In case you couldn't tell yet, the title of the e-mail is a pun and I'm quite proud of it. I've been looking forward to e-mailing since I came up with it!
The biggest event of the week, and maybe the whole year it seems, was the ward Halloween party. They take that seriously here! The gym was decorated really well and there were a ton of people there. As part of the event, they do a chili cook-off, and Elder Camper and I were volunteered to be the judges. He doesn't like spicy food though so he made me try every single one first, and then he'd ask "Is it spicy?" None of them were really all that spicy. The winning chili ended up being made by the people who were running the whole event so everybody made jokes about that. After everybody
ate there was a costume contest and games for a little while.
I'm sure you're anxious to hear about the open house, but I'll get to that in a little bit.
Last week I finished the Book of Mormon, though I started in Alma. I'm starting 2 Nephi this week so it should be about a month until I finish it.
The music we are allowed to listen to is anything that is inspirational, uplifting, and keeps the Spirit. I think you have a copy of the Missionary Handbook if you want to read the exact words. Basically it's left up to missionary discretion a lot of the time. Anything instrumental is fine I would think, so if she wants to send some Jim Brickman or something, that'd be fine. As for other stuff, it's your call as much as mine. If you send it and I don't think I should listen to it I won't. Speaking of music though, Vocal Point came out with a new Christmas CD I hear. We heard about it from a member whose son is in Vocal Point. They're last name is Shelton, I don't know his first name. But they said they knew Shaina's friend Jake who was in vocal point and they have been to a bunch of shows and stuff so that was pretty cool to talk about.
I don't have a whole lot of good teaching experiences this week because we had a ton of service. We had service pretty much every day this week. One day we were helping someone rip up their floors and bathroom because they're remodeling, another day we were turning over one of our investigator's flower beds so that she could replant all of her succulents. She was so thankful that she made an arrangement for President Mullen. I also think that succulents might work really well in Oklahoma, because they don't mind the heat and they are really easy to plant and grow, they're nearly impossible to kill she says. Another day we were helping somebody move which is always fun. So while service is great and productive and you get to know the members a lot better, it doesn't exactly lead to a lot of teaching experiences.
My take on General Conference: I personally enjoyed the Saturday sessions a lot. I'm not sure if that was just because that was when I was freshest, or if it was just what I needed to hear. Conference as a missionary is very different. Half of the time when I was listening to a talk I was thinking "That's something that _______ would like to hear.", or it somehow answered a question we had from an investigator. On your mission is one of the only times you're allowed to listen to talks and say "Someone else really needed to hear that!" With that said though, there were some talks that I really enjoyed as well. I especially liked Richard J Maynes talk in the Saturday morning session about centering your life. It tied in with a quote later in conference that I also really enjoyed that said "When you can't do what you've always done, just do what is important." Those are some things that I'd thought about a lot because that was something everybody said about President Packer at his funeral. Basically the gist of it was that we all need to evaluate where we are, and what we are doing, and then try to improve. But it's hard to improve if you are too busy being stuck in your old habits.
I'm a missionary for the LDS church, teaching the Gospel while soaking up some California sun!