Okay, buckle up, cause this is gonna be an email of epic proportions to try to make up for the lack of time spent last week, as well as to try to recount all of the last two week’s activities in a somewhat intelligible manner. Let’s start with the Monday before last shall we? I feel that it makes it seem more enjoyable to read if I pose it as a question instead of taking away your agency and just diving into what I wanna talk about, so if you don’t feel like reading what I have to write, that’s your choice I guess.
Okay, I’ll stop acting like a dork and get this letter going. The Monday before last was pretty dang sweet. We went to the driving range in the morning and smacked the crap out of the ball again… I’m afraid my slice is gettting worse though… I need some lessons or something haha. The only other excitement on the day was the trip to visit sister McBurnett (or as she’s better known, the Mad Hatter Seamstress) to get a couple of things altered. I took her my black pinstriped suit and one pair of slacks that I bought a while ago, and holy cow man. She ended up taking about five inches out of the jacket and more than three out of my suit pants… I’m excited not to look like a flippin’ gangster anymore in my suits haha they’ve been fitting a little baggy for the last couple of months.
Tuesday the 17th we had interviews with president Dyches which went really well. Mine lasted all of five minutes. That was enough time to tell me that I will be training a new zone leader and to discuss a couple of the problem children in our zone. I’ll talk more about my new companion later on seeing as we’re in process of two weeks ago right now in this letter. The only other exciting event from Tuesday was the fact that I’m fed up with Mark and Alex. Remember how we put all of their crap in a box including a gallon sized zip-loc baggy full of weed? Well, turns out that Mark still had more that he smoked every day between that appointment and when we had one the following week. I’m gonna kick his butt!
Wednesday was a more entertaining day. We had to take a trip to the mission office to drop off some old phones from our zone, and we got a little lost along the way. We took a road that we thought would be a shortcut and we ended up halfway between Newberg and Hillsboro in some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen. The sunshine made it even better J It was just such an awesome happy day for us. To top it all off, we were invited to dinner by elder Wilde’s old boss and he took us to a little place called Ringside Steakhouse. That doesn’t mean a whole lot to anyone reading this email aside from maybe dad, but to get you clued in, this place is in the top 10 steakhouses in the U.S. and is super posh. The food was AMAZING! We ate and talked shop a little bit about what Wilde is gonna do when he gets back. He worked for Invisible Shield and actually might be opening up a few new locations in Arizona. Wilde’s boss paid for everything (over $200 for three people!) on a business card and Wilde said “as part of coming back, I demand that you let me have one of those cards.” I told him that him getting one of those cards was about as likely as me opening up Invisible shield for his boss in California. His boss then said “the card’s not gonna happen, but you opening up California might." Prophecy to put me through school? We’ll see what happens.
Thursday we went to the temple. Gosh I love going to that place. Especially the Portland temple because its so beautiful! That was about the only excitement aside from splits with the Woodhaven ward where we found like five part member families that we’re gonna start teaching.
Friday, I went on exchange with elder Falslev here in Sherwood and it went really well. A lot of service and tracting before switching back with Wilde a little early because we forgot that he was having a goodbye dinner with the Jarmin family. Holy cow we ate a ton of food! I tell ya, I definitely can’t pack it away like I used to.
Saturday turned into a service extravaganza where we borrowed the stake president’s power washer and helped the Steers family strip the paint off of their deck so that they can refinish it. One other funny thing from that day was that we got bikes! Elder Wilde and I realized that it would be a good idea to use them to save miles as well as stay in shape. We only took two trips of less than two miles a piece, but holy cow we were dying! I guess I need to ride more haha.
Sunday was, well, Sunday. Nothing too exciting to report there aside from the fact that Mark and Alex didn’t show up to church and neither did Scott Cunningham.
Now for the news on the week before Elder Wilde took off for home:
Monday, I made a stupid purchase... I got kinda pressured into something that I didn't want to buy, but to be honest really love haha. I bought myself a pair of jeans, so I'll be sending you the money in the mail this week to reimburse for my idiotic splurging :-P
Tuesday, we had a "last grand hurrah" lunch with Brother Demaris (ward mission leader in Cedar Creek ward). It was pretty sweet because he speaks Spanish too and we went to this place called Mazatlan here in Sherwood and it was legit! I had mole for the first time in like three months and it was amazing! Oh my goodness I had a food coma afterward though because I'm not used to eating that kind of food anymore haha. It was fun to talk with people in Spanish, and I'm pretty sure they hooked me up with some better food because I spoke to them :-). Other than that, sister Delong has gotten me in the habit of playing the piano again (no, not practicing... that's different haha) and I'm liking it a lot! She loves the old classic songs as well as the great musicals that she directed while she was teaching theatre at the U (holy cow this woman is amazing!), so we spend a good chunk of time when we get home until about midnight playing pieces from Les Miserables, Phantom, even stuff like "Georgia on My Mind", "At Last", "You Don't Know Me", and a couple of other classy songs like "La Vie en Rose". I still don't sight read very well, but I sure am learning to play chords like nobody's business haha. It's really fun!
