Back row, L t R: Wilson, Skinner, Graf, Karchner, McBride, Hintze
2nd row: Beard, Garner, me, Carr, Winn
Front: Randall, Evelynn
THANK you for the package! I used everything in it within the first 24 hours. And thanks for thinking of last year's Christmas card. I got the card on the day it started snowing. Was that your guy's Halloween candy that you sent? :)
And THANK you for your letters. You guys are very good writers, I love every word you send. The wedding sounded like such a happy celebratory event and I'm glad it turned out so wonderfully. Weddings are good. And thanks for the pictures!
I got my visa this week in Salt Lake. It was a slightly traumatic experience--- not any problems getting the visa, but on the way home we had 40 minutes to wait for the train and I had to use the restroom, so we went to the closest building which was a dialysis institution way down the street. Standing in the doorway was this security guard yelling at a patient in a wheelchair and his caretaker, so Sister Carr and I skirted around them and found the bathroom. But as soon as I started walking back out, this same security guard has grabbed an old guy that just walked in, and he starts screaming and swearing at him and slams him up against the sliding doors, and then puts him in a headlock and throws him to the floor. People are calling the police and yelling and swearing and the doctors are all getting involved. I hide behind the corner til Sister Carr is done in the bathroom. We ask a nurse in the back if she can help us get out of the building a different way so she leads us through all the dialysis patients.
Of all the things that happened, I think the most troubling thing was seeing those patients. There were probably 30 of these sunken, expressionless people sitting in doctors beds. They looked so miserable and part of me was kind of scared of them because they seemed almost not human and the other part of me wanted to go and talk to them and be their friend and do something to help them not be so miserable. The whole trip was definitely a jolt back into the real world, between listening to people's conversations on the train and visiting the slums of SLC and then the incident at the institution-- the whole time I'm thinking "The world is ugly, but the gospel is so happy! It would make these people happy." That's the great thing about the gospel is there's no catch, it's just happy.
Anyway, besides that episode it's been a great week.
Someone told Sister Winn that drinking apple juice before bed causes vivid dreams, and then her grandma happened to send her apple juice in a package so we decided to run an experiment. Arm 1 will be the control, with just apple juice, and Arm 2 will be apple juice+prayer. We're currently collecting baseline data and beginning preliminary data analyses. We'll let you know.
Sister Garner switched to being Senior companion this Wednesday and that's been a change... I definitely like to be in charge, I've noticed, and she definitely likes to follow. But it's been good. I'm glad we're able to communicate so openly with each other. I'm also glad she learned how to pronounce our last name because for the first few weeks it was just avoided and any time it had to be said it came out as Lud...luum. I can't wait for Mexican people to try to figure it out.
How is Agee doing? Has she been able to make it to church? I've been thinking about how grateful I am that I got to have the experience of knowing her. I remember things from our Sunday nights all the time-- I learned so much from watching the missionaries work with her and seeing the changes in her and from her decision to be baptized. I'm also grateful that my parents made the choice to be good member missionaries and have that happen in our house. That was a really good thing to do.
Oh! Speaking of members! Can you send me a talk called 'Sister Fulcher'? It's a true story about an amazing Sister missionary and we started it in class but didn't finish, and I'm pretty sure I'll want to reread it 20 times while I'm out in the field.
Can you do me a favor and thank Todd Garner in person for the care package he sent? It brought a lot of joy to a lot people, specifically the elders in my district and certain hermanas who have an affinity for pumpkin desserts. It meant a lot.
Any ideas of what to do for a scripture case? They have cool native-looking woven ones in the bookstore, but they come separately for Bible and Book of Mormon and the bigger ones they have only fit English scriptures. I'm trying to think long term of how to keep my scriptures looking nice when they don't stay in a classroom all day. I might just do the separates if I can't think of anything else.
Also, did you ever get in touch with the Petersons in Merida? I'm still trying to figure out if I should pack my coats with me since I am using every inch of my suitcase space with all of the new stuff I got at the MTC.
Oh! I bought a camera card reader that actually works on these computers.
I love you all! Go read scriptures.
The picture is most of my district on our p-day trip to Brigham's Landing. We went to Great Harvest Bread and then Jamba Juice with Elder Wilson's gift card (guess who got pumpkin. :))