Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013 Letter Home

Dear Creatures of the Valley,

I'm now a full transfer into the mission!  It has been a very full month and a half.  I am staying with Elder Anderson for another tranfer before he gets out and then I'll have to act as the senior companion of my area. Six weeks and I've only had to speak in Sacrament once when I first arrived and bore a simple testimony.

The mosquitoes devour me daily and pretty much do not touch Elder Anderson.

We just had a cool investigator come to church, a sixteen year old named K****.   I'm not sure exactly how to spell his name.  He seemed to enjoy it and said he'll stay the full time next week.  Cross your fingers.

We just had the most astonishing bike week.  Six tires GONE in a single week!  First my front one, then both on his.  Then another on his.  Fixing that we went to an investigator later and with nothing even touching the bike it just loses all the air and goes DEAD flat.  We were driven to WalMart and he got a new tube.  We go to the apartment to put it in and he fills it up to 55, between the recommended 35-82.  It exploded.  So that was fun.  Despite all of it we had a stellar week.

J****, M*****, and A***** are set to get baptized at the end of this week.

I'm sending this e-mail from the Memphis First Ward building since we just went to the temple.  It was glorious and beautiful.  I'm glad I had the chance to go.  Seems attending the temple is not uncommon in my mission.  Normally we send our e-mails from the tiny West Memphis library.  The saddest little library you ever did saw.

- Elder North

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19, 2013 - Letter Home

Dear People of Not my Mission,

Loved all the little note-card letters I received, especially the one from Grandma Nielson!  Hang in there, love you!  I was also reminded of the problem that I am not in contact with Allison!  This needs fixing.

But! There seems to be a bizarre misunderstanding as people congratulated me for a baptism.  I have not baptized anyone.  I just set a date with a guy.  Other than that, most of you were asking about the food.

After last night, I now have something somewhat odd, but not too crazy.  Here in the South, you have some chili (which they have with Frito's, cheese and bacon, by the way) and you have some cinnamon rolls.  You dip the cinnamon rolls, in the chili, and eat it.  I report to you that it was pretty good.  Nothing spectacular in any fashion.  If you like sweet with your spicy, then go for it.  If not...Well, you have good chili and cinnamon rolls.  You can't loose!  The Chili was delicious and she sent us home with some.  There was much rejoicing.

The baptism for M**** is set for the end of this month.

Our pool of new investigators is looking like it will be swelling this next week, as we are about to embark once more on the fabulous Ride of Bike Week!  As I always tell my companion, "There is no greater Glory than Bike Week." ......He disagrees.

Due to car and bike there isn't that much attacking my shoes, they're holding up great.  I've gotten one blister but after a day with moleskin on it, it vanished.  It developed when I was on an exchange with Elder Armstrong during their bike week and I discovered Elder Amrstorng doesn't believe in bikes.

Our Branch is small and dying (Literally dying.  Lots of old people put in blindfolds and left in a field of buckets) but has loads of cool members!  One morning we played basketball with Brother G**** (works with greeting cards) and Brother L**** (helicopter pilot) at the church.  The Church we are in isn't that big, but it is its own building.

I got my pen and planner ran over earlier.  We were driving through a neighborhood and stopped when we saw a guy doing yard work, pruining and raking and what-have-you.  We stopped him and asked if he needed help.
"For free?"
"Well shoot!  Let me grab you guys some water."
We helped him rake up and put what he had cut into bags.  Hope we could make an investigator out of him, but it was good to help him regardless.

The weather this past week has been heaven-sent.  Stellar.  One of the days I thought I was in Utah with how dry it was.

The work progresses and hopefully so will I.
-Elder North

He continues to sound like he is doing well.  No pictures from him yet.  :(  Hopefully soon.  Write him!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Letter to home August 12, 2013

Dear People,

Bike week has come and gone, but another one is just around the corner!  There is no greater glory than Bike Week.  We have a car for two weeks and then bike for a week and that pattern repeats.  West Memphis is WAY too big for two missionaries to cover with the limitations we have on driving miles and the time commitment need to bike.  Wyne, for example, is a place in our area, but it is an HOUR drive away.  Even if we did, no one is willing to drive an hour to church and an hour back, so a ton of people there are just inactive.  We meet a lot of people on the bike, but that hasn't really stopped since we got the car back.

