Thank you so much for the letter! It sounds like things are going great at home. It sounds a lot like the weather here. Rain rain rain haha. It doesn't really rain hard here. It more like a constant mist all the time. That is cool that you ran into Cole and Schultz (John). I'm glad they are doing well. I'm also happy that after a string of bad events, the family is all on the mend! It is weird that so many things happened at once. That's cool that you all went to the Avengers movie. Everybody is talking about it and even dressing up like them and everything, so I hope it was good! Haha. Also, send me some pictures if you go to Crystal Lake. It is so beautiful there, especially this time of year.
The lesson with Mike and Teresa went pretty well. President Randall is awesome. He reminds me a lot of President Kunz. He is such a nice, humble man who just wants to do what's right. We didn't really beat around the bush. We told them what needed to happen. (FYI: update from Marilyn. These two are together, but not married. Teresa is a member but not active at all. This lesson was the one on chastity that Jaxon was pretty nervous about teaching). To our surprise, Teresa was the one ready to take some steps. Mike was not so sure. He has taken some baby steps and his faith needs to develop a little more before he is ready. We will keep working with him.
I finally got to meet Steve Ard and his wife! Did you get the pictures? I told him to send them to this email address. I had breakfast at house with the rest of the zone. I had no idea that Sister Ard's mom is Norma Hansen. (FYI from Marilyn. Norma is in our ward, lives close to Royce and Laura). They are both graduates of Teton High School. It is such a testimony builder to me. We had breakfast with him and the first counselor in the stake presidency of the Vancouver Stake. I am not sure if I explained this well enough. Last transfer, Elder Brase and I were the zone leaders over the Vancouver North zone, which consisted of the entire Vancouver North Stake. Now we are over the Vancouver North Stake AND the Vancouver Stake. So we don't really know anything about the Vancouver stake. We show up to breakfast and Brother Ard and I are talking like we are old friends and President Nord ( first counselor in the stake presidency) was talking with Elder Brase. They know each other because Elder Brase served in his ward for six months. It is a testament to me that we were the zone leaders that were meant to be here at this time. We already have connections with the stake leaders here and I am so excited to be here.
We went to a stake priesthood meeting last night. I loved it! I felt like they were talking to me. This one was for the Vancouver North Stake. The first counselor, President Southwick, gave a great talk. He gave an example of how a couple years ago he wanted to get in shape. He played sports when he was younger, but he never really ran consistently. So he started running. The first few times he said was really really hard. HIs lungs were burning and his muscles were cramping. He started getting into a routine and running every day. He said the did this for a long time and it was hard. Then he said one time he went running and just kind of got lost in his own thoughts. Before he knew it he had been running for 37 minutes. Since then, he has not looked at running as a burden. It reminded me of the beginning of my mission. My spiritual lungs were burning and spiritual muscles were cramping. But all of a sudden I looked around and I had been out for 10 months! Now, sharing the gospel is not a burden. It is still hard, but I now recognize that change is hard, but necessary. Then President Walker, the 2nd counselor, gave a talk about prayer. That one hit home for me because my personal prayers have been pretty casual lately. I am going to start saying my prayers earlier so I am not so tired and ready for bed. Then President Randall hit a home run at the end. He showed the new Mormon Message called Lift. Then he shared a personal experience of when he was the Elder's Quorum President a long time ago. He said that he basically shoved home teaching down everyone's throat. It got to the point where everybody was scared not to do their home teaching. He said that the home teaching numbers went through the roof. They were the best they had ever seen. But he said as soon as he got released, they dropped right back to where they were. Nobody had changed. they still didn't understand the real reason why we do home teaching. He said that people will change when they feel love. That way, the change will last much longer.
Thanks for the email, and hope everybody has a great week. I love you!