HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUDREY! You're gonna be an adult in two days! That is so, so, so weird. Then again, you've kind of been an adult since we were, like, 5 and 7. I'm so excited for the rest of your life. You're going to have lifechangingly wonderful experiences at BYU, and that makes me so happy. I miss BYU. Enjoy every second!
HAPPY LESS-THAN-A-MONTH-UNTIL-YOUR-BIRTHDAY, MOM! I'm sure you and yours are already celebrating. I can't wait for the Fourth of July. I think of mentioned how ridiculously patriotic I feel now that I'm out of the States. AMERICA!
Hello to Presdient Hadley! My mom passed your salute on to me, and I'm very grateful for it. I read through my setting-apart blessing not too long ago. What an honor to have received that from you. Thank you for your good spirit and great example. I look forward to seeing you again in 2015.
Lachlan, Olive, and Knox are getting another brother? Goodness, how that family is growing! How old is Lachlan now? I remember when he and Olive were just tiny. To date, Olive was the cutest baby I've ever seen in my life. She's still so adorable! I have a picture of me and my mom with Olive in the background looking at me with the funniest face. Ha! I treasure that picture. Family is the most important thing. It's at the center of God's plan. Treasure your families, and ponder exactly what that means: to treasure.
Aunt Lisa, you must be in seventh heaven with all these adorable grandchildren! And with such cool names, too. Someone has to let me know as soon as this new one is named. I probably owe a lot of my "skill" in writing, if you can call it that, to you, Aunt Lisa. I remember back when I wrote silly stories for fun, you were always my support, the fellow author in the family who encouraged me and read my stuff and kept me going. I'm proud to have taken after you with a love for English and scribbling it out. Thank you for your love, prayers, faith, and example.
Well, this week was crazy. We finally moved! It took a good two days, and then some, so our "missionary work" was lacking as far as the classic white-shirts-on-bikes goes. But, of course, moving us into an apartment where we can live and function comfortably and feel the Spirit during studies is an important part of missionary work, so all's well.
Unfortunately, our apartment is still a little less than comfortable. Yes, it's three times the size of our last one. Yes, there are two bathrooms (yay!). Yes, we have a separate laundry room for the washer (that sounds like a jet engine). Yes, we have super fun granite slidy floors. Yes, I live with some of the coolest guys in the mission. Yes, everything is new and clean and we got to destroy (literally) all of the old stuff in the other apartment and take it to the dump ("Where are you boys getting all this junk!?"). Yes, we're the only ones that live in our building right now, so we get to be as loud and silly as we want.
Unfortunately, we have no sink. Our kitchen smells like a sewer because of incomplete pipes. And we don't have gas, so we can't cook, and we take freezing cold showers in the mornings.
All of those things will be fixed within the next two weeks, and I am by no means miserable, but the lack of cooked food and bodily cleanliness is certainly getting to me. Heheh. It's okay, that's missionary work! We do our best and press on. It's a good experience, if nothing else.
This week we'll be getting back to real, normal missionary work. I hope to find several new investigators with Anziano Chipman (who I love) so our teaching pool goes up. We're aiming for 15 lessons a week, which is really hard to do in Italy. But it's possible! We have some great plans to try, and I'm excited to see God's hand in our work as we do our very best. Here's to a week of Padovan miracles!
I love you all. Thank you for reading, for praying, for loving, for thinking, for writing, and for everything else you do. Ciao ciao!