I'll start off with the news about the new area first before I get to the difficult part. Kasson, Minnesota is a smaller town with a Branch that has about 20-30 members I guess. I wouldn't know because church was canceled yesterday due to the blizzard of 6 new inches on snow and the 1/4 inch of freezing rain that feel on top of that just yesterday morning. There's about 5,000 people in Kasson but we cover a couple smaller towns in the surrounding area. I was told last week before I transferred here that I'm cursed to be in "the sticks" all my mission because that's where I live back home. haha what people not from Hooper don't realize is that it's a smaller town but right next to civilization. We have a Wal-Mart five minutes away. Here in Kasson they have a Hardware Hank that has "most of what we need" haha. At least that's what Elder Russell told me. The nearest Wal-Mart is 20 miles away in Rochester, so we'll see if I can survive without it. ;) M., the one I taught in Menomonie, said that, "[I was] moving from a branch about to become a ward to a twig about to become a branch". I thought that was pretty funny! This area's a lot different than Menomonie. I would have never guessed when I first cam out that I would miss Menomonie like I have. It was a great area! The people there were awesome too! Elder Russell's a little different than either of my other companions that I've had. He's a good Elder we're just not as alike as Elder Katoa and I were. It'll be interesting these next few weeks. We'll just put it that way. We live with another member but it's not our own apartment like at the G.s, so that's an adjustment too. The guy we live with, L., is a member but his wife isn't. first thing he said to me the night I showed up was, "welcome to h***". (I decided to edit that for all of you.) So like I said it's just going to be interesting here in Kasson. haha
Now onto the tough part about Bishop Randall. I got a phone call from President Howell Thursday morning. I'm already kinda struggling trying to get used to this new area. He asked me how things were going and then said, "Elder. . .I've got some bad news for you. . .". My heart sank. I didn't know what to expect that he'd say next. A million different thoughts involving all my family members went through my head. What he did tell me that Mom had called and told him shocked me. I would have never expected that. I was outside while I was talking to him and I just started to cry. It was definitely hard to deal with. Especially in the given circumstances. Bishop Randall was a great man that I felt very close to. I'm going to miss him very much. His influence will be missed in the ward and in Hooper. I hope his family's doing well and it sounds like they are. I know these trials are all to help me grow. It may be tough but I know I can make it through the next little while. Like Mom said he would want me to keep focused and work hard. I'm trying to do just that for him. It's such a blessing to know this AMAZING Plan of Salvation that our loving Heavenly Father has for us!! The peace that come from this knowledge has been what's really helped at times like this. He's involved in a much greater work now.
Camie: Thanks for the info on everyone in Idaho. It made me laugh haha. Good luck with school! I expect at least 1 letter per week now. ;) Time is. . . not flying. It feels basically just the same as you and Mom. Hopefully it changes and I'm trying to do all I can to help that too. haha the picture of Brandt's face was great too. Now I see that he does look a lot like you. Maybe his face is like that and he looks so confused because of all the dives he's taken off the furniture.
Dad and Mom: Thank you for telling me the news Mom. It was hard but I'm glad to know. As for now just keep the program and obituary for me please. I don't want to lose it out here. I liked your Elder Katoa humor Dad, and that story was hilarious. I was actually laughing out loud. I can totally imagine and picture that! Good luck at your old stomping grounds in Rexburg. Tell Ashley I said hi haha. how long's it going to take for you to finish?
Well I hope everything else is going well for everyone back home. Tell Brady to let me know how his tournament went and Happy Birthday! I hope he and Nick both got the packages I sent. I love you and miss you all very much! I can't wait to hear from you all again and just an fyi it's snowing again. I think my new favorite hobby is going to be shoveling driveways. Mostly because I do that so much. haha In Ofa lahi atu!!
p.s I'm going to email a bunch of pictures of Menomonie and some from here in Kasson. Hope you like them.