Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 14: Mission-y Things

First off, don't judge my subject titles.  They're amazing.

Second, it was great to hear from everyone back home!  I always love getting everyone's emails!

Things are going great up here in Toronto.  It's started to cool down a little bit, which isn't all that bad for the Utah missionaries, but all the Hong Kong missionaries might go back with PTSD.  This will be Elder Mak's first Canadian winter, and he's already starting to freeze.  Every day he say's "It is negative" at least 10 times in his amazing Honk Kong accent.  This should be pretty entertaining :)

It's been quite an adjustment here without Elder Kendall.  All of a sudden I can't make any movie references or talk about anything American beyond basic vocabulary, so it's definitely been quieter, but Elder Mak's a great missionary.  It's also really pushed us to practice our Chinese a lot more.

Speaking of Chinese, you know that scripture in Acts 2 where they start preaching and everyone just hears it in their own language?  That would be real nice.  Seriously, Mandarin is about the most different language from English that you could possibly have.  I was trying to translate for an English missionary the other day at a Chinese meeting, and my brain just couldn't switch back and forth between the two modes.  The grammar is completely reversed, so I'd have to wait until the speaker was done with the sentence, flip it around, and then say it in English grammar, which didn't always happen the way it was supposed to.

On the bright side, I can definitely feel myself improving.  My vocabulary is still limited, and often it's frustrating, but I can read more of the Book of Mormon every day, and my listening ability is improving.

Also, I just thought I'd share something that I've been doing lately in personal study.  I've been taking all of the greatest people out of the Book of Mormon, and finding 5 verses that, in my opinion, are the most defining verses in their story.  I haven't gotten through it all yet, but here's what I've got so far.

1Nephi 2:3
1 Nephi 5:10
2 Nephi 1:21 and 23
2 Nephi 2:25
2 Nephi 4:2

1 Nephi 3:7
1 Nephi 18:16
2 Nephi 4:17-19
2 Nephi 4:28
2 Nephi 33:3

Enos (Not a ton of material to choose from, I know)
Enos 1:2
Enos 1:4
Enos 1:11
Enos 1:26
Enos 1:27

King Benjamin
Mosiah 1:6
Mosiah 2:14
Mosiah 2:17
Mosiah 4:9
Mosiah 4:19

Mosiah 13:3
Mosiah 13:9
Mosiah 15:11-12
Mosiah 16:8
Mosiah 17:10

Anyway, you guys might not care, and don't feel like you need to look them up, but I'm having fun doing it.  It's been pretty cool.

The biggest thing that happened this week was probably stake conference, which was super awesome.  I don't know if it's just because I'm a missionary now, or if the people up here are just more awesome than all you people back in Utah.  Guess we'll never know.

Kidding.  But seriously it was super cool.  One guy gave an amazing talk about relating our relationship with God to that of a father and a child.  The father want's so badly to give his child his inheritance, but he knows that if it is given when the child is young and not yet ready, then it will probably be wasted.  On top of that, a father want's more than to just give his child every material item.  He also want's the child the become like he is.  To be who he is, and to have the same qualities, strengths, and good characteristics.  However, these can't be given so easily.  They have to be obtained by the child, and although the father can help the child on his way, he can't force the child to be something he's not.  It was a great talk.

Another one of the really good ones was about how much this guy loved the temple.  He had worked there a ton as an ordinance worker and as a volunteer, and he shared some experiences he had had while he was there.  One of the most touching ones was about a family he met that had come to get sealed.  The father had previously been excommunicated, and the only reason he was back in the church was because his 9 year old daughter had asked him why they weren't sealed in the temple.  It was amazing to hear the story, and even though it was secondhand, it was a beautiful story about repentance and overcoming problems.  I think this guy cried for his entire talk, and it was one of the most spiritual one's I'd ever heard.

Mom - As far as a coat goes, we were actually going to buy one today.  We haven't gone to do it yet, so I'm not sure how it'll turn out, but that's what most the missionaries do.  I'll give you an update next week.  I love you so much!

Ellie - What!  Mom and Dad still haven't gotten a hot tub!?  Its been a whole week!  Ammon only needed like 2 days to baptize thousands!  How long does it take?  Halloween sounds like it's going well.  At least it's not lacking for variety.  I think for your Halloween costume you should wear a name-tag, and church clothes, and then you can knock on the door, but instead of asking for candy, just ask if you can go inside and share a short message about Jesus Christ.  It'll be great.

