By | 5:11 PM
on Saturday I hit my 9 month mark. 
half way through.  can you believe that?  

I remember sitting in a Zone Conference when I was first out and listening to sister Shumway tell us about an elder who wrote her a letter and said he wish he hadn't wasted his first 4 months trying to figure out what he was doing.  he was sad because it took him 4 whole months to truly start his mission and to be happy and to teach with power and what ever.  
well, I was maybe 1 or 2 months out at the time and I remember thinking "cool, so I only need to get to 4 months and then things will be better or easier or something."  
well... 9 months is no different then 1 or 2.  I don't feel any different.  

but then, I just have to remember being in the MTC and the teachers making us role-play teaching the restoration and talking about apostasy or something, and I remember I couldn't do it!  I would cry and get frustrated.  I didn't know what words to say and how to put words all together.  
and then I think about this week, and all the lessons I taught.  I've taught the restoration and the apostasy 4 times over this week, not counting the faster overviews on peoples door steps in the cold.  I've given away 3 copies of the Book of Mormon and I've explained that book and how it came to be with such grace and ease, I almost surprised myself!  

nothing feels different until I'm teaching people... which I guess is why it's so important to stay busy and to teach people!  

this area is very slow... It's a tiny town in the middle of nothing Missouri.  
there is a senior couple here that handle most of the less-active families, which leaves us with tracting.  tracting, tracting and more tracting.  

so all these little first principles of the gospel are becoming very familiar to me, because it's all we teach.  if we can get in the door, we teach the restoration. if we don't get in the door we teach the restoration faster because it's super cold and snowing all the time lately.  

we've starting teaching a girl named Jamber.... she made us go walking with her yesterday.  we actually got to teach her the plan of salvation... and I drew a picture in the snow with my fingers.  
it never gets old to hear these people when we say they are not going straight to hell when they die.  you can see it light up in their faces.  they always knew that god loved them, and they always secretly wanted to hear that they are not lost to him.  Jamber got excited so fast, and asked questions and got down on her knees in the snow and started pointing at the circles and arrows I drew.  
the people out here seem to be so used to the fire and brimstone idea.  sin and go to hell.  the end.  there is no hope for them.
we talked to Jamber about temples and their role in the plan of salvation and she got even more excited!  "you mean I can be with my family forever?"  she asked.
"well, yeah.  why not?"  I said
she laughed and said "your right, why not!  God loves me!"
I don't want to be negative about it... but she isn't someone who can get baptized super soon... she has done a lot of bad things... and is still doing alot of them.  but just helping her to understand that hope is a real thing was a cool opportunity for me to feel that in my own life. 

and on a totally different note:  missiouri people have the WORST grammer ever!  and poor sister Burt has fallen into their poor speech and I am so nervous about doing so myself!  and, for some unknown reason, everyone out here puts an "S" on the end of walmart.  so it's not, "we need to go to walmart today." it's "we need to go to walmarts today."  what's with that?  

Happy Valentines day!
 sister Burt and I at Richards chicken farm.

Richard sorting the eggs at his chicken farm.... all the HUGE and super tiny ones go home with us :)  
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