Friday, December 30, 2016

Week 29: In which Nikita appears out of nowhere, it gets really cold, and we have a mission Christmas party

Quick email (I only have 5 minutes to write it, so wish me luck!)

(written Dec 12, 2016)

Buenos Dias, hermosa familia!
Good morning, beautiful family!

We had a lot of awesome experiences this last week. Unfortunately, I have very little time this week (bad time management, really). In order to use my time as efficiently as possible, I will include an excerpt from my letter to President Lewis to tell a story instead of my preferred (though unfortunately less common) method of writing it new twice.
We've met so many incredible people here this week! There was a former investigator, Nikita, and her mom from a long time ago that hadn't really been progressing, and they haven't been taught for a while. However, a miracle happened! Out of nowhere, Nikita showed up to church last week. Turns out they've had some struggles recently, and they decided now would be a good time to turn again towards God. Funny, isn't it? It's often how things happen, unfortunately. However, we went by this week and taught a quick lesson, and Nikita came again yesterday. We have a return appointment tonight.
I am so happy to be here in Othello. It's really, really cold here! Goodness gracious! I don't think I have ever had to walk around long enough to really feel the cold before, but it can be quite chilling! I mean that literally, of course. Thank goodness for the new thermos I bought. I'm excited to use it. I'm sure it will see a lot of use.

We had an awesome Christmas Party this last Tuesday at a big house in Quincy (about an hour or so away). It was awesome! We ate, sang songs, listened to brief devotionals from the different zones in attendance. Finally, we finished it off by watching the movie "Ephraim's Rescue", courtesy of President Lewis. I'd seen it before, I think, but it had been some time. There are cheesy bits, but there were also some funny or inspiring moments. It was pretty cool. They gave us all fresh cider and little goody bags! I think the best part, though, was being able to see every single one of my companions in the field at the same time. It was definitely cool, just like the wind here in Othello!

I love you all, and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Elder Adams
p.s. Also, uh, 8-O thanks for the advent calendar you made. It's really kind of amazing 
(Editor Mom made & sent Ben an elaborate Advent calendar with a different necktie in each of 24 compartments.)

(The following is an excerpt from a side letter just to Ben's parents, included here because it is moderately amusing.  For background, St. Nicholas visits our family every Dec 6 and leaves treats in a shoe we leave out.  This year, St. Nick sent Ben a single boot full of treats in the mail.)

So, first of all, I wanted to thank you profoundly for the package on St. Nicklaus day! It was really awesome. I got to share German treats with the other Elders here, and even with President and Sister Lewis!

Now, I need to share some background. It has gotten much colder here than I was expecting, especially since I haven't really ever walked or biked in this kind of weather before for whole days at a time. My coat is a lifesaver, as is my hat, the earmuffs, both scarves, my gloves, and my other finger-less mittens (when it's not quite as cold). I even bought a thermos to help out! Man, it's pretty cold. I've managed to keep most of myself quite toasty, but there is one body part that has suffered a bit recently: my toes/feet. For a couple of days, I couldn't feel my toes after walking for a while they were so cold. I came up with a sort of solution, which is to wear 2 pairs of socks at one time, but that burns through my socks really fast. I even save the outer socks for the next day, but that's not my favorite situation to begin with. My feet are still kind of cold, but at least I can feel them.

The fair amount of snow (about 1/2 - 1 1/2 inches) is also not being extremely nice on my shoes. They're starting to stay soaked for longer periods, and I think they might even be staining. Thing is, it was cold this last week, but it's supposed to get even colder this next week. It's going to be getting down to the single digits (with the standard wind here).

Okay, with the background now, I'm going to cut to the chase: Basically, I didn't think I would, but I'm going to really need boots. The sooner the better. I noticed the boot that came with the St. Nicks package, and while I don't know for sure, I've wondered if one of the packages for Christmas has the matching boot. I suspect the one with nutcracker wrapping that referenced the scripture about "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him that publisheth peace" might have the matching boot.

I hate to ask this, but I didn't want to do anything without permission: The other missionaries thought me silly for even worrying about something so small, but I decided it was, however small, an integrity issue. May I please have special permission in this particular circumstance to open that one Christmas present a little early? Like, today? I have thought it over in my mind, and I came to the conclusion that it will get more use this way (and therefore be more worth hauling around the rest of my mission). It's a little unorthodox, I know, but I wanted to ask anyway.

(Editor Mom replied with permission to open a particular box, not the one Ben thought it would be.)

Thank you so much! I should be able to find it, and just in case, I'll have Elder Steadman open it for me :-D  Thanks again! I'm sorry I even had to ask, but it would honestly be amazing to have boots in this weather.  Love you, and Merry Christmas!

I tried on the one I have. It fits, and is extremely comfortable. I tried it once after my toes just about froze off, and they were really toasty really fast.

Elder Adams


I can only send pictures so often, but here are a couple:

Our wreath and window, looking outside:

Othello in the snow!
Here is a picture with all of my previous and current companions in the mission field; Christmas party!!!!!
Elder Steadman in front of a really nice mustang (unfortunately, it is not ours, but belongs to our investigators):

Here are a few more pictures the mission president's wife posted on Facebook.  These are from the Mission Christmas Party Ben attended.

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