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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Klagenfurt: December 23, 2013

Dearest Fam-bam,

Well, this last week has been a lot of fun. I feel like we have been pretty busy, and I think we have been able to get a lot of good work done as well.

Business: So. We can Skype on Christmas day itself, but I think it will be a little bit earlier than you thought. The problem is that we are invited to lunch on Christmas, but I think I could swing about 8 AM, your time. So try to be logged on a little earlier, maybe as early as seven, just in case that doesn't work. Also have someone on email, in case I have some problems with my Skype, because I haven't logged onto it in like seven months, so I hope I remember my password.

There is absolutely no snow on the ground right now. Ok, well that's not quite true, there are still a few stubborn strips of snow every now and then, but it is not white here right now. I'll tell you on Wednesday if that has changed at all, though I don't necessarily expect it too. My feet are staying relatively warm, but when we get into freezing temperatures there is a certain point where no matter how thick your socks are and no matter how thick your boots are your feet are just cold. At least for those of us who have bad circulation like I do.

I actually am really healthy. I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables than I ever have before, and I haven't been feeling sick at all so far this winter. I have had a runny nose, but that is mostly just from the cold, and it stops as soon as I come inside and blow my nose. I have however been feeling super tired recently. I haven't had any problems getting up for like a year or so, but recently waking up is the hardest part of the day. It's not that I lounge around in bed, it's just that when I wake up my body kind of yells at me for not sleeping more. I hope that it is just a side effect of winter, and of it getting dark at like 4 PM. At least the Winter's solstice is already past and the days will start to become longer! I'm looking forward to that for sure.

The work is going along very well here in Klagenfurt. Every single lesson we had this week we had a member at, granted one member was at four of them, but still, we are trying our best to work well with the ward. We found this one new investigator and she is awesome. Her name is Elisabeth, and she is from the Dominican Republic.  She was to Church on Sunday and she was telling a lot of people that she wasn't a part of this church yet, but that she might be baptized. We are hoping to try to set a baptismal date with her this week. Don't get too excited though, I won't be able to tell you what is happening on Wednesday, because we won't see her until Friday at the earliest.

Francesco is doing well too. He has come to Church five times in a row, and is really making an effort. Somehow though he is having trouble feeling the Spirit enough to really gain a testimony, and so we are trying to do our best to identify the problem, to try and find the thing that is keeping him from feeling the Holy Ghost testify to him. The Casellas, the family who invited us on Christmas, invited him too, so we will definitely have some contact with him this week, even though the holidays are happening.

We had our Zone Christmas Conference on Saturday, and it was a lot of fun. We had to get up early so that we could make our train, and I had planned on getting up at 4:45 so that I could take the first shower and we then could take a bus at 6. Unfortunately, the alarm didn't go off, so we woke up at 6... All four of us got up, showered (well, three of us showered, one of us took one for the team and skipped it), and ended up taking a taxi so that we could get to our train on time and still make it to our Christmas Conference. I was actually really impressed with us, because although we had just got up, all four of us thought very clearly and quickly, and were able to come up with a plan within about thirty seconds. It was pretty cool, but not an ideal start to the day. So I did get the presents, and I put them underneath the tree (a six inch little thing that one of the other Elders got for a twelve days of Christmas thing) without opening them. Also, I got a package from Aunt Tami this week! I was really surprised by that, and it made me really happy. She's really quite thoughtful.

Well I have written much, but I still have other things to do today, so I need to go. I love you so much, and am excited to be able to speak with you on Wednesday!

Elder Merkley

Andy's Christmas Pajamas

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