7 Dec 1997

[If you are curious about Edson, you should Google it. I think there were about 7,000 people. Most of the people knew each other, if they didn't there were probably only 2 degrees of separation for everyone in the entire town. The town was being economically propped up by a local mine, and at it's peak, there were probably 25 active families in the branch, so a larger building was proposed and approved. Just when approval was granted, the mine closed its doors, and most of the town moved away. About 3 core member families stayed intact, but plans for the new building were already in action and weren't stopped. So there was this huge chapel, and about 15 - 20 regular attendees. After worshipping together for so many years, people's individual quirks become evident. People in the branch figured out what they thought about other people and after years of observations and judgments, most folks weren't willing to change. ....so people talked about other people, tried to maneuver w/out other people knowing, or held grudge for honest mistakes. It added to the spice of life and was some general excitement and flavor in a generally unexciting town, I guess. This letter is just a reflection of some of the "excitement"].

Dear Family,

I hope things are well with you all. I must comment again on something quite humorous. Remember those big rabbit fur gloves you sent me? WEll, my zone leader got quite a chuckle out of them! Things here are just quite nice this winter. Thanks to El Nino, I guess. I haven't heard too much about it except that down in Utah, Colorado and Arizona area, it's been very wet lately. But I'm all for the nice warm weather so nothing to worry about, I suposae!

But things are going quite nicely here in Edson - with missionary work. We've all fasted for a gal named MH. She's been wanting to get baptized for a long time, and her father will not allow it. We had a fast for her. (We comprimizing some of the youth & adults in the Edson Branch).

But, things from the mebers are just getting odd. So many good things here are happening. We have a baptism on 7 Dec for JB, his wife, a daughter of an LDS man, is beginning to prepare herelf for baptism, and M is getting baptized on 21 Dec. It seems as if we're making some of the members a bit anxious. We're "turning over the applie cart" if you will.

The Relief Society Pres. was getting involved in our fast - she told us to fast for the youth of the branch & to offer them all priesthood blessings -- where the fast was primarily focused on [our investigator]. It turns out that one of the young woman is quite depressed -- but she waited until 5 minutes before the fast to tell us to fast for the youth & offer them blessings, and she waited till after the fast to tell us the reason.

[I think what happened here (judging from my poorly written letter) is that the RS president hijacked our fast for an investigator and tried to get us to fast for this poor young woman and give her a priesthood blessing. If I remember correctly it was just a little bit awkward].

The teacher of the priesthood class is just nuts. He said at dinner last week, "so who'se gonna give the lesson this Sunday?" He wants to rotate teachingw/ us, but he never asked us, he just told us.

Another fellow, the father of the distressed daughter teaches the gospel doctrine clas, but he's so prideful, his daughter won't even ask him for a father's blessing -- b/c she's nervous he'll put his own thoughts into it. [I'm pretty sure this girl is the same one who was depressed a few paraghaphs above].

But, regardless of some nutty members up here, things in Edson are still great.

That's about all for this week. Love you all.

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