Hey everyone, how is everything going? It’s been my first full week here in the Holland area, so I'm finally starting to get used to everything and get into the rhythm of missionary work. It’s been a pretty busy week though!
It’s still a little cold here. Some days are worse than others, but in general it’s been getting steadily warmer in the last week or so that I've been here. There's still a bit of snow, but it’s starting to melt now. If I'm here for the spring, people tell me that it's really pretty, especially here in Holland. Because of the Dutch influence, they have a Tulip Festival, and apparently there are thousands of tulips everywhere and there is a pretty big celebration every year. So that'll be interesting, if I'm here for that I will definitely have to say more about it. Right now though, we're just hoping for slightly warmer weather. I'm not too fond of all the slush.
The people here are interesting and pretty varied. Most people are white, but there are also quite a few Hispanics and good number of blacks (African Americans? If I'm white then they can be black) . Actually, between the members we've met and eaten dinner with and the people we've door-knocked into, I've met people from all over the country and the world. Earlier this week we ate at the house of some members who were originally Cambodian. It was a little difficult to understand the parents, but luckily their kids could speak English very well. We've come across all kinds of people door knocking too, including a few who couldn't speak English at all. There were even a couple people from India. With this mix of people comes all kinds of religions too. There are a lot of churches here of all kinds of denominations. I think I've probably counted at least 10 or 15 in this area alone so far, and I'm sure that there are more. Most are Christian, but we've also come across Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, and Hindu...ists. And a few Muslims. Apparently no Jews so far though. Other than that, that's about every major religion that I can think of.
We have a car full time, which is really nice. On the downside, we have limited miles that we can travel. Our allotment for this area is 1050 miles per month, which seems like a lot, but it really isn't. Especially when many of our investigators or the less-active members that we go visit live from several miles away to 20. It adds up really fast. To make things worse, Elder Merrell is the district leader, which means that we have to drive the car to do regular trade-offs every week. All in all, we only have an average of 22 miles to drive each day this month. Since one of our investigators who is progressing the most lives about 18 miles away, this is a problem. So we bought bus passes and we've started using those this week. They actually work really well for getting us around to most parts of the city. They're really time consuming to use, but it’s a lot better than walking everywhere. We're also working on getting rides from the members for some of our more distant visits.
The work is coming along. We're working hard, and hopefully things will start picking up now that we have a better grasp of the area and what's going on. Thanks to everyone who sent me letters and emails, I wish I could reply to them all right now but I have to run (we have an appointment in a few minutes), so I'll do it later. I'll keep everyone updated though. Let me know what's happening with you. Have a good week!
Love you all,
Elder Trevor Casper