Wow what an eventful week! First I want to thank everyone for all the birthday wishes and love that I have received over the past week! I'll always remember this week for many reasons! But for my birthday the district got int our apartment and put streamers posters, presents, and confetti all over the apartment! I took lots of pictures so I'll send some to you but it was quite the surprise. It added to all the joy of my 20th birthday! It's crazy to think I'm no longer a teenager but I'm excited to start off a new decade in my life. Thank you sooo much for the package and it meant a lot to me! Sister Richards (Bishops wife) gave me some really good snicker doodles that were great and it meant a lot for her to bake me some! My new companion is Elder Goodsell from Holiday, UT and he actually served in this area for 71/2 months a few months ago but he got sent into a different ward. So he is really adjusted to the area and knows the layout pretty well. But yes the triple cheeseburger challenge is something I'll never do again but after that day of food I didn't eat again til the next day in the late afternoon. I ate so much burger meat that even when I look at hamburger today it still doesn't look appetizing haha. Yes I was able to watch the Christmas devotional and it was very good! It got me in the mood for the Christmas and made me even more excited for the chance I have to Skype yall. But this week was definitely one to remember.
On Monday, we had such a busy start off to the week. Elder Weston and I had so many things to get done in the 3 hours we had to do them, but after Brother Griffin took us out to dinner we had to race over to Augusta for FHE with a Spanish family. It was a great lesson, but we were really concerned with all the things we had to get done in the time we had to do them. We then shot over back to Evans where Elder Weston finished off his list of people that he wanted to go say bye to. We first stopped by Bishops house and said bye to their family, we saw Sister Barnes, and then saw Sister Lawry all in about 1 hour. We have black boxes in our cars that alert us when we go over the speed limit or make sharp or aggressive motions in the car and the black boxes (Tiwi) kept saying "check your speed" probably every 15 seconds so we were pushing it but we got everything done!
On Tuesday, we woke up around 4:50 to get ready to head to Macon for Transfers. We had to run a errands before we left for Macon, Brother Taylor picked us up and as soon as we got all packed in the van it started down pouring. It is the first time it actually rained here since the Hurricane and it came down hard. We got to the meeting and as soon as we stepped in the building I got my new companion Elder Goodsell! He served in Evans for 71/2 months so he knows the area pretty well but he's just in an adjacent ward now. So we were super excited! I saw a lot of old friends and it was great seeing everyone. We then had to transfer all luggage and supplies into the new cars in the pouring rain. so because it was pouring everything got soaked and I just embraced it haha. It was kind of fun but I was worried it was going to damage my nice blue suit but after it dried it turned our alright. That night we had an awesome lesson with Larry. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and focused on Jesus Christ. Larry told us on Sunday that he wants to be baptized no later than February and its been soo great watching him grow and learn more about Jesus Christ and why we are sent down here to earth. After that we went to Coreys house and also taught him about the Plan of Salvation. It helped answer/ connect the dots for him about why we came down to earth and helped him understand the importance and necessity of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that I'm here in Evans teaching him, I'm not sure if he notices a difference in his life since we have taught him but slowly we have seen a change in him and he's more curious about truths and recognizes the Spirit when it touches him.
On Wednesday, we had a lot of appointments fall through and it was more or less a hard day because I started feeling sick and getting a sore throat that would become worse as the week went on, I'm not sure where I got sick but it was the first time in my whole mission I felt sick. That afternoon we stopped by Jennifers home and talked to her about the difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. One hard aspect of being a missionary is that its hard watching peoples faith grow and once they recognize truth they are scared to pursue it because they know of the sacrifice that it takes so they fall back to their old beliefs where its comfortable. It's hard but hopefully that seed will continue to grow and we can shed some light on the truth for her but it cant come from what we say it can only come from the Holy Ghost. That night we went to Sister Lawrys house and it was an awesome time with her. Elder Goodsell knew Sister Lawry when he was in the Stevens Creek ward and so they got to see each other again and share lots of stories together and it was great watching Sister Lawry smile and be happy seeing an old friend. We helped her put up her Christmas tree and it reminded me of all the times we decorated the tree and the beauty of the tree when its all finished. I loved sitting there staring at the shining lights reflecting off the red balls in the dark and it invites a feeling that is like no other.
On Thursday, a lot of our plans fell through in the afternoon and my cold was progressing into something a little bit worse than your average cold. But for those that know me I hate letting something keep me down even though it would be the smart thing to do. I'd like to think I can handle any situation and can adapt to fit the needs of what needs to be done. It was hard, but we had a successful day. We met this one lady trying old potentials who didnt like the church because she had previously thought that we worshiped Joesph Smith and had a lot of misconceptions about the church. We respectfully helped her understand and correct any misconceptions she had of the church and there was a huge difference in what she had previously thought. although when we left she still didn't understand the necessity of a prophet but she understood alot more than she did in the beginning. That night we went to the Bridge family's home where we had a great meal with them, and they have the cutest daughter who gladly showed us all the Christmas trees in the house and also the manger where Jesus lays and it was precious haha. That night we helped someone move into their new home and it was a really good friend of Sister Ganuza who then invited Cortey to come and help. He came and we had some really good conversations while we were moving furniture into the home.
On Friday, we planned most of the day besides a great lesson with Dan where we watched President Monson's testimony and talk on the word of Wisdom from General conference. The spirit was very strong and she is doing soo well and loving what the gospel can do to change peoples lives.
On Saturday, it was a very laboring day...my cold felt like it was going away as we went to Ultimate Frisbee. It was the missionaries against the soldiers and we were getting smoked , after halftime they wanted to switch the teams but I refused because I knew we could do better and ended up winning the game in the second half but I was dead dog tired at the end of the game. After Frisbee we helped out at a retirement home moving Christmas supplies up and down stairs. It was really fun because on the inside of the retirement home it felt like we were in the Titanic with all the chandeliers, the dining room table it made for an interesting and really cool scene. The old ladies loved that "handsome,well-dressed men like y'all can come and help us really made our day" and they were really glad we helped them out. Then that night we talked to a less active for a good majority of the night who is the Assistant coach of the U.S martial arts team who ended up winning the grappling championship in Africa last week. So we had a great conversation with him and learned a lot about martial arts. Then after we got out of his house it was close to 8:30 and didn't have plans for the next half hour so we were on our way home when we saw high school kids playing basketball... I turned to Elder Goodsell and said found what we can do for the next half hour. But we played with them in the rain and it was a lot of fun! They kept asking me questions about my mission and how I wanted to play college ball and wanted my autograph after the game haha.
On Sunday, it was my 20th BIRTHDAY!! So crazy I've lived for two decades haha. To start off my cold felt kind of bad and I was worried how much I'd be able to do on my birthday but I took some medicine and loaded up on Vitamin C and headed to church. Church was amazing, Rick Grubbs who I met with Elder Weston is a member of Wesley Methodist church came to bear testimony of Elder Weston and me and also the service that was provided for Brother Griener. He bore a powerful testimony and it was a great way to start off my birthday. So many church members said Happy Birthday and it was great feeling loved from everyone even though I was kind of sick. That afternoon we went to the Gomex family and they made me a birthday cake and soup. Then after that we came home where we found a surprise of the Sisters and Elders in the district decorated our apartment and it added to the excitement of the day. We watched the Christmas devotional that night and felt Christs love manifest to me that I was doing a good job and that I'm where I'm supposed to be. I'm grateful to start another year off in my life and I can tell its going to be a great one! I've loved what has happened when I was 19 , but Im really excited for the things i'll do when I'm 20!
I LOVE Y'ALL and thank you for all the love and support!
|Christmas Decorations in Apt 2016!|