Georgia Atlanta Mission

Georgia Atlanta Mission

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Bits & Pieces" from August 2014

August 4, 2014......

So this week has been crazy; so much stuff has been happening but I'm finally out of Carrollton! Its crazy to think, but it was super sad to leave and say bye to the members but I'm so excited to be here in Fayetteville! It's amazing here and my comp is so sick we are like twins and we are going to get along so well so I hope me and him can stay together for as long as possible. His name is Elder Vernon and he is from Coleville,Utah and he has been out just a transfer ahead of me. We are just so ready to work. Luckily we do have somewhat of a teaching pool that's pretty nice to work with. But this area is incredible!! There are so many people and so much to do. Ive been in heaven the past few days. It's way different that what I'm used to. It's a pretty big suburb right off of Atlanta. Most everyone in our area is middle class and higher but they are like all black! It's incredible, I'm not used to seeing black people being wealthy and being able to keep a job and raise a family and they are
everywhere here and they still love to talk to you. So I have been loving that cause that just leaves us with more people to be able to keep commitments. But yes, the ward here is so great and missionary oriented. They have one night scheduled when all of the ward missionaries get together with the 3 companionships in the ward and we go on splits and get a ton of work done and we usually have a dinner appt. every night and 1 or 2 team ups everyday and people are so willing to open there homes to our investigators!! We have 3 for next week already lined up with family bringing there friends to be taught!  So I've been in heaven for real! As for a cool story for the week, before I got here they found a mom and her daughter who are both teachers while they were store contacting in target but we went on Saturday to teach them with a member, Bro Attrice.  It was the sickest lesson cause the member and Bonitta (the mom) like hit it off and were being super black with each other, it reminded me of dad when he can get real black and its hilarious but it was a great lesson and they enjoyed it and understood the restoration and the apostasy perfectly. So we are excited for them. They'll most likely get baptized this transfer and we have a lot of part member families we can work with that we are excited for. I am super excited for this area and its gonna be amazing and we will see so many miracles!!

Elder Vernon and Elder Anderson ready to convert Fayetteville!

August 11, 2014......

Alright so are you ready for the craziest email that I've ever sent you, cause its going to be a good one! You wont even believe what I have had to go through this week. But first off it was great to see the Forsyeths again, they came up to me after church and gave me some cookies. It was nice, me and the comps enjoyed it! So I guess I'll start with the big news.  Elder Vernon and I are not companions anymore:( but we are still in the same apartment and serving in the same ward! So here's the long story... we were sitting at a dinner appointment and it was about 7:30 at night and we get a call from the assistants saying that President Harding was super sad to split us up but he had a strong impression for us because there were missionaries coming in from another mission that he was going to put with us and that they were going to be dropping them off that night around 9:30!! We were so shocked. We were super bummed too cause were just getting in a zone with things and getting our teaching pool up and now we were going to have to split the area, split up the members and split up investigators and we had like 1 day to do it... but we accepted and were excited for the challenge and so, that Wednesday night we were waiting for them to show up and they didn't come till almost 11pm But Elder Vernons new comp is Elder Hamilton and my comp for the day, was Elder Gebaur. They were going to put him in a different area the next day and I was going to get another missionary already from our mission. And when we showed up we started talking to them and they had a funny accent so we were like what mission are you from? They said the Sierra Leone Mission. The entire mission was shut down because of the Ebola disease that spread like wild fire there. The past week for them has been insane. Basically this is what went down. They found out about 2 weeks ago that they had to leave. But, they were quarantined for 3 days in their houses and could not leave, talk or call anyone and then they got word that no planes were coming in or out of Sierra Leone so the church hired an international S.O.S plane from Japan to get them out of there and they said the government said this was the most watched targeted plane by the government in the past 3 years! So they shipped out 186 missionaries and went to Ghana where they thought that was where they were reassigned but they got there and all the African elders and sisters stayed there and they took everyone else and shipped them out to Portugal where they were reassigned again to other missions around the states and Canada and so 4 of them got assigned to our mission and we are lucky now to have one of them staying in our apartment! Elder Hamilton, who is Elder Vernon's companion now. After they were in Portugal, they went to London and stayed there for 3 days and then came to Atlanta.  These guys were so freaking tired when they showed up with us. It has humbled us a lot cause hearing what their living conditions were like and what they had to go through. I don't think I could have done it and they loved it our there. It's been hard for them to get accustomed to the states again but we are happy to have them.  And so like I said I only had Elder Gebaur for a day and then on Thursday night they were going to put him in a different area and I was to get a new companion again and when we made the switch I found out my new companion is Elder Talbot!! He is a brand new missionary and has been in the field for 1 week! He was serving in the YSA of Fayetteville and they are having me finish his training, so I gave birth to a new baby over night! But I had met Elder Talbot when he first came in and he's dope.  We get along great. He is so ready to work and has that greeny fire so it has definitely been in a crazy week for me. I am now the District leader and 'Im training and I'm white washing the area!! How much fun right?!? haha Its great though cause we are in a 4 man in the apartment and Elder Vernon is there to help with the area and members so it's not to bad. We are now just in the phase of being at the bottom and having to pick everything back up but I'm used to that now.  I've had to do it in every area that I've been in. But as for the district we now have 4 companionships, me and Elder Talbot, Elder Vernon and Hamilton, Sister Sullivan and Sudweeks who are the sister training leaders in our Zone, and Sister Freeman and Alofipo. and Sister Alofipo is a greeny as well! And we all serve in the Fayetteville ward! Pretty crazy, 4 companionships in one ward and they still support all of us and feed us and come on team ups,so its amazing how much the members support us here. Its been fun cause Elder Nelson, my MTC companion is one of the zone leaders here. So its been fun to get to work with him again. But we did get to go to the temple on Tuesday. It was amazing there like it always is to feel the spirit of that place and we had a great zone training. I'm excited for this transfer! It has definitely been a crazy experience but a fun one for sure. This week I was studying about receiving personal revelation and how important it is to receive your own personal revelation for everything that we do. Joseph Smith said "Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it" and "This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed" and I have reflected on that the past week and knowing that every circumstance that we find ourselves in, if we can put our trust in God and know that he is in control and to just stay positive in every situation and make the best out of it we will be able to lose ourselves in his work and become more like  Him. If we can just all do what Moroni promised us  in the last chapter and deny ourselves of all ungodliness we will be made perfect in Christ!
I love ya'll so much and miss you everyday I hope you have a great day and a wonderful week, but you're right, there is no greater work than what I am doing right now! and I 
couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.  
Elder Anderson with Elder Talbot