Wednesday, I went on exchange with Elder Cox, one of my good buddies from Salem, and it was a blast! We had to do it because Wilde and Elder Cox's companion were having their exit interviews, so we spent the day teaching, talking, and laughing (in order of importance/time dedicated). We've both seen a real transformation here in the mission field to the point where we really are two completely different individuals from who we were when we first started the mission, and it's awesome. Because of it, we've both grown really close and become like best friends. I'm pretty excited to hang out with him after the mission. He almost had me convinced to move in with him at his grandparents house and go to Dixie with him, but I found out that the block classes that they're offering won't do anything for me, so I'm not gonna do it. Well, we'll see, but I doubt it unless I get a full ride. However, if I worked for Elder Wilde's boss, I could manage Invisible Shield down there (make bank) and live for free while going to school, so that would be sweet.
Thursday, we had another exchange together, and decided to do our mormon.org time at the library here in Sherwood. Elder Wilde had taken the car, so we decided to ride bikes down there. It was a pleasant ride on the way down, but on the way back, we had a not so pleasant surprise that I've heard called the "juneuary effect" where it looks like it's June for a minute, but then you find out that it's a mixture of January and June in that you suddenly have spurts of January rain. We. Got. Soaked! Just as we started to ride back to the house, the rain kicked up and we got absolutely soaked! Not just kinda, but seriously like competely DRENCHED! I now can say that I've gotten soaked and ridden a bike, so those dang English elders got nothin' on me :-P
That night turned out to be pretty sweet once we got home and started talking to sister Delong. We had one of those meaning of life talks where we just discussed all of the fears of post-mission life and what it is that we need to do. Elder Wilde wasn't feeling well, so he crashed early and I was able to talk to her until about 11:30 by myself. Gosh I love that lady a lot. I've gotta find a way to be related to her haha.
Friday we did some service with that lady Cher and finally found out what it meant to "have a sparkle with Jesus"! It means to have a toast to him (with something bubbly... not alcoholic I'm sure haha) and all of the things that he's given you. We were toasting to modern-day revelation, the restoration, the pearl of great price, the inspired translation of the bible, etc.. All things that were well over Cher's head, but quite amusing to throw out there haha.
For lunch that day, we went with Mark, Brent, and Ken, and I got to talk to Brent about the time he spent living in Spain, and I have to say, he's got me more than halfway convinced that I need to go over there and either do a semester abroad or just plain live there for six months or so. He was telling me all about Valencia... I really wanna go there! Gosh I'm being pulled in a lot of different directions haha. There's the pull to stay home, to go to California with Kyle, to go to St. George with Coxie, to go to Spain for myself, to go to Mexico with Rangel, and a whole mess of other stuff... guess I'll figure it out eventually.
Dinner that night we ate with Ken and his wife at a place called Buggatti's, and it was scrumptious. Gosh I love italian food and hanging out with super sweet members. I think we're covertly going to take over the ward he's in and get some baptisms haha. He's in the Sherwood ward, and Elder Wilde knows a bunch of people from there.
Saturday we went to the farmers market and met up with one of Wilde's recent converts and talked for a bit... nothing too exciting, but her mom is an ex-member who is supportive of her daughter being a member. Strange eh? Turns out she got her name removed because she "didn't want to be a burden to the ward" because she'd been inactive for 15 years... I'm gonna get her back to church.
That night we had goodbye party number who knows what at the Hales home where we ate killer BBQ salads, a mountain of desserts, and played Mafia til it was time to go home.. it was a good time.
Sunday was just a mess of goodbyes and parties haha. We went to all three Sherwood wards and said goodbye, had dinner at the Steers house and then partied after. At the Steers, they fed us the most GIGANTIC potatoes EVER! I've seriously never eaten a bigger potato in my life! The thing had to weigh at least three or four pounds. They told me I had to finish it to be accepted as the awesome elder after Wilde left or I'd be shunned. I finished it. Not the skin, but everything else. I thought I was going to die haha. Mission accomplished though haha. After that, we went to a party at the Dowdle's home (yeah, like the owners of Dowdle folk art) and had a party with more than 150 people there. Ridiculous right? Elder Wilde is such a freaking stud that everyone loves him.
Yesterday was transfers, and I'm sad that elder Wilde is gone... we're gonna be good buddies after the mission. You know something funny though? I don't envy him at all and I'm not trunky in the slightest degree. I'm more scared than anything. The jokes are always fun, but as far as actually being having to go home, I'm scared to death. I don't want to yet, and thank goodness I still have a few months left in me. My new companion's name is elder Anderson. I don't know him super well, but he's from Kaysville, and seems to be a good kid. I'll attach a picture or two so you can see him... oh and elder Wilde too haha
I love ya guys. Have a great week.