This week was really incredible, in quite a few different ways. The Zone is doing really, really well right now. Our week may not have been the most exciting, although it was very diligent; though, as a group, we hard-core succeeded. I've never seen anything like it, there were just so many miracles among us. It's funny how much joy you can draw from the success of others. I think that is one of the hidden secrets of this world: the more humble you are, the more competition and jealousy cease to rob your mind of what I like to call "free-happiness." This is literally happiness that you don't have to do anything to acquire except have friends, ha. Some of the best experiences I've had with leadership involve events and circumstances that didn't actually involve me, but had a lot to do with those that I love. I have a feeling that's one reason why Jesus was so joyful. It's also a reason why he was sometimes grieved, but that's a whole other story :)
Anyway, let me answer your questions, then I'll get to the week.
- I've not looked at my schedule yet, but I'm getting some clearer ideas as I speak with returned missionaries as well as you and Dad.
- I purchased a nice coat to take home with me at an end of winter sale, so I'm 1 for 2 when it comes to things I actually wanted to purchase in England, 2 being a suit. Took all of two years for me to buy something :)
We got to go down to Brighton this week :) It was beautiful as well, the weather lately has just been gorgeous. Nothing like the coast on a sunny, English day. I longingly looked at the beach from behind the many large pieces of furniture we were moving while down there. One of the mission flats closed, so we went to trash and move some of the furnishings. Good times, nothing like a road trip in our Van, Big Ben.
Gary is coming along, but has relapsed a few times with drinking and smoking. We're working hard to be the ultimate support system, but in the end, it's up to the one who's actually quitting to turn to God and come through. Keep him in your prayers, he'll make it.
Every moment we weren't out teaching, we were making travel plans, translating pass-along cards, creating presentations, editing the "Harvester" (our mission's newspaper, basically), and sorting the mission for Zone Conferences, which start in three days! Elder Dyches (I have no idea how to spell that) of the 70 is touring the mission to address us, and we'll be following him around and getting missionaries where they need to be. It's going to be quite exciting :) We leave on Wednesday and won't be back until Saturday evening.
A lot of work went into helping the missionaries of this mission this week. I've gained a lot of love for these missionaries. I'm so privileged and happy to have the opportunity to work with all of them, it's amazing to see so many differences of character and strengths working toward a common goal. They're dedicated and hard working, and there are few people I'd rather serve more.
I love you all, I'll send a more in depth email of some study and thoughts after I gain some inspiration from these conferences.