Me in the freezing rain. Freezes on my coat and glasses.
My district: Elder Hansen, Sister Hatterly, Elder Bartholomew, Sister Woolf, Sister Rowley, Sister Nelson, Elder Rees, Elder Fowers at Chick-fil-a
I got your Valentine's package. I love it and the goodies are making me fat. But I haven't gained any weight in a car area so I think I can make it. Yes!
Well the biggest news this week is I am getting a new companion. I am excited but at the same time I don't want change to happen. I know the lord will be there to lessen my fears of having a new companion. Elder Fowers is going to be leaving me to go be a Zone leader in a different part of the mission. I am going to miss him a lot. Also, my good friend, Elder Hansen is leaving to be District leader in a different part of the mission as well. I will just have Elder Rees. We will become the oldies in this area for Elders. So I'm staying in Lilburn for another transfer. I will be in the same place for four and a half months in a YSA branch. Sounds pretty cool. It's going to be different, but I will make the best of it! There will be two Elder Bartholomew's in our mission soon. Remind everyone if they are going to send anything to make sure it has my first name as well. Just wanted to remind everyone.
This week has had it's ups and downs. The snow kept us in for three days and the entire state of Georgia was shut down. It was crazy. We weren't allowed to leave our apartment for three days and I thought if we stayed in there for another day we would have killed each other. But on a high note-we had heat and electricity for the entire time so it wasn't too bad. We went outside once to see if we could get anywhere, but the rain was like frozen. It wasn't snow and it wasn't hail--it was just frozen rain. I have never seen anything like it. It started freezing to our coats and I couldn't see out of my glasses. We went to a Walmart-- the only store open! We got warm and looked around and there was no milk, eggs, meat, top ramen, bottled water, bread and more. Everyone thought the world was ending again. You think they would have thought that two weeks ago we didn't die--this week won't be any different. But no, they all flocked to Walmart and bought everything. It was mostly all melted by Thursday night so it wasn't bad. We drove to some neighborhoods and it was great because everyone was still inside from the snow so we had so many contacts. Ha!
You might remember me mentioning a lady named Illiana Julianai. If I didn't, she is amazing. A month ago, Elder Hansen and I found her on exchanges and we taught her and she was waiting for the missionaries to come to her house for like two years. She was so ready to hear the gospel and the South Elders taught her from then until now and she got baptized on Saturday. Awesome!! I am so happy for her. I am so glad to be one of the Elders to find her and get the ball moving. She is such a great lady and I know that she is going to be the best new member of the church ever!
This week has been crazy but it was alright. It will be weird not having my trainer around. But that's okay. I bet my new companion will be great too. I hope he is not a greenie breaker. They say that the second or third companion makes you become a better missionary or breaks you and you become a lazy one. But know I will try my hardest to become the best missionary ever and just keep swimming!
That's all for this week but keep me informed about all of y'alls amazing experiences! Love you lots!!!
Sorry, I have been a bit busy. Everything has been going great out here. I am trying my hardest to stay uplifted and strong. It is suppose to snow here again this week and everyone is going to go crazy again in Georgia. Bread and milk will be gone again. I was wondering if you might be able to send me my little scriptures that have a snap and my name on them so I can have another set to have out here and mark scriptures maybe just a bit differently. That would be awesome. I have been craving Springville water--I wish you could send that. The water here in Georgia is not as good!
The weather has been great this past week and we have been going out and finding some great people at the GGC (the college where we find most of our Young Single Adults) We just found this amazing guy. His name is Seth and he has truly been searching for some reasons in his life and we know the answers. The Spirit is always there and strong while we teach him. He is the most solid guy we have found. He wants to be a doctor in Africa. We have met with him twice and on Tuesday it will be our third.
I can say that you can find people almost everywhere to teach. I talked to our car wash guy for a good 30 minutes about the church while Elder Fowers was vacuuming our car. It was an awesome experience.
There is this guy named Jacob Reha. He has been less active in the church for most of his life. We had the coolest experience with him. He came to church on fast Sunday and he got up and left half way through. But then he came back and bore his testimony and it was awesome. We went to his house a few days later and he let us in. He never does that. We talked to him for a while and shared a message and he came to church again this week. Wow--that was sweet.
There are some new rules in my mission again about Elders and Sisters. We are now not allowed to be in the same building as them unless it is for district meetings and zone meetings. There are going to be some more rules put into place when we go to zone teaching in a few days. The whole mission is going to be there and our mission president is going to take 30 minutes and put some new rules in play. I heard that Mission Presidents get more strict their last six months and I can see that.
