I am having a really good time here on the mission. It is wonderful to hear that Matt is getting everything in order and also that Erik and Alesha are doing well up there in Provo. To answer Shane's question, I weigh around 73 or 74 kilos so around 165 pounds I think. and I am just as toned and in shape as possible. Just kidding, but I do not think that I am in completely terrible shape. I could lose a little of the belly, but I am satisfied with where I am at. It is nice to hear that some cleaning up was done at the home, and it is okay that you threw some things away. If in doubt, throw it out. I am excited to see some of the changes that may have happened around the house. I hope that grandma starts to get feeling better.
I did have the opportunity to see that little girl get baptized in Perm. It was great, and it is great that 3 members of the family are church members. I liked Perm, and I feel like Elder Ray is having a lot of good experiences. Elder Oaks at Area Conference talked a lot about leaving behind traditions that are not in coordinance with Gospel teachings, and he focused a lot on the basics, particularly tithing and sacrament meeting attendance. He gave a few statistics, but he spoke boldly about some things that need to be happening. An earlier talk was about the necessity of marrying and not waiting and the importance of temple marriage. It was really good.
After his mission, Elder Ray wants to go to BYU (rotc I believe), because he wants to become an air force pilot, and serving in Perm helped him decide that because there are a lot of jets that fly over. Elder Ray also likes dancing as a hobby, so he will likely continue that. I think he is scheduled to go to BYU in the winter. That is the extent to what I know about his plans. I really like Elder Ray. Regardless, he is from Provo, and maybe Erik will even have some sort of an opportunity to meet him if he wants to. He leaves back home on December 15th. Elder Ray is one of the smartest, yet most humble missionaries that I know in terms of Gospel knowledge, especially in relation to prophets, apostles, conferences, and church doctrine. He has a solid testimony, and he loves the work.
I met an african here today in the internet club, but he looked really familiar. I do not remember when it was, but he says that I met him in Perm. He studies there, but works here I guess. hopefully we can set up a meeting with him.
In the work, we want to work with some members and help them become better teachers so they will be helpful on our meetings and more confident when they share the Gospel with their friends. Anya, the young lady that we met, came to church and is still meeting with the sisters. She seems like she is doing well, and her mom is also reading the Book of Mormon in french, which she really enjoys. I hope that they can be baptized soon, but they are really great. President Rust is very personal with people, and the cool thing that he tries to do is be at those baptisms which he can, and he opens his house for meetings, and encourages fellowship. He shows interest and makes an action. There is a young man that the sisters are teaching who plays basketball, and he even told that young man that he would be willing to come and watch one of his games. He is one of the best people persons that I have met, and I am learning a lot.
Sometimes we can translate for President, and my companion is learning a lot of words, and he is getting me excited about always continuing to learn and improve, and I think I would like a profession in which I could use russian.
I love you all. When does Shane go home. Is that okay for me to know? I just don't know if he goes home right on the date that he got there or when he has his last transfer. Has Tyler Clason received his call? I know that the Lord never leaves us alone as long as we rely on him and do those things that he asks of us. He has given me so much, and sometimes I worry, but he always helps me and everything turns out all right. Have an excellent week. I love you. Bye.-Elder Larson