Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Week 64: In which I get a rash inside my eyes, combat impostor missionaries, and Noe & Maria come to church


Wow. I'm going to include a short excerpt from my letter to President Lewis:

Really, I've spent an inordinate amount of time in the last 7 days thinking about my eyeballs.

This has never been truer. To explain, I unfortunately discovered over the course of the past week that I must have developed really bad allergies to... something. I don't know what. It might be the smoke in the air. Honestly, all I know is that I have had super itchy eyes and hives on the insides of my eyelids. It's really not pleasant at ALL. It took me a long time to figure out what was wrong, since I figured it was just styes or something. Not fun, but when I got some eye drops (like the mission nurse told me to), it got a lot worse. Apparently, I also developed an allergy to the eye drops. Thankfully, Saturday I got some antihistamine eye drops to help, and you know what? They work wonders! Sadly, it wasn't quite enough, so Sunday I also tried taking some Benadryl. Man, that stuff is about as miraculous as Sudafed when you're congested. I didn't even get drowsy, and it was amazing! My eyes are not yet completely better, but they're a lot better than they were on Friday or Saturday. Yikes. It was baaaaaad.

That took up a lot of my time and attention this week, but here's a quick summary. For time's sake, I'm going to list going by potentials and tracting both as "finding". That should make it go waaaay faster.

Monday: 6-9 - Finding
Tuesday: 10:30-12:00 - District Meeting in Goldendale
12:00-12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:20 Wait for other Elders to finish a Baptismal Interview
1:20-2:00 Drive back from Goldendale
2:00-3:00 Visit a really cool lady named Luz Maria. She is from Mexico, just visiting her grandkids here in The Dalles. She is a member of another Christian church in Mexico, and some imposter missionaries knocked on her door pretending to be from our church. They told her we believed that Joseph Smith was greater than Jesus Christ, but when we talked to her, we helped her understand what we actually believe. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, and she's been reading it! It's awesome! She's really softened up a lot, and she's now really interested in what we have to share. She's going back to Mexico really soon, and said she would love for missionaries to visit her there. She said she'll look up the church when she gets back, because she loves the Book of Mormon so much. She gave us her information to send down to the missionaries in Irapuato, Guanajuato (where she lives).
Wednesday: Finding all day, except we did a little service in the afternoon helping the Food Bank unload a truck. We also had dinner with some newly moved-in members, the Diaz family.
Thursday: Thursday, we did service helping Annalie Cantrell, a member, weed her garden for a few hours in the morning. The Zone Leaders were on exchanges with the Assistants to the President, so Elder Allsop was there with us! He was my Zone Leader for a long time in Othello. After helping her weed (she's recovering from surgery), she fed us lunch. We then went over and gave a blessing to Sister Cantrell's dad, who lived nearby. We then studied and did service for the Food Bank. We followed that up with finding at Heritage Heights, a relatively new apartment complex near the Catholic Church (that church looks like either a volcano or a missile silo). That night, we had dinner with the Randall family. There were 9 missionaries at that dinner! Us, the 1st Ward Elders + their mini-missionary, the Zone Leaders, and the Assistants to the President. It was awesome. We finished up the night by finding.
Friday: Plan, find, and eat dinner with the Chavers. 
Saturday: Finding, all day. Had dinner with the Telfords.
Sunday: Find and go to church.

Now, to finish off with another excerpt from my letter to President Lewis (including the previous one, actually):
We've found a few more people, but we haven't been able to find them again. Lucero is one. She's 21, and seemed really interested. She said she felt something when she talked with us, and has felt it before. However, whenever her mom comes home, she loses that feeling (her mom is SUPER Catholic... but doesn't actually practice very much). She said that she felt really interested in the message we were sharing, and told us to come back at11:00 the next morning, but she wasn't there. We haven't been able to find her again. We also found Jorge and Claudia, who we're visiting tonight. We hope that works out, because they're a really nice family that goes to a Christian church in Hood River right now.

The biggest miracle, though, was with Noe and Maria. This last Sunday, we hadn't even come close to hitting any of our goals. In fact, we were at straight zeros. It was frustrating for me, especially considering the fact that my eyes were already causing so many problems. Really, I've spent an inordinate amount of time in the last 7 days thinking about my eyeballs. In lieu of the fact that we were so far from reaching our goals, I decided to hold my own personal special fast Sunday to have us hit our goals that day. That meant 3 new investigators, 2 on-date, and 2 at church. I figured the easiest to hit might be the new investigators, followed by at church, followed by on-dates (We just don't have very many investigators at all right now, and the ones aren't making a lot of progress).

Sadly, we still did not hit our goals. However, something happened which was miraculous to me: Noe and Maria came to church! We called them beforehand to invite them, and they said they were already planning on coming. That meant we did hit one of our goals. It wasn't all of them, but honestly, it was enough of a miracle for me. I personally feel the Lord's hand was in that one tender mercy. They still have a long way to go, but we have been able to set up a really solid appointment with them for the first time in well over a month. (We had an appointment with them last Tuesday, but it was not super solid and they ended up not being there. This one is a lot more solid.)

Love you all! Bye!

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom:

Are all your shoes (brown, black boots, and tennis shoes) holding up? - Everything is holding up okay. The next shoes to die will probably be my brown ones. They've already got a couple of holds worn through the bottoms.

Are there people in The Dalles that you would like to visit again after your mission? - I'm not sure. They would mostly be members (the Coreys, Grows, and Mullins especially), but I wouldn't mind visiting Noe and Maria.

Are you still spending time every day studying Spanish? - Of course! Only Sundays and Mondays do we not have time for it.

Have you learned anything you didn't know before about the gospel in your readings or discussions with companions? - Well, I've already mentioned some things in the past, but it's really hard to pick out specific things. I've learned a lot more about the basics, for sure, and I think I understand the Atonement a tiny bit better than when I started, but it's really a bottomless well of understanding to draw on. I understand the conversion process a lot better, and I have recently begun wondering about the significance of having one's calling and election made sure. That seems to be a lot more important than I initially thought. I'm not sure, though; I have just seen it pop up in weird places a lot. I've mainly focused my studies on the basics, and I've learned a lot about those. One of many insights I've had in recent weeks is about the Priesthood and its organization. That was one of the few insights I had that partially came from the Book of Abraham. I know, I know. Honestly, I wasn't even studying it, but as I was thinking about the issue, a few scriptures from the Book of Abraham were brought to my mind. They now make a lot more sense to me. Basically, I noticed that in a lot of places in the scriptures, stars represent spirits. Lucifer drew 1/3 of the stars of heaven away, etc. That's one of the things that led to my insight on how the Priesthood might (and might not, but I'm pretty sure it does, and the Spirit seems to back me up) work. I'll leave it at that for now. Another thing I'm beginning to understand is life gives you about as much as you put into it. Basically, I understand the Law of the Harvest a lot better. You want more blessings? You need to work more for them. You can get decent rewards for trying a little, but your rewards will be a lot greater if you work/try that much more.

Are you feeling like you are getting a better grip on Book of Mormon stories? the history of the church? the bible? - Oh, most definitely! Especially with trying to memorize more scriptures from the Book of Mormon and the New Testament, I'm getting a lot more solid with my scriptural knowledge. When I want, I can bring up scriptures about a lot more topics than I could have before. I even discovered a pretty solid collection of scriptures, self-contained in the Bible, that pretty well show there must be a Spirit World before the resurrection, just based on Christ's death and resurrection. Our Heritage makes great reading material, too, which is a nice (though somewhat sparse) summary of the history of the Church. I've also developed a much greater appreciation for the Book of Mormon and its role since beginning my mission. Interestingly enough, I've also developed a firm conviction of the reality of the Great Apostasy. I think that tends to happen to missionaries. I still respect other churches, but I am beginning to see some of the things that the Apostasy did. It's awful.

Note: Next Monday's eclipse will be total in the southern part of Ben's area.  It's the only bit of the Yakima Mission that will have totality.
Are you planning on watching the eclipse? (It's on a P-Day!) - I know! I have some glasses, too. We'll get a partial view here, but apparently Maupin is within the range of totality. That would be pretty sweet if we could find a way to get there.

Anything funny happen recently? - Mostly just my eyeballs. I have discovered I have developed allergies to... something. I don't know, but I'm getting hives on the insides of my eyelids. It's not pleasant, but antihistamine eyedrops and Benadryl help a ton. Not that funny, but definitely eventful.

Are you still doing karate to exercise? - Not a lot, no, but I still occasionally use it. Elder West adopted it as his morning routine, though. I want to see if we can't make some boffers to swordfight with for exercise. I'm trying to get creative here to keep myself active.

Did I tell you Peter encountered THE BEAR in our backyard? Scary! - Yeah, you mentioned! That's crazy! 

Note: Lauren is Ben's first cello teacher and a family friend.
Lauren says to ask you what you think of her traveling with Molly and me. So, what do you think? (I told you this in a letter I just sent, but she has never been anywhere west, not even Pennsylvania. She's never seen such huge farms, where you can see forever and ever, for example). - I think that's a great idea! It will certainly be super different, and she may or may not get bored with the farms, but it would certainly be a cool experience. She might go stir crazy with the car, but it's a huge adventure. I think that if she wants an adventure, she'll get it. It's kind of like what I was saying earlier: you get out of it what you put in. Take, for example, my mission: it has hard parts, and it's not always completely cozy, but it's a huge adventure and an amazing experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Love you! Also, say hi back to Molly for me :-)


Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Dad:

Also, we sent you glasses for viewing the eclipse next Monday. You should get them in the next day or two. I'm eager to hear if you have been able to make plans to drive south into the Zone of Totality. If you don't, I will be sorely disappointed. :-)
We'll see what we can do for sure. I'm not sure if it will work out, mainly because of the limited miles we can drive, but I sure want to try.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Week 63: In which we find former investigators, a former missionary, and a cool tie

Written 7 Aug 2016

Dear Family and beloved friends,

Wow, that sounded formal. What's up? Here in The Dalles, it's been awesome. Elder Jensen and I are trying to roll with all of the crazy things happening here. First of all, Gerardo Alvarez, a native Spanish-speaker here in The Dalles, just got baptized Saturday! Yay! He's in our ward now. We never actually taught him, because the English-speaking missionaries taught him the entire time without ever actually asking if he knew Spanish. Oh, well. He still prefers English, so we would likely have referred him to them anyway. He's still in our ward, and he can still help us immeasurably with the Spanish work here! We're pretty excited about that.

We also found Evencio again! He was preparing for baptism when I arrived, but I never got to meet him because he first disappeared and then moved. Oops. However, we found him again, and he's living in Dallesport (across the river) inside a lumber mill, where he works 16-18 hour days. Yikes.

We also found Ernesto and Iselda Aguilar, who were some really promising former investigators who moved long before I ever arrived. No one knew where they lived, but we've found them again! Yay!

Here's a day-by-day:

Monday: When we were in the store, we met Bro. and Sis. Diaz. They are members from Texas, and Bro. Diaz speaks Spanish as well as English. They just arrived, and are visiting The Dalles for a couple of months, and we feel super lucky to have them here. We had a lesson scheduled with a lady named Graciela, and while she wasn't there, we met her son, Fernando! Fernando recently got serious about his belief in Christ, and is looking for more as well as a deeper relationship with his Savior. Enter: us! Helping people with that is literally our job description. We set up a lesson with Fernando for the next day. We then knocked doors and tried to visit some former investigators.

Tuesday: We knocked doors that morning, then had lunch. After lunch, we helped out at the Food Bank for a while (helping people go through and shop), then did our studies. We had dinner, then went to our scheduled lesson with Fernando. Unfortunately, Fernando wasn't there, but his mom was. We set up yet another appointment for the next day. We then tried to find more formers and knocked more doors. We then went to a lesson we had set up with a man named Augustin. He wasn't there, either, so we did some more missionary work and went to bed.

Wednesday: We started the day off right by helping Sister Rowe, a local member, to weed her garden. She then gave us delicious grilled-cheese sandwiches and fresh fruit. We then had lunch, studied, knocked doors, went by potentials, and had dinner. After dinner, we went to our lesson with Fernando, but he wasn't there again (he kept getting called in to work), so we went by some more people we wanted to find and knocked some more doors before finishing it all up with correlation at Brother Corey's house (the church was closed for a few weeks because they were installing a new sound system).

Thursday: We started off with helping the Food Bank unload a truck shipment, had lunch, studied, and went back to the Food Bank to help people through. After that, we had dinner, went to a lesson we had set up with Ernesto and Iselda (but they weren't there and we were also late), knocked some doors, and tried to go by some potentials, less-active members, and former investigators.

