Date

December 21, 2015

Area

Dallas Oregon

Companion

Elder Thompson

Group email and week one in detail.

Hello from Oregon!!!

So this week has been CRAZY! So we left the MTC at about 4:30 in the morning, after getting only about 3 1/2 hours of sleep. We then took the front runner up to Salt Lake, then the Trax to the airport. Salt Lake had so much snow it was awesome! So the check in line was crazy
long, as was the security line.  But we made it haha. Our flight was delayed about an hour because it had to be de-iced. So that was cool. We just like sat in the plane for an hour while they ran these crazy water things over the plane. It was pretty great. So then after we landed we met President and Sister Samuelson. They
are AWESOME people and super nice! We stopped by a couple of cool places with the AP's and the new missionaries, the first being the Portland temple. It was so so so cool. It's beautiful and in basically the middle of a forest. It was incredible. Then we went on a two hour
drive all the way out to the coast. We all were piled in a big van and every new missionary fell asleep. It was awesome. Anyway Pres. and Sis. Samuelian gave us kind of a cool devotional there. It was pretty
cold and rainy, but very memorable. That was great. Then we drove two hours back to the mission home and had dinner. President interviewed us all after until he knew who our companion was. He didn't tell us,
but he just stopped and said "I think I know who's going to train you." For me I said about three words and then he stopped me and said he knew. It was a very cool experience.

So the next day we drove over to the stake center and had a big meeting about safety and stuff, and we had a great breakfast. Then Pres. announced who our trainers would be. My trainer is a hilarious goofy guy named Elder Thompson. People say we look like brothers. He's
awesome. So I then said goodbye to my MTC friends, and then we drove out to the beautiful, small city of Dallas Oregon. We dropped off my stuff at our place and it's really cool. It's the basement of a members house, the Gordon's. It's up a dirt road on a hill near the city limits of Dallas, and we're surrounded by trees everywhere. It's beautiful. So then Elder Thompson and I drove around to meet some members. The relationship with the missionaries and members is VERY strong, which is so great. We stopped by a few houses and then he took me to restaurant called Washington Street. I had some spaghetti with meat sauce that was better than Olive Garden's. It was incredible. Then we went back home and I unpacked for a couple of hours. Our apartment is full of junk everywhere from past missionaries. It's crazy. There's probably, no joke, around 150 hangers in our apartment just laying
around. It's nuts. Anyway the have a pool table, and Elder
Thompson is VERY good at pool. That was fun.

So the next day was awesome. We started about by tracting and had great success. We talked to a ton of people, which is really rare, and then we even got a new investigator. This guy, Tim, was putting stuff away in his truck and we offered to help. We mostly just wound up
talking, and then to our surprise he said he been researching the difference between Christianity and Mormonism the night before! Crazy right! So we invited him some out of the Book of Mormon and then he
said to call him on Monday. So cool! The rest of the day was mostly spent visiting more members, some less actives, and then some people the missionaries frequently visit. It was fun. It rained all day the
before and today. It was awesome though. We got fed TWO dinners though. After I finished dinner one, and I seriously had no idea how I
was going to eat a second dinner. But, we went to another members and I somehow ate a full plate. I've seriously never been so full in my life. That was nuts.

So I woke up the next morning and then had two breakfasts. The two seminary classes both had early morning breakfast, and we got there in time for both and they both insisted that we eat. I still felt like I was
digesting the two dinners from the night before. Anyway, so then we had a great district meeting and I met all the other elders from our district, and the zone leaders. They're all great guys, and are super
happy. Then we had a new missionary training with the ZL's after. It was super boring. And I get to do a new one for 11 more weeks. Barf.

So we then went and did service for a non member named John. He's pretty cool. He's remodeling his house, so we helped with that. I also got to use a huge leaf blower to clear some leaves for him. That was
fun.

The next day I woke up not feeling too great, but I knew we were supposed to have our first lesson with a new investigator named Kori. So I persevered . We went OYM'ing (open your mouth, or basically walking around downtown Dallas talking to people) for an hour, but
spent about 45 minutes of that time arguing with some Christian guy. That was frustrating. Elder Thompson basically talked the whole time, and the guy thought he was convincing me. I quickly corrected him that I was not convinced of what he was saying haha. Nice try bud. So then we went to Kori's house for her lesson. We walked up to her door, and sadly she had a note that said something like "Hi LDS, I'll be out of town this weekend with my family, let's reschedule for next week."
So then she pulled up like 10 minutes later and we talked to her. She said she was so exhausted, and so we told her to read some in the BoM, and she seemed excited. She seems super interested and willing to learn, which is great. So after that I felt way crappy, so we went
back and I tried to sleep. So funny story. So we got home and the Gordon's saw us and said BYU was losing 35-0 in the first quarter. So that was a downer. And they have their TV downstairs, so I heard the tv and them yelling for the rest of the game, while I tried to sleep.
It was so hard. I just tried to plug my ears and fall asleep, but then Brother Gordon would scream at the top of his lungs GET HIM GET HIM GEEETTTTT HIIIIIMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH COME ON COUGARS WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?!?!?! Yup. That was hard. And what made it worse I woke up with a killer fever. And even worse, I learned BYU lost on a fourth down fake punt from the Utes. Bah. Anyway, we went over to dinner and I felt terrible the whole time. I had no appetite, and felt so sick. After I asked if I could use a thermometer and learned I had a fever of 102. So then two other Elders in Dallas (Elder Combs and Elder
Lieske, both freaking hilarious) came over to our place and I went to bed.

Then we had Sunday. Church was great and super fun. I felt so hot the whole time though, but my fever broke. Then we tried to visit some people after, but most everyone was gone. I felt way crappy and so we
went back early and I went to bed.

So then the fun begins. So I woke up at 5:30 with crazy chest pains. After about on hour of just kinda trying to fall back asleep and pacing around our apartment, I woke up Elder Thompson and we went to the ER. They ran a bunch of tests and learned that I got a rare thing
called myocarditis and pericarditis. It's just simply inflammation around the heart, caused by a viral infection (i.e. my fever two days before). So I was stuck in the ER in Dallas for about three hours and then they transported me by ambulance to Salem to do an ultrasound of my heart. That was really cool. Both the ultrasound and the ambulance.

Anyway I'm doing great now. I'm bored out of my mind, and so is Elder Thompson. I'm staying the night in the hospital and I'll hopefully be released tomorrow. The elders in our district and members have visited me. It's great.

I love you all! The church is definitely true!

With love,
Elder Holt





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