This is something I felt I should share with you. In my district in the MTC 3 out of the six elders said they had previously struggled with pornography, and the others did not say if they did or not. It just came up in one of the conversations we were having while in the dorm at the MTC. Also, my branch president at the MTC used to be a mission president and his mission was a pilot group for smart phone missions. He had his missionaries take a survey and found that 70 percent of them had struggled with pornography in the past for at least 2 years. He shared this with us to help us understand the importance of using our technology in appropriate ways. I am grateful I have not struggled with porn. I loved how I always felt I could talk to you about anything, Mom. I feel that I was very protected in our home and it was great how we were okay talking about issues like that. Pornography really is an issue that is causing problems and we must all be willing to talk about how to avoid it, and be able to reach out to others if we are struggling with it. I just felt I should share this with you.
This last week was good. Zone conference was a meeting from 9am-3pm where we received training from President Layton, his wife, and our zone leaders. I learned a lot, and after how many meetings we had at the MTC, the meeting was not to bad. My birthday was good and I got your package. I enjoyed the brownies very much and put all the candles on them. I had dinner with the member everyday except for one day this week. This last week Elder Pixton and I got fed tacos two nights and pizza two nights. My first week we also got fed pizza twice, I think. If the trend continues I will be eating a lot of pizza in this area. I have had enough money to buy food so far. I have been eating quesadillas, fruit shakes, pb&js and cereal for my own meals.
The other elders [in our apartment] are Elder Marshman, who is from Georgia and is on his 2nd transfer, and Elder Lee, who is from South Carolina and has been out for a year. We are getting along fine.
We are teaching a few people right now. One is the recent convert, who is from Nigeria. Two others are the 8-10 year old children of a family that was less active until recently, when they had their children baptized. The last two people we are teaching are a brother and sister who are about 12-16 years old. We have not found anybody new to teach since being here. We do not run into many people during the middle of the day as we walk around. Elder Pixton and I usually drive the car to a neighborhood and then knock on doors of those who are marked on our map as potentially interested. Many times people do not open the door or are not home. Some houses around here have special doorbells on them that have a camera and a speaker on them. This allows people to answer their door, probably from their phone or something like that, without opening the door. So far, only one person has spoken to use through one of these doorbells. It was kind of awkward and weird. There are more people out in the evening. Our best opportunity to talk with people is just running into them as they work on their yard or something like that. We probably only talk to about 5 non-member people per day, and these interaction are mostly very short. There are more opportunities to talk with people, but it is scary for me to approach people who would potentially be annoyed by my presence. Oh well, better get used to missionary life :). Elder Pixton is not fond of approaching random people as well. So this is something we will have to work through.
[I asked what are the best/worst parts of your day?] The highlights of my days are the visits with the members. Nothing really bad with my days. They are just slow sometimes.
I love you guys. Since being away from you guys I have been reminded of how amazing you all are, and how much I love and care for each of you. It is reassuring that even though life is always changing, our love for each other does not have to change.