Monday, February 27, 2017

"The Funeral Fumble" -February 27th, 2017

Aloha everyone! Hope you all had a great week. 

Life here in Alabama is still lovely. It's starting to warm up and I actually got some color on my skin at soccer on Saturday so that's a miracle haha I was getting tired of blending into my white shirts... 

As y'all know, transfers were this past week! Said goodbye to Elder Coleman and Butterfield and hello to Elder Matthews. We had a great week! Did quite a bit of planning for the Zone this transfer the first couple days. We planned a theme and planned weekly and daily challenges/sub-themes to be able to keep the focus on the bigger picture of the transfer theme. Our theme this transfer is Ohana! And as we know, thanks to Lilo and Stitch, Ohana means family and family means that nobody get left behind or forgotten! So this transfer we're focusing on family! Being a family in our zone, and helping others obtain their Ohana Mau Loa, or Eternal Family! We're really looking forward to all that this transfer will hold and I know that we'll see amazing things happen in our Zone because of this goal. 

Funny little side story from my time with Elder Matthews so far. Yesterday we were driving to an appointment and following up with people along the way. As we were driving Elder Matthews spotted a chick-fil-a car! Elder Matthews and I both have an unhealthy obsession for Chick-fil-a so we stopped the car, jumped out, knocked on his door, and he ended up being a past investigator who never fully had all his questions answered! So we proceeded to have a lesson right there, on the doorstep of a Chick-fil-a store manager/owner. We're planning on going back in a few weeks and answering some more questions... along with possibly trying to get some gift cards or something haha

Another funny little story from this past week. I'm actually going to quote Elder Ramsey who is serving in our district. He did a pretty good job of describing our experience haha He called it the "Funeral Fumble".... Enjoy;) 

"They invited us to a funeral service for a woman who had died out of state, but wanted to be buried in the Millbrook area. She was 81 years old and they weren't expecting more than a few family members to show up, so they needed help saying prayers, a musical number, and dedicating the grave. We showed up on Saturday for the funeral. We had the Zone Leaders, Elders Honn and Matthews with us and the Millbrook Sisters, Chavez and Saatkamp. We were originally just going to be saying a prayer and the Sisters were going to sing "I Stand All Amazed," but there was a change of program. All the missionaries were going to be singing the song instead as an opening, and just the Sisters were going to sing a closing song. The casket was brought in and the service began. We came to the front to sing, and I realized that there wasn't a piano in the room. Instead, there was a music track that began to play over the speakers. As we began to sing, other voices joined in... from the track. Our worst nightmare when we haven't practiced before. What's worse is that it was pretty quiet and it was going faster then it would normally be sung in church. We were off beat... badly. It honestly sound kind of creepy too as we were in dissonance with the track. The ten family members that were there looked stone faced... finally the song ended and we all sat down. The service resumed. And then it was time for the Sisters to get up for the closing song. They started and the same issues as before arose. We Elders tried, desperately, not to laugh. Some crouched their heads down below the pews. And others (including myself) bit their tongues and tried not to make eye contact. I looked over at the family, and they were doing the same at this point. Which at least made us feel slightly better about the whole thing. The Dedicatory Prayer was given at the grave site, and the service was done. This was an event that the Millbrook District won't soon forget."

haha well we've got MLC and Zone Training this week so it's going to be a busy one! I'll talk to y'all again soon:) 

Love you! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Might as well just give me a calling in the ward... -February 21st, 2017

Hello hello! It's me again... I bet you're all probably sick of these weekly emails by now haha I don't even know how many I've sent but it feels like too many! But don't worry... there's not too many left;) 

Well! This past week was good! I can only remember chunks of it so I'll tell you about what I remember haha 

We held Zone Training on Tuesday and it went really well! All the trainings were great and the zone really loved it. Everyone seemed especially tired that day but there was still good participation! We had a special training from a legend here in the Montgomery Stake, President Memory. He served his mission in Alabama and also served in the mission Presidency later in his life and now lives here and does a ton for the missionary work in this stake. Anyways, he trained us on the events in Christs life leading up to his crucifixion from each of the different gospels. He brought and set up this whole demonstrations of what the last supper actually was like and it was fascinating. He had Elder Coleman and I demonstrate how Jesus and the Disciples actually sat around the table. haha I'll attach the picture that someone sneakily took from the audience.

Directly after ZTraining we headed up to Birmingham and had an exchange with some Elders up there. I got to spend time with Elder Diede again and it was a great day! He's still doing great. 

The rest of the week was spent with our investigators and finding. We went out to eat with Jared and spent some time with him and he came to church on Sunday! Then last night we went and spent time with him and Lacey. Such great people! 

