Missionaries get to call home for about 40 minutes to an hour twice a year on Christmas and Mother's day (They also get to call as they are leaving the MTC and are at the airport if they have time). Jeff called us on Sunday at about 1:50 pm MDT and was able to talk for about 45 minutes.
I had canceled leadership meetings at church so that our ward leadership could spend Mothers' Day with their families, so I had just gotten home a little before he called. The Student had spoken in her sacrament meeting at BYU earlier in the day and then drove out to the house in anticipation of Jeff's call so the whole family was there. When he called we put him on speaker phone and everyone gathered around the computer desk.
Jeff seemed interested in knowing what we had been up to even though we had covered most of our activities in our letters to him. We told him about our river trip down Labyrinth Canyon, trying to keep our black lab from getting out of the yard, building kayak for the Biker Guy, rappelling, track meets, Arrow of Light Cub Scout award for The Scooter, Timberline training for Biker Guy, etc.
We told him about the cooler weather we have had this Spring. He said that the weather there felt anything but cool with the high humidity. He said that with the humidity that he only needed to ride his bike about 50 yards before he was dripping sweat off his face. Not something we desert rats are used to experiencing. He said that he rides his bike about an hour each way just to reach their "area" so it sounds like he is doing a lot of sweating and burning through all those calories he gets eating at members' houses.
The Scooter asked if any doors had been been slammed on him and he said, "no," but that many had been closed fairly quickly. He said that many of the people they contact like to talk about religion but in a contentious manner disputing different point of scripture and doctrine. Of course, the peaceful feelings of the spirit can't be there in those circumstances and so they try and avoid those encounters. We asked what a typical day was like and they definitely stay very busy.
Jeff said that the Spanish was coming along very nicely and that he was understanding most conversations now. They do transfers every 6 weeks and he expects that his companion will be transferred in the next couple of weeks. Jeff will likely receive a new senior companion but he will be the the missionary with experience in the area and have to show his new companion around.
When it was time to go he wished his mom a "Feliz Dia de Madres!" He has developed a very nice Spanish accent.