Derek's first baptism!
They have a brand new church building in their area. It reminds me of our Bainbridge Island building. It's so exciting for them to have a building now.
This is where they used to meet...behind a Chinese restaurant!
It's good to hear that you had a busy yet fun week! The olympics started on Friday and I was bummed to miss it yet at the same time I was happy because I chose to serve a mission and not give up in the MTC as one person here in the branch did back in April. But I better get used to it because I am also going to miss Winter 2014. My mission has been so cool so far and I hope it stays that way (cool not as in weather-wise; it's been over 100 all last week pretty much). It's good to hear how the Padres are doing. I love hearing about them even though I can't watch them. Nice! Huston Street signed an extension! That will be great to see him in a Padres uniform when I get back.
Yeah, I have been using my priesthood so much! And it is really cool to be able to make even non-members happy when I use it on them or someone they know. Mike's baptism was this past Saturday and it was really special to me because he wanted me to do the baptizing. Okay, don't laugh at me, but we were both pretty nervous and I had to baptize him 4 times before it was right. The first time I forgot to close my eyes when I said the prayer and he stuck his foot out of the water. The second time it was everything (eldow, head, arm). Third time it was his elbow, and before the fourth time brother Seljastad calmed him down (this whole time I thought it was my fault) and then we got it right. The congregation cheered when we got it right (I didn't feel that was appropriate, but whatever). That was very special because the building had literally just been completed and it was the first function in the new building. It only took under 2 hours to fill the font too! But it was kind of small and low but that was okay because we got it done. As always, it took me a long time to change and dry off and I got back just in time to see the last 2 seconds of the 20 minute video to show while we changed. We then confirmed him a member of the church yesterday in the new chapel and after church, he also received the Aaronic Priesthood. So he's set to lead his family down the right path. Even if they don't want to join the church right away. Brother Chandler taught the gospel principles class AND the combined Relief Society lessons. I know that he's a school teacher but that's a lot of stress for one week of church if you ask me. His lessons were very, very good though. He's the bomb.
Yeah, he did live a little longer than expected just as I said in the blessing I gave him so that was really cool. Yeah, I guess I could've given him a blessing but he wanted to battle through it on his own...I don't know. I am pretty sure he prayed a lot. Maybe his home teachers gave him a blessing, I don't really know. We are also teaching this new person named Orki. He is in the army and his wife's friend went on a mission to Florida who speaks like 7 different dialects of Spanish. He has a lot of questions. He is Christian just as we are and he wanted to know a lot about the gospel. I think tomorrow night when we go teach him again we'll try and invite him to baptism.
Yeah, sorry Pennie but you just can't go chase a frisbee because you'd be so confused. Go ahead and tell her the truth. Bandit is so cool. As for our room, we have a bathroom and the kitchen is still under construction, but we just wash our dishes in the bathroom sink. It's not like that's bad or anything. I think we kill 1 large creature a day in our room. The common theme has been crickets, but I also killed a spider as big as a silver dollar the other day. Sometimes I feel lazy and just vaccum it up with the little roller vaccum that we sister Crouch gave to us. I haven't seen any roaches here but I love it when a bird goes up into the trees and owns a cicada. Those large flies deserve it.
Yeah, I memorized the first lesson, but I'm only a third of the way done with the second lesson and Elder Clare is almost done with it. The "Our life on Earth" section is super long and that's the part that is next. I hope Cody knows how important it is get to know those scripture mastery scriptures because they sure are helping me out here. Hey, did you get my letter to Cody and Jayce? I hope they enjoy hearing from me as much as I love hearing from them. Eating fast can be hard. Especially when the food is terrible. There's this one sister in our branch (should be ward because of how big the congregation was yesterday) who always gives us terrible food. Good thing she gives it to us in containers so that we can just go throw them away when she's not looking. I'll be darned.
That's way cool you went to Seaworld last Monday. Did you guys ride that new ride that they have there? Seaworld can get rather boring after 5 hours don't you think? I guess not for younguns. It sounds like girls' camp was so cool! The young women have always loved you and I'm sure you did great. Brother and Sister Walton sure sound like the people that love to help and teach because that's exactly what they do. I wrote a letter for them but don't have their address. Could you give that to me. Sorry if I already said that before. 1 AM, huh? That's fun stuff right there...especially 2 straight nights. Hey, at Disneyland did you ride the new Cars ride? It sounds like that would be a fun one for little kids. Cody and Jayce sure made a wise choice by not going. Especially because it seems like they go three times a year anyways.
Let me know how the high adventure goes. Dad e-mailed me this morning too. What exactly were Dad and Cody planning on doing at lake Powell? You went to Gene and Michelle's? I am way jealous. What were Rifka's friends names? I think I could probably remember who they were. They sound like they were in my FHE group. Was it Sarah/George, Aimee, or any other of her roomates?
Yes Cody! I remember presenting my project to Mr. Intimidating, brother Hatch. At least he passed. If you don't want to do the same amount of work as you did for mine, have Cody pitch in more so that he knows what he's talking about on project day. I remember I didn't know quite enough even though I still got it done. Haha, he had to wear Dad's. That's funny. Who's Mr. Boyd? I loved my counselour a lot and didn't care that he lived in San Marcos. Brother Gonzalez was his name. Good idea. got to get it done before the sports start kicking in. That's why I did mine before high school. Too bad Cody can't turn back the clock.
It's great to hear that you might go to Provo. I can't give you any advice so it's up to you! Have fun a the Wild Animal park. A guy in my branch, the branch mission leader brother Earl (it's so hard to remember to say "branch" because of how long I've been in a ward), went to a REAL wild animal park in Africa. Well, he's there this week. He went to Tanzania. Hey, why don't you do some missionary work by sharing the link to your blog in my facebook wall so that people can get an idea of what I do. I hope it becomes interesting to them. I have unfortunately run out of things to say. I love you all and hope you get pumped up for school coming back in a few weeks! Love,
Elder Derek Sutherland
PS: "Nine thousand nine hundred ninety eight, nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine, ten thousand. Where's the "X"? It should be right here. The map said ten thousand paces east."
"Oh, east? I thought you said 'weast'."
"That's 'west', Patrick. You're fired again."