Hadley - K, I'm not sure, but I think you just tried to put a few more x's and o's than Ellie.  I already knew you're a rock star and a princess, but I was wondering what your costume's are.  How does mom feel about the make up? Love you!

Favorite Brother - 70-6?  Are we sure we were playing the football team and not the marching band? What was the face2face thing with the Piano Guys?  That's an awesome scripture :) thanks for sharing it with me.  Alma 38:5, right?  I think that part of Alma where the three sons all get a speech is really cool.  Lots of good stuff in there.

Ashleigh - I don't know what online proselyting would consist of.  I've heard of missionaries that use Facebook somehow to teach people, but the only proselyting I've done has been street contacting and good old door-to-door tracting.  I haven't done a ton of it yet, because the members here are pretty good about referrals and we have a lot of less active and new convert work we're doing, so that keeps us busy.  Any boys I need to know about?

Dad - Loved your letter.  I was going to share it with Elder Mak, but all your emails have that scary message at the bottom that says "This may be confidential" and "No distribution" and "Scary lawyer stuff!" and "Wo unto the person who shares this document for he shall be thrust down to-"  and all that stuff.  Just kidding :) I did really love your thought though.  Next time people ask how I'm doing, just tell them to read Alma 26:29-30.  Pretty much the same thing.

Love all of you guys!  Also, send more pictures of Emi.  Or Emi.  In fact, just send Emi.  Put some air holes in a box, and ship her up here.

Love you!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 13: Frank Got Baptized!

As you can see by my subject title, I'm pretty excited :) He got baptized and it was super awesome!  I'll attach some pictures I got from it.

Anyway, that was definitely the highlight of the week.  Also, I got to go to the Toronto temple for the first time with all the other new missionaries, and I got to see Elder Stowell again, which was great.

On a sadder note, Elder Kendall is being transferred out of our companionship, so now its just going to be me and Elder Mak.  Pretty sad, but he's gonna do great things out there.  I'm gonna miss him :)

My email might seem a bit rushed this week because he's getting moved, and so with all the packing and things we need to do, I don't have as much time today.

Anyway my ponderizing scripture for this week is 2 Nephi 31:19 which says "And now my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save."

I really liked this scripture, because for me I think enduring to the end is one of the most important parts of the gospel, and even though a lot of people talk about it, I don't think people try as hard to see examples of it in their life and in the scriptures.  We're always able to point out the people who didn't endure to the end like David, Solomon and Judas, but when we talk about stories of successful endurance it gets a bit more vague.

I think that's partially because it's harder to detect.  We all know Nephi endured successfully, but we don't pin that down as one of his defining qualities because we assume it was easy for him.  We say that he was courageous and bold and fearless and super ripped (according to the vintage photos).  We forget that for people like Peter, Paul, Ammon, and Moroni, endurance was never the easy way out.
Then, when we come across it in our own lives, we ask ourselves why God is forcing us to endure something that is so hard for us.  We read the scriptures every day (hopefully), but too often we read them as stories, and not as people.  Half of Nephi's family became apostate.  Aaron was wrongfully imprisoned.  Moses left behind a throne.  Peter and the apostles were (almost) all killed for their efforts.  Moroni's entire civilization was wiped out.

So as I was reading in Personal Study this week, I was trying to build off my ponderizing scripture from last week (2 Nephi 4:26) which is also a little bit about endurance.  I was thinking about how, as righteous as Nephi is, he still claims that he's a wicked man.  I found myself thinking "Dude, you're Nephi!  Like the most righteous guy in the whole book!" the whole time.  How could he think of himself as a wicked man?

I read the next verse in 2 Nephi, which is one of my favorites.  It says "Awake my soul!  No longer droop in sin.  Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul."
So here are my two conclusions.  1 - When God tries to teach me with trials, quit whining.  People died for this gospel, and if I'm not willing to put forth the same effort as them, then what makes me think that I deserve to get the same blessings?  If I want miracles like Moses, then I've probably got to go through the 40 years in the desert.  There's a quote that says "The pathway to salvation always goes through Gethsemane," and I think I'm learning that that's true.  The member's out here are so faithful and amazing, and I think the reason is that some of them had to cut family ties and leave their old world behind to be a member.  2 - Why can't I be like Nephi?  He obviously made mistakes.  He admits it in this chapter, and even if he didn't, we know that Jesus was the only person ever to be perfect.  However, here's what I think is keeping most people from being at his level.  They attribute their success to themselves.  The amazing thing about Nephi is he doesn't say "Having much strength."  He says "Having received much strength of the Lord" (1 Nephi 4:31).  He acknowledges God in every success, and admits his own shortcomings.  He knows he need's to progress, and so he never stops.

So there are my conclusions, and here's what I'm going to do about them:  I'm going to try my absolute best to be the man that God wants me to be.  One of my favorite quotes says "Couldst thou in vision see thyself the man God meant, thou never then would be the man thou art, content."  God see's us for who we can become.  He knows what's best for us, and he knows exactly what trials or tribulations he needs to put us through.  It's okay to feel down sometimes, but when you're going through a trial, just remember that this is the wilderness part of the journey, and the promised land is still ahead.  God's shaping you to be the best you can be, and he will never put you through something intended to bring you lower.  I'm going to acknowledge God's hand in all my successes, and know that "As to my strength I am weak (Alma 26)."  I don't have everything, and at times it will feel like I have nothing, but that's probably what Nephi felt when he had to leave his home and go into the wilderness.

Sorry, that's super long, but I thought it was worth sharing.

Hayden - We didn't have any more experiences with Sam yet :/  He was busy this week, but we're meeting with him this week, and I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm glad to hear Durango was super dope :)  As a joke, I translated "super dope" into Chinese, which is "Chaoji Dupin," which literally means "super drugs," and started saying it around the house.  There were some confused looks, but it's catching on.  BTW it's pronounced "Chow-gee doo-peen"

Hadley - I should have known it was you praying for me!  Who else could make Frank get baptized!  Keep em coming Hadley :)  I hope the flu wasn't too bad :/ Also, I don't know if that was a typo or just something that I'm not cool enough to know about.  What's "honking"?

Ellie - Booyah indeed :)  You should definitely come back with me sometime.  Then I can beat you up the ladder!  I will talk to Mom and Dad about a hot tub.
Mom and Dad - You know what would really help our home to be more gospel-y?  A hot tub.  You should get one
Ellie - They said yes.

Emi - What! You're lonely!!! Hold on!

Ashleigh - Go give Emi a big hug!

Hayden - Go give Emi a massive hug!

Ellie - Go give Emi a super duper big hug!

Hadley - Go give Emi the biggest flipping hug you've ever given!

Emi - Better?  Good :)

Ashleigh - Well, I was going to write a letter, but I can see that I've been replaced by Maddie already.  That's okay.  It's fine...I'm not bitter!  No, no, you guys go have fun!  Go sit in bookstores and have fun together! ;)  Love ya!  And the haters haven't gotten me down yet, although they have tried really hard.

Anyway, I gotta go pretty soon here.  I love all of you so much, and just want to say that everyone's support from home has meant so much.  Love you all!

Elder Sabin

P.S.  Mom, Dad, I have no idea how much it would cost, but do you know that electronic dictionary things?  That would be super awesome to have one if they're not a gazillion dollars. Could you let Santa know?

Elder Sabin and Elder Stowell (MTC companions):

 Frank's baptism:

My zone!  The Sister's thought we were doing crazy faces so that might explain Sister Westerlind's face:

Eating dinner at a buffet with some awesome members and investigators:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Hey guys!  I know the subject title doesn't make sense.  Don't worry, you'll get it in a second.

Anyway, first off, I just want to say thank you to all of you who are writing to me.  I know I don't always have time to respond to all of you individually, but I promise I read every single one.  Also, Grandpa Sabin, you definitely deserve a shout out.  Your letter was hilarious, and I read it aloud to all the other elders in the room.  We were dying!

Anyway, sorry I couldn't write on Monday.  Normally that's P-day, but up here in Canada, that's Thanksgiving.  The Chinese ward was doing a big hike to go see the maple leaves, and a bunch of people were bringing their non-member friends, so it was too good of a proselyting opportunity to miss.  I mean, come on?  Sitting on a bus for an hour and a half with a bunch of potential investigators who can't get away?  Too good to miss.

The highlight of the trip was definitely after we got back though.  While on the bus I spent most the trip back chatting with one of our investigators named Frank about all sorts of stuff.  I don't know if I mentioned him by name before, but he's the one that was going to get baptized on the 17th (This Saturday), and then had reservations.  Anyway, after we had talked for a long time and finally gotten off the bus, he came up to us and asked, "Hey, I've been thinking lately about baptism, and I was wondering if there's anyway I could still get baptized this Saturday."

After I picked my jaw up off the ground, we blurted out something that must have sounded like an affirmative answer, and I've been super stoked about it ever since.  I don't know who's all praying for me back home, but it's working I tell you!

