Nathan has been gone for almost five months and I am still realizing things that he did that I took for granted. This last week we got a big snowstorm – 33 inches big, shovel every hour big, cancel school kind of big. I found myself out shoveling for the first time since I can’t remember when. I thought of how Nathan would get upset with me when I would start to shovel and I thought “Oh, I miss those days!” When I told him about the big storm he replied that he hadn’t realized that it would get cold enough in Phoenix that there would be ice on the sidewalks almost every morning. It is the coldest winter since the 80s. No shoveling though.
Transfers are next week and he is really hoping that he doesn’t get transferred. Murphy’s law is that he probably will. But I know that Nathan understands that he is serving our Heavenly Father and he will go wherever he is needed with his cheerful attitude. Nathan says there are a few nicknames for the districts: “Cottonwood and Prescott are called Banishment because it is way out of the valley and any civilization. Sun City West is called Limbo because nothing ever happens there (that is where Elder Hyer just came from. It is a retirement community). There are several nicknames for South Phoenix, including ‘the garbage disposal’ or ‘the trash compactor from hell’ or my favorite ‘the dirty south’. Those all come from how ghetto it is down there. I really want to stay here though.”
Here is how Nathan’s week went: “This was quite an eventful week. Let’s start with friday. I saw a potential investigator’s address in my planner so we went to see him. He is a huge guy who was wearing just a little tiny bathrobe. Every time he would move we would quickly look away because it would pull up the bottom. He turned out to be a member who recently converted to Catholicism and did not have strong feelings about the church. He kept us in his apartment for about an hour and sang us songs about Joe Arpaio. It was probably the most uncomfortable time ever. Also, we were leaving a house in a cul-de-sac and saw a guy standing in the middle of the road with a golf club. He said there was a rabid dog blocking the end of the street. We went on the other side and it started chasing after us. We split up and it chased me. It was a few feet away from my foot but eventually it stopped. Probably the 2nd time I have feared for my safety. The part member family we met and started teaching were at church! Also, there is a lady who wants her granddaughters to be baptized, so will start teaching them. There are also several members working with their friends for us to teach. I have grown to love these wards so much, I really hope I don’t get transferred. J… has her baptismal interview with President Taylor on Wednesday and I think she is so ready. She is committed to the gospel, quit smoking, and has a strong belief. It is really cool to see someone who gets it like she does. It took her a while, but she just wanted to be sure she is completely ready.”