First and foremost, housekeeping:
1. Yes, I did receive that package. It was wonderful, I really felt the love :) Also, I'm pretty sure that I walked around with glitter on me for the next week or so. What were you thinking giving a missionary a set of nun-chucks? [Note from Meredith: In my defense...they were Nerf nunchucks] That was Dad's idea, wasn't it :) The noises that protrude from our flat now strongly resemble a Bruce Lee movie.
2. I didn't know RoseE was in England :) How come? Studying here? That would be too funny to bump into her.
3. Wait a minute, Elder Gaisford...I seem to recall him. He's the one with amazing hair, right? Who looks like he just walked out of a wind tunnel withersoever he goeth :) He's going to France, huh? Well, I don't know if I'll ever be able to get along with him now ;) [refer to England v. France relationship through the ages] That's wonderful, I'll be praying for him.
4. I think we all know what being related to Joe means. We've now become distantly related to every islander in existence :) Heck, I thought we were already adopted into his family anyways.
5. Tell Aunt Shanna and Michelle that I love them, a lot. Also, I don't really have contact information for them. Do they get my weekly emails? Could you get me an email address so I can send individual emails occasionally?
6. Speaking of people who get my emails, I've recently been in contact with Elder Shrum, and he requested to be put onto the list of people who get my weekly stuff :) He's doing really well, just baptized a less-active's daughter in his area. Also, his deferment to BYU was accepted, and he's going to be still able to go :) You have no idea how happy this made me! :) Would you get his email onto your list?
7. Did you hug Andrew for me and tell him he is a hunk? Because I'm pretty sure that I requested someone to do that...maybe it wasn't you. At least tell him I love him, and that he owes me a bridesmaid-colored-tie when he finds that special someone (I'm sure that event can't be too far away; he's in the right place for it ;) ).
Anyways, now for the wall-o-questions (chosen at my own discretion, based on time):
How are things going with the area? (and other questions combined) We're doing alright. Our area has very much changed from a "find so you can have a teaching pool" area to a "you don't have time to find anymore, focus on the crazy teaching pool" one. We're very happy for that, now we just need to get these wonderful people to church. We're having a hard time getting our investigators progressing (see investigators section).
That being said, it's been kind of a rough past few weeks, mainly due to our impending housing issue. It's quite the job to find a flat when you have to go through the mission office in order to get a down-payment on it. By the time our request travels through the line of authority, the flat is gone, and we begin anew :) Luckily, this ties to the next question quite nicely...
Have you found a flat? YES! In some sort of miracle, we've found a very nice flat in a very good location. Bus stop and everything (seriously, the bus stop and lack of mold was really the most important thing). We're so excited, I'll have to take some pics and show it off.
Are your investigators progressing? Ian is progressing more than I have ever seen someone progress in my life. He just committed to coming to church 3 times a month (which was his weak point for a while there), and he was there this week, fasting for an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. We're so excited!
Unfortunately, it seems that with all the success and spirit Ian has been seeing, we've had a lot of digression and lack of contact with our other investigators. I'm definitely learning to work on the Lord's time, and not my own. I have this unfounded belief (as do many missionaries, I think) that if I work my hardest and put forth my best effort, then I'll just baptize everyone and everything will work out. As wonderful an ideal as that seems, it's simply not true. Part of doing everything right is being patient and graciously accepting the success you are given. Constantly seeking the Lord's time schedule and accepting His methods will lead to the best outcome. Plus, it's all up to someone's agency in the end.
Besides, the one who does all the work, and gets practically none of the credit, is the Spirit. And you don't see Him smiling with a thumbs up in baptismal photos :) So, I'm learning and studying patience. These sons and daughters of God will receive answers as long as they make decisions that are coupled with relevant consequences. And our hard work will help them make those decisions.
What have you done for fun this week? We climbed a tower! It was really, really cool. We just weekly planned, and it turns out I'll have the chance to let my continually-piling-higher collection of photos and videos upload while we're at district meeting this week. So, look forward to our awesome tower P-day. It. Was. Sweet. :)
Well, I think that is about all I can handle in the time that I have. Hope that everything is going well at home. We're so close to baptizing I can almost hear the water running. Your prayers are felt by all missionaries, as they see the divine grace that aides them day by day. Love you!