Monday, August 29, 2016

Another Week of Serving the Lord! -August 29th, 2016

Happy Monday Everyone! 

I know that in real life, most people dread Mondays but interestingly enough, I've come to love Monday because I get to talk to all the people that I love! 

This past week was another good week! We spent sometime in both Florence and Booneville this week. We had some great experiences with the other missionaries. 

This coming week we've got MLC, Zone Training, and transfer calls on Saturday. So we've got a pretty packed week planned! It'll be good though. 

Fun side comment; This past week we had a competition between all the missionaries in our ward. So the sister, another set of elders and us. We had a competition to see who could have the most meal appointments aka who was loved the most by the ward;) The other elders had five, the sisters had seven, and we took the trophy with 12! It was a ton of fun buts lets just say we're very full and considering a week long fast right now;) I'm really loving this ward though and all the people in it. We're very blessed here in Russellville. 

I don't have a whole ton more to report this week so I'll probably call that good! I'll include some pics though for your viewing pleasure:) 

Love y'all

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fiesta De Sandia -August 22nd, 2016

Hey everyone! 

We had a fantastic week here in Russellville! 

Like I said last week we had Zone Conference and it was great. Elder Diede and I gave a training which went pretty well too. We also had two exchanges planned around conference and both were fantastic! I went to Florence and also Booneville, Mississippi! I'm so grateful for the opportunities that I have to spend time with so many other missionaries. It blesses me with a ton of amazing experiences and the chance to create relationships with a lot more missionaries.

We also had a great time in our own area! This week we celebrated the Watermelon Festival (the title of this email for all my english speakers). The festival is the biggest thing in Russellville all year and their were hundreds of people there. So of course we attended and contacted anyone who would talk to us! Elder Diede and I are also starting a soccer night so we also handed out a ton of cards that we made for that. We also saw... wait for it.... a 246 pound watermelon!! I know right... that's a big fruit. It took five men to lift it lol I took a picture of some that were in the competition that i'll attach.

They also had a pretty cool car show. It's Alabama so it was mostly muscle cars but it was still cool. Someone brought this interesting "car" that I thought y'all would enjoy haha! Not too unusual here in Alabama...

We also got to attend the wedding of one of our investigators. It was my first time attending a wedding outside of the church and it was really nice. It did give me a massive appreciation for the temple though along with strengthening my testimony of the importance and blessing of eternal marriage along with eternal families. I'm so grateful for the knowledge that I have and the ability that I have to be with my family and future family for time and all eternity rather than till death do us part. 

Well, "that's all I have to say about that" (Forrest Gump voice) haha I'll talk to y'all next week! 

Love you! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Now's not really a good time..." -August 16th, 2016

Hey guys! 

What a swell week! 

Russellville has been treating me very well. The area is filled with tons of lovely people, both in the ward and outside of the ward. We have a solid pool of investigators and almost all are progressing very well. A few have baptism dates too so we're really hoping and praying that everything will work out for them and that their testimonies will continue to grow. 

I was able to go on a couple exchanges this week with some elders in our zone. The first was with the Red Bay Elders and you won't guess who I was with.... Elder Prestwich! When we both left Bessemer he came to Red Bay and I went to Clanton then up to Russellville and we're back around each other again! We're actually serving in the same ward as well. It's been pretty fun being around my son again:) 

Our exchange was great! We really pushed ourselves and got to the point where we were contacting groups and crowds of people. We also had some great lessons and really felt the spirit. It was a ton of fun! 

I also went on an exchange with one of our District Leaders in the zone named Elder Estrada. He's been on his mission for a good minute now and is an excellent Elder. We spent a good portion of the day trying to find this less active but we were basically just tracting in this trailer park but that's okay! We had some really great lessons and talked to some very interesting people:) We then spent a while with a part member family and they ended up feeding us steak so I can't complain at all with that! We then called it a night and exchanged back the next morning. 

