Georgia Atlanta Mission

Georgia Atlanta Mission

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Bits & Pieces" from October 2014

October 6, 2014.....

I loved hearing what you thought about conference! It was amazing for sure. But ya, I really
enjoyed that one on the Patriarchal blessing and making sure that our lives are in harmony with the blessing promised to us in the blessing it made me want to be better at studying it and making sure I'm doing everything Heavenly Father wants from me. Elder Bednar's talk was pretty legit telling everyone why we do what we do. It's so true though cause once I felt the atonement in my life and when I focus on what the gospel has done for me in my life that's when I want to share it with everyone else and I think once we realize that nobody can take part of the Atonement without being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority and if we believe that its only in our church where you can find that then how more important it is for us to share that with everyone! But, sadly we didn't have anyone come and watch conference with us but I know we had a part member family that we are now starting to work with watch a session the dad is the only member and they have 5 kids! So we are excited to start working with them more and hopefully getting them to start coming to church. And with Syndi and Durran we have been communicating through text all week. She has been super busy with her work. Her husband does something with the military and he lives in Arizona and I'm pretty sure they are thinking of moving out there next year some time. But she still really wants to talk but doesn't get home till super late so hopefully we'll see them this week! I did get to see Tyrus on Monday! He came down but Anthony was sick so he couldn't come to lunch with us but he took us out to lunch so it was great to see him and get to catch up. He is still doing great and going to church and he is helping the misisonaries out a lot. I was super happy to hear that. And I heard back from Josh Johnson last week. He wrote me and said he is doing great as well and still preparing for his mission! So I'm happy to hear that they are still going strong. I  guess the sisters in Carrollton have been killing it and they have baptized like 5 weeks in a row! I'm happy for my "home" ward! But for the rest of the week, it was pretty good just been hitting it strong with those bikes! We found quite a few new investigators this week and some seem very promising so we are excited to start teaching them. One of them was named Sherrell.  She is kinda crazy but when we were talking to her about the church and what it does for us spiritually she started opening up to us about her past and how she needs to get a stronger relationship with God and actually do what he wants her to do and she had been holding grudges from some things about her daughter and what she had been doing. She hasn't seen or talked to her for 6 months but she said she was going to forgive her and put it behind her and move on and be happy just cause we stopped by and talked to her and prayed with her. So we were happy we made some what of a difference. Then the next day we got a call from her and she said you need to come over now so we headed over there and she was very happy cause that morning her daughter showed up at her door wanting to make things right and to strengthen there relationship! She said it was all because we came and prayed with her. That was our little miracle for the week. But my 2 favorite talks this week were probably Elder Packers and Elder Christofferson. Elder Packers with his pure testimony on the Savior and the atonement were so strong! And how we as individuals need to have a sure foundation of the gospel and gain our own witness of the truthfulness of this message and then we will make the unity strong. And Elder Christofferson talking about our agency and the importance of our choices. I just felt like the theme message of this conference was we need to focus on our own personal conversion and then we need to focus on the family and how important it is to have the priesthood keys restored back onto the earth and to have a Prophet. But I enjoyed it highly. Oh and I get to go to the temple tomorrow cause we are having zone training meeting and the crazy thing is President Harding is doing this new thing where the zone leaders go on week long exchanges with the district leaders and this week is my lucky I'll be with Elder Urchanbrek the whole week! We'll see how that goes. 

The new bike!

Elder Anderson's new buddy

 October 13, 2014....

