Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Caroling at the Mall

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This has been an interesting week. So with Christmas it was a really
slow week. We didn't get a whole lot done, but that is to be expected
with everything going on. So we did a bunch of caroling last week. I
can't remember if I told you or not, but we had the mall manager come
and talk with us. We thought he was going to kick us out but in fact
he liked it.

So we just got back from playing mini golf. So i didn't have any cash
on me so you will see that on my bank account. We had a lot of fun.
There was five of us so it was a blast. I will send some pictures from

We are also going to get district shirts. So everybody thinks that i
look like the great hambino from sandlot so there is a picture of him
on a t shirt and they decided we needed those. We are going to take a
picture with them on and i will send it.

We are going to play some pool right after i get done writing. Elder
Ross is actually here as well. We are talking about how everybody is
doing back in Roosevelt.

Not much else going on. We don't have any major plans for New years but
I will take some pictures and send it.

Love you!

Elder Laing
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hey i feel bad that i wasn't thrilled to talk to you guys. Don't get me
wrong, i was really excited to talk to you guys but it wasn't as much
as the last times. It makes me think of home and I don't want to do that, I want 
to keep my mind where it is suppose to be.  I didn't even get to tell you that i really 
liked my gifts. We talked a little bit about it but not very much. Loved the
blankets. I wasn't expecting that to have a blanket to go with it.

You guys all look fantastic. Its hard to talk about things usually
because everything stays the same. You guys are working and just doing
normal stuff, and i am a missionary....everyday. Its really awesome to
do this but it is hard! In some ways i feel more trunky than my
companions. I don't necessarily want to come home but some days i am
just done being a missionary. But i know what i am supposed to be
doing and I will continue to be the best i can.

I cant believe that Dylan and Brandon are both 6` 7" !!!! I am going
to be on the shorter end of the family. And chase is getting tall too!
I guess things are going to be really different when i get home. His
voice also got a lot deeper.

I am going to try to write Chris, Spencer, and Tyson some sort of
Christmas email. I know i should write more but it just takes
FOREVER!!! and i only get 8 hours for p-day. Ill try to be better about
writing on Monday. I think i might just keep a short entry on my ipad
for everyday then that will help me.

The basement is looking really good. I'm going to come back to a
completely different house. Also a completely different neighborhood.
We aren't going to have any place to play games on an empty lot. But i
guess that was to be expected.

I hope i didn't give off the feeling that i was frustrated or angry...i
really wasn't. More along the lines of exhausted. After we talked we had
dinner. Ham and funeral potatoes. That was fun. There were 2 familes
that were over there and after dinner they both skyped and we played a

We are going to go hang out with the Sterling Park elders again
tonight. Maybe play a couple of games or pool. I still think that i am
going to be better than you guys when i get home. I guess next summer
i better go golf on p-days so i can sharpen up my game before i come
home. And i will get up on the first time when i go waterskiing. Maybe
i will be sore afterwards but i will be fine.

I love you guys. I am really glad i got to talk today. It didn't feel
like it was that long but it was 75 minutes. Time just flies by. Next
time we skype is in 140 days. I guess we can look forward to then.
These last 7 months is the longest time we will have to do while i am
here. So that's good.

Love you guys!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Another Fantastic week in the D.C. South Mission

Hello family!!!

Another fantastic week here in the D.C. South Mission. We didn't do a
whole lot last p-day. We ended up playing 2 vs. 2 football since our
zone didn't do anything. We talked to the zone leaders of my last zone
about coming over and playing with them since we only live 5 miles
down the road. We had been in contact most of the morning with them
but it ended up not happening so we just played a small game.

Yesterdays it was Elder Thomas's birthday. We went to Ghengis Grill
for lunch to celebrate. It was fun. I haven't eaten there since i was
serving in Centreville 8 months ago.

It has been a very slow week. I am getting along with my companions,
but we have really different personalities as well as working styles.
I guess I'm going to have to tuff it our for another 4 1/2 weeks. Its
not as bad as it sounds. I am doing great!

We have a really busy week coming up so that's good. Keeps us focused
and motivated for the next little while. So our missionary tree had
its first official day today. I am going to post some pictures on
Facebook about it so the word can continue to go out to all of the
ward members. We think that it is going to increase the members desire
and motivation to do missionary least that is what it is
intended to do.

I had the opportunity to help with the sacrament today. I got to act
as one of the priests and said the blessing on the water while my 2
companions passed with the deacons. I don't think i have done that in
over 2 years. It was really awesome to do that. I didn't realize how
much i liked doing that until i actually wasn't doing it anymore.

Last night we were able to go over to a members home who had a non
member family coming as well. So we had dinner and then we went to
their basement and played ping pong, as well as foosball. its was cool
to be able to just hang out for a little bit and show that we are just
normal people. We ended up spending our whole night there
surprisingly, but it was really good.

