Hey there; it's great to hear from you all this week. Thanks for all of the pictures that you attached to the emails. I can just pretend that I was there and photocopy my face in there sometime. Looks and sounds like everyone is doing well. It's great to hear that girl's camp was a success and positive experience. It's been really, really hot here but thankfully we were inside teaching basically all day on the really hot days. Our apartment is sweet and has central air so it's kept at a very nice temperature, without it it's brutal. It was good to get Mom's letter and I was happy to see an email from Ben Killpack in there. It's hard to believe that Grant Peterson is a deacon and passing the sacrament, wow. Thanks, Ste, for correcting your error and signing your email "Ste" not "Steven." ha. The Tuhaye greens were a 13? Sounds pretty brutal to me, but 3rd place is impressive, nice job Papa. It's great to hear the updates with the Jennings; that's exciting for Tyler!
All in all things are going great here. Working in a three-some certainly has different dynamics but it's been good. This past week we were able to reach the 'Standards of Excellence' again which feels pretty rewarding (certain number of lessons, etc). On Monday we taught a couple for the first time. It was a really good lesson helping him, Lenny, understand Christ's role and who He is. Tuesday was Zone Conference. I thought it was really good and enjoyable. President trained on repentance and tied pride into it. The Assistants trained on using the scriptures in teaching. E. Checketts and I trained on teaching with your companion in unity. We were complimented quite a bit after and it seemed to go pretty well. I'm not sure what stuck with them most, though; our positive examples/demonstrations of teaching in unity or our purposeful poor ones which included a robotic routine and some choreographed 'the robot' dance moves. Ha, it was fun. We were on exchange after that for the next 24 hours. I stayed here with E. Bergman and a new missionary came here. We taught the Donovan family that night, it was nice. Wednesday we had a really important lesson with an investigator who wants to be baptized but is living with a guy (actually a member) and they're not married. It went really really well because she wanted to go over all of the requirements for baptism which presented an appropriate opportunity to help her/them fix their living situation. The rest of Wednesday was good; we taught a less-active member before we switched back on the exchange who is from Puerto Rico. She speaks broken English and I'm able to help her communicate with us all and speak to her in Spanish. It's way fun, we're good friends. I think that's one of the coolest things about serving a mission is the friendships and relationships gained; there are so many people here I'm close to now, it's so fun. Thursday the highlight is teaching the Flanders the Word of Wisdom; they completely accepted it and are willing to live it. She is still set to be baptized Aug 6! And she's so excited. We picked up another woman this week on Thursday who was a referral from a friend of hers in SLC (member). She's really kind and quiet. Also, we saw Namukolo and she's been figuring out what it will take to renew/extend her visa here in the US and she will likely go back to Zambia when it expires in 3 months. I think that will be good for her; she was able to come here and get away for a little bit and find the gospel now she will be able to go home and share it with everyone there and have added strength. We'll see what happens; I'll now have an excuse to visit and go to Africa, though; and I'm okay with that ha. Friday we taught a less-active woman again with members. She came to church yesterday for the first time in years; it was great, she loved it. Kayla (the 10 yr old) had her baptismal interview and is all set to be baptized this Saturday! She asked me to baptize her so that will be a fun experience. Saturday was picture perfect - we had 6 lessons planned, teaching all day, and they all went through and were really good. We're being so blessed; it's so great. I really recognize the Lord's hand in this work. I felt that yesterday and the necessity for his help yesterday particularly. We had 2 lessons yesterday which were very opposite of each other. The first I felt went very poorly. I'm not entirely sure why other than I didn't feel I/we had the Spirit. I didn't have much power behind what I was saying/teaching. Afterward we talked about it and said a prayer then went into our next lesson. It went really well...the Spirit was absolutely there and I felt I was able to teach with power beyond my own. It sounds so elementary but it's so true that without the Spirit I'm just my weak self. It was a great week. We plan to continue with the work this week ahead. The baptism Saturday will be great. Sis. Flanders will have her baptismal interview Saturday, too, which will be great. And I'll be on exchange (staying here again) with E. Israelson who I came out with who is a District Leader in Downtown Albany with E. Schrader now. I'm excited for that.
Thanks for all that you do for me. I hope you have a great week and I send my love and appreciation to you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAIGE!