Georgia Atlanta Mission

Georgia Atlanta Mission

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Bits & Pieces" from November 2013

November 4, 2013....
"Our teaching pool right now is doing awesome we are teaching lots and its keeping us busy so thats great I'm just praying we can keep it progressing and get these people in the water!! the sisters in our ward had a baptism on Saturday it was great to see this guy Keith get baptized he read the book of mormon in like 2 weeks he was a solid investigator. but some funny things happened this week so on Tuesday we were driving up to our district meeting and we say a dead racoon on the side of the road and it looked pretty good so Romero flipped around and jumped out of the car and grabbed a poncho and picked it up and threw it in the trunk! hahaha and it is some good looking road kill looked like it didn't even get touched so we got a member in the ward helping us out today and were gonna skin the coon and Romero is gonna make a coon hat out of it hahaha man i have gotten pretty redneck cause I love it! Halloween was great we had a great time at the Kellys house passing out the candy and pass a long cards. they said it was a really slow year this year cause the weather wasn't the greatest but we still handed out about over 1000 pass along cards so it was great. It was funny cause people here in the south love a picture of Jesus so they were lovin it haha but that was our week its was pretty fun later today we are gonna be skinning that coon so we are excited!"

November 11, 2013....
"In our area this week it was pretty slow not a lot happened it was just one of those missionary weeks when pretty much every appointment that you have falls through. and no one comes to church.. it sucked but its all good cause im staying positive i think the thing we are working hard on to right now is getting this ward to start hastening the work cause most of the people in the ward are super shy and don't get out much. so they don't know anybody to share the gospel with. and the fact that we have a 29% active ward its super sad. there way to many less actives so we are working to try and get them back. but David and his mom Carmen are doing great! we taught her the plan of salvation on Saturday and she loved it and said she would get baptized when she knew these things were true. and they are starting to pray as a family together which is amazing. we say Daniel at the beginning of the week and we got him on date! but were gonna have to move the date now cause he didn't come to church so that sucks. but its getting crazy cause transfers is on the 20th and we have no idea whats gonna happen. so I'm praying I stay cause I do love this ward and never want to leave. but the coolest thing happened on Sunday. I don't know if you ever remember me telling you about a lady named Cheryll Bennett but she left the church when she was a teenager and is now coming back but she was the first person I ever taught and taught her most of the lessons but she finally got approval from SLC to get baptized and she asked me to baptized her! I'm so excited and its on the 23! that's another reason why I am scared for transfers! but that's all that happened this week oh and zone training meeting was good the temple is always the best part. "

Josh running the flag on Veteran's Day

November 18, 2013....
"Holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm freaking out right now about DH and PV are you kidding me that is so cool that they are playing each other at state oh my heck it kills me not being there I guess this is a way that the Lord is testing me and he knows this dumb thing is a trial for me haha but'I/m praying they win my gosh ha I cant believe we have a panther in the house now.. ha I love her but dang. me and Hannah Schone are going back and forth about it to haha but we both know that the curse cant stay this long its our time to win! but enough about football I'm getting transferred!! I don't know where yet or if I'm training or just getting put with another elder. but I'm excited for a change I love it here in Dallas so much and I'm gonna miss the people but I've been needing a change in atmosphere and this will do it for me. I'm hoping I get to come back next Saturday and be able to baptize her I'm pretty sure president will let me. but transfers are on Wednesday so I'll get my new address to you as quick as possible.  David is doing great we still haven't been able to set a date with him cause he's waiting for some big thing to tell him its true and he's not noticing all the small changes in him and we have been trying to show him. but he is still doing great and so is his mom. David came to church this week and so did this black family of girls that we are teaching! the 3 girls came Shadasha is 17 Shanell is 15 and Stephanie is 13 and they are awesome. But about Daniel we had to drop him...its sad and it was hard but we haven't seen or heard from him in 2 weeks we have no idea where he is at. so that sucks but it happen.  I love being a missionary and yes I do have those days  where I just think to myself and say what in the world did I get myself into. but the scriptures have really helped me gain a testimony of knowing that I can push through the hard times.  Doctrine and Covenants 121 and 122 has helped me a lot but I just got big news and I'll tell you in another email"...
"I just found out some big news! I'm gonna become a District Leader! Man thats nuts I didn't see that coming but I am excited that President Harding has put trust in me and I'm ready and willing to serve as one! so ya I am leaving the area for sure and becoming a DL somewhere else so I am excited. Pray for me cause I'm gonna need it!"