August 18, 2014......
So it was  a pretty great week this week! Definitely a lot slower than last week, but we did get a lot of stuff done which was good. We have just hit the ground running trying to find new people to teach and we have found some good success with a few people. One of those being a guy named Anthony who is in his 20's, super interested in the book of Mormon and coming back to church. He had never heard of the church before and is soaking up all the information and is excited to come to church next week. He couldn't come this week cause he had to go out of town. But he accepted a baptismal date for September 13th and was super excited about it. He just wants to get right with God and what better way to do it than in his true church!  We have been working with some part member families which have been going well, one lady, Varieta is so ready to get baptized. She is an older lady and her husband has been a member for like 30 years but she suffers from bi-polar issues and is afraid to come to church so we are just working on getting her ready to come so she can get baptized. One more we found was a man who is an apostolic Pentecostal which is taking Pentecostal and adding more craziness to it. They love that speaking in tongues, but he had never heard of the book of Mormon before and when we came back on our return apt he had read the 2nd half of 2Nephi and stated our doctrine right back to us which was super cool and he believes everything we shared, he just wants to learn more about Joseph Smith but he should be a great candidate only bad thing is he lives with another family and the other family's dad is the preacher of his church... but hey let's just convert the entire congregation!
other than that we just have a few potentials here and there,nothing to exciting, that's what we are going to be working with, a lot this week still is finding some new investigators. I get to go on exchanges this week with Elder Nelson,  my MTC comp, so we are super stoked for that. But a cool thing we do each Monday is there is a  family in the white water ward; the Perkins, and they have a huge house with  everything you could ever want and each week like 20 or so elders go and play ball over there and they feed us and it's super fun. Ill send the pics from that. But its a blast living in a 4 man. Sometimes it gets a little hectic with so much stuff everywhere and dishes getting piled up really fast but its so much fun but, don't worry we don't pile out and we still work hard all the time! Fun fact about my companion, he is a crazy good juggler! He can do everything from 5 balls at one time to juggling knives, clubs, flaming torches, its crazy!! So we have created our juggling team, me, Talbot and Vernon juggles all the time back and forth and passes them around the house and its so fun. I have decided how to get new investigators, we just have to go to Fayetteville square and have Talbot stand on a chair and juggle some flaming torches while I preach the gospel to everyone watching him! Its gonna work! Elder Vernon and I went on exchanges though this week and taught an investigator who is very knowledgeable in the Bible and this was the first time I have ever taught him but Vernon and I have gotten pretty good at our Bible teaching and fixing anti-material so we felt strongly that we had to teach him about the apostasy. Which is my favorite topic to teach. And it was the most perfect lesson I have taught on my mission and definitely one of the most spiritual.  We prepared pretty well for the lesson but it was so cool cause it flowed so smoothly and we were going back and forth point to point scripture to scripture answering all of his come back questions and this was in a members home so the spirit was definitely there and then he asked the perfect question,  if God always called a prophet why didn't he call one after the apostles died, which lead into a conversation we were having before we started the lesson. He and the member, our history junkies, and they were talking about the founding fathers so it was amazing to swing it back to Gods timing and he had to wait for freedom of religion and it was the perfect time to bring back the gospel and he was kinda shocked how well everything fit together. It's just a testimony builder of mine to be able to teach the restoration so much and watch it grow in people's hearts. They see that there had to be a restoration and that God really did call another prophet on the earth!
Email sent from a member during the week......
Hey Im Kadee (the one that nominated your son to do the ice bucket challenge) and here's the full video!! its just from the start and thought you'd enjoy it!! Elder Anderson is amazing and we are SOO happy he came to Fayetteville. Like he's a life saver and has it down!! ​
August 20, 2014.......
 This week was pretty good, nothing to crazy. We did pick our pool up a little bit. We are just struggling to find those people that are going to progress. We are keeping our spirits up though and having a great time. Elder Talbot has that greeny fire that just keeps us going.  He is going to be a great missionary. He's already mature and know a lot about the doctrine and is now getting used to approaching people and talking with everyone and so I'm basically done training so that's super nice! We get a long great though and being in the 4 man is even more fun! The ice bucket challenge was really fun and now yall have to do it! That story about us getting those helping hands t shirts out and cutting out those trees out of the road was so much fun nothing better than at 9 o clock at night its pouring rain and we got chainsaws going with us just hauling logs away, it was pretty sick. The Sultans are a great family.  Their son just left on his mission to Phoenix Arizona. And as far as teaching went this week it was slower than usual. We had struggles getting to people when they could meet cause something would come up but we have good plans for this week. I did go on exchanges with Elder Nelson (mtc comp) this week and that was amazing to get to serve with him again. He's doing great and killing it out in Griffin as a ZL. But yesterday, we had a cool experience,  a member in our ward put on a  fireside for the whole community and for us to invite anyone we could to. It was about the history of Christianity, or as we like to call it,  the great apostasy. She has been studying it for months now, getting facts and details as much as she could to fit into an hour and a half. But I thought it was amazing! The apostasy has been my favorite topic to study since I've been out here cause if you can have an understanding of the Bible and what Paul taught in all his epistles and how there would be many false prophets and heresies coming about to change the doctrine. And if you can see how the doctrine Jesus taught was obviously perverted and changed for the convenience of man. and the steps that took place from Plato to Constantine to all the reformers like Martin Luther and see how much was really changed from the time Jesus Christ was here teaching the people and how not only on that side of the world was apostasy starting around 200 AD but we see it was a world wide apostasy because in the Book of Mormon in 4Nephi verse 24 its states that in 201 AD the people started getting lifted in the pride of their hearts and very quickly everyone, Nephites and Lamanites fell away and were in darkness! How everyone reviled against Gods true teachings and changed them and for many many years the world was in darkness and people like the reformers were trying to get out of it but it wasn't the right timing. It wouldn't have worked. There needed to be a place of freedom of religion  where God knew the church would be able to stand one last time before the 2nd coming of His Son. and I have grown  to have a  love as well for history, more specifically of this amazing country and what it was founded upon and how we are losing the site of that today. But it really was founded with Gods hand involved. He needed this country, so a young boy in 1820 could question all these different churches and seek personal revelation and answers and to be able to receive that personal witness from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and for him to Restore that Priesthood Authority which had been lost and then to bring back that same organization that Jesus Christ had when he was here and we have the Book of Mormon as evidence of it. It truly is the work of God and I know it to be true. I love this Gospel so much!
Elder Nelson and Elder Anderson together again!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Bits & Pieces" from July 2014

