This week he spent time answering my questions...
Thanks for the letters! I'd love to get cousin letters too. (I told him I would print them off and mail them to him) Were any of them delayed by the earthquake in Chile?
Elder Raymond's responses
Did you get you contacts we ordered?
I haven't gotten my contacts yet, but I heard that the zone leaders picked up a package for me at the mission office and they're driving down today for p-day, so I imagine they're in there.
What kind of camera do you have? We're still waiting to send a memory card until you tell us...
My camera is the kind that can take pictures...and it has a special mode for taking pictures of rainbows...and other than that I keep forgetting to check it... :)
Are you paying fast offerings on fast Sunday (Pres. Waite told us today in ward conference that he told his son that his fast would not be complete unless he gave to the branch/ward he was serving in. I hadn't thought about it, so I decided to ask...)?
Thanks for the reminder about fast offerings. It says the same thing in the Missionary Handbook (white bible, but we're not supposed to call it that, but just so you know what it is...). This Sunday is Fast Sunday since general or stake or some sort of conference is the week after so I'll have to remember to do that.
How do you like your bike?
My bike is pretty sweet. I have legs like rocks now.
Okay, now for the long one ;) (notice his "numbering" system...pure Alec!):
How are you really doing (if you say "fine" or any other 1 word answer, I may have to reach through the screen and poke you in the eyes! I want details, about your living conditions, eating, physical well-being, scripture study, companion, tracting, language, testimony, etc...)?
!. I'd like to keep my eyes intact
@. We live in an apartment about ten feet off the highway, so we have quick access to the road...I guess.... It's owned by a member, so we have a really nice landlord. It's pretty average as far as missionary apartments go I guess. I don't really have anything to compare it to.
#. We have meal appointments every Jueves, Viernes, Sabado y Domingo with members of the Spanish branch, so we're never hungry then and the English ward fights over who gets to feed us Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday...so...food's not a problem. And man, Hispanics can cook. They can all cook any type of meat to perfection and we always have unlimited tortillas.
$. Physical well-being: I'm doing great! I don't think I've gained or lost any weight yet and my legs are like rocks as aforementioned due to extreme biking ;).
%. I'm still working on the Book of Mormon assignment (I'm in Alma 39) and I'm studying the New Testament along with Jesus the Christ. It's pretty stinkin' sweet.
^. My companion's awesome. He likes to work hard, but still have fun. We're exactly obedient, but not robots. He's a HUGE Miley Cyrus fan...it's actually kind-of obsessive...and a little weird...but hey...I like...dinosaurs...I guess.... :)
&. Tracting's great. Spanish people are ALWAYS super nice and let you in. Unfortunately, there are no more Spanish people to tract into...we've literally tracted every Spanish house in our area. So we tract English in the afternoon and then visit Spanish investigators in the evening when it gets dark so we don't get the police called on us for walking around people's houses in dark suits in the dark...English people...:). We usually get around 13 hours per week. The mission standard is 20 (no more, no less) so 13 is where we should be as Spanish elders since we have 7 hours less proselyting time due to Spanish study every day.
*. Language: Yo puedo decir todo lo que quiero, pero, a veces es un poco dificil para entender cuando las personas tienen acentos diferentes y malos.... Hay mucha gente aqui que hablan con un acento como 'Redneck' en espanol. Tambien, yo puedo leer y escribir qualquier cosa que necesito. Casi yo puedo entender todo cuando estoy escuchando en las reuniones dominicales. :) Buena suerte!
(. Testimony: Never been stronger or growing faster! I'm learning and progressing in my spiritual journey as the Savior did: grace for grace. Thank you for the good example that you and Dad have always set for me. You made it easy to remain active and to become a valiant member of the Lord's Kingdom on the Earth.
). etc.: hmmm...just an interesting fact: the mission average for the Tennessee Knoxville Mission is 4 baptisms per missionary during your entire mission. I've already had one, spoken at another, and have 2 set in stone for April and 7 maybes. When we have a true, sincere desire to bring souls unto Christ and are willing to work hard, be obedient, and keep the commandments, the Lord will fight the battles for us. The Spirit converts. The Book of Mormon changes hearts and lives. The missionaries try to keep up.
Any unique experiences this past week?
Unique experiences...I got to go to another baptism and taught The Restoration to the people attending, while she was in the dressing room changing after the ordinance. That was pretty cool, but hopefully not a 'unique' experience.... I got to participate in a couple of blessings. That was pretty cool.
Anything funny (loved the possibly naked Sasquatch story! Not the getting shot one...I am your mom...)?
Haven't run into any naked sasquatches lately...or been shot at >;).