This week was really good the exchange went well.  It was different than what we were both used to so it was hard getting used to it but we got a lot of work done and saw some good things so overall it was good and we survived.  He came to my area, so we got a lot of good things done and got one of our other investigators on date so we are excited about that. But nothing really crazy or new happened this week.  Pretty same old same old stuff.  Last night it was pretty crazy, we had a 2 pipes burst. One in our apartment and the other from the apartment above us and it was like 11:30 so luckily one of the maintenance guys lives below us so we ran and knocked on his door and the guy above us and our apartment got soaked there was water dripping out of lights and vents and the ceiling and we were filling up buckets and had towels going everywhere, hahah it was a blast!! Not really, but we are all alive and we got everything taken care of in about an hour so it was a late night for us last night but it was a fun way to finish the exchange. As for zone conference, it went great. I always love going to the temple with all the missionaries and getting to see everybody. And the cool thing is we got to watch "Meet the Mormons" while we were there so that was good. I thought they did a really good job and I think that will be a great missionary tool. But I don't have too much time this week to write cause we have a lot of things to get done before we exchange back but I love you and miss you so much and I hope you have a great week and I'll talk to you next week.

A week of exchanges

 October 20, 2014....

We had a really good week this week and had a lot of success finding new people and as well seeing a lot of our people that we have been teaching.  One of those families being a part member family are doing really well and are progressing. A cool miracle was that one of our investigators; we gave her a Book of Mormon like 3 weeks ago and because she has been out of town we haven't been able to get in contact with her too much but we saw her this week and she had read all the way to 3 Nephi 18!! We were so shocked.  And she loves the Book of Mormon, the only problem will be getting her away from her other church that she loves so much. Its a huge mega church in Atlanta... like 20,000 members.... nuts right?!? But now for the big news... I'm being transfered!!!! Who would have thought. I didn't think I was leaving. I figured Talbot would.  I'm going to the heart of the city!! ATLANTA! I'm stoked. It will be so sick so I'll be on my bike and I'll have Marta(the bus) but it'll be way sick!! and I think I'll be in another 4 man too, which I have loved so I'm stoked for the new experience and the elder I'm going to is actually one of the ones that came in with Elder Hamilton from Sierra Leone! But I'm excited. I was shocked when I heard I was leaving cause I've only been here 2 transfers but I'm ready for another chapter of the mission.

The Fayetteville District

Moving new adventures

October 27, 2014....
The city is amazing! Its awesome!  I love it here! But my week has been pretty fun and different than what I'm used to. Every single door that I have knocked into, they're black! Now I don't want to sound racist but its amazing!! I love it. We stay on the west side of Atlanta so I'm not right in mid town but we travel there often so I see it all the time. My area is great. It has a good mixture of all the social classes which is great! We have the low middle and upper. There are some of the biggest houses here! But I have loved it.  There is always someone to talk to and that wants to hear the word. The trick here in the ward is being able to find someone who is self seficiant and will stay active. Because we could find, teach, and baptize all day long if we wanted to but that has already happened and it has ruined the ward. By the way, the ward is amazing! 70% black 30% white! And every time someone says good morning over the pulpit everyone says it back and I hear fast and testimony meeting is legit! But overall the ward has over 1000 members in it!! and only 150 active... So there is a lot of work to be done here, we just need to figure out where our priorities need to be and how to best help the ward and our investigators. But the fun thing is that we white washed into our area. Elder Lanier was serving in a different part of the ward so we are both new to the area. Which I guess isn't new to me, I've done it in every single one of my areas. But its such a good area. We are on a car/ marta and bike share so one day we have the car and the other we are on Marta with our bikes!
Elder Lanier is great. He is from Mackay, Idaho and has been out for 1 year now. The other two in the apartment are Elder Marriott form Arizona, he has been out 2 transfers ahead of me and Elder Hansen from Idaho and he has been out just 1 transfer less than me and they are pretty cool.  Elder Hansen and I get along great. He is super funny. But I love being in a 4 man, they're legit. This week the ward had its fall festival/trunk or treat which was fun. We had one investigator come to that but not church. I think the sickest part of this ward is President Sullivan. He is the Stake President over the Atlanta stake and his home ward is our ward. He is the one in the movie "Meet the Mormons" as "the bishop" he is so cool! We got to talk with him for a long time at the party as well at church so its cool to be in the ward that was in the movie. So if you have seen it or you go and see it that building is ours and where he lives is in my area! That will be fun to say after the mission. But I'm excited to be here. It's gonna be a fun transfer. Oh and another cool thing we have 7 companionships in the ward!!! So there is plenty of work here to be done! 


