October 21st 2013
It is strange that I have been out for 2 months. It hasn't seemed too long in some ways, but in other ways it has been a huge expanse of time. I did get the package. Thank you so much for that. Mail is always very welcome and I also needed that new belt. I activated the new debit card this morning. The candy was good too :) Thank you for the news about Highland. I have wondered how they are doing. I'm glad everything went well getting Britton to the MTC. I sent him a letter last Monday, so hopefully he got it on Thursday or Friday. That's too bad you haven't heard from him yet, but I imagine you will soon. I did send Aunt Susan a thank you. I am really glad things are going well for the family and all of you. Our trunk or treat is this Saturday too and we are trying to get investigators to come to it. Several of them who haven't come to church yet have shown interest in the activity, so that might turn out pretty well. It has been pretty cold this week, but there have been some warm days as well. Our ward mission leader thought we needed to know two important bits of news, so he told us that (1) the government shutdown is over and (2) there is a new Harry Potter movie in the works based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. You guys probably know all about it, but it was news to me :) Things are going fine with our investigators. D. is still working toward baptism. She came and watched a baptism with us in one of the other wards on Saturday. We see her later today to teach her another lesson. Hopefully we can keep her on track for November 9th. We are working with a couple of part member families. One of them we found on the ward list and tried to contact. They told us they would be busy for a month because they were getting married, but after that month we got in contact with them and they have been pretty solid. One of the other families we found by accident. Their records weren't even in the ward. He was baptized when he was younger, but he doesn't really remember much about the church. Our goal is to help her get baptized and reactivate them. They have a baby boy who is only about 7 weeks old.
We got to go to a special leadership training last night with Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy. All the Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and District Leaders got to go. I got to tag along since Elder Loosli is the District Leader. It was really good. Elder Robbins taught us a lot about the relationship between Responsibility and Agency and how there is no room for excuses of any kind in any situation. He said that when we shift responsibility, even if a problem wasn't our fault, we give up any control over possible positive outcomes in the situation. It was really profound and I am going to have to try to apply it to my life. Things are still sometimes hard, but they are sometimes really good. I hope things go well there at home. I love you all. Thanks for everything.
Elder Ethan Schow