Monday, December 24, 2012

This last week was a hair-puller!

Dear everyone,

This last week was a hair-puller!  Many things fell, many people avoided us, and we lost many investigators.  Still, I have hope for the next week and I know that the Lord will provide.  Minor setbacks are nothing!  =)

Merry Christmas!  I hope the joy of the season is bright in your hearts and faces.  I love Christmas!  Admittedly, growing up I didn't comprehend the reason for the season--I was selfish!  I liked presents.  Sure, I understood the story of Christmas and Christ's birth, but it was secondary to the joy I received from presents.  How silly that thought is!  The "Christmas Story" is so much more than simply that--a story.  It's surpassed in importance by only one other event in the history of the world--and that's the Resurrection of Christ.  What a blessing it is to have a time of the year devoted to the birth of our Savior and King.  So, to me, the question comes:  How can we remember Him correctly?  I think it comes from doing what he would do were He here.  Charity and Christmas go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.  I invite everyone to look around for the next week and find some little, charitable act that everyone else is neglecting and to do it!  The Christmas Spirit is the Spirit of Christ--and that's charity and love.

Hipólito will be baptized for sure on the 29th and we're all ecstatic for him!  He's such a changed man and I'm so impressed with him.  Alex and Adilson (two young men who we've been sitting with) have accepted a baptismal date for the 26th of January.  Please keep them in your prayers--they're worried about "the responsibility of baptism" even though they're already keeping all of the commandments!  I think they're just worried about taking such a large step.  Still, I trust that they'll make it and that the Lord will bless them immensely.

Mom, Elder Wilhelm and I have enjoyed watching the Christmas scripture chain wind down.  Thanks!

I love you all and wish you the best for the end of this year.  Tomorrow, I'll speak to a great portion of you!

Elder Cody R. Eckman

Monday, December 17, 2012

"White Christmas" set for the 29th!!!

Dear everyone,

This week has been so good to me.  Hipólito returned from Namibia,
we've changed his baptismal date to the 29th (it'll be the closest
thing we get to a "White Christmas") and we found many new and
exciting investigators.  The Lord's hand has been really noticeable

I want to tell you all about 2 women we're teaching named Junia and
Alexandra.  They're sisters, strong Methodists, and really like The
Book of Mormon.  Junia likes to argue a bit and tries to challenge us
on anything that doesn't jive with the way she already believes.
We're patient and try to truly open up the scriptures to her so that
she understands what the Lord wants.  Until now, she still has refused
to pray about these things.  She claims that it states a lack of faith
on her part if she were to pray about The Book of Mormon as she "has
no doubts" (but still refuses a new baptism and coming to church with
us any more times than she already has).  Alexandra, on the other
hand, is likely the most prepared person I've ever taught.  She LOVES
The Book of Mormon, asks brilliant questions, understands the Gospel
and what we teach, and even encourages her sister to do what we ask
them to do.  Her only handicap is that she's being influenced by her
sister to only go to the Methodist church.  I love this family and I
really enjoy sitting with them as they are so sweet and so kind.  That
said, if something doesn't change within the next while, we'll have to
drop them and that really hurts me.  I hate dropping
investigators--even though I know that it's sometimes what they need.
And I hate dropping ones that I consider to be friends.  I've had to
do that a few too many times to love the experience.  Please pray for

I've been focusing on humility this past week and I'm stunned by how
humble my leaders in the church are.  These men are men of high
position and honor and they still treat the lowliest janitor as they
would treat the highest king.  I'm really trying to seek such humility
and charity and to put everything into the hands of the Lord.  I'm
beginning to understand how we simply do what we can do and trust that
He'll do the rest.

I'm excited for Hipólito.  He's changed so much since the first day
that I sat with him.  He's happier, more at peace, and more capable at
dealing with stress and pain.  He's more fun.  He bore his testimony
at a ward party on Saturday and it was so cool to see.  He's probably
a better Christian than I am and I'm grateful that I get to be a part
of his life during this milepost change.

This week we'll be doing lots of contacting and finding.  Merry
Christmas and wish us luck!

Elder Eckman

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Christmas! I love and miss you all.