Today i think we are going to hit up the air and space museum. I went
when i was in Warrenton, but it felt really rushed so i hope today
will be more fun. We are going to go with the Sterling Park elders so
there will be 5 of us. Maybe i will get some sweet souvenirs.

I'm still a little peeved at the mail people. They couldn't figure out
that it was supposed to be square instead of court. I guess that we
will see how it goes. I think that this Christmas is going to be good.
We have a good member in the ward that is inviting us over.

I still wish that i could give you more Christmas ideas. I could go
for a nice hoodie. Have Chase or Dylan help you pick it out if you
choose to do that :) For Dylan i think anything camo. I know that he
does really like Dr. Pepper so there is an idea but i know that it
isn't very good. Just go to Ace and walk through the sporting goods
and say a prayer for guidance :)

Today is going to be a very monumental day. I am going to dry clean
one of my suits after 14 months of doing this. I know it sounds gross
but i wear it once a week for a couple hours. They are still in pretty
nice condition so I'm glad about that. Most of my clothing is holding
up. 2 of my short sleeve shirts have stains on them that didn't come
out so i have dubbed those as my sweater shirts. Hide the stains.

I'm happy to hear about everything that is going on with you guys.
Sounds like everything is going good and that if its not that it is
getting better. If it makes you feel any better i am not going to win
anything from my Christmas party either. Maybe a Christmas card or a
small gift from the mission.

Nothing else too exciting going on right now. I love you guys. Look
forward to seeing you in a couple weeks!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Missionary competition

We have had a busy week. So in our Ward we had an idea for a missionary competition in the ward. We have a wooden Christmas tree that we made that is in the foyer of the church, and when any member of the ward does an act of missionary service they get to put an ornament up onto the tree with their corresponding color. We had all of the different auxiliaries be different colors so it will be sort of a mini competition.

So on Wednesday afternoon we went to Home Depot and bought some sheeting and the paint and some other stuff we needed to build it. We have a car so we had a member who could haul it come pick it up for us and take it to his house so we could use his tools as well. He was originally going to help us build it, but he had someone he needed to visit in the ward so he took Elder Johnson with him to go visit her.

Myself and Elder Thomas were left to build the thing. I think you guys should be proud that you taught me enough about building stuff that it went pretty smoothly. We were able to measure and draw everything out then start cutting. We used a circular saw to cut out the entire thing then went in with a jigsaw in the very tight corners to clean in up.

Felt good to actually build something with my hands. I did all of the cutting so I'm pretty proud of myself. Dylan might have mentioned something about it to you guys. I was able to show him when we skyped. That night we took it home and Primed it then painted it. I'll attach some pictures too.

On thanksgiving day we went to McDonald's for lunch. I was surprised to see how many people were actually there. We weren't really aloud to Proselyte so it was a slow day. We went to Walmart and picked up some other stuff to finish up the tree. Thanksgiving has turned out to be
just another day. It's so commercialized then with Black Friday right after it makes it difficult. Stores here were starting Black Friday at 7 at night. That was weird to see.

We ate at the readings in our ward that night. They are a younger family in the ward. They have one 2 year old who was the entertainment the entire night. We stayed for about 2 hours. It was a nice relaxing night. Elder Thomas really wanted mashed potatoes at about 8 o'clock so we went to target and bought some. That store was crazy busy. I guess that's what happens with black Friday.
Friday was a pretty slow day. Not a lot happened. We had lunch at Chipotle. Just a Mexican restaraunt similar to cafe rio, but not nearly as good. Afterwards we went and did some planning for our week. We have some things going on but not a whole lot. We are hoping with this missionary idea for the ward that it will take off and the referals from members will come. It is much easier getting into somewhere that the members tell us to go to than trying to get in by ourselves.
Saturday was another crazy day. So we decided to go to Red Robin for lunch...(yes we like to eat out a lot) So we ordered our food and then ate like normal. Since they have bottomless steak fries we had to take full advantage of that so we asked for more. About 10 minutes later our waiter came back and told us they were coming. Then he said, "You guys are going to think this is crazy, but there was a guy that was at that table over there and he already paid for your check." So we were stoked. We didn't even get to see who it was. 
Then he said, "and what is crazier is that he gave me this 20 dollar bill to give to you guys, and he already gave me a big tip so you don't have to worry about that either." So we got free food and 20 bucks. I guess that is one of the perks of being on a mission. People are super nice (sometimes) and are willing to do things for us.
After that we went to a recent convert in the ward who is a single lady in her mid 40's. We helped her clean out her gutters with a leaf blower and re-attatch a drainage pipe to her house. After we cleaned them all out we raked her entire yard. We ended up spending about 3 hours over there. After she thanked us and told us that she was going to buy dinner for us. So we went to firehouse subs. Again sometimes people are super generous to us. That was my week in a nutshell. Very busy and fun.
Love you guys. Looking forward to Christmas!!!