July 7, 2007...

 So the weather report from hell this week was hot, really hot, and really really hot! oh wait that was for Georgia.. my bad! But yes, it was ridiculously hot this week over here 2 of the days we hit 102! It may not seem like a lot but mixed with the humidity its a joke!  That is awesome about the fast for the drought. Its amazing how that always happens when we can show enough faith and through prayer and fasting miracles are wrought upon us! Now can you imagine if we had that faith all the time? We would able to see and do miracles so much more. Its just like Jacob 4:6. and then if you go to Mormon 9:18-21 and we see the reason why we don't see them as often as we would like is cause we are all dwindling in unbelief! We have no faith!  It's so sad, if everyone understood the true doctrine of Christ this world would be so much better. Now I'm not saying I have a full knowledge, cause I definitely don't! I'm far from it and learning fully will come overtime and that is what this life is for! and we also know Satan is ruling this world right now and we are in a  constant battle with him, but if we can learn how to cast out doubt and fear we can do so much more in this life! Well there's my doctrinal spill for the day;) But this week was pretty good.  We stayed real busy and had a lot to get done, and yes the Mounts were out of town this past week but they just got back.  I'll be over there later today. but the week was packed. On Tuesday morning at 5;30 in the morning the traveling assistants texted us and said we will be at your apartment at 5pm to go on an exchange tomorrow:) haha.  So we got ready for them and had a great exchange on Wednesday.  I was with Elder Moodie, a black kid from up near Lehi.  He's sick.  He goes home in a month and I learned a lot from him. That was fun but that was the day it was like 102 and I was luckily in the car with him. E. Porter and Jensen were on the bikes! Then Thursday was the big hump day! I loved the package, thanks! I love getting pictures:) and Jensen LOVED  those cookie things haha he kept trying to steal them from me and those quote things were really cool. But sadly it just felt like a normal day haha. We did find the FAMILY! Thad and Laura Higgens! and they have the 2 cutest kids in the world Jabari is 5 and Katie is 3 but i don't know if I told you about the family that we met at Ollies(store) that the dad was black and the mom was white and the kids looked like me so I had to go talk to them and turned out they had talked with the missionaries once before and were in our area book but we this is them!  And so we went and saw them with the Munguias and they were so prepared.  They've been looking for a church cause they see a lot of faults in other churchs and they want a good environment for their kids and so we taught them the whole restoration and invited them to be baptized and they accepted a date for August 2nd!! It was incredible and I got to play hoops with Jabari.  He's a stud. He has the same skin tone as me but has blondish dark hair and green eyes! The kid is gonna be a lady killer! But then on the 4th we went to the Carrollton parade to try and talk with people, but not much success with that and then later when we were riding I wrecked pretty hard for the first time.. haha. I flipped over the handle bars and the back tire came back and smacked me in the face. I only walked away with a few scratches here and there so that was good. But I did rip the crap out of the pants I was wearing so that sucked. But we did find a family right after:) miracles after the trials of our faith! haha But no, sadly we had to go in at 9. They sent a nation wide report from Salt Lake to all the mission presidents that we had to be in. And so that was my week, pretty fun! We sadly only had 1 at church which was Josh Johnson. He's so ready! He came with us to lessons we had last night as well and was talking about his mission and getting his call it was really cool!

Celebrating the 4th!

July 14, 2014....
 It was a very good week, we made a lot of great things happen but as well it just seemed really slow. We are having a tough time getting members to come out with us which leaves us on our own trying to get to places like 8 miles away which just takes up a bunch of time which sucks. But we did have zone conference which was great. It was a little different than we usually do it but it was really spiritual. I got to see a lot of old faces. Then as well, I went on exchanges on Tuesday with the elders in my district and that went great. We had a lot of success and it shows that  you are really in tune with the spirit cause this week we went and saw that older guy Bartow!! He's awesome! They were in Florida for about a month and a half which sucked but they are back and we had an amazing lesson with him and we put him on date for the 26th of this month!! He has been super sick though which sucks, he had to go back to the hospital on Friday for his back so keep him in your prayers. And about the Higgen family, they live in Bowden which is about 15 miles from us and so its real hard to get there unless you have a member so we couldn't get over there this week but we have talked with them on the phone and they couldn't come to church cause he got called into work and they only have one car:( but its ok, they will come next week! We did find another family a family of 5, all baptismal age. They were a referral from members and we went over with him and the entire family sat down and we had probably the most spiritual first discussion I've had since I've been on my mission. It was incredible and they were excited to learn more and read. That's the Parham Family. And then I did get the opportunity to interview the Daniel family for baptism!! A single mom and her 2 kids Justice 12 and Delontiz 8 and they are amaizng. They've been taught by the sisters in our ward and their baptism was so great it was good to see our ward love them in so much. On Sunday I was privelaged to be able to confirm the mom Erica and the son Delontiz and Elder Jensen confirmed Justice!! So that was exciting. But that was my week! Nothing too crazy. Looking forward to this week, have another interview with a 9 yr old girl in the Buchanan area, its a part member family so that will be fun but we have a lot of stuff lined up!
Hump Day Celebration...
burning of the shirt!  



