It appears I was writing you an email while you were writing me an email. So you might not have got it until after you sent yours. I didn't get a chance to write you until Thursday morning(Joseph was on the computer). So you'll probably get 3 emails next Thursday morning because I will try to write you when I get back from NY from my parents house. I haven't heard about Ben, but sister Clawson is going to stop by and drop off something for me to bring up to you at the MTC, so I'll ask her. My birthday was pretty good, we went out to eat lunch at My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then in the evening I went to the temple with Dan Cuny to do initiatories and then he took me out for dessert and to the dance. Crystal bought me some gourmet chocolate covered pretzels which everyone helped me eat and a cute potted Gerbera daisy plant.
Jacque is getting baptized on August 23rd, she just called me today! I need to get a copy of the Church News. My parents get it so I'll see if I can locate it when I get there. I can always order a copy from the church distribution center. Kathy Finuf says your teacher told you the Ewoks on Star Wars speak Mongolian....is that true, not that I could tell the difference, but if it's true when you get back we'll let you translate for us....
I know you will make lots of friends in Mongolia- it was part of your blessing from Pres Jones. Your group of missionaries going to Mongolia look like a great bunch of Elders. It will be cool to hear your experiences when you get to Mongolia. I haven't posted any pictures to the blog yet, but will do it soon. I heard some Elders in Mongolia post to there own blog, so you might be able to post from there. Let me know and I will give you the sign in information.
Got to get packing.
Keep the fire burning!
Sent July 16th: Dear Elder James, ( I know it should be Elder Cappuccio, but just for me it's Elder James)
So we had our big little trip to New York, just got back late last night. The Phantom of the Opera was definitely the highlight of the trip. We saw a few sights like Times Square, Ground Zero, the Manhattan Temple, the Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, Empire State Building( but didn't go up to the top), walked around Central Park, visited China Town and Little Italy, took the Staten Island Ferry out and back to see the city lights and the Statue of Liberty, took a tour of the UN, visited the NY library and Metropolitan Museum of Art, went Swing Dancing in a club on Saturday night, crossed over the Brooklyn bridge in a Taxi because our legs were to tired to want to walk that late at night, rode the Subway(Metro) and a few buses with the crowds, but still walked a lot( with the crowds!), ate some NY Cheesecake at the famous Juniors, real NY Pizza, Deli sandwiches and pastries, and stood in a long line to get Ice cream at supposedly famous Brooklyn Ice cream place( Amy says Cold Stone is better, but this place had to turn people away, because they closed at 10pm and the line was still out the door!). I hope we did enough walking to make up for the indulgences, my feet and legs feel like I did. I got shin splints and blisters and Amy's hamstrings were really sore. If we had more time there were a few more things we could have done, but then I would have spent more money...I hope Amy wasn't too annoyed that I didn't spend more money....I backed out of the Empire State Building view from the top, I got a little uneasy about it being a big tourist trap and waste of money and time as we were standing in line with a zillion other people to see what NY looks like from really high up. It would have cost $40 and I just imagined seeing a bunch of tall buildings and smog and thought it was a waste of time. When I went with Crystal to Switzerland, we rode a Tram to the top of one of the mountains and didn't see much because of the clouds, but at least we got a Tram ride up the mountain with beautiful views before we hit the cloud layer. Being packed like sardines in an elevator going up 100 floors just didn't sound like fun. So anyway the trip to New York was amazing, we learned a lot, saw so much in a short 3 days, took some cool pictures and basically had a great time.
So, I have noticed you have a ton of stuff you have left at my parents home. Can you tell what stuff you want me to take back to Chandler and what stuff I can just leave here until you come back to school. I figured you probably don't need the coats, so I hung them up in the closet. You have some dress pants and shirts, should I bring those down? What clothes do you want to leave here? The bedding can probably stay. How about your lacrosse bag? What about the Amp? you mi ght want to practice some guitar when you get back before school starts.... anyway if you can give me a few ideas on the matter, that would be helpful.
I found the Church News with your picture and showed everyone. =) My parents get the Church News and had saved their back issues and had a copy. Do you want me to mail you a copy? There were some good articles in there. I read a few issues on the plane ride. I read the articles about setting the Mission Presidents apart and teaching them how to be good leaders for the missionaries that are in their charge. It was a good article for me, because it showed how much the Prophet, General Authorities and Church leaders care about you, the individual missionary, and want to help you in anyway they can.
Do you have the email from your mission president saved on your computer? I didn't save it and need their address and phone numbers. I know you are in best place and am excited for you to preach the Gospel to the people in Mongolia in a few weeks. We miss you but are so inspired by your letters and example.
Keep the fire burning always,