Thanks for the update.
That's right: 40 in Wasilla, 40 in Phoenix. I'm experiencing much the same weather you are I guess. But I've been warned explicitly: Winter's not over--the beginning of Winter starts now and goes till May. It's not uncommon for weather to change abruptly like it has: it literally went from -10 to 45 in one night. They say to expect negative temperatures again. But, for the time being, it's been nice. I only need my suit jacket to stay perfectly warm.
This past week, with the close of holidays, made for a tough time doing missionary work. But we were able to stay busy and teach lessons and find two new investigators. We have a pool of 30 potential investigators to go through this next two weeks before Elder Luke leaves. It will be interesting to see who my next companion is. Elder Luke thinks that I will either train a new missionary or become senior companion; I was also told by one of our Zone Leaders that he was going to recommend me as a trainer. This is not very common. Very rarely do missionaries only two transfers become trainers or senior companions. I'm not expecting anything and will strive to be humble and accept whatever the Lord calls me to do. It would, however, be nice to be able to run the show. I feel like I'm ready, but if President Dance keeps me at Junior companion, I will continue to work hard and focus on my purpose.
I enjoyed talking to everyone on Christmas. I'm sorry it was so short. I feel like they make that 45 minute rule as to not allow for home-sickness to set in. 45 minutes is just enough time to express our love for each other and hear how things are--enough time to strengthen our resolve to continue to work hard for the Lord. I miss you all. But I am so happy to be out here. I feel so blessed with this opportunity; I'm growing in knowledge and character--my testimony is strengthening greatly.
Last week, we found two Sky Lanterns in our closet, left from past missionaries. These are like mini hot-air ballons. You light a small strip of cardboard at the bottom and the heat sends these paper balloons up, up, up. So for New Year's Eve, we took these balloons to Brother and Sister Castleman, an old corky couple who love the missionaries. Reluctantly, complaining the whole way, they helped us light the cardboard--Brother Castleman thought we were going to burn the neighborhood down. And once the hot-air collected in the balloon, we released them and watched the white and purple balloons mosey up into the sky, slithering side-to-side in a somber dance of grace and freedom. And just when they were about to hit the treeline in the Castleman's yard, a gust of wind pushed them up, up, and we watched their slow, peaceful ascent to the clouds. Then Brother Castleman goes: Is two all you brought? Let's light su'more!