Michael, Lois and Elder Farrens
Happy Thanksgiving! I can't believe it is already Thanksgiving. It's even weirder for me to think back on what I was doing as a missionary last year for Thanksgiving - I can remember that whole day like it was yesterday. Bizarre. Anyway, it is, as always, so great to hear from you all this week. I'm happy to hear the great things that are going on where everyone is. The pictures with Kevin are classic. Can I get a copy of it printed out? Actually, 2 so I can give one to Lois? That'd be awesome; I know she'll be excited to see it. She spoke with Kevin a little bit about the experience and she said he only had great things to say, of course, and was very impressed. I'm glad that worked out so well. What a cool experience. I got the Thanksgiving goods from Papa and Nana! What a fun, unexpected arrival, thanks so much. That's so exciting to hear that the museum is open and doing well. I'm excited to get the grand tour when I'm in the area! Dad and Ste, those emails you sent have got to go down on the top 5 best emails sent ever list, haha. Nacho Libre quotes bring back lots and lots of good, funny memories. Either I wasn't aware or I had easily forgotten that the Jennings crew is going to Jamaica (or already there, I suppose) for Thanksgiving. That's awesome! I have given 2 talks in Sacrament meetings so far as a missionary - my estimation would be that's below average. Elder Bowles spoke yesterday in church about forgiveness, he did good. So this may seem really random but I have a thought for Christmas: I would like (no, I don't need) a gift card to Dunkin Donuts. Haha, no I'm not apostatizing. They have really good white hot chocolate with flavors to mix in that would be nice to be able to get this winter. A member in Albany happened to give us a card there and it was a nice thing to be able to do every once in a while. Just a thought. Thanks for all the thoughts and concerns.
This week has been good. The travel and training at the various district meetings went well. Elder Bowles and I find it enjoyable doing those sort of things so it was fun training together. I went on exchange with Elder Pexton this week which was an enjoyable time. I've worked with him before (he is related to the Willardson's). The work here in Rome is definitely gaining momentum. We are still preparing the 10 year old, Vincent, for baptism whose parents are/had been less-active members. They are so awesome; such a great family. Perhaps the funnest thing that we did this week was go to a benefit dinner at an American Legion for Vincent's grandma who had cancer and recently went into remission. It was actually a really good missionary opportunity with their families there and friends. The best part was Vincent's mom being an auctioneer, auctioning off baked good and other things. There is such a strong spirit within the family; even doing fun/more rowdy things like that together in the spirit of family carries a great feeling. So, they're great. Oh, and we found out that a relative (one of Vincent's cousins; a 15 year old girl) is a nonmember who actually has been coming to church with the grandma. Hopefully we will begin teaching her here soon, too. We received a referral from mormon.org this week right as we were praying to go out the door one morning. It was pretty cool, we were asking Heavenly Father in prayer to help us find the elect who He is preparing or have them find us and right at that moment the phone vibrated and said "Message Received" as it does when we get a text message. Ha, it was the referral - pretty cool. We contacted them and they're a great young family. We have an appointment with them tomorrow morning, very excited. For Thanksgiving this year we are going to our Ward Mission Leader's. He invited a nonmember co-worker to come, which will be great! Not to mention he and his wife both are amazing cooks! We are planning on taking Thank You notes or something around to investigators, less-active members, members, etc on Thanksgiving to show our appreciation for them.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for all of you. Now, more than ever, I appreciate the small and great sacrifices from love that you offer me. Thanks so much. I love you.