Hello to you. It sounds like so much has happened this past week I really don't know where to begin! My heart goes out to Nana; she is such a good sport! I'm so sorry to hear about the accident in the alley. I'm learning first hand how nasty walking around on ice can be.
Miraculously I have yet to have a slip on the ice (I'm sure I just jinxed myself), although missionaries do quite regularly out here. I've had some funny experiences with companions slipping, but nothing nearly as serious as Nana's. Get well soon! Back in Arizona it sounds like all of the visitors and events went great! How fun; I love the pictures. I hope to hear more about all of that in the future. The California trip sounds like it'll be great. Basically my contacts will be all used up right at the end of my mission. I'm not sure if it'd be best to go ahead and get another eye exam and get more contacts out here...or if it'd be best to do it when I get home. If I did wait until I got home, I would hope to be able to squeeze that in before we take off to California. Out here would be fine in my mind unless you feel differently for any reason? Next week I'll be in Elmira. Zone Conference is there on Tuesday, we'll work there Wednesday then travel up to Potsdam for Zone Conference up there Thursday. So, if we want to do the Lewis Luncheon it'd need to be Wednesday the 22nd. I've thought since we last mentioned this that it may be neat to wait and do it...especially with Paige and Ben on the cruise when I get off the plane. So perhaps we could wait until my last transfer (with the assumption I'm still in Utica) and do it then (which would probably be May 16, surrounding the next zone conference down there). Thoughts?
This upcoming week is going to be crazy! Tonight E McCleve and I are traveling to Albany in preparation for the Zone Conference there tomorrow. Then Wednesday we have Zone Conference here in the Utica Zone. And Thursday we have it in Syracuse, and following the meeting we are going to be working with the zone leaders there for a day. It's been fun getting all ready for the Zone Conference tour. Also, we went to Albany and worked with the elders there for a day. As far as reconnecting with old friends there, this trip was less exciting; but overall I had a great time being there, it will forever have a sweet spot in my heart. Amidst doing that this past week we were able to teach as much as ever! Things are progressing very well. This past week we found 2 new solid investigators, and the week prior we found 4. In fact, we're going to teach one of those 2 new this afternoon at 1. I'm really excited. We talked to her initially a few weeks ago visiting a less-active man in a nursing home/rehab place after he had a stroke; she was one of his nurses - and asked to have a copy of the Book of Mormon. Then she ended up coming to church the week before and this past week we were able to teach her! Good stuff. The other new investigator we found this week is a 18 year old girl who is friends with a less-active family we are teaching. She's really sharp and fun to teach. Since I arrived in Utica the area/ward has been split in two with Sisters here as well. The portion we cover includes the city of Utica which hadn't been worked much by the elders previously. There are tons of less-active members on the roles that live there so that's been a big focus since I arrived here. It's been great not only for teaching and reactivating these members but for finding their nonmember spouses, children, and friends to teach too. It's been great. Gail is doing really well. We had a very powerful lesson on the divinity of Christ as the Son of God. It went well. She's a thinker, which is great. Some of the doctrines (ie. that God has a body of flesh and bone) don't sit too well with her intellectually right now, but she says that all of these experiences she is having (ie. at church, reading the Book of Mormon, etc) feel good and bring her more peace than she's felt before. I feel really good about how things are going there although she isn't preparing for a specific date to be baptized yet. I'm doing really well. All in all, I don't know if I have enjoyed missionary work up to this point as much as I am currently. I enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Everyone does.
Thanks for all that you do. I love you all so much. Happy Valentines Day.