Hey, what's going on? I hope everyone is well where ever they are! It, as always, is great to hear from all of you! It sounds like things are moving swiftly along for everyone else, too, which is pretty cool. I absolutely am receiving your emails, Nana, and I appreciate them so much each week! I'm glad you both in Salt Lake are doing well. I don't know of anything off hand that I really stand in need of at this time but I really appreciate all of the offers and generosity. To respond to some things in Mom's letter...I don't think I need any more warm clothing. If I was up north it would be a completely different story. Talking with Elder Miller at ZLC a week ago he was saying how it's been -20ish average for the last while. That's dang cold. This week it hasn't been too bad; a couple days in the 30's and the rest seemed to be in the 20's. We heard there is going to be a ridiculous storm here this week - perhaps tomorrow through Thursday. That should be really interesting; there is this guy in our ward who studies weather and such who is really smart who gives us the low down. I wear the penguin ties occasionally, not too much, staying more conservative. We go on Mormon.org for an hour each week other than Pday. We familiarize ourselves with the people on there, the videos, and some of the profiles. The main focus for us is to then be able to relate these people on the website to people we come in contact with on the streets, tracting, etc. We're already seeing fruit from it, it is incredible! I don't know if I'll make my own profile on there, yes we 'can' but I don't know - at least at this point - if that is the most effective thing I can do to utilize my time on there. E. Potter is a Zone Leader, all three of us are. He is awesome. He is from Coleville (spelling?) Utah and has a slight small-town accent, so cool. All of us are really getting along well and working well together. It's probable that I will stay here in Albany for a while; at least I hope so anyway. That's awesome Institute was on Jacob 5 - I agree, if you really can begin to understand this chapter and parable it really is powerful and meaningful. Really cool. That's crazy Colten Johnston and Steven Frost are getting married. How long have each of them been home now? I forgot to mention before E. Potter got here E. Boyakin and I went to Panera; it was really good, thanks again for that gift card. Speaking of Ithaca, that's cool you are having the elders over for dinner! Tell them hello for me/us. When are you having them over? We're making a new push to make sure we are done with our meal appointments on Pday by 6 so we get 3 solid hours of proselyting time...something to consider, at least in the future. Make sure they are obedient and not there more than an hour ;) ha. That's cool Orlando is going to have some visitors! Way exciting. And crazy about the evacuation at church; I've never heard anything like that before! (Super lame not getting to get the ward mission plan lesson, too. ha). So I know quite a bit about Jimmer and all of that. Glens Falls is the area just north of Saratoga! President Bulloch is all over it, wanting to get him to make a profile on Mormon.org and stuff. Way cool though! And really neat, Mom, the experiences you had this week. I got to quickly share, that's really really interesting about the family history and William Stevens being from Herkimer, NY. My first transfer out in Schoharie Valley when I was saying my personal prayer before bed I had an odd experience that I haven't/hadn't been sure what to make of it but perhaps this new discovery sheds some light on it. I was praying and I had been doing something where I had a little notebook and a pen nearby to write down promptings and things of that sort. I was pondering on something and the name "Herkimer" came to mind, so I wrote it down. I didn't have any idea what that meant, I had heard it before I thought but wasn't sure. I think the next day I asked and found out it is the name of an area in the mission! I thought, hmm, perhaps I will go there next or soon or sometime. Didn't happen, obviously. Ha, but I've still had that city and name in my head whenever I see it or read it and think about that and what it might have meant. Still, who knows? Maybe I'll end up serving there later? Crazy.
So this week was a great week. On Tuesday we went around training the missionaries at their District Meetings on the new mormon.org and on obedience. It was really fun and they went pretty well! I didn't really think I liked getting in front of people or teaching, or I guess both together, so much but I guess I do! Ha, I didn't mind it at all and really enjoyed it. That night I went on a split with a high priest and we taught an awesome family of 6 for the first time, we had tracted into them prior. It went so well and the Spirit was so strong! We picked them up as investigators and we couldn't have been more excited. (side note: if you think of how bizarre some of the circumstances are you find yourself in on a mission, it's pretty funny. I was here in New York with a member of the church I don't know hardly going to a stranger's home and meeting them, etc. There are so many just odd/new situations like that that are just so funny and you just go for it). Anyway, the update on that is we called them 2 days later to see how they were doing and to set up another appointment and they dropped us and told us they were all set in their Catholic faith and hung up on me. Nice. The highs and lows as a missionary never cease. There is no doubt, though, that the highs outweigh the lows by a ton. We ended up being able to pick up a couple new investigators this week, still, which was really good. The most exciting (who we technically haven't considered a new investigator yet) is a woman who was referred to us by a member who used to live here who now is in Texas who has "been working on her" for a while now. This woman, Dani, was way sweet and we have an appointment with her on Wednesday night we are really looking forward to! Other than that, though, I don't know what else is too noteworthy. Dennis was able to make it to church which was a great blessing! He hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon which is a little unsettling but we're working on it and will see him this Friday. He is still set for March 12 for baptism. Good things are happening here; we've really been working hard and being obedient. It can be tough to balance things with the responsibilities as a Zone Leader to make sure all of that is accomplished in a timely manner and accurately and have effective time to be out working (as much as I'm used to). It's great though. We've seen some opposition as I've mentioned but we are finding those that will receive us and act on this message. They are out there. Tomorrow we have Zone Conference here which is really exciting. We are making sure all of the loose ends are tied up today and we're ready for that! We're training on finding people and having some members come and be 'normal people' behind doors the missionaries will practice tracting on. ha, it's pretty cool we're excited.
Well I hope that you all have a great week and that things continue to be well for you all! I appreciate so much all of your words of encouragement, support, and love! Thanks so much! I love you all and I can't begin to write how much this gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed me and how much I know it is all true and real!