April 7, 2014 First Conference away from home.
Sounds like General Conference was awesome for you guys as much as it was for me. I got to watch all of it at the Roswell building. I miss watching it in PJs and sitting on the couch. But that's ok. It meant I didn't fall asleep for any of it. Some missionaries fell asleep though.
Well, I am in my new area in Paper Mill. Roswell Zone. My new companion is not Elder Cox anymore. His name is Elder Davis. Elder Davis was going to be training this transfer but he hurt his leg pretty bad so President Wolfert called us and now Elder Cox is training an I got Elder Davis and his hurt leg. He is super smart and we are getting along so that's good. I feel like I have been inside for a very long time, even if it has only been 6 days it feels like so long. I hate having to just stay inside and study all day because of his leg. I want it to get better. I am planning on keeping my greeny fire deep within me and when I get transferred out I will go hard, tracking and contacting as many people as possible. I get to study a lot. that is the only up side. But I just want to get out and work. I hope in the next little while he will be able to walk.
One crazy thing happened this week. An elder ran away to Stone Mt. Park. But he has been found and sent home. I thought that was crazy. Anything can happen I guess to missionaries. I'm just wondering why he didn't just talk to the mission President.
I miss the YSA branch a lot. They became like a family to me. It was sad saying goodbye. But I guess it had to happen sometime on my mission. I miss my last companion Elder McConnhey a lot. WE were becoming an awesome team together. But six weeks just go by so fast. Elder McConnedhy is finishing off his mission he leaves in May. I'm glad that I got to be one of his companions. I hope that he is doing good his last transfer.
But in other news! General Conference! Oh my goodness. It was exactly what I needed. I love hearing from the inspired words of God. The spirit was so strong and I loved every minute of it. I wish I had some of my notes in front of me to put down some points that I love. But I'll do that in my next email to best put down my feelings about everything I love and felt during conference. In Elder Holland's talk, it was hard to hear were food was thrown at the missionaries. But let come what may and love it. Hard things will happen but it is our choice to make a good or not so good reaction. Love everyone and show them your light of Christ that it is inside.
We are so blessed to be able to hear the words and learn and ACT upon them.
March 31, 2014
Hello. I'm leaving Lilburn! I am moving area! First time for everything. Haha. I am going to be in the Roswell Zone, in the Paper Mill ward. My new companion will be Elder Cox. I went on exchanges my first week on the mission so that's going to be awesome. I already know him. He was a cool guy then and I know that we are going to be awesome. He has really big eye brows. Super funny. He is a visa waiter. He was called to Brazil. But it seems like none of the Brazil Elders are going to Brazil. That is sad for them.
My week has been pretty good.
Monday. WE mostly just emailed and played uno and dropped off the 17 points of the true church to a man named Wayne. He was having Jehovah's Witnesses come over to his house and he wants to bash with them. He is a funny guy. Then we had FHE with the branch. We learned how to make cookies. Yum. Got to see some less actives that usually don't come out. WE talked and had fun with them. It's awesome. I'm going to miss all of the activities with the branch. But I had a good time.
Tuesday: District meeting. It was fun we sang our songs opera style to make it a bit more fun. Then I went on exchanges with Elder Rees. We mostly just tracked and went to dinner. But we me a Baptist man that gave us a CD with a meeting of his church on its. We listened to it. Baptists are rock and roll and then a guy yelling and singing scriptures and preaching. Fun times.
Wednesday: WE had ice cream service. Love the old people and giving them ice cream. It's the highlight of their whole day. Normal missionary work. The good stuff. Then Institute, love it. A guy, Josh, goes to institute and he is not a member and he loves learning about the Book of Mormon. He is awesome. He is also a Free Mason. Love that guy. He is one of our more solid investigators.
Thursday: College tracking at GGC. I love working on a college campus. They love eating lunch and having company so we talk about the gospel with a lot of people. I've learned a lot about others and their religions. Then we ate dinner with Ean at his new house. He calls it the green machine. It's a pretty nice place he is living the bachelor life. Then taught Bryant Fields, lesson one. He's less active and awesome.
Friday: Slow day and weekly plans. Dropped off supplies to a lot of other missionaries. It's fun having a car.
Saturday: Tracking. Tracking. Tracking. We ate with four of the sisters in the branch and ate at Chilies. Yum. Good times.
Weather is good. Kinda chilly but it is warming up fast! It's crazy. I love it but I don't want it to get super southern hot. Love you and missing you!
March 24, 2014
This is my week. Well for starters, we got one meal from the members this week. And that was with Ean and Camille. They are like the power couple in the branch. They are awesome. They took us to TGI Friday's Awesome! I missed the taste of steak. Weird never thought that would happen. But it did.
