Thursday, December 26, 2013



I am glad to hear that everything went well with Emma's surgery. I was thinking about it a lot this last week and it makes me so happy to hear that it was such a success. There are definitely prayers coming your way from way down the bayou Emma. I hope that the recovery goes smoothly and you can just enjoy lounging around this Christmas break. It sounds like you were really brave Emma and you are having such a good attitude about it. I am really proud of you and I know that Heavenly Father is really proud of you too.

I also have to thank you for the Christmas package. I haven't opened up anything yet, but I can thank you in advance for everything. Also it is just fun to have presents under the tree, fills me with nostalgia. I feel like I have been so blessed my entire life, I have never really gone with out and so it has been fun this Christmas to give to others. It makes you feel really good. I don't have a whole lot, but I give what I can. I hope you guys got my little Christmas letter, I hope you like it too. People are so generous down here too and it makes you feel kinda spoiled haha so hopefully we can give just as much as we have received.

I am really excited to see you guys over skype on Christmas day. I can't believe it has been like 7 months since I last saw you guys and even crazier I can't believe that after this I will only be able to call you one more time until I come home....AYE AYE AYE ZORDON!!!!! Time is going a little too fast. 

It does feel a little odd that there is no snow. You can feel the Christmas spirit for sure, but it sure is different when it is still 80 degrees outside with 70 percent humidity. It is a strange feeling haha. But today it got a little colder and so that is nice. I love it when it gets cold down here, (in the 40's or 50's) Because people bundle up like we are in Antarctica. We also had this insane lightning storm last night where you could see streaks of lightning just flash across the sky and it lit up everything around you. The thunder also just shook the earth. Those storms are pretty cool to witness, but I still miss the snow a little bit. 

This has been a pretty crazy week with Christmas devotionals and Christmas parties, it has been pretty non-stop. This last week we had a really good lesson with L., C. and K. where we had them be the missionaries and they taught us the Restoration. K. asked us to make them tags, but I totally forgot and so when I got there I drew them on some Mcdonalds napkin, she seemed satisfied haha. They each got to choose their name and they were pretty silly. K. was Sister Lemonjello pronounced La-mon-ja-low and C. was Elder Alfalfa. Although it was pretty silly it turned out to be a really good experience. We had them study the pamphlet before we came and that was actually our main reason for doing it. They really dug into it because they knew that they had to teach it. We had a really good discussion and it was just a lot of fun. 

Speaking of humor I studied a lot about that this week and I shared some of my thoughts with President Wall. Here is a little exerpt:

I was reading in Alma this week where Alma is giving advice to all of his sons. Alma is talking to his son Shiblon and he tells him to "Be Sober." That stuck out to me and so I looked it up and it brought me to the word levity. This jump started a mini-study on humor. I know that humor can be such a great tool, in fact a great spiritual gift. Richard G Scott said "A good sense of humor helps revelation...A sense of humor is an escape valve for the pressures of life." I have seen humor really work miracles in the sense of helping others to feel comfortable and also come closer to our Savior. But although it can be used for great good, it can also detract from the spirit when used inappropriately or incorrectly. There are a couple really good talks on humor that I found on : 
A Good Sense of Humor by Chris Crowe and
A Serious Look at Humor by Peter B Rawlins
Both of these articles do a good job of comparing the great good that can come from a good sense of humor and then also the don'ts of malicious humor. Another good talk is by Elder Wirthlin called "Come What may and Love it." He gives a piece of advice that will increase the happiness and fun in your life, he says "Learn to Laugh." When we can learn to laugh, it will ease tension, make the tough days fun, and increase our ability to work effectively and work hard. Proverbs 17:22 says

22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Missions are hard physically, emotionally, mentally etc. But Heavenly Father has given us a great tool to make it bearable. There is a quote from the Family Home Evening resource book that says this," When people see the funny side of of what they are doing they aren't afraid to make a mistake. They think more clearly and they like themselves a lot better." Good humor is humble, not full of pride. Good humor builds relationships, it doesn't tear them down. Good humor is full of fun , not filth. Good humor is ironic, not sarcastic. Good humor invites the spirit. I am striving to refine my humor. I know it is not perfect and I know there are a lot of kinks that I have to work out. But in the mean time I will enjoy life, I will enjoy my mission and rely on the Savior to help strengthen me in all things. 

Well I guess it wasn't too little haha but that is okay. What are your guys thoughts on humor? 

A couple other things that happened this week. We had the Zone Christmas Devotional on tuesday and that was a lot of fun. We all had lunch and just were able to relax and talk. We had the little play presentation and I got to play "O come all ye faithful" on the guitar. I put a little Jack Johnson spin on it and it was a lot of fun to play. Christmas is just such a good time of year and it is fun to spend in good company. After the devotional we went out with Bro. Bybee and the Elder's Quorum to go caroling to some of the members of the ward. It was awesome to see their faces light up as the spirit was invited into their hearts. We spent most of our time at a rest home singing to some of the members there and you could tell that it just made their day. We also so B. with Bro. Bybee and that was kind of a miracle. Elder Bennett and I had been thinking about him for awhile but we just couldn't get down there because it is so far away and he doesn't have a phone. But when Bro. Bybee picked he must of had the same feeling because he took us to go see B. Tender Mercy. B. is such a good kid and he just has the biggest heart, but he has little support at home and it must be hard to develop good standards when they are continually being pulled down by your surroundings. I am glad that we were able to go see him. We had the Ward Christmas party this last friday and that was also a lot of fun. They had tons of food, decorations, they had Santa come, we sang Christmas songs and had an ugly sweater contest. Luckily Elder Bennett and I have connections at the Salvation Army, so we had some pretty ugly sweaters. And guess who got 2nd place? was I. I will send some pictures haha. Jimmy, one of our investigators came as well and he loved it. He loved how kind everybody was and he expressed to us that he would love to come back. Pretty cool.

 Yesterday was the Ward Christmas program with Choir. About 30 min before church started Elder Bennett and I got recruited to sing. We were 2 of the 3 male singers in the choir. But luckily the spirit helped us and we were able to pick up quick. It was so fun to be part of the choir and it just made me grateful for all of those years we had to go to youth really paid off!! Music brings such a great spirit and you can see it in peoples eyes as you are singing on the stand. Christmas is the best time of the year. Everybody is happier, a little bit more kind and a smidgen more generous. I love what Elder Bennett says " Everybody is happier during Christmas because they have the light of Christ more in their lives...even if they don't know it!" That is so true. Although the real meaning of Christmas sometimes gets overshadowed by the commercial and consumeristic side of it, the influence of birth and life of our Savior can be found every where...even if people don't know it! The reason for the season is Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Redeemer and our best friend. He knows us, he loves us and he cares for us. And the best gift we can give him this season is the gift of our hearts. I love this gospel. I love everything about it. And I can't think of any other place that I would rather be this Christmas season than devoting my life to serving my Savior.

 I love you guys so much and I am looking forward to talking to you this Christmas!


Elder Devin Soper

Elder Bennett and I posing with our Ugly Sweaters

Friday, December 20, 2013

This week I have learned a valuable lesson about listening...

Good Day Family

Man, it seems like it is getting closer and closer to Christmas each day, and guess what? IT IS!! Months seem to go a lot faster on your mission and before you know it, they are over. It sounds like you guys had a really good week and are just enjoying the season. I guess they are some tough things too with Dad's foot and Emma's surgery coming up. But I will keep you guys in my prayers. I also know that Heavenly Father doesn't give us anything that we can't handle and won't make us better. So Emma, you must be a much stronger person than me, because Heavenly Father knows that you can do it. Good luck and I will be praying for you!!! I hope that everything is alright with your foot too, Dad.

