Monday, August 18, 2014

The Weather Goes Like This...

From Mom,

Dear Elder Bailey,                                                                               

          We shared the air in your area last Wednesday, the rainy day in Phoenix.  I was fully expecting 108 degrees when we landed at the airport, but it was a beautiful 79 degrees at about noon.  Thought of you and waved towards your direction.  Hope it turned out to be a pleasant day for you.  I had never been in Arizona when it had rained, so this was a definite first.  (Of course, I never really left the airport during my 2 hour layover.)  My friend says that Arizona actually gets more rain than Utah does.  Hard to believe.

          By the way, you are an uncle AGAIN.  Leonardo Bailey was born yesterday, and today is his dad Matthew's birthday.  Seems to be a Bailey family phenomenon to share birthdays that way.

          Our missionary sent an awesome picture of the Gilbert Temple this week.  He has not said if he has had a chance to attend, yet.

From Elder Bailey

         I don't have that much time to talk, but the weather goes like this: sunny 104-ish then windy, then cloudy, then a dust storm (can’t see a thing), then HEAVY rain and then the next day is humid.  It’s great!  I love it!  And our ward is awesome!

         It’s not against mission rules to have a knife with just a blade.  I'm buying one today at Walmart.  I actually took the multi tool from the blue van and it is the most rusty knife I have ever used.  The mission president knows about it and has seen Elder Steers's knife that is just a blade and is about 3 inches.  

         I caught a lizard in our house and we named it "K. Brett Lizard".  

         Thanks for the pants, by the way, I forgot to say that in the last email.  I think I want all the rest of my ties for trading purposes.  The same 11 ties get boring after a while and I don't want to trade the ones I have.  

         What I meant when I said they took my advice the wrong way was they thought we were receiving revelation for them and could solve their job problems.  I just told them not to expect blessings from the Lord unless they do some sacrificing.  He knows best and sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.  But whatever, people hear what they want to hear sometimes.  We have some awesome investigators but none want to come to church or pray to know it is true for one reason or another.    

         Oh, and I met an Elder Fa'amuli (or something like that) from Rockville, Maryland.  He’s cool.  I gotta go.  Not enough time today

Ah, the Twinkie Stash Drawer

A picture really can speak a thousand words.  Elder Bailey sent some interesting pictures along with his email last week.  He showed us glimpses into their study time and free time.  The most interesting picture, I thought, was the Twinkie and Hostess Cupcake stash drawer.  Apparently, rewards are taken to help get the Elders through the morning study time.  If it works, it's all good.

It is so wonderful to see my missionary studying intently.  That's just what a mother needs to see for reassurance.  I also liked seeing that his desk is orderly and he has some family pictures mounted just above his study area for encouragement.  I noticed one of a pretty sister Missionary up there for encouragement, as well.  I hope it is for encouragement and not distraction.

Highlights from the week August 11th:

          We got an investigator on date! And I am so happy! But so many people are out of work here.  It’s kinda sad to see a lot of people be less active because they are working on Sunday or whenever they can.  It’s so hard for them. 

          We got to go to a root beer tasting activity for the Elders Quorum on Thursday and 3 of our investigators and a couple less actives showed up too!  But nobody showed up to church.  It is so sad.

          We had exchanges on Wednesday and it was awesome because I was matched up with Elder Steers who is basically the best parts of me, Michael and Mathew put all in one.  It was fun.  He's into military stuff and is going to be a police officer.  He knows all these military tactics and was doing this Boy Scout type thing (forgot what it is called) with the police that I actually thought about doing.  He is dyslexic and knows how to take things apart and put them back together and do crazy stuff with it.  I can only take things apart and put them back together.  He also does BMX and stuff and on our way to a less actives' house he "made" or "found" a down hill track.  I wiped out.   It was so funny.  I wiped out cuz my center of gravity is so high.  My bike is so tall and all the reflectors are keeping me from lowering my seat and stuff.  It was so fun.  We were just riding our bikes around Little Mexico all day.  I really need a pocketknife.  I feel so unprepared and I have to use other elders’ knifes all the time.  I really will if I’m sent to a biking area.  As we were riding we found a pile of discarded watermelons on the side of the road.  We cut them all open and only one was ripe and it was really little, but it was a nice treat on a hot day.  So I’m probably going to pick one up here to use.  

          This week has had its ups and downs.

Monday, August 4, 2014

I'm Getting VERY TAN

          Well, I am delighted to report that Elder Bailey replied in many more words this week, complete sentences and even multiple paragraphs!  Hurray!  We have a lot more information this week because he sent a handwritten letter (including his physical address), an email to his father and his mother, and even one to Aunt Barbara Acheson!  This is great!

The following are excerpts from those sources:

"I was tricked into doing a bunch of paperwork (that never needed to be done) and that's why my last email was so short.  It was pretty funny, in hindsight.

Elder Jackson, my trainer, is from Raymond, Alberta, Canada.  He reminds me of Jake, a lot.  He has been out 9 months and has spent 6 months in our area. We are not in a member's home.  We are 4 missionaries to our 3 bedroom, 2 bath, comfortable house.  I am the youngest in the house.  The ages are 26, 21 & almost 20.  Elder Montouto is from Uruguay.  He is 26 and is a month older than Matt.  He came out with me.  I was the travel leader.  His companion is Elder Duval from Alaska.  
Looking forward to my mission

We have a crazy small area.  We have half a neighborhood which means it's about half a square mile - about twice the size of our ward in Provo.  We are doing a lot of less active member work, and have a couple of investigators, and a couple of referrals that we haven't gotten to meet with yet.  The people we are teaching are just plain "lazy" and "forget" to come to Church and our investigators don't pray or read so they aren't getting anything out of our lessons and so we can't move on.

A couple of less actives have started coming to church again and it is so awesome.  Our main investigator isn't praying or reading so he isn't getting anything out of our meetings with him.  It's so sad because we have gotten through the first 2 discussions with him and we can't move on to the commandments.  He really won't believe us if we do, and he is just not praying to know.  It's sad.  

I like everybody and I haven't met anyone I didn't like.  I'm getting VERY TAN.  I got tired of putting on sun screen after day 3 and so I'm very tan now, not burnt, not even close to burnt, but very tan. 

I also need you to send me some light grey or blue pants.  There is nothing wrong with my black pants. It's just too hot to wear them.

To Aunt Barby

"It's been good here and stuff.  Chase and I have been writing each other and it has been fun."

                                                                  ---Elder Bailey

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Most Succinct Email Ever!

"We have our own house, area very small, and we have investigators. Elder Jackson is comp. It is very hot."

So typical of Mitch -- this is more like a quick text than an email message.  I wonder if he is just testing my patience.  His older brother Michael sent letters from his mission in Brazil in long hand that were rather short, but they were still measured in paragraphs.  Next older brother Matthew sent short emails (measured in sentences, at least) from his mission in Ogden (Spanish Speaking - it was a foreign mission, we lived in Maryland at the time), but packed with information.  Mitchell on the other hand, gets the prize for the shortest email -- twenty words in total.  Oh, I do hope he finds more to say or this will be a very cryptic blog!  I bet he's getting a laugh out of my reaction, though.  He promised that his emails would be super short.  He's proved it!

Pictures from Arrival in Gilbert

These were posted on the Arizona Gilbert Mission Blog for July 2014.  How nice that the mission staff see that pictures are posted as proof that our missionaries are safe and well!  Good news for mom!

Coming off the plane

Pulling handcarts across the plains!

With President Natresse

Seven new Elders to the mission

Elder Bailey with Pres. and Sister Natresse

Meeting my bike!