28 December 2009
Thank you again for all of the gifts that you guys sent me. I love them.
Nothing much is happening here since I called home and wrote home on Christmas. We did find out that Elder Walker and I are both staying here in St. Anthony. So I will be here at least another 6 weeks, unless another ET (emergency transfer) occurs. At the end of the six weeks I will have been here for 3 transfers or 4 1/2 months! I will also be short a week of hitting my year mark! Isn't that weird, by the end of this transfer I will have been out for pretty much a year already.
Saturday we had the baptisms of Stephanie and Kyle Westover. Stephanie is the mother and Kyle is her 8 year old son. It was a very good baptism and Stephanie and Kyle are solid converts. They both have very strong testimonies. Stephanie's husband is not a member so Kyle is a convert even though he is 8 years old. They are a good family. It is really cool to see people's lives change through baptism.
I am really excited for all of the cool things happening here, I hope that they can continue to happen.
We met a couple of interesting people yesterday while tracting. One is named Mad Jack. He just kind of lives in a shack. He is an older man probably in his late sixties or seventies. He described himself as a mountain man and he pretty much looked like one too. He took us into his quarters and he had probably a dozen or more buffalo skulls hanging on the ceiling, with hides stretched, drums, bows, etc. All sorts of random things all over. He used to be in biker gangs and grew up on an Indian reservation. He says he is a member of the Mormon faith. He has a few "choppers"(motorcycles) that he is very proud of. We have heard all about Mad Jack from people around the community. He was really nice. We think he might have been slightly intoxicated.
The other guy we met was Amil Quayle. He lives in the house on the banks of Henry's Fork of the Snake River that his father built when Amil was one. He grew up in it. He is very into learning and accumulating worldly knowledge. He has a lot of books and National Geographics and several sets of Encyclopedias. He also is a member; his son served a mission. But Amil really didn't want us to proselyte to him at all. He was a river guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and I believe he has also been a professor. He insisted on giving us some homemade sourdough bread and some jam. He also gave us a book he wrote--poetry. He is an artist. He is about 70. Interesting guy. Told us to not spend too much time reading his poetry and forget about the Book of Mormon. But then he also told us we should go home and have fun with the girls. So we are not quite sure how he feels about the church. He really wouldn't tell us.
He did tell us that his family was from the Isle of Man and came to Utah in 1847 in the "John Taylor Company". (Wasn't George Q. Cannon's middle name Quayle and wasn't he from the Isle of Man?)
He said that his great-grandfather and his brother had a problem with tithing and Brigham Young and went to California during the gold rush and sold whiskey to the workers and then came back. I think he was implying that they have never really been very active, but I'm not sure.
Some of the people that I have met here in St. Anthony (several different families) have all been less-active. It is pretty sad.
It makes me grateful to have a family history with ancestors that have had testimonies and taught their children to gain testimonies so I could be where I am.