"Bits & Pieces" from September 2014

September 1, 2014....

This week was great. We saw some great progress with some of our investigators.  Sadly, none of them made it to church, but they are reading and understanding our message and they want to act on it which is some good progress.  I had a great lesson with a lady named Mimi.  She is an older lady, super sweet, she was in the formers area book and we went and saw her with an older couple in the ward and they hit it off and had an amazing lesson.  She loved and understood the restoration, she is a Sunday school teacher for her church so its gonna be hard to get her to come to our church. But my district is killin it right now which is amazing to see and its great for our ward.  One companionship, the STL's, they are baptizing 4 people this week a family of 3! and a grandpa part of a part member family and they are all amazing people so I'm stoked to be able to interview them and then next week I get to interview another guy who is super solid as well! So, the work is definitely hastening here in Fayetteville! Now I just gotta find those that are prepared as well, but I have loved being around such great missionaries and being able to interview so many people for baptism. It is such an honor and blessing to be able to have that privilege! Yesterday we worked hard all day and tracked for like 5 hours in the super hot humidity to find as many families as possible cause they were home and we found 4 new families. It was awesome.  Found a great place to find in with great people so me and Talbot are stoked.  We just need to keep working hard and following up with people. But the Lord will provide as we just keep working hard and being obedient the blessing will come. I get to go to mission council with all the Leaders tomorrow so I'm excited for that but sorry its short this week not too much to say.

September 8, 2014....

 Thanks for the birthday wishes! It's weird to think I wont be a teenager after Wednesday. It is flying by. Thats sick that Brandon did good, sounds like he and the team did really good. Tell him congrats and no he didnt write me. but this seriously is the hardest time of the year for me as a missionary and not being able to watch any games!! haha its kind of sad but this is what they meant when they say serving a mission is a hard sacrifice.. Only a sacrifice from football season! haha I miss yall too... :)  and I'm glad you enjoyed 2 Nephi 4.  I just love how fast you can change your attitude on anything and he just says "awake my soul" and to stop letting satan control him or his thoughts and that if we can just trust in the Lord forever he will guide us back home. And ya thats the hardest part for me to get through as well I wish Isiah wasnt so hard to read!
This week was really good though we kicked it off strong. Obviously on Monday with it being Labor day, many families were home and kept our finding pretty consistent throughout the week. I think our find of the week was a lady named Kimber we met her on Wednesday and said we could come back the next day and when we first talked with her she said she was agnostic and was confused why there would be so many christian denominations. So I kind of chuckled and said we have the perfect message for you and bore testimony that she really did have a Heavenly Father that loved her so much. So I went back on thursday with Bro Okonkwo.  We were on splits and we taught her family. Her husband is Casey and they have a 7 year old named Garren and being in the south and getting to teach a family who really doesnt believe in God is a blast! I love it. I think its so fun to watch them have a spiritual witness that there is a God and thats what we saw. We taught them the restoration and focused primarily on faith. What faith is and how we apply faith it in our lives. And to someone who really wants proof and can't rely on faith, that's when we need the spirit to testify to them so we said a prayer in the middle of the lesson to let the spirit work in them and progressively through the lesson they kept getting more and more interested and asking more questions and at the end they said that they really wanted to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! And they accepted a soft commitment to be baptized if they came to know it to be true. Then the rest of the week was a little slower for us at least but for the rest of the district it went great so that was good to see.
The interviews went really well. One of them, Bro Ironce Raymond was the grandpa of a part member family. I have never met a man who was more prepared for the gospel than this man! Our interview was like an hour and a half because of how much he was bearing testimony of the gospel and how it has changed his and his family's life! He said he was praying so long for God to send him to the truth and his whole life he thought God didn't answer him and then he realized that God works in mysterious ways and led his family there first and let him find it through them. He and a 3 generation family were baptized as well the grandma,, the mom and her daughter! So it was an awesome Saturday and Sunday to see! and Bro Raymond bore his testimony so many times through church it was so cool. even though he wasn't my investigator, he definitely has changed my life just to be able to see and hear his story. But me and Talbot are just hitting those streets hard and knocking on all the doors we see trying to find that family! We know it will happen in due time with our faith and diligence we'll see a miracle this transfer! My quote of the day "Adversity helps develop a depth of character that comes in no other way." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Elders Anderson & Talbot