We also received transfer news on Saturday and found out that I'm staying another transfer here in Prattville and that both my companions are leaving! haha was not expecting that... but I know that President Sainsbury is inspired and that the Lord wants me to be here for another six weeks. I've just got to work my hardest to not slip into the comfort zone! This means that I'll be in this area for 7 1/2 months... and as my title says, they might as well have just given me a calling at this point haha!
Going to miss my boys here in the Inverted Oreo though, it's been a great transfer together! I'll attach our last pic together with the amazing Mama Fenn who I'm very happy that I won't be leaving just yet. 

Well, that's all I've got for this week! Love y'all! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Meetings and More Meetings! -February 13, 2017

Hello again! How was yalls week? 

This week was very busy for us. We had a meeting everyday... literally! Tuesday was MLC, Wednesday was district meeting for one of the districts in our Zone, Thursday we had interviews with President, Friday was another district meeting for the other district in our zone, and Saturday... well, I'll talk about Saturday later. 

So as you can tell our week was definitely full. We were still able to fit in a lot of good work though! We met a ton of great people that we're going to start working with, including a 14 year old boy who was baptized last year but then dropped off the face of the earth. We found him in the ghetto playing basketball! We didn't know it was him but we went over and started playing with a few guys and he said he was a member! He came to church yesterday too! So we're going to continue to work on getting him back involved and he also has a friend who is interested as well that we're going to try to start teaching! 

Anyways, back to Saturday. TJ's baptism went through and it was a great day! It wasn't your average baptism though haha when he decided he wanted to be baptized he said in his words "Just dunk me and we'll come back and eat steak." Haha so basically he went on to say that he didn't really want a service... he didn't want the talks or the other stuff and he wanted it to be a private thing. So that's what we did! There were I think like six of the closest members to him, including President and Sister Sainsbury, and we said an opening prayer, did the baptism, then said a closing! That simple. It wasn't the baptism that i'm used to but it was still an amazing experience that focused on the pure, simple, beauty of baptism. I'm very grateful for the opportunity that i've had to know Tj and watch him make the incredible change from atheist the LDS, It's been a huge testimony strengthener for me. I'll attach a picture that we took with his favorite picture in the church haha the hallways were small so ignore the closeness of the picture.

Today's been great as well. We had a zone activity and played Capture the Flag in the bamboo forest in Prattville. It was a blast and nobody got hurt too bad so I'd say it was a successful activity! I'll attach a picture of that as well. BTW the Elder that's poking his head out from behind a few sisters on the top right is Elder Craddock. Apparently Elder Craddock's grandparents just fed Elder Phillips who is a close friend that's killing it on his mission in Spain! Such a small world... Shout out to my boy across the pond, love you man! 

That's all I've got for this week, love yall! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Service, Zone Conference, Baptism and Food! -February 7th, 2017

Hello again! How was y'alls week? I wonder if weeks fly for y'all like they do for me... it's crazy! 

We started out this past week with a ton of service! On Tuesday we helped paint somebodies new home that they are moving into. It's crazy how many different skills you learn on a mission haha carpentry, painting, how to maneuver a massive piece of furniture out of a considerably smaller door, etc. Cool stuff haha 

We also began a serious project at an older less active lady's home. Hasn't been cleaned in years, has more cats than the stripling warriors, and hates to throw things away... So needless to say, the six missionaries and I had our hands full! But we attacked quite a big chunk of the project and were able to help her a lot. The only struggle is that in this area they won't take garbage unless it's actually in the big garbage bin outside. We threw away quite a lot of stuff so measures had to be taken in order to fit everything in the garbage... I'll attach a picture of me doing what had to be done. haha enjoy:)

The rest of our week included a great Zone Conference! Elder Butterfield, Elder Coleman and I were able to train on helping members be involved in an investigators conversion. It went really well and the rest of the training's were great also. 

Also, TJ's baptism is still set for this Saturday and we're really excited for him and all the changes he's making in his life. Jared and lacy are still doing really well and we're meeting with them tonight for dinner and a lesson:) This past week we met and started teaching a new family who are awesome! Crazy thing too is that the mother is actually from England! So we had a lot to talk about. And we're going back there the end of this week to meet with them again and also have dinner. I don't know why but i guess people just enjoy feeding us or something haha even non members! 

Speaking of food, I'll attach a picture of a lunch we had this past week that I was pretty proud of:) Stuffed bell peppers.... 

Anyways, that's all I've got for this past week! We've got a very busy upcoming week so we'll see how everything goes! I'll talk to y'all later!