25 November 2013

No-Bake Cookies for the Wedding Celebration

Hi!
Sounds like a crazy, but amazing, week. I love all the details! [his sister, Rikki, was married on Saturday. You can read about it on our family blog]  I might want that email in a letter, printed out or something... Without the pictures, of course. But I love the pictures too! I'm so glad you had so much detail! I had a bit of fun to celebrate the wedding, too: I made no-bake cookies with Elder Fairwell! It was great, and they tasted awesome. I was watching the time the whole night, and I had the picture I brought of Rikki and Zakk set up on my desk. Congratulations! :)

Stories:
So, our apartment is currently out of water and LEC (Liberian Electric Company), so yesterday was different! I drew water from a well for the first time ever (nasty water, but still, water...), and I used the lights that I brought for the night! [he took a solar powered lantern, headlamp, and flashlight with him]  We'll have both of those things by the end of today, but it was just something that happens in LIB.

I got a haircut last Monday! So I look all different and stuff. I don't know if I mentioned it last week, but I thought I'd throw it in here just in case.
No baptisms this week, but we're working hard!
I had an exchange on Tuesday with Elder Zaugg! It was great! I learned a lot, and he's really fun to be with. We went to his area, and he's one of my Zone Leaders. I had fun, and the day flew by.

I'm working hard out here, and I'm learning a lot! I'm teaching a lot better than I used to, but I'm still working on things like planning and leading.

The week went well! Although the Primary President of Point 4 branch passed away... That was unique... We're trying to get more investigators right now, because many of the people in our pool aren't progressing, but we haven't had time yet. It's still raining here every few days! I keep getting told that dry season is here/coming, but... It doesn't really seem like it. Apartment and building mates are great! We enjoy playing cards in the evenings, and I'm getting to know the two new missionaries (Elder Gunnell and Elder Backman). I seem to be doing okay on budgeting, too, I'm not struggling with that stuff at all!

I'm trying to do small yet consistent workouts in the mornings each day. I usually start off with pushups, then squats, then bar work (usually push presses, push jerks, bench presses, sometimes cleans), sometimes lunges, sometimes situps, sometimes handstand pushups, etc. It's pretty good! It doesn't really give me a crossfit worthy workout, but I'm supposed to be able to walk miles every day, so it works!

I'm so happy Dean and Emma came to the wedding! And I'm glad Dean came to the game, too. Party! It also makes me happy that Dean asked Dad to be his temple escort. That's sweet.
 
The wedding looked so great. I'm so happy for Rikki and Zakk, and I'm glad you included me (kinda)! I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful, and everything turns out great. I love you all! Being out here for all of these big events is really weird, especially seeing all of the family at the events, but I know the Lord is watching over you all. Tell all the extended family I love them, and hug them for me!

Love,
Elder Price

20 November 2013

Handwritten Letter Dated 11.3.2013

[We received this letter, dated 11.3.2013 on November 20th]:

Dear Family,
     Hello! Happy Halloween!
     My first holiday away from home. It's pretty crazy. I hope your Halloween(s) were awesome! It was pretty anticlimactic for me. Elder Pearmain, Elder Estigoy, and I got Cookies and Cream ice cream! 4 Liters... For us three. Mmm... it was really yummy.
     The days out here are really busy, and I almost can't even think of anything to write about!
     Spiritual experience: My relationship with Christ. I made a connection this week. The connection is about by (cute!) little brother, Ryatt/Riot. I remembered the arguments that we have had, but Ryatt alsays was able to be so sweet after them. I remember those meaningful hugs that we would have. I can't explain how much I love you, Ryatt. My experience that made this spiritual, however, was relating the brother to Christ. He is my big brother. Those feelings that Ryatt and I have are the closest thing I can find to the love that Christ has for me and for each and every one of us.
     I'm coming up on my sixth week of training. My first transfer is almost over. Soon enough I'm going to be coming home! It feels like it's going by really fast.
     I've found myself missing random things. Carpet. Showers, Couches. Houses. Grass. Weird stuff.
     I'm working so hard out there to be better. The biggest strain on me is the mental strain of handling social difficulties. I'm getting better though! Slowly, but improving nonetheless!
     I received more mail a couple days ago! And I received a grocery bag with a lemon essential oil, Mio water flavoring, and a digestive from Elder Robb! It was really neat to receive that, and the letters gave me lots of support (although DearElder).
     Memories are really a great thing. The family reunion for example. I love thinking about all of those things that happened. Yes, sometimes it makes me homesick, but I love the memories.
     I love all of you, and I have a new appreciation for the little experiences I have had with each of you. I wish I could make more of them with you, but for these two years I'm making my own out here. God be with you.

Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price


[This note was in the margin:]

<---- Elder Pearmain made mac & cheese! And... I spilled a little bit on the letter. Oopsie!

18 November 2013

This week has been wonderful

Hi, family!
I was actually wondering about how the band did! [American Fork Marching Band went to Grand Nationals last week] I'm so glad you included it. It's a bummer they didn't make it to finals, but... One day! Plus, my trumpet being there is definitely okay. I've been actually missing playing it, oddly enough... I better get a pin. ;) [the band wanted all silver trumpets for this event, so we loaned them his silver trumpet--it went to Indianapolis for the competition!]  17th isn't too bad, considering it's against the top bands in the nation!
Rikki IS amazing. I have so many thoughts and feelings spinning around my head about her, especially between the cancer and marriage... It's really just a big puddle of, "whoah" to me. It's weird to think that by the time I'm emailing again, Rikki Price will be Rikki Lanphear. I'm glad I can be there (ish)! :D Although I would definitely look better in my own suit than Mitt Romney looks in that one... Psh, the man needs some swag-ahem-class.
[We'll be making this Mitt Romney standup into an Elder Price standup for Rikki's wedding]
Sheesh, between Rikki's blog post  [I sent him the last couple paragraphs] and your wedding speech [I included a paragraph that I'll be sharing with Rikki and Zakk at their ring ceremony on Saturday], you all made me cry. It's alright though, Rikki's super awesome. I hope she gets my handwritten letter before the wedding! *crossing fingers* I'm gonna have a new brother! Weird...
New Kru Town and Point Four look very very much alike. We're the same district and everything! I'm glad you're making my blog look sweet! [the background photo for this blog is a picture of New Kru Town Road, courtesy of Elder Fairwell]
The sisters are doing pretty well!  [I'd specifically asked about the three new investigators he told us about last week] We're still working with a really large pool of investigators. We really have a lot of investigators with baptismal dates, so we're working to make those baptisms happen. I baptized a guy this week, Papi! He's 17, and I'll get photos soon. He's super great, and he already wants to work with the missionaries. I don't know if I emailed it before, but he is the one who wanted to have his baptism sooner, and we felt like that would be okay, so it happened! I'll try to get you photos as soon as I can.
The motorbike thing IS a bummer! Transportation is really difficult now, especially into town. It sounds like motorbikes are becoming more legal, but they're still not allowed to take two passengers (Driver & two others) when going into town. So we try to get cabs! But cabs are usually full, so we walk a lot.
My cleaning skills are alright... Nothing much different than what you've taught me at home! I find myself sweeping a lot, though, but the floors are still always covered with a thin layer of dirt. It's not really preventable.
I'm so excited for the envelopes and photos! I'm trying to send physical letters at a decent rate, but sometimes I get distracted...
I'm not sure what to have for any stories this week... I'm getting better! I'm becoming more bold and finding my feet out here. I'm trying to improve, still, always, but it feels like I've figured out a little bit of how to be a missionary. Stuff is just starting to seem more normal here, so it's hard to think of stories!
The coloqwa (or something...) word for "dog", rather, the same way "pork" is to "pig", is "ichu" Like "Bichu"! I think that's how you spell her name... Sorry, Dad, if that was wrong. But I thought it to be ironic. I haven't eaten dog though, just heard the term! [Rain's early childhood dogs were named Phantom and Bichu (pronounced bee-shoe), bicho being the Portuguese word for "bug"]
Really, so many things just slip my mind now. Oh, here's something! Our lessons are very very rarely indoors. Almost always they are outside the person's house, on plastic chairs on the sand or on the cement porch. There are distractions, such as little kids, really often, but it's amazing how spiritual the lessons still can be.
I ate pig something yesterday! I don't exactly know what it was... There was a pigs foot in the bowl, but I ate something else that was also pig that looked freaky.... Anyway, I'll try to write more of those things!
I miss Salmon though. I miss Salmon so much... Mail me some? ;)  [he misses it so much he capitalized it?] But really, don't hesitate to send stuff like chocolate, even if you think it'll melt. It's worth it.
I love you all, and I'm working hard to become whom the Lord wants me to be! Have an amazing week full of life-changing things.
Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price
 
