This week was quite eventful with hurricane Matthew hitting the coast of Florida, parts of Georgia and South Carolina. I'm sure you were watching the news and saw the destruction in Florida and to be honest I wasn't expecting the hurricane to cause that much damage in Florida. The Savannah zones were evacuated and went to Macon and worked in the areas surrounding there till the hurricane subsided. But Evans is pretty far in land and we didn't see much more than wind and rain. When it hit the coast we had MLC in Macon on Friday so we drove to Macon, had the meeting for the majority of the day, and drove back. The way back the wind and rain picked up quite a bit but it wasn't bad. The stake has asked for teams of 8-12 people from each ward to go and help with the relief effort and unless we are asked I don't think we will be able to help too much with that relief effort unless I get transferred to Savannah where it was damaged. In Evans we didn't really have any other affects other than it being really wet and chilly, so don't worry mom and Dad I'm safe:) I'm sure the missionaries down in Florida will have many service opportunities to help the people who dont have homes anymore.
On Monday night, We had some appointments fall through so instead of going somewhere different to try to see people we decided to walk around the neighborhood, it being and us not wanting to bother people with it being so dark. We started walking and we went and talked to this elderly lady who was exercising and we asked her if we could walk with her and talked to her about our church and her church. As she got to know us more she invited us to help her with some service that we set up for Thursday. She said that we were angels cause we walked her home and she was in awe that young people like us would help an old lady like her. We are excited to help her with some service and hopefully that service will lead to being able to teach her.
On Tuesday, we headed to North Augusta for District Meeting and exchanges. We had a great district meeting and learned more about teaching the people and not just teaching lessons. I learned a lot from all who was there. I went on exchanges with Elder Buckland back to Evans. We had a few appointments cancel that we were sure were going to work out, but at the last minute some appointments fell through and so we turned toward the backups. It was cool how the Spirit was prompting me to go see people that needed to be seen it was almost if God cleared our schedule up so that we could see these people. We stopped by a lady named Martini and as pulled up her daughter is going to be a swimmer in college pulled up and invited us to talk to her and her mom about the future and decisions they need to make. We talked about prayer and read Helaman 5:30 with her and helped understand how we recognize the spirit. We then went to go so an elderly lady we met a few weeks back. As we pulled up she was on her lawn chair with two other chairs in front of her. We got out of the van and asked her what the chairs were for and she said"you guys, I know y'all were gonna come today" I was in shock and I was like if that isn't God hand in the work I don't know what is. We taught the restoration and as we talked she told us about how she turned down a few preachers going door to door because she said" I want to study with the Mormons" I thought that was awesome and we are excited to work with Rachel. Keep her in your prayers. We ate dinner with the Gomez family and had papusa which is another thing I have to make yall when I get home from my mission soooo good!!
On Wednesday, we had to exchange back at so we could make it back to Evans in time for Sister Dietz' last district meeting and to honor her mission we went to the Savannah river. It was the first day where it felt like you could have a coat on because of the pleasant cool breeze coming over the river. It was a memorable time looking back at her mission and how her parents were converted because a few missionaries endured to the end and acted on promptings. Way cool stuff! We tracted a lot during that day because a lot of appointments fell through and we met a lot of people who wanted nothing to do with us as well as people who were interested in knowing what we believe, but they didn't want those truths we believe to be apart of their own beliefs. As I've spent more and more time being a missionary and getting rejected and getting doors slammed in your face it doesn't diminish what I believe at all but more than that I just look at this opportunity that these people we meet pass up because they are "set in their ways" and don't want to change from being baptist, Presbyterian, baptist, Catholic, and baptist again.
On Thursday, the Fry's took us to Izumi's which is a Japaneze buffet where we tried all sorts of sushi and even octopus. It was such a fun time being with all the missionaries that serve here and talking with the Fry's. Brother Fry was trying to figure out if there was going to be a family of 8-10 people coming to stay in their home from being evacuated from the hurricane. Instead of using the church to house the 600+ evacuees coming from Florida the stake presidency asked various members if they'd being willing to house people. Over 50 people offered and they were prepared to house all those people. Later that day we went over to Rosemary's home and she showed us around her property and talked with us. Because she didn't have the stuff we needed to help her with the service so we decided to come back the following week. We had dinner with the Shleton family where they told us about the devastation the hurricane was supposed to bring. So we were grateful for the information because without anyway to know what to prepare for you have to rely on members for information.
On Friday we set out to drive to Macon early in the morning to avoid any traffic from people being evacuated. Some missionaries were backed up in traffic for 6+ hours trying to make it to the meeting. On the way up it wasn't more than just rain and Macon is pretty far inland so during the meeting when you looked outside it was hard to believe that there was a hurricane approaching the coast. MLC was very insightful and we learned a lot about relationships with members, teaching people not lessons, and better ways to share the gospel with people. I always look forward to MLC because of the spirit there but also seeing old friends is fun too. Elder Memmott who I knew back in Waynesboro is going home on the 17th and I cant believe hes heading home. It just shows how fast time goes when you work hard. Anna Harrell and Chelsey came and surprised us after the meeting. She was a member from Columbus and it was great to catch up with the Godsquad:) We had to drive some people back to areas because we have a van. We started making the 3 hour drive back in the rain.
On Saturday, it was raining when we woke up and Elder Weston and I had to go fill a baptismal font for a baptism that morning. So while the font was being filled I was able to play basketball for an hour or so which was very fun!! The baptism was for a boy named Matthew Newell. He was so special they even named a hurricane after him haha:) It was such a sweet baptism and while they were changing we watched "the coat" it is a true story about Heber J Grant https://www.
mormonchannel.org/watch/ collection/kids/the-coat-1 . Such a great message and selfless service is what the world needs today! In the afternoon we contacted a few referrals given to us by some members and built a few bonds within those families. We are excited to work with those families.
to fast, not really sure why but hopefully I'm growing or something like that:) The highlight of church was hearing Dan bear testimony about how we can build our family on Christ and that as a team we can accomplish many things. I am so proud of Dan and the decisions shes made to become more like Jesus Christ. That afternoon we stopped by a lady named Trisha. We haven't been able to visit Trisha in a while because she's been traveling to Idaho to take care of her Dad who's health is failing. She had to catch up with a bunch of things around the home from being gona and you could tell she was just burdened down and sad. I asked if we could say a prayer and in that prayer I prayed to help comfort Trisha that she will know that her Dad loves her and she loves her Dad. After a few more blessing we opened our eyes and she had tears in her eyes. It was great moment for her and a moment I'll always remember. After that we were tracting and there was a tree frog on a door and I decided to poke it so when the door opened it wouldn't fly into her home. When I tried to grab it it peed on me and I walked our the rest of the day with frog pee on me because I startled it haha. Later that day, We ended our fast at the Tippetts! Super good! We chatted with Justin Carabello that night answered his questions and invited him to Trunk or Treat. He wants to know more about the church and we are excited to continue to build his faith!, I'll just say it was a rough
I LOVE Y'ALL! And Yes I'm safe and happy!