Anyway, that was awesome.  And also, the hike was really cool.  I think Asian people must just be really big wusses about the cold, because every time it even gets a little bit chilly outside, they all start wearing enormous coats and earmuffs and gloves and all manner of things.  Seriously, the day of the hike was supposed to be like 60 degrees, and so I showed up in a shirt and jeans, and every single person I talked to started telling me I was going to freeze.  They all had their winter coats out, and it was kind of awesome.

Also, Asian people feed the missionaries really well.  I know my last letter about the duck heads was kind of gross, but 99% of the time the food is delicious and plentiful.  I'll share an example.

On Sunday, we were talking with the Bishop about the hike, and we turned to each other and started asking each other what we should bring for lunch.  He started to laugh, and said "I wouldn't worry about that.  I'm sure you'll be covered."

I wasn't sure what he meant, but I trusted him, and let me just say I never should have doubted.  We were the last people to get on the bus to go back home, and I'm not joking when I say that I received food from 7 different people while walking from the front of the bus to our seats at the back.  It was nuts!  Seriously, the first seat I passed, this little Asian lady doesn't even say anything and just holds out some egg rolls, and then the next seat shoves a box of sandwiches into my hands, and then I got some string cheeses, and then some croissants, and then some lady handed me a bunch of sodas and then I got a bag with like 9 apples.  How much do they think I eat?

Anyways, after running through the gauntlet of calories, I got to the back, and expected that I would have to share all this stuff with my companions.  This was no problem, because there was plenty of food, but when I turned around I saw that they had gotten just as much food as I had.  And it was different food!  From different people.

So we had a pretty great feast at the back of the bus.  It was glorious.

Also, funny experience number two.  We had a dinner appointment the other day with a bunch of Cantonese ladies, which was going to be amazing.  For those who don't know, I'm a Mandarin missionary, and Cantonese is a whole other language, so I can't understand it very well.

So we show up at this house (and it's already smelling amazing) and we walk inside to see all these amazing Cantonese ladies working in the kitchen and yelling stuff back and forth and laughing.  I had no idea what they were saying, but it was fun to listen to.  (Elder Mak was in heaven.  Cantonese is his native language from Hong Kong, and he hasn't had much of a chance to speak it yet, so he was super happy.)

Anyway, we walked in, and there was Happy Birthday ribbon strung up everywhere.  Like over all the walls, on the doors and stuff.  So anyway, I asked them (in Mandarin) "Whose birthday was it?".  They turned to me like I was the biggest idiot in the world, and shrugged their shoulders.  "No one." they replied.  Needless to say, I was confused.

We walked into the dining room, and there was a whole bunch of Chinese New Year and Christmas stuff all over the place.  I'm no expert, but I know that Chinese New Year isn't at least until January, and it's October.  At that point I realized something.  They didn't even care what the stuff said.  It was all in English letters, which they don't understand, and what I realized was that they weren't even trying to celebrate the holiday's.  They just like having decorations!

Then, when we got in the dining room, I looked across the room and saw in big letters on the window the words "HAPPY BIRD HATY".  It was supposed to say Happy Birthday, but they didn't know that, and as soon as me and Elder Kendell saw it, we looked at each other.  We held in the laughter (sort of) to be kind, but this house was honestly one of the best things I'd seen on my mission so far.  It was great.

Those are the highlights from the week.  It was amazing.

My ponderizing (Hmm... weird.  Spell check says that's not a word) scripture this week is 2 Nephi 4:26 which says "O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?"  Just thought I'd get that out there.  By the way, 2 Nephi 1 and 4 are some of my favorite chapters in the whole Book of Mormon, so you guys should all definitely read them.

Hayden - Sounds like you're doing great bro!  I'm happy for you.  Tell George to make sure he at least gets lots of sympathy for his leg from the girls.  Also, I just wanted to tell you something.  You should definitely read Preach My Gospel a little bit.  I absolutely underestimated how useful it would be before my mission, but now that I'm out here, I use it pretty much every day. Elder Kendell's copy looks kind of hilarious, because he decided to highlight every commandment or advice in the book in pink.  His whole copy is pink.  Like at least 90%.  It's only advice.