Friday: We knocked doors, studied, had lunch, planned for the upcoming week, and went to dinner. After dinner, we knocked some more doors before heading up to Goldendale to visit [some investigators]. [The husband] is really, really, stubborn. He says he knows that he should probably care about God, but feels like he already is right where he wants to be with his family. He said he doesn't care if he's good, he just doesn't want to be bad. [His wife] really wants to do more, and she even has been reading the Book of Mormon a little bit, but she understandably doesn't want to move on and do anything without [her husband].

Saturday: We visted Carlos Saturday morning. He lives in Dallesport. We also spent some time trying to figure out where Evencio lived, since we had pinpointed the general area. We then returned, had lunch, studied a bit, and went to Gerardo's baptism (where I played some hymns on the cello which I borrowed from Aaron Young, a less-active member of the church here. He's really nice.) We then finished our studies, knocked some more doors, and had dinner at the Mullin's house (where we met a few people who went to the English classes as well as a missionary who used to serve in this area in the Washington Yakima Mission a year or so ago with Elder Brassanini, Elder Fernandez-Pichardo). After dinner, we went up to the boonies to meet with Sister Aguirre, a less-active (and not Hispanic in any way) member. She was sick, though, so we returned and tried to find more people (talked briefly with Cassandra, a potential of ours) and knock some doors/etc.

Sunday: We knocked some doors, prepared a lesson we were teaching on Charity for Gospel Principles, went to church, changed, went to dinner with the Nerdin family, and headed out to Dallesport. We taught Evencio there, and he's awesome! We also tried by a couple of more potentials before calling it a week and coming home.

That's the week! Love you all! Bye!

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

How did your week go? - Wonderfully well!

Any investigators close to baptism? - Not really, no, but we do have some great investigators!

What is the scariest thing that has happened to you so far, where you felt protected as a missionary? - It's honestly mostly about dogs not attacking us. We always shake the gate, but several times on my mission, we went up to the door and the homeowner has come out and been genuinely frightened on our behalf. It's happened a few times where big, really, really, aggressive dogs just don't notice we're there until just barely after we close the gate to leave. That's happened 2 times, to the best of my recollection, but I don't remember anything scarier. Not much scary has happened to me, honestly.

What is the music like in your ward? Have you been able to play cello for them a few times? - The music is pretty good, actually! Sister Young is the Sacrament Meeting Conductor. She is really nice, has a really bubbly personality, is from Hawai'i, and her son married the daughter of Loren and Marlene Jensen. I've played cello once in Sacrament meeting since being here, once in Stake Conference, and once at a baptism this last Saturday for Gerardo Alvarez. He's Hispanic and bilingual, but for some reason the English Elders decided to teach him. All's well that ends well, because he's in our ward anyway. He'll still be a part of the Spanish Group, and he'll still be really key to furthering the Spanish work in this area.

What scriptures are you working on memorizing? (Sister Lewis will ask you this next time she talks to you, too.) Any new favorites? - I don't have all of the scripture references memorized, but I can tell you a few (I had to look up only a few of the references, as well as some punctuation):
  • Alma 7:11 - And He shall go forth, suffering pains, afflictions, and temptations of every kind, and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith: He will take upon Him the pains and sicknesses of His people.
  • Mosiah 28:3 - Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
  • John 15:13-14 - Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
  • Matthew 11:28-30 - Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
  • John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
  • Romans 8:16-17 (I only have this one memorized in Spanish) - El Espiritu mismo da testimonio a nuestro espiritu de que somos hijos de Dios: y si hijos, tambien herederos; herederos de Dios, y coherederos con Cristo; si es que permanacemos juntamente con El, para que juntamente con El seamos glorificados.

And many, many, more.

Have you introduced Elder Jensen to some classical music he hasn't heard before? Did he like it? - Yes, and yes. Example: Mahler's 2nd Symphony

Do you ever sing with your companion? For church? For your investigators? For members that you visit? - Not really. Elder West, Elder Poloncic, Elder Bird, and I all sang for a lot of people the Sunday after Elder West and Elder Poloncic got here, but that was a while ago (4 months or so). Everyone really loved it, but we haven't done anything like that since.

Are you eating well? (That will help your energy levels.) - Well, I'm eating alright. I'm working on eating better. My energy has gone up a bit, but I am still pretty darn tired. 

Are you secretly hoping to get to serve in any particular area in your mission? - I wouldn't mind going to Quincy next, mainly because that would mean Elder West would be my Zone Leader. I also have a secret desire to serve somewhere up by Omak, but we'll see.

