[Note: With Elder Call's being assigned as a trainer this past transfer, I went back to my own missionary journal and read about the one month I served as a trainer to Elder C. Blaine Peterson. I included some of my journal entries in my email to Elder Call. --Editor]
30 November 2009
Dear Elder Call:
It is unbelievable to me that tomorrow is December! Where has the year gone? It seems like only a couple months ago that we were celebrating the arrival of 2009, and here we are just a few weeks away from 2010. Time marches on. . .
We were so surprised to receive your email on Thanksgiving! It sounds like you had a wonderful day of service, feasting, and maybe even some recreation. We had a good day, celebrating with just our own family. Mom and Rebecca made a terrific feast. The turkey was the best we've ever had, and Mom says she doesn't know how she did it. She says she roasted it just the same as she always has, so we're chalking it up to another blessing.
The day after Thanksgiving, of course, we went and got our Christmas tree from Valley View Farm. John seemed to take great pride in being the son to cut the tree and step in where Bob left off with helping to carry it out of the grove, getting it off the van, etc. He also set up your train around the base and when we had the Stewarts and Burninghams over to watch the BYU-Utah football game the next day, we thought we were witnessing a transformation as he started to sound and act just like you! At first he was very willing to show the little kids the train, but the first time it came off the tracks and he had to climb back behind the couch to fix it, well. . .you know better than we do how that feels. He was a good sport and seemed very proud when we laughed and said he was acting just like Bob. . .a little put out but very patient. It was great.
Speaking of BYU-Utah, oh my goodness. Did you hear about the game? BYU won in OVERTIME! It never should have gotten to that point. We were up 20-6 going into the fourth quarter, but Utah tied it up with about 1 minute left. In overtime, Utah had the ball first and we held them to a field goal. On our possession, the second play was a pass up the middle to tight end Andrew George, who ran another 15 yards or so into the end zone untouched. It was great!
We were so thrilled to receive your letter about your new assignment as a trainer. Wow! That seems unusual to go straight to senior companion AND trainer in one move. Is it unusual? And it sounds like your new companion (Elder Walker, right?) is a great missionary and that you will have much success together. It was almost 30 years ago that I was made a trainer--a position I held for only one companion. The following is from my missionary journal:
July 30, 1980.
Well, today was Elder Brown's last day here. We got the call out at lunchtime. Also Elder Hibbert is moving to Kwai Chung to be a senior. Elder Pincock is also moving and Elder Keene is the new district leader. He's really neat.
Elder Brown sure took it hard.
July 31, 1980.
Today was a mission conference with Elder Marion D. Hanks! It was really great! I really like him!
Also got my new companion--Elder C. Blaine Peterson from Salt Lake City. He's really great--a lot of fun. I really like him, and I'm looking forward to a lot of success.
August 1, 1980.
Today was a really good day -- our first day out together. In the morning we met with Leih Sou Mahn—it was going pretty good until her little sister and friend came. We closed the meeting—tried to make another appointment, but she wouldn't let us. I think we'll be able to see her again—I hope so, anyway.
Then we went to Olivia's—Mace went with us. Mace is great—she really is.
This afternoon we went and bought my companion all kinds of stuff – briefcase, pillow, etc. Tracted a little bit.
At night we went and saw the Cheuih couple—the deaf couple that is inactive in our area. It was really a lot of fun communicating with them—I know a little bit of sign language. They were really excited to see us and to have us over. Also went and saw Sister Lee—the one with two kids. I really like them.
I'm surprised I didn't write more about Elder Peterson those first couple of days we were together. But my memories of our time together (only one month) are still very vivid.
We are confident your mission president is inspired and that you will be a terrific trainer. You have a glorious work to perform there in the Idaho Pocatello Mission. We are grateful you are making good use of every day you have to serve the Lord.
We are proud of you and love you deeply. We pray for you night and day. Keep being the best!