Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 4, 2011

Dear Family,
It was really great to read the letters that you sent me this week.  It took awhile for me to read them including the ones that some other peeps sent me so I don't really have a ton of time to expound.

To answer the questions I remember you asking me in the letters:  No, I definitely don't need to hesitate when deciding to root for Arizona or UCONN.  Arizona is nice but it doesn't come close beating the location, tranquility, diversity of seasons and abundance of vegetation in New Canaan, CT.  I didn't know Sister Allred's daughter was in our ward and that she is Matt's Spanish tutor.  That is pretty cool.  I could tell she translated her own talk into Spanish for conference.  Speaking of which, I listened to the Saturday sessions of Conference in English and the Sunday sessions in Spanish.  I could understand about 95% of the talks in Spanish, but what I realized afterwards is that it is still hard to recall specifics later on.  This isn't super surprising becasue I have realized when someone tells me a telephone number in Spanish it is harder to remember than if they were to tell me in English.  Also with the Spanish talks, I need to pay almost 90% of my attention to the words and not my notes if I want to get the most out of it.  I have literally learned so much Spanish, memorized 10 scripture mastery's in Spanish, memorized all of the US state and Canada providence/territory capitols (probably should've started with Mexico, but that's next).  I am getting to the point where I don't even really need to think to speak Spanish and it feels awesome.

Sorry about the picture with the birthday shirt.  It was the only one on my camera when I saw you wanted me to send a picture and I was barely paying attention when Elder Pierson took it.  I actually sent President a different letter than this one.  I always click spell check and then send it to you guys.  I'm usually in too much of a hurry to proofread the whole thing.

As far as my weight right now, I am 178.  I'm still rockin a bit of a panza (belly in Spanish) but I'm working on that.  Actually about 2 weeks ago I was 190 and then I was like, wow, I really need to get rid of this so Elder Pierson and I hit the bikes during some of our proselyting time and started running 2 miles for exercise in the morning.  So I am back to 178 and going to try to have a six-pack by the time I come home.  It is awesome that Dad and Matt are going to do the 100-mile Century ride in NV.

This past week has been pretty awesome with conference and everything.  As I was watching the afternoon sessions I kept imagining Dad and Chris sitting in the conference center.  I offered a prayer to the Lord that he would bless Chris to feel the Spirit and know the speakers are truly God's chosen servants.  My favorite talks were Boyd K. Packer's on Saturday, the Prophet's during priesthood, and Christofferson's as well.  Elder Christofferson is quickly becoming one of my favorite Apostles.  His talks are so awesome.  I so wish that I was able to go and meet him with Dad and Chris.  It must've been so sweet.  It is cool to think that they literally have the same calling as the Apostles in the Bible.  I'm sure that Chris will never forget that experience.  He said he would write me on the plane.

Some other exciting things that happened this week are some baptismal dates we set.  We taught this sweet family that the English Elders were attempting to teach and set baptismal dates with the two that we taught, Mayte and Matthew.  Unfortunately, they couldn't come to conference because they had friends here from Ecuador (thier native country).  Also we got a sweet referral sent to us from on line which said, "Necesito que mi hijo se convierta a mormon. necesito que me llamen por favor."  Its always pretty sweet when that happens.  We ended up teaching her son, who is 13 and really smart.  We set a baptismal date with him too.  I wish I could tell you more but I need to go.  Hopefully, I will have some cool stories to tell next week.  Oh yea, transfer news came last night and our companionship is going to stay the same.

Love you all,
Elder Kinney
PS - We started playing soccor on a regular basis with our investigators on Wednesday nights so if you could get your hands on some soccer cleats that would be sweet.

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