July 21, 2014....
This week has been incredible though for a few different reasons. We did get to go and see Thad and Laura again out in Bowden, the mixed family, and they are doing good they were pretty busy when we stopped by but we are seeing them tomorrow. One of Thad's best friends just passed away from an overdose and he was struggling with it. So it was great to be able to testify of the plan of salvation and we'll teach the whole thing tomorrow so that will be great. And we're seeing that member's friends family the Parhams again tonight so that will be good. But the BIG NEWS that happened this week is amazing and I didn't say anything last Monday cause I didn't want to jinx anything. But Josh Johnson ,the 17 yr old who has been wanting to be baptized for awhile now but never did cause his dad wouldn't sign the paper when he was taught a year ago. They thought both parents had to sign. but Elder Anderson being the inspired kid that he is;) (still haven't figured out humility;)) when he was out on a team up with us I said "brother there is only one signature at the bottom of the baptismal form and your parents are divorced and there is no custody issue.... you only have to have one parent to sign!" His eyes got super big and was so excited and this was last Sunday. But just to make sure we went up the line and asked president if that was true and he said it was!! So now, Josh doesn't have to wait till he's 18... he's being baptized this Saturday!!! He is so excited and ready. This kid is amazing and the only thing he is talking about is that now he doesn't have to wait until December to go on his mission and that he can now go out with all of his buddies in the ward right after school!! It's so amazing I'm so excited for him and to be apart of it. So that is the big news of the week. We are preparing for that right now and its gonna be awesome! Other than that, we just had a great week of finding and inviting people to be baptized. Like I said on the first call home our mission president takes inviting to baptism very seriously and wants us inviting 2-3 people a day to be baptized! And we were kind of slacking as a district and so we had a very inspiring district meeting and set some goals that we would invite 104 people as a district this week and we invited 88! which was so cool to see the excitement from them in finding families and inviting them. But it was a great week and it's gonna be an even greater week. We also are doing a huge clothing drive at our church on Saturday so it will be good for the whole community to come to the church and get clothes. 
July 28, 2014....
So crazy news!! I'm staying in Carrollton!!! haha I called it and I'm staying with elder Jensen!! We will be together for 7 and a half months!! I can't believe it but I am excited. I figured it was going to happen, all week long I was feeling like that was going to be the case. But the crazy thing that happened is they closed the sisters area in our ward and so now we are the only ones here! So we have all of the 800 square miles to ourselves! And we have to now cover all of Temple and Villa Rica as well as all of Carrollton, Bowden, Whitesburg, Roopville and Franklin!! 7 cities! 1 and a half counties. all to us:) So it will be a crazy transfer for sure but I'm not mad that I get to be in Carrollton longer. I love the ward here and they are super excited I'm still staying!
But anyways the baptism was amazing!! It was crazy to see how well the ward supported him and how many people came to the baptism. We had about 60 people there and some were from different wards far away so it was really cool. And he is so solid. He bore his testimony after and it was amazing and he came on team ups with us on Sunday night and a whole new light was shining on him and he was bearing testimony and helping in the lesson and it was funny cause we were teaching this one lady the restoration and she was understanding everything and Josh has basically memorized the first lesson and right when we were about to say the first vision he jumped right in and said " oh you're going to love this part its my favorite!" So it was awesome. He is going to be such a great member and an even better missionary, that's all he talks about is going on a mission. This is like each missionaries dream, to have one of their converts be so solid and go on a mission and to change so many lives. It just brings so much joy to my heart knowing his life will be changed forever because of the decision he made to join the church! One of his friends who spoke at the baptism did a cool analogy. He said if Josh marries in the temple and has 5 kids and his kids have 5 kids and so on for 5 generations and all are still connected with the gospel over 3000 peoples lives will have the gospel because of the decision that he made!! It just makes me smile:) But another amazing thing, Jjosh and the person that baptized him, Scott Anderson, they are taking us golfing today so we are stoked about that. I haven't golfed in forever but I'm excited!
As for the rest of the week, we did get to go on exchanges again with the assistants so we had fun doing that but the elder that was riding my bike broke it so we were walking the rest of the week which sucked. But hopefully now we are getting a car. So I don't have to fix it. but we did get another solid person on date for next month he will be an easy baptism. He is a members friend and hes living with them and he already said he wants to be baptized. We are halfway through the lessons with him, and other than that we walked a lot in the hot sun trying to talk with people. On Saturday actually was the craziest day cause the ward was having a huge clothing drive for the community to come get free clothes so we helped out with that all day and found many new people and then right after we had to clean it all up and then set up for the baptism so it was a stressful day but lots of fun. 

So, I lied, I just got late word from President, I'm going down to Fayetteville to be a District Leader down there!! They split up the super duo.. :( new comp will be Elder Vernon and I kind of know him, we should get along great but I guess the area has been a little slow so President said he needs me to pick it back up like I did Carrollton, but he said the ward is amazing it's kind of like a western ward, lots of people so I'm excited. It will be a little different, bigger city, richer people!

Josh Johnson's baptism
Love & Support from the Carrollton Ward

The Super Duo's last day together!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Bits & Pieces" from June 2014

June 2, 2014....

 So it has been a pretty crazy week here in Carrollton getting this baptism was the most stressful thing in the world but we made it happen!! This week has been one to remember for sure. So, we basically focused on Tyrus the entire time.  We did get to see other people but we made sure he got dunked. We did go on exchanges on Wednesday and I went up to Buchanan and got to interview another person for baptism. His name was Leo.  I got to see all the families that got baptized in the past 7 months that I have interviewed so it was really cool to see them again and when we were there one of them had a 5 foot water moccasin come on his porch and he shot it so we went over to see it and I guess this is like a baby one but it was massive and I got to pick it up.  It was pretty sweet! I guess they're super poisonous! And for Donna and Nikko, Donna has kind of lost interest and she doesn't want to change but she likes that we come over for Nikko so we are going to keep teaching him at least and hopefully she comes around. But for the big story, BIG T is a Mormon!! It was incredible! So,we saw him everyday this week.  The interview was on Thursday and that went great.  I got to sit in and be a part of that which was cool. And then on Friday he said he didn't want to do it anymore cause he didn't want to wear white... dumb reason. He is very self conscious and as well on Thursday he found out he was going to be the only one getting baptized then he said no  then! cause he doesn't like being the center of attention and he had an anxiety attack, then on Saturday we were fighting cause he had to wear white and we didn't have a suit for him. But we had a member that ate breakfast with us go to the temple that day and she picked up a suit from the baptismal font and it was just the right size! But we were going back and forth all week long and we could just see satan working on him all week long but we had the baptism and he had a lot of his friends and roommates come to support him and we had members there and it was great and Tyrus wanted Elder Jensen to baptize him and me to confirm but the cool thing is I got to go in the water as well to make sure Elder Jensen didn't drop him. So we all got to get white! It was a very awesome experience! On Sunday he woke up late and was running late but got to church only 10 min late. We did the confirmation and then after the sacrament he leaned over and said to me "I just feel so good and clean right now. Like all the burdens on my back have been lifted. It feels so good!" Then he said that the past few days Satan was working so hard on him and he recognized how he didn't want him to get baptized!! So it was such a testimony builder for me to know that what I am doing right now is right and that I'm supposed to be here bringing these people this amazing gospel and true joy and happiness!  That was basically our entire week. This week should be fun, for 2 days I get to go to the mission home in Fayetteville and stay the night there and be apart of the leadership boot camp.  I hear its gonna be pretty crazy but I'm excited. The zone leaders had one last week and said it was intense but they learned so much and now its the district leaders turn so I'm exited! Other than that I'm just trying to hold on to every moment, cause its flying by!

His first water mocassin

Elders Anderson & Jensen with Tyrus

June 9, 2014....

Ya it was pretty fun last week with Tyrus and definitely one I'll remember forever! The District Leader boot camp was amazing! It was great to get away for 2 days and to get instructed on how we can better serve others in our district and how we can best help our areas. And ya it is beautiful out in that part of Georgia. but it was a great 2 days, we learned so much. But my favorite thing about President Harding is he's not only turning us into leaders in the mission field, he is turning us into leaders of the world. He himself is a very successful man. He was the leading salesman and was high on the board of Franklin Covey. He was just instructing us how to be the most successful business men as well and it was great, I loved it. Lots of great counsel and training of how to be our best so it was lots of fun. A great experience to be with the other leaders and create more friendships and love throughout the mission. But that was definitely an experience I wont forget. and no even though I was with him he didn't hint anything for transfers. So I have no idea whats going to happen. Transfers are on the the 18th. So I will know if I'm getting transferred by next Monday! Other than that it was just a normal week nothing to crazy happened. We had an investigator, Tabitha come to church yesterday so that was great. It was a good week and this week should be great as well, we get to go to the temple on Friday!

District Leader Boot Camp

Boot Camp must include "play" time!

 June 16, 2014......
 So crazy news!!!! Me and Elder Jensen are both staying!!!! crazy huh? haha I guess if its working why break it apart right?? but I'm not mad by any means I love the ward here and hopefully we can get the work picking back up. We have some good people that should be getting baptized. But I'm excited. I never thought I would be in Carrollton for 9 months but I guess the Lord has other plans for me and I still haven't done what I'm supposed to do here. The other 2 companionships in my district are changing so there is a lot of change happening in our zone but not our area. Carrollton is just too crazy that they don't want to send anybody else out here!   The week was pretty good. We went to the temple on Friday and that is always great but other than that nothing to crazy happened.  Tyrus is doing good. He came to church and he's doing good. We have just been trying to find more people to teach. We have kind of reached a point where we feel like we are out of resources but we are going to wipe the slate clean and just start fresh and even if we think we've hit an area we are still going to see if people are interested. It's just so weird trying to do everything on a bike and not having a car. But its all good, we'll figure it out.  The very fun and exciting thing that happened this week is yesterday we left right after sacrament with our high priest group leader (who is black) and went with him to his friends church because he promised him that if he came to our church that we would have to go to his church. and that's what we did. It was an all black baptist church and man.... I had the best time ever!! It was so much fun and it was everything I hoped for with all the yelling and hollering and standing up and praising saying amen and thank you Jesus after everything!  And the choir and the crazy good gospel soul music with the pastor standing up and yelling at everybody and stomping his feet on the ground it was probably one of the funnest times I've had since I've been on my mission! Definitely something everybody needs to experience at least once in there lives. I even half way through grabbed my camera and was sneakily filming the whole thing cause I thought it was so funny but there was one guy in the choir that could freaking sing. He was amazing but it was way too loud and you could barely think during it. But I was glad I got to experience it.  We did find a family of 5  and they're amazing but they're leaving to Honduras for 2 months... stinks. But overall it was a good week. 

Lucky to have a Temple so close!

 June 23, 2014.....

This week was good. It was pretty slow though, Jensen popped his tire last week on Saturday and we didn't fix it until this Saturday and all of the members were out of town and busy so we were on foot for most of the week and it limited our travel area. But we did see some great people and taught some really good lessons this week and we did come up with a new creative idea. We were with new members in the ward from Arizona last Monday and we were talking about family history and we came up with an idea to have a family history night where we invite all members, less active, and the entire community to the church to do family history and get to research their families!! I'm pretty excited about it! I have no idea how to do it but their going to show us and our Mission President has been telling us to use family history a lot more so we think it will be a great new way to try to find more people and get them in to the church building! and ya I have and I haven't gone back and seen the old promising people. They still don't want anything anymore. the sad thing we run into all the time is when we first meet someone and they're so excited about it and then of course, they go tell either a family member or friend or worst, the preacher/pastor, and then they drop all the anti literature on them and they get exposed to a lot of non true stuff and then they shut themselves off and don't want to talk to us anymore. I can't tell you how many times that has happened. But it happens and you just gotta keep moving forward and tell them when you first meet them that you will see a lot of things that are not true and hopefully they stay strong but more likely than not they're gone. But I love this work so much. It's amazing to be a missionary. My testimony has grown so much  and I know I  need to be able to hold a temple recommend my entire life and magnify my priesthood duties and do all God will ask of me. I love you so much and miss you like crazy and can you believe my year mark is in like 10 days..

June 30, 2014......

So, it was a great week this week. A lot of stuff happened and it just went by so fast! I couldn't really keep up with everything but I know I can't believe it, I kind of forgot all about my hump day these past few days and today all my emails have been saying it then I freaked out. I don't know where the time goes.. this past year has been so amazing. I have learned so much that I never would have learned back home. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I truly have learned what I need to do in this life to be able to live with my family for time and all eternity! haha it's sad to think but I don't think I would have made it if I wouldn't have gone on a mission. I have been reflecting on it a lot but they always say the mission is the best 2 years of your life... I sure hope not I want better years ahead than this, but this will definitely be the best 2 years FOR my life. I'm excited for this next year, they always say it goes by way faster and I believe them cause these past few months have just flown by!  As for my week, it was pretty crazy. The beginning of the week started out great and we taught a lot of lessons with members and we had lots of rides everywhere and then wednesday hit and we couldn't get anyone to come out with us for like the rest of the week which sucked and it was really hot but rainy all week so that meant we walked a lot which was such a blast... ha but it turned out to be a good thing cause we found a lot of families from doing it! So on Wednesday we had President interviews which are always great. I loved being able to counsel with Pres. Harding and learn from him. Then on Friday I dont know if you knew this but it was the 170th anniversary of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrums martyrdom. So we had a mission wide fast that day for miracles and families and we found two great ones! One had been taught before and were in our area book but had moved to a different place and they were excited to meet with us again! So that was great and then on Saturday it was a fun beginning of the day. We go to Ryans (basically like golden corral) every saturday morning with the Munguias and Tyrus, so we did, and after Tyrus was taking us to an appointment we had and we were driving down a street and a car was turning left and didnt see us and pulled out and we basically T-boned the crap out of her car! It was nuts! Everybody is safe and no one got hurt. We totaled her car and it was Tyrus' brand new 2014 maxima so it was safe I didnt feel a thing for how hard we hit her. But it just damaged the front left side of his car. it was her fault, she just didnt see us. so that was fun:) and then that day we thought it was gonna rain hard we decided to walk but it just got really hot we didnt have our bikes and walked 10 or so miles from apt. to apt. :) haha and then on Sunday we had one investigator come to church. He is awesome. His name is Josh Johnson. He is 17 and he has been taught for a year and a half . He is friends with the members here but he can't get baptized until he is 18 due to his parents not signing that he can:/ but this week he said he is going to serve a mission and we took him to some of our appointments so its awesome. He doesn't turn 18 till December and as well we got 3 more people on date to be baptized! Tabitha who is super solid  and then Justin and Carey who we found on the day of the fast!! so overall it was an amazing week:) I love you so much and I'm so grateful to have you as a mom and to have the amazing family that I have. I know I took that for granted back home and I promise I wont do it again. but have a great week!

Celebrating "Hump Day"

By the "burning" of the shirt

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Bits & Pieces" from May 2014

May 5, 2014.....

 Good news!! Me and Elder Jensen are staying together another transfer together in C-Town!!! I'm I guess if its working why split it up? We have some pretty solid people we are working with now that will be dunked this transfer so I'm excited. Our whole district is staying the same so we are all pumped for that!  And about the storm, it was a pretty good one we didn't see the sun for 3-4 days but once it came out it has stayed the past 2 days its been like 85... and its only getting hotter... ya the humidity has been kicking in full force! But ya the bike has been treating me very well I'm starting to finally slim down since I've been on it I've lost about 13 pounds so Im happy about that I need to cut some more fat then Ill be happy!  

But as for the work goes, it was a pretty slow week for us this week, not a lot happened. We had a lot of members busy or out of town so they couldn't come out with us so we had to cancel quite a few appointments but we still did a lot of good things and found a lot of people on our own efforts. And I don't know if you remember Tyrus Dorsey, but I've been working with him since I got here and have never gotten him to commit and we dropped him for about a month but this past week and a half have been meeting with him often. He's had a lot of stuff come up in his life lately that has changed a lot and we finally got him on date for the 24th!!! So that was our success for the week and he is committed.  He was saying at work he is already telling people he's mormon so that's great! But that's about it. 

The "Dynamic Duo"!!

May 19, 2014...

  It was an alright week for us this week. We had some really good things happen for us it was just really slow due to weather and lots of rain that hit us that made it difficult to get out without members. But it was good.  We worked a lot on Tyrus making sure he is ready for the 24th! and we think he is. We are having dinner with him in the Mounts house tonight so that should be great! and we got Donna and Nikko on date for the 31st which is amazing. We had an awesome lesson with them and taught the plan of salvation perfectly and answered a lot of her questions about it. So I was excited about that and then on Thursday I had the opportunity to interview the sisters in our wards investigator for baptism.  Her name is Glenda Davis or "Cricket" is her nickname.  She is awesome and so funny! And then she asked me to baptize her! So that is who I had the privilege of baptizing on Saturday.  It was amazing to get back into the water! Everything went well for that. Funny story about that, so Elder Jensen popped his tire about an hour before the baptism so we had to walk 30 min back to the house and then we realized the sisters didn't have a key to the font to fill it up so we had to be there asap! So in our suits and our bags, we sprinted a mile, suit and all:) haha we probably looked so weird but that's the fun part about being a missionary/  You can do whatever and not feel weird! So I can say that I've ran a mile in a suit;) But on Friday we got to go to Zone training meeting and go to the temple and this was one of the most spiritual times I've had in the temple, seeing my prayers be answered.  Elder Jensen and I went fasting for a certain member in our ward who.s had a lot of things happen to him the past weeks and then I went with a question I wanted answered and right when I got in the chapel waiting room  Isaid a prayer for an answer and I picked up the bible and opened it right up and the first page I turned to and verse I looked at was my answer! It was amazing! I think it was the first time Heavenly Father answered me so fast. Then after the temple, in the meetings we got a text from the member and our fast was answered!! It was amazing! The power of fasting is so real! That was the first time I've had a real experience and a testimony builder of fasting! So Friday was a very good day for me. But that was it for me.  This week should be amazing with Tyrus' baptism. Pray for him, that it will happen! 
Nothin' like a baptism!
 May 27, 2014....

Its finally done! They have been sealed for time and all eternity gosh that's crazy to think about. And I bet it was pretty hectic but it looked like a blast. I wish I could have been there but hey I was kind of there ( I'm not gonna lie I still look pretty dang good even on cardboard) haha I loved the pic with all the kids doing the Heisman. That one made my eyes a little watery but I'm glad to hear you like the text from Bro Mount.  I thought it would bring some comfort!  I was thinking a lot on my temple experience and I was amazed on how fast answers can really come and that was definitely a first for me.  It is so nice to put everything off to the side for these 2 years and not worry about the world and the news and sports (even though I think about sports often) Its nice to just give your all to the Lord for this short amount of time and I'm realizing how short it really is with only one more month to my year mark. Its incredible how fast the time goes by. But as for this week, it was 1000 degrees all week long, it sucked! And most the time we were walking cause we didn't want to go and get Elder Jensen's bike fixed, but we finally did. But it was hot! In regards to Tyrus, the reason why we had to move his date is because on Wedensday night he had some things come up with roommates and he was super stressed out so to calm himself down he drank a winecooler... ha so we rebuked him for that but he is still good and he is getting baptized this Saturday!! We have been seeing him everyday so he is doing good. Elder Jensen was actually super sick yesterday and we were inside all day and so Tyrus brought him medicine and brought us lunch and dinner! So, he is still doing great and he is excited for the baptism! Then some more good news, Darrell Smalls, who we thought was gonna be out of town for 2 more weeks came back this week! So we got to see him and finalize things and help him with his smoking .  We were with a member and the member gave him a blessing to help with it! So we moved his date up to June 7!!  Hopefully we'll be splashing for 2 weeks in a row which will be amazing! Donna and Nikko are doing great. We saw Nikko twice this week. Donna has been sick in bed all week so we couldn't see her and they didn't come to church on Sunday so we had to take them off date. But they are still doing good. Other than that it has just been a crazy week of me being sick with a cold for 3 days in the beginning of the week and having to work through that and then our big finding day was going to be yesterday but Elder Jensen looked like he was going to die! He's feeling a little better today so I got a lot of studying done yesterday and I got to write another poem. Ii think its pretty good! I'll send it in another email but it was a good week super hot but this week should be amazing just working hard and seeing results its amazing!

Give me this Mountain
Give me this Mountain
Said Caleb of Old,
giving all that he had to God,
and seeing what he would unfold.
In the world we are in
God will push us to be our best.
Knowing our true potential,
He's going to put us to the test.
We will have good times, of course
But on the days of hardships and trials we'll see,
He is making us into
The children of God we can be.
We may sometimes say...
"I can't do it", "I give up", " Its to hard",
"Its not worth it", "I quit".
That's what Satan wants us to say!
If we put our trust in God
And we do all that he asks
He will show us the way!
You can do this! You can make it!
Never say never,
Keep moving forward,
Don't stop and don't quit!
With each mountain we have to climb,
We may never know the reason why
He only said,
It will all be worth it in the End.
I hope we can all say:
Give me the strength to fight,
Give me the wings to fly,
Help me know where I need to go,
Help me follow the truth and light.
I'm ready for the challenge,
I'm on the front lines of battle,
With faith in God, I will not fall.
Give me this mountain.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Bits & Pieces" from April 2014

April 7,  2014....

This week was really good  in spiritual way. Investigator wise it was kind of a slower week for us we didn't get to teach that many people cause it was spring break this week and a lot of people were gone but everybody is back now so it will be good this week.  Sadly,  we didn't have anybody come to conference.. It's okay, some did watch it online at home though which is just as good. We did have an investigator say he knows the church and Book of Mormon is true and he will be baptized. The bad part is he's in Philadelphia till the 18th so he will be dunked, just not for a few more weeks! But this week was good cause after hearing about Taleah I was super sad and I needed a lift. Then I got a text on Wednesday saying we were having a leadership mission council the next day and so that was just what I needed cause we got to go to the temple and I got to feel the peace I needed. And at mission council we talked all about faith and families and how we will be with our families forever and we need to find and baptized all these families but the message for me was just perfect! You can watch some videoes of us singing songs on facebook. I think President Harding put them on there. it was great and then for general conference to be this weekend as well was so awesome!! just a spiritual filled week!
Elder Hollands talk was soooo sick!!! He came out strong right from the get go talking about defending our faith no matter what!! But I think my favorite talk was by Bishop Gary E Stevenson about this life being our 4 minute race and however we perform here is gonna determine where we stand on the medal stand! go for gold!! and Presidnent Monson's on love was fantastic! But ya my second favorite was Dallin H Oaks talk on the priesthood!! He threw down like Bruce R McConkie would! It was so great!
But ya that was my week, not too crazy, kinda slow, but this week should be amazing we have a lot of great things planned and are gonna put some families on date to be baptized!!

April 14, 2014....

