Too answer your questions. I haven't received the Mexico letters, I did receive the box (Sister Howell said that's one of the only things she knew about me, that I received lots of packages and mail. What a reputation to be known by!) And I know you love me too.
That's so sad about Eli. But I guess the Lord wanted him back. My love goes out to the Barr family, even though I didn't know that family too well. Now the questions in you letter...
The journal is the journal that everyone writes in. Not my personal journal.
And for transfers...we all meet at Naperville, if you’re new or training you go to a meeting, if you’re not then you find your companion, and leave... but first you have to say hi and bye to everyone. I said bye to Sister Mondelli like 40,000 times. And Sister Chen goes home in a month :( Sister Howell and I are super sad. She's an amazing missionary with so much faith and is pretty much the energizer bunny. She's going to be a legend in the mission... she really is. And you can tell Sister Cameron whatever you want. I love Rensselaer. I really did leave my heart there. Our area is pretty big. It takes us 30 minutes to get to some places in a car. But the town of DeKalb is a lot bigger than Renssy. We can spend all day in it without running out of things to do. And yeah we have a car, we just don't have miles.... long story, maybe some other time. So like last Thursday when it was REALLY hot, we were riding bikes. We came home before dinner to shower and change...fun fun!
I loved the pictures! How is Leda doing? I love her so much! Tell her that! And tell her to write me so I can have her address! I want to tell her an awesome Book of Mormon story!
I did receive the small shirts, they fit. And no, we won't get to go to the temple... hopefully we'll convince President to let us go when Don, our soon to be convert, goes to do baptisms... but we'll see.
And yes, I do remember my first EFY. It was fun and awkward. My second year was loads better, and my third year was the celestial kingdom...in some ways...well in most...btw, tell David I think I saw a bell tower on NIU campus and just had to smile! Also I learned how to throw and catch a football! Kinda good. Thanks to Elder Anderson and Roberts. I miss Valpo :(
So now for my area...
OH DeKalb is NOTHING like Rensselaer, expect for the corn and soybeans out in the country. I love them! And the sky! The sky is still really pretty, but too often the stupid trees get in the way.
The first week in DeKalb has been a long one. It's been kind of hard to adjust from the country life to the college life, and to leave Rensselaer behind. Sometimes I don't really know how I can love DeKalb as much as I loved Rensselaer. But the Lord has shown to me that this is where I'm supposed to be. Like when we we were driving from Rensselaer to Naperville Sister Mondelli asked me when we should go up to Wheatfield, so she asked that question and usually I can feel if we should go or not. Well this time I couldn't. I was drawing a blank. I said, "Sister Mondelli, I'm no longer a missionary in Rensselaer anymore. I don't have the authority in that area, you do now, and Sister Daley." It made me sad. Then last Thursday, during weekly planning, I knew none of the investigators, but I was getting inspiration of what we could teach these people, and what we could do to strengthen the wards and area. It was a testimony to me that this is where the Lord wants me.
I know I’m supposed to take what I learned in Rensselaer and apply it here. Like loving people. No one hugs here. I told Sister Howell that if we want the DeKalb Ward to get more unified, it needs to start with our example. So we're going to start hugging the sisters on Sunday to show our love. This whole handshaking thing doesn't work very well. (So right now there's a police in the college library and is getting info from one of the former investigators here...don't know why...but whatever. I love college towns!)
Sister Howell and I have some awesome ideas of how to better work with members, and we both want to go out and work and search for those miracles.
Saturday we were done tracting and heading back to our car, when we saw some boys sitting outside of a frat house (they're everywhere around here, and sorority houses too). I told Sister Howell to contact them. She told me to, so I did. And we ended up teaching two of them a brief version of the L1. One of them asked what else that book said after we explained that the Book of Mormon can answer questions like why we are here. And the other boy, JD, looked like he wanted more, well Austin did too. It looked like they were tired of the partying and really wanted to know more. Hopefully they'll be there this Saturday! And don't worry, it was in the middle of the day when we contacted them. We're careful.
ps. Harrison will fit right in with the investigators when he leaves. They all say 'yea' like he does, 'yeah.' Makes me laugh everytime). She's a hard worker, I never have to push her, she runs EVERY morning. We run close to 2 miles. And she eats healthy, and we just get along so well. She's got a strong testimony and a love for the people here. There are so many times when I feel so lost with everything going on, but she's there to pick up when I don't know what's going on.
And thank you so much for informing me of the heat wave! I had no idea! I only came home with soaking wet garments and shirts for that matter!
And Sister Howell and I want to try some new recipes every now and then. Got any good ones?
This week has been a lot of me adjusting to the new area. But we're both excited for Don's baptism. He reminds me a lot of Kim, and some of the things that Sister Howell worries about concerning him are some of the same things I worried or noticed in Kim, so I've been able to tell her what we did with Kim in certain situations.
And then Jackie! She's set for the 20th of August. She really wants to get baptized, but can't because she's not married. Sister Howell has been praying for her to get married by the 20th ever since they set her on date. When we went over to visit her she said her boyfriend had finally agreed to marry her! Their wedding is on the 15th, so she can get baptized on the 20th. That was such an awesome miracle for Sister Howell, since she's been working with her for so long.
Our plan for the DeKalb Ward is to get baptisms, but to also really help the bishop out and get into less-active members homes and help with reactivation. There are so many less-actives, and we really hope that we can be the means of bringing at least one soul or family back into the fold of God.
And it's kind of amazing how some missionaries get certain feeling regarding someone. Sister Howell had been working with a part member family. She said that the husband wasn't progressing and she was considering not meeting with them as often. But when we went over there I saw a little potential in his wife who is a member, and I kinda felt that she could come back to church with a lot of love. Hopefully that would motivate her husband to get a little wet. It wasn't a strong impression at all, I just wanted to go and visit them every week.
Um...I forgot what I was going to say...oh, I'm mailing home my sd card this week. I forgot to back it up...so PLEASE pray that it will get there! I love you so much, and thank you for all the time you spend in trying, and succeeding in making me comfortable. Tell Grammie happy birthday! I haven't sent her a card yet...but I well...eventually.