Sunday, September 16, 2012
Derek Letter #9 8-27-12
Sounds like you all have had a fun week going back to seminary. I get a taste of seminary again every week or so when I have to wake up before 6 and go to a meeting somewhere. Since our house is so far away from everything, that's what is required. Cody better be paying attention in Sister Walton's class because it will help him for his mission and most importantly, I don't think she allows sleeping in the class. My American Lit teacher, Mrs. Tornroth, could be harsh when it came to grading but I sucked through it. Who does he have for US history? I had Hymes' student teacher Mrs. Jones. Good luck on your junior paper later this semester! Don't worry, it's not as daunting as you think it is. I remember when I assembled the paper, I didn't really type anything because I did the work before that. But I honestly think that that paper prepared me most for college. Jayce should have a very fun year in second grade and hopefully he can learn a lot. I don't know his teacher terribly well but I know she's nice! Hey mom, whenever you see any of my teachers again, say hi to them for me would ya? thanks. In case you were wondering, I got some letters this past week including one from Grandpa Barrow. You know what's sad, he gave me more Padres updates than anyone on my entire mission. I loved it! Keep 'em coming Grandpa! That was the first letter he sent to me.
This morning, I felt really retarded. We were getting gas and I was going to check the oil and I forgot 1. How to open the hood and 2. How to know when we needed new oil. All that learning in mutual growing up didn't help at all. Could I get a refresher course on that? Man I feel stupid. So, about the pictures I sent, the baptism was Mike Poore's (who we baptized a month ago) son, Noah. He loves going to primary and will get the Aaronic Priesthood when he turns 12 on May 9th next year (Same birthday, I know!!!). Last night for dinner, we had a mock Thanksgiving feast with the Knudsen's (pronounced Kuh-nood-sens). The dinner was delicious (I feel like Colin Mackie) and the lesson after went well. Their son is on his mission in Anchorage, Alaska. Some dinners, like that one, make me love dinner while others not so much.
Yesterday, I got the compliment that I "spoke as if it was from God." That was quite a compliment to me because I know how powerful that was. I also had an experience that I had heard of but thought wouldn't really happen to me. We were tracting and knocked on this one lady's door. She came to the window-door and pointed at her sign that said "No Solicitors." She was livid with us and said "get off my property and never come back." Some people are just so stubborn and it hurts to see the devil work through more people than God working through people. We're not solicitors because we don't sell anything. You don't have to pay for your salvation. Off of that subject, I think the most frustrating part of a mission is having investigators not come to church. Like 8 people said they'd come to church yesterday and only 1 came.
In other news, Brother Crouch had surgery on Thursday in Kansas City to remove his cancerous bladder. He should come home tomorrow of Wednesday. Before he left, he installed a couple of lights outside so that when we walk down the path to our room coming home at night, we can see. But that stupid light comes on to any motion at all: the tree across from it, grasshoppers jumping, anything. And it keeps us up because it's so bright at night since it's right outside our window. So I went out there and dealt with it by slightly unscrewing the bulb. There's one light that I couldn't reach though, and that one doesn't bother thank goodness. This week, Satan has been eating at me. Just some frustrating and aggravating people (including missionaries) have been getting to my head. But it won't work because I know what I'm here for. On Friday and especially Saturday, not only did it rain (which we really needed, just like everywhere else in the country), but it poured! I am just glad we had the car. My little umbrella that you got me actually has worked quite well. Also, one elder in my district got his visa this past week and is now in Argentina. Buena suerte Elder Acton! (Cody better retain some of his Spanish because it's likely that he'll need it)
Dad told me about Grandpa and how he's going up to Orange County to help him out today. I hope all goes well. How did Grandma's eye surgery go? You know, Dallin reminds me of a lot of people here. they threw away their life for no good reason and as a result are in a tough job like construction or something that doesn't pay them that well. Hopefully Dallin can turn things around before they get any worse. So, what was the stake President's name before President Ellsworth again? I thought I already asked but maybe I didn't. I can see his face, I can see his face and hear his voice, I just can't think of his name. Stake conference already? That seems pretty early. I know that we have branch conference coming up in a couple of weeks, but I don't know about stake Conference. Oh, hey before I forget, could you send me my ballot stuff? I want to send it back with as much time as possible left. So, I have also come to realize this past week that you have raised me really, really well. I have seen the worst parenting of my life out here to go along with the good. Like we sat in front of a family at church yesterday and all he did when we were over there on Saturday was yell as loud as he could at his kids. I couldn't believe his wife would allow that. I hope their newborn doesn't have to endure that. There are also some pretty dirty mouths here too. I mean I thought High school was bad (especially Coach Mueller) but there was this one guy that seemed like that's all he could say. I told him to stop but it took some energy.
Thanks for all the support back home. I can notice the effects of your prayers and I try to remember to pray for you everyday. I am focused on the work, mainly, and pray for them too. It's great to hear the theme of your Stake Conference about the importance of temples. I think that might be the biggest thing I miss from back home. I can't go to the temple out here since it's so far away; otherwise, I'd go every week. Well, I love you a lot and I did get the package you sent me. I got it on Monday last week. I wasn't happy to see it because I knew I probably wouldn't eat all of it. But Elder Clare has been all over it and I have eaten a few things from it as well. You don't have to send me Starbursts anymore (unless they're the jellybeans; those are the best) because the MTC made me tired of them. Hopefully I get the letters that Cody and Jayce sent to me soon. I'm looking forward to reading them. FYI, I will spend some money off of my card to buy some groceries because I have $1.84 left one my mission card. I hope you all have a great week and get used to getting back into the school schedule for a full week now. Until next week, love
PS: "Mr. President, you almost started a nuclear war! What are you going to do next?!"
"I'm going to Escalator Land!!"
"When do we get to the rides?"
"Thsi is the ride!!!! WHOOPEEE!!!"