November 25, 2013....

"anyways  my week has been pretty crazy so I am now in Carrollton! Its about 40 south of Dallas right next to the border of Alabama so I haven't gotten out of the red neck sticks yet haha it seem like an awesome area.  It is huge though the ward boundries cover all of carrol county which is like 80 miles around the border so its pretty big so we do have a car, but the sucky thing is the elder here before me, this was his dying area so he went home this past transfer and used pretty much all of the miles... so we have been walking everywhere!! we have probably walked 15-20 or so miles in 4 days! so its been different. my new companion is Elder Bates. 
Its been a week that I've been on my knees a lot just asking for guidance and on top of that I have the district leader responsibilites which haven't been to bad. but I've had to learn everything so fast and the elder before didn't leave to much information on anything. So its been a humbling learning experience for me this week. but the ward is awesome! I can already tell I'm gonna like it. The bishop is Bishop Anderson! and he went to SUU I think! so that's kinda cool but the first counselor is name is Bro Mount he is amazing he is so funny but theyre the family we'll eat thanksgiving with also with a less active black lady that we taught yesterday who is amazing and so funny then we have another member that is feeding us desert so I think we'll be good! the teaching pool sadly was just like dallas... they had 2 people in the pool but they are hopefully promising but other than that we have just been trying to find new ones. we found 2 new gators this week which is a great start. but we will just keep working hard and I have learned God puts us in situations to push us and see what we have got I think it was getting a little to easy for me in Dallas so thats why he made me a DL and have to help my companion more. God knows what to do to help us grow. Oh and YES I DID GET TO GO BACK AND BAPTIZE SIS. BENNETT! it was an amazing experience and we actually set her apart and bishop farley confirmed her there so I got to be apart of that as well which was so awesome! but I just wanna let you know how grateful and thankful I am for you and for dad. I love you both so much. being out here on a mission you reflect a lot on life and what you have learned and you and dad taught me so much some of it just didnt click till I was out here. I hate saying this cause you knew and I knew that I would say it but I wish I would have spent more time gaining a stronger relationship with my siblings and I hope I can change that when I get back. but just know that I love you so much and miss you a lot. and ya I know this is where I need to be right now even though I would have loved to be at that game! but I love you."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Bits and Pieces" from October, 2013

October 7, 2013.....
"I loved Conference I thought it was so great! there was so many great talks I felt like a lot of them really focus on enduring to the end and making sure we live this life right. I loved the question that Oaks gave. what is our ultimate priority? Its true and I've noticed that on my mission and I love Uchtdorfs talk he just laid down what we are all about and said "come join with us now" ha I love it Edward Dube's talk and Richard J Maynes were really good as well same with Richard G Scotts on the atonement. but I don't know if you knew this but L Tom Perry in the preisthood session threw down on the 13 articles of Faith! and I immediately thought of you and trying to get the family to memorize them but he went over all the doctrine about each one and it was awesome he really showed why they are important. and told everyone to memorize them so obviously you were seeing something and was inspired to focus on the 13 articles of faith. Transfers are this week and  me and Romero are staying together I'm so excited. and as far as Priscilla she is a single mother but we weren't able to see her at all this week... but as far as David goes he is so amazing. we taught him last night for like the 4th time and he is just getting it hes reading and understanding. when we first met him he was super agnostic. and his dad grew him up kind of athiest. but he loves the idea of an after life and being with families forever. and hes working hard with his faith. and our new investigator is Isiah. he is 12 yrs old and kinda has a rough situation at home. how we got to start teaching him is a family in our ward pretty much has adopted him into their lives. hes half black so he feels like we connect  a lot! but hes super interested and because of this family we'll baptize him for sure this transfer I'm so excited for Isaiah. This family is the Kelly's and they are the best family ever they help us out a lot. i got something awesome that im proud of i just finished a poem i started about a week ago and i think its pretty good hhaha but here it is."

