Monday, June 8, 2015

Almost home...(the last letter from Mom)

Dear Braiden,

I cannot believe that in less than three days you will be home! I don't think I will really believe it until I see you at the airport...and maybe not even then!

I know your dad wrote a long letter, in anticipation of me not having time to I will make this short. It is 2:11 am and I am still up working away.

Just a couple of items of advice...look around everywhere and make sure that you have everything you need. Look hard...I know you. Cameras, memory cards, journals, etc etc...the important stuff. And, sleep on the plane! I know you will be tempted to talk the ear off of the person sitting next to you, but they probably want to sleep too, and it is a looonnnngggg flight! And look so handsome...that won't be hard...but choose a lovely American tie with some color, instead of some of those charity shop finds you have picked up, and do your hair good. Maddie wants you to be so handsome when she sees you. We have a picture of you and Elder Munson at the temple, on the board at church, and everytime we walk by she says how beautiful your hair looks. We want the airport pics to be fabulous. And don't cry too much. I know that's rich coming from a cry baby like cry if you want!

Now that it's over, 2 years seems to have flown by...I cannot believe it. You have made us so proud.

I love you so much. Have a safe flight!

Love, Mom

Monday, June 1, 2015

"I didn't even think that I had hair on my ears..."

Dearest Mother Dearest,

You know me far too well. Of course, if I don't copy the questions, I'm going to forget to answer half of them. So, I'll dispense with the questions first, and then I'll carry on with my usual ramblings.

1. First of all, I was interested in when you would be traveling to the mission home before your flight? Do you head up there a day or two early, or just on Wednesday, when you leave? Make sure you don’t forget anything!

I'll be going to the temple on Monday afternoon. We'll have interviews, do a session or two, and we'll be going to President and Sister Millar's for dinner, and then they'll take us to the airport on Wednesday, and I'll sit in an enclosed space for a long time, go to Texas (I've never wanted to go to Texas), and then come party it up with you guys.

2. Do you need me to make a haircut appointment for when you get home?

Not necessary. I went to a Turkish barber this morning. It was great. He took a flaming q-tip and burned all the hair off my ears. I didn't even think that I had hair on my ears. I guess I definitely don't any more. How's it look?

3. We are planning on having an open house on Saturday night, the 13th, are you good with that? Also, Tay submitted his mission papers last Wednesday night, so there is a good chance that his call will arrive by then. Do you mind if we have a “Coming and Going” party where he could open his call that night as well? I don’t want you to have to share the night, if you don’t want to.

THAT WOULD BE SO COOL. Honestly? I'd love to have that. That's so much more exciting than me coming home. Taylor must open his call then. Well, he doesn't have to, but if he wants to, that would be suuuuuuper fun.

4. Other than the usual family and friends from church, is there anyone else you would like me to invite to your Open House?

Umm... Hmm, Nick, and Kayla, Patty, any of the Young Men (and Young Women I guess) in the ward/stake that you think could benefit from it, Ben Syphus probably can't make it, but I think it'd be good for him too, Andrew from next door, and anyone else.

5. Is there anything you need right when you get home, that I could get ahead of time?

A job, a girlfriend, and lots of horchata. Ha, just kidding. I can't even think of anything... I'll be able to go get most of the stuff I need over that next week, like normal-person clothes, and the rest. So, I'm not too bothered, really.

6. For you Homecoming on Sunday, did you decide if you wanted to do a musical number or not? It doesn’t matter to me, but I should probably ask someone to play the piano if you do want to. If not, I think Sister Findlay has been wanting Kate to play a duet with her, so we can also do that.

Thinking about it, as much as I love performing, I hate a one-man show. So, if Kate and Sister Findlay want to duet, that's fine by me.

7. I know I had more questions than that, but now I cannot remember. Is there anything you think I should know or do or anything???

Honestly Mom, there's not much I need... So long as I have you guys around, I'll be happy. Or, as happy as a missionary who has to leave a country, people and work he loves can be.

Alright, updates... This week was a pretty decent one. We raised a lot of expectations, and saw a ton of benefit from it. I'll share with you one miracle that we had that was particularly poignant from that. On Wednesday, we went out with Chris from the ward to go to a few appointments. We had two that evening that we were really looking forward to. So, we show up at the first appointment, and no one answers...  We decide to go around the corner to someone who was formerly being taught by the Sister missionaries. He wasn't home, but his sister-in-law was. We taught her on her doorstep for a few minutes, as she was trying to take care of the kids, and then got her details so that the Wandsworth Elders can start teaching her. Miracle #1.

Seeing as we had some extra time between appointments, and no one had eaten dinner yet, and I still hadn't gone out for a birthday dinner, I took Elder Fifita and Chris out to a noodle bar that had been recommended us. As were sitting there, a large Fijian man came and sat down with us. Elder Fifita worked his Polynesian magic, and twenty minutes, later, we had taught him about the Restoration. Boom, Miracle #2.

Then, we're hurrying to our appointment, and we see a woman who skipped an appointment with us a few days ago sitting next to a building. So, we stopped to ask her if she was alright. We resolved a lot of her concerns, set a baptismal date with her and met with her a few days later again. The other appointment didn't turn out, either, but we saw such great things from it.

We had to cut a few things we wanted back, though, as Elder Fifita's headaches are getting pretty bad again... They've been going straight for the three months we've been together, often accompanied by illness, so that's been worrying... We're going to see a doctor in Reading tomorrow about it all.

Not much else to report, honestly. I'll just catch up with the rest of it all next week.

Love you!

- Elder Green