"Peterson, why do you look so sad?" "All the watermelons...they're gone! No!"
Hey there! :)
Gosh, lots of stuff happened this past week. First off, everyone give a super big "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" to my companion Elder Strebe! It was funny this morning talking about it with my district leader. Elder Strebe is a good, healthy eater and has tactfully refused to eat any sweets (he generally graciously accepts the candy/brownie/delicious morsel of food and sneakily hands it over to me), but it made me wonder about what we can do to celebrate his birthday today if we can't eat cake. The solution: Putting candles in a loaf of whole wheat bread :) Yay! In addition I'll probably make a cake or brownies and celebrate Elder Strebe's birthday in my own way too!
Real quick, Mom and Dad that's probably the fastest I've ever gotten a package from ya'll. I mean, didn't you just send that a few weeks ago? Both packages were waiting for me at Zone Conference and I'm currently wearing the new shoes. Thanks so much for the insoles too! I feel like I walk on puffy clouds now as opposed to bricks. It's a very nice change :)
Zone Conference was a very cool experience. The main focus of it all was on being "always" missionaries. To explainw hat that means, we took a survey wherein we had a question given to us, for example, "Do you always wake up at or before 6:30?" and we then were given the general 5 options of: Never, seldom, sometimes, almost always and always. President Malm, when he came, decided to show a section of the statistics wherein he only showed the percentage of people who answered "always". Of course, for the waking up on time one we had something like "99%" of people saying always, but then there were other questions where it was suprisingly low. Everything was taken from Preach My Gospel like the example of the question "Do you invite your investigators to be baptized on the first lesson?" and the percentage of "Always" was pretty low. This of course rose up questions like "Well, what if the situation isn't right or..." but the point of the conference was that if it's written in Preach My Gospel, then it's advice directly from God given to the Prophets and Apostles who gave the book.
It was interesting to think about, because I never thought of Preach My Gospel as a set of kind of "commandments" for missionaries, coupled with a promise that if we do these things we will accomplish all that the Lord has in mind for us. Just as when we always keep the commandments of God we are trusted by Him and blessed greatly, so too can we always keep mission rules and the guidance of Preach My Gospel and find that we're trusted more by God to do this work. Pretty cool.
We have a meeting with our investigator tonight, as she's now come back from the Ukraine, so I'm pretty excited about that! We actually bumped into her randomly on the street last night as we were on a way to a meeting. She said that she finished the Book of mormon and had written down questions about it. I was so gosh darn excited, as was she, and when I asked when we could me she said "Well hey! Let's go right now!" "Oh no, sorry, we can't right now! We've got a meeting. Can we meet tomorrow?" "Yeah sure! You can come by in the morning if you'd like! Anytime really!" So, we set up a meeting for tonight and it's gonna be awesome! Woo!
Other than that, that's about what we've got going on here. I love you all a lot. Really. I came into Russia nearly exactly 1 year ago today (Wednesday will be the real celebration day, more brownies!) and it's amazing to see just how much I've learned and grown in that short bit of time. I've got lots more to go, and I'm so happy that just as I get to tell you about my life, a great number of you have told me about your life and the cool things that are happening. I love hearing from you, and I hope that I bring to you some of the joy that you bring me, especially my family. You're the best. :)
Alrighty now, you have a great one. Don't forget to eat some cake for my companion Elder Strebe!
With much love, as always
P.S. I've got only a bit of time, so I'm gonna print and read your talk for next week. Thanks for sending it Mom! :)