Sounds like Nathan and Yeager are having a blast over there! I wish they had a water obstacle course when we went! I remember going scuba diving and everything, but that sounds like quite the thrill. I have no doubt they´re going for the top 5 or top 3 scores! That would be cool if they made it up there. Hopefully they´ve been doing merit badge stuff too, though! And Kate went to Silverwood??? Lucky, I´ve always wanted to go there, just to see how it is! I wonder if it's more exciting than Lagoon? And it's a good thing that she likes rollercoasters now, or that could've been a not as fun trip!
Well I´m glad to know that my room isn't a complete disaster! (How ironic, it seems like it didn't bother me that much before, right?) Why do Nathan and Kate spend so much time in our rooms??? I know they´re jealous of my awesome paint job and everything (sorry, you painted it all, I´ll give you the credit), but they have their own rooms! I miss my bed a lot. I think I´ve mentioned that before.
Wow, why are so many people leaving the ward??? That's so weird, it will feel quite different getting home, but I guess that's just life! But that's cool that Chris is working for BSU now, he is definitely good at what he does! And they´re living in Meridian! Any news on the Meridian Temple?? I haven't heard anything since it was announced haha, so I don't know if that's still going good or if there hasn't been much progess? I always brag to people that our state has like the 4th or 5th highest number of temples! And we only have 5 (4 working, but 5 total) and then there´s California and Arizona and Utah of course. Maybe they´ll be there when it's finished! That would be super convenient!
I think the farm has bad luck! Or maybe Dad´s knee just can't handle all that work. Where are Nathan and Kate when he needs them?? That's definitely not a good sign though... he might not be playing much soccer with us when we get back! Hopefully surgery is in the far future though. And hopefully he doesn't have a problem in DC or wherever else they´re planning on going! Although I´m sure there are plenty of people around to help, especially in the mall with all the museums and monuments. So you're taking Nathan and Yeager to the Holocaust museum? Are they required to have an adult with them? I remember it all too well. Very depressing, but very well designed. I remember when we went to the Jamboree, Brother Hall wouldn't take us there, he refused, I guess we were too young?? But then we went with you a few years later. But it's definitely a good learning experience, they´ll talk more about that in the next few years in school anyway.
So as for the sickness, yes I feel just fine now! Just some repercussoions from the flu and not to mention the now below-freezing temperatures down here. I think it's hard for the body to repair itself when it already had the flu during a rather warm week, then the next week the temperature drops drastically. And as I was explaining to Dad, all the little weird tweaks in health that have happened this last week have given me quite a few scares. And I guess I can explain why haha. So... I didn't mention this last week, but last Sunday I got bit by a dog. It was a member´s dog that I´ve seen and petted during my whole time here, but we were chasing the same ball, and I got there first and I got control of it, then next thing I know, I feel a bunch of pressure on my leg, and I thought it was one of the little kids, but it was the dog! So of course, like all injuries, it started hurting once I saw what had happened. We went inside and cleaned it very thouroughly and painfully with alcohol, and then when we got back home, I read the health guide thing from our mission and was pretty annoyed, to start off, with all the stuff I had to do now. So this whole week I had to keep an eye on the dog, make sure he wasn't sick, or acting weird, or worst case, died, and I had to clean the bite marks (he left three of them, (I´ll send pictures next week, forgot my camera) every day, and bandage them and put antibiotic stuff on them. So I did that, but there was always one sentence on my mind the whole week, that I read in big bold red letters in the health guide, "If you have the disease (rabies) and are showing symptoms, it is too late to take the vaccines, and death will occur within 7 days. Survival rate is about 8%." Some encouraging news, right?!?! So everytime my immune system had a little tweak, I freaked out, got really stressed. Thankfully it's nice to have the Spirit, who is best known as the Comforter, because I definitely needed that this last week! But anyway, that was a very stressful week. I wasn't worried about dying as much as what I was going to have to tell people and my parents if something serious happened, etc. Weird how priorities get a little mixed up sometimes, isn't it? But I talked to Elder Ence in the mission office (senior missionary couple--I think he's a nurse) repeatedly for the last week and today he asked for some information, I gave it to him, and he said well, don't worry, you would be in a lot more pain and more miserable if you had any serious problem. I think you will be fine. So that just made my day! Haha, oh yeah, Dad, I was going to ask you, I think its just from the stress and everything, but my eye has started twitching randomly and uncontrollably. Well it's not my eye really, it's like the eye lid muscles, and everytime I trigger it with a sneeze or a yawn or straining my eye too much, it starts and goes for probably half a minute, and I can't stop it. Occasionally I have had some pain like behind the eye, and also in the inner ear, I was worried I was about to have an ear problem like those last two times, but nothing has happened, so yeah. Any advice?? It doesn't usually happen when I'm reading or anything, it's all random stuff.
Anway, yeah, sorry I didn't mention that last week, Mom! But I figured it would be easier to handle when I knew more and all. Forgive me! Don't freak out, haha. And Elder Fullmer just had a day and a half of sickness, but not anywhere near as serious as mine. He´s still got an untouched-by-Argentina immune system! Mine has been weakened by a year or so.
Haha, I think I have heard that quote before! (I sent him one of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes: "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else.") Sadly we fulfill that too much, and just one time would be too much. Hey, we´re all imperfect right?? But yeah, I really liked that talk, definitely very inspiring. And on Saturday we watched that mission broadcast again as a ward, and that was really good too!! Sadly, none of the less actives that we invited and visited came, and then the church tours we had planned during all the week all fell as well, but on Sunday Hermana S____ came, even if it was only because she had to give a talk. But she gave such a good talk! I just wish she had a little more support from her family. They are so close to just coming back. As for the Ma_____ family, they have a few more problems I think, and they didn't come to church or the activity. We´ll keep trying though. But as we wateched the broadcast, I learned a lot more that I didn't remember from the last time, and the videos and songs really got to me. Especially the one that starts with the little kids and saving for the mission, then leads up to people opening their mission calls, so that just makes me remember that moment, and it was very hard to not cry. I can't believe how much time has passed since then! And how little time I have left. I don't like it!! But it's just a little gentle reminder that I have plenty to do still! And I have to use all the time wisely! A good life lesson, I think. Doesn't help that the songs were very touching too, since they reminded me of some very specific instances in the past. Thankfully the bishop´s 1 year old son came over and started playing with my magnet plaque and getting super super excited when he would stick it to the chair and take it off again. I think he´d never seen a magnet before, so he was SUPER happy, and it made me feel even happier to know that I guess I can get along with little kids after all! And he always comes running to us elders and wants us to pick him up, which we're not allowed to do, but he just follows us around. It's awesome. :)
So after this last week of stress and frustration, we didn't have anyone come to church again, and we didn't see them more than once in the week, so it was a little frustrating. The winter is just SUPER hard down here. It gets cold up there, but I guess it makes a difference that everyone has a warm car to get to church. It's sad how different of a world it is in some ways. And we only had one visit with each of the progressing people, because in each of those visits we set up the next visit as a church tour, and well we know what happened with those--they all fell through. But the show goes on, as always. The bishop was super excited to watch the broadcast again. Sadly, I think he was one of the only people super-charged about missionary work after still, so that makes... well, us three! It's a little difficult, but oh well. We have to work with what we have, and since many members aren't coming to church or fulfilling their duty, we just have to make do without them! I think I took for granted our ward back home,with good leaders and teachers always! It's so hard when people won't step up, whether they are lazy or feel like they are inadequate! One lesson that is important to remember is that the Lord qualifies those that He calls, to whatever position it may be. It's a hard lesson, because you have to trust a lot, and sacrifice a lot, but it always turns out true in the end. What a great thing to know, that all truths from God are eternal and there are no exceptions! Haha it gives quite a bit of peace to the mind and heart and soul. Like the comforting feeling you have after drinking a nice big cup of hot chocolate. But seeing as how that doesn't exist very often down here either, that comparison just made me a little sad that I couldnt drink any. Haha. But the lesson was still learned!
Well today we are going to buy food and everything and go back to the pench. We´ve gone to the other elders' pench the last few weeks, and it's always fun, but we just waste an hour on buses, an hour to do other things! So yeah, we´re going to take it easy today. I´m pretty tired of always being the elder that goes to someone else´s area, can't wait until I´m in an area where everyone wants to come to mine!! Although I´ve realized I don't like being in the city, so it would still have to be out in the country. Thatss definitely a result of being in Mountain Home for 11 years. The good news for today is that we have an appointment with the familia Mo_____! And they sounded excited when we set it, so hopefully that turns out all well! It can be frustrating how one little decision can halt the sometimes normal, sometimes alarming progression spiritualwise, and it's hard to get it going again, but we´ll do our best!
I hope all of you enjoy the rest of July, and what remains of summer! Do something fun, enjoy the warm weather, and eat some frozen blueberries for me! And other fruit that I can't find down here very easily. (Mom, just ask your Aunt Carol about the frozen blueberry comment, she emailed me and we were talking about that a little bit!) Most of all, just keep on pushing through life! But not just pushing through, you have to enjoy it! That's the only way to be happy, is to find all the moments that you can enjoy and not focus on the ones you can't! It's all a matter of perspective. As everyone says, our mind can only entertain one thought at a time, so just change it from the depressing or stressful to the good and happy and sunny thoughts! It works miracles, trust me.
I love you Mom! And I miss your cooking, especially this week! Don't worry, we haven't starved, but we just haven't had any variety at all, and I miss the different dinners every night. Can I make a list of food I want for the fist couple weeks I'm home?? :) Just kidding. anything will be good for me!
Elder Tyson Gibbons