A few years ago I read the book “29 Gifts” by Cami Walker. It is Cami’s story of how a month of giving changed her life. After reading the book I decided to take the challenge: give something away for 29 days. It didn’t have to be something big – often it was as simple as making cookies for my children. By the end of the 29 days I felt like I was a different person. I started to look for ways to help others. And I realized that it brought a lot of joy to my life. I am sad to say that I did not keep up with my little acts of service but after reading Nathan’s email (see below) I am recommitted! This sweet lady made an impression of 6 young men – and I am sure their moms. And I bet she left Wal-Mart feeling good.
First of all, I am in the Peoria North Stake, working in the Sunrise Mountain and Apache Park Wards. Probably the highlight of the area is that I live in the famous ‘Peoria House’. It is a house donated by a member for missionaries to live in. There are 3 companionships in there and it is an absolute party when everybody is home. It is me and Elder Bolinger (he is a pretty funny guy. He came out when I did, so we both have been out for 9 months), our District Leader Elder Hebert, and Elder Dunn, a former Zone Leader, and the Assistants to the President, Elder Campbell and Elder Bartleson. I served with Elder Bartleson in my last area for 6 months so when he got assigned as an assistant I was so happy he was going to be living with me. I love it so much. Elder Bolinger has learned a lot of good obedient habits living with this kind of leadership and I am excited to be around these guys. Mom asked if we run a lot for exercise our house exercises together every morning. We usually play dodgeball at the church or rugby or crossfit. Crossfit is killer – we haven’t done that since like Friday and I can still feel it in my legs. It is really fun though. Our food situation is awesome. We all just buy a ton of food and it is help yourself kind of deal. At Wal-Mart yesterday some lady just bought all of your food, 6 missionaries! It was way cool.
I walked into a baptism this last Friday, a 17-year-old named Derryck got baptized. He is amazing, his family was very against it, and he didn’t get permission to be baptized until the night before. But he wants to go on a mission next year really bad. We taught him about the priesthood and he was ordained a Priest the same day he was confirmed. He is a really, really cool kid.
Probably my least favorite part of this is not knowing anything about the area. The first few days we were driving (because Elder Bolinger hurt his hand in a bike crash but we have to give the car back today) all over the place, back and forth, and there is nothing I can do about it because I have no idea where anybody lives. It is really frustrating, I hate not knowing the people here. But from the people I have met, these are awesome wards! A lot of the people here have a lot of money – there are some crazy houses. I can tell I am going to love it though, the wards are awesome, and the members do a good job of supporting us.
Oh yeah, word on the street is that this is the hottest zone in the mission. it is supposed to be 4-7 degrees hotter than Phoenix. It is going to be really fun biking around. But honestly, driving this past week, I HATE not biking. I missed it so much. Hope ya’ll have something fun going on. Love you all and miss you! Hope everything is going well!