We just walked to the main campus for conference, it is like 33 degrees here... so cold... Somehow I still managed to sweat like crazy underneath my jacket. I don't know why they aren't showing it at the West campus anywhere... The west campus is pretty cool though. We get to go to a few of the restaurants in this little strip mall nearby. There is a Jamba Juice, a burger place, a subzero ice cream, and a few other places that I probably will never eat at because we are leaving. I am pretty nervous for the traveling, but it will probably be ok, right? Thank you so much for all of the packages too. I love the shoes and they seem like they fit really well.
I'm not really sure what time I am going to call, especially because I don't have my travel plans with me right now... It will probably be in the morning around 9 UTAH time... I'm not really sure what else to do about timing. Dad gave me some great tips about traveling overseas though. I can't believe all of the pickpockets there must be everywhere else... I will definitely keep my real wallet in my pouch, but I don't have an extra fake wallet... I am going to try and email a bunch of pics that we took with our teachers and stuff next and then I will probably email again between sessions of conference.
I hope you got the pics. We are getting ready to watch the next session of general conference right now. I think the first session this morning was one of the best experiences I've ever had watching conference. I miss watching it with everyone at home, but for a little while, it almost felt like I was. My favorite talk was one given by President Uchtdorf that was basically an invitation for those who are falling away/ have fallen away from the church for them to come back... He talked about all of the wonderful things that the church does, and how many things that members are asked to do and how they still do them. There was one quote that stuck out a lot for me in the talk. It was something like "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."
Being a zone leader has been really a neat thing actually. We started doing a devotional with the whole zone every night before quiet time starts. We usually just pick someone to share a scripture (maybe their favorite) and talk about it. Our teachers showed us some pictures of the Philippines, (they both went to the San Pablo mission, the one right to the west of the Naga mission) and it is, as Brother Lopez says, quite 'ghetto'. It looks so amazing. I guess I will be walking through miles and miles and I should probably add miles through rice fields. It is going to be so wonderful. Sobrang excited ako! I have to admit that I am still nervous about the food, but other than that, everything should be good.
Thank you so much for all of the pictures, everyone thinks they are really cool, and Elder Atchley was actually born in Santa Monica, so I think he will appreciate the pic in front of the pier. I'm so thankful for such a wonderful, supportive family back home.
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Benjamin Merrill