Hi family, friends, and everybody in between!
I am devastated to hear that Dad and Bosco are getting along. I had thought that my family would be protected from Bosco's evil influence...but it was not to be. I hope and pray that he will be stifled in his attempts to overthrow the very structure of our family.
I'll respond to the package before I forget. If there's any way you could send me the ties I put in the box to send me later, that would be great! I see now that so much tie trading goes on in the mission that the wear-tear factor doesn't matter too much. They are traded before they become too worn. I'm only exaggerating slightly. I'll make sure to take pictures of some of the ties I've traded for. Some of them are pretty cool.
I really appreciated the small lunches that you sent last week. That is going to help me have good lunches for the next few days :D. The junk food is really good at first but hurts later when biking...so use your best judgment. Due to biking, I'm always hungry (basically no matter what), so anything filling that you can think of would be great! I actually will run out of stamps pretty soon if that wouldn't be too much trouble. I'll appreciate anything you send me.
I have a package to send to you too! It has Ben's birthday present (way overdue), the memory card, and the old camera. Side note: Birthday presents. I'm going to send them as long as I’m able...but they will probably be late and I have no idea what will happen when I get to Brazil. So hopefully I can keep doing it...but no promises.
We got a call last night from President Holm. He said to meet him in our P-day clothes at 10:30 the next day. He only invited the surrounding companion-ships of the mission office, which included 14 of us out of the entire mission. He took us golfing! I suppose he is very into that whole thing. He has golfed with Elder Bednar at least once, and played on the same field the Masters is held at 4 times. He beat us all pretty bad. Later he took us all out to lunch.
You should look him up sometime. His full name is Monte Holm, and I guess he has written a couple books. He gave his card to a missionary once to buy some food, leaned in close, and said, "Be careful with that card. You could buy a house with that card." I thought that was humorous.
Anyways, that's why my email is late and I wont be able to write many letters today. It took about 4 hours of precious P-Day time and so we wont be able to go to the post office and send the package. Sorry, I know from experience how much you want pictures! I am doing my best to take lots of them, which does not come to me naturally.
My tri-pack is going well. They are both awesome. For some reason, everybody in my trailer seems to think that I’m hilarious. Now I’m not stupid, I know I’m not very funny. And I still get the normal level of "no-response" whenever I try to be funny. But for some reason my mannerisms just crack these guys up. I'll wake up and stretch, and everybody will crack up. I'll be sharing my opinion on something, and everybody will crack up. I'll be tucking myself in for the night, and everybody just thinks I’m hilarious. I don't even know what it is. I think its funny that they think I’m funny, so it works out.
As for my exact address, I'm afraid that's classified information. Just kidding. I live on Old Lexington Dr. (maybe not drive) in Chapin, SC. I'm not sure on the exact number. You can look up my trailer on Google Earth or something! However, you can’t write me at that address. Because of how quickly living arraignments can change, all letters and packages need to be sent through the mission office. I don't like the rule because it means it takes longer to get mail, but whatever.
So we were able to hopefully reactivate a lady in our branch. She hasn't been coming to church for a couple years, but we convinced her to come and she is bonding really well with the members. I hope that continues.
Have I mentioned that the members of our small little branch are absolutely stellar? They are. There are a couple families that stand out, but everybody is very unified.
Do you remember Midia, the lady I talked about one of my first weeks into Chapin? Well we still haven't talked to her or been able to get in contact with her. However, we heard recently from a member that she is very interested in the church and is consistently reading from the Book of Mormon as well as researching the church websites. We are hoping to set up a dinner or something where we can meet with her and the member family. It is difficult to work with her schedule because she is working 2 jobs, but we'll keep trying.
So apparently Grant just left the area entirely. Tim told us that he was in an argument with Grant over using some form of Marijuana and other things and Grant just walked out and left. Tim is not sure where he went, but not too worried. I hope he is okay and doing good things. Grant has a lot of potential, and I hate to see him limit himself.
We have a lot of people to visit, but the majority of them are friend-igators. The previous missionaries were very friendly and nice, but not very committal. We are trying to forge the friendships that people have with the missionaries into learning and fellowshipping relationships. Our job really isn't to be their friend.
We met a woman named Shaquia and taught the first lesson to her. She seemed interested, so we're hoping that progresses. We went back but no one was there. Hopefully we'll catch her again soon.
Is everybody excited for General Conference this weekend! I'm pumped! Quick note for those reading this that are not members of our church. We believe that God calls Prophets and Apostles to lead and guide His church just like He has always done. The current Prophet and Apostles will be speaking this Saturday and Sunday, broadcasted on BYU TV. Wouldn't it be interesting to watch a little bit of what we believe modern revelation from God? Saturday and Sunday from 12-2 and 4-6 each day (correct me if I’m wrong). Watch it, if only to say that you've done it. All the cool kids are doing it.
Tuesday and Wednesday are leadership training meetings mission wide...which means that other missionaries will come to stay at our apartment and eat all of our food. Yay! I will get to attend because I’m being trained. I'm very excited! The trainings that are done with missionaries are professional and inspiring.
I hope everything is going well at home. I love you all so much.
Elder Carson Gale