Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.Thanks for all your continued letters regardless of how boring you all may think they are. They're still a strength and support to me when I forget what the real world is like... As scary as that is sometimes!
Mom - Bring on the chips! I'm currently chatting with Evan right now and he seems to be in good spirits. Ryan not so much, huh? Maybe he hates me. I hope not! We had a huge zone family home evening at the Gibbs' last night so yes, I HAVE seen my Garland mom! I love them so much. Haven't seen the White's since mother's day. Their son got home a few months ago and I haven't seen them since then. We've been insanely busy in Brigham! Is that really all that bad of an excuse? :) Elder LaFond's companion is almost back to full activity. Jacob's not enjoying the MTC huh? I think a lot of Elders (myself included) started to get a bit stir-crazy in there, so that might have led to some supposed irreverence. He'll do well with a positive attitude though. I'm afraid lots of my t-shirts might not fit anymore when I come home. Small shirts just turn out to be skin-tight with this new Utah tummy that I have... And I'm afraid there are no fears of planning a wedding anytime soon. Unless you've got someone in mind? :) Bahaha..
Dad - Haven't gotten the apology letter yet, but I'm sure it's on the way. You served in the Osaka mission, right? I met a guy who served in a Japan mission the other day but couldn't remember which one. So that's probably a stretch. We ate dinner with a family the other day and the mom was from Spencer Iowa and knew Mike Olson! I don't remember her maiden name. She said she went a few times back when he was in the Spencer Branch. Small world? Yet another backpacking trip without me.. Ugh. Still waiting on the green light to go to Zion's! As far as helping the missionaries out, I'm still not entirely sure where the best place to start is. It's pretty easy to see my side of it right now, but in Utah everyone has exposure to the church so it needs to be worked a little bit differently. I would say to take up the challenge in Alma 6:6 - "fast and pray on behalf of the souls who know not God," and pray for the courage to seize opportunities to share the Gospel when they come. I think I'm going to work harder on just inviting people to come out to church. Or branch activities. Since, in reality, that's what all of those things are for! As a ZL we have to prepare trainings on teaching skills, finding, doctrine, basically anything we feel the zone is struggling with at the time. We've been doing a lot with teaching skills because sadly, the level of teaching seems to have slipped across the mission and as a result baptisms have dropped. And the only thing you can do to help me with my work is just keep doing what you're doing. Keep being Dad. Keep magnifying your callings. Be nice to Ryan every once in a while. And if you have time, keep praying. It all adds up. :)