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