December 26th 2011
Boy was it good talking to ya'll. Everyone has grown up so much! Everyone consists of Braden, Porter and Ellie. They all have personalities now. Jeff is still himself. Candice looked good, has she lost weight? It was good to hear from David. Jamie and Jackie haven't changed a bit. Hayley is exactly the same. Braden and Porter have both grown a foot or more. Luckily too because they were so short. Don't worry though; I will be able to whoop both of them forever. Ellie is a lot taller too! And she has teeth, I think... Mom seems like she is doing good. She is the only one that emails me consistently so I know about her life a lot already. I have two questions now... How did Dad lose so much weight? And how has he kept it off?! He's just a little guy now. I bet I could still out run him though. And if I can't he will pay for beating me because he is an old man now. But that’s great. I promise I will not weigh more than him when I come home! So Dad is it on or is it Donkey Kong?
This week was very good. I almost got sick but I am smart and I talked to the guy at rite aid and he told me to get what I already knew to get. So I didn't get sick. Monday night was good. We went and visited with the Justin and Shana. There was no man in their home and we didn't have a male chaperone with us so we only talked for a minute. Then we went and visited a Part Member Family the ward wanted us to see. Their name is Whitesel. They were nice and we had a good lesson with them but they are not going to start coming to church and the dad isn't going to get baptized. Or that’s what they said. I'm sure a lot of people think that the first time we meet them. We went home after that. Tuesday we had a Leadership training meeting. It was a training meeting for all the Zone and District leaders and the Trainers. It was really good. President and Sister Lewis, along with the assistants trained us on Revelation through Prayer and how to help our investigators pray. They had asked Elder Jones and me to do training on Revelation through the Book of Mormon and the importance of it in our investigators conversion. I thought we did pretty well. We used the talk by Tad R. Callister from this past conference a lot. It was fun though. After the meeting got out at like 4:30 we went to dinner with an old lady named Sister Huckaby. She is probably one of the coolest older people. She had an older gentleman friend there. Their spouses both passed away a while ago so they are like friends with benefits but neither of them wants to get remarried. The man is from Indiana so that was a good conversation starter. They are movie buddies and go to movies every Friday. Since they are old they can afford the reduced price. I thought they probably only saw lame old people movies but when I asked what was a good one they saw recently she responded with, "Oh that new Sherlock Holmes was amazing. It was just as good as or better than the first. That Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law sure do work well together in those movies". It was pretty funny. They also like to go to plays and musicals. They have seen all the big ones five or more times and love them. She used to live in Arizona and said one time she drove down to Tucson to watch a NCAA Tournament that UofA was hosting. She said she watched four games in row then got in the car to drive to Phoenix to watch the Suns play. She is a super cool old lady. And she cooked amazing Mexican food. It is people like her that make it hard for me to come down from 270. After dinner, btw I think that was the longest dinner I’ve written about, we went and visited people but it wasn't according to what we planned so I don't remember who we saw but I have written in my numbers that we taught someone with a member with us so I’m sure it was really good. Wednesday was good as well. In fact it rocked! We had District meeting in the morning. We had good training from each of the District leaders, then Elder Jones and I had everyone go up and talk about an investigator they have that can be baptized this month. We are so freaking close to our goal!!! After District meeting we had lunch, then we went and saw a bunch of people. We visited with a lady named Jennifer. She is the one who came to church and hit it off with our Relief Society President. She was doing well. She is in a custody battle with her Ex- Husband for their kids. She doesn't have them and we were hoping to see her daughter there but she was not... It’s a huge mess but I don't even know what’s going on so I don't know. But we had a good chat with her. We saw some people then got a bite to eat. We went to the church to start filling the font because Justin and Shana were getting baptized!!! It was Shana's birthday so that's why it was on a random day of the week. It was a super good baptism and we had a good time. Again I had to play the piano cuz we forgot to call the guy so we made do. I am getting better though and I have officially learned a new song so now I have four in my reservoir. After the baptism the night was kind of dead but we tried to see some people then went home. Thursday was a day... Not bad but not super good either. It was just a day. In the morning we went tracting then visited with Michael and Mercy Slover. We have a lot of recent converts now so that number has gone up each week. We went from there to see Ian and Janet; they got baptized earlier this year. Ian got baptized my first weekend in this area. His mom got baptized before that. We had lunch after them then we went and saw some more people. We went tracting for a bit and that was good. We tried to see some people but not too many were home. We had dinner alone... the family went to watch Boise State play football. We went over and visited with Roberta and Serenity and it was good. They are doing awesome and seem so happy since we first started meeting with them. We were able to teach Megan Hall that night and it was awesome. She is one of our "hot" investigators. She’s the Asian one getting ready for January 12th. Friday morning we did weekly planning and it was good. We had an awesome Church Tour with Jennifer, Sister Treadway and her son and his girlfriend. The church tour was freaking awesome though. Sister Treadway is a chief Champ. Later we went to see some people. We went tracting and that was fun. We had dinner at home because the people are less active and never called us back! It was OK though because we had to leave early to drive up to the mission office to be early to get our PRESENTS! President Lewis did a little program and it was awesome. I can't even count the amount of times I heard Luke 2:1-16. But it was a good meeting. Then we rushed home to open