Yeah, i was surprised at my training as well. Yes, our mission is getting a lot of new missionaries, and will keep doing so for about 3 more transfers, according to President Cannon. My trainee (or Greenie, as all of the missionaries call them--along with a lot of the families that we teach and eat with) is named Elder Josh Myers, from Layton California. To save you the trouble of looking that up on Google Maps, Layton is right around Fresno, and is even smaller than New Plymouth. Elder Myers is 19 years old, and is pretty much a clone of me, if you made me a white Latino--his mom is from Argentina. I'll see if i can send you a picture of him today.
This week has been really cool, and it has flown by really fast. We've been working almost non-stop from the time that we got back, to last night at . We were able to get a hold of one of the people that Elder Rogers and i had tracted into while on exchanges, named Nichole (i may have already tole y'all about her a while ago), and we were able to teach her and her in-active member boyfriend, named Lane, the Plan of Salvation. It went really well, and we were able to get to know her a lot better, not to mention meeting the boyfriend for the first time. They were both really attentive, and seemed to understand everything really well. the only problems that i can see are that she doesn't want to pray with us, they both are heavy smokers, and they are living together. Those things aside, i have never seen anyone so glued to the lessons that we teach as Nichole, and Lane was paying close attention as well (once Nichole had convinced him to come and listen to us).
Other than that, we've been doing a lot of meeting the leaders in the ward and introducing Elder Myers to all of the investigators that we already have. That, plus organizing the Area Book (the great big book of everything about our area---depending on how well it was filled out by the missionaries before you) has filled up all of our time for the past week. All in all, it's been a really good week.
In answer to the rest of your questions, no, not a lot of missionaries are going home, so our mission just keeps getting bigger and bigger.I went on exchanges so much because Elder Jarvis was the District Leader, and he wanted to take some time with all of the Elders to say good bye, because he was pretty sure that he was going to be transferred. As for winter gear, all i need is a coat and some boots.
I love you all!