Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Big gooey donut monster

Time just keeps flying by.  It seems like I just wrote on this blog and here it is a couple of weeks later and more news from Alex.  Alex has been in Manhattan KS, for about 7 months now.  Over that time he has had a lot of great successes as well as other great experiences.  He wrote us this last week and sounded a bit nervous because transfers are coming up soon and he doesn't want to leave Manhattan.  Everywhere that Alex has served has been great but so far Manhattan has been his dream area.  There are probably a lot of reasons for that which include the members of the ward, the people that Alex has taught and baptized, being there for 7 months as well as also being the places where some of his relatives lived and grew up.  Even though transfers come up in just over a week, we probably won't hear anything for at least a couple more weeks. 

Alex told us all about another great experience that he recently had during an area conference.  Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy visited the Wichita area recently and of course all of the missionaries who are serving near there were able to attend a special missionary conference.  Alex said that about an hour before the conference actually started, he and several of the other zone leaders were able to meet with Elder Pearson for a special training meeting.  Alex described it as being a once in a lifetime experience to be taught on almost a one-on-one basis by a member of the Seventy.  He also told us that he learned a lot from that special experience as well as from the rest of the conference.  Alex said that Elder Pearson was very blunt in telling the missionaries exactly what needed to happen in their mission.  He gave the missionaries a lot of valuable information that should help them make some changes and experience even more success. 

We have only heard bits and pieces of this next story so I am going to try to fit some of the pieces together and see how it turns out.  For the last couple of months, the Young Men's presidency in the Manhattan Stake have been planning a special mini missionary activity for the young men.  This activity actually took place about two weeks ago in which many of the young men actually got to spend a couple of days with the missionaries while they went through a regular day as a full time missionary.  As it turned out, part of this activity actually carried over into the regular missionary P-day.  Because of that, the normal P-day was switched to Tuesday rather than Monday so that the young men could spend Monday working and tagging along with the missionaries.  Of course we didn't know what the plan was and were wondering all day Monday why we hadn't heard from Alex like we normally do on a P-day.  Anyway, once we finally did hear from Alex, he told us that the young man that he was suppose to pair up with, didn't show up.  But that didn't bother Alex.  He went and found another young man to pair up with and share the missionary experience.  Alex and his companion had been visiting with one of the families that they are currently teaching and talked their 15 year old son into joining them for the mini mission activity.  They found an old suit that happened to fit the young man that one of the former missionaries in the area had left behind.  Through this activity, this young man was able to meet the mission president, the Stake president, the young men's president as well as all of the other young men in the Stake.  I'm sure that after meeting all of those "presidents" and hanging out with the missionaries, he must have thought that everybody in the church is either called "Elder" or "President".  From what we heard about this activity, it all went really well and the young men in the Stake came away with a good understanding of what missionary life is like.

Alex included in pretty funny story in his last letter that he said would be even funnier when we get the pictures.  We actually did receive some pictures from Alex this last week, but apparently the picture that Alex is talking about in this story must have happened after he sent home his memory card.  Alex has always really loved little kids and we have seen videos that he has sent home where he plays games with some of the families and then rewards the winners with Klondike bars, cookies or some other type of goodies.  Alex started out this story by telling us that each week he and his companion go to one of the Ward member's homes for a weekly correlation meeting (I'm assuming that this Ward member is the Ward mission leader).  The Ward member that they meet with has some young kids so before they start their correlation meeting, Alex and his companion conduct a room inspection to make sure that the kids are obeying their parents and keeping their beds made and rooms clean.  Then if they pass the room inspection, they are rewarded with some kind of treat.  So before they arrived, Alex and his companion stopped by the store on the way to their correlation meeting to pick up the reward.  They decided that they would treat the kids to some giant donuts.  These donuts weren't just any old giant donut, they were the kind that were HUGE.  Once they got to the family's house and before they were able to conduct the room inspection, the littlest child (about 1 1/2 years old), reaches into the box of donuts and picked out the largest one of the dozen.  Alex said that this donut was so big that it was basically the size of this child's head.  One of the funniest things was that even though the donut was obviously too large for a kid this size, this little 1 1/2 year old almost ate the entire thing.  But there came a point when the donut was just too much to handle and finishing it off just wasn't going to happening.  I'm sure you can picture this whole event in your head even without the picture that Alex has promised to send.  Seeing this tiny little mouth biting into this huge donut while the rest of her face is hidden behind nothing but mounds of sticky, gooey glaze.  YUM...

So as promised, here are a few pictures that Alex recently sent home. 

Here's the whole district. 
Just looking at them you can tell that they are all out-"standing" in their field.

Watch out Elder.  Remember Eve was tempted by a serpent too.

Alex with his Aunt and Uncle during their visit to Manhattan

That's our boy!! 

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