We go out every day to find new people. Because our teaching pool is super down. WE find a lot of people but most of them aren't YSA aged people so we have to pass along a lot of people to other missionaries. There is this guy names Alvin that is super cool. WE taught him a quick 1st lesson but after that he texts us back and doesn't really set a solid time we can ever come back and teach him. He is slowly pushing away which is sad. so many single adults like us but aren't willing to change anything because they are in college or they are too busy playing video games most of the time. I dislike computer games as a missionary because people get sucked into this different world and they don't care about anything or anyone else in the real world. So that is always a challenge- even for members in the branch. They become less active so quick. it's not funny at all. I wish I could make them love the church. But I can't. I can only invite and teach and sometimes poke with a sharp stick--just kidding.
I went on exchanges with Elder Fairborn. He is an awesome guy. Super funny and ready to work and have fun.
We had a "linger longer" after church and it was great. Got to get to know some less active people in the branch. I was super happy about that. We got to do service for a non-member friend of Ean. Sweet. We pick up her furniture from a pretty sketchy place. Then we went to her house and brought it in and set everything up. That was super cool. She said we had a calming spirit around us. We might be teaching her soonly--hopefully! Ean is going to try and set something up for us. Maybe a dinner with her or something. I'm super happy right now.
Hope you guys are doing good. staying out of trouble and stuff.
March 17, 2014
Hello! I'm alive and on the other said eof the USA. Sometimes I think I'm not that far and then I think of yeah I'm right next to Florida. My week was pretty good this week. I guess that we have two zone conferences in two weeks. Elder Kopishke of the 70 who is from Germany and sounds just like Elder Uchdorf. He came and spoke to us. It was 5 hours with a member of the 70. It was just questions and answers--so that was amazing. He said to write some questions down on what you wanted to know. He promised us that our questions would be answered by the end of the meeting. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. I had four questions and all four were answered and I know that the lord loves me more now than I have ever known in my life!
WE had a good week. We are getting fed a lot more now--it's great. WE have a tone of potential investigators. My spirits are going higher and higher. I can't wait to meet them next week. I hate breaks in school now, because all of investigators go somewhere for a week and when they come back they don't want anything to do with the missionaries. I think it is a growing experience. I used to get super sad when an investigator left us, but now I only get a little sad and say there is someone still out there that needs the gospel. It has made me a lot stronger. For the last 4 months I have only read the Book of Mormon and it has been an amazing experience. I have been learning so much and my testimony grows every day.
I got to go, but I love you guys and hope all are doing well. Love you lots!
March 10, 2014
So how's life in Utah everyone? It's weird being away from all you guys. Some days I wish I were there having fun with you all--but I am making a ton of memories and time is flying! It's crazy. I feel like I have only been out here like 2 weeks at the most. I love the people out here and I love Georgia. Southern people can be the nicest people I have met in my life or the meanest people I have every met in my life.
Most of my week was very non worthy of writing about except the weather is changing for the better. It is getting more warm and more flowers are coming out. I can go outside without a sweater. That is very nice.
I am going to hit my 4 month mark on the 13th--that is cool. Tracking is getting better. I can carry on a pretty good conversation with someone about the gospel. They usually talk to us and we have a good conversation. But they never really want us to come back and talk more. I know that I am just planting seeds for the next missionaries. Elder McConnehey likes to bash with people. During studies he works on his bible bashing. It's kinda funny but kinda weird at the same time. There are some doors we knock on that their sole purpose is to bash with us. I just sit back and Elder McConnehey has his fun moment of joy going back and forth with scriptures. Personally I don't like to bash with people. For one they are pointless because their heart is hardened and whatever we say to them is going in one ear and out the other. So most of the time I try to end the conversation as soon as I can.
The peek of the week was on Saturday. We had Zone Conference and Elder Cook of the 12 came and spoke with us!!! It was so cool. I shock his hand. Elder Piper from the 70 talked to us as well. I am on a spiritual high right now. Elder Cook is so awesome. I don't have my notes with me right now but maybe next letter I will tell you more about that. I think the coolest thing he said at the very end was "I have heard his voice" and he paused for a second like he was going to say more, but he didn't. Man I love Elder Cook!
I got to see a ton of missionaries that I have become friends with because the entire mission came and listened to him. Missionaries are so cool. I love them.