our presents. There is no incentive as a missionary to wait till Christmas so we just opened them right there. It was really nice of you to not only think about me but to think about my companion as well. I think he appreciated that. I love everything! I got a lot socks for Christmas which I love. I got some from you, a pair from President Lewis, and some from our Bishop. Saturday we were super excited for Christmas so it was hard to concentrate on the day. We went tracting all morning. We are really trying to find people to teach. We usually don't find them Tracting but we have noticed that when we go tracting God will bless us with someone to teach one way or another. That's what happened with Roberta and Serenity as well as Michael and Mercy. Actually now that I think about it most of the people we baptize just come from nowhere. We went and visited a lot of people in the afternoon. We had a great lesson with a part member family who said they would be at church but they didn't come. We went over to The Bland's home. Brother Bland is the man playing Santa in my Christmas Card. He invited us over to be with his family on Christmas Eve. They don't have much family around here so they wanted to have us as company. I tend to think we are pretty good company so it worked out. We were there for a freaking long time! But the food was awesome. He did a giant roast and it tasted real good. We had a delicious salad and some other food that must not be too good because I can't remember what it was but it filled me up to the brim! He's another reason I’m fat. Then they gave us some delicious Cheese Cake. It sure was tasty. Then we met up with the zone but not many of the zone was here so with the few that were here we played basketball. Christmas sure was a mighty fine day. We went over to our Bishops house at 8 to eat biscuits and gravy. By the look on Jackie's face when I mentioned them it seemed like she doesn't care too much for them but I sure did like them. We went to church and it was awesome. All the musical numbers sucked until Elder Jones sang. He rocked the house down. Someone said he sounded like John Mayer and someone else said he sounded like Justin Timberlake and then one lady, who was married, said it was hot that he could sing that good. Inappropriate. After church we went home, did something actually nothing, and then went over to Roberts for an afternoon of fun. I got to play with his Ipad and I decided I want one now. I can't believe Braden got and Iphone before me... Then we went over to Brother Lopez house to SKYPE OUR FAMILIES!!! We made our Skype accounts on the Ipad at Roberts so we could start right away. It was a lot of fun. I already commented on the family so yeah that's about it for the Skypeing. After that we went back to Roberts for dinner. It was a great dinner I must say. They had all my favorites and it was a good time. After dinner it was story time. I have mentioned before in my mission that I have a lot of ideas for books to write. Well I have written all of them down and I have like 10. Sandra, Roberts wife, didn't believe that I like love stories or that I would consider writing one so I told her my favorite one. I like it. They wanted more so I told another one. I don't know how I think of these things. They just pop into my mind randomly. But only while I’m doing breathing treatments. Maybe the new supply of oxygen reaching my brain gives me an extra sense or something. I don't know. After that we were supposed to meet with the zone to have our Sunday night meeting and to go over numbers for the week but everyone was griping because it was Christmas and they were with ward members so we moved the meeting back to Monday morning. So Elder Jones and I had about 2 hours to kill and we didn't want to bother any members that weren't planning on us coming over and we were allowed to proselytize so we came to the church and wrote our weekly emails to our families, hence the length of this weeks email. It has to be one of my longer ones. So that was my week this week. It truly was a great time talking to all of you today. I am surprised that no one mentioned that the next time I will be calling home will be the Sunday before I come home. That's crazy. So Elder Jones and I talk a lot. We used to just tell stories and talk about random crap but now we talk about our missions and the gospel and stuff. We were talking about what has changed with us since we left. After being out like a year I honestly didn't see any change in me. But now, only 7 months later I have seen a huge change. I feel like ever since I became a zone leader I have become so much more mature and down to business. I feel like I have really learned my purpose as a missionary and how to work hard and effectively. I used to go the whole week anticipating P Day so I didn't have to do anything all day but now I don't even think about it until Sunday night when I realize, oh hey we have P Day tomorrow. It’s great. Well that’s about it. I hope you enjoy this week’s letter. You got a double feature treat this week with a phone call and a huge long email. I hope everyone has a good life for the next little while. To those who wrote to me, I will respond soon. To those who didn't, you have no promise... I love you! So I waited a little while to send this off so I could update you on anything new. I do have a few new updates so here we go. First, the zone has picked up two more people to be baptized this month so we only need 1 more to break the record! We would be tying it with what we have right now. Second, we played football today and we won! Another zone came over and we had some good teams. It was a good intense game and now I'm pooped. Last was this cool Miracle that President Lewis shared with us on this week’s weekly email he sends us. Before I tell it to you I am going to let you know that right before Elder Manukailea left, he told me he was going to convert somebody on the plane ride home. Read on... "During his flight home he sat next to a lady named Sarah who lives in New York but was on her way to visit her family in Long Beach. Elder Manukailea talked to her about the gospel, challenged her to be baptized and got her parents’ address and promised to send missionaries to follow up with her. He called the local mission and they sent missionaries to Sarah’s home. Elder Manukailea called to say Sarah was baptized on Christmas Eve!" The man is a machine! He will never stop doing missionary work, it’s what he was born to do. I thought that was pretty cool to share with you. Well I hope all is well. We are having a good time out here in Sacto. My diet officially started today so here we go. Wish me luck. Love you!
Love, Elder Tyler Pete Arnett