Dear everyone,

Merry Christmas!  I love and miss you all.  This week was a slow one
but a good one.  We did a lot of waiting and lost a lot of what I
would call "missionary time" to improvements on our new house.  It's
coming along.  I'm hoping to not repeat it this week.  =)

We met some really fun new people this week and haven't yet had the
chance to sit with them a second time.  This weekend was crazy.  That
said, some new things are in the works and we're hoping to see some
great progression in the coming weeks.  I had an epiphany earlier:
Since my very first area, I've been in brand new areas.  Since I left
Luanda 2B, I opened the office (we started from scratch), Luanda 2C
(also from scratch) and Luanda 1C (it opened 2 transfers before
me--halfway through my first we redivided it and lost just about
everyone).  It's an interesting pattern.  I'm STILL learning how to
start from nothing.  I'm STILL learning how to find, teach, and
baptize.  I suppose I always will be.  It's very rewarding, however.

On Christmas Day, President is encouraging us to go caroling with our
districts and any members who would like to come along.  I'm excited
for it.

A word on President Thompson:  I have never met a man so patient,
humble, intelligent, and wise in all my life.  He's an awesome man
with so much to offer our mission.  I love working with him.  He is
definitely worthy to be looked up to.

My focus this last week was the Christlike attribute of charity.  What
a cool study I had about charity!  It seems to me to be the source and
base of all other things.  Who we are, what we think, how we view
things, and how we love all stems from how charitable we are.  If we
strive to be truly charitable we strive to be truly Christlike.  Next
week I'll be studying about humility--a trait I'm still desperately
trying to develop in my life and mission.

I also finished The Book of Mormon this past week.  Wow...  It's so
true.  I cannot express in word or work my love for that book and the
many blessings it has brought my life.  If people really read it,
ponder its message, and follow its precepts they will be happy and
fulfilled.  They will have more light and truth in their lives and
countenances.  The Book of Mormon will change this world.  Has changed

I am impressed by the new teaching program being implemented for the
youth.  I wish that I had had such a program as I was growing up.
Just watch--the effects of this program will be far-reaching.
Something big is coming I think--the mission age has changed, the
class experience has changed, we have Preach My Gospel...  I don't
know what it will be, but I feel like something big is coming.  I'm

I sure love you all!  I hope life is so wonderful.

Elder Cody R. Eckman

Monday, December 3, 2012

great but frustrating week !!!!!

Dear everyone,

We had a great but frustrating week.  We moved from the chapel--a huge
blessing for us, but a hindrance to our work with all the cleaning,
organizing, waiting for repairmen, etc.  So, unfortunately, the work
week didn't go quite as well as planned.  Sadly, Our new house kind
of...  Sucks.  Sorry Mom--it does.  It's not as bad as the chapel, but
it wasn't wasn't well thought out nor well-checked by the missionary
who decided to buy it.  President Thompson wasn't impressed/happy.
But, we're making the best of it and are doing some personal
repairs/renovations.  He's helping us out a lot and feels very
noticeably bad for us.  The sympathy is nice, I suppose.  =)

We recently re-made the boundary lines for the areas within our
district and lost many investigators.  We're hoping to change that
within the coming weeks and I personally hope to encounter many new
families and potential priesthood holders.  We've got some good goals
and a good vision of how we'll do it.  All that said, I'm not terribly
picky about who I teach so long as they're ready.  I'm trying to learn
how to sift through people better and still give them all a fair
chance to progress.  If I find a ready 21 year old woman, I'll teach
her.  I hope my vision's not incorrect, but I don't think it is.  The
gospel's not only for men and families, after all.  I say this because
of a new mission goal that was recently made to focus on families and
priesthood holders--a great goal and one worthy of a fledgling country
like Angola who needs to be established the right way.  My only
problem with said goal is the ideas of a few missionaries who think
that this means that we can no longer teach anyone else--obviously not
true nor of the spirit of missionary work.  Maybe I'm a bit harsh.

This week was a good one, overall.  Hard for obvious reasons, but I
feel like I'm growing.  I'm trying to focus more on Preach My Gospel
and adopt more and more principles of effective and extraordinary
missionaries into my mission and my life.  I'm also making a targeted
effort each week to study and apply a Christlike attribute.  This week
I'll study Charity.

Transfer calls came.  I'm staying with Elder Wilhelm!  I'm super
excited.  I love this guy.  He's a great companion, super easy to work
with, and very willing to do the hard things when they're necessary
(hours of proselyting, etc.).  We're going to rock this transfer.

I had some crazy cool experiences this week.  I started in to 3 Nephi
and was just blown away (again) by Christ's coming and His words to
the Nephites.  If you ever need a spiritual shot in the arm, read
those chapters.  The Book of Mormon is becoming an increasingly large
part of my life.  I love it!  I hope to make this habit a lifelong
one--a lasting love that causes me to ever-increasingly seek
inspiration, solace, counsel, desire, and excitement in The Book of
Mormon.  I'm trying to create that atmosphere in my life so that I can
create it one day in my home.  I feel that it's so important.  By the
way...  How's that challenge I left with you guys to finish The Book
of Mormon before the end of the year?  I hope we're still together on
that.  =)

On Sunday we sang in the district choir.  It was so cool!  We sang a
song in Kikongo (a native dialect from here) and I loved it.  Africans
have soul.

We had a Christmas party at the Reedy's house today and it was very
nice.  We all enjoyed American food and a good-old-fashioned white
elephant exchange.

Mom, I can skype on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and I figure it'd
be easier at about 10 AM your time.  Would that work?  On Christmas

I love you guys!  I hope all is well.

Elder Cody R. Eckman

Monday, November 26, 2012

I am, for the eighth time, a proud uncle. I miss those kids!!!!

Dear everyone under the sun (or the snow, if you're so lucky),                  November 26, 2012

Congrats to everyone who has decided to go on a mission whether you've
received a call yet or not.  How exciting that so many of my wonderful
friends are leaving to serve the Lord!  I'm honored to be your friends
and so grateful to have your influences in my life.  Anna, I got your
letter.  Expect a reply as soon as I can get one out.  =)  Everyone
else...  Well, write me!  I'm hoping my last batch of letters got out.

Is anyone new getting married/having kids?  I'd love to hear about it!
 Aubs, I'm SO excited for you and your now-larger family.  I am, for
the eighth time, a proud uncle.  I miss those kids, but I know they're
in good hands.  I'll ruin them for you all when I return.  I was
reminded today that after next week I only have 5 transfers left!
Gosh.  I don't know how to react to that.  I'm not ready to be
"unplaqued" yet!  Transfers are next week.  Some people say that I'll
train.  Others think that Elder Wilhelm will be staying for at least
one more.  Whatever happens, I'm excited for the opportunity to keep
on working here and growing every day.

In other news, we've redivided our areas and, though the division is
good and smart, it hurts.  We lost about 13 investigators (5 with a
baptismal date and more that were progressing toward one).  We gained
very little in return.  But, we got a good area with some potential
that just needs to be tracked and conquered!  A conquering we go.  =)

This last week was an incredible numbers week.  Well, compared to what
we've been seeing at least.  We had 22 lessons!  It was great.  And 9
people came to church.  The numbers don't matter in and of themselves,
but the people behind them do and I love that these people grew so
much this week.

We are teaching two sisters who are polar opposites.  The older sister
is loud, knows her bible well, likes us for no particular reason, but
is iffy on the idea of re-baptism.  The younger sister is quiet, but
very accepting.  When the older sister said that she wouldn't pray to
find out if God wanted her to be baptized again, her younger sister
was shocked.  She said, "You're not even going to pray!?  What have
you got to lose?"  They both came to church and seem really genuine.

We also had the opportunity to teach a missionary from The Jehovah's
Witness church.  It was surprising.  I don't want to talk poorly about
other churches...  But suffice it to say that I'd never met a
Jehovah's Witness that wasn't looking to fight with us and bible bash
us into insensibility.  Edmilson wasn't looking for that.  We talked
very calmly, explained our beliefs very basically, and he even let us
end with a prayer.  He invited us back next Saturday to bring him a
Book of Mormon.  I get the feeling he thinks that we're kind of his
"pet project" as he's also a missionary, but we'll see how Saturday
goes.  I liked him a lot.

I had a great Thanksgiving, by the way.  =)  We had it as a special
event on Thursday.  At 4 we went to President's and played a little
bit, talked, and ate.  We talked about what we were thankful for.  I'm
thankful for the loving support of my friends and family.  I'm
thankful for my mission and the many great things it's shown me.  I'm
grateful for conversation.  I'm grateful for the true church.  I'm
grateful for my Savior.  I'm grateful for The Book of Mormon (I've
recently started Helaman again and I can't get enough!).  Most of all,
I'm grateful to be a child of God, to know that I am, and to feel His
love every day.

