Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting stuck and working through it

After about five months in Buffalo, Christopher has been transferred to a small town called Arcade.  Christopher really enjoyed serving in Buffalo and he and his companion were doing really well there.  But his companion was called to help train a new Spanish speaking Elder.  When I say Spanish speaking, apparently this new Elder only speaks Spanish.  For that reason, the mission President needed a Spanish speaking trainer and Christopher's former companion filled the need.  Christopher told us that even though Arcade is a very small town, he really likes it there and also really likes his new companion.  The only problem is that his new companion goes home at the end of the transfer so they will only serve together for about six weeks.  This will be Christopher's fourth companion in four transfers. 

The other big news besides the transfer is that Christopher finally has a car.  For the past year he has served in areas where their only mode of transportation was by foot.  The interesting thing about this car is that it is actually a truck.  But not just any old truck, it is a 4x4 truck.  Christopher said that this is really fortunate especially due to the fact that this area of New York gets a lot of snow during this time of year.  When you combine that with the fact that there are a lot of country roads that they have to travel from time to time, a 4x4 truck will really come in handy.  Speaking of snow, it sounds like not a lot of snow has fallen so far this year.  Christopher told us that they got a little bit of snow a few weeks ago but since then it had warmed up and turned into mud.  I guess the 4x4 truck will probably do well in the mud also.   Then again, maybe not.

In a recent letter about a week ago, Christopher said that he and his companion teamed up with some kids from their branch on exchanges.  That day it just happened to snow quite a bit and the branch member that Christopher teamed up with, was driving.  They were both headed down one of the country roads outside of town when this kid from the Branch who was driving, turned to point out a "Dead End" sign.  Before they knew it, they were off the road and into a ditch.  Apparently the car was stuck so deep off the side of the road that there was no way that they were going to get it out without some help.  Both Christopher and the Branch member decided that it would be best to try to walk back to a house that they had seen.  It turned out to be about a two mile walk before they finally arrived at the house where they were able to ask for some help.  Luckily the owner of the house had a big enough truck to pull them out of the ditch and send them on their way.  Then to cap all of that off, Christopher went on an exchange with these same kids from the branch about a week later.  There must be some bad luck going on here or maybe there is some kind of lesson to be learned, but here they were a week later stuck in a ditch again on an unplowed snowy road.  This time they were in the 4x4 truck which was having problems staying in 4-wheel drive.  After several attempts to travel down the country road in a truck whose 4-wheel drive capability was in question, they finally gave up, turned around and went home. 

Christopher told us that there are some real advantages to living out in the country.  Some of those advantages include good food and a lot of it.  What he meant by that is that many of the members of the branch live on farms with chickens, pigs and maple trees.  Christopher said that the members have given them a ton of free eggs, bacon and a load of maple syrup.  In fact he told us that next month they are going with one of their investigators to tap 400 maple tree.  That sounds like a once in a life time opportunity for Christopher, who comes from an area of the country where those kinds of maple trees just don't exist.

Christopher has told us several times over the past couple of weeks that he really likes it in his new area in Arcade.  In fact he told us that he has become a real hit with the ladies in the area.  Well, at least with the ladies under the age of eight years old. Apparently several mothers of these young ladies have told Christopher that their daughters have a crush on him.  In fact one of the little girls herself told Christopher that right to his face.  Christopher said that one night he and his companion were at this girl's house eating dinner with her family.  After dinner Christopher and his companion presented a little lesson to the family and then played a game of hangman.  Throughout the night this little girl would make sure that she got the seat right next to Christopher.  Then during the game of hangman this little girl started edging closer and closer until at one point Christopher could feel this little hand on his shoulder.  He then quickly glanced over at this little girl, caught her eye and immediately she pulled her arm way as if she were shy and a little embarrassed.  According to Christopher, this little girl is anything but shy.  Christopher got a good laugh out of this and figures that this probably won't be the last time this little girl makes a move. 

Time is really starting to fly by for Christopher.  He told us that he and his companion have been teaching a lot of lessons and just working hard as missionaries.  He recently sent us sever pictures of some of the people who he had been teaching and have been baptized.  He said that the days just all seem to merge together and that sometimes it is hard to remember everything that has happened over the past week because it is just filled with so many different experiences every day.

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