I did receive a package from Grandpa and Grandma Hull this week! I will send a photo of my Christmas packages in another email. It does feel like I've been out for a while. I feel like I'm actually starting to get a handle on this whole missionary thing, and this whole district leader thing. I'm starting to strike a balance, and I'm starting to get into a groove. Now, this doesn't mean I'm perfect. I still struggle with getting up on time, exercising, eating breakfast, taking short showers, and getting to studies perfectly on time, but I've found that while perfection is impossible, what really matters is how hard you try to get there. I have also gained a clearer view of what missionary work really is, and what it entails. I have gained a huge appreciation and love for service. It truly truly truly opens the hearts of people and prepares them to hear the gospel. Service is the beginning of truly changing someone's life for the better. I think that's one of my biggest pieces of advice for Spencer and anyone else preparing to go on a mission. Service brings about miracles when it is performed in faith.
Elder Payne's surgery is scheduled for this Friday, and we hope that he'll get back within the next week. Prayers his way couldn't hurt. For now I'm still with the English Elders. When we're tracking out by Inwood, it's hard to find people because they're almost all Jews out there. We just look for Christmas lights ;)
We do have an all-mission Christmas devotional on Christmas Eve. Our zone will be singing an arrangement of Silver Bells. Our arrangement will be making fun of a little black box called Tiwi. Now, in the most recent Megazone Conference, at which I played the piano, all the mission cars were given little black boxes. They are wired into the diagnostic plugin, and tell the mission how fast you are going, if you have your seatbelt buckled, when you accelerate too fast or brake too hard, and when you either catch air or hit a pothole too hard. WE HATE TIWI!!! Basically, Tiwi records the information, but nobody really looks at it. What matters more is that each road has a set speed limit, and if you go ten over, it yells at you and gives you a few seconds to slow down, or it'll be recorded. Now, that'd be ok, but here in NY the flow of traffic is, like, 15-20 over the speed limit. Heck, Grandmas and school busses are passing us all the time, and we get tailgated and passed on double yellows regularly! We're going to tell President Reynolds pretty soon.
I'll send you a picture of the packages after I get home from the temple tomorrow.
All my love,
Elder Richard Brandt Hull