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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 91 - Christmas in São Paulo

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Last Saturday night, we had a ward Christmas party!  Here are a few pictures from that:








On Christmas Eve, we were given permission to stay out later.  We went to the Rosario’s and had a wonderful dinner.  They are so good to the missionaries.

Christmas morning, I spent with a recent convert.  He comes from Peru and has no where to go.  We invited him over.  We played chess.  He is very good and beat me.

I also got to Skype home.  It was good to catch up with my family.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Week 90 - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


I received my Christmas package from home this year [Last year the package never made it to Dallen.]  My good friend Marcio made me a gift.  He gave me a plaque.


Transfers went fine this week.  We are excited for Christmas and look forward to our Christmas Skype home.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Week 89 - Christmas conferences and preparations.


If you haven't watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, you've missed out!  (You can stream it by clicking the image below).



We are testing out the web cams and microphones to make sure all is ready for use at Christmas. [Missionaries are focused on teaching the gospel and giving service.  They spend most days focused on this.  Once a week they have a preparation day or p-day.   This is when they do shopping, launder their cloths, visit attractions in their area, etc.  As part of their p-day, they write letters and email. This is normally the only time during the week they communicate with friends and family.   Twice a year on Christmas and Mother's day they can call home.  Most Skype, Facetime, Google Hangout, etc, if they have the ability. This is what Dallen is preparing for]

We had two Christmas conferences this week.  Preparing for them hasn't given us much time to prepare for transfers and so now I have a ton of stuff to do. Transfers are Wednesday.

I just looked at the transfer board.  I won't be training so I’ll probably remain in the office for the rest of my mission.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to extend my mission because my visa will expire.

Time has flown. Time in the the office flies by even faster.

Climbing up the side of the church.




Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week 88 - We are blessed when we follow the Spirit!

Elder Nilson and I were able to go out and do some tracting on Thursday. We tried to look up some referrals but nothing went our way. I felt like we should visit a member, but she lived REALLY far away from where we were at the moment.  We went anyways.

This member is super awesome.  She is always feeding and making treats for us. But, there are issues in the home.  This night, the family was in a huge fight.  Everyone was yelling at each other.  The father was upset and told us he wanted to leave the church.  The kids were all saying they wanted to run away.  It was a mess.

I looked at Elder Nilson and said “What are we going do?”

I said a prayer and as soon as I finished the idea to play a game popped into my head.  It was a little weird for a missionary to suggest playing a game...

I told Elder Nilson “Let’s quickly run to our apartment and pick up a card game (Spot it).”

He looked at me and thought I was crazy but he went with me.

We returned to the house and got everyone to gather around and play (except the father).  I said the two rules are that no one can say anything bad about another while we are playing and that if someone says anything rude we will stop.  I also added a rule that no one was allowed to cry or complain when I win.

We played and everyone was having a blast and laughing. The kids were helping each other out trying to beat me and it was way fun. Then I suggested Elder Nilson share a message.  He opened his scriptures to the same chapter in the Doctrine and Covenants that I was thinking about. We shared the message and I told them that I would leave the game with them but that no one could play it until everyone in the house did something for another.

The mother of the kids later came to me and wept.  She thanked me for listening to the Spirit.  She told me that she had been praying to God for assistance in uniting her family. The kids told me that was the most fun they have had as a family in a long time. Before I left everyone was scrambling around trying to clean up someone’s mess or offering to do something for the other so they could play the game again.

One of my favorite things in the office is talking with Sister Silcox -- especially about gospel things. She really knows a lot and is just super awesome. She always talks about the Spirit and the importance of the Holy Ghost in our lives. It’s cool to discuss how we receive personal revelation. I remember lots of times on my mission when I had an idea but just kind of shrugged it off only to realize later that it was the Spirit. We suffered consequences when we didn’t follow the Spirit.  Now I’m more knowledgeable about how the Spirit speaks to me.  Now when I get an idea or prompting, I follow it -- even if it sounds weird or isn’t practical (for example, let's play a game).  In the end something amazing always happens!

-=-


We decorated the office this week for Christmas. It was fun. It makes me really sad though because I know I’m getting closer to going home.


Medical calls have been crazy this week too.  Apparently, an elder
has the mumps.  that’s a fun one.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Week 87 - Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

We’ve been teaching a very special couple for a while.  The husband said he would only be baptized when the missionary who started teaching him returned. [He completed his mission] He went to the temple grounds.  As he walked through the gardens, we talked.  It was wonderful.  He realized he just wanted to be baptized and it didn’t matter who did it.  He is so prepared.  His wife is ready too.  She wanted to be baptized a few Sundays ago, but that didn’t work out.  She said that she wanted to be baptized next Sunday.   She has longed for the day.  Sunday came and it was wonderful. – Jardim Sister Missionaries.
-=-

Thank you to all that sent birthday wishes!!!  I had a great birthday lunch at the Mexican restaurant. Lunch was so good!  I also got the box mom sent.   I’m so excited!  I love the Oreo’s and shirts.

Hey, so I’m still volunteering at the English school.    I need to pick a topic to talk about this week.  I think I’m going to talk about Fall and the holidays Thanksgiving and Halloween.  I can bring in the pumpkin Oreos you sent me to share with the class.

The mission president just talked to me.   Depending on if I get accepted and what school I go to and when I would start, he would like me to extend my mission.  This would change my return from 15 March 2016 to 19 April 2016.


There is a lady in our congregation that is super special.   She is very poor.  She does indexing all day.   She has a goal to do 30,000 records by the end of the year.   She already has 19,000 and she just started in November.  She literally indexes ALL day.   She said she has felt the presence of many angels while she was indexing.   She may be financially poor, but she is spiritually rich.


We taught the man from Kenya!  He is scheduled to be baptized on December 6th.  He is way cool. He is really intelligent and well mannered.   He works as a behavior specialist in Africa.   He speaks English, Swahili, French and very little Portuguese.  He really likes the story of the Book of Mormon and is excited to read it.   It was the first time, I think, that I taught a lesson in English while on my mission.   Afterwards, we looked near his house in Kenya and found there is a chapel right down the street.





Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week 86 - Spirituality sagging

I’ve been teaching at an English school. Tomorrow I’m doing a presentation.

I was at the hospital all day with Elder Nilson. He needed an IV.  The doctor brought this huge three-inch-long needle and stuck it in him.  I totally passed out. It wasn’t like there was blood or anything. That didn't cause me to pass out. When I woke up I watched the doctor take blood out of tons of people’s arms and I had no problem.  But, watching him stick that big sucker in Elder Nilson’s vein made me totally pass out.

OOOOO! WE FINALLY FOUND A MEXICAN BUFFET HERE.  I’ll be eating there for my birthday if everything goes as planned.  I talked with my friend Marcio today. I invited him to come with us tomorrow.  I hope he can go.


I took a couple of pictures today but then I realized that I didn’t have the card in the camera. So they are saved in the camera’s built in memory.  There isn’t a way to transfer them to the card. I wanted to show you my breakfast. A smoothie made with carrots, beats, oranges, and spinach.  It’s super good! Its funny because here in Brazil drinks like this are common! It’s not a diet or health thing.  It is just what people eat (or drink).

The yellow fruit is Passion Fruit or Maracuja in Portuguese.

I miss working with and teaching people in their homes or on the street each day.  It's wonderful when I'm given time with the mission president or his wife.  They're amazing. I absolutely love being around them.  They provide council and have great wisdom. Unfortunately, the majority of the time I’m doing administrative work.  I know the work needs to be done, but I feel my spirituality sagging.

We did meet this African man from Kenya at church. We are totally going to start teaching him!  I look forward to this.

One of the Sister's birthday celebration.




Saturday, November 14, 2015

Week 85 - Put in an awkward situation


The week went well.  I stressed a lot in the beginning.  A couple situations popped up that neither Elder Williams or I knew how to respond to.  Eventually the area office took care of everything.

MAN preparing for transfers is a TON of work! A lot of work gets crammed into one day. It seems like I’ve been on the go non-stop the entire day.

Of coarse when I had Elder Williams to lean on, nothing weird or bad happened.  The second he leaves tons of problems popped up.  I’m dying.  I’m trying to get in touch with the area office about something REALLY important.  I hope they respond soon or an elder may be deported.


I went to an English school the other week and volunteered to help.  The worker’s jaws dropped. They were so shocked and super pumped to have an American come help them.  In their English coarse they actually have a part about religion so that works out perfect for us! 

We are teaching a man who may be baptized next week.  I don’t know what he will do for sure.  His life has been a little crazy lately. 


The mission president is really concerned about the missionaries.  New missionaries arrive that have heard our mission doesn’t always follow the rules and is disobedient.  It really bothers him.  There was a leadership council yesterday.  They talked about a lot of really good things.  I hope the missionaries soaked it up and are willing to implement changes.

I’ve been given my own dilemma.  One of the missionaries whom I admire a lot has put me in an awkward situation.  He is a good guy, but one of the mission rules is that you first obtain permission before seeing family in the area.  Without asking permission, he arranged for us to have lunch at a relative’s house.

Now if I ask and try to get permission, he will be upset and there will likely be contention between us.  We may not be granted permission which will cause more problems.  If we do nothing and go, we break a mission rule.  That isn’t a good option either.  It’s driving me insane.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week 84 - Wishing for a home cooked meal

"One of the miracles we saw in our area was a sister who was given a dream of her baptism and the chapel where this would take place.  She searched daily for the chapel until she found ours.  We taught her and invited her to be baptized.  She agreed and then told us of her dream.  We know that the Lord prepares people for us (the missionaries).  It is wonderful to witness these miracles." -- Vila Virginia Sister Missionaries
-=- 

Its been raining every single day so the temperature isn’t bad.  These last few days its been in the 70’s. 

The good thing about the mission office is really getting to know the mission president.  I talk with him and ask him for advice.

I get to study a lot of apostles talks because I can get on lds.org and have some time to study.

We have to be in the office to answer phones so we can’t eat lunch at member’s houses.  We eat out everyday which in the beginning was cool but now I’m so tired of eating out.  I just want home cooked food.

For p-day we went to the discount mall.   We went to the bras and the 25.  I bought a 220 reis shirt for 45 reis at the 25.  We ran into some Americans shopping there. They probably will send you a text with a picture.  The mission president just got back from a mission presidents meeting in Recife.  It is a Brazilian missionary rule now that we can’t shop at the 25 anymore, so we were the last ones to go.  He didn’t say why, but it can be dangerous and is known for thieves.

Photo sent via text from the mall


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 83 - Indexing!

So sometimes when Americans send packages the mail service here tries to get money out of us by keeping them in the mail office.  They make you pay a “fine” to receive the package.  One elder if he wants to get his package would have to pay $800 reis!  If you don’t go pick it up they just send it back to the return address.  This usually happens if the package has a lot of stuff in it or stuff with a lot of value.

[This happened to Dallen's Christmas package last year.  The post office knows whats in them from the custom documents.  Dallen's package was eventually returned]

This past week I went to the temple!  Going to the temple with the mission president and just getting to converse with him the entire day was such a blast. We went out to eat at Applebee’s and I got all you can eat baby back ribs with all you can eat fries and there they have free drink refills! We talked about the temple and marriage and funny childhood stories! It is such a blast to be able to have a relationship with the mission president and his wife!

On Saturday, we went to the mission president’s house. We had lunch and Sister Silcox showed us how to make cookies.  It was way cool.  It was a little weird too because they have carpet in their house.  It's been so long since I’ve stepped on carpet.  Typically, houses have tile floors here.



















I’m doing indexing in Portuguese!  It’s interesting.  After I downloaded FamilySearch.org's indexing program, its been the hit here in the office.  Everyone is doing it during their free time now.  I think I will turn it into a competition to see who has more points at the end of the month or year. As missionaries in the office we can’t do missionary work in the streets so we might as well do service while we are on the computer!




Elder Williams will be my companion for only four more days. and then it will be just me and Elder Marques.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 82 - Waking up to parrots

[Dallen didn't have much to say this week in his email...  Here is one interesting fact about his daily life in São Paulo]

I sleep in a hammock outside and one cool thing is every morning I wake up to parrots talking

video

Here is a picture:


A lot of the mission got to go to the temple this week.  I'll get to go soon.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Week 81 - P-day at Soccer Museum

This past week we weren't able to teach much.  We did a lot of moving.  I look forward to going to the temple next week!

I've been making a spreadsheet of the good hospitals in the mission that accept our health plan. I'm giving it to the missionaries so that in an emergency they will know where to go.

Elder Williams and Elder Marques helped a missionary home this past week.  He needs medical attention.  His family lives close enough they travelled by bus.  We'll be taking another missionary to the airport this week.  He is not able to get enough of the medicine he needs so is being released. He'll receive free medical care at home.


Today for our p-day we went to the soccer museum.

Elder Nilson and Elder Marques

Elder Williams

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Week 80 - Adapting to new responsibilities

Working in the mission office is a bit different than what I have become familiar with.  First, I’m in a companionship of five.  Yep! That’s right.  There are five of us working together and I’ve been pretty busy.  Most of the day is spent working in the office.  After 6:00 pm we can go out if the work is done. We were able to go out a couple times this week and are teaching someone.

I shared one of my spiritual experiences with one of the elders. Later, he was telling his companion about it and a lady overheard.  She wanted to know more and was baptized!


Ironically, I’m not getting many emails now that I’m in the office.  I’m on the computer everyday and can read them, but for some reason, emails have decreased.

I’ve been surprised by the number of issues and problems that arise.  I spend a lot of time just trying to solve problems.  I had no idea how many people would call with issues.

This week I had people calling asking for records.  We enter new member information and transmit the data, but for some reason the wards (congregations) haven’t gotten the recent records.

I spent a lot of time helping missionaries move.  

I’m in charge of medical, visas, passports, and taking care of the mission presidents schedule.

I spent a good deal of time taking missionaries to the doctor everyday this week.  Twice, I was at the hospital at 3:00 am in the morning.  One missionary has heart problems.  He lost his medicine and needed medical attention.   We gave him a blessing.  He has been recovering at the mission president’s home and hopes to complete his mission.

Today is my p-day. We woke up at 5:00 am to take a missionary to the doctor.  We sat there for four hours.  Going to doctor's appointments can be tiring. Part of my medical responsibilities are to keep track of everyone’s doctor’s appointments.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 79 - Serving in Ala Belém


I'm serving in Ala Belém and the São Paulo East Mission office.  My p-day is now on Saturday which means I'll be emailing on Saturday, not Monday.

My companion is Elder Williams. He is mostly from Idaho but I think his family lives in Washington now. We have a devotional with the mission president every morning. This week because of transfers we weren’t able to have it every day.  It was a crazy week. 


President Silcox is amazing.  He doesn’t get angry and is super spiritual. He is a really good guy. He taught at UGA for awhile. We talk about Georgia a lot.


I spent all day Wednesday taking people to the airport.  It was way fun. We took another the other day too. Next week I’ll be taking people to the federal police office for legal reasons. New missionaries have thirty days to register with the authorities. 

Only president and sister Silcox have cars. Missionaries are not allowed to drive in this mission. We call taxis. The mission has a contract with two taxi companies.  We just call them and they take us. I would die if we had to take public transport to the airport. It costs about 80 reis (about $20.00) to go. I met members from all over the world there. We talked to a person from Idaho, Venezuela, and Argentina the other day. We also ran into elders from other missions too. We got to go to the Olive Garden afterwards which was heaven to me!

I had a lot of administrative work to do last night. I was entering all of the recent baptismal records. This took awhile.




Because of  General Conference we will stay in the office for p-day.

In my new area there are some reminders of home.  The mall and airport have restaurants like Olive Garden, Outback Steak House, Johnny Rockets, and things like that and you can get free drink refills there! But, they are expensive.  Plates start at 60 reis (about $15.00). There is a store near our house that sells a lot of things imported from the USA.  I can buy root beer, cream soda, and all kinds of stuff there. The drinks are 4 reis a can (about $1) but things like chips are super expensive. A can of Pringles is 20 reis (about $5). They sell Ben and Jerry’s ice cream too but a tiny container is 30 something reis.

I like sleeping in a hammock. The power is out in our house.  We haven’t had any problems with bugs and I share a small space with six others.  This gives us a little more room.  Its the only place where I can get some personal space and I like looking at the night sky. 

I only have three white shirts left. We live next to Brás which is the largest clothing trade area in Brazil so I hope to find some good deals there. 

I was able to go with some elders the other day because the office work was finished. Normally, we work to 6:00 pm in the office and then go out after that.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 78 - Transferred to the mission home

I had a great day yesterday!   I baptized a wonderful lady!  She has a way cool conversion story.  I'll tell you about it when I get home.  She bore her testimony before her baptism about how all she ever wished for was her family to be united and happy.  Through the gospel this dream is becoming true.

Hey!  Transfers are tomorrow.  I'm being transferred.  I heard from one of the office missionaries and I'll be the new secretary!  That means I'll have AIR CONDITIONING during the Brazillian summer!!!  It also means I'll be with the mission president a whole bunch.  I'll get to eat lunch with him every week and I'll be living in the mission home.  My p-day will also move to Saturday.

There will be three secretaries when I get there but it will probably be just two after the following transfer.  Elder Williams who is the active executive secretary will train me for one transfer cycle.

A little friend
The downside is I won't be working in the field as much.  I probably won't have the opportunity to baptize or teach as often.  My companion and I will still have an area to work, but everyone says the secretaries are so busy they don't have as much time to proselyte.  I hear we won't have many lunches with members either.  

I'll probably have dinner with Marcio on Saturday.  That will be a lot of fun!  Also, I may be able to check my email daily.   I've heard some rumors about this, but will check with the mission president. I may still only be able to send emails on p-day.

Today, I'm going to say goodbye to several people.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 77 - Good things happening!

There are many good things happening in São Paulo.  The zone is planning to baptize thirteen people this week!!!  I hope I don't get transferred so I can at least see many of them baptized.  Pray that all goes well. The ward is doing great. Our ward mission leader comes out with us all the time.  My companion is also really good at teaching.

Today was busy.  I went to the famous Ibirapuera Park and then we had a soccer match with many of the missionaries.   I think my team played for a good hour straight.  I'm exhausted.  Since it was in Ipiranga, I called my good friend Marcio.  He came and played with us.  It was a way fun day.




We rented bikes and rode around the park five times. It was nice to get rid of some energy.  It was the
first time I rode a bike in the mission.

So last week it got down to 13 or 15 degrees Celsius  (52 degrees Fahrenheit) and the next day it was 38 degrees Celsius (101 degrees Fahrenheit).  We have two electric fans for the heat.  The heat for sure isn't fun but I'm just dealing with it and going on with life.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 76 - Crazy good -- and sad

Our conference was crazy good!  President Silcox spoke of the importance of attending the temple. Because I was recently blessed with the opportunuty to go with one of my good friends and converts, he mentioned me several times.  Now, everyone teases me -- in a nice way.

Missionaries have struggles too.  We are not perfect and make mistakes.  We strive hard to be representatives of the Savior, but fall short sometimes.  A missionary was sent home early this week. His companion cried bitterly at the news.  It was very sad.

This is a picture of my apartment:


This is a picture of our church:


This was the first Catholic church in Penha.  It was built for slaves.




Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 75 - Independence Day

We had a baptism planned, and a couple more in the zone this week but all were postponed.  We have eleven scheduled coming up.   My zone is doing well.  There are ten elders and ten sisters in it.

My area is doing well too.  Our teaching pool is big!  Our geographic area is also big, so sometimes it is rough getting to appointments.

Today is Brazil's Independence Day. We will be having a Family Home Evening with the ward tonight.  It should be fun!

I never know what season it is here.   One week it is hot and the next week it is nice.  This week has been nice.  It is pouring as I'm writing this and I left my umbrella at a members house...

This week we will have a conference with an area authority.  I'll get to hear from Elder Jairo Mazzagardi.

This past week I was sick.  I just woke up one night throwing up.  Maybe it was food poisoning.  I've turned into such a clean freak lately.  I cleaned up the kitchen for a couple hours the other day after I got sick.

Last week for p-day, I cooked churrasco (Brazilian BBQ) for the zone.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 74 - Eternal Families

This was a wonderful week for Dallen.   One of the families Dallen taught went through the temple Saturday and were sealed together for eternity.   It was a very special day.



We claim Elijah has returned and restored priesthood keys Malachi 4:5-6D&C 110:13-16We declare families can be eternal when sealed by an authorized holder of these priesthood keys. 

Marriage and families are fundamental to our Heavenly Father's plan.  The Family: A Proclamation To The World.

   -- A few thoughts from Dallen's Father.

***

Saturday was sweet!  I went through the temple with Marcio and his family.  I don't have words to describe my feelings and joy. I saw a ton of people from my previous area, Mogi das Cruzes, too!  It was a special day!

Marcio, Itacila, and their daughter - used by permission of the family.
The Sao Paulo Temple.
(Marcio posted an album with many more pictures of their special day on Facebook)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 73 - Cuiabá to Vatapá

My new companion is way cool.  His name is Elder Gustavo Medina. He is from the hottest city in Brazil called Cuiabá. It's 125 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.  He has one more transfer then I do. He will study electrical engineering after his mission.



We are opening up this area.  I’m new and I wasn’t left with any investigators.  We were able to find seven homes to teach in this week. Some are families which is always nice. I like teaching families. A couple of the people we teach have a lot of problems. The gospel of Jesus Christ is needed by all.

The bishop here is a super good speaker. He is the institute director.  The other day we planned to meet with him but our meeting was canceled.  Two members of the quorum of seventy showed up to speak with him.

I’ve had so many amazing experiences on my mission.  I couldn’t even give a talk anymore without sharing some of them.

I’m losing a ton of weight here in this area.  I can’t eat like I use to.  After the food contest in Mogi I haven’t eaten as much anymore.  I don’t think it is possible for me to win the t-shirt at Spock Burgers.



The picture of that orange soup is called vatapá.  It’s north eastern food. You would probably love it. It’s Brazil’s take on curry.  I think the food is way good here.  It’s not weird or sketchy.  A lot of dishes use rice and beans.  You can’t go wrong with those ingredients.  The BBQ here is the bomb! Pizza is different, but I like it too.  I often eat beans on top of spaghetti.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 72 - Transfers

I’ve spent the last day of Elder Faustino's mission visiting the families he taught.  Elder Faustino asked to spend his last day with me so I have been with him all day.  We have been traveling all day long -- since 5:00 in the morning. We are stopping by people he taught and talking about the mission and stuff like that. It has been a blast!

Elder Faustino and Elder Hammond surrounded by Sister and President Ferrin.

I do not know who my next companion will be, but I am told he will be Brazilian.

Transfers are tomorrow morning. What’s sad is I still don’t have a photo with Elder Mika who has been my companion for the past week. He is going home too.  I’ll try to get a picture with him tomorrow.

I’ve got to go.  I’ll be traveling again some next week, but it won’t be as crazy and chaotic as today.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 71 - 'Till we meet again.

[Dallen’s grandmother passed away Monday morning.  She is a great lady that will be dearly missed.  She had a good day Sunday and saw lots of family and visitors.  She slipped away quietly Monday morning holding grandpa’s hand]

I’ll answer questions here in a bit…  I don’t know if I can express my thoughts about grandma right now.  I’m in a public place and am trying to hold it together.  I had hoped to talk with her again.  I was going to ask the mission president if I could have permission to Skype after reading your emails from earlier in the week.

Dallen's brother, Brady, with grandma and grandpa McPhie.


I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation.  I will be going to the temple on August 29th to see a couple that means so much to me married for eternity.  Through those holding priesthood authority families are sealed and linked together.  One day, I will see and converse with grandma again.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Week 70.5 Emergency transfer.

I’m being emergency transferred.  Elder Ornelas and I will no longer be companions.  I’ll be a new zone leader.  One of the zone leaders is being transferred to the mission office and I’m taking his place. I’ll be in the same zone but will move areas.


My new companion is American and goes home in twelve days.  He will train me and then I’ll probably continue on with a new companion in this area once he leaves.

This week I received a random impression about grandma and grandpa during my studies.  I said a prayer for them but I have a feeling something is happening…