Monday, February 25, 2013

Well, first off, I cut my own hair this week...

Dear Family,

I don't know really where to start with this email, ha ha. But I did enjoy all of your letters and emails this week. It was fun to hear about Taylor and his team and also about how well Emma is doing with her play. And I am glad to hear it sounds like everybody is starting to get over that sickness. I am so glad to hear that! Thanks for the updates! I really wish I could respond to everything that you send me, because it is all good and I want you to know how much I appreciate it and stuff. But tell Uncle Dan thank you, I am not sure if I deserve that, but it definitely made me feel very good. I have to attribute most of that you, Mother and Father, because you are the ones that taught me to be that way. Also I loved getting the two little letters from Clara and Emma, ha ha.

Also I need to thank you for the good advice that you gave me. It has really helped and I feel like it is contributing really positively to Elder Gentry and mine's companionship. Things are looking on the up and up with that stuff.  I will be able to use that advice with all of my companions and my future wife and really everyone that I ever meet. It is pretty universal advice. And I loved your talk dad.  I think that is one that I can take excerpts from and use it in a lot of talks. To respond to some of your questions. I do like Pres and Sis Wall. I actually still haven't had an interview with Pres Wall, so I don't really feel like I know him to well yet, haha. I have a feeling though, that we will get to know each other very well through out my mission.

This week has been crazy. It seems that when things become more comfortable, a wrench gets thrown in the system. It helps you learn though.  I will just go through my week. Well, first off, I cut my own hair this week. I decided that it would be a lot cheaper in the long run and maybe my wife will appreciate later on. And guess what, it actually looks pretty good! Surprising, I know. But I did shave a little to much behind my ear... nobody has noticed though yet. And when I was doing it I forgot to cut off right at the back of my head, so I had this little 3x3 long tuft of hair... But I took care of it, haha. I am still learning, but it will be much more convenient than going to a barber once a month. We have done a lot of driving this week. I don't even know how many times we have come to and from baton rouge, but it was a lot. It has actually been a miracle that we have gotten as much done as we did. On Tuesday, we went to help out a few of the missionaries in South Baton rouge. We took them to the mall of Louisiana and it was huge. We walked around for a bit and I heard this Alison Krauss song. It was awesome, but made me miss home a little bit. While we were walking around a girl called us over. She was a mall train conductor, where little kids could pay her and she would drive them around the mall. Her name was K_____  and she said that she knew we talked about God and had some questions. She asked us who she was praying to and some other questions about the God head. She seemed like she was already a member with what she believed about religion and it was an effortless conversation to tie her questions to the restoration of the Gospel. She wants to learn more and so we gave her our number (although she is not in our area haha). It was a cool experience and it shows how we have to just put ourselves out there and Heavenly Father will put people in our path to help.

We had to go to transfer meeting this week to get a new car and it brought back so many unnerving memories of my first day here. It put me in a funk for the rest of the day. But I did get to see Elder Pope one last time and we got to take a picture together. He told me he would show it to you guys! I am sad that I couldn't spend more of my mission with him. I have an official Ghetto name now, I got it from one of the members, Sis J. She calls me "Babyboy," but we are suspecting she calls me that because she doesn't know my real name haha. None the less it is pretty funny. I was also able to give her a blessing this week, because she has been really sick and is getting worse. I feel pretty honored that we are able to give blessings. That we are trusted to act and speak with the authority of God. It was a really cool experience and something that I will remember. That phrase you sent me dad about being content with my efforts is something that I am implementing into my everyday life. A mission is hard and you have to just do your best with your situation. It is good to have a constant reminder that you just need to try your best and the Lord will do the rest. Also we helped Bro. R fertilize and put pesticides on all of his fruit trees last week.

To end I will tell you about my eating experience this week. An investigator invited us over to a BBQ and Boil yesterday. They had BBQ'd chicken, pork chops and sausage. And let me tell you, they know what they are doing down here. They also boiled, potatoes, corn, sausage, turkey necks, pig neckbone and pigs feet. And guess what, I tried it all. I am Andrew Zimmern. It was all really really good. The pigs feet are all fat and skin and if you ever eat them, don't let them cool down before you eat them...  But I will send you some pictures. Also look up the new Mormon message it is called "Mountains to Climb" and it really helped me out this week. The last thing that I will put in is a poem that Pres Wall  sent to me this last week.

The winds of adverstiy are blowing your way
Against mighty forces you must travel each day
God sends you gusting gales to bend your soul
Bending not breaking is a strengthening goal
Strength earned by overcoming will ever stay
Deeply Rooted you will never stray,

I love you!

Elder Soper

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