Alright, here are the details. I think I've been in Valdosta for a little bit over a 2 weeks, and so far it's been such a good experience. It's been pretty rainy and cool the last few days, which has been kind of a bummer, since we can't really bike in the rain. Our area is super big; there are parts of it that I've never been to simply because it would be way too far to drive and we might not find anybody out there, out in Statenville or other areas.
I'm super surprised that I haven't gained any weight out here. Apparently that is one of the biggest problems here in the Florida Tallahassee mission because of the drippingly buttery food that everyone cooks down here. Thanks for the recipes that you sent, they should be super good. I am a bit peeved, though, because apparently Elder Lynch doesn't like tuna, and as soon as I read the recipe for supper sandwiches, my body started yearning to put one of those things in my stomach. Supper sandwich withdrawals.
Speaking of withdrawals, one of our investigators hasn't smoked in 6 days! We are super happy for him, good old Larry Johnson. He even held through after he dislocated his shoulder on Saturday when we were playing basketball. We are super excited for him and are hoping to move him towards baptism. He has been taught for a super long time, but he is finally making the changes in his life necessary to move towards baptism.
We made a baptismal date this week with a man named Sammy Hodge. Elder Lynch and I were looking through our old records and found him; missionaries had been teaching him off and on since 2008, but he was never baptized because his girlfriend had been living with him. But yeah, we are super excited for him and it should be good working with him.
I had my first companion exchange this week. I went up to Nashville, Georgia with Elder Hammond, who came to the mission field at the same time as me and was in Elder Beckstrom's MTC district. He gave me an update on Josh: apparently every morning, before they turn on the lights, they get their newspapers ready to smash as many cockroaches as possible and then flick the lights on. They don't have a car, so they have to carry all of their groceries back on their bikes, and he's in this little podunk town, Alma, Georgia, where I bet he lives a long ways from the nearest grocery store. We don't live in a palace, by any means, but our situation is way better than that. Elder Beckstrom, living the dream.
Even though things are really picking up here, I may or may not be staying in Valdosta for much longer. Transfers are a week from Wednesday, and since I am a visa waiter and everything, they might want to move me back to an area that is staying in the Florida Tallahassee Mission soon. Whoever is in the zone that I am currently in will be moving to the Macon Mission next transfer, so we will see. It's whatevs, I'm down to go wherever the Lord needs me. But I'm not gonna lie, things have really advanced here, and I would love to continue working with the investigators that we've found. I think that Elder Lynch and I have really figured things out. Our schedules are always full, we always have people to talk to, and the best part: no tracting. We didn't tract the entire week, and it was probably my most favorite week of the mission. Tracting is the worst, so I am glad that we've worked it out so that we can fill our time with more productive activities.
By the way, I'll be calling home for Mother's Day next week! I am pretty sure that I'll be able to Skype you all, so do you think that maybe Addie could bring over her computer and I could Skype the whole fam? Make sure that Jameson comes too, even though Ellie will be in Thailand. I will probably try you about 7 pm my time on Sunday, May 12, so if all of you could be at home, that would be perf.
Well, I love all of you, and hope that things are going well. Thanks for the recipes, I probably won't starve this week. We are being fed by the members a lot, which is awesome. Hopefully I'll gain 100 pounds before going to Brazil and then I can lose it all there when I contract some debilitating jungle sickness or parasite or something. That would be sick.
Love you all,
Elder Jon Hendrik Vawdrey