My Dearest-Wonderfully-Amazing-Absolutely-Awe-Inspiring-And-Loving Family,
I love you. Things have been brought into a more interesting view for me lately. In less than a month, I will have been on my mission for a year. This is a little surreal for me (spelling?). I can still think back and remember with clarity several of the events of the last week before entering the MTC and many things in the MTC. It is hard for me to really comprehend the passage of time.
Elder Soelberg and I have been getting along wonderfully. Very few arguments, and those trifling. He's way cool and he's grown so much in the language. He can't see his change, but in the four weeks we've been together, his language skills have just about doubled. He is confident in himself during the lessons for the most part, until he thinks he's made a mistake. I don't correct him unless what he has said completely changes the meaning of the sentence he wants to say, which has happened much less this last week than the first week. Almost not at all. It makes me think back on the first days of my mission and wondering how in the blue blazes I was going to figure out all the grammar. I still don't think I have it all perfectly, but hey, miracles have happened.
I apologize for the scarcity of news in the investigator region in the last several weeks. I don't remember if I have told you about Alberto and the Fernande family yet. That family is a part-member, recent convert, and little "less active" family, and we were passing by relatively regularly to teach the retention lessons to those who needed them. Once we invited another one of the boys to participate, and three weeks later he was baptized. This last week (two weeks after the baptism and one since his confirmation) he was sustained to be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. He also came to church in a suit and asked us for help tying his tie (as far as I know, he's the only one in his family who has a suit...). He's a stud.
This week we also found a lot of new people to begin teaching, many of them just from passing people on the street. As I said earlier, miracles happen. We just started teaching a young woman who has a one-and-a-half year-old boy named Eric. He's so much fun to play with (before and after the teaching, of course) and is very obedient to his mother (sorry Mom, don't know if you can say the same about me at that age...). It is so great to be teaching her. This Sunday, she woke up early and almost couldn't sleep because she was so anxious to go to church. Then when we stopped by to pick her up with another member, she looked so discouraged because she didn't have any diapers for Eric to wear and she was afraid he'd have an accident. We organized things right on the spot, talked with the Relief Society president, and got diapers for her there. She enjoyed the meetings immensely and is reading from the Book of Mormon and Gospel Principles books both at once. The only thing that is a problem is that she and her husband aren't married. Please! pray that they can get married soon and that there won't be any problems!! We're going to be finishing up the Plan of Salvation, talking about eternal families, and then introducing the Law of Chastity tonight so that she can understand the importance of marriage in the eternal plan of God. Just realized I haven't said her name, it's Janet.
I continue my studies in the Bible, and John continues to astound me. The stories are much more poignant to me now than before. I used to think the Bible was boring, except the parables (mostly because of the Living Scriptures movies we had). Now I find so many different meanings and personal applications to so many little things. It's way cool.
Well, my family, my time has drawn to a close for the day. The rededication of the Temple happens this weekend and there are many preparations to do personally and in the ward. The work calls, the fields are white, and the Keeper is calling me to "thrust in the sickle". As I assist in the gathering of Israel, know that my prayers are with you all, that you may also be gatherers in your own parts of the vineyard. Right now you may now be full-time harvesters, but in the middle of the daily chores, a small harvest can be enjoyed.
P.S. Let Sharkbait and Minion know that their favorite Uncle Dweebus is giving them hugs! When do I get to see prego pictures?
P.S.S. I'll try to get some pictures of my own in the next letter.