Congrats, Jeff! It's cool to see that the drama department seems to be trusting you a lot more. I hope that you enjoy your new toy. ;-)
Speaking of toys, you probably wont need to get me much, if anything, for Christmas (though i would never say no...). You see, i slipped a bit when it came to spending. I'd been doing really well, if i do say so myself, and last month i'm pretty sure i didn't use my home card at all, but this month, due to several bonehead moves that ended with pants and a sledgehammer head needing to be replaced, along with needing boots that were a bit dressier, to wear to church with the snow (the other boots still work for service, just are too beat up to wear to church), i used far more than i had intended. So, i would not feel bad if that was counted for my present this year. Thank you again for all of the help that you have been giving in that department.
Anyways, on to the important stuff.
This week was actually really cool. We had been struggling a little bit getting the lessons that we'd been hoping for at the end of each week, so we decided to set a new style of goal and see if that would work; we would work to get three lessons every day. That doesn't really sound like a lot, but the Standard of Excellence (or the goal that we should be hitting every week, coming down from the Mission President) is 20 lessons each week, and we would be getting 21. However, 3 a day sounds a lot more achievable than 20. Turns out, we were right. By working to get at least three lessons a day, we were able to get 25 lessons this last week, nearly doubling the number from the week before. More than that though, are the lessons themselves. Because it was "just" 3 a day, we were able to focus more time into each lesson that we did, making the lesson itself better.
One example is a lesson that we had on Friday night, with a man named Shawn. We went over and I got to know him---the missionaries had bee visiting his family for a while before i got there. He had ahd a dream to be a police officer since he was in High School, when he met a recruiting officer in one of the job fairs that they set up. Shawn told us that there were a lot of different traits that he like in this officer; he could hold up in a fight, but didn't really like to if he didn't have to. He really cared about the kids that he was working with, and the people that he was working to protect. He worked really hard to keep the oath that he had made when he was sworn in as an officer, to protect and serve the people in his community. The awesome thing is, those traits are very similar to a certain Captain that is taught about in the book of Alma, named Moroni. I was able to read Alma 48:11-13 and 17, and show him how Captain Moroni was a perfect example of the things that Shawn saw in that recruiting officer so long ago, and challenged him to read Alma 43 and 44 to learn more about this man that he was already so much like. He agreed to do so, and he made it to church this Sunday! It was really cool to see the scriptures that i love so much, mean just as much to someone else.
As for service, we have still been doing a ton of it. In fact, one day we would have done a ton more---if i hadn't missed the splitting wedge with the head of the hammer, and caught it with the handle instead. The handle split right down from the head of the hammer for about 8 inches. I was very displeased with myself. We spent the rest of the next 2 hours working to get the handle replaced, which turned out to be a lot more complex than it would appear. We found a handle that looked like it would slide right onto the head fairly quickly, so that wasn't too hard. However, it took almost ten minutes of drilling out the old wood in order to get the busted handle off. It was further complicated by the metal wedge that was used to press the wood solidly into the head of the hammer, holding it tight. The man who was helping us had expected it to made of wood, and the first drill bit was too wide to get into the space effectively. After we managed to get the old handle off, we went to put the new handle on---only to find out that it wasn't shaped quite small enough to get into the hole. So, we went to the local shop teacher for the High school, who was a member, and was nice enough to help us out. It took the rest of an hour and a half to sand and file it down to where it would actually go into the head of the hammer. I now know how to replace a handle on an ax or hammer. I hope i never have to do it again.
The last thing that i'm going to write about is the week's Zone Conference. I have to say, i really love this one, for one really major reason; it was largely on Captain Moroni, and the trait that i find most admirable in almost all of my personal heroes---he was fearless. That has always been something that i loved to see, and didn't really see in me. Now, i just hope that i can have just a bit more of that attribute in my life. I'm really glad that that got to be what we were talking about this last conference.
I think that that will do for this week's letter. Thank you so much for everything that you do for me.
Love, Elder Stuver