17 October 2011
For Virginia Beach, we participated in a stake-wide disaster clean up. The city has been really slow in cleaning up the left over green waste storm damage from the hurricane. I got one up on the vest though. I now own a Mormon Helping Hands t-shirt. It was fun - if dirty - work as we picked up trailer loads of green waste and hauled them to the dump. Most of it was unfortunately moist and dripping wet (and thereby smelled horrid) from the couple days of rain we'd had before the day of the project.
Unfortunately, I am still technically a "greenie" for about three more weeks. The greenie period is your first two transfers (roughly 12 weeks). However, I have gotten much better about speaking up in lessons and (though I still hate them) can sometimes take the lead in door approaches.
So, I can't remember ever seeing as many military personel in one place as I have around here. Every other person you talk to seems to be either a sailor or a marine. Though I suppose it makes sense. Included in our stake boundaries (and since we cover the YSA branch our proselyting boundries) are Norfolk Naval Station, Little Creek Amphibious Base, Oceana Naval Air Station, and at least three other bases that I can't remember the names for. Unfortunately we are not allowed on base. However, we have a wonderful senior missionary couple, the Flakes, who are stationed near us as "Military Relations" missionaries. So we're starting to work closely with them to help us reach out to those military personel that we wouln't be able to visit otherwise.
And now that I've given a little about how things are going, I can spare some time to answer your questions. Yes, I got the package, glow-glasses, tinsel, and candy (which is slowly being dispersed amongst my companions). Every morning (except Sunday) I've begun a regimen of 30 sit-ups, 30 push-ups, 20 repetitions of a small calf excercise, 30 tricep-dips, 10 squat thrusts, basic stretches, and sometimes adding in a few karate drills or another small excercise all of which takes about 20-25 minutes. For meals, we mostly do our best to cook for ourselves. Breakfast is usually eggs or bagels or something along those lines, then lunch and dinner are whatever we feel like cooking, or whatever we're served if we have a dinner appointment with a member. We do our best to avoid eating out, and are doing remarkably well about keeping all five of us fed for about $60-70 a week on groceries (we also shop under "law of consecration" where we all split the cost as evenly as possible). As for who does the cooking, it kind of swaps off. Sometimes one person will make something for everyone, sometimes two or three of us will work on something, and sometimes its every man for himself. Every companionship gets a copy of each Ensign. However, if there are extras, I usually try to keep one. If I ever need a copy of one, I'll let you know.
I can't currently think of anything for the ward newsletter. Except maybe that I would recommend that every member should own and study from a copy of Preach My Gospel. It helps so much when the members are missionary minded. Also, the same counsel applies to youth preparing for missions. I wish I'd done more studying from PMG before I came out as it outlines everything you need to know. Just be missionary minded. Always look for chances to share the gospel. Pray for missionary miracles, then seek them out. Think of people that you could refer to the missionaries. The role of the members in missionary work is indescribable.
Elder John Y. Roberts