Hola mi familia y mis amigos
Greetings from week three(ish) from Salt Lake City, home to the best
people and strangest weather on earth. We woke up on Thursday morning
(I think it was Thursday) and there was an inch of snow on the ground.
Other days this week it's been in the 70s. It makes riding a bike
all day quite interesting.
Anyways, one of the most special experiences of my mission happened
this past week. Elder Torres and I were heading to a teaching
appointment and kept running into problems: my bike pedal decided to
fall off a few times, Elder Torres' hair just wouldn't go into the
shape he likes, and Murphy's Law seemed destined to stop us from going
anywhere. But, about three-fourths of the way there, a white pick up
truck playing some country music stopped us. A man smoking a
cigarette called out to us and asked if we wanted to listen to a song
that changed his life. So we listened to about half of it with him
(it talked about God's love for us) and then asked why it changed his
life. He sang that last weekend he was driving around down town when
one of the sessions of General Conference ended and all 20+ thousand
people walked out of the Conference Center. He said watching all of
their smiling faces (thankfully he didn't see any of the crazed
protesters) made him really happy and want to be as happy as them.
Then the song came on the radio and he decided he would change. And
then the next day he saw us riding and felt like he should stop and
tell us his story. And poof. We met with him and talked with his
wife about how his life has been rough since he got out of the
military and started drinking (which is how he has spent much of his
last 30 years). He's started changing his life in ways he said he
could never have imagined before. It doesn't really make logical
sense that people trust a bunch of twenty-ish year old kids enough to
let them in their homes and tell them how their lives can be better,
yet they do. Again and again they do. Obviously there is sometime to
I hope all is well at home and abroad. And by the way, I apologize if
I have forgotten your birthday or haven't responded to a letter or
something of the sort. In all honesty, that is probably going to just
be how it is for the next two years. I promise I love receiving
letters and I think I've responded to most of them, but if I haven't
please don't take offense. I still love you and if I were home then
hopefully you would know that I would remember and celebrate and talk
with you, but for a while it just won't be that way.
And by the way, my friends at BYU will probably find this interesting.
My mom just found out from one of my Great-Uncles that James Wirthlin
and I are related. His great great grandfather is my great great
grandfather. Small world. I'm pretty sure this means that now James
automatically has to like me better than you, Austin.
Love you all,