I've made a concrete decision that I've shared with very few people.
After my mission, I'm joining the Air Force.  It might not be right
away.  I might do some school first.  I might decide to get married
first.  I'm not sure on the specifics.  I still want to try for the
choir, but if I don't get in I'll do something else.  I need to look
more into it, but I'm certain that this is the right choice and the
path that I need to take for my family and my life.  I will join up.
I feel more right about it than I ever have.

Hey, I love you guys and I wish you all the best.  Merry Christmas!
We're loving Christmas music in our house right now.  =)


Elder Cody R. Eckman

Happy Early Thanksgiving!

  Sorry for this posting a week late, Too much happened last week and I just didn't get to posting, and then I got sick just before Thanksgiving and am just starting to feel human again. 

  Cody's Mom

Dear family, friends, and random strangers,                        November 19, 2012

Happy early Thanksgiving!  Also, Reed, Nikki, and Jeff:  Happy Birthday this week!  I sure love you guys.  I hope life is treating you as it should.  Life on my end is brilliant!  We had a great week with lots of great insight and learning.  It went by FAST.

First off, I learned the importance of planning, effective study, and communication this week.  Little things lead to big ones.  We had a successful week, but I know that it could've gone better.  The Spirit could have been stronger.  The study could have been deeper, more insightful, more delicious.  And well, we've learned.  So we'll do.  As a wise man once said:  To know but not do is to not know.

Secondly, I learned more about the importance of focus this week.  I've been a bit unfocused as of late and it shines through onto the work.  The more I focus on what the Lord wants, the happier I feel.  This is certainly a key to success in life.  At times, it's easy to forget whom you represent.  I'm really striving to not forget.

As I read Ammon's words in Alma 26, I was touched by the way he "boasts in his God".  How do we boast in our God?  Do we live as He would live?  Do we do what He would want?  Do we believe in Him more than in ourselves or in man?  Someone once asked, "How do I love thee?"  Indeed, how do we love our Lord?  This is a question that has really touched me.  How do we show Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that we are truly theirs and that we want nothing else?  By living nothing else.  99% correct is still 1% wrong.  God is not a God of almost or good intentions--He's a God of action, repentance, love, and growth.  If we strive for 100%, He will help.  That's my testimony and my goal.  I will strive to be 100% obedient in all things.

Hipólito (one of our coolest investigators) came to the District Conference that we had this week and loved it!  He's excited to become a Mormon (as he told us) and seems really content with his new choice of religion.  He's a really good guy and I'm excited for him.

I'm excited for Thanksgiving on Thursday (we're going to the Thompson's and having a real Thanksgiving dinner!) and for Christmas some time after that.  Calling home will be nice.  =)  I'll let you all know more about that when I do.  I'm already listening to Christmas music.  I love it!

I love you all and thank you so much for your continued support, love, and prayers.  It helps more than you know.

All my love,

Elder Cody R. Eckman

Monday, November 12, 2012

Elder Wilhelm and I were robbed at gunpoint--really, a pretty normal week. =)

Dear Everyone,

Hey!  I had a really cool week, but nothing huge happened.  We had a Zone Conference, I got to talk with the psychiatrist that created the famous "color code personality profile" (I am, as always, VERY blue and VERY red), and Elder Wilhelm and I were robbed at gunpoint--really, a pretty normal week.  =)

We were only able to get 1 of our 3 new baptismal dates last week.  I'm hoping that next week we'll see more and even more progression from our investigators.  They're incredible people.  Hugo is the one I'm most worried about right now.  He was going very strong, progressing very rapidly...  And then he started to fall off the face of the map.  We weren't able to sit with him last week.  He hasn't been to church in 2 weeks now and he's hard to get a hold of.  Please keep him in your prayers.  We're trying extra hard with him.

I won't leave you all hanging any longer--it's true, I received a training from Elder Hartman (Dr. Taylor Hartman) who is the Mental Health professional for all of Africa.  He's really cool!  I enjoyed the training a lot and learned a ton from him.  I was also able to sit with him one on one for a while.  It was really insightful and taught me a lot.  I'm excited to apply what he taught us to my life and mission.  Just a little tidbit:  100% Responsibility brings options.  Blaming others has the opposite effect--everything shuts down.  4 Steps to Success in Life:  1.  Get yourself.  2.  Get truth.  (As in eternal, pure truth.  Truth never changes.)  3.  Get over yourself.  4.  Get others.  It was a really fun, interesting experience.

The downside?  All my notes are gone.  And my scriptures.  And my backpack.  I also lost chapstick, about 4 dollars, my empty wallet, and our cellphone.  Oh, I was robbed on Saturday, by the way.  We were walking down a fairly normal street and some young guys started following us.  I had the spiritual prompting to stop and start talking to a few people as we walked, but I ignored it.  We were in a bit of a hurry.  If we had, we probably would have been fine.  As it stands, one of the guys came up behind me, grabbed the strap of my bag, pointed a gun and said, "Dá tudo."  (Give everything.)  He was acting all sorts of tough.  We didn't care much, really.  I dropped my bag and they went through my pockets.  They took everything but my White Handbook (I keep it in my breast pocket--it's always filled with money).  They took all of our stuff, ran off, and Elder Wilhelm and I started walking.  We were super annoyed.  We weren't scared; we hadn't been in any danger.  We had been completely calm as the guys robbed us.  As we walked away we started complaining a bit to each other, however.  We lost our scriptures!  That's the worst part.  I've been marking those up like crazy!  But, hey.  We're fine.  Nothing happened.  We got home just fine.  Mom, don't worry.

By the way, if any of you are thinking about missions but aren't sure yet--go.  Go.  I'm telling you, it's the best thing you can do with your time.  It's been the best time of my life up 'til now.  I promise you that you won't be missing out on anything.

Well, I love you guys.  I'm learning tons.  I'm becoming a much more organized person.  And a finisher.  And disciplined.  The change is becoming more noticeable to me.

My best,

Elder Cody R. Eckman

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Missionary work is pure service!!!

Dear people,

What a cool week I had!  I loved my lessons, the opportunities that we had to serve and help many people, and the love that I've felt coming from the Lord.  He's truly got a soft spot for missionary work, and I had a sort of revelation:  Pure missionary work is pure service.  It's how Christ did it and it's how we should too.  With that in mind, missionary work becomes almost more... tangible to me.  It's not just teaching and finding and baptizing (all good things, to be sure)--it's living what we know, transmitting the love of God, and doing what He would do were He here.  It was a cool little epiphany.  Also, this is to say that the work won't end in 8 months (the time that I have left according to my wonderful and annoying friend, Elder Wilhelm) but will continue throughout my life.  I love Elder Wilhelm.  He's a wonderful missionary with a lot of talent, diligence, and love.  He truly looks on the Angolan people with a heart full of desire to help.  I'm learning so much with him.  We got out there this week, knocked doors, did street contacts and found a ton of people.  This area needs to grow and has so much potential.  I'm loving it.

Another highlight of the week:  We went to an orphanage and taught some kids English, played with them, and showed them a little love.  It was really sweet, but kind of sad.  It showed me that kids are SO resilient.  They take any hit that life throws at them with a smile.  They don't know how to be sad.  They just play, smile, and don't notice things like a lack of clean clothes, a parental figure, etc.  It was really touching and kind of hard to see.  Heather, you would have loved it.  The idea of being a philanthropist is growing on me.

4 people have now accepted baptismal dates and we're hoping to see a total of 8 by the end of next week.  These people are truly preparing themselves.  We talked with two younger guys this week named Alex and Adilson and they just...  Got it.  They understood why a Restoration was so necessary.  They came to church, have been reading, and really enjoy sitting with us.  It was really cool.  I explained the Gospel of Jesus Christ as being the best possible thing we could have in our lives to be happy.  They seemed to really like that idea and are excited to take the necessary steps to fill their lives with good things and blessings in place of things that don't last, that aren't real, and that leave them feeling empty.

What else?  Halloween came and went.  No one here really cares much.  I heard something about a hurricane in New York?  What happened?  And the Presidential Race...  What's up?  Mom, you said you'd send a package with the Reedys.  I would love some Root Beer.  =)  (Or Mountain Dew...)  I'm kidding (mostly) but I would really like another tape, maybe.  To listen to in my mini-tape player.  If it's not too much trouble.  Other than that, I think I'm fine.  I'm content with what I have.