Wow, that program really sounds like it came together in a fun and satisfying way. Christmas really is a great time of year and everybody seems to be happy. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear." Elf quote of the day. So you guys did that! Music brings such a wonderful spirit and especially Christmas music focused on Christ. Sister Wall asked me on Saturday if I would play "O Come All Ye Faithful" on the guitar for the NOLA zone Christmas devotional. I am putting a little Jack Johnson spin on it, so hopefully it goes over well haha. Wish me luck.

It is hard to believe that I have been out for a year. I have learned a lot of good lessons, but I shared one with President Wall, that I would like yo share with you guys as well.

This week I have learned a valuable lesson about listening. I came into my mission with a little motto: Love and Listen. I tried to gather as much information about being a good missionary before I left for my mission and I boiled everything down into those two words. But I have been on my mission for a year now and I am looking back and thinking of the lessons that I have learned. I came out pretty shy and over the past year I have really come out of my shell. I have gained more confidence, because now I know where my confidence lies and that is in my Savior. I have learned how to create conversations about the gospel from everyday experiences and really how to effectively talk to people. (A valuable skill that I lacked previously) I am learning how to better teach the gospel in simple terms and teach to not only to help others understand, but teach them so they can't misunderstand. But with all of this I found my self bothered because I was talking too much and when I wasn't talking I had the urge to talk, just to get a word in. It wasn't because I was prompted to do so or it was some profound revelation, but I was being impatient as I was listening. This has been going on for probably the last 6 or 7 months in subtle ways, but really manifested itself in the past 2 or 3. I remembered what you told me in a previous interview about the importance of discerning and how the first step to discerning is observing or listening. How could I discern from the spirit if I wasn't listening the person talking or the spirit? It doesn't work. I am not sure when the change began, but in a lesson this week I found myself focusing on the speaker, pushing all other thoughts out of my mind and as soon as I recognized that I pushed that thought out of my mind so I could continue listening. As I did so I wasn't worried, I wasn't anxious to speak, I was calm and happy. Elder Bennett was doing a great job teaching and he was inspired to begin teaching a Part member/Less-active family the Restoration. As we began, the message wasn't getting through, we could tell. So we stopped, pondered and listened. Without actually saying it directly they told us what they needed and the spirit prompted us as well. We decided to switch roles with them. We gave them our clip on tags and gave them our scriptures. We told them that we wanted them to teach us how they knew God existed and loved them. They began testifying of the importance of prayer, scripture study and church attendance. You could see that they began to think about what they were saying and they were teaching themselves. It was a fun atmosphere, but it was full of the spirit. Elder Bennett and I thought, "Man that went great! We should do that again." So before we left we gave them the Restoration pamphlet, told them to study it and said that they were going to teach us next time too. I know that if we simply listen to those we teach because we love them, that if we listen to the spirit, we will be led to do what we need to. Is it easy? No. But is it worth it? Absolutely. I have found after that experience as well that I love to listen, that it is something that I am trying to do every time we meet somebody. So I am re-adopting my motto: Love and Listen and adding it to the mission vision. Love, Listen, Serve and Teach. I hope you don't mind, but I will probably do it anyway haha.

This morning I had a similar experience in the Book of Mormon as I began to read Alma 34. I had a really hard time focusing because something was weighing on my mind and stressing me out. I couldn't shake it and it was interfering with my study. So I said a little prayer asking for help and I received an answer, it said "Read your Scriptures." At first I thought to myself "I am trying." But I did my best to focus in and the spirit helped me to understand. I began reading about how we need to humble ourselves and pray to our Father in Heaven. We can pray about anything that we need and if we feel like it is important, than so does Heavenly Father. I also read about how we need to be "patient in our afflictions." I prayed about this situation and I don't really have an answer yet, but I did receive something and that was assurance. Heavenly Father will always make a way and we don't have to worry if we are listening.

I remember before my mission I was pretty shy and didn't talk much in social situations, but my mission has really helped me come out of my shell. I still get really nervous speaking in public, but I feel I can open up in smaller venues more now. But I think Heavenly Father allowed me to go past what my comfort zone and begin talking a little too much, so I could then learn the value and importance of listening. I hope that with His help I can find a healthy balance.

