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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

District Photo
First of all, so jealous that you are going to Maui. It snowed all day yesterday, but the good news is that its supposed to get up into the forties by the end of this week. T-shirt weather haha So there have been a lot of things that happened this week that were really fun! First of all, somebody (Dad?) asked about Elder Farish this week. You'll never guess what happened! He got emergency transferred into Cambodian work! His companion is full Cambodian and speaks decent English but is hard to understand sometimes. He's taking the place of an elder that came here to Lakeville, because one of the Elders had to fill a spot of another etc because they closed Sparta, one of the areas in the mission. I thought that was the craziest thing. Cambodian is assigned in the mission call occasionally, but a lot of times, they just have to learn here, and it's pretty near impossible to learn well enough to translate or anything. Poor kid. He'll be great. Hopefully he learns fast! 

Second, turns out that one of the girls on my floor last year is best friends with one of the girls we live with, and she got engaged this week. It was one of those "do you know this person?" and usually you say no, but I literally lived across from her for 8 months. It was a fun discovery, I just kept saying "are you serious?!" haha It's a small world, and it's so fun when you have friends that live all over. 

On Tuesday we had zone conference here in Lakeville, so the Minneapolis and Lakeville South zones came too. I got to see all my friends! Hna Warmbier and her comp, Sis Scholl, the whole district I was in in Minneapolis, everybody was there and it was really fun seeing them all. The entire theme of the conference was about the urgency of our work. Working hard, working efficiently, using time wisely. Our mission is kind of in a rut right now, motivation and numbers are low. Its hard because in a lot of ways I feel like the missionaries are being forgotten about, like the office doesn't know where we are or who are comps are, and then the car thing (by the way they haven't done anything with the cars yet, so we've been good.) has brought down a lot of like... chastisement? I don't know if that's the right word. That has killed a lot of drive. For me at least. It's hard to get motivated to go out and get things done when you feel like that all it will do is bring down more not encouragement. I don't want to sound too negative or critical, but it's been hard. There are a lot of things going well too. We have an investigator that is planning to get baptized this week and she is so cute. She is the wife of a less-active, and its suuuper frustrating because a lot of times the family wont come to church, and it's so annoying because they're really excited that she's getting baptized, but they won't do anything about it. We haven't been able to teach Marina, she cancelled last week and Monday nights are basically the only day she can meet, but we are going to try again tonight. But we found a new investigator this week. Her name is Anel, and she is hardcore Catholic, but she asks the best questions, she just can't quite tell that there's something missing. She is pretty hooked in her habits, but there is so much potential if we can just help her recognize that hole. Part of the problem too is that her daughters are doing their confirmation in the Catholic church, and so getting them to come to church is hard.
Here's your Valentine's story for the week, we were at Caribou Coffee getting hot chocolate and this (super attractive) guy tries to strike up a conversation, but obviously that wasn't going to fly because 1. I'm a missionary and 2. His in was something about coffee and the only thing I know about coffee is that I teach people not to drink it haha I felt bad because I basically just walked away. I am totally going to be one of those awkward return missionaries. Can't wait.

Side note: I bought a gallon of milk today that expires in March. How does that even happen?! 

We had Valentine's dinner with the Cupkies and we ate authentic Swiss fondue and lava cake. Yummm. They are really sweet, they had a white rose and chocolate waiting for each of us. Next week we have dinners every night! We have dinner with the Zollingers on Saturday night! 

I loved the video of Morgan serving, I watched it over and over and over. 

Dad asked about the Book of Mormon and if my testimony has grown. I chuckled a little because I don't think that even describes it. Before my mission I read because I knew it was good and I felt the difference when I was reading regularly. But since the MTC, it has been so different. It's something that I long for, like all I want to do is read, and even in breaks for lunch and things. Studying isn't a chore. It helps seeing the difference it makes in other peoples conversions. I am reading right now about the stripling warriors and I love the example of obedience and courage.  

Thanks for the advice on school. I think that is what I want to do too. But here's the catch. The MTC is changing their training, so native speaking missionaries will be there for three weeks instead of two, and what that means is that the April transfer will be 7 weeks long. Which pushes back the week I come home. Aka December 28th instead of 21st. I don't really have anything to say about it, just I figured you should probably know. 

So hopefully this email didn't seem too.. I don't know, like sad I guess. I'm just venting a little. I love Minnesota, I love the winter (for real, I've decided I love it!), and I love being a missionary. 
Send me pictures! Ryan, I had better know the second you turn in your papers! 

Love you!


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