Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 28, 2016: Emails for Mom & Dad

Email for Mom

I don't know what's up with the seven-week transfer thing. It's still too far out and no one around me seems to know. I'll email President Mansell and see what's up. [Question about whether Parker's mission time will be extended two weeks.]

I've seen these little marble Christus statues around. If it’s not pricey, that would be cool [for Christmas]. I'm still trying to think of good ideas. I actually started the grocery list writing thing already because I was tired of going and forgetting. I'll be doing the same for the Christmas package.

Elder J. is pretty cool [new companion]. He's a hard worker and is big into America, the Constitution, and the Marines. He's looking to go into it after the mission. We're getting in pretty good shape too, as all four of us are getting up at 5:45 to exercise. Not having really any problems so far. He's a little stressed about a shoulder injury he's got. It got worked on, but it's been acting up lately, so we're hoping it's nothing serious. Gotta get it checked on Tuesday.

We had five Thanksgiving dinners over three days and have leftovers for at least a week. Never been so full in my life. Kind of a good and unpleasant experience at the same time.

Abravanel Hall sounds like it was a blast! I don't know what a [Messiah] Sing-In is, though. I figure it's one of those sight-read only singing deals. Maybe sometime I'll get that, but for now, I just listen for the base part playing and try my best to follow.

Missionary work has been pretty solid so far. Picked up seven new investigators, all of them wonderful people with pretty solid commitment to actually try out what we're teaching them. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, though. It's been a good start to this transfer. I've got high hopes.

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

Email for Dad

Weird [referring to the predatory tower that stole Jason's car]. You'd think that you'd have to be warned about these parking spots for them to tow you away. Kind of lame, but I guess if they can live with it. Sounds like your business trip was a pretty awesome adventure!

I hope you'll get everyone at home to take a look at the church video "Light the World." It's definitely something I'm getting excited for coming up here. I think it'll be a good thing to keep the right spirit this year. We're using it a lot in missionary work as well.

Love you, Dad!
Elder Rice

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016: Email for Mom

So I'm hearing this thing in the mission—and I'm not for sure on this—but it sounds like there's going to be another seven-week transfer extending my mission by another week. I'll let you know when I figure it out.

We'll be well fed out here this Thanksgiving. We've had five members and two investigators ask us if we could come over that day.

I always seem to forget what I want to ask for [Christmas] whenever I sit down in front of the computer. It's a pretty similar situation with my weekly shopping. I just bring that up because Nathan mentioned it.

I got a new companion this transfer—Elder J. I'm kind of sad to see Elder H. go, but it seems like Elder J. is a pretty awesome missionary, too. He's from West Haven, Utah. Things have been a little slow this week with getting situated and all, but I'd say that we've got a good transfer ahead.

Elder Rice

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 14, 2016: Email to Mom

Yeah, five years ago if anyone told me that Donald Trump would be president, I’d have laughed. (I guess, assuming I even knew who he was or cared.) We've met a lot of people who are associating the "sounding of a trump" in the scriptures [1 Corinthians 15:52] with our new president, saying it’s a sign the end is near.

I did get my bank card, and I cut up my other one into little bits and put those bits in several different trash cans. I don't know if that was a necessary step, but I did it anyway. My absentee ballot got to me a day too late. I filled it out, then saw the send by date on the envelope. That's fine, though. I wasn't too concerned.

Things have been going well, but our bikes have been really suffering. I popped my front tire on I don't know what. Elder H. had his left crank arm wear out on him twice, and the front tire of the bike he borrowed had the front tire spontaneously blow up without him even touching it, and I somehow popped Elder R.'s front tire without even going off road or hitting anything (to my knowledge).

We did, however, talk to TONS of people on the way walking to our far distant appointments and quite a few invited us back. It seemed like there was an unusual amount of people who just left their front doors open.

T. is now able to come to church as well! We're trying to help her to baptism around early to mid-December.

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 7, 2016: Email to Mom

Got the package! I'm guessing that with all the pencils and paper I'm getting, I should probably do something with them. I'm pretty proud of myself, because I normally don't control my candy intake too well when I have it, but this time I've limited myself to two or three pieces a day. I guess the Word of Wisdom lesson got pretty well ingrained from having to teach it so much.

This last week was pretty solid! We've been trying to schedule appointments two days or so apart with each of our investigators and it's made it easier to help with Word of Wisdom issues and just keeping things fresh in their minds. T. is still making the climb and we're looking at a baptism date in early December.

So President Mansell has cut out all STMs because we're having a zone conference every transfer. He's also approved movies like The Best Two Years and other LDS-spiritual-churchy movies to be watched ONLY on holidays (probably just Christmas, Halloween, and maybe New Year’s). He's also allowing us to write letters to family during lunch (which was apparently not allowed previous). Lots of big changes. It's cool, but a little weird at the same time.

Broke out the coats yesterday. It's finally a little chilly.

I'm glad we don't have to deal with too much of a religious mix. [This comment is in response to a story I told him about the religious diversity of my mission.] Most people here are Christian. The only thing we've got to deal with is people thinking we're of the devil, but sometimes they go off on Muslims or Catholics instead. We just try to stay out of the religious battle, because I've seen too many people turned off from a church because they badmouthed some other group.

Love you, Mom! Thanks again for the package. I'll have to think over the Christmas one. Probably more drawings from everybody.

Elder Ric

October 31, 2016: Emails for Mom and Dad

Email for Mom

Thanks so much for sending the package! It's at the mission office right now, though. The sister at the mission office said it got sent to Edmond. I'll probably get it November 1, because of MLC that day. Elder H. will grab it from someone at the meeting.

So today we don't do anything. Preparation for the day is done, and we're not supposed to proselyte on Halloween evenings. It does make things a little easier, but with MLC the next day, that's a little too much time this area doesn't get worked.

So T. has been taking the Word of Wisdom lesson really well! She's really working on stopping smoking, tea, and coffee. We're working hard to keep her cutting it down. Adam has brought his smoking down to half a pack.

So there are challenges in every area, but each has one big one. The big one for Duncan is coming to church. It seems like no matter how sincere they are, no matter how proactive they are, even if they promised Saturday, we wait outside and no one comes. It seems like we need to find better matches for fellowshipping.

There's also five big hornets in this really small library computer room hovering around the side I'm on. That's a challenge, too.

That's so crazy that K. is home! I'll admit, I still dread the homecoming talk. Now he can share all the crazy stories that you can't share in an email!

Love you, Mom! Have a fun Halloween!

Email for Dad

Thanks for the preachiness. I'd be worried if you didn't send me something like this every once and a while! Sorry I haven't gotten to a specific email for you in a while. You and Mom usually send the best emails of the week, so thank you.

What was the best thing that helped you with reactivation? We're having a hard time with that here in Duncan. People get all psyched up to come to church and then they don't do it. (Seems like a trend among all groups here.)

Well, everyone is headed out and the hornets nested in the room are getting squirrely. I love you, Dad. Thanks for caring enough to be preachy.

Elder Rice