Another lesson that I have learned on my mission is that creating friendships is essential. Part of that too is being yourself. I am not going to lie and say that Elder Bennett and I are very strict, somber, serious or stern all the time. In fact we are hardly ever that way haha. We are both pretty goofy and silly and we include that in our missionary work. For example in that previous story when we pretended to be the investigators, we put some hats on backwards, loosened our ties and were a little silly. But we transitioned that into a spiritual experience. I think there is a time and a place for everything and I know that there are some situations where we need to be serious and disciplined. But it is also important to be yourself and that makes all of the difference. We have created some really great relationships with members down here and it is beginning to show in an increase in work. We had a great dinner with the Bybee's on Wednesday and we started teaching and drawing the Plan of Salvation with them. We are planning on going back this next Wednesday for dinner with L., C. and K. We think that is going to do leaps and bounds for their progression in the gospel. It is also showing with B. and D. They want us to come back after each time that we leave. We are becoming great friends with them and their desire to learn more about the gospel is increasing. It also showed in a cool miracle that we had this week. So on Thursday a lot of our plans fell through so we were going to ride by this store to see the times that we could come volunteer. As we rode their a former investigator, M., stopped us and asked us to come by her house. She was really good friends with the previous missionaries and that relationship with them created a rock solid foundation for us to begin teaching her again. The next step is to help them become friends with the members, then they won't want to leave.

I will share a few more cool things that happened this week. We volunteered at this other store kind of like the Salvation Army, but bigger and less-organized. They had us re-decorate the Christmas section for service haha. I guess Elder Bennett and I have the touch. We had dinner with a man in our ward named Bro . S. He is a pretty quiet guy and we hadn't really gotten to know him very good. He invited us over for dinner last night and it turns out he is the Jack of all trades. He made us this really good chicken that reminded me of the half chicken lunch at El Gallo Hiro. It was really good. He is in his 70's and was born and raised in Finland. He does construction jobs and he designed and built his own house by hand. He loves Jazz and folk music and he plays the trumpet. He is a really cool guy and I am looking forward to going back soon. Then to finish off last night, we went by the Stocks to celebrate Brady Bybee graduating with his Masters. Before dinner they had us share a lesson and we all went around the room and said why we love Christmas. It was simple, but invited the spirit. It was fun to have all of the families over, a little chaotic with so many people, but I enjoyed that chaos a little bit. It was really fun and it was a realization of how much I have come to love these people. It was really cool. I look up to Brother Bybee a lot and I think he is a great Dad, Husband and missionary. I am grateful to be serving here.

I love you guys a lot and I will keep you in my prayers this week. Good luck Emma, I love you!!


Elder Soper

PS This is a stir fry Elder Bennett and I made this week. It is the most interesting picture I took this week haha.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elder Bennett and I will be staying another transfer!

Dear Fam,

So I know that you are all wondering what is going to happen this transfer and so I won't wait any longer...drum roll please....bum bum bum dadadadada....Elder Bennett and I will be staying another transfer! I know that is pretty crazy haha I have been here for awhile, but Heavenly Father needs us here a little longer. I am pretty sure that this is my last one here so I feel really motivated to work hard to be spirit led and work my "Buns and Thighs" off. I am really excited to be with Elder Bennett again and even though it isn't a big change I am going to work hard to break up the routine and make each day meaningful and special. I have a feeling that this transfer is going to prepare both Elder Bennett and I for the rest of our missions.

It is crazy that has already been about a year, I mean it is only a week or so away. It really doesn't feel like it has been that long and the scary thing is that everybody says the 2nd year is even faster....eek. I am sure I will hit a mid mission crisis soon and realize I don't have as much time as I think to do everything. But I have loved it so far and I am pretty sure the second year will be quite different from the first, if what President Wall told me is true haha. I am excited though, I just feel happy and ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

Christmas time always seems to be one of the busiest times of the year with parties, events, plays, concerts and everything in between. You guys have become masters at juggling our crazy schedules. That was fun to see Emma all dressed up for the Suessical, and holy cow she is tall. I have this freaky idea in my head that when I get back, Taylor will be like 6' 2", Emma will be my height and Haley will have a baby or something. And I will think "Wha?!" But we'll see what ends up happening. It is interesting to see things happen on the outside because I don't get to see it first hand and so when I do, it seems drastic in comparison to what I have seen before. It is strange, but enjoyable.