Funniest and coolest experience out tracking this week. We were going down this street--no one was even opening their doors to us. One lady even yelled from the other side of the door, "Get away from my door!" We knocked on another door and we could hear heavy metal rock playing in the basement. They sounded okay for a metal band. Two guys came out of the door and they were tattooed up and had nose rings like bulls. They were very friendly and then a few more came to the door after a bit and we just answered some basic questions about what we believe and then 4 more people came out from the garage with beers and some drugs of some sort and they all just passed it around the group while everyone was listening to us teach them and asked a few more questions here and there and then more people came from inside the house and started listening. Then two cars pulled up and a bunch more people got out and we were surrounded and they started listening to us. They were all cool and just having a good time listening to us and asking questions. I think they liked us a lot and most of them were cool with us coming back and teaching them more. That was a cool time.
We met with Derek Mann, a less active yesterday and he is a total gamer. He goes to work and then comes home and plays games like they were his real life. He starts so many games and has to finish them. He plays like 10 hours a day and is like a professional gamer that makes money from winning games on line. It's not how people should spend life. One game after another--it's crazy! He spends all of his money on games and has no where to go at this point in time. I have learned on the mission that college and spending time with real people is very important. I have found so many people just think they are having the best time of their life on a computer away from everyone and everything and not enjoying life. I promise that I will not be like that. I need to really enjoy what life has to offer.
I gave a talk on Sunday. We got a call on Saturday evening and they needed someone to give a talk so we had to write a talk in like an hour and it was so stressful. I gave a talk on charity. It was an okay talk with only a little while to write it.
Transfers are next Wednesday. Fun. I will be officially trained and could potentially be training a new missionary new transfer which I don't think would be good-- I still fell like a very green missionary.
Monday was just a normal p-day. Shopping and writing emails. The rules in the mission have changed a bit. We are not allowed to really see the sisters anymore. There is no more district lunch after district meeting. We can only go to the church building when there is only our district there. We just found out that there will be no more zone p-days in our mission. So it's going to be a lot different than it was before. So we either do nothing and stay home or we spend what little money we have and have fun. It's just going to be me and my companion for the rest of mission for p-days. But family home evening is still fun with the young single adult branch. We played bowling in the church gym with basketballs and water bottles. They weren't keeping score, so everyone wins!
Tuesday was when the snow started and everyone in Georgia thought the world was ending. I saw pictures that some other missionaries took where there was no milk in the stores and the bread was almost gone. It only snowed like 3 inches that really stuck to the ground--maybe even less. People abandoned their cars, slept in stores and schools. No one really knows how to drive in the snow here. it's a little crazy.
For missionaries, we were told to be inside at noon and stay inside until the coast was clear and when the mission president told us we could go back out again. We didn't get that text until Wednesday and we could only go out on foot. We walked and walked. The streets were empty and the stores were closed and cars were on the side of the roads. No one was out. It was hard with Elder Rahman because of his knee, he slipped and hurt it more. So we had to back and walk and walk and stay inside until the next day when we could finally use our cars. We found out on Thursday that the college that we go to for most of our finding was still closed. Which I thought was crazy because the roads were clear and everything was fine. Still everyone was scared to leave their homes. The entire state was closed for like three days. Businesses opened late afternoon and then closed at 7 because people wanted to go home. In the time we couldn't go out, we made a man cave in our attic which was super fun. We put some pillows and Christmas lights in it and just chilled and studied.
Ian, a member that is from Utah was the only one brave enough to take us to dinner. He is an awesome guy. Super cool and has a ton of money from the businesses he owns. He is single and living a pretty good life. He loves the gospel a ton. He served a mission in Florida. The best way to describe him is a suave mountain man--super classy, but does super adventures.
Elder Rahman is back in California. He left on Saturday and it was sad. After we dropped him off in the morning we went to work! We contacted so many people that day and we found two new investigators.
Elder Fowers birthday was on Sunday. Super cool. It was fun being around him--opening presents and stuff. Well that was my week. Love you and I hope everyone is doing good.
In district meeting this week we always have a question at the beginning to start us off. This week it was DC or Marvel and who your favorite super hero is. I thought it was going to be a good question, but little did I know that it was going to get heated pretty fast. No one yelled at each other and it was a good bonding experience in the district.
Elder Fowers got a mix tape (CD) from a rapper when we went up to the college to contact people. Now when ever we go up there, they are like best friends. Elder Fowers loves the rap music, but he can't listen to his new rap CD. I told him he should send it home so it's not a temptation for him.
People seem to think that Young single adult aged people are not set in their ways in a religion so they will be awesome people to teach the gospel to. Well.....they are much more open to talk to but getting a return appointment is the hardest thing ever! And being Young single adults-being crazy and having fun is the only thing on their mind.
We had another ice cream social at the old folks home. It was super fun. We taught some of the new sisters how to scoop ice cream. We are awesome.