Are Fuji apples still your favorite fruit? What's your favorite vegetable? - Fuji apples are still my favorites, but I really do like a good, fresh peach (or nectarine). As for veggies, I really like sweet green peas. I always have. Also corn.

OK. I know that's a lot of questions. Do you have any questions for me? Do you know what my favorite color is, for example? :-) - Not that I know of. It's blue, isn't it?
Um, no.  I prefer purple or forest green.

I hope you've had a good week. - I have, thanks! I hope you had a great week as well, and hope the one to come is even better.


Elder Adams


This tie was given to me by Bro. Grow, a member of the ward, yesterday. I just innocently complimented it, and he proceeded to utterly surprise me when he took it off from around his neck and handed it to me. It has an awesome depiction of the Portland Temple on it. I plan to get him back by giving him a fishing lure (he likes fishing) when we next have dinner with them.

Elder Jensen loves skiing, so we just had to take a picture of this bumper sticker when we saw it.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Week 62: In which I eat a Philly cheesesteak, pulled pork, and blackberries.

Normal Week #62

Well, another week has slipped by. It's pretty crazy how they do that, isn't it? July is almost over!

This week, it was pretty normal. Let's go day-by-day, shall we? Just for variety, I'm going to try to remember and recount in detail what we had for dinner every day.

Monday: Monday, we tried to find people to listen to us. We also tried by a lot of potential investigators. Almost no one was home, but I do think we were able to talk to Tarsicio for a little bit (he's an investigator who is now preparing for baptism; wait, that's a spoiler) or maybe his mom, I don't remember. I'm pretty sure I had a peanut butter sandwich (or maybe cereal, I'm not quite sure) for dinner.

Tuesday: Tuesday we went to Zone Conference, which is a big meeting with many of the missionaries in the mission. It was really amazing, and we learned a lot about how to better work with local church leaders to help bring more people unto Christ. Afterwards, we visited a baptism in Goldendale, had dinner at Dairy Queen (I had a spicy sandwich thing that was pretty good and a Butterfinger Blizzard), then talked to [some investigators] in Goldendale. To quote a small part of my letter to President Lewis: 

[One of our investigators] is really quite stubborn, as it turns out. He's not sure he wants to follow God, since he feels he's already made a lot of really big changes in his life (which is true) and, while he knows there's more, feels he's pretty good where he is. He just wants to be normal, not do bad things, and have a family. He doesn't want to do bad things, but isn't sure he really wants to do good things. However, [his wife] really wants him to have a stronger relationship with Christ. He's also willing to listen and makes progress, it's just he does it very, very slowly.

Wednesday: Wednesday we checked the boxes we set around town. We tried to find a lot of people, didn't find them, tried to have a couple of lessons, they fell through, and  then had correlation that evening. Not especially eventful, actually. We had dinner at Spooky's with Brother Anala (a member of 1st Ward). Spooky's has really yummy sandwiches, and I had a Philly.

Thursday: Thursday, I went on exchanges with Elder Hanson. He and I tracted (knocked doors) in the morning, ate lunch and studied, and then visited George, a teenage boy. We decided to stop visiting George after that visit. Mainly, it's because George isn't actually interested at all. He's studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses, though, which he apparently likes. He doesn't want to actually do anything, though, and is always super uncomfortable when we visit. So, we decided just to give the poor kid a break. We helped out at the Food Bank that afternoon, and they are awesome! The Food Bank here loves us missionaries now. They are so grateful for our help, and we're grateful for the opportunity. Even more service opportunities are springing up thanks to them! After the Food Bank, we went to dinner with Sister Stensen (she lives in 1st ward and is a really nice lady). We ate amazingly yummy pulled pork sandwiches. That evening, we tried by a bunch of people and none of them were home.

Friday: Friday we planned most of the day, tracted, had dinner with the Collins family (an awesome family who moved in recently). We ate KFC and assorted salads (pasta salad, fruit salad, potato salad, etc.) We finished it all off with cake and ice cream.

Saturday: Saturday we went to Dallesport in the morning, and met Carlos and Sandra! They're new investigators, and we're going back next Saturday. They had a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation. The rest of the day, pretty much nothing happened. Well, that's not quite true. We went on an expedition waaaaaay into the boonies and found Stephny, a less-active member. We ate dinner Saturday with Brother and Sister Rowe. He's on the Stake High Council and he's also Stake Sunday School President. They're really nice and like classical music, so they asked me a bunch of questions.

