His name is Elder Sedgwick (Sedge, like hedge, then wick, like a candle) and he's from Post Falls Idaho! He's great. Really excited to be out here. He got baptized about 2 years ago when he was at college and he's got a strong testimony. It makes me think about how odd it would be to come out on a mission so soon after having been taught and baptized! It's a brave step into the unknown, that's for sure!
Like you were saying about the first area setting the standard for the rest of the mission, I actually think this might be a really good experience for us. Elder Bybee and I both really had our work cut out for us going to Massena, but it really pushed us to work hard and while it was very difficult some days, we saw a lot of miracles happen and Elder Bybee is already a really solid missionary because of it. I've really learned that trials make us stronger, as long as we go in with the mentality of changing and improving. Because I've learned this lesson from Owego with Elder Baird, Syrace and Massena, I'm excited to see what happens. Hard work pays off!
Speaking of hard work paying off, we had a great first week in Lowville! We found a few new investigators through formers, had some good lessons with people we've already been in contact with, and have a few members getting excited about missionary work and giving us people to teach! This was the best week I've had yet in Lowville, and I only plan on it going up from here. :) Good things are to come.
However, the adversary is working as well. We had one guy that was absolutely furious and was screaming like crazy at us yesterday and told us never to walk on his side of the street again.. We could have let that discourage us and called it quits, but we just kept on going and found a really great family a few doors down that was really interested and had been looking for a new church to go to.. That's the way it always seems to work. When someone is really rude and tries to make us stop, that's often when the next door neighbor is ready. So when we have trials and things are getting really hard, Satan is trying to get us to give up and sink into despair, but if we persevere... anything is possible. But, as a new missionary, having somebody freak out and scream at you is a pretty wild experience.. That didn't ever even happen to me in my first 6 months! (Don't worry about it at all, it wasn't really a big deal. It was just an older gentleman that didn't want anything to do with us. We will just steer clear of his property from here on.)
It's exciting to hear about everything going on back home! I hope you know that by informing me of Comicon in Salt Lake City, I'm instantly making plans to go if it's there again in the next few years... I may have changed a lot so far on my mission, but I'm still kinda a nerd.. :)
That's really cool for Emily and Barbara to get their mission calls! They'll be great! I wonder where Allina will be going.... Exciting! The anticipation can be killer. They'll all do great. I'm also interested to see if they split the Roosevelt 11th Ward. That could be a tough thing to accept if all of your friends were in the other ward, but it gives you a chance to make new friends and learn more about how church is really about the Savior.
I like the healthy eating challenge you are doing! I've been trying really hard to cut out the sweets and I've pretty much stopped drinking soda, and already I've dropped about 8 pounds back to where I was before my mission... The only problem now is that I've lost a lot of muscle. But I'll just continue to try and eat healthy and get more fruits and veggies. I've been improving a lot on the veggies I'll eat when people prepare them for me, but I have difficulties getting myself to make them for myself.. The 8 cups of water sounds like the most difficult part, but that would probably make a huge difference in the way I feel. I'll try to do that. Tell me what the point system is and I may join in! :)
By the way, thanks a ton for the package Mom and Maylee sent. It was a lot of fun and it's always great to get a reminder of you all back home during the week. And I'll try to do better on sending actual letters to all of you...
I love you all! It's amazing to see how much the Lord blesses us as we simply do our best, as insignificant as our best may really be. God is good! :)
P.S. Elder Baird (my trainer) finished his mission last Wednesday! Sad day... Time goes by quickly. Elder Simmonds goes home next transfer, then Elder Gasetoto the next!