It was great seeing all of you on Skype! Very awesome seeing Grandma participating in the Skype session. I'm glad her recovery is going well. The green tie is what I bought for a White Elephant gift exchange that our zone did last week. Just a few dollars at Goodwill. I received a mustache keychain that says "Well hello there."
Christmas was good. Besides what you sent (I love the sweater vests!), we got a couple stockings stuffed with candy from a member and our Sister Training Leaders. We also got gift cards to In-N-Out, and uncle David sent me a gift card to McDonald's. We had a couple dinners that night, and EVERYONE gave us cookies and junk food. Luckily, I'm still down on belt holes so I guess all of our walking is doing something good to me.
This past week was a garbage week. As you heard of Christmas, I'm sick. Or was, rather. It startedand lasted pretty much all week. I'm in the last few days of it hopefully. After we Skyped, my voice was completely gone for a couple days. We didn't get anything done last week. Lots of rest and studying. This week should be good, though. We have a lesson today at 2, teaching the Plan of Salvation. Should be good.
I went on my first exchanges on Friday/. I went out to Newhall with Elder Shick. We did a bit of knocking, found a couple investigators, taught a lesson to an investigator, and did a LOT of praying. This elder really likes to pray at every opportunity, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
When we go to Walmart today, I'm going to see if they have any cassette recorders. If they aren't expensive, I might get one to do an audio journal or whatnot. I realize you have one you could send, but it's a bit bulkier than today's recorders. Maybe get just a digital recorder. We'll see.
I'm really grateful to Grandma and Grandpa Astle for helping pay for my mission. It's amazing what blessing come from supporting missionary work. I've heard amazing stories from parents and returned missionaries alike on the blessings they've received from supporting the work.
Hope all continues to go well while you're having fun in Seattle. Make sure to tell Richard I say hi!
~Elder Dallin DeFord