Well, story time. My companion and I late at night were contacting people and the phone rings. The number was unknown, so of course as missionaries, we answer the phone. I say Hello this is Elder Bartholomew and then without saying who it is--he starts going off on this crazy rant on how he is from beyond the 6th realm and how he fell from the sky and how his father that is now dead is still talking to him and goes on and on and he says that he is a prophet and that we needed to listen to him. That was the craziest phone call I have ever had in my life. But I am loving the work and I hope you are doing amazing. I hope that everyone is safe and having fun. Love you lots and miss you!
March 3, 2014 To my Family in the great state of Utah
I am very tired, but I think that's a good sign as a missionary. Hard work makes you tired.
Ok. So my week has been okay. It seems like getting up every day so far has just been getting harder and harder. But I still get up and so some work outs so I like that. Working out is fun sometimes. But most of the time I just want to be a slug and lowly move myself around the room. Wondering what am I doing up this early. But it's good. I have fun. Most places have a gym but we have our little living area to do sit ups and push ups and stuff like that. I wish I could go out and run. I never thought I would ever say that in my life. But I am itching for a good run in the morning. But the cold is still here. I never thought of cold when I thought about Georgia. But all is well.
We are getting fed by more and more members as they come to get to like the Elders more and more over time. It's great! I like food.
We have been doing a lot of service moving people in and out of apartments. It seems like members like to buy top apartments and always have a ton of stuff. More than can fit in the apartment because they are planning on buying a house in Georgia when they can. So if I am in the same area, I might be helping those people move into their new houses. Super fun. But I love helping people.
We got some people that kinda want to talk about the gospel that are up at the college--so that's good. Our teaching pool is slowly building up. I am happy. I think missionary work is a roller coaster at times. We go from teaching a ton of people to teaching about no one. To getting fed to never being fed almost every night. I love it. You never know what's going to happen and I will let it come and be happy every minute of it.
Sometimes I hate having a car because we had to get the oil changed and new tires and stuff and It took up 3 hours of the day and I was about to die waiting for the car to be done and get moving once more.
We just got handed this investigator from another set of Elders and his names is Kevin. He is from China and he is taking English classes and he is awesome. He loves the church and the people in it and he thinks the gospel can be true but he needs an "ah ha" moment where he just knows that it is true. Any help from anyone?
My week has been good. Did a lot of tracking. Found out the JW's are being nicer from a lot of missionaries I have talked to. It's weird but cool. I love the work and I hope you are doing amazing. Saw my first raccoon in Georgia on Sunday. Super fun. I love and miss you.
February 24, 2014 Hello My Family on the West Coast
It's fun being out here and serving the Lord. It's hard work and it will just keep being hard work until I am no longer in Georgia. But I'm okay with that. I am growing stronger and stronger every day. I don't want to go down. I can only see missionary working going up! I've been reading the Book of Mormon again and I'm in Alma 54--I think. But I love all the war stories. There are so many amazing things to learn and study in them.
I have lost my trainer and have a new companion. Elder McConnehey. He has been out for 21 months and I don't really know what to say about him. He is a cool guy. He is from Oregon. He has so much stuff I never thought a missionary could gather the amount of stuff he has. He is 21 years old. I think we are getting a long so far. But I'm happy and healthy and doing the good work. This week was really wierd and kinda slow for missionary work because Elder Fowers left me to be Zone leader in Roswell. We said our good byes to a lot of the people in the branch. We had a very good time together and now it is so weird having a new companion in like 10 minutes. We excahanged and he went one way and I went back to Lilburn and now I have a guy to live with for a while and then have the possibility of never seeing that person again. But after the transfer of companions for the rest of the week we didn't have anything really set up. We went out tracking and visiting less actives and I found out that I now have to take the lead in everything because my companion knows nothing about the area or the people in it. So that is amazing. But it has made me a stronger missionary just from these last few days. I can't sit back anymore and I found that it's not that hard to take the lead and that Elder Fowers trained me very good. Sharing most of the messages and lessons or just starting them off has really taught me so much! I love it! I now know I'm a better missionary than I thought I was going to be.
I am very grateful that I didn't train someone this transfer. That would have been a killer. Elder McConnehey and I are going to be the best missionaries ever and I'm going to make the 6 weeks that I have with him the best 6 weeks on his mission, I hope :) It's so hard being in a YSA branch or as everyone calls it the YSA swing in the mission. But I love it and I love the branch members and I love the people in Georgia. Even the people that slam the door in my face. I love them and slide a Mormon.org card in their door and smile at the peep hole. I know that I love the Lord and I hope that you are doing amazing. I miss you guys and I pray for you. I hope everyone is happy and healthy and people haven't taken over my room or gone through my things. Ha! Thank you so much for everything you have ever done for me in my life. I feel like I need to be more grateful for all the many things you do for me. I love you so much.