He was at his Mission Presidents house so we called him there. We had a hard time getting through at first because he gave us the wrong number! He had called earlier to set everything up and gave me the number but I kept getting an answering machine in Portuguese. Then I looked on the caller ID from when he had called and used the number he had called from and that was it. It was way off - CRAZY! It was a very tense few minutes!
It was great to hear his voice he sounded so happy. The first thing he said was how HOT is was down there. We quickly told him that we had 8 degrees with the windchill of -23. He about died with that. He said he just knows he's going to get sick as soon as he gets home. He said he is well and has not been sick and that he's going to relish the heat while it lasts. He really has been blessed to not be sick his entire mission. (knock on wood) We talked about bringing a coat to the airport for him. He's going to give away quite a bit of his clothing before he comes home. He swapped Sister Myrrha for a suit. He left the one he bought at the thrift shop here in town for one she had. I said, "Is is white with black pinstripes?" (That's for you Huffakers!) He said it is brown with white pinstripes! Sounds just like a Jed suit.
We all said hello and when he heard Ben's voice he said, "What the man voice!" It was hilarious. Ben had this plan to not talk to him and surprise him at the airport but he just couldn't stand it and had to talk to his brother. Jed also commented on how much Annie's voice had changed. Wait until he sees her! YIKES! He said after that that he was looking forward to seeing everyone with TERROR!
We talked about his English this phone call as opposed to Mother's Day and it was definitely better this time having had American Companions for the past couple of transfers. We really noticed a difference.
He is bringing us all Haviana's. These are Brazilian flip flops. He got a new pair for Christmas and he loves them! He said he has a pair for a year and they are still going strong. So I'll send him sizes and we'll have new flip flops in February! Just in time for -30 below! ha ha! Oh yea I guess Oprah loves Haviana's at least that's what someone told him. We had never heard of them.
He had a great experience walking to the Presidents house yesterday for Christmas. He and his companion Elder Wilson were walking past a funeral home and a Sister that is a member called to them and told them that there was a man who had passed away and he was a member and she could not get a hold of any of the priesthood in the ward/branch to come and speak at his funeral. So Elder Breinholt and Elder Wilson went and gave a small message and said a prayer. He said it was such a spiritual experience.
In the evenings he and Elder Wilson go out and teach. He said that they are working with some great families right now. The inner city branch where they are is small had has new members. The area is really hard to find people to teach so they feel really blessed with the families that they have found. The church is so new down there that they need strong members to help them become stronger units. He talked about how he has learned how to be a good ward member when he gets home to strengthen the ward. He is concerned that some of his converts have gone inactive. He knows they have their agency but he worries that maybe he didn't teach them right. We could tell that it was a real concern for him.
Being in the office has given him a great appreciation for the Church and that they invest in technology to helps the work go forward.
He is so excited for everyone in the church to study Gospel Principles this year in Relief Society and Priesthood Meeting. He said all of us need to review the basics of the Gospel so it will be good for the new member as well as the life long members to study it the next 2 years.
He asked his Dad how being the Bishop is. Tracy said, "It's more that I ever thought it would be. In both the good and the bad things." Ben said it was hard on all of us because he's gone so much. Tracy is a great Bishop and we support him however we can.
He talked about Elder and Sister Lang of Lovell, WY. They recently went home and he loved them. We told him that the Comer's (Our former Stake President and his wife that left on their mission to NY NY South Mission about 6 weeks before Jed) returned and spoke on December 13th. They served a 2 year mission. Sister Comer was his Seminary Teacher and he was excited to hear about them.
He bore such a strong Testimony of how much he has loved his mission and how much he has changed because of it. He said that he really went on a mission relying on Faith, thinking that it was going to be a permanent p-day. He spent a lot of time with our missionaries here in Gillette before he went and he knew it would be hard work but nothing like it has been. He said that his mission is by far the hardest thing he has ever done. His knowledge of the Gospel has increased so much and he is so grateful for that. He said he has seen part of his Patriarchal Blessing be fulfilled.
We told him how blessed we feel because of his service and thanked him for going and serving an honorable mission. The blessings that have come our way have been innumerable. I told him that I pray everyday and thank my Heavenly Father for allowing us the privilege of supporting Jed on his mission and thanking Him for the blessings He has sent our family because of it.
He talked to Annie and told her not to become a teenager and to, "Snap out of it and remember that everything Mom and Dad tells you is right!" (one of those pay back times as a parent) Annie is a great no she's an AWESOME daughter, she is just a girl with the occasional teenage daughter mouth!
We talked about some of the things he's excited for. He really wants Ben to get into Rock Climbing with him. And he has discovered Slacklining which is basically walking a tight rope between trees. SCARY!
Monday will be his Christmas Activity for the Mission so they will have p-day on Tuesday. They will have a spiritual message and then food, games and presents. Tracy asked him if he has developed into a soccer player and he quickly said, "NO I do not like playing soccer!" He never has.
He will be transferred next week out of the office and he's excited for that. He thought that he and Elder Wilson would be staying together but it looks like they won't now. He's ok with with. He and Elder Wilson get along great and he's excited to see him when he gets home. He is from Salt Lake. There are a few Missionaries from Davis County that are there Elder Taylor from Sunset and Sister Quist and Elder Ball from Layton. They all want to have a Davis County reunion when they all get home.
He can't believe that his mission has gone by so fast. He asked us if it has gone by fast for us and of course the answer is, YES! It has gone by so fast. Everyone told me that the first year would go by fast but the second would be slow. NOPE! Both have flown by for me.
Well that's about it. I'm sure my notes were not complete but this has turned into a long post!
We love you all that keep up reading about Jed's Mission! Thanks and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We did!