Sunday: Yesterday, we prepared for a bunch of meetings, had the meetings, then went to church. After Church, we changed and went to dinner (church lasts from 1pm-4pm). Dinner was with the Wagner family. Brother Wagner is the Ward Mission Leader for 1st Ward. After that, we tried to find a bunch of people, but they weren't there. We did set up a couple of appointments for this upcoming week, though!

Elder Jensen is awesome! The two of us are getting along quite nicely. He has a great spirit and is really, really, sincere.

Love you all! Now, if you'll excuse me, we're going to go pick some blackberries.

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

!Hola mi hijo querido! ?Que tal? - Muy bien, gracias! Que tal usted?

Did you get your package? (Dad and I had fun decorating it.) - Yes, we did! It was super fun! I vaguely remember having those Botan rice candies before, because they have the edible wrapper. That was really fun, thanks!
We sent Ben a package for International Friendship Day, covered in "international" stickers.


Do you think your sick day might be related to the restaurant that didn't pass health code (just a thought :-/) Sounds a bit like it might have been food poisoning, just saying. - Um, I'm actually not sure. It never even occurred to me, la mera verdad.

We saw a picture Sister Lewis took of an Elder who was wearing pants that he had ripped out and then sewn together with white thread. Funny. Really funny. Please tell me it wasn't you. :-) - Okay, I'll tell you it wasn't me. Do you want the real answer? It wasn't me. ;-P
Here is the picture in question --

How was zone conference? What inspired you? What observations/comments did you make? Did you enjoy reconnecting with anyone? - I loved Zone Conference! We drove up there ourselves. I don't remember what comments I made, but it was great to see Elder Tapia again. He's a Zone Leader up in Yakima now! I gave him a tie, so we can now match. I was particularly inspired about how to find more people and work with Ward Leaders more effectively. There were some really great trainings on that, and it was really enlightening.

What have you been learning from your studies? - That I get really tired when studying. Also, I've been reviewing a lot of the doctrine taught in Preach My Gospel in the missionary lessons. I'm trying to condense all the information there into what we call "Lesson Plans". They're really, really handy!

Are your brown shoes slip-ons or do you have to tie them (in case we have to replace them at some point)? - They're tie-on. Also, I can get by with them fine now, but I have realized since I last told you about them that the soles are disappearing. They're wearing through, and there is now a rock snugly tucked in a hole that has been worn through the sole. Actually, the rock is very helpful, because it reinforces the sole a bit more.

What have been your biggest challenges this week? - Being tired. I have been so, so, tired. I am getting unbelievably tired the longer I am on my mission. I'm still pressing through, but man! I'm tired. There haven't been too many challenges other than being tired, actually.

What has brought you the most joy this week? - I don't know. It's pretty great to find a couple of new investigators, which we did! It's just nice to see people you're trying to help be happy actually be happy for a change. That happens on occasion, and it's great!

Are you doing anything fun for P-Day, like have you seen the Stonehenge thing yet? - Nope, but we plan to go pick blackberries today. That should be fun/delicious.

Is it a rule to stay in your area for P-Day, or can you go anywhere in your district, the mission, etc.? What are your boundaries? - Generally, our boundaries are the Zone. We shop all in our area, and then go to Hood River with the Zone Leaders to join the rest of the Zone there.

How often do you have to call your district leader? Every day? Do you ever have to call the zone leaders or mission office? - We don't ever have to "check in" or anything. We call our district leader often enough to clarify things, coordinate between our areas (we do that with the zone leaders as well), and do other various things that further the work. We hardly ever have to call the mission office unless there's a glitch or issue with the apartment, Tiwi (box in our car that yells at us if we drive badly), or other assorted things.

I love you! I'm looking forward to hearing from you, as always! - Love you too, Mom! Bye!

Pictures from Zone Conference

(First, a movie of everyone waving.  Spot Ben.)

Ben and his companion, Elder Jensen:

Group Portrait of the zone conference:

Ben making a comment:

Ben the helper:

Ben putting away the chairs:

Ben and his companion, Elder Jensen:

They have a tradition of standing on their chairs to sing thanks to the volunteers who made lunch: