Dear Family and Friends,
Hey there. It certainly has been a great week and weekend with General Conference. I am so grateful to be led and guided by just and holy men who Heavenly Father calls to be his prophets upon the Earth in these days. What a blessing it is to not only have prophets but to have the technology to access their messages with ease. Well, usually with ease. Ha, at the Rome Ward building the satellite transmission was having some difficulties this weekend. Elder Farrens and I were there with Bishop and a few others for the Saturday morning session and after about 15 minutes of perfect Conference-watching action, the screen went green and no sound was coming through. After some time and effort the Bishop was able to reconfigure the system and get it up and going. However it was short lived and again it cut out. Patiently hoping that this would be able to be fixed Elder Farrens and I decided we needed to go another route and especially when investigators would be coming on Sunday that we would need to have an alternate plan. We decided to go to a member's house for ourselves then figure it out for others later. So Saturday Morning and Afternoon sessions we watched Conference at a young, single guy's place on his Mac. I was and am very grateful for the many different ways we can access the words of the prophet and apostles. Then, for Priesthood we traveled to Utica with that same member to watch that session there without satellite problems. It was all very good. I really enjoyed the messages of hope and encouragement as well, of course, those that were directed to missionaries, especially missionaries currently serving. How cool. So Saturday we made every effort to let our investigators know how they could access Conference online/BYU.TV because that would be a much more positive experience for them than to come to the church building and be disappointed, missing a good part of the meetings. Sunday morning we watched it at an older member couple's home and Lois came with us. In hindsight I think that was probably the best thing for Lois to really start to get a relationship with these members, being in their home and still catch the spirit of Conference. It was very good. Lois really liked President Monson, but she was sure to say that the music was her favorite. She is doing fantastically well. She's preparing for her baptism still on November 5. She said her nephew, only member in her family, will fly out from Mesa to be here and do the baptizing! It's awesome. We are seriously having so many incredible experiences here; the gratitude I feel toward my Savior is hard to express. People we have been teaching are starting to progress more solidly and new people continue to fall into our laps to teach. Simply, I'm going to do my best to "look up" and maintain an optimistic and trusting attitude in my Master.
Thanks for the package! I'm glad Mom was able to find another journal - yeah , I think three will be the magic number (especially as I'm 2/3 through my mission. crazy). Perhaps in the next letter you send, could you include my Priesthood lineage; I don't think I have one with me out here. We're short on missionaries for different reasons: with the tragedy in Ogdensburg we're down 2, then another sister went home sick, and the transfer before that an elder went home. Compared to 3-5 years ago in this mission we have 40 or so fewer missionaries. I guess they're sending more to the more 'fruitful' locations...peh. At ZLC I got some updates on the people in Albany from Elder Checketts. The Flanders are doing very well and others. Namukolo, I was informed, is still in Menands and is looking to stay in New York. Hopefully she can do so without much strain. (She doesn't have a computer in her apartment so that's probably why she hasn't emailed you, Mom). I hope the trip to Florida is fun for Kelly and Drue and the Jennings (I got your email :)! ). Sounds like a blast. There isn't a Panera here in my area. The other city we'll go to for training this week is Carthage. The picture of the dancing, Paige, is very classic. Does the guy with the hand behind you happen to resemble me a little? Ha. It's great to hear from Justin and Camille and their family! I was asked where I'm going today? Brayden, I'm going to dinner and then to Camden for a teaching a appointment with a part-member family. During the day today I'll likely just be in the apartment. We need to prepare our training for District Meetings this week. Yeah, Justin we're both Zone Leaders and no I wasn't a District Leader before. There aren't really any other languages here that stick out although I have taught some in Spanish. Is Jordan Richardson getting home this week?
Thank you everyone for your inspiring words and the love you send me. I'm very grateful to you all of you for everything you do for me.