I'll tell you about everything. So I woke up Wednesday morning at 1 AM at the MTC to make it to the travel office by 3 AM. Everybody got up on time and were awake when we left. I got to the airport and talked to you on the phone for a little bit. Sorry it was a little early in the morning. In Denver, the stupid phone card was being retarded so I couldn't use that anymore even though I tried for like an hour. On my way to Denver I talked to this 19 year old girl from Orlando who was flying home from a backpacking trip to Wyoming. She was very nice and willing to hear what I had to say about the gospel. I gave her a Mormon.org card and encouraged her to check it out.
Sorry Cody and Jayce, I forgot your letters at the place that I am staying so I won't be able to write to you until next week. After the flight to KC (where the All-star game is tomorrow), I was picked up at the airport by President Keyes (pronounced Kais) and we went to see some of the sights. We went to the brand new Kansas City temple and took a couple pictures. We then went to Liberty Jail and the Independence visitors center across the street from the snowcone for the community of Christ. After that we had dinner and a nice evening at the mission home where I stayed the night. That night I found out where I was going and who my new companion would be. I'm here in Wamego, Kansas (15 minutes outside Manhattan, the home of K-State University) and my companion is Elder Clare from Gilbert, Arizona. He is 6'3'' and I like having a tall companion to match me. Apparently the last few missionaries here in Wamego have been tall and they've just been growing and growing; the branch members joke about that a lot.
I am living in the basement of a member's home in Belvue, Kansas out in the middle of nowhere. All I hear at night outside is the cicadas, and some cows. About a month ago, the missionaries moved from a 5th wheel trailer into the basement. That trailer is so stinkin' hot I don't know how they survived. The super nice old couple that lives in that home are about to finish the super new basement. Oooops, just realized I forgot my camera again. Elder Clare has been out a little over a year and he and I are already getting along great. No offense to Elder Ellis, but he is much better because of how patient and supportive he is. My first day wasn't too exciting. I got here and after lunch we tried to go see some people but to no avail. So then we just did some tracting for the rest of the night. I had dinner at the nicest family ever, the Chandlers and they were in awe that it was my first day. It was kind of funny.
President Keyes is soooo cool. They can watch TV if they want, they can set their sleeping schedule whenever they want (talking about mission presidents), but then he wouldn't have the spirit he needed to fulfill his calling so he follows the missionary schedule to the best of his ability. Each day I wake up at 6:30, work out, eat breakfast, study for an hour by myself (it's not enough study time), then study as a companionship for 2 hours. We then eat lunch and go out and do the Lord's work until 9 with dinner in there usually at 5. I then have planning and go to bed. Okay so for studying, if you go to Ch. 3 of PMG and go to the end of each lesson it will have the 45 minute lesson plan. For all 5 lessons, I am supposed to memorize all of the bullets and sub-bullets with a scripture for each bullet. If I do that, then I can drive a car wooh!
With letters, you send them to the mission office then they will forward them to me. I have an hour instead of a half-hour. But the time is still running down quickly. As far as the heat, I got welcomed with 106 degree days. Going tracting in that isn't fun just because I sweat so much. But other than that I don't mind it as long as I have water, haha. Today has been nice though with it being only in the 80's. When I got off the plane on Wednesday it was hard to breathe because of the humidity, but now I'm fine and lovin' it.
As far as you guys, I was thinking that Cody and I were in the same airport on the same day. Cool, huh? Sounds like you are having a blast with everything going on at home. Sorry I couldn't call longer, I wish I could've. Yay! That room is painted finally! What color did you make it? As far as sports are concerned, Don't talk to me about the Olympics please. GO PADRES! I'm glad they got a good streak going there for a little bit. Can you watch the games yet? Or is TWC still being retarded? What! Steve Nash is on the Lakers now?! I can't believe it.
So, all the slacks I got at Mr. Mac are dry clean only which is a huge hassle. I need some that are machine washable. I have 2, but I'd like to switch the others out for washable ones. As far as my acne stuff is concerned, I ran out the other night and need some ASAP (Act swiftly awesome pacaderm (how do you spell that?)). I am also out of soap but I think I can get some at the store.
So for church, we meet in the back of a chinese restauraunt as a branch. But a brand new building will be opening up at the end of this month! I'm excited and I just wonder how the members feel being in that small place. The restauraunt looks like a church building, at least the rooms we have reserved so it's not bad, just small. Hopefully the missionary work can go up because of this new building. So I am getting a lot of secondary smoking here. That's just what everybody seems to have a problem with. In a lesson yesterday, a golden investigator smoked his last cigarette right in front of us and said he was done now. I'm very happy for him but that was hard to bear just sitting in front of him and getting all the leftovers shoved down my lungs. There's also another very close investigator named Josh (the other was Mike) who also smokes a ton. He would smoke a pack and a half every day ($300 a month) and is now down to 5 a day or something. Bothy he and Mike have a baptismal date and are getting themselves prepared for that.
Well, I got to go! I love you guys so much and miss you. I loved the pictures and am grateful for your support.
Elder Derek Sutherland
PS for Cody: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA, IT'S A GIRAFFE!!!! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA