His email from the 24th was addressed to us and several friends but did not include the usual responses to our queries, etc. We spent the week fretting about having let him down.
Jacob mentioned not having heard from his parents that week to his mission president in the weekly email missionaries send to him. President Millar called us from England to make sure we we're dead or apostate or something...!!! (double deep sigh)
All of this is prologue to Jacob's letter from this week, so his comments about forgiving us make sense. ;-)
On to Jacob's letter...
I really do forgive you for forgetting to send the emails on time, I didn't have any doubts that everything was okay but I still wanted to find out in less than a week so that's why I emailed President Millar about it. The funny thing about the package is that we left the flat on Wednesday before it got there so we missed it that day. The delivery man left a note and an address of where we could pick it up. So to get the package we had to go to a Post Office in Christchurch and pick it up on Thursday. It was nice to have a package and I saved it until we got back that night to open it. We've already eaten more stroopwafels than we probably should have and I love the beanie!
You were right in assuming Thanksgiving would be different than in America. The English don't celebrate it at all. The day wasn't any sort of struggle though because we're so busy all the time anyway that I didn't really notice that it was Thanksgiving. The only hard part was realizing that it wasn't the only Thanksgiving that I would miss... But we did have a Dinner Appointment which was nice! It was with an English family that didn't celebrate it at all but it was still a really good dinner. The whole family is semi-active but they all have strong testimonies. The father, Andy, is one of my favorite people I've met on my mission so far! We have a DA at their house once a week and I always look forward to going. We laugh about so many things and talk about other missionaries that have done funny things in the past. So Thanksgiving was definitely still a good day.
The sad news is that we weren't able to meet with any of our investigators, again. Bob was away in London most of the week so we weren't able to see him and Dan was ill all week. Bob came to church this Sunday and had a really good experience. He's been coming to church for over 2 years and he really enjoys it. Yesterday was a particularly good Sunday because Bob told us he really felt the Spirit and we had a good lesson in Gospel Principles with him. He even said the prayer at the end, which is something we struggle to get him to do during teaches let alone in a classroom full of members. He talked with one of the members after the class and told him that he knows that he should be baptized and he really wants to. The issues are that Bob likes to have a glass of wine with his meals sometimes and his wife doesn't want him to pay tithing. We have faith that he will understand the reasons for those things and he will make the sacrifices he needs to as we teach him and strive for inspiration on his behalf.
The big push this Christmas season, especially for missionaries, is the video "He is the Gift" I'm fairly sure you already know about it and have watched it but if you haven't definitely do. It's a really powerful video and is the focus of our missionary efforts this month. It's seriously huge. We're getting special pass-along cards and other materials to use for this campaign. It has already helped our missionary efforts a lot. We did a presentation on it during the 3rd hour of fifth Sunday to all of the ward members and they really loved it. A lot of the ward members have shared it and I encourage you to do that as well.
The funniest part of the whole week was Tuesday morning. At about 1:00 a.m. my companion and I woke up to scurrying noises above our heads, specifically my head, and figured there was a mouse running around in the ceiling above us. The worst part is that the ceiling above my bed had to be repaired because there were big holes in it about a foot across. But past missionaries had repaired them so the only thing keeping a big ol' mouse from falling on my head while I was sleeping was a few sheets of notebook paper taped to the ceiling. I moved my mattress over to the floor and went back to sleep. When we woke up we heard the scurrying but it was in our kitchen now. So armed with a flimsy dustpan I marched into the kitchen to solve our problem. The short story is that I solve the problem and the dustpan now has a proper name denoting the foes that it has slain. "Rodent Slayer" is now hanging on our wall. The best part is that Elder Poulino videoed the whole thing on his camera! I will try and send the video in some way but there are no promises.
[He was able to send the video... here 'tis...]
I love you all so much and know I couldn't be doing this without all of your support!
Pictures from this week: