Can I just say how hard the last 2 weeks have been as we have had to wait to hear from you! I have done fine up to this point but I will say the last week was hard not being able to get an email from you and all the updatesL I am so ready for tomorrow to come!!!! Now I just hope you have the time to send us more than just a couple lines…I need details!
We were anxiously awaiting the email from President Kohler letting us know you had arrived safely in Germany. It was so great to see your picture with them they sent usJ You are looking good…although you need a haircut! I hope you had a wonderful time with your mission president and like him and his wife. I have heard great things about them so you should. What an awesome experience to leave the MTC fly to Germany and then the next day be off to Austria for your first area…unbelievable! We could not be more thrilled for you buddy…what an amazing place to serve. I hope you get the chance to stay long enough to see the real beauty of Austria since right now it is winter there and you won’t get the full effect. We looked up the town you are in and it looks like a wonderful place. And we assume the pic you downloaded of the cute yellow building is your apt building…LOVE IT! European architecture is so much better than here…even the slums look beautiful. We hope you will take lots and lots of pics for us to see where you are living and all the great stuff you are doing. We realize you do not have the Wi-Fi you used to have so it will not be as easy or done as much but keep those pictures coming!
So how do you like your new companion? We saw that he is from here in Tempe…how cool is that? We heard from one of the moms on the FB group that her son is in your district right now and he really enjoys Elder Wilkerson so we are hopeful you will too! We loved the pic of you and him and whoever that other elder was/is. I assume maybe he is another elder in your district that came with Elder Wilkerson as his other companion got transferred. Anyway, I want to hear how things are going and if you are enjoying this new companion experience.
And of course, how have your first few days been in your new area? Have you been out tracting or teaching? How is the language now that you are surrounded by people who speak German all the time? Now is the time when the language will come quicker as you have to use it all the time. What are the people like there? From my European experience, they are nice people and not hard to be around. They are not so religious but they have good warm personalities for the most part. I cannot wait to hear all about your first almost a week!
How did your first Sunday go? Did you have to bear your testimony? Do you meet in a real church or just a rented-out space or what? I know this is a lot of questions but you knew that was comingJ I have been praying very hard for you that this first area would be great and that you would feel comfortable there. It will take some getting used to the “real” mission life…but once you do it will be so wonderful and become second nature to you. Everyone here is so excited for the countries you get to serve in…every week someone makes a comment about it. I am totally jealous like I said and wish I were there with you. I really look forward to serving a couple mission with dad…in fact we will probably serve several because we will love it so much and we both want to be back out there. It will be fun to follow all your adventures with branch members, along with all the people you will get the chance to teach!
Dad and I fasted today for your mission as many of the parents of missionaries there will be fasting over the next several weeks for baptisms for your mission. I guess they did this last year and it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed fasting today and had some wonderful lessons where I truly felt the spirit. Although baptisms are not the only thing to focus on as we have discussed they do show there are people who have been prepared and have taken that first step back to Heavenly Father. And as always I put your name in the temple…that will happen for the next 2 years!
Well things here are moving along. Dad heads to LA again this week so it will be busier for me running everyone around…I so miss having you as a driver! Trystan has his first bball game this week so it will be fun to see him in action. He is working on his eagle project now too so of course the fighting has begun between the two of us…you remember, right?! I will be glad to get it done and behind us!!! Corbin is back to normal schedule but will start his online class tomorrow. It is hard to believe half of the school year is almost over…crazy! It will be nice to have him driving here in the spring. He needs to get a job and start earning money to start saving as he is such a spender he will need to learn the art like you did. He has been going out a lot with friends and hanging with the boys you know…and lots of girls tooJ Ethan is still doing great with falling asleep on his own and I believe we have turned the corner. He is such a great kid and I am proud of the good choices he makes. He reminds me a lot of you…just not so sarcastic. We look forward to Thanksgiving and all that food. The Saunders just invited us to come spend it with them and I am torn…I would love to but I also want to have all the leftovers you don’t get when you go to someone else’s house. I think maybe we’ll go there and I will also make a dinner for us to have the next day…it is my favorite meal of the year so I need lots and lots of leftovers! We will sure think of you and send lots of love to you…you are one of the things we are most thankful for this year! You are a great blessing to our family Brandon please always remember that!
So everyone is wanting me to come and play a game with them and then watch a Hallmark…we have recorded so many Christmas ones we need to keep up with watching them. It is a great time of the year and a great time to reflect on all we have. We are truly blessed and I know God is watching over our family. With the election passed and things going so much better than we ever imagined I am excited for the future for the first time in a long time. God has His hand in all things and I am learning that more and more.
Please give yourself a HUGE hug from me and know how very much I love you! You are one special son! Now just write your mother with all the updates I have been waiting to hear and I’ll be so happyJ