Hello Family and Friends! I cannot believe that it is already December 16th! It seems like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to the family up at BYUI. Thank you dad for reminding me it has been 1 year almost to the dot. That makes me feel old and is making time go by WAY to fast! It has been one crazy week! Things are getting better between Elder Jones and I. We do of course have our little arguments but it isn't as bad as it was when we first got together. I think that we have realized that we both are trying to be good missionaries and we both want to be obedient. We also broke a wall down between the two of us that has helped us grow closer. It is a great story that goes like this!
So it was Thursday night. I had just burned my tie (I will tell you about that in a few!) and we were on our way to do exchanges. Elder Stock is our District Leader and with the amount of elders in our zone plus "The Day" he has to do an exchange every week. So we decided we would do the first exchange and I would go to his area with him and kill it over there! But as we called to verify those plans, Elder Collins and Stock (Collins is his comp) decided that Jones would go to their area and Stock would come to our area with me. But Elder Jones didn't like that one bit. He got very upset. I wanted to help him calm down so I said a prayer. I asked Heavenly Father to help me know what to say to break through to him and help him realize that he is acting like a child and help him grow. As I approached him, I could tell that he was holding back tears and wasn't really in the mood to talk. So I sat down by him and asked if I could talk to him. He glanced at me in anger and turned back towards his desk. I started off telling him that it doesn't matter what his feelings are or were towards me that I was his brother and would love him even if he didn't love me back. I explained that if we wanted to be effective in this area and be friends at the end of this transfer that we would have to change something here and talk about our feelings and thoughts, not just yelling at people. His face showed some signs of cooling down but he wouldn't look away from his desk. I continued by saying that there were 2 things that I've learned so far on my mission. 1) The mission is full of unexpected changes that we would have no say about such as dinners cancelling on us 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment. We can't change that so we have to learn to accept it and go with the flow. 2) The mission has nothing to do with our wants and desires. It is ALL about what the Lord can do with us in His hands, if we let him. If Stock (who is our district leader) felt impressed to come to this area with me instead, he probably has a good reason for it. Perhaps I may be staying after this transfer and you will be leaving. That would help me get to know my area better by taking over. Jones looked at me and told me that he was not comfortable leaving the area. I told him that I heard a quote once that said, "There is no growing in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growing zone." If he wanted to be a better missionary and he wanted to change peoples lives, he would need to work harder to grow a little more and that includes going out of our areas and working with other people. He had calmed down but was deep in thought. I looked at him and said, "I love you bro. The Lord loves you too. And just as important, your family loves you and is so proud of you for deciding to come on a mission." That is when he broke down. I stood up and walked over to him then helped him up. We hugged it out for about a minute or so as he tried to stop crying. I suggested that we kneel and say a prayer and asked him if he would say it. I don't remember what was said in the prayer but I know that he learned a lot and I did as well from our talk. I really like Elder Jones. I do. He isn't the easiest to get along with but I have learned so much from him about patience and that no one is going to be the perfect companion (except maybe Elder Flake. (; ha!) So I left the area and went to Elder Collins and Stock's. We didn't do very much because Collins is pretty apostate and loves rock music and cartoons so he listens to his headphones and watches movies all day. UGH!
Anyway... I TURNED 6 MONTHS OLD THIS WEEK!!!! To celebrate, I burned a tie :) I went to a member’s house after dinner and we wrapped the tie around a stand that was in the fire-pit in their backyard. To top it off, we put a lighter on top of it and then drowned it in lighter fluid. Elder Jones lit it for me and we watched it go up in flames. I forgot about the lighter until about 2 minutes into the burning. So I stepped back and warned everyone to be careful that it didn't explode and hit them. Right as I was saying "Look out for the lighter", the bottom of the lighter melted and a fireball shot out of the fire about 6 feet into the air! I got it all on video! :) It was SOOOO tight!
The only other big thing that happened this week was at church. Elder Jones has a tendency to fall asleep when he feels bored. So in a lesson earlier this week, he was out on the couch. IN A LESSON!! Oooooo I was mad.... Then in sacrament meeting, he fell asleep again. I budged him a few times to wake up but he kept falling asleep so finally I just left him. Then after church, a member that was sitting behind us, walked up to me and said, "Your companion would be a lot more effective and learn more if he stayed awake. Don't you agree?" I admitted he was right and told him I would just sock him next time he fell asleep. After church was Ward Council. The bishop only wanted 2 missionaries to be in there to save room so we let elder Jones and Collins go in. After the meeting, I find out that Jones fell asleep in there too! And the Bishop told him multiple times to wake up! Ugh... I don't know what to do! We are going to bed on time and working out and eating breakfast. Maybe I will just give him a lot of caffeine before church and see if that helps... :P
As for skype!!! It will be on Christmas day. I will be able to Skype you for sure. We are going to a members house and they will give us lots of time to talk! I don't know what time but I do know that it will happen. I believe that they allow us to call home the day before and get it all set up so you know what time. I will try to have more information next time!
I think that is about it! I love you all so much! :) I think about you every day! Don't forget to say your prayers and read your scriptures!