Ellie - That's awesome!  Sounds like the solo went great!  I love you so much, and just want to say that I hope next year you guys think of a name even better than the Royal Blueberries :)  I love you so much.  XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Hadley - Tell Mom that "glamping" is for wusses.  If it has indoor plumbing, a shower, a sink, or air conditioning, then it is in no way camping :)  I think I was smart not to eat the duck heads too.  They were super gross.  You'll have to sing your song for me when I get to call home on Christmas, okay? XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Ashleigh - Legend has it that if you put down C for every answer on the ACT, you'll get a 33.  I don't know.  That's just what I heard from some guy.  Also, I suggest bear spray instead of pepper spray.  It's more powerful, and can have permanent effects.  If that doesn't work, try Agent Orange.

Mom and Dad - I don't have a ton of time left, but I love you guys a ton.  Basically XO x 65.  Just wanted to say I'm doing great and I love you guys.  Dad, you know how I sleep talk a lot.  Apparently my sleep-talking consists of a lot of Chinese testifying.  I've said "Wo zhidao zhe ge jiaohui shi zhenshi de" several times already. (I know this church is true.)  The lord is definitely helping me learn.  Just want to say that I always appreciate your spiritual thoughts you send to me and wanted to say something else cool I've discovered.  Have you ever thought about looking at all the first and last words of every prophet and figure in the scripture?  I've been trying it, and it's super cool.  I mean, they knew they were writing to us, and they knew that this was going to be how they were going to conclude a book that would be central in gathering Israel, so its been cool to study that.  I definitely suggest it.  Love you guys!  Caelitus mihi vires! (Look it up.  It's Latin)

Elder Sabin
Xia ZhengLao

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 11: Duck Heads

What's up everyone?  I know I won't hear your responses are, but you still need to say them.  Trust me.  I'll know... :)

Anyway, this week in Toronto's been pretty great.  The chopstick skills are slowly improving, and I can pick up some things... provided that I have 8 minutes and the ends of the chopsticks are stabbed through the objects.  I think I actually might be wasting more calories trying to pick up my food than I'm getting from it.  No wonder Asian people are so small.

So one of the highlights from this week was from when we were teaching an investigator named Sam.  He's super cool, and I've already met him a few times, so we were looking forward to teaching him about the Word of Wisdom.  Therefore, it was an encouraging sign when he answered the front door while lighting a cigarette.

He was a very gracious host though, and we started teaching him about the Word of Wisdom.  He already knew basically what it was, and he's tried to quit with the missionaries in the past, but he hasn't yet.  Our goal that day was to help him realize how important it is, and to help him to know that God can help him do it.  I felt the Spirit really strong with him, and despite his thick Beijing accent, I could understand a lot of what he said.  The Spirit is definitely helping me out.

Anyway, we shared 1 Nephi 3:7 with him, and he said that he would try to quit smoking again.  I'm really praying for him that he'll be able to kick the habit.  He talked about how hard it was to stop drinking and smoking when all his friends were doing it, but luckily we were really blessed to have a member with us.  His name was Paul, and he talked to Sam about how important this was.  I think it really helped him, and I just want to let you guys know, whether you are members or missionaries, that members absolutely help with missionary work.  Missionaries can help the investigator to feel the spirit and gain a testimony, but next transfer, they up and move, and if the ward hasn't reached out to this new investigator yet, then there's a lot of fear keeping them from being baptized.  If they already have a relationship with members, it becomes so much easier to join the church.

Anyway, the lesson went well, and we're going to meet with him again on Friday to see how he's doing.  The last thing worth mentioning was that at the end, he gave us a bag with food in it that he said was duck.  He works at a restaurant, so I kind of assumed it would be really good, and we went home planning to eat it.

Well... we got home... and it was indeed duck.  Duck heads!!! Like, just the heads!!!  I didn't think I could eat anything that still had a distinguishable face, so I gave them to Elder Kendall, who ate them.  Sometimes I worry about him :)

Also, I don't think this letter could be complete without me talking about conference, which by the way, was amazing!  Some of you guys have already told me how much you loved it, so I'm glad to you you haven't all gone apostate while I was gone.

Anyway, we ended up watching most of it in Mandarin (with English subtitles) and I just want to talk about what that was like.  My Chinese is obviously still very basic, and I didn't pick up a lot of what the speakers said, but what was interesting was that I could feel the spirit, even when the subtitles hadn't told me what they'd said yet.  It was one of the cooler experiences of my mission so far, and I realized that maybe it doesn't matter so much that people can understand what I'm saying as long as they understand how I feel.  The Chinese will come (I pray) but for now, I can at least contribute my testimony, even if it's rudimentary.