[Excerpt from his weekly letter to his Mission President:]
Dear President,

This week has been wonderful. The lessons my companion and I taught were powerful, and we were blessed to have a baptism this week of a 17 year old boy who already wants to teach with the missionaries. I've also been able to improve very much this week; it feels like I've started to get my feet under me. As I've been praying for more boldness, I've felt the Spirit help me to be a stronger and more effective missionary. I've been able to use scriptures effectively in teaching, and I'm able to speak in a way that the people can very often understand me. I know Heavenly Father is helping me to become the missionary he needs and knows I can become.

My companion and I have gotten along very well this past week, and I've felt us grow stronger as a companionship. I have learned a lot from the difficulties between us. We're becoming an effective companionship, and I'm grateful for the improvement. I can feel the love growing between us, and I'm happy for it.
...

Thank you for your confidence and support.

Sincerely,
Elder Price

 

11 November 2013

First Transfers

Dear Family,

You got that photo? [from the Berrett's] Awesome! That's where I'm living. Anddddd where I'll be living.

TRANSFER!
Elder Manqana is going to be finishing my training, so six more guaranteed weeks with him in Point 4.
Elder Estigoy is gone... :'(  Elder Pearmain is still District Leader, and he now has a new companion: Elder Fairwell!
[I am "email friends" with Elder Fairwell's mom. She provided us a lot of good Liberia mission prep ideas. Elder Fairwell left for his mission about four months before Rain and we followed Elder Fairwell's blog to get an idea of what to expect. ]

Apartment-mates (plus Elder and Sister Berrett) before transfers.  Elders Pearmain, Estigoy, Price, and Manqana.
Stuff I wrote to write:
Motorbike sanction. The motorbikes have been kicked off the main road, so now we have to walk nearly everywhere. Really far walks! I believe it's because they're trying to cut down on the number of traffic accidents.
Elder Estigoy gone. Already told you that one...
Elder Fairwell here. Already told you that one too...

I basically get donuts... Lots of people fry dough and sell it, and almost all of them will dip it in sugar for you! :)

I wish I had a musical instrument here, it's pretty lame that I don't. I'll figure something out, hopefully.

Dry season is coming! Which means there is pineapple on its way. I'm super super excited. Also, it's really hot now. I'm sweating constantly.

I haven't been able to do a pullup my entire mission! I feel like I'm missing out. I'm doing lots of chest work, though...

The food. I'm getting used to it! And I'm really liking it. Liberian food can be good. Now that my mouth is adapted to the spiciness, it's really good! Also, I'm glad that eating fish that have all the bones and skin doesn't gross me out. And I'm getting good at eating everything off the bone from chicken meat. No more wasted wing-meat when I get home!

Ooooh, speaking of food, cookies would be really yummy. The super chewy kind.

