Hello and greetings to all. The time is flying by here in Rome and things are going well. It's great to hear from you all. It's always nice to see pictures, too. I received both packages - thanks a lot everything is great! Even being out this long it is still as exciting to get a package in the mail, not to mention even getting letters too, ha. Thanks. Transfers are on the 20th of December (if I said the 10th last email that was a typo). Also, I realized once it was too late to ask to have contacts sent in the box that you sent. Sorry. I have about 25 left (25 days) so I figure maybe you can put 2 boxes of contacts (1 for each eye, being different prescriptions) in one of the boxes that are to sent for Christmas. make sense; or you can just send them on their own...whatever is easiest and cheapest. Sorry again for forgetting to mention it sooner. That's great that Paige and Ben already met Elder Stratton and my little note was delivered. I love Elder Stratton and hope they can have him over and get to know him well. I'm very excited that Kevin got in touch with you guys and is coming over tonight! That will be so cool; I can't wait to hear how it goes. He is a very great guy with a strong, burning testimony. I can't think of anything off hand to be sure to mention to him from me. Definitely listen to his conversion story - and get insights on Lois' experience, too. My thoughts and prayers are with Kelly and the Sheffields at this time. I hope this week goes great for them. Thanksgiving we are going to be eating with our Ward Mission Leader and his nonmember coworker, hopefully. He and his wife are great cooks so it should be a great time.
This week has been a pretty good one. Elder Bowles and I are settling in together here in Rome nicely. He is a really great guy and we get along great; we're able to work hard and still have some laughs as we go. He is from South Jordan Utah. His first night here we had an amazing experience. Elder Farrens and I had tracted into a lady months ago who was warm and invited us to come back at a better time. Some time passed and we hadn't connected with them until E. Farrens and I stopped by not long before he left and had a great 45 min conversation standing in their doorway (the woman and her husband). Last Monday I called them and finally got in contact and set up an appointment to see them Wednesday night, E. Bowle's first night here. So we went over and sat at their table with them and had a great discussion. The husband, Bruce, is hilarious. He kept saying how he normally never lets anyone into his house who comes to his door trying to 'sell' him something but that for some reason he let us in and this far. They opened up to us about some struggles within their family and described us as "a ray of sunlight" in this difficult time for them. There was an amazing Spirit there. We have another appointment with them tomorrow evening. Can't wait. They are definitely the high water mark for the week. We were able to find 4 sweet new investigators this past week. Another great find is a part-member family; the husband is a less-active member and convert and the wife is a nonmember. We had a great lesson with them right before E. Bowles got here. We actually had an appointment to see them this morning but it fell through, the dad had to go to school for one of the kids; I'm thinking we'll end up seeing them tomorrow. Our teaching pool (of investigators) is about 10-12 people at the moment - all of whom we sadly aren't able to teach super consistently, but it's improving. We're working with quite a few less-actives and excommunicated people, though which are bearing fruit as well. The 10 year old we are teaching (whose parents are less-active members) is still preparing to be baptized in December; we want the dad to prepare to be worthy to do it. They all came to church yesterday which was great! We're going to go get our oil changed at his garage at 1, as well so hopefully that will be another positive interaction with him/them. Speaking of church it was the Primary program - Man, I love kids! They have the most tender, sincere, and innocent Spirit about them ever. I love kids. The Savior seems to love them, too. Jean's Conference talk is so good. Anyway, this week ahead is crazy - we'll be going around and training at the District Meetings and on exchange after that. It should be an enjoyable week for sure. ZLC was fun this past week, too.
Thanks again for everything that you all do for me. I truly feel your love and prayers from wherever you may be. I love you.