One thing that I made clear to my companions was, that as soon as Elder Holland got up to speak, we needed to run over to the English room, so I could hear his talk in his voice.  I've always loved his talks, and this was no exception.  One of the most touching moments for me was nearer to the end when he was talking about the woman who held her daughter's hand aloft so that "in groans only understandable to her and the angels above, she could say Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb".  He has a way with words.  Anyway, just wanted to say "I love you mom!"

Dad, don't feel offended :) I'm getting there.  I also thought Bradley D. Foster gave an amazing talk, and when he talked about Pablo and the impact fathers have on our lives, I absolutely agreed.  You and mom both have made such an impact on my life.  There's a famous Chinese poem about the love of a parent for a child, and the translation basically says "How could one blade of grass ever give enough thanks to the sun that helped it grow."  I know there's been a lot of influences in my life, but you two are by far the most prominent, and from one "blade of grass," I just want to say I love you both.

Mom - I'll be honest.  I probably hear "Eh" more from the missionaries trying to be Canadian than I do from actual Canadians.  Apparently they say it much more out in Alberta than they do here.  Also, just warning you, apparently there's a "Mandarin Missionary Mom's Group" and you might get sucked in.  Our mission has a lot of Utah missionaries, and I guess their moms all know each other now.  My plan for a coat was basically to slay a lion and wear it's mane as a coat, but I guess they don't have those here.  I might have to make do with a grizzly bear pelt.  I loved Elder Nelson's talk as well, and I have to say I'm very impressed with him.  He has had to be going through a hard time recently, with three of his closest colleagues passing away and having to take over as president of the Quorum of the 12.  That would be hard on anyone, and I think that after having seen him speak at the MTC and now at Conference, I know that God helps us to always be strong, even in the midst of trials.

Hadley - I don't really make much of the good food around here :) Elder Kendall can make some good stuff, but we eat a lot of pretty basic food unless we have a meal appointment.  I haven't had anything gross show up my plate (except for those duck heads) so it's been pretty good.  We drive most places, but we do some walking when we want to talk to people out on the streets.  You should go trick-or-treating as a door, and when you knock on peoples door, you just stand there.  Then when they open their door, they see you, and you have a sign or something that says, "Knock please".  Then they knock, and you "open up" and then take the candy.

Ellie - Grossest thing I've eaten so far? Nothings been very gross yet, but if I'd eaten those duck heads, it would have been those.  About the picture, just be glad that they didn't misspell you're name as "Satan".  I had a teacher do that once, and it was super weird.  Anyway, I have tried PEZ :) it's very good, and I'm glad you like it too :)

Hayden - Eh Beast?  Is that a Canadian reference?  I'm just not going to question it :) Anyway, about the baptism thing, we haven't had the actual ordinance yet.  We set a date for him to do it and he accepted it, but oftentimes it has to be pushed back a few times.  Anyway, I'll let you guys know when it happens.

Ashleigh - I'm glad the crepes were "delish" :)  Hey, I just wanted to let you know something critically important.  You know how I told you to avoid talking to boys, thinking about boys, or being seen by boys and use pepper spray if needed?  Do that.  Also, I love you!!!

Dad - Don't worry :) When I get home, we'll watch Oliver and Company together, and we'll sing all the songs and it'll be super dope.  The teaching lately has been going great, and we're probably teaching 6 or 7 people that are actually involved in being taught.  Tell those boys back home I send them my love, and if they ever falter, just remind them that God's on our side.  One scripture that's really helped me is 2 Nephi 1:21 and 23.  It's some of Lehi's last words to his son's who were faltering, and when you put it in context, it's a pretty powerful scripture.

Anyway, glad to hear you guys are all having a wonderful time back home, and just know that I'm doing great up here.  Remember that, although we can't be perfect, we can give perfect effort.  Don't get discouraged.  Even Nephi claimed he was a sinner (2 Nephi 4) and next to him, I'm sure we're all inadequate.

Also, I thought I'd tell you guys that I'm trying out that ponderizing thing from conference.  I'm going to try and keep them coming from wherever I'm studying in personal study, and right now I'm just wrapping up Second Nephi.  Mine for this week is 2 Nephi 26:24 - He (God) doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him.  Wherefore he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation

Also, I thought this was pretty funny.  During conference, we were listening to the translator, and when he said "Ponderize"  the translator paused...and then just said the word.  Until the meaning was explained, the translator had no idea how to translate it.  It was pretty hilarious.

And finally... the quote of the week from this week.  We were talking during planning, and a problem came up.  Elder Kendall's response was "That's a bridge we'll burn when we get there!"

At our lesson with Sam:

Duck heads:

Emailing you, right now!: