I always enjoy hearing about the things that are happening at home. I have never felt any kind of remorse or discouragement for hearing about what is happening at home while I'm here, so keep the family news coming. I know why I'm on a mission, and nothing is going to distract me from it.
This is and excerpt of what I emailed President Holm:
We had a pretty good week. P. and B. both have outstanding faith. They are our investigators on date for December 29th. I must tell you their miracle display to us of their faith. Here's two of our little miracles for the week:
B. is a person that moved out here to Orangeburg because this is where his parents are and they opened up their home to him to live in for a time. He was just separated from his wife/baby's mother and gets to see his 2 year old daughter every weekend of so. B. came out here having just lost his job and two days later gets a job. His dedication enables him to drive three hours each way (6 hours total) to work every single day. As such, it wore on him pretty fast so he decided that he's going to stay out there for a week so he doesn't need to travel back and forth so often. Last Saturday night is two weeks before his baptism and we needed to teach him the Word of Wisdom so he can start living it before this week is over. B. is such a strong individual; he handed us his cigarettes and lighter and we swapped him for cinnamon toothpaste (which turns out is the same one he's used before and apparently works pretty well). He is a very strong individual and came to church yesterday and brought his two year old daughter.
P. is in a similar situation-ish. He is leaving for 5 days this week as well, and he's also being baptized the same time B. is. Once again, we hadn't taught him about the Word of Wisdom yet. So, yesterday we saw him (he's out of state by now) and he told us of concerns that had been brought up to him from his old pastor, his friends, and family. They anti'd him. Good ol' P. though knew just what to do when he heard all the anti stuff; he went to mormon.org and read lots about it and watched a bunch of the videos. Problem solved. Then he just wanted to confirm what he understood with us. One of the things that his family/friends told him is that we would trick him into quitting his job so he would be a pastor of his own church for the Mormon church. He said, if that's true, then I'll do it, but I want to start the church back in my home in India. What a great guy... We also taught him the Word of Wisdom which we all know he's struggling with, and committed him to live it over the time that he'll be out of state. They are both so trusting in the Lord; they'll both surely be blessed for it.
I hope the package gets here by Tuesday night. Wednesday is our Christmas Zone Conference and we will receive the packages then. They can forward all mail to us that is "priority mail"; the packages that aren't priority wait till we have some sort of meeting large enough that either the assistants to the President or President himself attends.
We have been having lots of fun here in Orangeburg. The bishop is great, the ward is great, the people are great, our investigators are great. God is great, the Christmas season is great, Elder Gonzalez is great, and y'all great too (<-- that's southern talk for "you all are great as well" with emphasis on "you all").
Oh, by the way I didn't answer your question last week: I did receive the memory card, thank you for it. It's even twice the size of the one that broke. I'm probably going to send some stuff home that I ought not carry around with me, being dead weight, because I'm not going to use it on my mission, but rather after it.
Let Robert know that he would astound me if he reached my height by the end of my mission, and frankly, it's impossible to be my height without being able to grab the basketball rim. So if he wants to be as tall as me, he needs to grow in jumping capability and be able to touch/grab the gym basketball rim. It's a prerequisite to added height.
I love you mother, father, sisters, brothers!
Enjoy the new car Dad!
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker