Today I got the email about Uncle Paul passing away. I'm going to miss him, but his death isn't tragic with an understanding of the Plan of Salvation, knowing that we'll see him again. I'll bet that sometime in the eternities, we'll be able to have a Kelson family reunion and that he'll be behind the grill cooking up Paul Newman sandwiches and tossing people off the giant water weenie. I like Uncle Paul a lot. I want to be a heck of a lot like him in 50 years.
Bummer about Uncle Josh, and especially the canceled ski trip for Christian. Hopefully you'll still get to go! If not, then buckle down at Corbett so you can go to BYU and go skiing without the travel! :) And good luck to Carsten with French Horn!
On Wednesday, we had a Zone Conference with President and Sister Cordon in Boa Vista. It was a great meeting where we learned "bastante" about how to be better missionaries. Sister Cordon brought out a beautiful chocolate cake and we discussed a little about how it is like the gospel. Our duty as missionaries is to help deliver it to people. But sometimes our method of delivery isn't all that effective... Sister Cordon ripped out a big chunk from the middle and hurled it at my companion and I. We were quick enough to catch some of the fragments, but as she kept chucking chunks of cake at us, we just had to hide behind our hymn books while crumbs went sailing overhead. It was a VERY effective object lesson. Sometime when we want to share the joy we have through the gospel we start hurling it at people. Or sometimes we set it on a plate in front of a friend and start spoon feeding it to them rather awkwardly... So finding ways to share the gospel that are effective is important. Because it would be terribly rude to enjoy a big slice of Papa Haydn's Carrot Cake in front of a group of friends without offering a slice to them. Your friends and neighbors can see that your family is happy... not perfect, but happy. And that you seem to have more peace and security than they have. And they want that as well. So share the cake... but don't toss it at 100 mph unless they're ready with glove and catcher's gear.
The Colombo Branch is really starting to look like something that is going to be a ward here by the end of the year... The Elder's Quorum President and Branch Mission Leader are really starting to help a bunch and we are getting Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching up and running. If we could help even 5 families return to full activity, we would almost have enough to have a ward! And the Branch Council met together and set a few goals for missionary work. So now we not only have the love of the members, but we have an organized system to help bring more people into the fold, and help those return who have wandered off.