Hey there. Hope everyone is doing well. It's great to hear from all of you, as usual. By the sound of things, Ste had a very exciting 12th birthday! I enjoyed all of the pictures. I can remember my 12th birthday like it was yesterday. I can especially remember going to school the next day (after I hadn't been there on my birthday due to being in California) and walking up the portable ramp to Mrs. Muehling's class and explaining what I did and why I wasn't at school. I'm sure Ste will remember it that vividly too when he's a missionary. How exciting that he received the Aaronic Priesthood. It's hard to believe he is that old (mainly because it feels like I was just there). And I see that between the Hungry Howies, choice of cake, and going to the Penguin store, much was done in my honor, ha. How exciting that April 16 is the big day for Jennings #2! I hope that Kim's surgery is successful and without complication; she's definitely in my thoughts and prayers. I am all set as far as slippers go but I did remember that postage stamps are always a good thing to have and wouldn't be a bad gift :). That's hilarious that Elder Stratton keeps reminiscing to Paige and Ben about he and I together. He's such a great guy; and how crazy that Elder Becerrill came on exchange that night and ate over at the Lewis'. Good stuff. I have yet to get Mom's letter this week. Tell Jordan Southworth thanks for the card he sent me. That was nice. But 1-1:30pm Arizona time shouldn't be a problem for calling at this point; knowing more next week with the transfer situation and such I'll let you know better then (Monday or Tuesday, depending on when we take Pday with the transfer).
Things are plugging along in Rome. Elder Bowles and I are enjoying our time serving together. The past week certainly wasn't without disappointment and trial, although looking back it really wasn't too bad. We had a really cool experience on Friday afternoon. We had been working really hard trying to find people to teach and after a bunch of things hadn't worked out, we were getting out of the truck to go try a potential investigator that was found months before who neither of us knew. But as we were getting out we saw a little way down the street a woman pull in her driveway, get out of her car and start to walk inside her home - I felt strongly that we needed to approach her and talk with her. Miraculously she had troubles with her keys, by the looks of it, and we were able to get there before she walked inside. After introducing ourselves and briefly sharing truths with her, she invited us in. Her name is Sharon and she has two (respectful, well-behaved) sons, 11 and 16. She and her family are very interested in being taught, coming to church, etc. One of the coolest parts is they're Jamaican (and a well established family)! ha - and the 11 year old son had on a Manchester United (soccer) jersey and I gave him a hard time that I'm a Liverpool fan. Anyway, they're such a blessing to us as Elder Bowles and I had/have a goal this week to find a family to teach. Tuesday night we have an appointment with them. Lois is going to the temple on Saturday with a small group to do baptisms for the dead. She is extremely excited and I'm extremely excited for her. She's solid as a rock. There is no doubt that this week will be interesting waiting to see what is happening with the transfers. I'm going on exchange tomorrow and will be working in Oneida - I've never been there before so it should be a good time.
Hopefully you all are safe and well and are enjoying the wonderful Christmas spirit. I know that the love of Christ brings the sense of peace and togetherness we detect greater at this time of year. Let us seek after His love. Have a great week. I love you all so much.