We recently got in with two families!  The H***'s and the S****'s.  Before we left the S*** home I did the magic horseshoe trick, one of the girls there gasped when it was their card.

The end of the month we plan on baptizing J***., husband to a member for a long time who has finally decided to join.  Also M**** and A****, their niece.

I still need to figure out how I'm going to send pictures...Eh, I'll get around to it.  That okay Mom?

The strangest thing that has happened to us happened last week, I forgot to mention it somehow, but I'm not telling that story here.  It will have to wait.

What I can tell you is the coolest meal we got was from Sister K****.  She doesn't have time or something to have us over, so she brought us dinner when she came to church to put in the fridge and for us to heat up later.  Some baked chicken, beans, cookies, BBQ sauce and delicious Hot Wings.  I miss Hot Wings.

Going to bed by 10pm hasn't been too difficult, and I don't have much trouble rising early.  It's staying awake for a full day of activity, that's the real challenge.  Our days are often packed, even when they are not.  Always someplace to go, someone to see and something to teach and ALWAYS something to learn.

Best of luck to Jered as he prepares for his mission.

- Elder North

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Dear Everyone,

Things are going well, thanks for the letter Grandma Maxine!  Also, whose ideas was this MASSIVE PILE OF GREEN CANDY!?  Good Gravy!  I was guessing the Bazinga Shirt was Mikel's idea, but it may have been Dad's.  Took me a good half hour to unload that package.

The main people we have been working on are Brother T**** and his niece.  Sister T**** did receive a letter with a picture of our family.  As Brother T**** put it, "I've driven through towns with less population than that family!"  Brother T**** is scheduled for baptism on the 31st of August, as is Brother A***** and his niece.  We're excited for them.  Another person we've been teaching is a Mr. C****.  He is a Lawn Care MASTER and a big Chicago Bulls fan.  His wife doesn't approve of going to any church but her own, but we've had positive visits with him.

Food hasn't been very strange as of yet.  Elder Anderson has run into this his whole Mission, expecting to be given some traditional Southern Cuisine but people just serve normal food.  He's like, "Cook something Southern!"

The apartment is technically three rooms and one bathroom.  The main room is like a wide hallway in which we study in a sort of living area and further back is the kitchen.  We don't eat at the apartment often because we get fed CONSTANTLY.  The first time I ate dinner at the apartment was like, a week and a half in.  When I do eat dinner at the house I put beans on toast.  Frugal and nutritious.  Mhmm.

Bike week has been a GLORIOUS endeavor!  See, the biking isn't the hard part.  It's the stopping after biking, you loose the wind you get from moving and the heat sets in like a pack of wolves!

As for P-=days?  We get rained on.

Everything continues to be fantastic!
-Elder North

So the massive pile of green candy was his greenie package and it wasn't all candy, but there was a lot.  When a missionary first goes into the mission field they are called a greenie, so we send out a greenie package full of green stuff, green candy, green cereal bars, pickles, green fun spray stuff, green stamp, a green shirt.  In this case he got a shirt that has Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory in green saying Bazinga.  Deven got a green shirt with Oscar the Grouch on it, but I couldn't find one of those for him.

I sent Sister T**** a thank you card for calling me and a picture of our family.

Today Elder North had a longer than normal P-day because Elder Anderson got news that his best friends dad passed away and so Elder Anderson and North got permission from the Mission President to go hang out in Frayser with a couple of other Elders and play basketball and stuff to help try and keep Elder Anderson's mind off of things for a bit.  Frayser is in Memphis and Brother T**** gave them a ride over there.

Thanks for your continued love, prayers, and support.  Please write, missionaries love letters.