It is great to hear from you all again and I'm so glad that you all had a great week. By the sounds of it, it seems like everyone had a pretty eventful week. I'm glad the trip to Philly was a success and that you were able to go to some good restaurants. Sorry, Ithaca, if you were saying you don't have Chipotle or Cheescake factory around you, because we definitely have those here in Albany. We have a lot of really good restaurants around. That's awesome that Julie Beck was the speaker at Sacrament, and you met an Elder Smith who knows me? Nice. I'll send home my memory card today in an envelope so you can expect and look forward to that.
Thanks so much for all of the Birthday wishes and gifts. It means a lot to be able to feel of your love so directly, thanks. We celebrated in style, of course. E. Potter did a great job treating me well and the day was full of great stuff; more to follow. But thank you all so much for what you did for me and continue to do for me. I really appreciate it and all of you so much.
This week has been a great and quick one. Monday our range balls outing was rained out but we still had a good day nonetheless. We went to our old apartment, got our old key and got a stack of mail. There was some confusion somewhere along the chain but in talking with the mission office I'm pretty sure it's all squared away. That night we taught the Rudat family (the 'wrong Chris' people). We had a great lesson and they are doing really well. Tuesday we had some opposition as Sis. Hou told us she didn't desire to meet with us anymore - that was really too bad but she's had a great experience with the church and will continue to have such with some of the members who have befriended her and her husband. Also, Bill - the food storage, just show up at church guy - told us he didn't desire to learn/meet with us which was really unfortunate. All is well though because we taught some great lessons with less-actives who are coming back. Wednesday we taught Bro. Westphal, the part-member family with the 'custom' Book of Mormon. He is doing great and his wife told us, afterward, that this is the most progress he's made with missionaries before. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and in his extended margins there are tons of notes and questions and things. It's pretty intense. I hope he'll read it more with a desire to know that it's from God rather than understand its intricacies, but he's progressing really well. Thursday the highlight was teaching an investigator with a member on splits. Bro Morris is the investigator, mid 20's, and he is so awesome. The Spirit was incredible at the lesson and he's really eager to read from the Book of Mormon. We have another appointment with him and the same member Thursday of this week! Friday was, of course, a great day! ---side note: Sis Hou just now came up and talked to us and we're still on great terms which is really nice. We'll probably go by tonight and get a picture with them! ha. --- My birthday was awesome. E. Potter got the shrine/banner and balloons and such all set! It was great. The day was full of teaching as well! We taught Bro Westphal again, awesome. The "cake money" Elder Potter was given was used for lunch instead. Wendy's, yum. Then we taught a less-active with a recent-convert, really good. Then we taught the recent-convert and his wife. Awesome. We had a great dinner appointment with members, too! The night appointment was incredible, though! We, or I, taught Yolanda and Tino exclusively in Spanish!! We had this appointment set and tried for a long time to try and get a Spanish speaking member to come with us but no luck. So we decided to still go forward with faith and I taught them the message of the restoration in Spanish! It went great! And Tino had actually met with or at least talked with missionaries before. He knew about the Book of Mormon and was really eager to get one and read it. We had a Spanish copy! It was so amazing. Saturday was transfer calls of course. I'll be staying here in Albany and Elder Potter is headed up to Potsdam. Guess who is coming to be my companion? This crazy saga doesn't end. Elder Lyman will come and serve with me for his last transfer!! How crazy is that! So I'll be here guaranteed at least another 1 more transfer once he leaves. At least 3 more months in Albany...I'm perfectly OK with that! It will be awesome. Sister Bulloch called me to wish me a happy birthday and she told me how excited E. Lyman was. Or rather, that he is "ecstatic." Ha, so that was really cool to hear that he's excited to serve with me again. Technically, I've already double-dipped with 3 companions - E. Stratton, E. Potter, E. Lyman - crazy. I'm excited for the future although I'm sad E. Potter is leaving. We have gained a friendship that will last long; he's awesome. Stake Conference, broadcast from SLC, was awesome. Unfortunately I didn't see the wink from E. Zwick - I don't know if the camera wasn't on him early enough when he did it or if I just wasn't paying attention. But I felt it nonetheless and it was really cool to hear him. His niece, Sis. Zwick had no idea he was speaking, I told her that morning and she couldn't believe it. Yesterday was great. Taught the Rudats again, they're awesome. The Pagan, less-active, family is doing really well too and will be coming back! I'm speaking at church this week to conclude our 40 day fast. First time I'll be the concluding speaker, should be sweet. We have ZLC on Friday, should be awesome as well!
I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! Thanks again for helping me have a great "golden" birthday, it really was great.
The pictures are a sneak preview from the memory card that will be sent.
First 2 are my birthday of course and the last is Yoland and Tino! (We're in his warehouse, he does upholstery)