Journey back Home
Home is a place of love, joy, and comfort
We're learning, growing, and always playing,
Having a family takes lots of effort
Parents just want the best for their offspring,
We also have a Heavenly Father
Who loves all of His children, girl or boy,
Waiting at home for His sons and daughters
In His Kingdom of everlasting joy,
We are now on that journey back to Him,
this life is one to progress and cherish
To build on our talents with all our whim
Doing our best trying not to perish,
You could be lost trying to find your way
Doing all you can do to endeavor,
To make the right decisions day by day
That will affect you now and forever,
We sometimes may ask ourself this question,
Why do I have to go through these hard things?
Bringing these pains, sorrows, and tension
Striving to conquer and getting nothing,
Things will get shaky on our way homeward,
We'll go through the tears, heartache, and trials,
But with faith if we keep moving forward
In the end, it will all be worth our while,
Through Jesus Christ we can make our way back
He did for us so that we could suffice,
We can repent and get back on the track
Only from his atoning sacrifice.
Better days are coming, let those bad fade,
If we all keep trying to be our best
And following the path that Christ has Laid
Happiness is at the end of this quest.
Lets all work hard and strive to keep the pace
To pursue on this straight and narrw road,
To push with faith and to finish this race
Back to our Heavenly Fathers Abode!
 October 14, 2013......
"Elder Romero is from Murray Utah.  He's 20  and has been out for about 16 months so he is older. and yes he is a great writer he wants to write books when he gets back hes really good. but ya I was with him when the guy was bashing us pretty hard haha I guess I just forgot to tell you. First off he was mad that we woke him up and we asked if we could pray with him and leave Christs peace and blessing with him and he asked us if we were Mormon and we said yes. And then he went on an hour and a half speil about how he almost has a masters in theology and thinks he knows so much about the bible and blah blah blah it was kind of sad that he thought he knew so much but he really didn't he didn't think you need to be baptized and Christ was the last to be baptized in the bible which is wrong but the whole time he was talking to us he kept saying my whole reason in talking to you is to shake your faith haha it was pathetic. He tried to bring up things about Joseph Smith thinking we didn't know them to see if it would shake our faith but at the end we asked him if he has read the book of mormon and he said would you read the devils book? ha so we were like if you're not gonna make an effort to read the book and only say Joseph Smith wrote it then we have no reason to talk or argue with you cause you haven't read it. Its sad how ignorant people here are in the south they think they know all about the church and Mormons just cause they hear their preacher talk about how bad we are. and the only thing they say is "john" smith wrote the book of mormon. its pathetic. 
for one cause they don't even know his name and all they have to say is he wrote it haha anyways enough about that. We had a great week this week so last Monday night we had an appointment with a guy we knocked into his name is Daniel and he is amazing. hes 27 just got divorced and is suffering from ptsd and depression he served 2 terms in Iraq but he doesn't act depressed at all. but when we taught him on Monday we taught him the restoration and he loved it and said it made sense. and if we say we have prophets and apostles can I hear them? and were just like ya you can! So we pulled up Elder Hollands talk on depression and 3 minutes into the talk he stopped it and said that's exactly what I need to hear. and after the whole thing all he could say is wow I felt like he was talking directly at me! It was so awesome then he came and did service with us on Friday and we taught him again on Saturday and came to church on Sunday!! He's amazing, we even referred missionaries to his mom in Texas! Oh and David is now on date for the 26 of October!! It's so awesome and about the kid in the detention center we did get to teach him one more time its hard to schedule a time just to teach him though but me and elder Romero go every Wednesday and Friday and tutor the kids with math!! its way cool to help them and hear there stories and i feel like its good publicity for the church for them to see missionaries in there helping them. its good to cause I'm getting aquainted with math again haha but overall it was a good week!"
October 21, 2013.....
" I miss the ward family a lot from St. George. but I love the Dallas ward so much. I have gotten close with so many of the members and I'm going to hate leaving. Hopefully I'm here for a little more. But I'm pretty sure when I come back to visit Georgia, Dallas will be the first place Icome to! David is doing great we taught him last night and is progressing well.  We are praying we can baptize him this week but if its not this week it will be the next week. He brought his little brother to church as well and he liked it a lot. We are starting to teach his mom as well she is interested! so its awesome and Daniel is doing good. We have lost contact with him the past 3 days though which sucks we don't know where he is and he didn't come to church, but he came to the devotional on Thursday which was good."
October 28, 2013......
" This week was great David was not baptized unfortunately but that's alright because last night we got to teach his mom the restoration and it was amazing she understood it and wants to keep learning more and David was even helping teach in the lesson. It was awesome, we think that's whats gonna get him baptized. Daniel is doing great. he's just been real busy so its been hard to get a hold of him but we got to have dinner with him in a members home (tatums) which was amazing it went really well and after he was talking to Bro Tatum and was like " I really loved your home it just had a great feel to it!" (the spirit) haha but the 2 big things that happened this week.. 1st was I got to meet and hear from Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Soares of the presidency of the 70!!! It was amazing super spiritual and a great experience they were awesome. Something that I realized the most is just how done to earth general authorities actually are They're just people like us. It was awesome! and that night our ward had there trunk or treat and it was the best thing ever.  Our primary president did such a great job and made it so missionary oriented. There were a lot of nonmembers there! 12 of the people we are teaching came!!! and lots of the members brought there friends so it was just a crazy good night and one of our members Sis Embry made us the Beard-Os so we got to where those all night and got a lot of attention from those! which was way fun so those were the 2 big highlights and this week on Halloween usually missionaries have to be in by 6. but we got the okay from Pres. Harding to be at this members house named the Kellys!  They are like the best family ever so humble and the best member missionaries and on Halloween main st is loaded with thousands of people trick or treating cause the stores and the baptist church and the Kellys have a lot of candy. but whenever the Kellys hand out candy they give a pass a long card as well so they have us pass out all the candy so it should be a blast!! I'm way excited! but some more members that I love the Crisps they are amazing they are actually moving to Utah in Jan. for his work there moving up near hill air force base!! so I'm excited for when I get off my mission we already planned to do something with them and the Kellys out in Utah! They're awesome! When I send you pictures bro Crips is the one in the penguin suit! But it was a great week taught a lot of people and I don't know if i already said this but we got 7 new investigators this week! Its awesome!"
Josh with David and his brother

