Yes, this week was more African craziness. If there were nothing crazy that happened in a given week... that would actually be the craziest of all.
As far as the ecclesiastical endorsement goes, that actually took me by surprise. I had a roommate my last semester who had just come off of his mission, and I remember he had to take in his honorable release certificate. I assumed that that was the endorsement per se. And yes, it was a good idea not to call the mission office. I'm the one who picks up the phone 75% of the time, so that would have been very awkward. Thank you for all the work you did on that.
As far as my homecoming talk, I can do whenever. I kind of like the idea of getting it done quickly, it would probably be easier on extended family that way. That's my thought, but maybe there are better reasons to to it latter.
So this last sunday was our District Conference as I mentioned last week. It was a pretty good meeting, I really like being able to see all of the members I know in the other branches. Something that was really cool is that one of my converts in Fidjrosse was sustained for the Melchisedek Priesthood. It caught me a little by surprise (although it really shouldn't have). I was really glad to see that he has been progressing in the church and is still active.
The effects of the District Conference continued to Monday as well. Elder Vinson of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 presided over our conference. Well, Monday morning I was assigned to drive him to the airport due to a long series of events that includes a canceled flight, a visit with one of the city mayors, and the mission president driving to Ghana. Elder Vinson was really nice and easy to get along with. I think that's a requirement to become a general authority. If you didn't know, he is from Australia. He asked where I am from and I said northern Utah. He asked which part and I said Fruit Heights. He said "oh yes, I know Fruit Heights very well". I believe that it was Pres. Jensen who served in Australia, and got to know Elder Vinson there. He said he knew President Frischknecht as well from being in Salt Lake for church callings. He is the very first Australian I have ever known, and we still know people in common! I seem to know the 1/10 of the church that knows the other 9/10.
As far as transfers go, I have no idea when/where I will go. I think the earliest I could leave would be around the 6th of November. I'm assuming that President would probably give me about a week's notice. I am a little worried though. Every missionary I know of that staid in the office this long finally asked to be transferred. I have this little suspicion that President is waiting for me to do the same thing. The problem is that I promised myself before I left that I would never ask for a transfer. This may turn into a silent and slow game of chicken. Although I'm not at 9 months yet, I'm only at 8 for the moment.
I think that the envelope you sent me might be lost. We got two envelopes this week from Utah that were sent in mid-October. Oh well, I had to lose one of them over the course of the mission.
Teaching has been a little slow lately due to some added pressures in the mission office, but we are still doing okay. We actually will have a baptism next week. Her name is Habiba, we have been teaching her for about 6 weeks now. A member introduced us to her and has been helping her a lot. She has seen a lot of hard times in her life.
Our mission is just under 110 missionaries for the moment, which is a high for us. It looks like that number will decrease slightly for a while, but from what we are looking at there will be another big wave coming in in April. But it's not really my concern at that point.
I had an idea for what I want to do in my first few days back at home. I want to do a Family Temple Trip. I've never actually been to the temple with the entire family. I think it would be really cool to all go together. It would be even cooler if we could even do work for family names, but I don't know if it would be possible to get enough in time. Could we please plan to have that trip though? Maybe that saturday after I get home.
If there is an opening at "University Park" I think it would be fine. From what you say, it's in a pretty good location. I'm honestly not too picky at the moment, if it has a microwave and hot water it will more high tech than any apartment I've had for the last two years.