Hey so Ive got some really exciting news this week! Pat Thomin was baptized on Friday and confirmed on Sunday! Everything was wonderful. Tina Thomin (Her daughter in law) Also a recent convert gave a talk on the Holy Ghost at the baptism and it absolutely blew me away! It was unreal! I felt the Spirit very strongly when she bore testimony of how the Holy Ghost changes lives and families. I love the scripture in 2 Nephi that says to paraphrase when the Holy Ghost leaves then speedily cometh destruction. I've shared that with you before, but I live and see that concept every day. If my attitude is wrong and the Holy Ghost isn't there it's hard to be an effective missionary and that is when you make mistakes in life. When you are filled with the Holy Ghost, when angels are round about you bearing you up, that is when you are happier than you could possibly be in this life. That is when you want to die being a missionary. There is a huge contrast. It's unbelievable the influence the Spirit has John 14:26 he truly is the "Comforter" as it says. It's amazing that it feels just as it is described. A burning in the bosom. That changes people. I notice when I testify by the Holy Ghost it's a world of difference to when it is just my own words. I speak so fluently and remember things I've maybe read once in my life and I explain it better than I ever could on my own. It's so sweet. Teaching the gospel is the best!!! I wish I could just read the Book of Mormon and teach all day then I could never complain haha, I guess the whole tracting thing just builds character so it is necessary too unfortunately. I never really caught the fire for tracting and loved it like you did dad. I guess I just think about how I feel when someone knocks on my door when I'm busy doing something else, especially Jehovah's Witness and salesman and the first thing I want to do is slam the door haha. Oh well we found Richie tracting so miracles can still happen if it's inspired and your attitude is right when your doing it! Another amazing thing that happened this week concerning the Holy Ghost was in regards to the Cunninghams! They GOT AN ANSWER! They have been reading and praying and they came up to us in church yesterday and said "We want to be baptized" The Book of Mormon is true, the spirit told us so! How sweet is that! So they are gonna get baptized in 2 weeks! The family of 4 that I've searched for my whole mission! It's awesome! We also started teaching a man named Lenny Polanski this week. He has been through a whole heap of problems recently in his life and he is friends with a member of our ward. He came to church and loved it and is really excited to watch general conference. He talks like he is a member of the mafia. He has that Al Davis look going on except a younger version and could probably manage a football team better than Al can. haha. I know that he will get baptized too though. It's just a matter of time...! Elder Ballard goes home this Friday. Transfer meeting is on Thursday where I'll get my new comp. We all meet in the stake center next to the Temple for the meeting and members take us there and back. It's a pretty fun meeting. They call out your area and your name and if it's a leadership call they say that as well and then they call your comp and you have to go up to the front and give each other a hug. It's slightly Homo, but at the same time missionary work is super lovey like that. It's because we are all affection deprived I guess so it's gotta come out some where in a none gay way. lol. Hopefully I get a comp. around my age that will be good. Elder Ballard and I accomplished a lot together. It's probably been my most productive transfer of my mission while at the same time being one of the most laid back. Weird huh? It's cool though elder Ballard is going to BYU-I as well, a lot of people are so i get to see some of my buds again here soon. no big deal. Zone meetings and all that are pretty cool. I love it, but it's hard to motivate people. We set the example. Our area here in Hamilton has had 11 baptisms in the past 4 months and next transfer we will have 4 possibly 5 more. It's the standard area of the mission right now, but our zone has been far behind. Things picked up a ton this week! It was a great week for everyone. The zone found 16 new investigators. An average of 2 per area and we now have 9 people on date for baptism. So things are turning around, we are no longer at the rear of the mission, it's more like the middle now. Up in Columbus it's always a bit more productive than Cincy. I think it has to do with the fact that Joseph Smith dusted his feet off in this place, no joke, and it's always been the standard of wickedness for the U.S. Lots of poverty, drugs and bad things go on here. Plus Columbus has a temple. You know when a city has a temple it will be blessed with more missionary work. That makes sense to me at least. Our mission president always says "Teach to the temple" Baptism is just the first step, and that is a lot easier when your investigators can go see the temple and feel the Spirit just from being on the grounds. Cincy is my favorite part of the mission still though, it's where I was called and I'm attached to being here. I hope I just stay in Hamilton the next 4 transfers. I highly doubt it, If I could predict it I bet I'll be here 2 more transfers then my last 2 I'll get whitewashed into an area with a greenie to finish up. That happens a lot with missionaries who are dying off. We will see, I'll enjoy every second while I'm here though that is for sure! I'm anxious to get my new comp. He might be a goober, a lot of the ZL's are a little too over the top for my taste, and they majorly suck up to president. When he calls Elder Ballard and I and asks us what he needs to improve on for advice, we tell him something, where as everyone else is to scared to offend him or something so they just say "Your doing everything perfect president it's all us." I see it like he tells us how to improve all the time, we are more experienced at this than he is so I think if he asks we can give him suggestions too. ha. Anyways that's all that is new here in Hamilton. Life is good! All the boys on missions are doing well. Ive been talkin to Justin Coffin through email a bit lately. He is a stud. Tanner will be a missionary that people like as well. There is a certain type of personality that people tend to latch on to and it's usually pretty similar to what a lot of my friends were back in high school. They are peoples people so of course they will be called to lead it only makes sense I suppose. Hey so the things about the Raiders was so awesome! They sound like they are a force this year! Oh baby dad you better work with all your might to get us a Monday night game next year! That is something we HAVE to do together. You and I are the only true blue Raiders fans that I know of and we stay with em thick and thin so we've got to go to ONE game together! Boise State is doing awesome again, maybe this year they will make it to the championship finally. We will see... Any news on the NBA lockout? Keep me posted. Alright guys well I better get goin! I love you all very much and I've been praying for you! Especially for Linds and Ash and the little ones they have and ones to come! I think about you guys a lot and I'm grateful I have such an awesome family! I look forward to seeing you all again soon, but I want to finish strong! Here is my thinking..... Most people finish the last 6 months pretty poor. I figure this is when I can be most effective, because I'm a lot better person and missionary now than I used to be so I need to finish better. It all equals out in the end, but why not finish out on an upswing. I'm a lot sharper of an instrument for the Lord to use now than I was a year ago so why let that go to waste? Have a great week family! Please pray for the Cunninghams especially! Be safe!