Josh with Brother Crisp

Always loving a football player!

"Bits and Pieces" from September 2013

September 3, 2013....
" I'm so excited we got 3 new investigators and a whole bunch of investigators so its so cool. We met this 70  year old black lady that is the greatest funniest most southern lady I've met behind Heaven Jones.  But we sat down with her and she just told us her whole story. She is pretty famous actually she was I guess the first black lady to ever be in the union to cut hair like world wide and do competitions and stuff like that. she has a lot of trophys and pictures! and she even cut the Popes hair. but she has won comps in Berlin and many other places and did some movies as well. but she did all of it with a straight razor! and she said she would cut our hair with a straight razor we are so stoked! kinda scared though she is kinda old her name is Ms Joanne!  but we had 2 people agree to baptism this week we didnt set up dates but they said they would if they came to know if its true!  but it should be a good week"

September 9, 2013....
"Thanks for the birthday wishes! and yes people in the ward do know! some members took me out to eat today! they are so awesome they are actually moving to utah in january! right up near hill air force base! but this week was a great week and yes miss joanne did cut our hair it was awesome. but ill send you the pictures. we had an awesome week of finding this week! we found 10 new investigators!! 2 families I'm so excited they all said they would be baptized!! we have 4 of them on date so i hope all goes well! we tracted into both families one of them has 4 kids ages 19 17 16 14 and they all loved what we were teaching. same with the mom. but the dad is a super super super southern man i can tell he is going to be a stickler he doesn't realize the importance of going to church and worshipping something different. he is just southern but we will get him! the other one is an older lady Diane that has been having a lot of problems in her life and has been looking for jesus and then the next day we knocked on her door so she believes we were her answer! and we kinda are haha but. ya it has been a good week lots of tracting. also this week was stake conference for our stake and it was all on missionary work and hastening the work! so it was good for all the members! Since elder romero has been here I've grown a huge love for the new testament. he has taught me so many things from it and how when Christ was here he set up a church. there was an organization. (ephesians 4:11-14) and there was only one lord, one faith, one baptism. and once he and the apostles were killed thats when the heretics and heresies started forming and thats where you see all of the churches. and once you tell somebody that on there porch here in georgia they know what you are telling them is true cause they know there bible. and we just ask them so if you believe in the bible and someone over at another church has the same bible shouldn't yall believe the same thing. and be the same church. and they know you're right haha and then they get mad or want to learn more and lately we have had a lot of people want to know more. but anyways love you. go to youtube or something and listen to a talk by Legrand Richards titled Missionary experiences. its like my favorite talk its so true! "you don't have to argue, if you know how to tell our story!" 

September 16, 2013....
 " I have grown a love for reading anything church related especially talks or something talking about church history its way interesting to me. but i know its hard to try and get in there head and try to teach them y'all did teach me a lot the hardest part is trying to get them to realize the importance of all this... that's what I took for granted or advantage of I think. I mean people always tell you to stay awake and pay attention in seminary but what did we do. we fell asleep and didn't pay attention. and now I look back and wish that I would have paid attention cause I had a real fast crash course in the mission field.  I'm still grateful that you took the time to teach me and did learn but the greatest thing you and dad ever did for me was by just being a good example. and making sure i was doing the right thing. cause out here you see a lot of kids with horrible homes and bad examples and that's what they end up being. so thank you for being good parents and raising me in the gospel and being that example that I needed I know I didn't show it sometimes but it did mean something. as far as the work goes we have been having our ups and downs just like every missionary does. but its the worst feeling waiting for someone to come to church and they don't... ugh it really bugs sometimes but its there agency and you learn how to be patient here in the south cause some of these people and there choices are so ridiculous. but we taught one of our investigators named David last night about the plan of salvation hes 19 and has never had a strong testimony that there is a God or Jesus. (its been kind of nice teaching someone like that) but he has been asking all the right questions and while we were teaching him last night he started realizing that all this does make sense he just needs to start praying about all of it. but im excited about him"

September 23, 2013....
" I love going to the temple with all the missionaries its like 10x more spiritual! but other than that our week has been pretty slow most of the people we have been trying to see have been out of town or something its ridiculous haha but as far as the kid in the detention center we haven't been able to get over this week we have been busy doing some other stuff but we are planning on going this week. and David is progressing he has been reading we haven't seen him since last Sunday but we are seeing him tonight and I hope he has been studying about the plan of salvation cause he seemed super interested with that! I we did have an investigator come to church!! her name is Pam Hardy she is so awesome she tells everybody about us and just calls us her missionaries! she loved it the only problem with her is that we need to get her to stop smoking and drinking... which is always fun. but just to let you know Kathy Meyer the lady we baptized is doing amazing she just got a temple recommend to start doing baptisms for the dead!! she is so golden she loves it. but ya it was a super slow week this week not a lot went on. hopefully today we are gonna go try and play softball as a zone it should be pretty fun!"

Showing off the hat given to him by his Ward Mission Leader


Josh and Elder Romero
September 30, 2013.....
" It was a pretty great week here in dynamic Dallas! Pam is doing good she hasn't had any progress yet with the drinking and smoking and wasn't able to come to church cause she had to help her daughter move out of her house. but she calls us about every other day she is so amazing I hope that she will change. and as for David he is progressing very well he came to church this week and liked it a lot! he is working in Rome though this whole week so we wont be able to see him. and we have another solid investigator here name is Priscilla and she has 3 kids and they are the most well behaved kids i have ever met!! its crazy every time we teach them they are so quiet and raise there hands to answer its so awesome Cornelius is 10, Elisha is 6, and Ariasha is 4 they are awesome I'm praying the things go well with them they were gonna come to church this week we had a member set up to take them and everything but Priscilla got sick Sunday morning!!! Satan is good. but it was a good week this week me and Elder Romero are working hard! but I am sooooo excited for conference this week I've never been excited for it. but since on my mission I just love listening to talks and I can't wait to hear the numbers for missionary work. and we heard some awesome news elder Dallin H Oaks is coming to our mission on Oct. 29!! 