It sounds like the Christmas party really came together in kind of an exciting way. Sounds pretty normal for the Sharon 3rd ward haha. It just makes me think of the differences that I notice between my home ward and my other homeward here in Thibodaux. Same church, same spirit, but it works in a very different way. I am looking forward to our Christmas party as well and I will send some pictures to you guys. It should be fun. I just like Christmas. I have a confession though haha, last week we were at Target in Houma for P-day before we went to the Voisins and we came across the christmas CD's... I broke down and got the Elf soundtrack and Bing Crosby's White Christmas. It has been good and they bring back some happy memories.

I will get that video from Elder Bennett of J. and it will be fun to watch it with you guys. L. is 11 years old and I think she is in 6th grade. C. is 14 and he is a freshman. So K. and C. are a young couple. They aren't married but they have 3 kids. He is 25 years old and Bro. H's stepson and she is 23 years old. They are pretty down to earth and easy going.  And it was cool this week, C. came out to talk to us and we ended up having an 1 and a half discussion on the gospel. She is really interested in the idea of families can be together forever through Temple Sealing. B. is an older lady in our ward that lives in a home. She is blind, but she loves it when we come to see her. Whenever we come she tells everybody "Hey look, these are my missionaries!" She asks us to read her a few scriptures every time and explain what they mean. J. is a Less-Active member that has had a stroke and quite a few other health problems. But despite that, he is still quick on his toes with his wit and humor. Not very mission appropriate haha, but what can you do. He is a nice guy.

It has been a good week though. We were able to see quite a few families and we stayed fairly busy. We saw the Tabors and had a good lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is cool too because almost every time that we go over there their daughters have non-member friends that sit in. That is the way that it is supposed to work. We saw the Pattens this week and had a really fun lesson on the plan of Salvation. We started drawing the picture with them and they really liked being part of the lesson. We then gave each of their kids an assignment to study part of the plan of salvation and teach the second half to us the next time. Their kids are really smart and Bro. and Sis Patten do a really good job of challenging them to use their knowledge. It was fun to go over to L., C. and K. because we took pictures with them just in case we were leaving and I will let the pictures speak for themselves. And then on Sunday we went to the Anderson's and finished teaching the Plan of Salvation. One of their girls was taking notes the entire time, hows that for making you feel good as a missionary! But we also took pictures with them and they are a cute family.

A member in our ward gave a really good talk on Gratitude yesterday and I learned a lot. He said that there are two things that can really destroy our gratitude and that is routine and comparison. He related it to the children of Isreal that were saved from the Egyptians. They had everything to be grateful for, but they let their routine get to them and they began comparing what they had with what they used to have, or what they wish they had or what maybe they thought they would have in the future. We have to continually be grateful for what God has given us and despite everyday routine, find ways to make it worthwhile and fulfilling. Pretty cool.

To end I will include a little part of my presidents email,

This week I was trying to think of a Christlike attribute that I could focus on this month and I just wasn't really feeling any of them. I was thinking about being spirit-led and it brought me back to the scripture that I shared with you last week in Alma 13:28. It says:

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and awatch and pray continually, that ye may not be btempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

As I was reading this I thought to myself, "What in the world does meek really mean." I had never really heard a straight answer and it was confusing to me. I knew that it was important and was related to being submissive and humble, but it was different. I studied it a lot and I was really grateful for the talk that was just given by Elder Ulisses Soares this last conference about being "meek and lowly of heart." I am still learning about it but a couple things I have learned about being meek: it is being gentle, humble, teachable, and thoughtful. Being meek means there is more listening and less talking and means to improve day by day. I am going to try to become more meek this month and try to figure out what it means for me.

