Elder Boling's latest email mostly filled in some details on old news, and told us more about his fascinating companion. Something you should know first:
Their mission produced a musical production called "Meet the Missionaries" that they performed live on tour last year; they also produced a video and accompanying soundtrack album.
Back to his companion:
Due to reasons outside of his control, Elder Pangrel's entry into the mission field was delayed, but in the mean time he gained a lot of experience, maturity, and technical expertice (including some hacking for the FBI). Because of this, he tends to attract special assignments w/ responsibilities and privileges not normally given to missionaries (Alexander's description reminded me a lot of Caleb Hornbeck on his mission, and his assignment as a "technology missionary").
With this production, for example, he was authorized to:
- kick the AP's off the computers when he needed them
- stay up as late as he wanted (36 hours once)
- Use computers/phones without his companion watching his screen
- sleep in the car in the church parking lot
He was exausted and stressed, but he still pulled it off really well
Alexander said that the production has added a new set of phrases to mission vernacular, such as "extra ingredients" and "not an angel, a heavenly messenger".
I thought I understood that two mission areas had traded cars, but no, two areas got new cars. He turned in their 2017 Malibu and received a 2020 AWD hybrid RAV4 with a whopping 36 miles on it. His opinion of it:
I see what people mean when they talk about the smell of a new car. It stinks. It smells to me like melted plastic. Thank you for buying used cars, Mom!I don't like how it doesn't have a tachometer, because if you rev the engine too high (about 6000 rpm) you get Agressive Driving marked on your driving record. I haven't yet and I don't plan to either.I like how it get 40 mpg, has more power, and has a lot more room. There are some things I am getting used to in there, such as the brake pedal that is easier to push than the gas pedal. But I like the car.
He concluded by mentioning the virus, the rumors of fights in the stores, and the personal challenges:
It has been fun trying to find ways to prosolyte without leaving the apartment. But I still love my mission!