We then had a pretty interesting experience that afternoon that coincides with the title of this email. 
So Elder Diede and I had contacted this man a week or so ago and he gave us his address and said he'd love to have us. So we went searching for his home and eventually found it. We knocked on his door, waited, then knocked again ("once for our salvation, twice for theirs"). And after waiting for a while the door eventually started to slowly open. The man opened the door and stood in the doorway. We were so thrown off guard. He had hospital bands on his arms and had a bunch of bandages around his arms and legs as well. His head was COVERED in fresh blood and one of his eyes was looking north and the other south...  and all he said was "now's not really a good time..". I mean, no joke... if anyone had a reason to reschedule and turn us away it was this guy! He went on to tell us that he had just gotten in a car accident a few hours ago... I honestly have no clue why he wasn't still in the hospital. But we asked him if there was anything we could help him with or do for him and he said to just pray for him so we did! Right there on his porch in the rain. So yeah, that was our interesting experience from the week! haha 

We then had a great sabbath day and ran into a few more "interesting" people... apparently we keep running into these people because we're so close to Mississippi haha! 
But Elder Diede and I made pizza! From scratch too! Honestly, it was mostly Elder Diede but I helped:) I include some pictures at the end. 

This is going to be a great week though! We have Zone Conference so we're all really excited about that because it's President Sainsbury's first. He's been doing really well so I'm sure it will be amazing. Hopefully it'll include something about ipad's as well;) buuuut probably not. We also have some exchanges planned also so we're looking forward to those too. 

Oh yeah, my year mark was a while back and I forgot to talk about it in my weekly. I just wanted to give a big thank you to everyone for all the support and love I've been shown this past year. It means the world to me. It has been an absolutely amazing year and I am SO excited for this next year and all the things that the Lord will be teaching me. 

Hopefully this email was a bit better than the last few! I hope all of you have a great week. I'll talk to y'all next Monday!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week of Meetings -August 8th, 2016

Hey Everyone!

Not much to report this week really. We had MLC, preparing for Zone training, and then Zone Training this week so we had a lot of random stuff we had to take care of. It was still a great week though and Zone Training went really well! It was a ton of fun and we had some great spiritual experiences as well. 

We also were able to squeeze in some great lessons with most of our investigators. We have one investigator specifically, who amazed Elder Diede and I this week. We assigned her to read 2 Nephi 31 the previous visit. We come and she pulls out this paper and unfolds it. She drew the gospel of Jesus Christ! There were quotes and scripture references and everything! Elder Diede and I were both speechless and amazed. Her name is Rhonda and she is progressing very well. She gave us her drawing and it is proudly hanging on our fridge in the apartment! We're very excited about her progression. 

Sorry for such a short email and the lack of pictures recently... Next week will be better, I promise! 

Talk to y'all later!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hit the Ground Runnin in Russellville! -August 1st, 2016

Hey everyone! 

My first week in Russellville has been fantastic! Ever since I've gotten here it's been go, go, go and I love it! We have a pretty big and solid pool of investigators that are progressing so we've been able to teach quite a few lessons and have some amazing experiences! 

I've discovered that we do a lot of driving in this area. So there are two districts in this zone and we go to both district meetings each week and they're both about an hour and a half away, plus all the exchanges we'll be doing. We then also go to Birmingham multiple times a week and that's two and a half hours away... so yeah, quite a bit of driving. But that's okay, it's given Elder Diede and I a good chance to get to know each other better pretty early on in the transfer. 

Russellville itself is a smaller city that had a big Hispanic presence. This area is usually worked by two Spanish missionaries but for some reason they sent me here with Elder Diede! So there have been quite a few occasions were we'll be contacting or teaching someone who doesn't speak any English so I just kind of sit there and smile but that's okay. Elder Diede is a fantastic missionary and has a way with Spanish speakers so it's been cool to watch him work. 

It's a smaller ward but one that is very missionary minded and supportive. So I'm very excited to be able to work along side the members here to help bring others to Christ. 

We've also been trying to make our planning as productive as possible. So we've got a packed couple of weeks and also have some big plans for this Zone and this Transfer! We're really excited! 

Other than that, transfer were great. It was good to see a bunch of friends and say goodbye to some older missionaries who taught me a lot at the beginning of my mission. 

Anyways, I hope y'all have a great week and as always, I'll talk to you next Monday!