I did get Dad's hand-written letter. Tell him thanks, getting letters in the mail always makes my day so much better. That's the only mail that I've gotten here so far, but that's okay. It seems like it's been a long time since I got here but it really has only been a week. I'm glad that you all liked the pictures that I sent home, I didn't take very many this week but I'll be sure and take more photos here soon. I haven't tried to use my debit card to buy anything, so we're all good. Right now I'm in a car mission so I don't have to worry about buying a bike or anything yet.
It's been a busy week for me and Elder Baxter; Wilsonville had two baptisms this week that we had to take care of. We taught both of them about the law of chastity, law of tithing, etc. The investigators, Kimmie and Brandon, pretty much already knew it but we just went over it with them before the got baptized on Saturday. The few spiritual thoughts and lessons we've taught have gone pretty well. I got to confirm Kimmie yesterday during sacrament meeting, it was really neat. We've got another person getting baptized next week too (his name is Anthony). We've met with a lot of less active members this week, and we've done a bit of tracting. We don't really have any investigators right now, so we're looking for some to teach.
My trainer, Elder Baxter, is awesome! He's really funny and really on the ball. We got white-washed into the Wilsonville/Stafford area, which is when both of the elders get taken out of the area and they just throw two new elders (Elder Baxter and myself) into the area. It's been hard to get a bearing on what the previous missionaries were doing, who they were visiting/teaching, etc. but Elder Baxter is really on top of things. The two wards we cover have been really nice, and we've been fed dinner a lot already. One family took us to Red Robin, and the family we had dinner with last night fed us a pot roast with potatoes. We'll definitely be getting fed a lot while we're here, but we could easily live off of the money we get each month for food. Grocery shopping last week was difficult because I didn't know what I needed, but now I have a whole list of things I need to buy. Our apartment is really nice, but the last missionaries got taken out of the area so quickly they didn't have time to clean it up very well... I was really irritated, even though they couldn't help it. Today we have to clean out a closet of supplies that is a complete disaster. The flimsy shelf that was in the closet collapsed last night because they overloaded the freaking shelf to the point of it bending.
Besides that, things have been going alright. I'm glad to hear that everybody at home was able to make it to the end of the term in one piece! The temperature here is usually around 40 degrees, and the humidity actually makes it pretty cold. I've been really warm though, that jacket is super useful and our apartment tends to stay warm even though it doesn't have air-conditioning. People out here usually don't have it, which I think is really weird. People just use fans when it get's hot (which isn't very often) and heaters when it gets cold.
It's crazy to think about how soon Ben will be home! I bet it is exciting thinking about it, and I'm sure he'll be glad to see you guys (even though he'll miss Chile a lot). It will be exciting to see what Ben ends up doing, where he'll be going to school and things like that. I'm sure he'll get all the flight details figured out, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Well, I'm glad everyone is doing okay there. I've been doing alright here, I've had this rash on my hands and feet for a few days and I've been having a lot of headaches too but other than that I'm doing well. I really love the Northwest, it's so beautiful up here! We have quite a bit of woodland area in our boundaries so we went out to the far corner of our area yesterday and it was amazing! Those are the only pictures I have for this week, and you'll see the Willamette River (which is really pretty). It actually has been relatively sunny for Oregon this past week, and it's really amazing when the sun is out.
Well, I hope you all have a good week and I'll send more pictures next Monday!
More Trees (and Elder Baxter)
Some more trees