So this week I had an amazing lesson, my best lesson so far. It was with these three women who called us over (which was a miracle in itself because my companion and I had to make a decision earlier that day whether or not to go to a primary program or go proselyte, and I chose the proselyting), and we taught them. We expected it to be really short, just introducing ourselves, but it led to an amazing lesson on the Restoration. The ma of the two other girls (who are still my age and older) has lived in DC before and moved around the west african countries, but all three of them are very religious, her oldest son (who we haven't met yet) is even training to become a pastor. All three women committed to be baptized and were just amazing. They even came to church yesterday! In a car (very rare), a nice white nissan altima... with minnesota license plates... which was pretty cool to see too.

So, I'm out here! I'm adapting well to the whole living environment and everything. It's amazing how fast time seems to pass. I love you all, and I'm so happy to hear about everything that's going on. I'm working hard to improve, and I've figured out that I need to be more bold, and I've realized that I've been a really timid person my whole life. I'm also getting better with the accent, and people can understand me most always!

[Responses to my email to him:]

[I shared with him some of the kindness and generosity we experienced this past week. We are surrounded by very thoughtful friends who have been very supportive as we went through Rikki's thyroid cancer diagnosis and surgery. We are feeling very blessed.]  Those things are amazing. Really... That's incredible. Plus the food... Oh the food... shakes... ice cream... That gift card thing is crazy, in a really really good way.

Whoah! Fast take down this year! The Elders Quorum can make up for the lack of help I've been this year. ;) [On Saturday there was a service project at our house. They announced in church that they were going to come over at 10am to help Dale take down Halloween stuff. So of course he worked really hard all week to get as much done as he could before Saturday at 10am. Haha. Who else would do that? He even got Dean up on the roof on Thursday to cut down the roof stuff. There was still enough left on Saturday, though, that Dale said it was really helpful. I think it helped that there were about 6-7 guys that showed up, which was enough to get a lot done but not too many for him to be able to direct. So the yard stuff is pretty much down! And it’s only the 10th! Amazing. Now for all the little stuff and inside stuff, etc.]

[From my letter to him: "I'll admit to really missing you this weekend. I had to go shopping for my "mother of the bride" dress. You know how much I hate shopping, hehe. So after dragging myself through half a dozen stores with no luck (up in Salt Lake), I drove back home, then headed to University Mall. On my way home from Salt Lake, I was thinking about how much more bearable (fun?) you made shopping last summer. Then I put "Redeemer" on in the car and let myself cry and miss you. Then guess what? At church today the YM and YW did a special choir number and sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." You can bet I started crying as soon as I realized what song it was. Rikki too. So I guess I know what my trigger is. I love that song, and I love you. I love you tons."]  Oooooh, so my shopping aid was actually helpful! And I understand the whole trigger thing. Hushabye Mountain [one of Ryatt's favorite lullabies] was a surprise to find on my mp3 player. But I'm doing a lot better with the triggers now! I'm doing pretty well!

[Did you guys hear about the typhoon in the Philippines? Is Elder Estigoy's family okay? It was a pretty devastating storm, with thousands dead. Looks like most of the damage was in an area called Tacloban. I sure hope and pray that Estigoy's family is safe.]  I didn't hear about the Philippines! Ahh that's pretty bad... I hope Elder Estigoy's family is alright. I'll try to find out from him.

[Dean's MTC date got moved up!! I think he's reporting on January 29th now!! Yay!!]  The 29th?! That's so great! He's going to be an amazing missionary. I'm planning on writing him, and I already have a handwritten letter in the mail for him! I'm glad that you guys are still supporting him while I'm out here.

I didn't receive any letters this week, so those ones that are coming will be super great! Especially the photos!

I love you all so much, and I pray for each one of you.

Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price

Photos of New Kru Town

Elder Price is currently serving in Point 4, which is right next to New Kru Town. He shares an apartment with the New Kru Town missionaries. Elder Fairwell, who used to serve in the Point 4 area, and has now been assigned to New Kru Town, describes the two areas like this, "point 4 and new kru town are just on opposite sides of the road. instead of proselyting on the left and of the street, now I go right :)"

Our first look at life "outside" the apartment:

New Kru Town
New Kru Town
New Kru Town Complex
New Kru Town Road
Many thanks to Elder Fairwell for sharing photos! (used with permission)


10 November 2013

Studying

[Right before church today we received a nice email from Sister Berrett, asking about Rikki’s health and sharing this photo of Elder Price with us.]

"We did apartment inspections last week.  As we entered Elder Price's apartment, we found him and his companion, Elder Manqana busily studying.  Elder Berrett took a picture of them hard at work. Thought you might enjoy seeing it and knowing that your son is working hard to be a good missionary. We get three new missionaries this week. Elder Price will not be one of the newest missionaries any more. "

[In Sacrament Meeting today, the Young Men and Young Women sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." Their performance brought a flood of emotions as I can't count the number of times Rain played that song on the piano this past summer. We love this boy.]

09 November 2013

Thoughts on Preparing for a Mission

[Handwritten letter dated 10-24-2013, received 11-9-2013. He's mostly replying to a question I asked him in an earlier email, asking how mothers could better prepare their children to serve as missionaries.]

Dear Family and close peoples,

"What could have been done to better prepare for a mission?" rather, me trying to remember what question you asked in the recent email:

Honestly, to be a contributor to things like Sunday School and the seemingly very boring classes would have helped me prepare. That's hard in Utah, though, because nobody seems to contribute. It would've helped, and will help others, because the lessons that are taught in church often feel like the same lesson throughout our lives--and that's a problem. That means we aren't progressing our knowledge; we aren't becoming greater, better, or smarter. That is why we get bored. When the lessons are active and everyone is contributing, the knowledge of everyone is built. The lesson reaches a higher caliber, on that, uh oh, our teachers didn't even prepare for. But that's alright. Because we know so many of the basic principles, we must ask ourselves: "WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH IT?"

Often times, the answer is nothing. We're sleeping in class. We. Are. Bored. If I remember correctly, the questions was asking what mothers can help with. The answer: raise contributors, discussion-makers, thought-provokers. There is a reason why we always hear about someone's kid in Family Home Evening saying something remarkable that caused the parents to ponder. That reason is because the kid is trying to satisfy that human emotion of boredom, of dissatisfaction, and the only way the poor kid has to do that is to think deeper into the Family Home Evening lesson. Too often do we stop our learning and become convinced that we've learned enough and just need to put in to practice those things. That is false. There is always more. I'm not saying that everyone should reach the weird questions of "What is the temperature of Aug 28th on Kolob if there is a slight breeze?" Really. There are stupid questions. Those ones can entertain us, make us not bored for a little while, but the questions that matter come as you envision your life with a certain principle, as you ponder on what seems to be a primary answer. These questions do more than just satisfy our boredom. They change who we are. The simple principles come to life before our eyes. All of the sudden, we'll be making those thought provoking remarks that were before reserved for children..

So my advice sums up to this: never be bored of the gospel. Don't teach lessons, discuss them.

[I have some follow-up questions and comments for him, such as "so then, how do you raise 'contributors'?"  This can be even more tricky with introvert vs. extrovert personality differences. I think that the new Sunday School curriculum is trying to address this with more discussion based lessons. I should also point out that I was his Sunday School teacher for a year and a half--he better not be calling me boring. ;-)  We'll save that for another day]

Dang I'm good. Let's just stop with the whole letter thing for a moment and think about how so totally rad that sounded.

So, I forgot to mention in the other letter dated for the 23rd: ONE MONTH UNTIL THE WEDDING!

I'm so happy when I think about it, and I try not to be too sad when I think about missing it. There's an investigator getting married this coming Sunday... and it makes me think about how it must be for you guys back home. It's such an exciting thing!

I received my first handwritten letter yesterday along with some DearElders, and it was great! I love reading Ryatt's handwriting, and you'll find a letter to him in this envelope as well. Mom, I even like seeing your handwriting on the envelope--I can just imagine you guys all doing that with Ryatt!

Dad, thank you for being such an amazing example for me. Looking back on it, I love the memories I have of us working together on projects. From building bunkers for the Ogden field to setting up Halloween, I wish I had done more.

Kona and Hawi: Bark bark! *shines a laser on the ground*

I love you all. I know there is a lot more in store for me here, and I know it's not going to be easy. Even right now isn't easy. The finish line will be the greatest achievement of my life so far, easily.

God be with you.

Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price

P.S. Elder Khasiahi from Kenya wants Emily Smithson's email address.

Adventures with Elder Estigoy


[Excerpts from a handwritten letter 10-23-2013. Received 11-9-13.]

Dear Family and other close Personages,

Hello!... I had an exchange (again) today, but it was with Elder Estigoy! It was so much fun, but I'll write about that in a bit. What I noticed was that we taught so fluidly, and I really could teach well. The Spirit was definitely there in the lessons. They were the strongest lessons I have taught...

The adventures with Elder Estigoy! We were on the beach, and we saw some people pulling in fish with a giant rope from the shore, so we went and helped pull the rope! We also got a lot of snacks, like a peanut brittle, plus condensed milk thing, a ball of popcorn that was like caramel corn except with condensed milk, and sodas! They all tasted so good, and I like to keep the caps to the bottles of soda. There were so many jokes made the entire day; I loved it.

By the time you get this... Who knows what week of training I'll be on. I'm already over halfway done with week 4. Almost 1/3 of the way [through training]. It's crazy. The people I teach here are so incredibly different. America really is a palace. Some of the people I meet want me to carry them to America ("carry" means bring here). No matter the differences they still live their lives. They make the best of it.

The world back home feels so distant. This really is where people spend their whole lives, so America is just a fancy country.

The people are great. Almost everyone says hello, and they are each so unique. They don't always smile or anything, but they pay attention. Being white here is such a symbol, and even my accent is seen as being a little "higher." I've had a couple times people tell me not to learn Coloqua too much because it "will spoil [my] English."

This place really is an adventure.

Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price

Reply to Ryatt's 1st Letter

[On Oct 6th, Ryatt wrote Rain a letter (see below). Rain replied on Oct 23rd. We received it Nov 9th.
Here's Rain's reply:]

Dear awesome little brother,

Ryatt/Riot,

Hi! I loved your letter, and I can't wait for the others! You asked me some questions though, so here you go!

Question: I wonder what foods you have eaten?
Well I've eaten some weird stuff. Some of the candies here are super yummy! The weird stuff has to be the "regular" food they eat. It's always on rice, but it's usually really spicy Even more spicy than any of the food Mom ever makes us! It makes my mouth be on fire, and my entire face sweat--plus, I have no milk to wash it down with! It's also weird to chew and eat fish bones. Some of the meat I've had could have been ANYTHING.

Question: Who's your companion?
My companion is Elder Manqana from South Africa. He's a big guy, and he seems pretty serious always.

Question: If we brought Kona and Havee [sic] into Librea [sic, and adorable] would the locals try to eat them?
Not if the knew they are our pets! I see doggies running around pretty often, but they're all gross and scraggly. Everything in Liberia is food!

Question: What is it like there?
Hmmm... Like camping and living combined, but with a lot more dirt and smelly things.

About the rat: Whoah. That's crazy. And gross. But super awesome at the same time!

Love,
Your Big Brother,
Elder Makani Rain Price

P.S. I miss video games. Play Kingdom Hearts 1 for me. And beat it.

Ryatt's letter to Rain:

04 November 2013

November 4th Update

Dear Family,

I'm so glad to hear about Rikki's surgery going okay. I got a phone call from Sister Berrett the morning she got the email from you, and she told me that everything went alright. I'm so glad! I wrote Rikki a physical letter last night :) Five hours is really really long [she had surgery]... Rikki's gonna be a cancer survivor! She'll be okay... It's weird being out here for such a big thing in her life, as well as her wedding.

