bit of a dead area for a long time, and the missionaries here, unfortunately, haven't been the most obedient or diligent. The result is an investigator pool and apartment that look great on the outside, but have been in dire dire need of cleansing. That's going to be the title for this transfer: "Deep deep clean." Actually, that's also our lingo for taking large amounts of laxatives, but this isn't in that sense. I cleaned under the stovetop where the burners are, and I don't think it's been cleaned even once in the five years our apartment has been rented by missionaries. I would wipe it with a paper towel, and it would come up looking like someone puked all over it. After lots and lots of bleach and blowing through seven steel wool pads and two and a half rolls of paper towels, I was able to get almost all of it up, although there were some spots that didn't come up. It'll do, though. We also cleaned out and scrapped things that should've been thrown out five years ago, including some mission contraband. It's
funny, because I've noticed a change about the house since we started cleaning (we're not done yet).
Last transfer there were a few nights where I just couldn't sleep, so I stayed up late drawing or writing or reading. When I was in a state to come to bed, I would turn off the light and grow scared. That's odd
for me, now. I haven't been scared of the dark for a long time, and there I was- so perturbed that I needed to pray and ask for Heavenly Father to send someone, be it a relative or guardian angel, anyone, to stay by my bed and watch over me until I could sleep, and while I slept. I dunno. I just felt a darkness in the house that I couldn't quite place until looking back. I'm sure it was the adversary at work. When I prayed I would definitely feel better, but now that we've been purging and cleaning, I've never felt that darkness again, and hopefully never will. The choices you make in your house can have a lasting effect on the place. In my studies I've learned that often ill-intented spirits linger in places where they committed sins, What's crazy, though, is that I could feel that presence- where only the missionary handbook had been violated. Just goes to show you how much Satan really doesn't want the work to move forward. Don't worry about me- I'm doing great, and once we get the apartment clean we're going to rededicate it, and that should take care of any lingering malefactors. It's just another part
of my mission adventure, and some food for thought.
We've been teaching like crazy, though. I'm convinced that we're going to work miracles this transfer, and change the reputation and work in this area forever. We taught nine lessons in two days, got 21 new referrals, contacted 10, and got six new investigators, with only seven total hours of teaching and travel time. We are rocking it (thanks to the Lord, of course). It's so fun- Elder Sundet was taught how to do a killer door approach by one of the best door approachers in the mission, but he needs a lot of help with his Spanish, and vice versa for me. We're helping each other out and playing with different
ways to teach short, powerful lessons that leave people wanting more. Our schedule is always jam-packed, and I'm finding more and more that I don't even have a whole lot of time to write. That's not a bad thing (for now, at least)! Hermano Haws is now our Branch Mission Leader, and we're going to kick some butt this transfer, and from now on! He's just so on top of things, and is so helpful with everything he does. The combination of missionaries and Mission Leader in this area is going to catapult Westbury to one of the most fruitful areas in the mission. I'm sure of it. For those of you who were wondering, Westubury now has three missionary companionships. I'm in my old pool, and Elder Cintrón opened a new one.
To answer dad's questions:
1. Yes, I did have the bacon hot coco, and while it smelled super smoky, it didn't really carry over to the taste, though.
2. I have actually been taking some pictures with my camera, it's just I haven't been able to send them. Now, there's room for improvement, but I am using my camera.
For your questions, mom:
1. Yes, I did get your Valentines package. I'm sorry it's taken a couple weeks to tell you. Not really sure what went wrong on that line of communication. I'll be better about it, I promise.
2. Yes, I'm managing to keep warm. I've had to start wearing my BYU sweater to bed, though.
3. Hmm... B-day gift... I think money would be great. I'd love to eat out at sushi for my birthday. I've honestly been so busy that I don't have a whole lot of time to use anything material you would send,
unless it's food or money. All the material things I could ask for, though, all the things on my wish list, are items for use off the mission anyway.
4. Yes, I did get the calendar, and I absolutely love it. It's fun to look and see how much Spencer and Madi have been growing and changing, and also look back to when I started my mission, and how far I have come.
It's cool to hear about Livy and Carlee. Yeah, they would send her to Japan :) I'll be sure to pray for Spencer as well. I'm already having to skip a few meals due to our workload, and I might be able to fast
as well, if he'd like me to.
We went to H&Y today- stocked up on stir fry ingredients, and I bought a set of metal chopsticks. They'll last longer, and they take more skill to use than wooden ones. We're both excited to cook Chinese, and I'm also excited to try out the noodles we bought. When we get paid for the month in a week, I'll get some ice cream, too, and make malts for the first time in 14.5 months! I'll share with the rest of my district, too. I actually just opened and finished the Lindt chocolate covered pretzel balls that you sent me- and they were super good!
Well, that's all from my end. I really really appreciate your prayers, and love and miss each of you back home.
All my love,
Elder Richard Brandt Hull