So this is the last week of this transfer and once again I won't know what will happen until next monday. So it will be one of those weird weeks where I will be emailing you guys on tuesday. Oh yeah, I think I forgot to tell you what song that I played. I played "Nearer my God to thee" and there is a cool story behind that. So when I got the guitar from that one missionary there were some papers stuffed at the top of the case. I pulled them out and they were super crinkled, but as I looked closer they were the guitar music for "Nearer my God to thee" and Come thou fount." Pretty cool huh? And since then I found a bunch of guitar music just sitting in our apartment of various hymns. That has been a lot of fun to play those and learn new things. Keeps me fresh. Also another cool development with guitar is that Elder Stratford wrote another song and I was able to write the music for it. I definitely had some divine help becuause this is the first song that I have helped write that is pretty good haha. We have been able to share it with a lot of people and actually one of the members in our ward had this digital recorder and they recorded me playing this new song and the Phoenix one. I am going to get them on a USB and try to share them with you sometime. Sidenote: We are at the Library in Thibodaux and the guy sitting next to me looks exactly like Jamie Foxx, literally twins haha Holy Cow. Sorry I thought you might enjoy that.
View of Elder Soper's apartment in Thibodaux
While we've been sorting out my debit card situation, Elder Stratford has treated me to a lot of chinese buffets (he likes to go a lot haha) and so this week I treated him with my card. It is pretty good and has that yummy mongolian BBQ. Yeah I am still deciding if I should get a fishing lisence or not. The trouble is that when you buy a day pass, you have to say what day it will be, so it makes it tough to schedule. I'm sure we will figure something out though. But with all this trying to go fishing stuff I have gained a really strong desire to go fly fishing again haha. I miss the mountains, the streams and the cool air that you can enjoy when you are out fly fishing. So needless to say I got really excited when you said we could get me a rod and waders when I get home. That is something that I am looking forward to, being outdoors, camping and fishing. Haha I have also had a longing for another thing this week...bionicles. I know that sounds weird haha but we helped a member clean his lego collection ( when I say collection, I mean COLLECTION) he has got a lot of stuff and it reminded me of when Taylor and I would play with Legos and make bionicles. It has been a week of nostalgia. Elder Stratford played with bionicles as well and so we have had some fun conversations about that this week. I might see what kindof knock off Bionicle things they have now and try it out, just to see if it brings a little satisfaction haha.
About your reunion in Idaho: That walking ultimate frisbee sounds like it was so much fun haha. I had fun imagining you guys having determined looks and being tense as you walk as hard as you could to catch the frisbee haha. It sounds like you guys have had a lot of fun up there so far. I can't believe that was a year ago that we were up there last. I can still remember doing the dinosaur stomp on the piano haha. Man time really flies. That is so cool hat Stan and Gwens barn is being put up! When will it be done? And tell everybody that I am really grateful for all of their prayers and their support. I can feel it day to day and it brings me strength and happiness as I go.
I have been doing a lot better anxiety wise. I have actually been using those breathing exercises a lot and it has really helped. It is funny how you just focus so much energy on imagining and breathing deeply and methodically that once you are done you forget what you were worried about or you realize it was a silly thing to be worried about. That has helped me out a lot and helped me to be more patient with those around me and myself. It has been nice to just take those quite moments to meditate, breath and recognize the blessings, beauty and good all around me. It is there, sometimes I just forget to appreciate it. Thank you for sending me that advice, I am a lot happier since then. It is funny too, the scriptures that you shared are exactly the ones that I went to these last two weeks when I needed comfort. It made me so happy to see those in the letter because I instantly knew that ou followed a spiritual prompting to share those with me. The song Elder Stratford wrote as well has a little to do with those scriptures. I love verse 7-9 and especially 9:
"Thy afriends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."
I think of you guys when I read that scripture, because even though you aint here with me, I know that you stand by me. But like you said Dad, I really do feel like this is preparing for me to be married haha. It is weird since I am with a companion, but I think this is Heavenly Fathers way of helping us iron out the wrinkles befoe we are married. You are right that it is easier to be patient and understanding when you are rested and happy, but when you are a little stressed it is another story. But I have found when I really make an effort even when I am tense, it makes me feel happier. Funny how that works. Thank you for our advice, it has helped me out a ton. Haha I can relae with you dad with having your heads in the clouds with things like paper work. Mine is phone calls and text. I don't know if I just have poor etiquette or I just really don't know what I am doing sometimes. But I make some errors and forget things, but I have learned to just laugh it off, becasue in the end it is pretty comical haha. Like trying to leave a message, not having all the information you need and so you whisper to your companion for help and forget that you are leaving a message rather than talking to someone. Haha I am not sure how that happened, but I just did some alien breathing and laughed it off.
But this week was pretty good. I mean there were still some stressful parts and a couple new challenes that come up that prompted some growth. We were able to have dinner with this guy named B.T. and he is hilarious. I don't know why her cracks me up so bad, but everything he says and the way he laughs just makes me laugh. He made us some good steaks and grilled some sausage, it was yummy to this missionaries tummy. He has met with missionaries for over 13 years and he knows every lds or missionary reference which is pretty funny considering he works with a member that just moved in. He says things like "Let's just sing called to serve." When there was a little disagreement during a meeting and nobody knew what he was talking about but Bro. D. We helped out a lot at salvation army again this week and that has been good to put in some physical labor and some service. It was hard to get a hold of E. and B. this week since both or their phones went out. But this sunday we were just hoping that they would make it. Church had started and about 10 minutes in they hadn't showed up, but a little while later they walked in with H. I couldn't help but to do a tiny fist pump and a grunt of triumph to myself. We were able to have a lesson with them after church and they are doing better than ever. We have also had a young man named Bryar help us teach them as well and that has been good to get him involved. Things are still a little bit slow, but we are excited to have a new week and work hard.
Thank you again for doing all this stuff for me, I really appreciate it. Thank you too for giving me such detailed updates on the happenings back home, that is really fun and like you said it makes me feel a part of things. I am pretty happy right now and grateful for the challenges that have pushed me to grow. I love you guys so much and I hope you have a great time up at the cabin!
Prayers and thoughts always,