Monday, June 12, 2017

Colin's letter:
This was a rather good week. We found out that 40 less-active members on the roster have moved, which means out of all the people we stopped, we verified that 40 of them had moved, which doesn't sound like success, but it really is helpful to us and the ward. We even found a forwarding address (! that almost never happens).
Today we woke up at 4:30am so we could drive and pick up Elder Ashcroft and Morris from Sandbridge and drive to the beach to watch the sunrise. Until today I had never seen the sun rise over the ocean. I had only ever seen it set over the Pacific. We went to the beachfront right in front of the big King Neptune statue in Virginia Beach. Later Elder Talbot needed a haircut, so we went to a place by the Sandbridge Elders' apartment. Lo, and behold, the 21 year-old young woman who cut his hair, was the less-active daughter of a family that I taught for 6 months in Edenton, NC! Not only that, but she is driving down to visit them tonight, and is bringing a message from me to them with her.
Here in Virginia Beach it is rare to find someone who is actually originally from Virginia beach. Most people moved here recently for the Navy, the Marines, or really any branch of the military, with many various technological jobs. I am always surprised when I meet someone whose family has been here for more than one full generation. One such person I met was Brother Waterfield, who is a member of the Cape Henry Ward (which is where I'm serving). His family has been here for 200+ years. In fact, one of his great, great grandfathers walked from here to Petersburg, VA for the battle of Petersburg during the Civil War where he fought for the Confederacy. Also, for well over a century, his family has been wooden duck decoy carvers, and in the world of duck decoys, they are very famous. He has three duck decoys from his great grandfather that are worth over 100,000 dollars each! Next transfer's preparation day project is going to be carving wooden duck decoys with him, which I am very excited for.  
Yesterday President and Sister Weed came to church. They weren't speaking or anything,  just visiting. We actually see them a lot and spend a decent amount of time with them, but it was fun to take them to Sunday School with us and then having President Weed in Elders Quorum with us was really great, too. Generally Elders Quorum lessons are stereotypically boring, but every week that I have been here they have been amazing, which is really a miracle, especially because our mission President was there. 
We also had a mission tour by a general authority of the church. Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr., of the Seventy, came to visit and tour the mission. He  bore extremely powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and he had us name our favorite great chapter from the Book of Mormon. Regardless of the chapter cited, Elder Curtis was immediately familiar not only with the subject matter, but could quote verses from that chapter from memory. It was incredible. Mine is Alma 34, which you might consider reading over. During lunch Elder Talbot and I sat with him and his wife, and got to share some of our favorite stories from our missions, and he shared with us many stories of his own.
Over all we have had a great week, and until next Monday, I hope y'all have a blessed week!
--Elder White

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