Sunday, January 10, 2016

Dear Family,

The weird Asian food of the week is beef Jerky. But it isn't just
normal jerky. It has a hairy texture to it. It looks and feels like
eating tarantula legs.

We went to the Air Force museum again since Elders Taylor and Bunker
have not been there yet. I did family history work most of the time.
As we were going to various parts of the museum, we kept running into
lots of members. There were some groups that came down from Michigan
and a lot of them had BYU hoodies or beanies. I haven't seen that much
BYU apparel in a group of people since being in Utah; usually it is
Ohio State University clothing you see.

This week we had the car, so we went to visit a lot of members. Elder
Taylor was sick from the food we ate the night before, so we had to
turn around a few times so we could make it to a bathroom. He looked
like he was in enough pain that he might pass out. Luckily he started
feeling better so we could go out and do some missionary work. We were
able to visit a less active member that has been returning to the
church over the last few months and wants to prepare for a mission. We
had the opportunity to do some service. We were in our proselytizing
clothes, so they didn't want us to do too much dirty work. We got to
put spackle in the nail holes on their wall. It may not have been a
lot of work, but it was good to serve again. I haven't had much
service to do since Danville.

We had zone training this past Wednesday. The materials they asked us
to study were the exact same as last zone training and the meeting
felt like last zone training. They are really focusing on goals and
accountability. Elder Taylor and I haven't had too many times to teach
together since our entire teaching pool is away for the holiday break.
In the roleplay we taught together, Elder Taylor was having moments
where his mind would just blank. This let me know that we really need
to practice in companion study so this doesn't happen in a real
teaching situation.
I was so tired that night for some reason that I just fell asleep at 7 pm. Oops.

We went to go contact on UD again just to see if anyone had come back
after Christmas. There still was no one on campus. We started walking
toward the bus stop, but we just missed the bus by a minute. We
decided we would just keep walking towards the next stop since we
didn't want to just stand there for thirty minutes. As we walked
another bus passed us, oh well. I guess we will just keep walking. We
weren't paying attention to the time and another bus passed us. By
this point we were close enough to our apartment that we figured there
was no point getting on the bus only to get off two stops later. We
ended up walking all the way from the University of Dayton to our
apartment, which was about five miles. It was a nice stroll through
the neighborhood.

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed New Years with Ron and Janalee. As
a missionary we go to be at 10:30pm, so there wasn't much for us to
celebrate. Some missionaries set an alarm for midnight, celebrate for
a couple minutes, then go back to sleep. Holidays for missionaries
just tend to be normal work days, so I wanted to sleep.

There was a day this week where we had gone through our plans a little
faster than we anticipated. In order to stay productive for the next
thirty minutes before our next appointment, we decided to grab a
couple trash bags and just walk down the road outside our apartment
picking up litter. It was a small act of service for the people living
here, but the joy I feel in serving was so much greater. I think when
serving others we usually get the better end of the deal because of
how it makes us feel.

I found someone in the branch with really similar hobbies as me. He
does the same kind of "hacking" that I did at work at PerfectSearch.
He has a really nice computer that he uses for operating system
virtualization and to help him prepare for different certification
tests. It was nice to connect with someone that speaks my language. It
has been a long time since I have talked that in depth about

Sunday it was our companionship's turn to teach the Sunday School
lesson. Elder Taylor hasn't had his ADD pills for several days because
his prescription ran out, so I offered to teach the lesson by myself.
The lesson was on our Heavenly Father and how we can come to know Him.
This was the fullest I have ever seen the gospel principles class
since coming here, so I wasn't really nervous until I got into the
classroom and was actually about to teach. Overall the lesson went
alright. Brother Dibble, the first counselor in the branch, said that
I set a high bar for others to follow. I tried to keep things as
simple as possible because the last lesson we taught, about the
millennium, we went into too much detail for a class that is really
about gospel basics. The gospel is really simple and sometimes I think
we complicate things for ourselves.

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