I looooooved those pictures and really wish I was there. Yeah, that pitcher, Randy Wells, we picked him off on waivers a couple months ago since seemingly everybody in our rotation was getting hurt...and in the minors too. I guess he has been called up since I was was set apart. Anybody on the team doing well? I also loved the other pictures. Those girls are really cute. Sorry, I should've said happy birthday last week, but I forgot. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Good job on finishing up your classes, I'm sure you were stuck in the computer room all the time working. Ah, how I miss school...not. I want to hear if Tyler graduated from BYU-I and how that went. I don't think I mentioned this but my branch president in the MTC, President Mickelsen I think was Tyler's mission president and knew him really well in ijhffioh;owiy3948riowfawej, Russia. Let me know when Tyler and Rifka get engaged (just making assumptions).
So, last Monday, we gave up the car because once every 4 weeks we have to go a week where it's bike week. But since the bike I'm supposed to use still needs repairs, we had to walk everywhere or snag rides from members. Let's just say I got super sweaty over the week. I really don't mind the heat but sometimes it would be nice to have a car, or at least a bike. We get a car back tomorrow. So we have this golden investigator I told you about named Mike. His baptismal date is this Saturday and yesterday he spent in hour in the branch president's office to interview for the Aaronic Priesthood. He said that he wants me to baptize him and Elder Clare to do the laying on of hands. It's been really cool to use my preisthood here in the field: this past week we had dinner at a member's house that the wife was super pregnant and their 1-2 year old daughter had whooping cough. So we gave the daughter a blessing. A couple weeks ago I gave a blessing to an inactive family's Dad who passed away this past Wednesday. He died of natural causes and gave him a blessing to live just a little more longer, which he did.
As for Thomas, he couldn't meet with us last week because he wasn't "prepared". Elder Clare thought he was ready and I think we are going to show him the Joseph Smith video this Wednesday. We also met with a guy named Josh who has several health and mental health issues. He also smokes a lot and occassionally drinks. He gets depressed from all the news in the world, especially the recent shootings at that movie theater in Colorado on the Batman movie midnight showing. I heard about that and it's just sad what the world has gotten to (like the wars in Syria and Middle East) but I know that that is Satan's way to happiness. It just starts with one person at a time to change, then the whole world will change.
I finally memorized the first lesson! It took a while but I got it done. On to lesson 2 which is longer than lesson 1! No, I'd rather prefer e-mail letters by you and/or Dad and written latters by everybody else. Don't worry Jayce and Cody, I have your letter I wrote to each of you right here next to me about to send so expect it in the mail later this week. I got your package last Tuesday and was grateful for it. On Thursday the people we live with, Brother and Sister Crouch, went to the hospital in Topeka. Brother Crouch had his final round of Cemotherapy and is probably hurting today because he said it takes a few days for the effects of Chemo to get to you. Sister Crouch had knee surgery on the same day and some of their family is here to help them out. I don't know is I told you this but they have a dog named Bandit here and I have to say he is way cooler than Pennie. He really understands when you speak to him. If you say "speak" he will bark. If you say "Do you want to get baptized" he will bark or even say "Do you want to read the Book of Mormon?" He will bark. His barks are really loud too. Sorry Pennie, you've been beat. He also has toys that we play with him. We usually use either frisbees or paint bucket lids and throw them as far as we can, and he will go get it and bring it back, even if it's in the thick foliage. Just say "Where's your toy?" and he will get it. Then you have to say "drop" to give it to you. I love that dog.
The members feed us dinner every night. I love it. I'm not trying to be too picky, but maybe it seems like I am. Most nights, I'm given ice water to drink. I loath ice water because I get teeth freezes and it hurts. Just give me cold water please. You know that I eat really slowly sometimes. That's my main problem because I'm still eating and eberybody else is done and migrating to the couch for our message. I never get full either. We're actually not supposed to help with the dishes, although I'd like to and want to but the members are so nice anyways. Yes, I use my Camelback everyday! It's so nice to have cold water when you're walking around everywhere. Also, everybody here says the phrase "I'll be darned" instead of something like "cool" or "wow".
So we're also teaching this part member family where the Mom is a member but nobody else is. The husband, ironically, wants them to get baptized so we went over out in the middle of nowhere to teach their 2 daughters ages 12 and 8. They said they'd get baptized and hopefully they stay active. But it will be really hard because they live 40 minutes away from the closest meeting house and also in a part member family. We need to get them to the temple. They are the Taylor family. Well I love you guys and wish you the best in everything you do. Look for missionary opportunities everyday. I'm sure I forgot something to say but that's okay (good ryhme, huh?). Love,
Elder Derek Sutherland
PS: "I see someone coming"
"Give me those. Sound the alarm."
"Sorry Wickershoms. I promise I'll clean all this up later."
"Bring the amo!!!" (slow motion armpit fire)
"I love the smell of bananas in the morning."
"Banana in the hole!" (launch)
"Woah. [Russian accent] I'm beginning to think this diplomatic process is beginning to break down."
Derek at the Provo Temple.
Barbara and I made a ton of cookies and sent them to the MTC when Derek and Jeremy were in there together.
Derek with his Mission President and his sweet wife.
Derek's introduction to cicadas.
I'm sure missionaries are happy to see this sign.
Derek's companion studying in their basement apartment.