16 December 2013
Yes, I'll be able to call home/Skype on Christmas; I'll notify you via letter and/or email as to when you should expect that communique. I have received a package that you sent me (it had a bunch of newspaper ads, York peppermint patties, Three Musketeers Hot Cocoa bars, and my T-shirt quilt/comforter. I thank you very much for these things, especially the quilt.) Now, don't worry, I'm not dying of hypothermia. The weather has been very cold (10s and 20s for the most part) but I've managed to adjust to it pretty well. I'm comfortable and I'm embracing it. It was especially pretty to see the moon shining bright against the blankets of snow across the bluffs and cornfields when we driving home from dinner at a member family's home last night. You can really see a lot of the stars at night.
The main thing that I've cooked has been oatmeal and my companion Elder Quayle is pretty good at making waffles and pancakes. He has told me to be diligent about asking members for dinner appointments so they're doing most of the cooking for us. The meals have been very good, we're exercising every morning except Sundays.... At this point in time, I don't need thermals.
We don't have a ward choir, and even if we did, I don't know if we'd be able to sing in it. However, I'm singing, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" for our Christmas Zone Conference this coming Tuesday. Piano accompaniment is being provided by a sister missionary in our District named Sister Cragun. We do have quite a bit of Christmas décor in our apartment (lights, a little light-up tree, and so forth.) I haven't heard anything from Houston other than what you've told me in emails, but I have heard that the Dallas/Fort Worth area recently got hit with a big ice storm that shut down the airports there. The best thing that's happened in Glenwood is the opportunity to provide service to others as well as helping fellowship what missionaries call LARCs (Less Actives, Recent Converts.) We had a good and productive Ward Council meeting yesterday, my first as a full-time missionary, and we were told by one of the female auxiliary leaders that there was a big thing on Facebook about us shoveling snow throughout Glenwood on the Sunday when it snowed and they canceled Church (not yesterday but the Sunday before that.) That was really good. The biggest challenge is trying to find Investigators and getting referrals from members but we're keeping our eyes open and we're asking diligently. So far, I'm not really homesick, but I'll keep an eye on it just in case. I think that one of the best cures for it is work and we're trying to keep ourselves busy.
That's wonderful to hear about the Christmas program as well as Noah's Eagle Scout Project. Speaking of the weather, how is it down there? What else are you doing to prepare for Christmas? How are school and Church going? How is everyone else in the family doing?
I look forward to hearing more from you and having continuing correspondence via email, letters, and phone/Skype...
I love you all,