Hi Mom, how is everything going? It was good talking to you for a little bit, I'm sorry that I couldn't talk for longer though. And hi to Stephen, Heather, Megan, Dad (Kitten, Isuppose), Mother, Big, Grandma, Cami, Ruthy, Kurt and Lisa, and anyone else who might read this.
So this is my second full day in my mission area! Apparently my P-days will be on Saturdays for at least the next 5 or 6 weeks. Every 6 weeks is the transfer cycle, so I could be staying in the same area or going somewhere else, depending on what the mission president decides. I could stay in the same area for months and months, or get moved around every transfer or two, you never really know.
Just so you know, I'm serving in the Holland area, which is due west of lansing and right at the shore of Lake Michigan. Our apartment is a few miles from the lake so I haven't seen it yet, but its a pretty interesting little area. You can probably look it up to learn more about it, if you want to. Our address is12241 Millrun Ct. Holland, MI 49424 Not yet verified--RLNC]. I think. I don't actually know it yet, so I asked my companion because he is better at remembering things like that, and he said that thats what he thinks. The zip code could be a little off though.
My trainer is a pretty cool Elder. His name is Elder Merrell, and he's from Kenowick, Washington. He actually only has about 3 months left on his mission, he's been out here for a while. Its pretty cool because he was actually an Assistant to the President for the last few months, but President Jones assigned him to be a trainer before he left for someone in my group of incoming missionaries, and the day before yesterday when he made assignments it turned out that he was assigned to me. So I'm pretty blessed to have a companion as experienced as Elder Merrell. He's pretty cool, though we're still just getting to know each other. He's a little more quiet at first, but I think once we get to know each other better that we'll be pretty good friends. He's really into sports, which is too bad because I don't follow specific teams as much, but we do have a lot in common. We've both been to BYU and currently have declared majors in Mechanical Engineering, although he's thinking about switching to Exercise Science and Physical Therapy when he gets back. But I think it'll be great serving with him. He's already taught me a lot, and I'm starting to get into the rhythm of everything.
Since we first got here, we've mostly been setting things up and then going through the Area Book, which contains all the missionary-related records for everyone in the area, to try and assess where things are now. So far we haven't had much success actually getting in touch with investigators and less active members and visiting them, but we did go door-knocking yesterday at a few apartment buildings. That was a pretty cool experience. We spent a few hours at it and in the end we ended up having about 4 Quality Gospel Conversations, which mean that we talked to someone and they agreed on a specific time for us to come back and teach them a lesson. So that was actually pretty good success for my first full day. In fact, one of the four was the very first door that we knocked on! That was encouraging and kind of fun, I'll have to go back and take a picture of that door sometime. For dinner we ate at a member's house, Sister Chavez. She is a grandmother, and she had a son who was there but he was asleep because he is a police officer at night. She moved from Mexico about 2 years ago, so she made us diffrent Mexican foods. It was really good, and she spoke English well enough that we could talk to her about different things. She also had a 5-year old granddaughter who was there, and then a friend who was a college student. It was nice talking to the three of them though, and Sister Chavez was very kind to us and generous. I'm thankful for that.
I should probably go soon, we're just on the library computers right now. Today will be a bit busy, we need to go shopping and buy some food and cleaning supplies. The previous missionaries who lived in our apartment left it a mess, so we've spent some time over the last couple days cleaning it and organizing the missionary materials there. There is still a lot to do though, so we'll probably be spending at least a couple more hours cleaning everything today so it actually looks decent. Overall though, the apartment is pretty nice and perfect for what we use it for. Its well stocked with everything we need, and it even has a weight lifting set. I had the best nights sleep in a long time last night, I was pretty tired from the day. Just a minute after my head hit the pillow at 10:30 I was out, and I slept great all night until I got up at 6:30.
Ahhh... that was so nice. Especially after the MTC beds, which I made up a joke about (because I think I'm funny) I keep telling people that the land out here is almost as flat and hard at the beds at the MTC. No one really laughed when I said that though so I'll probably stop. But we also had another joke in the MTC in my district with the seven of us who were going to Michigan. When we found out how flat the land was most of us were pretty sad because we had always grown up around mountains or hills. I think all of us were from Idaho, Utah, California, or Arizona, except for one of my companions, Elder Gilson, who was from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We knew that once we got there we would miss the mountains, so we decided to use our faith like the Brother of Jared and move mountains, specifically Mount Timp down by Provo, over to Michigan with us. We're still working on that.
Michigan is pretty nice though. There is still a decent amount of snow here, but its starting to warm up and melt a bit, so there is a lot of slush. We just got some more snow last night and I think some more tomorrow, so Winter is definitely not over quite yet. We missed the worst of it though, apparently this winter, one of the months had record-breaking snowfall in some parts of Michigan. Anyway, the days are getting warmer, but I'm still wearing a coat or jacket around. The wind is pretty cold here. President Jones said that they call it a lazy wind, because instead of taking the time to go around you it just goes right through you. And when the sun isn't shining, it definitely does go right through you if you're not dressed right. from what I've seen of Michigan so far, it actually reminds me a lot of different areas in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Rigby, or maybe Pocatello. There are tons of small little towns, and they all run in together next to each other. So the whole area is sprawled out, but there aren't many taller buildings at all except for in the bigger cities. Apparently Holland is a pretty culturally diverse area. I'll have to tell you more about it as I spend more time here and learn more about it.
Anyway, I do need to go, but I hope things are going ok with everyone! Send me emails or letters anytime, and I'll email back next Saturday. I love you all, talk to you later!
Elder Trevor Casper