Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Elder Henry

Dear Mom,
No I haven't heard a thing (about my visa/travel plans)...  Which makes me very very sad :(.  It's on the way but taking its time about doing so.  For my birthday I bought Root Beer and Ice Cream, and we will be celebrating as a whole zone.  I can't believe I'm 21 already!  How crazy.
     I'll do my best to hop on down to a CVS Pharmacy to get a backup CD and send it home.  P-days are crazy, but it would be nice for both of us, plus I still need to send the extra pair of shoes home.  As soon as I know the day I'm leaving I'll get in contact with the bank.
     I'm super excited to go to Brasil, that visa can't come fast enough!  Let me tell you :P.  Hopefully it will come sooner rather than later.

Not a whole lot happened last week.  Of the 4 new investigator families we only met with 2 of them.
     We saw Jon yesterday and he LOVES to talk.  The problem is its super interesting to me to, because he'll get going on WWII and then I get distracted...  Have to keep the lessons focused.  I've been saying goodbye to everyone in the area for about a week now.  The ward is so ready for me to leave, that I got my haircut on Saturday and people came up to me on Sunday and they thought I was their new elder!
     We had the departing missionary fireside yesterday and President Bubert asked Elder Whetstone and Myself to speak since we will be departing soon.  I also had the opportunity to invite all those I had worked with in my previous areas to come as well.  Unfortunately all of my recent converts were busy (seeing as it was Easter Sunday).  Fortunately some people were able to make it, I was very excited to see the Brother Maiava, the Sangala's, and Eli and Isa there ^^.  Tonight I'll be eating dinner with President Bubert and his Wife, and tomorrow we are going to the temple with President.  I'm really excited!  All that's left is a visa :P.
     We met with Ralph during the week last week and talked about the Book of Mormon.  We had an appointment with him again on Saturday and he wasn't home :/.  What made things worse we had brought a member with us, and they would have gotten along PERFECTLY!  Oh well, sometimes things fall through, its just a shame when it does.
      Steve H. said last week that he's really close to committing to baptism!  I'm really excited to hear that, especially when he hasn't been able to meet with us for the past two weeks.  Spring Break is this week for here, and so meeting with people will be a little bit trickier than normal.
     Steve R. and his family all were at Church yesterday :D!  Tax season is almost over as well, so he should be able to meet with us again soon.
     Nicole came to church yesterday and is also on the progressing train.  I just don't understand what it's going to take to strengthen her faith that she can overcome challenges and temptations in her path.  She's done it before, she can do it again!

     We had a bunch of non-members come to easter services yesterday!  We may even be able to start teaching one of them, a young man that came to church with one of the young women.  He seemed pretty shell-shocked when I came up and started talking with him.  I don't think he had any idea what was going on :P.  We are going to follow-up with the young woman who brought him this week.  Hopefully good things will ensue!
     Thanks for the Easter/Birthday Cards!  I opened them on Saturday instead of today on accident because Kelsey had sent an Easter package and so I thought the other 2 cards that came would be Easter cards (completely spacing my own birthday).  Thank you for signing the birthday card and always remembering me.  Also thank you Grandpa and Grandma Nichols and Granny for the Cards and Presents :).  Of course an extra thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Henry who are providing funds to help support me on my mission, and Kelsey and her parents Bruce and Randy.  I'm very grateful to have a whole family behind me supporting me while I'm on this endeavor.
I love you all so very much!

Elder Henry

Dear Michael,
     Hopefully you can make a cake--or buy one!  I was sad last night that I was going to not see you for your birthday, but then I remembered you'll be home in only 15 1/2 months or so and it made me happy.  Its just so weird having you and Sherry grown up and gone (although Dad would remind me we have our "perfect family" now--two kids is definitely a lot easier than four haha).

     I haven't heard anything.  Have you heard anything?  Itenerary? Etc etc?  You and/or Dad need to get ahold of the bank and let them know you are finally going to be traveling/living down there.  If you leave a "paper trail" by making small (food haha) purchases in each airport on your way, that will help the bank not freak out and put a hold on your account.  But we need to let them know again too.  I finally had an anxiety attack on Wed after the dots finally all were filled in and the visa was ready for collection.  Woke up in the 2am hour somewhere and could not get back to sleep!  I am really looking forward to talking with you on the phone and hearing your voice, so hopefully someone will let us know when you're leaving!!!
     I love you and have a wonderful birthday!  You're the best son I could wish for--despite all of dad's and my "Guinea pig" mistakes.  Thank you bud!
Love, Mom
PS  I shared your update to the YSA's with my missionary mom lists, because it was so eloquent.  It touched many hearts!  Here is one particularly special response I wanted to share with you.

Thanks so much for sharing your son's letter.  To me it was a  tender-mercy,
but not likely in the way you'd expect. 
     First a little  background - My son returned home from his mission in Alaska in
March.  He immediately went on facebook and had several friend requests
waiting from those in areas where he'd served.  One in particular was a
young woman who attended in one of the Singles Wards where he had served.
Things progressed VERY quickly, and before I knew it, (like the following
weekend) they'd  arranged for her to fly down so they could see one another
in person... I  think he's smitten!  She is a lovely girl in every way.
Which immediately got me wondering about her family, specifically her
parents.  Her mother is a member but her father is not.  I prayed that her
mother would be a valian  example in the gospel - but really never dreamed
that it could be confirmed until we'd met in person.
     Yet it was confirmed, in your son's letter.  He  wrote of "Sister Doing", and
the powerful testimony she bore when teaching  with your son and his
companion.  It's the very Sister Doing whose heart I'd prayed to know! The
tender way in which he described her allowed the spirit to bear witness that
she is, indeed, a valiant woman.
     The "what are  the chances..." are just too numerous to describe.  I can
testify that our Heavenly Father truly works in mysterious ways!  When we
only see one solution, he sees countless answers and will direct them for
our good! Thank  you for sharing your son's letter. It was truly an answer to
my  prayers.

Dear Dad,
I haven't been able to find an international calling card that works for Brasil yet.  Hopefully I'll be able to find one today when I go to the pharmacy (they usually carry lots of that kind of stuff).
That's way cool that you were able to go do sealings last Thursday with mom.  I can't wait to go to the temple tomorrow with my mission president.  I imagine that will be quite the treat.
Its funny to imagine what kind of weather you must be getting this time of the year.  It's been pretty warm down here recently, in the high 80's low 90's all weekend.  Blue skies everyday, hardly ever a cloud in sight.  We have good enough weather that we can go out and jog for 20 minutes every morning at 6:30am.  It's pretty boring to be quite honest with you, I'd much rather have rainstorms all day every day.
Thank you for the Birthday wishes.  This is like my last milestone so far as age goes.  I still can't believe that I'm 21 today.

Elder Henry

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