As for this week, it was an amazing one for sure!! Lots of crazy cool miracles that happened right to the last minute. So this week again we had some goals and summits we wanted to climb as a mission which was to get 10 member present lessons again and to also teach 10 pmg lessons to members! And I'm happy to say that my district accomplished it and as well as our whole zone!!  Its amaizng to see how much the Lord is blessing us for working hard and being obedient. We came down to crunch time so yesterday we needed to teach 4 more pmg lessons to members and 2 more member present lessons after church.. and we got all 4 of the pmg lessons done by 7pm and we got with our member at 730 and we only had an hour and a half to teach two people. We were driving around to see some potentials and formers and the Lord will always provide if we are working our hearts out and we found a former to teach and invite to baptism and that took us to 815 and then we drove across town and found a family outside playing some volleyball and it was just about to get dark so we ran over to them and taught the grandma of the family the whole restoration and it was funny cause she was super black and was into the speaking in tounges and so while we were preaching to her she was preaching to us then out of no where she just goes off for like 7 sec with blalifldviaifjaidfe hahah it was so funny but we got her to read the book of mormon! And we did it!!  When we finished that lesson it was 8:50pm!! right on time! So it was way cool. Then another one our miracles this week was that we tracted into this lady named Donna about 2 weeks ago and decided to go back on Tuesday and she was busy so the kid that was there came out and said "are you church people" and we said "yes".  So he said preach to me.. ha so we did:)  This kids name is Nikko. He's 11 and an amazing kid. It turns out that Donna is his grandma and when we were getting to know him he said "I've been through a lot in my life, more than what a lot of people have gone through. My mom died when I was 10 and my dad died when I was 11.... and now I'm livin here".  I almost broke down in tears. He said, "I really want a church to go to".  So we got to testify of the plan of salvation. but what was cool he said does your church do stuff fun? and we said well ofcourse kids your age have scouts and they go on  campouts and he just got so excited and really wanted to come. so we went back the next day with one of the scoutmasters and taught Donna and nikko the restoration and she said she was excited to read the book of mormon.  It was amazing to me that we were lead and guided to these 2, cause if there is anyone that needs the gospel its them.  I'm really excited for them! and yes Darrell is still on to be baptized when he gets back.  He should be back at the end of this week he's now like in the middle of the book of mormon! On Wednesday I get to go interview a couple for baptism so im excited for that! But that's what went down this week! We did have one of our investigators Mohamidoo Ahminoo come to church so that was good! But things are changing and its incredible to be a part of it!
A District Selfie!
April 21, 2014...
 My Easter was fantastic! We had a lot of great things happen yesterday! We were only able to have 1 investigator come. Things happened with the others that prevented them from coming but the sisters had 5 gators come! As for the ward, many people brought a lot of non member friends which was amazing cause our ward doesn't usually do that.  So we met some great people, some of which we will be teaching here shortly but during the day we got 6 member present lessons with investigators! That was amazing, then we went to Bishop Andersons house and had dinner with the sisters! Then we went to the Mounts house and had a second dinner and watched all the kids have an easter egg hunt so it was a blast! But the sacrament meeting was great, the speakers gave amazing talks and we sung with the ward choir so that was fun:) Sadly, I was not able to see Nikko this week but we did see his grandma! Nikko was at a cousins house when we saw her and she had read a few chapters and she said she liked it so far! We are going to teach them the POS this week and get them on date! We do have 2 people on date for the 17th of May!  Hopefully one of those that go through one is Evaline Boykin. The other is Richard Farley, a son of a member thats really less active. But something amazing that happened this week. throughout the mission we have been setting these weekly goals to help push ourselves and this week was to have each companionship to have 3 at church and as a mission to have 300. The most the mission has ever had is 200. But we as leaders really pushed everyone this week to get them to church and as a mission we got 302 investigators to church!!!! It's pretty cool to see how when you are exactly obedient and you work your butt off that you can accomplish the impossible! And our zone is killing it right now. We are doing great things.  The interviews I had this week were great. Their names were Jason and Rose Edwards and they got baptized on Saturday! That was good to see. I got to go on exchanges with the zone leaders this week and one of the Elders, Elder Erickson is my boy! I love that kid to death. He is so funny and he's been the one to really push me to my highest potential.  I was in his area this time in Kennesaw. I thought this was amazing, we went to see a less active couple that are trying to come back to the church. They've had a lot of issues with drugs but they are doing a lot better. But Bro Lawerence has a bunch of collectible things and because he loves us and we were making him have a good time he wanted to give us some things to remember him. He gave us like mint condition 2 dollar bills from 1963! But the coolest thing  he gave us were these half dollar coins. ( dad would love this coin)  its so sick! It is a rare specially made half dollar coin of stone mountain (which is a huge stone in georgia that has a carving in the side of it of the soldiers from the war) and its like the big site to see here.  On the front it has the soldiers and on the back it has an eagle and it says "memorial to the valor of the soldier of the south"!! We thought it was so sweet cause thats what we are the "Soldiers of the South"!! fighting this war. But the best part is this coin is from 1925!! I was very grateful of him and wish I could teach him more! But that was my week. I really tried to always think of the Savior this week and what he did for me and realize my faults that I have and to realize that without him I couldnt make it make and I am forever grateful for him and for what he did! I wish more people could try to think like that all the time, not just on Easter cause if we did this world would be such a better place! 
Easter Dinner   
April 28, 2104....
I can't imagine living without this gospel. This week I have really tried to focus on whats most important and my personal conversion of the gospel and every time I come to the conclusion that the plan of salvation is the greatest thing in the world. The fact that we know where we can go, and that not only can I live with my family that I have now for forever but my future wife and kids. To know that I will be with them for time and all eternity is the greatest blessings and it always comes back to families and the importance of the family. That's why satan has been attacking the family unit to disrupt and change what God has intended for us. But there's my speal on that:) haha. This week was amazing! A lot of good things happened. Its crazy to look back just like 4 months ago and see the dramatic increase of success that we have been having and its all a direct result from being obedient and working as hard as we can! We taught a lot of lessons this week and to a lot of new people that we have been finding so that's been fun.  We have gotten a lot of members to come out with us. They are starting to catch the vision I think or they just feel bad for us that we are on bikes so they take us out anyways. Either one I'm fine with it:) So good news about Donna and Nikko.  We still havent been able to get them on date but we got Nikko to go to mutual on Wednesday and then on Friday the ward was having a ward campout and Nikko went to that with some members and had an awesome time. We got to go in the morning to the breakfast and stuff so that was fun.  Then we got them both to come to church on Sunday!! It was amazing to get them fellowshipped in so easily. I felt like we did nothing:) but we also had Darrell Smalls come for the second week in a row! And, hes halfway through the book of mormon!  He knows its true and after this last trip to Pennsylvania and back we will get him dunked! So we are excited about that:) But other than that its just been super hot and I've been getting my color back so thats been fun. Today I guess there is supposed to be a big storm that is going to hit Alabama and possibly Georgia so we'll see how that turns out I heard it hit Arkansas and did some damage so we'll just pray for the best!
Someone caught himself a snake!