I love you guys a lot and I hope you have a great Christmas season.

Thoughts and Prayers always,

Elder Devin Soper

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A fun and pretty easy going week...

Merry Holidays,

Thank you for your prayers, thoughts and letters this week, it really helped to make it a fun and pretty easy going week. Things seem to slow down a little bit with the Holiday season, well I guess in terms of missionary work. Everything else seems to speed up because eddybody wants gifts and schtuff. And since there were sales Elder Bennett and I took advantage. I got a missionary/ sweater to wear for chilly days 10 dollas off (15 rather than 25) and then a new moleskine journal for 13 dollars rather than 20. I don't need a new one for awhile, but might as well get it when it's cheap. Target is the bomb. Haha I'm sure you love to hear about our purchases, I am also planning on getting some toilet paper today...just kidding.

I am so glad that you guys had so much fun together as a family. These holidays really are such a great way to bring families together and closer. We went to the Dikets for Thanksgiving and they made this stuffing that reminded me a ton of what we used to make. It was homemade with sausage, bread and other stuff, anyways it made me feel right at home. We also  had tons of turkey, ham, sweet potatoes etc. etc. Before we ate we made some paper snowflakes and I made an origami angel for the top of our tree. It was nice to just hang out, take it easy and enjoy the slow roll of Thanksgiving. It was a nice change. We then went home and decorated for Christmas. We had a 6 foot tree stashed up in our closet so we broke it out, turned on some music and felt the Christmas spirit. We had the little angel and a picture of Christ at the top of the tree, but when you turned the lights out you really couldn't see we got creative. We took all of the flashlights that we could find and we pinned them to the ceiling all pointed to the top of the tree. Haha it actually looks really good, I will send some pictures. I just really love this time of year and guess what I hit my year mark in 17 days... weird to think huh? It was a good Thanksgiving and I am so glad yours was too. I am also grateful that you sent me all the deets, because I know you would want me to do the same. And man...Bombay house how I miss you, along with Cafe Rio, El Gallo Giro and Thai food... haha and Khan's. Those were some really fun memories and something I will remember my whole life.

That is cool that Stan and Gwen's barn is coming a long so well. I am excited to see how it looks! I am glad that we will still be able to spend time down there in Spring City, that would be sad if we had no more connections down there. And by the way I really like that painting of the leaves on the water. It is pretty different than what you have done before, but you can almost imagine the water just spilling off the edge of the painting. I like how the cool blues give it an almost calming effect and the tan oranges make it warm and happy, it is awesome. I really like that one...maybe keep it for my future home? Just kidding, but you really did do a good job. I just have to say it is fun that you guys have iphones now, because you can send quality pictures a lot easier now. Are you guys enjoying them quite a bit? I enjoy you having them because I get to see your lives in kind of an everyday way.

I've learned recently that if when we're working with people who are slow to accept the Gospel we can just do little things and build up the relationship to a point where you really want nothing more than for them to be happy. That is the point where the spirit can lead you and The spirit will really enter their hearts. Baby Steps. It is funny to see how that works. Your attitude changes from "This is what I am supposed to do." to "This is what I really want for them." And I am not saying the missionaries didn't have that, it actually sounds like you had a great set of missionaries in the ward. It just takes time. (And I have had a lot of time down here haha and we are still working on creating friendships).

Transfers are coming up next week and so we will see what will happen. It really is up in the air but since I have been here so long and Elder Bennett is finishing up his training, it is almost prime time for a transfer. And so that makes me think that we will stay one more haha because President Wall never does the expected thing. We'll see. 

We had dinner with the Pattens on Friday night and he told us to tell you that we are being taken care of. In my weekly email I give you kind of a summary of what happens but you don't get all the nitty gritty or the everyday things. But we get fed quite a bit, we are great friends with the members and they really do take care of us. We are especially blessed here in the Thibodaux ward. They are my family. When we were leaving the Pattens one of the daughters, Joy, ran up to me and gave me a drawing that said "Thank you for coming Elder Soper." and that meant the world to me. I put it in my journal so I can look back to it when I am having a tough day.  And if you ever have any questions about anything we are doing I would love to answer them. I want my emails to be a fun and satisfying for you guys.

