Monday, September 28, 2009

Fernandina Beach, FL Letter #17 September 28, 2009

Hello Everyone,

Well people this week was very interesting!! The main things that happened this week was that we biked a lot! More than we normally do in one week’s time. Even better news than that; is the fact… that I am keeping a pace of 15 miles per hour now on my bike yeah! Lol. We leave our apartment at 10:00 am each day and return each evening at 9:00 pm. We have 1,000 miles allotted for our car so we will drive to the areas further away and normally bike 2-3 days each week. This week we did a lot more biking than normal. Our normal routine is that we will bike to a certain street, lock up our bikes and tract the street, then bike again to another area and lock up our bikes and begin again with tracting.

Let’s see... we did meet with some of our new investigators again this week. It is sad to see that some of them took three steps backwards from where they were last week or when we met with them last. But, such is the life of a missionary. Missionary work has its ups and downs, especially when you are working with new investigators. Elder Bowen and I just keep positive and supportive and know that it is all in the Lords plan.

We are working with this wonderful woman right now. She is preparing to be baptized, but she has been raised catholic and so currently she is not exactly sure she wants to be Mormon “just yet” lol. However, we just keep finding these amazing people and then other times we find the weird and then sometimes we find the ugly. Lol. This branch here is super friendly and very nice. They are always so willing to help our new investigators. They are always offering to help out in anyway, like giving our investigators rides and such.

But yeah, the Spiderman Elder in the pictures I sent home would be Elder Olsen. Elder Olsen arrived in Florida the same time I did. We were in the MTC together, so he came out with me from Utah on the same plane. Elder Olsen was in my district until this last transfer.

I am pretty excited for General Conference this year because we will watch it at the branch building with the entire branch. Everyone comes to the ward building and the branch members have a huge potluck meal. Everyone will bring food and it will be so much fun-watching conference with lots of people all gathered together! I can’t wait until next weekend!

Some of you asked about Ron. No, we have not gotten in contact with Ron lately. However, one of our branch members will be going to Jacksonville soon to visit him. They are going to see if he would like us to come by and visit him, but we are not going to go down there if it is going to cause a scene or cause him to feel upset or bad. We will wait until we hear from the branch member and see how Ron is feeling.

Our Jacksonville Mission has set a goal to have 1,050 baptisms by the end of the year. It is their 2009 mission baptism goal. Everyone is really focused on doing all they can to help hit that number. I don’t have any idea where we are currently as a total mission, but I have no doubt that we can make it by the end of December!! So Elder Bowen and I just gotta keep working hard and hope we will get some baptisms’ soon to help out the mission with their goal. That is what we are focused on each and every day.

On a side note, I would like you to get me some magazines called Solar Physics or Astrophysical Journal if you can find them. I would like to read some articles and see if that’s what I want to go into for my career or not. I am still not sure about what I want to do for a living and it keeps pestering me in the back of my mind from time to time. Don't worry I don't let it affect my work; I am totally focused on serving the Lord and working in this part of his vineyard. It will all work itself out when it is time. I get to teach our investigators class again this Wednesday, Elder Bowen and I take turns each week. I really like teaching the class, it is an awesome experience!!

Guess what I have decided to be for Halloween this year? Bet you will never be able to guess this one!! This year for Halloween, I am going to dress up like a missionary!! Yeah lol it will be fun!! I have a feeling I will be able to play this part really well!

Oh adding on to my wish list; is a Utah Ute’s flag. Not one of those small-sized car flags but a full sized flag. I just have an urge to stick it to these Florida fans…hehehe Go Utah!!! Yes, I know I like to live dangerously, but we will see… muhaha (evil laugh). This is just another idea; I don't need it anytime soon. Just adding to my wish list (in case anyone is looking for weird and abnormal things to send to their favorite elder in the south)!

I am loving it here so much. There are tons of fruit stands everywhere you go with a huge variety of different fruits. And by the way, despite what others say, it does not rain like clockwork every day, nor does it rain every day here. There are so many awesome things that I love about Florida. To many things to name them all; but a few that stick out are the branch members first and foremost. They are really helpful to missionaries and missionary work; they are very friendly, open, and welcome everyone. It is amazing to see their outpouring of compassion for others. The branch is a great mixture of members, young, and old, short, tall, with all of them enjoying the fact that football season has started again. HA-HA!! Second is that the state of Florida is always green which is good (and bad) cause I do miss the change in the fall colors but having everything so green everywhere is such a boost! But the rain is the most amazing thing ever!! There is nothing like it anywhere else. It is hard to describe, you have to experience it to know what I am trying to put into words. Florida rainstorms are indescribable.

The amazing Elder Blair (who keeps pace at 15 mph with his incredible peddle power!!)