The pictures are of Elder Evertsen (my son) and I before departing. Elder Hillier (my new companion). The Diaz Family (my very last visit in Houston 8 and the coolest convert family). And our kitchen floor after we used dish soap instead of dishwasher detergent. At least we have a clean floor now!
Hope y'all are well. I finally am beginning to learn some good ole Texan drawl. I love the accent of the people out here but dislike the fact that every single person is an engineer or rocket scientist and thus uses a vocabulary that is far above my level of understanding. I think I will by a regular English dictionary today just to keep up.
I am loving things. Lots of changes. I have a car and cover two wards, the Caucasian culture is super different. It is kinda funny that I feel for the first time like I am experiencing culture shock on my mission when all that happened is I went English. It isn't too different from what I expected just very different from what I am used to.
For example, my very first appointment on Wednesday after being in the area for a total of 10 minutes was with an old lady named Barbara. We knocked on the door and she came out wearing a blue dress straight from the wardrobe of "I Love Lucy". It had white lace and everything. We proceeded into her house where there were little trinkets and she served us fruit in these little crystal cups that had the sole purpose of serving fruit cocktails. As I looked around the room I chuckled as I saw the Confederate flag in three different locations in her home. It was wonderful. It made me think of a story that Mike told me one time about his mission when he was watching General Conference and his companion was from somewhere in the British Isles and one of the ladies got up to speak and began by saying "I love exclamations marks!" and his companion just said, "Oh no".
We have seen some great miracles her this week. Sister Bubble will be baptized this Saturday. It is fun to come into an area and already have a baptism set up. Please keep her in your prayers this week. As we were teaching Barbara's grandson Tyler, we began speaking of baptism. He asked when he could be baptized. He expressed his great desire to be baptized. Also, we went to visit a less-active family and we had plans to bring up baptizing the nine year-old boy and right as we began the lesson the mom asked when we would have time to start teaching the boy. His name is Troy and he should be baptized in the end of February along with Tyler.
We taught two different lessons last night about prophets and it was incredible to me how strong the Spirit was as He testified that we do indeed have a prophet on the earth today. We go to 5 straight hours of church on Sundays followed by a correlation meeting. I love it. Great teachings and powerful experiences during the Sacrament. Someone gave a talk about tithing yesterday and the blessings associated with the law of tithing and I just couldn't help but think about what dad has always taught. The number one blessing of tithing it that it allows us to have a temple recommend and that the blessings of the temple are all included in the blessings of tithing.
I am happy and well. I have been devouring the Book of Mormon reading all about Ammon and Aaron. What great examples. I have also been studying the Atonement a lot. I continue to stand all amazed by that great sacrifice. Something that Elder Hillier shared with me that I really enjoyed is that the Atonement is not only infinite and eternal (Alma 34:10) but it is also intimate and internal.
This work is true. The Spirit continues to testify of that to me. I pray for you often and can feel of your prayers. I love you!