Monday, June 23, 2014

Blown up houses, a British Companion, and many other noteworthy news stories :)

Papa Bear,

Thank you for your letter! Any letter is exactly what I need, no matter the length :) Im glad y'all made it through the week of never ending food, I was worried! But it sounds like you will have some fun backpacking to look forward to! Cant wait to see pictures of that! My letter may not be very long either. There seem to be about a billion and a half missionaries here all at once trying to get to their emails from home. CRAZY! This week went really well. Sister Reynolds and I are getting along really well. I took your advice and observed and also served. I have found that loving people in or out of things is the most effective, however it takes a lot of time and effort on my part. Which, in the end is so worth it. We talked the other day just about how the Lord can't bless us and put the prepared in our path if we aren't doing all that is in our power to be worthy of that. It seemed to really help us get on the same page. On Tuesday we taught 7 lessons, 3 of which were member present lessons. The scripture study class that we teach seems to be gaining momentum and we have more and more people there every week! YAY! No efforts are wasted! On Wednesday we got to go to the temple. This month I went to the temple with gratitude instead of a question. I felt so happy just being there and being able to feel the spirit. We were able to go with Annie Pitts and Sister Pitts, it was WONDERFUL! :) I LOVE THE TEMPLE! I was able to see Sister Grenfell when we went, it was nice to catch up. She is finding lots of success in her new area and ward! On Saturday we had a ward activity that the missionaries were invited to go to. The whole previous week we spent time less active tracting and handing out fliers for the activity. On Saturday we had over 100 people at the ward activity! IT WAS AWESOME! A member in the ward is part of a band called the WannaBeattles. They performed and it attracted a lot of nonmember neighbors and friends! Every week I am just so thankful to be here in East Lake! Now for the funny part of the email. Since my companion is British I have been writing down all the interestingly strange things she says, here is what they were this week: Jabs, instead of shots. Zed, instead of saying just "Z" at the end of the alphabet. Trousers, instead of pants. In England pants are like underwear so that has made for some interesting conversations/misunderstandings... Garden, instead of back yard or any kind of yard or open grass field. And my favorite, CHEEKY! She says it all the time and I think its the most hilarious thing ever! For example, the other day we were picking up a member to go with us to an appointment and at her house there was this convert there who was helping her with some house problems. We got out of the car and he helped load her wheelchair in the back. He said to us, "Dang, if my missionaries looked like you two, I would have converted a lot sooner." #SUPERAWKWARD! Sister Reynolds looks at me with a horrified face and then grinned and said "Cheeky!" BAHAHAHA IT WAS SO FUNNY! Anyways, we ate dinner at a members house last night and as we were talking he mentioned living in Arizona! I asked him if he knew any Harwards and he said "Yeah, I knew a Rand Harward." (***Rand Harward is McKenzie's uncle***) They were MTC companions! He showed me a couple pictures of them together in the MTC and he said that he met the whole family in the airport before they left! So Brother Cottam has met mom!!!! CRAZY!!! It blew my mind! Well, I love you! I hope you have a GRAND week and I think you're the best! 

P.S. There was a house that blew up one road down from us, they still don't know what it was but it was pretty scary. We are all okay and all the insulation is cleaned up off of our house.

***I realize these aren't pictures of McKenzie, however, they are the pics she took of my brother, Rand, while he was in the MTC preparing to serve a mission in Uruguay, South America in the late 80's.**
Rand and Bro. Cottam
The guy on the right is the man whose house they were having dinner at this past week.  The world is a small place in the church.  Where there is usually 6 degrees of separation, in the church there seems to be 2. :)

This is what Rand still looks like today.  Not even kidding.  The kid is ageless. :)

I guess Rand broke his foot in the MTC and I must have forgotten?? 

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