I gave one of the members of the branch a blessing, Brandon Corely. He is going through some rough times. I have to say that I have never felt the spirit stronger in my life. Blessing someone else is amazing and I loved it. I love my Heavenly Father more and I love Brandon more. It's awesome.
Weekly planning was fun. We made a blanket fort and it was pretty cool. We had dinner with the Moua's the Mong family. It was super good--I love Mong food. We visited Bryant Fields. He is very less active-like hasn't been to church in forever and he said he would come and he came!!!! It was awesome. He even shaved his sweet beard for church. It was amazing. It was stake conference this week and it was a broadcast to Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Elder Nielson spoke and it was awesome!
I love you guys!!!!
This week was crazy! I know now why we only have two as a companionship. Studying is almost impossible with three. There is always something that happens or something comes up and there are three people to talk about it and it is just a lot harder to stay on track. But everything is going great out here. We went to the young single adult family night. We played Frisbee and I kinda hit a girl in the face with the disc and I felt really bad about that. Other that that, it was pretty fun.
I went on exchanges on Tuesday this week with Elder Rees. We had to walk everywhere because he is in a biking area, but his tire was flat. So we walked and walked and walked and walked. Probably like 10 miles that day and we didn't get too much done because we were walking the entire time. Cars are the best--you get so much more done. Elder Rees got a call that night from the granddaughter of a lady who's grandmas had just passed away and she called the missionaries because she didn't know what to do. Elder Rees gave her some people to contact and he was very sweet. He shared a touching message to her and I was like wow--I didn't think missionaries did stuff like that. It was an amazing experience for me.
We had our interview with the President this week. It was cool. I guess I thought it was going to be bad. But to be honest, it was a bit boring. I felt like he was just reading something off he says to everyone and just changes it up a little bit for each person. But it was good. He is a busy guy and has to took after over 200 missionaries.
I got to pet a pit bull at Lawrence's house. It was crazy! They are so cool when you know they aren't going to eat you. They are just full of muscle. We talked with Lawrence but he was busy so we set up a time when we could meet him this week.
We dropped a lot of people this week. We had six on our board of people, but now we just have two. We need to get some new investigators! We met with Akeia this week twice and talked more about the gospel. She has been taught everything but she doesn't read or go to church...not good.
Tracking is still hard. But we are teaching more lessons now. This guy let us into his home and he was super anti and he gave us an anti book for the Book of Mormon. He was rude and kinda crazy. We bore our testimonies to him but nothing was getting through so we left and looked through the book. It was just a bunch of garbage that people make up to make Mormons look crazy. I hated the book a lot. Why are people so rude and not open at all. They can be hard hearted. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday I tried to beat the food eating challenge for missionaries. Two BIG plates of food--and I mean BIG piled on, a big bowl of fruit, a hardy piece of carrot cake and 10 ice cream snickers bars. Sadly I only got to three before I almost lost my meal. I did not beat the challenge--but that's ok.
On Tuesday, after district meeting, the mission President told us not to go out because it was too cold outside to track. Little did I know that it was -11 outside with the wind. Wow! that is so cold! I made so many phone calls and tried setting up so many appointments. By the end of the week almost all of them fell through, but that's cool. We got to redo a lot of stuff in the apartment and clean and try to keep ourselves busy. But is was a pretty good day.
We tried visiting Lawrence, but he wasn't home. His girlfriend was and we got to talk with her more about the gospel. She likes listening in on the lessons with Lawrence so we are teaching both of them and His dad wants to start joining in on the lessons too. We talked to him and he wants us to call him and Lawrence and set up an appointment.
Wednesday was a bit warmer. New missionaries are coming out today. So I'm not going to be the new babies. Haha--I'm now a five year old.
I finally got to meet Akeia she is super cool and she is so ready to be baptized it's crazy. I'm super excited. I lent her my gloves because she didn't have any and her hands were really cold. We met her up at GGC college and she was typing on her computer with shaky hands so I hope I get them back the next time I see her.
We went tracking in the cold today and it wasn't so bad. But no one would open up their door too long because they didn't want to keep the door open for the Mormons. But there was this sweet young dude that let us in. He was probably 24 and we taught him the first lesson right there because he wanted to know what we believed in.
Thursday. I am now in a Tri companion ship with Elder Rahman. He is a cool guy. But i's weird being three people now. He hurt his ACL and has to stay with us until he figures out if he has to go home or not. We live super close to the mission office and we have a car so we got him.
Friday. I just ready the story of Abinadi and He is now my favorite prophet. He is boss sauce with extra sauce.
Saturday. It poured rain!!! Like a river in the back yard. I ran in it and was soaking wet in about 2 seconds. But right when we planned to go out to track for like 4 hours that day, the rain magically stopped...or maybe it was something more :)
I love you guys, Love the letters. Stay strong and happy.