Bless all y'alls hearts for each writing me! :) That definitely made my day!!! It was good to hear about your trip to Blaine. I was wondering if you ended up going. It sounds like a good 4th of July. Things were pretty normal here. Although we did go to a breakfast that the English ward did that morning. It was nothing like Westmond's! I missed Jack Winget and Grady's pancakes! We did a bunch of service that day helping someone move. It was good. I left to go on exchanges that night and we saw a firework from the apartment so that was pretty exciting! Literally, one. But we sang the star spangled banner when we found it, so we got to have a moment. I certainly had a full heart that day thinking of the wonderful heritage of sacrifice that I have. It gives one a renewed strength to continue that lifestyle of sacrifice.
I'm am so excited about your trek! It's gonna be so great! I'm glad to hear it won't be too hot. It'll be hard though. It'll be neat to really have the pioneer experience just like our ancestors did before us. We are all pioneers in our own way, aren't we? I've felt like that on my mission. The hardest things are always the best. When I did it, I had a boot cast on my foot the whole time because of a fracture. They wanted to make me ride, but I remember walking all the way, including when all the men were called away for the "Mormon Battalion," and we had to push these handcarts up this huge hill. I remember pretty clearly us pushing and struggling and my awkward foot driving me crazy. I remember us slipping back down that big hill on the desert grass, exhausted beyond anything. And yet in the end we did it. I was totally enabled physically that whole trip, and so I have a deep faith that you will be too. And Mom and Dad, the opportunity you have with your youth! Wow, it can and will make a lot of their testimonies. Those spiritual experiences out there can really have an impact on them, and you get to be apart of that! Pretty awesome.
I've some good news and some bad news :) the good news - we had a great week. I get along with my companions. We taught a bunch. We found a cool new investigator, Grisell (she's even married and has a family!). We had a great testimony meeting yesterday, and our district has come up with a sort of "rescue" plan specific for our branch. And we've invited our branch president to our district meeting tomorrow to align the keys on that and talk to him. We basically took everything we've heard from him, plus the stuff we can do on the missionary side, and put it into a simple laid out plan of what we're going to DO.
The bad news - I'm going on antibiotics for my toe today and have to get the toenail re-removed. So lame. But, it's nothing like what Dad's dealing with, so I'll keep the whining to a minimum. :) Basically it's been healing so awesome these last months. The nail had even grown back a little over half way. Somehow, all of a sudden it's so infected (some of those Mississippi pathogens probably traveled up there!) and the nail has grown under the soft tissue. I went to the doctor this morning (I seriously should get some sort of award for most trips to the doctor and antibiotics prescribed for missionaries in the field!) and he gave me options. Said he could just re-remove it right there, but there was a good chance I'd have the same problem again. The other option is go to a podiatrist where they'll still remove that part of the nail, and I can have them deaden the nail bed so I'll just never have that part of the nail. That and apparently I should have regular pedicures to manage that nail, and all the others because of how predisposed they are to problems... maybe I'll go with Kristina for our birthday's when I get home.