3 March 2014
Hello loved ones!This week was good and awful. Good because I’m with Elder Jolley¹ and we have a great time. Awful because we got our car taken away² and I got sick and it was freezing all week. I think the coldest I saw was -37 with wind chill. Ouch. It doesn’t help a sick boy when he’s got to wait at a bus stop in that kind of weather. But, things always get better! I’m feeling more healthy now, so at least I can take on the cold with renewed vigor! The work has definitely taken a hit since we’ve had to bus. That’s so much travel time! It’s not nearly as productive as it was when we were driving, but the Lord understands and will help things fall into place.Congrats to [cousin] Shey and Michael! That baby is a doll. I still have creepy baby syndrome³, so whenever I’m around one of the gajillion newborns, half of my time is spent being weird about the baby, and the other half is spent apologizing to the family and explaining that I’m really not as creepy as I seem. They’re all pretty understanding, though. I’m reminded of Liz Lemon⁴ and her creepy baby obsession, “It’s not stealing if it fell on the ground!” Oy vey...We couldn’t meet with some investigators this week, which is kind of a drag, but things are still going well! Remember, success isn’t based on how many people say yes. The success is in the invitation. “It is impossible to fail when we do our best when we’re on the Lord’s errand.” As long as we’re doing our best, we can’t be denied blessings. That’s a promise! It’s really comforting when you’ve put in a lot of effort and it doesn’t seem like anything comes out of it. Perspective is so important!The rabbit pelt is for crafts! I’m slowly trying to collect materials so that I can make a cool scripture case. I would totally sing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” if I was next to you. (Just imagine me singing it, including jazz squares and spins and leaps and snapping and a one-man kick line. C’mon! Crud, now it’s stuck in my head.)I did get the package! It was wonderful! I’m always blown away at those clever rhymes⁵. It was so fun still being able to do a little scavenger hunt. Thank you for the thoughtful things! I love that stamp [of his initials] so much. I’ve used it a lot. The [3-in.-diam.] disco ball is hanging from my lamp. Most of the candy is gone. Love you!Thanks for the love and stuff! I pray for the lot of you err’day⁶! I love my mission, and I love this Gospel! It’s true, which is neat. I’ve been so blessed, and I’m so grateful for that. You know the scripture “faith without works is dead.”? Well, I’ve simplified that for ease of understanding. Faith is action. I know that I receive help and strength if I pray morning and night, but if I don’t act, do I really have faith? I can know a lot of things, but if I don’t apply them, I don’t have faith. It was a wake up call when I realized that. It made me realize that maybe I didn’t have as much faith as I thought. But, now I have the opportunity to increase my faith, which I’m striving to do every day. I’d invite you all to do the same!Keep the faith,Elder Eli“I gotta fly once, I gotta try once, only can die once, right sir. Ooh life is juicy juicy and you’ll see I gotta have my bite, sir.”⁷
That’s our boy. Keep on keepin’ on, Elder.
¹ Best friend’s brother, with whom Elder Eli was not acquainted before Edmonton
² Not so much a privilege lost as an opportunity to share: The Tagalog- and Mandarin-speaking companionships cover too large an area for them to rely on public transport.
³ It’s the syndrome [denoted by the faces, voices and noises one makes] that’s creepy, not the babies
⁴ Character on “30 Rock” who doesn’t have children, and hence steals baby-related items to fill the void.
⁵ Elder Eli’s mom makes rhyming-clue scavenger hunts for Valentine’s Day.
⁶ Mispronounced intentionally. Not sure if it’s an Eli thing or a line from a movie (or both).
⁷ Picture Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice belting it out. Now picture Eli Webb as Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice, and you’ll begin to know why we miss him so.
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