Those costumes look so great! Good job! [we sent him a few photos from Halloween] I know Dad's been wanting to be the Three Amigos for forever. ;) It sounds like Halloween was successful this year! That's a lot of family [celebrating at our house]. And Emma and Dean being there is great! hehe.

That's a really cool thing with Leif! I'd like to hear snippets of how he's doing, too, if possible. [Rain's cousin, Leif, has arrived in Portugal for his mission and his first assignment, Barriero, is an area where Dale served.]

[I asked about his photo from Oct 21st]  The African skirt... Is actually women's clothing. It's a lappa!
or a wrappa. However you want to call it. We call it a lappa. It's basically just a piece of fabric wrapped around you. It's really comfy... All of us guys in the apartment have one. The one you saw is one of my two!

Current events:
We watched conference in church yesterday! Only the Sunday afternoon session, but still, it was great. Oh, and a bit of a Saturday session. Some of the talks were very powerful. The Africans in the branch couldn't really understand most of the speakers since they were speaking "ceres" (Okay, it sounds like serious, except it's siris. No drop from the "ou"), which is what I speak! So I enjoyed it.

At church yesterday, one of our investigators who came for the first time noticed someone else in the congregation. Who? His mom. It was so great! I think she might be an investigator as well, but in the Sisters' area, or she's a member. It was such a great coincidence!

What I'm eating daily is two eggs in the morning with a piece of bread, starving (or getting an FM {free meal/family meal}), then three eggs at night! I can fluff up the eggs really big now, so it can look like a lot more. Mmmm eggs... You raised me well. I think I'm losing a bit of weight! I like it.

We have nearly 30 investigators right now, but a real challenge here is knowing whether or not they're serious. Sometimes they just want to be taught, and they'll never make a commitment. Appointments are almost nonexistent. It's mostly a "walk up to investigators place, 'hey, is sister/brother [toby] here?" and that's how it works! But more in their accent. I'm working on the accent! I'm trying really hard to get it down, but it is SO thick. Maybe if I had tried to copy Hawaiian pidgin for a couple weeks before coming it could've helped. I'm getting it, "small small."

Here's a list of music that I would really like on that microSD card, but I'm still brainstorming more music, so don't send the card yet [he doesn't know it yet, but I already sent him a microSD card full of Christmas music, including the new Piano Guys Christmas album. He took with him a Sansa mp3 player that has a slot for microSD cards so we can send him music]:
Piano Guys.
Michele Mclaughlin - Celtic Dream album
Cristifori's Dream
...
That's it for music for now! ;) I still love music. I sing for fun sometimes. Thanks for the suggestion, Dad, of singing to make it easier!

Ties: I don't really know if they need to be handwashable... It seems like the ones I brought are fraying a lot faster than the other materials I've used. I'm gonna get a couple Jatala ties (african silk, crazy expensive, I can get them for US$4).

This week has been really stressful, because I started planning some of the days. I'm getting better, and I am trying hard. Mission is going, and I'm going to be a transfer old the next time I email. It's crazy.

I love you all.
Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price

[His weekly update to his mission president]:

Dear President,
This week went well, and, being in week five of training, I was able to start planning. It was pretty stressful, but I'm learning as much as I can and trying my best to improve, and I can already see improvements. Thank you for your comments about my companionship, and it's true, we come from very different backgrounds. It's so interesting to learn about his life before his mission. My companion and I have been able to learn more about each other this past week, and we've made it a goal to have a feeling of love between us. There is already improvement, and I can feel the Spirit helping us.

The branch is doing well, and we're seeing improvements in activities like seminary and institute. We're receiving many new investigators, and we're doing our best to have them all progressing. The work is moving forward! I really enjoy looking for miracles in each day and being able to see the way the Lord blesses us. We will make sure to report on the participation with the branch in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,
Elder Price