Sunday, August 11, 2013

Anguoleme 6

Hello everyone, this is Elder Crossman speaking From the expencive internet place here in Angouleme, next to me is my college... Elder Cooper!  That is right, for only the second time in my mission, I am staying with the same  collegue in the same place.  There will be something dfferent still however. For three weeks, we will have a third missionary in our equipe.  His name is Elder Sohou who is originally from africa, but lives in Paris normally.  he is a french speaker, but speaks english really well, and spanish.  He is going home half way through the transfer for school, so that is why he will only be  here for three weeks.  He is also coming here so that we can baptise this spanish speaker Fernando.  he is currently in Yverdon though, so it is quite a trip, and he will be here tomorrow morning.
Yes we listen to music, Not too often, but I still listen to the cds you sent me, and the mission CD that the president made for us.
When we come back to france, I want to go to church in St Etienne, and Yverdon are my two top choices 1St Etienne, 2 Yverdon, 3 Avignon, 4 Lyon voila
Yes I am district leader, I lead the district meetings, take numbers and just make sure our district is doing well and what they are supposedto.
We have not eaten with our hick neighboors again since the last time. They have gotten a new dog, bringing the total of animals up to 2 large dogs and 3 cats and a Three month old baby all in less than 200 sq feet... yeah.  Their new dog en plus is a german shepherd that was nice the first day, but now he barks and growls at us every time.  Once we were leaving and he came barking at us and I was sure he was going to bite me, but then the owners came and called him away.  it is really not fun, but they should be moving in a few weeks, so problem solved.
Monday:  oops, new transfer, and I don't have my old planner.  It really feels just like another pday, not like a new transfer.  Though I think that this one is going to go by super fast because there is Elder Sohou going back halfrway through, blues conference is next week in Lyon, so we have that big trip to make, but we are taking a plane so that is better than 8 hours of train.
Travis has 9 weeks left on his mission. That means he'll be home three weeks before me, That is odd, I wonder how that works out since he left a week after me but oh well. 

I was able to talk to our stake president tdoay, that is a long story that I'll explain in just a minute, but It was fun. It was only for a couple seconds, but he was with President Roney and I was calling him, so President passed the phone. 
The reason I was calling President is because Elder Cooper went to the hospital today.  Nothing serious Dont worry.  But he had been complaining of Chest pains and unusually high stress.  We went to the doctor and they said that it is normal and that he had probably been in the sun too long, they suggested just taking it easy, drinkin lots of water, and staying out of the sun for long period s of time.  I hope he gets feeling 100percent soon, but like I said it doesn't seem to be anything too serious.
Well Time is running low.  I love you all very much.  12 weeks left... sometimes that seems like a lot, others like I'll be done in a few minutes.  In any case I love my mission I am really so much better for doing it and I am so thankful for all that I have learned and how my testimony has been strengthened.  Love you much talk to you next week BYe!

Anguoleme 5

So questions.

Yes we have Pday, Angouleme is just a small city and there isn't much for people to do who don't drink or smoke or watch tv or go to movies, or play video games.  There is stuff to see like old churches and stuff, but we are walking around that all day every day so... I do like Angouleme, it is just more tranquil that Lyon or other places.

yes we have a chapel in Angouleme, it isn't very big, but it is it's own building with a sign and everything.  A really big yard too.

we did get one new ami this week and a couple cool things, I'll tell you more about it in the day to day

Church was good as well, no talks either.

I did not get a suit, there was stuff in my size in Bordeaux, but everything was really picked through, and very few matching suits and pants because in France they sell all the coats in one place and all the pants in another and you have to find the match, so with the size and matching and price and something I liked, There wasn't anything.  I did get some really good looking pointy french shoes though for really cheap.  30 eruos.  I'll keep them looking nice to wear to church at home and everyone will think I'm weird because they are really trendy here, and it isn't something that you can find in the states.  I like them.

I think we are just over 250 missionaries in the mission.  I think it is supposed to cap around 270 ish. 

No the bishop didn't correct the person, at least not in public nor to my knowledge.

I have heard stories of apostasy from other missionaries, not from any of the members.  There was apparently someone trying to start polygamy again... all that fun stuff, but I really don't know the details.

So day to day

Monday:  Took a train to Bordeaux and bought my shoes and then ... that's it ha ha.

