I had an interesting birthday this year . . . I was sick until the evening. It wasn't a big deal since all holidays and celebrations pretty much feel the same as any other day when you're on a mission. The package you sent came on my birthday, and my companion, Elder Nielson, made me the cake you sent. I should know who Sister Beu is, but I can't seem to put a face to her name right now. I can't believe all of the Sisters who came out when I did are already home!!! I sent a picture with them and Elder Samuels that we took the last time we were all together at a meeting. I do know Elder Hannesson though. One of the Spanish Elders I'm pretty close with served in his District or Zone, and found out he knew Dave Checketts through a conversation they were having about hockey. (Hannesson is originally from Toronto, and the Spanish missionary is a die-hard St. Louis Blues fan.) Oh yea, I just got around to making the caramelized onion pizza because I couldn't find any raw pizza dough at any grocery store, so last P-day I just decided to get the pre-cooked kind which worked out pretty well. My companion said he's never had a better pizza in his life. It was delicious (photo attached)! It's really cool dad ran into my 1st grade teacher at the grocery store. I don't even think I would recognize her if I saw her again, but I do remember her name.
As far as my return date goes, I think it's scheduled for August 21 or 22. I know some of the missionaries in my group who attended BYU are going home on August 10th, so I think I'll talk to President this week and see if I can work that out with him. I'm pretty sure President doesn't want parents to come and pick up their missionaries, but I know of families that have just flown back the next day after they've been released. I would prefer coming back some other time with you guys anyway.
This past week went pretty well considering I was sick on my birthday and Elder Nielson was sick for the rest of the week. Mine was just a 24-hr stomach bug, but Elder Nielson is still sick and has what appears to be a sinus infection. We had a ton of help from the members, now that I recall, and I don't think we had to go on our bike's once. Nevertheless, we still didn't have a lot of time in our area and were only able to find one new person who seems pretty awesome. We had our recent converts take a member and one of our investigators to the temple on Sunday after church. We're hoping Elder Nielson gets better soon so we can get back out on our bikes and do some finding. We tracted a little bit with the members this week but it doesn't seem like their favorite activity. I don't know how possible it would be to get one, but we really need a car in our area to be more effective. Aside from our area being one of the largest bike areas in the mission, we are constantly needing to bike to the east side (the Zone Leader's area) for dinners, church, Family Home Evenings, etc. Our area is basically double in size compared to the other areas, and consequentially, a lot of the time we could be contacting people is spent on our bikes getting where we need to be.
Thanks for everything -- the CD's, all the birthday wishes, and prayers. Have a good week.