President Wall has put a new focus for the mission, he wants us to become spirit-led. I think Elder Bennett and I did a good job of striving to be spirit led this week. On Monday we were struggling to fill in about an hour of extra time before an appointment so we decided to stop by a members house. On our way there Elder Bennett said he felt like we should turn around and try a part member family that we see occasionally. They have a busy schedule and have two small kids, so usually it is hard to meet with them. But we decided to go anyway. When we knocked on the door they invited us right in and asked us to stay and eat dinner with them. We got to know them a ton better and they are just a really cute family. Their two kids E. and L. are super cute and funny. I am so grateful for the spirit that guides us to where we need to be each day. After that we went to the Tabors and had a good lesson on the plan of Salvation. I bought a nice sketch pad so when we teach it we could all participate in drawing it. They seemed to like it and I think it made it easier to understand as well. I also learned that questions are the key. The Holy Ghost really made that lesson and we ended up doing a couple things that we hadn't planned on that turned out to be exactly what needed to happen. Pretty cool.

We have a new investigator named J. who just stopped us on the street one day asking to learn more. He has a ton of questions and he will just ask them out of the blue. Haha it ends up taking to visit all over the place, but maybe that is what he needs, just a ton of information that he will be able to soak in. I am looking forward to working with him more. Wednesday was actually a really good day and surprisingly went close to what we planned. We had a little visit with K. and C. and they want us to come back on Tuesday, we met with B. and then we met with a really funny and irreverent man name J. B. He is about 80, he is really witty but also kinda dirty. It was super funny and Elder Bennett actually got the majority of the conversation on film. I think you guys will laugh pretty hard. We then went to have dinner with the Tarrs and they always give us our daily dose of mexican food. WE had these yummy, spicy pork tacos. You know they are good when they clear your sinuses. I will send another picture from Kiana's baptism. Then Thursday was Thanksgiving and that was a lot of fun. The next day we went to see L., C. and K. They always seem to like it when we come over and it made me feel really good when K. kept asking when we were coming over next. She kept pushing the return appointment sooner and sooner. That's a pretty good sign, don't you think? I think we are going to ask L. if we can start teaching her the lessons. We met with a less-active member this week named W. and it made me really grateful for my geeky/nerdy side. He was watching Doctor Who when we got there and so we began talking about that and the conversation expanded to an analysis of Sherlock (The last episode), Star Wars, Star Trek, Superman, The Office, the British Office, Superman and superheroes. It was cool to see how he opened up through out the conversation and it ended up building a good foundation for a friendship. We were able to have a really good lesson with him afterwards and tie it into the previous conversation. Who knew Elder Bennett and my childhood interests would come in handy. I am just waiting for the time when I can start busting out some Mighty Morphin Power Rangers references. It made me really grateful for those simple interests and hobbies that Heavenly Father helped me develop over the years so I would be able to relate to people. I am very grateful for you guys because you guys were the ones that helped all of us and encouraged all of us to pursue those things. We were able to learn from you and adopt it into our lives.  It is a fulfillment of a blessing in my patriarchal blessing.

I will end with some things that I am grateful for:
-The Thibodaux ward
-Being a missionary
-Being able to change and become better
- My district
-Elder Bennett
- President Wall
- Spiritual gifts and talents
- The Sacrament
- Promptings from the Holy Ghost
- laughter
- Funny mishaps that make life enjoyable
- Mi Familia and how we have so much fun together
- food (brings people close together)
- the gospel
- The Book of Mormon
- Our Savior and his Atonement
- The love that our Heavenly Father has for us
-Etc etc.

I love you guys a lot, a lot, a lot. Thank you for everything that you do and your support.

Prayers and thoughts always

Elder Debun Soper

PS I got your package and my camera is awesome now! Thank you for the treats too, that trail mix is super good. I love you guys!