Dear Family & Friends,
The leaves have definitely started their autumn transformation and the cooler weather is certainly upon us here in Rome as well. It's great to hear from all of you this week; I always look forward to hearing the updates from everyone so thank you. It seems like everyone is doing very well which is fantastic! Those pictures from the flooding in Owego is pretty intense. It's nice that Paige and Ben went down and helped out. I don't know if I should consider myself lucky or what, how I avoided the floods by coming to Rome when I did. It's good to hear that Ste is still involved in his sporting and scouting - it seems like that was me just yesterday, wow. Hopefully the "round up" goes well for Papa. I know he always looks forward to that time. That was interesting, Dad, about being sure to begin the kids' lesson with a prayer. That was actually something that I noticed more significantly than usual this week: the ability beginning a lesson with prayer has in inviting the Spirit. It sometimes can be tough here with situations in which we find ourselves where a conversation really leads into us teaching and how to have a prayer at the 'right time.' Anyway, cool you played Quintero last week - we're playing a par-3 course with our Ward Mission Leader this afternoon, I'm excited to get out and play a lil' bit. I'm very happy for everyone and again it's great to hear from you all.
It's hard for me to believe that this transfer is already coming to a close. This week flew by and it was filled with much success and great things happening. I'll begin with some of the highlights. On Saturday, we had a tour of the church building with Lois, our investigator with a baptismal date, and a member. It was a very good experience for her to ease the concerns that she had about coming to church and all of the 'newness' and unfamiliarity of it all. We talked about everything there and showed her everything she should see. The finale was the baptismal font. She wanted to get in it (as it was empty, of course) so we did and showed her exactly how the baptism will be performed and explained that whole process again. It was very Spiritual and she is very excited about it all. She then came to church on Sunday for the first time! As she walked into the little chapel (no pews; "phase-2" building I believe?) she said "I feel it already." We asked what it was she was feeling and she said the Spirit of course. Ha, it was great. A returned missionary (only a convert of a little over a year before he left) spoke and it was a great meeting. We also had another investigator come to church that we're working with. I went on exchange with Elder Nielsen from Carthage this week and I stayed here in Rome with him. He was in Ithaca for a while and he knows Paige and Ben. It was funny a time or two he commented on how something I said or did reminded him of Paige, ha. Thursday we had interviews with President, he's a great man. That night we had Stake Correlation meeting in Utica. It got postponed from 7 to 8 just prior to when the meeting was to start. Elder Farrens and I hadn't eaten so President took us around the corner to the mission home and we ate there with him. It was a really cool experience to be there with him in that environment. I offered to allow the Bulloch's to copy the program from Sis. Bentley's funeral but turns out they had 2 daughters in attendance who live in the Phoenix area and were expecting one in the mail from them. There were lots of other really cool experiences this week. One I wish I had more time to share is going and contacting a less-active member whose records randomly showed up last Sunday. We knocked on the door and addressed him by name but he proceeded to act like it wasn't him, that there was another "Bill Smith" we must be looking for and that he was Catholic. He then, though, invited us in. We sat down and talked for a bit. It became obvious he was a member by some words he used but continued to say he wasn't and had never been baptized in the Mormon church Then his Mexican wife comes home and rats him out. It was quite humorous and they were very nice. She's a non-member and he served a mission in Honduras. The sad part is we got a message from him yesterday saying he sent in to have his records removed from the church and didn't want to have contact. I doubt that'll be the end, though, and that he even really had his name removed. Who knows though. We have other really good things happening here in Rome and I'm excited for what's going on. Transfer calls are this Saturday and we'll see what happens there Oh, and we got a 2011 Silverado here. It's pretty funny driving that around as a missionary - it's the only one in the mission and they want it close by the mission office in case it needs to be used for something.
Well, I hope you all have a great week and know of my great love and appreciation for you all.