Joshy in love!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Bits & Pieces" from August 2013

August, 5 2013....
"This week has been a great week for us!! the hard work finally paid off and our prayers were answered! So first off there are two elders they call the traveling AP's they're not the APs just a little different but they go to elders and do 48 hour exchanges and that is what we needed!! They helped us out so much and we got 12 new investigators this week! and committed 4 people to be baptized this month!!! I hope everything goes well and right but its awesome to see the change in people! there is a guy named Antoine that has been investigating for 3 years now and we finally got him to a date for the 17th.  I'm praying that it works out and he doesn't back out! but we have been working and tracting a lot but I love it no matter how tired I get I'm always smiling and having fun!!"

August 12, 2013....
"This week was a good week we did a lot of service this week because we had so many dropped appointments.  but the temple was such a great experience and the cool thing is now we get to go like 8 to 10 times a year!! It used to only be twice a year so I'm excited about that. zone training was good I love president, He's such a cool guy!! and pushes us so much! listen to the much from mulan called "I will make a man out of you". Thats his theme song haha. but some of the people I'm teaching... Antoine is about 42 and has the biggest testimony in the world of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. He has been investigating for 3 years and still hasnt been baptized cause his wife is baptist and wont change. its been way hard on him cause she said she got a different answer about the church.. which cant happen. but we are working hard with him.   Dezwan is 22 got out of jail a little bit ago and wants to change his life he is very open just has some issues we have to work on he told us he was going to go to church but didnt come.. which sucks but we will get on him for that.  Kathy Meyers we got from the Cartersville elders she is awesome and knows the church is true we know she will be baptized for sure on September 7! so that will be good she is an older lady. and theres some others but we don't see them as much. There are a lot of people in this ward that  Ilove so much. Ones name is Sister Jones or Heaven Jones and there is only one Heaven Jones!! She is a southern black lady about 45 years old and so black!! She converted in 1999 from catholic. but every testimony meeting she gets up and starts singing like gospel music like a baptist church and is pretty much preaching and yelling as well!! its so awesome I love it. She has the biggest testimony we are also helping her with moving a lot of her stuff. But thats about it. I dont know if Ive told you but it has rained about everyday that Ive been here.... its nice but sucks at the same time. On Thursday it was sooo bad but me and Elder Goss wanted to have fun so we decided to go tract in it!! it was so fun!"

August 19, 2013....
" ya its still raining here i cant believe it people said it hasnt been this way for like 20 years! but its good cause its not hot we just get wet haha. but this week was really good and bad at the same time. bad news first we have had to lose a lot of our investigators cause they dont want to change there lives so they dont want to hear us tell them to change so we have lost quite a few. but the good news is that kathy myers is amazing! i think i told you about her last week and said her baptismal date was set for sep. 7th but our miracle this week was she called us on tuesday and said i cant wait any longer i wanna get baptized as soon as possible!!! it was music to our ears!! so she is now getting baptized this saturday!! the 24th im so excited she is so awesome and ready and cool story we were at her house last night teaching her and at the end of the lesson we asked her to pray and she got all nervous and said that it would be her first time ever praying out loud and infront of people! and it was so awesome to hear her prayer the spirit was way strong and i loved it. so she is our miracle for the week. but we tracted quite a bit this week and i dont know why we did cause it never works here in the south. we didnt find anyone new this week but we trying to get more referrals from the ward"

August 26, 2013.....
"the baptism was amazing! Kathy is so golden its awesome to know that you had a little help on having someone enter the gate through baptism and ultimately getting on the path to eternal salvation!! but the week was a little slower cause we were focusing a lot on the baptism but saturday was the craziest day so far on my mission! so the day started early and me and elder goss got to help a kid with his hiking merrit badge and got to walk 20 miles!!!!! it sucked so bad and the crazy thing is we did it in 5 hours but aint nobody got time for dat again haha after that we had the baptism which was amazing ill send the pics!.....
but my favorite member is brother seawell he is a southern guy and one of the smartest men ive ever met he helps us out a lot. and thats where i get all my southern food! but he actually has whole chapters memorized its crazy hes so awesome on sunday we actually had a lesson in his home! his daughter kind of went of the road and is doing her own thing but she brought her boyfriend named charles he's black and a nonmember and we got to teach them. he reminds me a lot of dad. and he just wants to improve his life we watched the restoration with them and he started crying it was awesome the spirit was strong and we left him with a book of mormon and he said he'd read it. and were having a lesson with him next sunday."