Ok, first I have a few additions to the Christmas list:
1 leather bound journal. (Mine is almost full; I have all ready written over 200 pages!)
2-powder Ranch mix
There was more I just know it!!
I will be sending a package home of stuff with a few Christmas presents. Since no one told me what he or she want you can’t complain about what you will be getting. Ill just try to include anything that is extremely English.
Ok, so serving with Elder Engelbrektsson is a bit like serving with Sheldon's buddy - You Know Who. I often used the line 'your perception of the obvious is incredible'. We had some good laughs but I got pretty annoyed whenever he would correct me on everything that I ever said. Even when I was right and mostly when it didn’t even matter. We were tracting yesterday and got a call from President Patch. I answered and he said, 'let me talk to your companion so that I can tell him that you are getting transferred'. I said, 'you just broke my heart'. He laughed and said, 'well someone had to'. Elder Engelbrektsson will be training and I will be transferred to Bedford in the North Hampton stake. So at least I will be going into the midlands for winter. I’ll be serving with Elder Rolleson? Supposedly a proper redneck from Idaho. So, I’ll be on my fifth companion. Still haven’t had one for more then six weeks.
This week was crazy. On Monday, Julie was visiting the Canterbury Cathedral and went for a trip down the stairs and broke her arm. The Archbishop of Canterbury (second in charge of the Church of England (next to the queen), sat her down and offered her a cup of tea. She refused and said that she only drinks drinking chocolate!! But because of it her baptism will have to be moved back. She is amazing though, and is already a great missionary. We teach one of he daughter’s friends and will start teaching this man named Peter who has kinda adopted her as his daughter.
Amber we haven’t seen for a while. So nothing to report there.
Chris Anstice, the oldest of the Peruvian family, made my week on Thursday. We went out to lunch with him and had a good chat. We talked about everything under the sun and he really opened up to us and told us all kinds of stuff that he hasn’t really told anyone else. We talked about missions and how to prepare for the future. He decided that he wants to go on a mission and agreed to be baptized in January!!!!!! I'm so happy! Then he has been amazing at all the other lessons we had this week. Finally after nearly three months of visiting them we are getting somewhere! Just in time for me to Freakin leave. I hate my luck.
Jim the guy who met President Hinckley is also being prepared to be baptized but it won’t be for a while. We also had a really good lesson with him. I'm so upset that all these people I have found and taught will be baptized AFTER I leave. What the heck man?
Anyhow. My biggest trial in this area was building the relationship with the ward back up. My first comp in this area kinda ruined it and destroyed any trust they had in us. I feel I was a bit of a success in that area. This past week we had 8 meal appointments with members and did 2 different service projects. I honestly feel that I have dug around the tree, pruned it, and watered it and now when it is time to harvest I get moved. That greenie Elder Engelbrektsson will be training is freakin lucky.
It was so good to get updated on the happenings at home. It was so funny that you got snowed in! I miss the cabin I just dreamed about it last night! How weird. But four days ago we had our first snow and I have never been so excited in my life! It was one of the best days so far everyone was happy and carefree and we set up a lot of appointments (all of which hosed us). But funny enough here in England the whole country SHUTS DOWN when it snows. During church it was snowing and the bishopric decided to cut church short. So after the first two hours we ended church so everyone could get home safely. Well, as soon as church was out there was about three inches of snow and we all had a huge snowball fight! It was so fun! I love my mission.
I finally got Preston's wedding invitation... its still really weird for me. But I'm happy for them.
Thanksgiving was amazing. We ate at a member’s home and we were on a work over to get me away from my companion for a day. So Elder Ashby from Utah came with me to the dinner and we enjoyed two hours of American jokes. It was hilarious. I have learned just to laugh about friendly fire, over spending, airhead girls, pompous politicians, huge food portions, and a lack of socialized heath care.
Life is really good. I'm excited to start out in a new area and finally have another American companion. Honestly serving with Europeans has been bad for my speech. I often times find myself speaking in broken English just because it is what I am use to hearing... kinda embarrassing.
One of the greatest things about serving a mission is learning things that you already knew. It’s like gaining the testimony that you had in primary. It’s amazing what happens when you begin to walk by faith and trust in the Lord. I'm really trying to learn humility but it doesn’t matter in what way you do it humility is one of the most difficult lessons to learn. I hope that this email finds you all well.
P.s. tell Zach not to get shot!
Here are as few pictures of the snow and me
Me Elder Volpe (Italy) and Sister Gipson (Hawai'i)
Me and the Hunt family (ward mission leader)