So yeah, it snowed pretty hard here last week. It was pretty cold until the late, late afternoon came, then it started to warm up. Of course, that was the one day when we didn’t have much scheduled so we went tracting for 3 hours. Luckily, I brought the “mission jacket” Cort gave me and that kept me really warm. It was certainly good enough for the temperature that day. The snow actually stuck to the ground even though no one thought that it would. I did end up buying a sweater and a scarf from the local JC Penney—they were on sale and are really nice. The sweater is 5% cashmere so I feel distinguished and wealthy when I wear it. Ha! Cashmere…it just sounds fancy, doesn’t it. I feel like saying to my companion, “I’ll count the money, and you count the diamonds! Ah ha! Ah ha! No, really…I feel sort of classy when I wear them…in a humble sort of way, of course. I think the thing that is next on my priority list is a warm pair of gloves. Tracting was not fun when my hands were cold. Also, some head wear would be nice. I have asked what people suggest wearing, including specific brand names, but they all say, “No one brand is best, just layer up and wear wool.”
WOW! That’s crazy awesome that Jon Frank is Bishop Frank now! That's freaking sweet! I'm sad that Bishop Anderson won't be the bishop anymore, but we really couldn't ask for a better new bishop! I know he will do a great job and I'm excited to see him when I get back, and I'm able to report to him. It's funny because my bishop here is a dentist so I guess they are just taking over…Dentists, Unite! Boyd will make a sweet addition to the bishopric, I'm sure great things will continue to happen in the 5th ward!
When I thought about mission life, I was honestly pretty worried about how I was going to fall asleep at nights because it was often hard at home (as you know), but it really hasn't been a problem. I’m normally out within 10-20 minutes. Current arrangement is that we turn a fan on low and point it at my companion. He loves it really cold and I like the "white noise" if you will. Works for both of us, such teamwork :)
For PDay this week we participated in the Sludge Trudge (like the Dirty Dash or Tough Mudder runs) and it was really fun. This week we also did service for the fair grounds (which is where it took place) directing cars in the parking lot for the National Indian horse relay..It was freaking sweet! Instead of passing sticks/batons as the horses run the track, the riders jump off one horse and on to another one while riding bareback! It was an amazing thing to see. You'll have to look it up…it's a pretty amazing event. I wouldn't mind watching it yearly. And, since we helped as parking volunteers, we got in for free and got $20 worth of food so that was fantastic. One of the ward members here owns one of the BBQ places at the fair grounds so we got some great BBQ for free as well! People are so good to us.
Things continue to go well and this week was busy with good BMS (basic missionary stuff). We had another service opportunity at the food bank this week. We unloaded a large moving truck that was full of Coke products. I have never seen so much soda in my life! The products were all donated to the food bank and our job was to unload the truck, and then stack it back up inside of a storage area. There were a number of punctured/smashed cans and bottles in the storage area and so that also meant there were a bunch of hornets in there going crazy—that didn't help at all! Pretty much the highlight of my week. They terrify me but I'm slowly getting over my fear of them. I used my Ninja/Jedi reflexes and took out 20 or so wasps and hornets that got trapped inside. Got those suckers with a fly swatter! If you haven’t gathered, bees and the like are all over the place here and continue to bother me where ever I go. Since I just got the new scarf and sweater, I can’t blame it on the cashmere. Perhaps the Lord is just helping me learn to “bee full of courage.” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Peace and blessings, peace and blessings. Thanks for everything!
Love, Elder Ras