Tuesday:  Exchange in Bordeaux, wow, that is the biggest little city I have ever been to.  There are no buildings taller than three stories or so, but it just goes on and on and on and there is no end oto it.  Lots of talking to people, we taught a really gay guy who is the lead singer in his evangelist church band.  Then We took the train back ot Angouleme.

Wednesday:  Went to a little commune called L'isle D'Espagnac which is ... a little town, nothing super interesting malheuresement.  Then we saw Sr; Yodé who is a less active, and her brother was there who isn't a member who is super interested.  We gave him a book of mormon, and he really wants to know more, but he is going to be gone for two and a half weeks GRR, but still that will be cool in the future to see.

Thursday:  District meeting in Bordeaux again.  It went well apparently.  We got a little off track, but I was told people liked it, so fun.  Then we met this guy Fernando who comes from Peru and is way nice and knows the church, we gave him a BOM in spanish and tried to teach him, but he really speaks mostly spanish, and a little french.  I was able to communicate a tiny bit, but we'll need to rely on videos and brochures to teach him.  he was our new ami.  Then we ported into this awesome french family of five who wants to learn more!  We fixed a rdv with them for the next day, but he forgot he had work, so we moved it to tomorrow, so we have lots of hope for that and are hoping that that goes well.

Friday:  Taught Frere menardin with fr humblot for his home teaching.  Then we saw this less active Fr Corga who really opened up to us and really wants to change hi life, he asked us to give him a blessing and he was crying by the end.  Really it was a cool cool powerful moment on my mission.

Saturday:  Well we were going to go to a place called la rochefaucald, but when we got to the gare to buy our tickets, all the trains had been delayed indefinitely... so we went to the busses, and they didn't have the times posted for when the bus was going to leave, so I called the little number thing..; and they are not open on weekends.  So we took that to mean that we weren't supposed to go to la rocefoaucoalded wherever.  We went back to the apartment to organize the papers and teaching records, because they are still in disorder... we have been working on it, but we finally finished it, and we found the fiche of an old ami who we had met last week who told us he was a member, apparently he isn't because he isn't on the ward list and the teaching record said he had never been baptized.  We passed his address and we were able to fix a rdv with him as well.  theat was cool. 

Sunday:  Chuch was good, then we studied and contacted, nothing too big. 

I do feel like things are picking up a little bit here.  I has been less hot because there were some really huge storms the past couple nights.  Huge winds and lots of lighting and thunder. It woke us up and tore down some trees and did some damage.  Monte would have been really scared.

What else?  Our neighbors invited us to dinner Saturday night.  They were out of cheese so we brought some and they used the whole bag... what was for dinner? Pasta and cheese ha ha.  It was still nice.  They got a new cat and a new dog bringing the total to three cats and two dogs.. big dogs, and a 2 month old child.  In less than 100 sq meters.  They are kinda hicks, and they have really foul language, but we prayed with them and invited them to church.. they were not too interested in that.

Did I mention that there is another one of our neighbors who buys us food?  Not enough so that we don't have to shop, but she is very nice old lady, and we get her the ads for the store when we go shopping.  Pretty good deal.  TI is weird being friends with your neighbors, I have hardly seen any of my other neighbors in other cities.

Well I love you all very much.  I need to wrap this up if you want pictures.  The gospel is true.  I'm glad you had a good week.  This is the last week of the transfer, easily the fastest transfer of my mission.  I predict that I am going somewhere else and Elder Cooper is staying.  For some reason.  I feel like I have one more ville in me before I die, and I'd like to spend two in my last ville.  Anyway.  Much love I'll talk to you next week.  Have a great week stay safe!

Anguoleme 4

Hello everyone, you are just a little inquisitive bunch this week aren't you?  Ha ha no it's good.  So we better get to the questions if you  want me to finish them all. Don't worry we are in the expencive place because once again our little cheap mexican internet café is down.  I think we will just switch to this one.  I am frustrated with the other.  We bought enough internet time for today and next week, but that other place we paied the same price for enough time to cover us for the whole transfer... but you get what you pay for I guess.
Yes I got the packages and the two cards thank you very much!  I am really greatful for it.  I would say the favorite would be the salsa, I just got to have my morning fix of eggs and salsa, so thank you.  Did you know here, they sell a bottle of salsa that is about less than an eigth of what you sent me, and it costs 5 euros, but that is france.  It is ok, bottled water is only 10 cents for a two liters, so you get back money for some things.
I'll tell you what I did for my Bday in the day to day;
Yes hopefully there will be two new amis later today, but maybe not, we'll see if he can still do the rdv, he said he would tell us in the next 15 min or so.
No talks given in church, so I got to enjoy the lessons, but there was branch council and I did some stuff for that, more in the day to day;
Elder Cooper is doing well and feeling good and is working harder than me, so he is great!
Zone conf was fun, this last tuesday.  Blues conference is a missionaries second transfer, so We'd have to stay together for next transfer to go to blues conference together.  although, I am on 14 transfers and 13 collegues, so by my record it is not too likely we'll go together.
Yes we are being obedient.  Why you be asking me that?  I be a good missionary =P
I am eating fresh, eggs salsa and bacon every mornin, my favorite, and then usually rice or a pasta dish for lunch, and then cheese, and tomato with vinager for dinner or if I am more hungry a sandwich with lots of tomatoes and lettuce.  The tomatoes are stinking good here, you can almost eat them plain!  Our neighbor Joelle gave us a watermelon the other day that was very good and juicy.  I remember in Avignon I was in the land of melon, but they are not bad here.

I have not got a suit yet.  Angouleme does not sell things in my size.  I wear a size 52 pant (in european sizes) and they go up to 48 or sometimes 50, and a 47 shoe and the max everywhere is 45.  So we are doing an exchange with the bordeaux elders, so I am trying to get there a little earlier today so that I can look for something there for today
Why do you say I has long sideburns?  I cut them last week.
Bordeaux is a much bigger city so it is normally a little more hopping for the missionaries.  There are two wards and Five pairs of missionaries there I believe. 
I have a little nouvelle on Elder Bell.  He is living in Nîme apparently and working or going to school or both in Montpellier.  That is all I have on him.
Yes Porting is door to door. we usuall look at the map, and see where there is a cluster of less actives and we go pass them and then port the doors by them.  I usually like to knock on individual houses compared to apartment buildings, because you actually have to have a job and be sane to afford a house.  i notice (except for lyon because it is really expencive there)  The active members almost always live in houses or the really nice new apartment buildings, and the less actives live in the cheap government cement block housing.  Blessings for living according to true principles? 
No street boarding here yet.  There really isn't a very crowded place to do it, except for the main shopping road, but people don't like to be bothered there.  I don't think I have ever found someone interested on that road, and I have talked to a good number of them.
We are working with some of the members, the average age of the members here is about 70 so we are doing what we can.  There is a younger family that we had dinner with this week who is really willing to and is doing misionary work, so hopefully we'll keep following up with that and we might see some fruit from it.  looking at the branch numbers here.  There are about 150 members, and around 25 of them are active.  So there is pleanty of work to do with the less actives here.  I think that is where we will continue to put the accent is finding through the less actives.
Elder Cooper has made noticable improvements on his french in the past four weeks, he is progressing really well. he is still learning for sure, but I am impressed.  we are trying to speak french outside and utahnese inside, but it is more like english and french when we remember.  it is hard with two americans to speak french all the time.
Monday:  I didn't write down what we did, emails took a while, we called some people.. did we get a kebab,?  I don't think so.  then we ported by the church in passing an old ami who wasn't interested.

Tuesday:  zone conference took all day, and then we talked to people at night.  It was really good.  Just a review thing for what we have learned the past few zone confrences.  It was good. Our goal is to have fifty baptisms in the month of July.  we are at 15 ish now, but we do have about 40 people who have a baptismal date for this coming week.  We keep praying for it.
Wednesday:  Saw Fr Bordichoux I played my guitar for him which he loved.  He complained much less and the spirit was there, so I'd say that it was a success.  Then we did studies and went to Magnac and Touvre to talk to people not too much happened, but it was pretty.
Thursday:  Went to cognac for the day passed a really less active lady who wasn't happy to see us, and found a family of four who wants to be taught, and we ran into this lady who had requested the missionaries over the internet, but hasn't been answering her phone.  That was a really a big miracle, so hopefully she'll start answering.  Her mother recently died and she wants to know where she went.

Friday:  Did a service project for a less active that we thought lived just outside of angouleme. Turns out she lives at ... Courtras which is almost an hour away to the south.  We fixed her gardin and such, it was a good change of pace, but it took a long time.  We got back to the apt around 3, ate a little, studied, and went to this member family's place for dinner and a lesson.  Great barbequed merguese (a sausage thing) and grilled pork with grilled tomatoes and a carrot celery salad thing.  Quite a good impersonation of an american barbeque, but it was still pretty french.  Oh yeah, that was my birthday.  not a bad way to spend it.  I got the package tuesday or wednesday.
Saturday:  Did our weekly planning because friday we were doing service all day.  Then we Contacted some poeple around angouleme. Saw this 90 year old guy and his wife.  He is named alex nixon, and his wife is the sister of one of our members.  They were very nice and gave us something to drink although they are perfectly happy to stay catholique.

Sunday:  Good day at church.  We have a member Sr Clenet who does the sunday school and she is a really really good teacher.  I have never been so interested during sunday school as I have been with her.  She has a lot of energy too in her little 4 foot nothing body.  ... she is really short.  Then we  had conseil de branche where I told about the people we are working with and asked what there was we could do all that good stuff.  The second councilor of the stake was there, he is really on top of things making sure that the meeting time is actually being put to good use.  I hear in Bordeaux with the stake president they take a half hour for ward council, but they get everything done that they need to.  Vite fait bien fait quoi. 
Well that rdv just got canceld for later... as you may have realized we didn't have any lessons with amis last week.  It was a little rough but I am satified with our work.  We are doing what we are supposed to, some times the going is just a little bit harder.  I am still happy..; and sweating, except for when I come to do emails here.  it was 39 yesterday or 105, so it is hot hot hot in angouleme.  I have not been sleeping well because of the heat either, so that has made things a little rough too, but ca va.  We talked to 500 people this week, which is pretty good for this little village.  We have some other rdvs for this week, so I hope that they go through.  I love the Lord!

I feel like this email is pretty lenghty.  I hope you like it.  i'll try to send off some photos too.  There might be a couple repeats, because I forget which ones I already sent.  I love you all so much and miss you.  I thought about monte this past sunday.  give him a kiss for me!  and max... you can just pet him for me.  Stay groovy!  ciao

Angouleme 3

Hello family and others, thanks for the emails. Lots of questions, so let's get into it: 
No new amis this week, we really didn't see anyone ha ha, we are in the process of finding new amis
We went through toutouse, because there are no direct trains from Lyon to Bordeaux, only Lyon Toulouse Bordeaux etc.  Then Angouleme isn't the biggest city so naturally there are no direct trains from Lyon to Angouleme.  However it would have been quite a bit faster to go from Lyon to paris to Angouleme.  Instead of 9 hours of trian, it would have been about 4 or 5.  But we can't be leaving our mission now can we.
No I have not found a suit yet.  I was looking, but today is more the day that I will look for one.  They just changed the rules for suits, you can wear lighter colored suits now.  I'll forward you the email if you don't believe me.  ha ha So I might look into a lighter gray suit. 
Church was well. I gave a talk, and no one died, so that is good.  More in the day to day:
This week we didn't contact a whole lot because Elder Cooper had some stomach problems, and yeah, we only talked to 255 or something like that.  My last week in Lyon we talked to 1020 people in case you were wondering, but there are not as many people here as there are in Lyon.
No eggs thrown at me this week thankfully.  We only got yelled at a couple times from pepoles cars.  Nearly all the time it is the muslims, but sometimes no.
I yes I bore my testimony for fast sunday.  So three weeks in Angouleme, and I have talked three times in sacrament meeting. ha ha fun.
Yes I would love to help shoot for trek.  That will be awesome.  Do we get to stay in a hotel or rough it with the others (I would rather stay in a hotel)
There are a decent number of British people here, but it is mostly french people.  Not many muslims either unless you go to the more ghetto areas, but in the main part of the city it isn't bad.
Monday:  We got guitar strings because one of mine broke and we spent most of the day in the apartment cleaning and sleeping and saring at the wall.  Things like that.

Tuesday:  Exchange with the zone leaders.  I was with Elder Dicou here in Anglouleme.  Elder Cooper went to Bordeaux with Elder Call. Yes the elder Call I served with in Avignon.  Elder Dicou started his mission here, so he called some people and we were able to see a less active fr;  Mangou.  Very synical man, but he has so much potential.  Then Fr.  Bordichoux who complained even though some good things have been happening to him recently.  Victor who was baptised here almost a year ago, he is really cool and has a great testimony. he talks like one of those revival baptist preachers, only he says true doctrines and such.  Then we passsed this less active Yodé (so close to yoda I know!) that was someone who elder Bell baptised while he was here.  You remember Elder Bell? We fixed a rdv with her for this week.  Then I took a train to BOrdeaux to pick up elder Cooper, and took it back to angouleme with him that night.  Both trains were an hour and 20 mins late.  ... almost five hours in a train... long time.

Wednesday:  Saw Fr: Petit with a member Fr: Humblot, then we ported this place called Fléac which has some pretty houses. Lots of nice people but none of them interested.  That night I took a train back to bordeaux for our exchange with the other elders there.  I took Elder stanford back to Angouleme with me, and Elder Cooper was in Bordeaux.  We could have probably planned it better so that there were less trains, but things didn't work out that well.  Our train was again almost an hour late getting there and 20 mins late getting back. ay
Thursday:  Elder stanford and I did lots of calls the night before to try and get rdvs but no luck.  We passes several less actives, and we did have a rdv where the person didn't show up, so it was porting and contacting, but it was good to get to know elder stanford, He is a good dedicated missionary from alberta canada.  Then we took the train to bordeaux (30 min late) and then contacted in bordeaux until the other eleders came and we finished the exchange (the train coming home was only 5 min late, they are gettting better)
Friday:  Weekly planning, and we had lunch at the family Menardin's house. They are a nice older couple. The wife is french, the husband is from gwadaloupe.  We ate a simple salad with rice and chicken in a currey sauce and a fruit cocktail for dessert. It was good, and there was lots and lots of food.  Then Elder Cooper was not feeling well at all.  (it wasn't the food because he already was not feeling good that morning) so we stayed the rest of the night inside I believe.
Saturday:  Elder cooper was going to the bathroom every hour, so we spent the day inside, we did get out at night and went to the church to talk to people on the way and so Elder cooper could practice piano for church. 

Sunday:  good day at church.  Fr: Mangou came to church, but he made it clear that it was just because the missionary who baptised him was visiting.  The bikman family was the old missionary and his wife who were visiting. he was branch president here in 2007.  From Rigby Idaho if you are curious.  anyway I gave my talk about the first vision. I won't tell you too much about it because I am planning on using a lot of it, or parts anyway for my homecoming talk.  No I am not already writing it, but I thought it would be fun to share what I did for the homecoming talk.  The members said I did a good job and they were impressed with my french.  I twisted it so I basically just talked about the gospel of jesus christ, which is what Prez roney told us to do, so he would be proud of me.  After church, We all had a meal together, very good it was a potluck, so lots of everything.    Then we passed this refferal we had gotten.  A man from argentina, we were able to talk to him.  he said he was reading the book of mormon. I was right on his desk too in the open, so it looked like that. he said he liked it, and that he woudl call us if he had any questions.  So now he is falling into our trap, he'll want to be baptised pretty soon right.  Good way to end the night.
So I am excited for this week.  We have zone confrerence tomorow, and that is always fun.  It is strange because I have this one, another, and the next I'll give my dying testimony.  Ug so weird;  The time really is going by so fast.  I have been saying this to Elder Cooper, it is strange becuause I really don't remember anything before my mission.  It feels like I have just always been a missionary and they injected som vague memories of parents and a brother right after I was manufactured in the salt lake city factory.  Yet it has really passed by fast.  I still have a good chunk of time left, but I see the end coming up and... i have a lot of mixed feelings.  Mostly excitement, but it will be very hard to go.  I have been living every day to it's all ... mostly.  In any case I feel very satisfied with my mission, and I think I'll be ready to go home when the time comes... I'm sure I'll vent to you a lot about this when I get back. Well Love you all with all my heart.  Don't get too hot.  drink lots of water and make sure you pet monte at least twice a day... max once every other day, unless he is dying.  See you next time.

Angouleme 2

I titled the last email "Alan Alda" because there is a member here that looks just like him, if you added about 10 years and 40 pounds to him, they'd be a spitting image of each other.

Yes I am very happy.  The work is still a little slow here, but we are working on it

We had one new ami, a guy named Florent, he is in his mid twenties, and is addicted to pot. But he is very spiritual, and really has most of the same beliefs as we do, only he uses a different vocabulary.  he said he would like to be baptized, but he wants to read the whole book of Mormon first to really know what he is getting into, which I can respect.

Yes we have a washer and a fan, good thing we have a fan especially because it is hot hot hot here in Angoulême.  Super hot!
We even have a dryer.  which is nice, but it also makes our little apartment really really hot.

I hope I am being a good trainer. We are having fun, but not TOO much fun ;)

Monday:  Did our shopping went around to the stores to look for a suit on solde.  We didn't take much time, and the sales are not really good yet, but still it seemed as if lots of the stores were about half empty.  Angouleme seems to be really hit hard by the economy.  Pretty much everything is closed that is not on the big main street in center ville, and even then there are several empty slots where stores used to be.  It also feels like there are not quite enough people in general to fill the city.  There are lots of broken down abandoned houses.  It has some pretty neat stuff, and apparently tourism does pretty well here. I am not sure why things seem to be failing.       Then we ported this one place, no big news.

Tuesday:  Saw our ami Bruno who suggested we fix a regular appointment once a month... we normally try to see people three times a week, so that is not ideal.  We tried to explain why we want to see him more often than that, but we really only seemed to agree on once a week which is n't ideal, but if he comes to church, it can work. He doesn't seem to be very interested in applying the message, So I hope things go better with him.  Then we had a reatévou and went to  a viewing of one of the members who died our second day here. 

Wednesday:  Contacted a bunch of people, then went to the funeral of before mentioned member.  It was a simple pretty ceremony.  Then Another Raté-vous and more contacting

Thursday:  Zone training in Bordeaux.  We were really late because we had no idea how to get to the church in Bordeaux, and the other people hadn't thought about that... of course we just assumed we would see some people at the Gare, which wasn't the case.  Anyway it was good.  We got home just in time for another rdv where the guy didn't show up.  We went to go contacting by the church, and someone threw an egg at me from their car.  At first I was pretty mad, and started walking really fast to their car... they ran a red light and got away.  The egg didn't stain though, and it makes a good story so I forgive them.      Then we ate dinner and actually had a rdv with a person named florent.  I alerady talked about him.
Friday:  We met our friend Bruno again.  I correct myself, it was actually at this rdv were he suggested meeting us once a month.  Then we had another rdv fall through, and we ported:

Saturday: we had an early rdv where the person didn't show up,    then we saw an active member Fr. Bordichoux.  he is the one who looks like Alan ALda.  Anyway, we talked about his cat and his carreer at the Ritz hotel in Paris and President packer's talk in the last general conference.  Then lots of contacting with not much success.
Sunday:  Church was good.  No amis at church.  One of the people started bearing his testimony on How Elohim meant the head of all gods and such... maybe it was a good thing there were no amis ha ha. During porting that evening we found a pretty neighborhood where people were very nice.  One of the last doors was a woman who was only wearing underwear who came out on her yard to talk to us... welcome to summer in France!  We also got two men in their boxers so I'd say it was a pretty successful night. ha ha this place is rediculous I love this crazy country!
I had a dream last night that we had a big missionary meeting in california, our flight went to SLC and I saw some missionaries getting off the plane, so I thought we had to switch planes. I got off to find that these were just misionaries going home, and I got left behind in SLC.  I didn't hav another flight that went to california until the next day.  The first thing i did was go get mexican food, then I remembered something at home I needed to get.  SO I went home, and you (mom and dad) were watching TV.  I didn't want you to see me because I was still on my mission.  I snuck into my room, got what I needed and went to leave through the garage.  When I got to the garage, I saw a white honda CRV that I somehow knew was for me when I got back (no hints here just letting you know).  I was going to leave when JJ opened the grage coming home in the civic, and then rear-ended the new CRV...; then he backed up and ran into it again... and again.  The noise got you two to come out and see what was happening.  It took you a minute to realize I was there.  After hugs, you went back to watching TV and I left ha ha.  interesting huh?
Today our normal email place was closed, the only other one we were able to find is this gaming place that is pretty expencive, but is very well air conditioned so I like it.  It also has all these game posters everywehre... I am sure JJ would love it.
While We have obviously had some discouragement.  I really feel like I am working harder than I have ever before.  Trying to stay positive and expect miracles.  I am still holding strong, it is difficult, but like you said dad, anything that is worth doing isn't easy.  I love my mission and what it is doing for me.  I know that the chuch is true, and that we can all turn God the source of all truth if we have difficulties or questions. 

Thank you for all you have done for me I love you a lot.