying to help him have the faith to do something to find out if God exists. He's awesome though I enjoy teaching him.

Hey random fact! Did you know that the new Canadian money smells like maple? I didn't believe it until I smelled one of the 20's I have and sure enough it's the truth! So we were trying to think of what our money would smell like...and we couldn't think of anything nice haha.

That's sweet that Collin got his mission call by the way!! He'll be a way good missionary. Does he go straight there or to Provo?

That's all I've got for today. Thanks for everything you guys do, I miss you!

Love you guys,

Elder Read