I'm glad that Sister Wilhelm’s phone call made mom's night! The Wilhelm family is pretty sweet, we had fun eating dinner with them. Funny story about that though, we actually misread our dinner calendar the day of zone conference and we thought they were supposed to be signed up that day but it was actually for Tuesday of this week! She was really confused when we called and told us that she swears she signed up for next Tuesday. She was totally right, but she fed us all the same and it was great! She asked for our phone number and then asked us what our mothers cooked for us that we enjoyed. There were a lot of choices, and my brain wasn't working from all the sudden pressure! (He chose corn casserole – Sister Wilhelm called and asked for the recipe)
Speaking of zone conference, I had my first one last Wednesday. It was really fun, I love getting together with all the missionaries for things like that. President Morby is so awesome, everybody loves him because he's great. He's got that perfect balance of laid-back, but still keeping on the ball (which I enjoy). We also had car inspections, so we had to frantically clean our car on Wednesday morning before we left for Oregon City (where our zone conference was)! It was so hilarious, one of my favorite elders, Elder Reidhead, got one of the members in Sherwood to print out a picture of our driving/transportation coordinator, Elder Heyen, and he put hearts all over the picture with "My Hero!" on the bottom. He then framed it and put it in his car for car inspections! It was really funny!~ One of the sisters from my district in the MTC, Sister Benson, and her companion, Sister Pauga (from Australia) did this musical number for zone conference. They are amazingly talents singers, and Sister Benson plays piano extremely well! It was really good, they usually do a musical number during meetings like that. Still haven't gotten any news on the mission boundary changes or anything yet. President Morby says as soon as he knows, he'll give us the details.
Other than that, my week has been the same old routine. We've had a ton of blue skies all this week (it hasn't rained like, at all since I've been here) so it's been really, really beautiful here. That and we have been invaded by freakin' ants! We've had a very mild ant problem since we've gotten into the apartment, but they came back with a vengeance on Monday! They were all over the place, so we sprayed all this ant-killer spray everywhere. It's ridiculous, they were even in Elder Baxter's cereal (he says they taste awful by the way).
I did go on exchanges to West Linn with Elder Udy, who is another one of my favorite missionaries! He's the nicest guy on planet Earth, and he's a boss! West Linn is awesome because it's up on the hill, so you can get a really great view of the surrounding area and the Willamette River. Plus it was a clear, sunny day so it was really awesome. I've been really bad at taking pictures as of late, so I don't have a whole lot this week. Sorry!
Yeah, Krista and I write weekly. Brock hadn't written me for a freaking month! I got a letter from him this week though, so it's all good. Haven't heard from Gage in awhile, and that's probably why (the college was threatening to take his scholarship for skipping too many classes). His last letter he even told me that he was getting extremely bad at going to class- wasn't too surprised though, he never went in high school! That sucks though, I hope it works out for him.
I loved all the pictures- I'm glad everyone of my friends has forgotten how to smile since they've been out on their missions. Not a single one, except Josh I think! It's awesome to see their areas though. Last Monday afternoon I got a letter from Tyson clear our in ol' Sweden! I'm the first person to have sent him a hand-written letter since he's been in Sweden, which I'm quite proud of. I've also written Ethan, but I've yet to hear back from him. Josh and I have also been writing- he's doing really well which is good to hear!
It's weird thinking about how Ben will be home this week. Still hard to believe, but it will be great having him around again. I'm excited for him, and I'm jealous that y'all will get to see him and hang out with him. I'm curious to see where he goes, what he does, etc. Tell him I said hello when you see him on Friday!
Well, that's all I've got. I've sent a few pictures, but I'm going to make it a goal to take more pictures!
Love you all, and I hope you're doing well!
-Elder Samuel Burge
P.S. - I almost forgot to say, I can now officially email friends! So feel free to give our my email address to those who might want it. I'd love to hear from anyone who's willing to write me!
Jogging on the dock by the Willamette River
Another shot of the river