(Note of explanation: usually transfers are every 6 weeks. This time, however, the 6th week falls on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So to make Christmas more peaceful, this month they are having a 4-week transfer, followed by an 8-week transfer. As zone leader, David has to push all of his responsibilities into 4 weeks this time.)
Aaaaand, continuing this crazy 4-week transfer, we did another 3 companion exchanges (working with different missionaries, to train) in the last week. The only day I was with my own companion all day was last Sunday. We even did 2 in a row, back to back...both were with "greenies" (brand new missionaries), reminding me of the last transfer, when I was training. (One's Italian was fine, even good considering he'd been out 8 weeks. The other's was atrocious:( ) And for the 3rd scambio I went up to Switzerland :D
THE SWISS ADVANTAGE. Everything works differently there. It's much cleaner, and more organized. Back when Dad thought about moving the family to Switzerland, (note from Mom: I do not remember this opportunity...) I thought it was a place where everyone spoke French, German, AND Italian. No, it's divided into the Italian section, the French section, and the German section. People are very polite: I was buying bus tickets, and the machine ate my card. So when the bus came, we asked the bus driver for help. He called for assistance, and a guy showed up in 20 minutes to get my card back. I've never received that level of service in Italy! The missionaries there also have a very nice apartment. Heated floors, a small backyard, and plenty of space. I also saw their bunker -- everyone in Switzerland has a bunker -- two stories down.
At a member's house last Wednesday, we were talking about missionary work, and the son brought up some concerns about going on a mission. So I pulled up President Hinckley's talk, "Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship," and read the (appx) "25 Promises of going on a mission." There was a wonderful spirit in the home as I testified of the truth of those promises, having seen some of them already fulfilled in me.
BIRTHDAY BOX MYSTERY SOLVED. And that package that didn't show up last week apparently simply got overlooked in the office after all. I should get it in a couple of weeks. Possibly today, since my district leader is going to pick up some other stuff. I was talking to the office missionary when I called about something, and he said, "Oh, your mom emailed about that package. Yeah, we just overlooked it and we'll get it to you when we can."
Transfer news is this Saturday, since it's a shortened 4-week transfer this time. I don't expect to leave, but I'll let you know what happens.
Love you! Anziano Whitesell