I am writing to you from Sandstone Park in Longmont, Colorado. Elder Johnson is an aerial silk artist, and he has found a tree here to his liking. (What doesn't Elder Johnson know how to do?? I didn't know what an aerial silk artist was...but I've attached two pictures that will explain.) He will be twirling and swirling here shortly. This week was characterized by sickness. Unlike the sickness I had last month, which was brought on by stress, this was a plain old cold. I had chills so bad that Elder Johnson wrapped me into a burrito with huge blankets. Needless to say, it was not fun. (I attached a picture of him as a burrito!). We had our second snowfall this week. I had to drive during the storm this time. I still remember how to drive in snow from last winter, at least kind of, haha. I know I made Elder Johnson a little uncomfortable.
I just got an email from President Brown saying no football on Thanksgiving! Aww, man! Oh well, when these things come up I just remind myself I didn't go on a mission to play football, etc. This week we did find a new investigator while tracting. When we came for a return appointment, she was not there, but she actually left a sticky note on the door, apologizing for forgetting an appointment she had already set. Her name is Jessica and please pray for her. Also, please pray for Bob, Sierra, and Matt. Our ward mission leader is awesome and he set up an appointment for us to teach Matt at his house all by himself. We have had the hardest time making appointments with him. All three of those people have been coming to church for years, but have not yet been baptized. We are just at a loss for how to help them! It sure helps our key indicators to have 3 investigators at church every week though! It's funny, because a lot of members of the ward think that missionary work is booming here because of that, but in reality our teaching pool is tiny to non-existent. Oh well!
Thanks for the package last week. I went on exchanges with Elder Buchanan, and he ate all my Oreos. Considering my diet, I appreciated it. I've taken to eating small whole grain snacks before dinner. It fills me up so fast that one serving of dinner makes me feel like I just got out of Chuck-o-Rama. We have been going to a discount grocer called Esh's for our food. They sell a bunch of health foods, etc. for really cheap. I got boxes of Kashi cereal for 99 cents each. Kashi is not an inexpensive cereal. I also got a body wash made out of lavender, which is amazing. I'm hoping it will have long-term benefits for my anxiety. It certainly makes for relaxing showers.
(BJ and Michele are here for Thanksgiving, so I had everyone write this week. BJ told him about a time he'd been asked to say the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting, but he forgot to get up to pray.) BJ, your story reminds me of a time when I was in Fort Collins and the ward choir director invited me to come to ward choir and I agreed. This was just before sacrament meeting. I fell, asleep and as it turns out, the ward choir was performing. When they got up, my companions shook me awake and said, "Elder Campbell, you said you would sing with them!" I dazedly got up and walked to the stand. Gratefully, the Lord aids us in our weakness because it was the best sight-reading I have ever done. My companions said it was just a joke, but I am glad it happened. I have gotten over falling asleep in Sacrament Meeting as well.
(Grandma told him about her war against the gophers in her yard. She recently dropped pieces of Double Bubble bubble gum in the holes hoping it would kill them.) Grandma, I remember you being rather skeptical of that technique, but Grandpa tried it and it worked. Let me know how it goes. And Grandpa, I will be sure to sing you a hundred songs when I get back. In an answer to Dad's question, I use that instant shoe shine sponge stuff. When you sent me one last year, it rocked my world. I also got some shoe protect-all. It is a water-proofing agent. Shoveling snow this weekend got my feet all wet, so I now have an impetus to get some. Esh's sells those shoe care products for a dollar or less, which I love as well.
Last night, I realized a lesson I learned on forgiveness. The Lowry family asked me to tell them a powerful experience I have had on my mission. I told them that most of my mission experiences have not been with investigators, but in working with companions. I related to them that I have had a number of companions who have done or said hurtful things to me, and forgiving them has been the hardest part. I prayed for hours over it once, and had the realization that a refusal to forgive is like asking Jesus Christ to suspend the Atonement for that individual. Who does that?! We cannot do that. It is evil by nature. Anywho, dinner with the Lowry's was very emotional and several tears were shed. I too, realized that there is so much I have learned from this past year of my life, and it took a lot of pain to do so.
Brother Buhler in the ward asked us to come teach the Plan of Salvation for his Mission Preparation class. After we taught it to an "investigator couple" the whole class said things like, "It was perfect!" or "So much better than us." Brother Buhler, who is an experienced missionary and couple missionary said we did pretty good, but it really needs work. I realized that even though I thought everything went right, there is so much to do better. Even though I am a pretty good teacher, my calling as an elder asks me to be a master teacher. I guess I just need more teaching opportunities. With our awesome mission leader we are trying to fix that. Well, I have got to go. It was great to hear from BJ and Michele, I love those two and never hear from them.
Elder Andrew Campbell