This one really is a novel. 11-3-14
The truth is, I am having loads of fun over here in the Motherland. It doesn't rain nearly as much as everyone said it would, there are plenty people to teach even if there are plenty of people who reject us, and my companion and I are getting really tight. We're like Stockton and Malone, peanut butter and jelly, or the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Haha! Maybe we're not really to that point yet but we are learning how to be unified in teaching and it is making a big difference.
I feel like I am catching on pretty quick for being a new missionary but I have also been frustrated at times because I'm not where I want to be yet. Missionary work is hard. That is one idea that didn't get over-exaggerated before I left home. I have had moments where I get down on myself because either I didn't contact everyone we saw, we were late for an appointment, or we forgot an assignment that we were supposed to do. There are a lot of new things to learn and staying on top of it all proves to be difficult. I still don't like that I have to depend on Elder Oleson to know how to get around, to tell me who is who, or to explain a witty joke that doesn't penetrate the average American skull.
Last Monday I was little in one of those moods, which is probably why the group email I sent was about ten sentences. It's unfortunate that we email during preparation day and not right after an inspirational lesson because I am sure you would get dramatically contrasting expressions of the missionary work here. My letter might even reach the enthusiasm level of a dedicated sister missionary, but I doubt it. All week we focus on these investigators and then on preparation day we get a chance to improve the condition of our flats and we have to divert our attention to giving you a weekly report. Emailing is typically done between cleaning and shopping, so I'm usually focused on getting things done. I have to admit, it has felt a little like a box to tick off on my weekly chore list to type up this big report but I decided I have received too much love and support from home over the years to be selfish and not give you a proper report. So here it goes, and hopefully this message will uplift you in some way instead of being similar to the progress report we prepare for the ward council. That's done on Thursdays anyway.
After emailing last Monday we carved pumpkins with our district at "C"'s hotel. We had to make our pumpkins look pretty good because they cost £3.50 each and we had to carry them all the way from the corner vegetable store about a mile away. I dedicated mine to "C" (best Singaporean ever!) I'll send a picture of that one.
I can't remember how much I have told you about each of our investigators so I'll give you a quick sum up. "T" and "A" are a young engaged couple. They're the ones that threw me a birthday party and spend 55 quid on fireworks. "A" is returning back to the church and he has the Aaronic Priesthood. "T" is going to be baptised after they get married or get separate flats. She wants to know EVERYTHING about the gospel. She is super inquisitive and they both get really distracted. We wanted to have family home evening with "T" and "A" at Sister Hancox's because she'll keep them in line. Sister H is my favourite ward missionary, but not just because she arranges our dinners with the ward or because she made rice pudding on my birthday. I have a lot of respect for her and her love for the Gospel.
Sister H prepared a lesson about King David's faith in defeating Goliath. She gave us each a slip of paper and suggested we have 5 stones or bullet points to list things to strengthen our faith and 5 goals that faith will help us accomplish. We shared the ways we want to strengthen our faith and had solid discussions.
While we were concluding Brother H asked "T" if she had anything else to say. She wanted to go around the circle and share one thing we admire about each person. She thanked me for wearing the jumper and tie they bought me three days earlier. Elder Oleson told everyone how he teases me all the time about it but he loves that I am really clean and it invites the Spirit. "A" told me his favourite thing about me is that I am not the elder I replaced. They tease me because he was really popular around here so when people met me they were disappointed he was gone. "A" expressed his gratitude for my friendship and illustrated that if the rest of my mission is a disappointment, then I should still consider it worth it because I made a difference in his life.
Sister H expressed how my countenance influences everyone around. She told me that I don't seem like a new missionary and that I should compliment my parents for raising me well. Brother H complimented my posture and how I present myself respectfully. He compared me to one of the palace guards.
I don't mean to share this with each of you to brag about the compliments that I'm proud of but to let you know how the Lord blessed me last week. I wrote in my journal, "This FHE was the Lord's way of blessing me. I think I needed to be reminded of my strengths because I was focusing on my weaknesses and it was wearing me down." I am still sticking with my motto that there is always room for improvement. As we continually try to become better at whatever we are working towards, recognize areas that you can improve in but never lose sight of your strengths. The Lord makes weak things become strong (Ether 12:27) and he prepares a way to accomplish what we've been commanded (1 Nephi 3:7).
Let's do a science experiment called, Can Price Boy's Gain Weight? I get spoiled so much in Paignton (but what else is new). The ward brings fruit and snacks to church and places it in a basket for us to take home. We get fed a couple times a week by the members, and even more by "C". She gives us loads of baked goods and all of her leftovers because she's just throwing them out anyway. She asks us to eat with her every day and I wish we could sometimes because she's so fun. We love "C"! We're hoping to see more progression with her but so far one of her guests is anti and she's making it really difficult for us. She's supposed to be moving out soon but when she moved in last May she was only going to stay for two weeks. I'm not good at maths but your guess is as good as mine.
Thank you for all your love and support! Shout out to the Parents, Grandparents, Kim, and Jill for the birthday cards last week. I love you all!
Te amo mucho, Elder Price
-What does it mean to be a local? I talked to a guy who insisted he was not a local, he had only lived here for 23 years. "You're not a local unless two generations have died here." Looks like most of
absolutely no locals. America
-Why do the build the flats so weird here and why are they called flats when most the ones I've seen have stairs? In
just as bad because they're called apartments when they're stuck together. America
-Why do we refrigerate eggs in
-What is a lorry?
-And why are English people racist against other types of English people? The people in
don't even want to be English. They're Cornish. I suppose that it's like us
making fun of Texans or... Kentuckyians?... or Indianaians? Cornwall
Elder Oleson just screamed and hugged me. I have to embarrass him by telling everybody he got asked out on a date to a wedding in 6 months by some fit bird from