For now, I'll just send a few select ones attached to this email. That way you can at least know what my companion looks like :) Also, it's taken me practically all my time to complete that picture fiasco, so this is probably the only email I'll get out. And I'm sure it won't have everything in it I would like, sorry.
Let me start out by answering a few of your questions:
Glad that you got both emails up from last week. The "Personal Stuff" one I had been working on for a few P-days as I recalled things that happened as I left Witney. Boy, I really do miss it. Looking back, it seems almost worse than leaving home. I'm such a sucker for change. I cannot imagine what it's going to be like when I have to leave the mission. Then again, having lived in England, I've realized that there are a lot of places and things that I would like to do in my short time on this Earth. Ha, another thought for another time and place :)
Yep, the Pizza place is still there :) We resist the temptation to eat there mainly due to the fact that we are incredibly poor, ha. I just don't understand how people live here, it's ridiculous how high the cost of living is. Did you know that we are the most expensive mission in the world? It's easy to not spend money when you don't have any :)
Package: I think that it would be fine to send it to our flat directly. When we've received post and we haven't been there, the kind woman that runs the bathroom shop below us grabs the parcels and keeps them in her shop for when we get back. But, you can also wait until I get permission from the Sohn family. We normally leave at 10am every day.
Speaking of the Sohn family, they are quite amazing. It's always the double missionary families that take care of you. Actually, these two are quite amazing, and incredibly useful to this area. When they returned from their missions (Temple Square and somewhere in Mexico) they got married, then headed off to live in Jordan for Sister Sohn's Arabic degree. They are now both fluent in Arabic. I've never been to a more Islamic area before Maidenhead, so it's going to be a wonderful boon when we find a middle-eastern family to teach :) If only they spoke Chinese...
I didn't realize that Belgium was playing America :) We really aren't updated on these kinds of things. That's so funny. We'll get some sort of picture arranged.
It's my one year mark? I'm not going to lie, I actually didn't actually realize :) That's pretty exciting. Finally an excuse to eat out at the pizza place ;)
Fantasy Con sounds like a riot, since when did our family do that? And why in the world did we not cosplay when I was home?! I feel cheated out of some sort of nerdy part of my childhood. I can just imagine Colin with Roxas hair. Any Kingdom Hearts wig must take some serious effort ;) Send pictures, and have a great time.
Alright, I love you. That's literally all I could make it through on your letter. Below is part of my presidents letter to tell you some of the stuff that's happening in the area.
This week we were able to really focus on getting new investigators, which was definitely one of our goals. Elder DeBisschop and I are very enthusiastic when it comes to those that we are already teaching (see an update on Suling's progression below), but our finding efforts are at a low. We need to turn outwards again. I feel like I've prayed for help in that regard my entire mission. It's like I build up the habit in myself and a companion, and then I transfer and have to start again. We're working on helping each other to pull equally.
The Area Book is still coming along, and it's almost to the point where we would like it to be. We re-copied many of the seemingly unreadable records and now have a system of organizing our former investigators and ward list so that we can begin working through them. I'm really happy and excited about that.
As for our investigators, we are really excited about Suling. She is the Chinese wife of an English member of our ward. She has been taught on and off by missionaries in the past, but none have really set up a consistent schedule with her, or established expectations. With my meager Mandarin skills (picked up from a few exchanges in Oxford :) and my companion's amazing cartooning abilities, we've been able to really build a relationship with her through basic and visual teaching. We're meeting on a weekly basis and hope to Skype in the proper Chinese Elders on Thursday to set a baptismal date.
Speaking of mission goals, I was so happy and excited to see so many investigators at Sacrament last week. We worked so hard to invite and get people to church. Many dropped out, and we only ended up having one, but it sure was an exciting Sunday, and it's opened doors to many more church attendees in the future. That fast was so powerful. We felt so blessed to be a part of it.