I sure love you guys.  I'm happy to be doing this work and hope that you're all finding fulfillment in your lives.  =)

Elder Cody R. Eckman

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A few thoughts on Ether 12 verse 28

Dear Folks Who Love Me,

I'll start off today with a bit of what I've been studying lately.
Ether 12 really touched me as I read it recently.  It's all so GOOD.
Faith, the purpose of weakness, how miracles come, etc.  It leaped off
the page at me as I read it this time through.  I invite you all to
read it and ponder its message.  One thing that really stood out this
time around was verse 28.  Everyone knows/loves verse 27...  But what
about 28?

Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show
unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain
of all righteousness.

So how do we overcome weakness?  By coming unto God (as said in 27).
And how do we come unto God?  Faith, hope and charity.  If we seek to
increase these attributes in ourselves, we'll crowd out any other
negative pieces and be freed from our weaknesses.  What a cool

This week was really cool!  I love Elder Wilhelm.  He's a blast to
walk with and an awesome missionary.  I'm afraid we'll only be
together one transfer, but that's okay.  The Lord knows what He's
doing.  We have 3 Baptismal Dates as of Saturday and I'm so excited
for these people.  I have a slew of new investigators who I'm still
getting to know.  One of them (one of those Baptismal Dates) is named
Lorenço and he's a champion!  He understands The Book of Mormon SO
well.  He explained it to us like this:  "Well, I joined the Universal
Church in '94 and recently found that it wasn't true.  Then, you
Elders came along and showed me this beautiful doctrine and this
incredible book.  It's true and it makes so much sense--the Bible
talks about Jacob's son Joseph so much and there are some incredible
promises made to him that are never realized in the Bible.  So, we
have The Book of Mormon which is a record of Joseph's descendants."
Whenever we answer any of his questions or doubts, he's completely at
peace; he's finally found the little piece of himself that he was
missing and he's savoring every moment.

We're working with a lot of Less-Active members and it's really
inspiring (and sometimes hair-pulling) work.  For a multitude of
reasons--offense, laziness, disenchantment, unworthiness etc.--these
people have simply stopped coming to church, reading, praying, etc.
It's sad to see the downturn that their happiness, peace of mind and
life in general has taken.  Note to self:  Don't ever go inactive.
It's not a desirable way to live.

I've realized that one of the biggest of Satan's lies is the idea that
after sin we cannot become completely clean again.  He wants us to
believe ourselves unworthy, unclean, and unhappy.  I testify against
this.  Christ came for this!  He came to free us from those feelings
of guilt and unhappiness.  If you've truly repented, why do you worry?
 Repentance is the cure of the soul and can bring a perfect peace.
Though a sin be as scarlet, it CAN be white as snow.  I know this.
The devil also knows this and he's scared of it.  He's passed a point
of no return and wants us to believe the same of ourselves.  So, cast
not off confidence, believe in the atoning power of Christ and go
forth in faith.  We CAN become the person that the Lord wants us to
be.  Our past doesn't have to limit that.

I'm so very grateful for the gospel in my life.  It changes a lot.  It
provides light in a dim world and relief from the pains of mortality.
I've seen it melt hearts, change lives, brighten countenances, and
lift unbearable loads.  THIS is life eternal.  Anything else is just a
clever trick, a blatant lie, or a fleeting and false joy.

I like an example I learned recently of a cake being baked by the best
baker.  Every slice of this perfect cake has a distinct flavor.  If a
person were to arrive and take just one piece of the wonderful cake,
they'd walk away feeling satisfied and feeling as though they'd had
the best chocolate cake in the world.  Or strawberry.  Or vanilla.
But unless they stay around and enjoy every piece of the cake, they'll
never be truly fulfilled nor understand what they are missing.  We
have the cake!  It was "rebaked" by Jesus Christ through the prophet
Joseph Smith.  We aren't grasping at crumbs of chocolate or vanilla...
 We have so much more than the best chocolate cake in the world.  As a
missionary, I get to introduce well-meaning folks to other slices of
that cake that they didn't even know existed.  What a life we live.

Well, I love you guys.  Life is great.  I'm happy.  I'll soon get a
new house (this should hopefully mean water and energy =)).

I leave it with you--go and share your cake.

Elder Cody R. Eckman