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!