And the answer is as follows:
Page One of the Handbook is very important. First couple weeks out here, I felt like the entire mission was operating out of sync with the handbook and all of the information that we learned at the MTC. It's taken me until just now to figure it all out.
And the answer is this: (See Missionary Handbook, page 1).
After a great deal of prayer, now I know that we're not doing anything crazy; instead, the mission president is "adjust[ing] some of these standards as local circumstances require." (See Missionary Handbook, Page 1).
Now that it's all behind me, let me go on with the letter:
This missionary is still doing great up here. Alaska is absurdly beautiful. Dad can never come up, because he would never go back down.
[denotes an abrupt, illogical, unexpected or absurd turn of plot or dialogue not normally associated with or appropriate to that preceding it.]
Alaska state facts:
Bird: willow ptarmigan
Fish: King Salmon
Flower: Forget-me-not (check out President Uchdorf's talk in the November Ensign about the flower! it's awesome!
Motto: none official, but most used is "The Last Frontier" I'm telling you Star Trek mission! Where no one has gone before.
And now for something completely
different: Answers given to questions asked.