September 15....

 This week was a great week.  We saw some great things happen and some bad, but thats the fun in missionary work. My birthday was great, we had a lot of fun.  We went out that night and went to a place called Twisted Taco! A place right in the square of Fayetteville and I did love the package and I will keep the bracelet close so I can where it when I come home. I like the turtles thing we got going as a Fam. But that day was a good day for me, everybody that we talked to shut us down haha we had very little success which is fine.  It happens and honestly it strengthens my testimony more when we have so many people wanting to yell and get angry with us cause it just makes them look dumb for one, and it shows how sad "Christianity" has become. We knocked into 2 different pastors that day that got so mad that we were on their porch and tried to anti us and said we don't believe in Jesus and all the good stuff that they try and throw at us.  We had one go open his door and when I started talking he leaned over with his finger pushed on my name tag and said "that says Jesus Christ.. you need to take that off now cause you dont believe in Jesus.." and then went off how Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is crap.. and is all fake. Now.. this was an older man but me being me, it took everything not to punch him in the mouth for hitting my name tag. But I love these experiences cause all you have to say is "Sir, have you read the book?" they say "no, who would read the devils book.."" well if you're too ignorant to read the book and pray about it, you cant say anything about my church.  Try it out and you'll see something like this could not come from the devil!" and it's just sad how all these people call themselves Christians and they put everyone else down for what they believe.. I'm pretty sure Christ wouldn't do that. It's just a small testimony builder for me knowing that we don't put down any other faith for what they believe, we just offer more. But I did get to interview another man this week for baptism. He is so strong in the gospel. He has been learning for awhile now and finally made the first step so it was great to see. We had zone conference which was great. Elder Jensen just got transfered into the zone so it was great to see him again.  I found out someone we started teaching and got halfway through when I left got baptized 2 weeks ago so that was great news!
That's awesome you got to speak in church this week and ya that is definitely something harming the world today with the youth we don't see things as black and white. The youth like to sit on the fence in the gray area and see what they can do to not harm themselves which is so sad. It just gives satan so much more ability to snatch them when they waver just a little bit. We see it out here in the mission field with other missionaries which sucks but I guess with the Lords work hastening Satan is making it even harder to find our way in this world. We have been talking about that lately in our mission. Our own personal conversion. That is what I am most grateful for in serving a mission, to actually know for myself that this church is true. I dont think I knew that before and I honestly think if any young man who doesn't know that and comes on his mission and can find that for himself and maybe not convert anyone else on the way but if he saved himself it was all worth it. Because later in life he will have a family and he will raise his kids in the gospel and thats how generations will change.  So I've just been thinking lately of what my life would have been if I didnt serve and it scares me what could have happened. Im so happy that I've converted myself.

Celebrating "20" with a little confetti blast

September 22, 2014....

 Hey, I loved that scripture that you sent.  It meant a lot coming from someone else cause I just read that chapter this week and that didn't stick out to me... shows you how much I try to understand Isiah:) The zone conference was at the Fayetteville stake was so amazing.  All the relief societies in each ward for like 4 months were compiling a bunch of stuff from everyone and they had a missionary mall for all us missionaries serving in the Fayetteville zones! So we basically just got a bunch of free stuff! and there was so much stuff... your son was in heaven. It was like being at the DI but everything was free and nicer! So I picked up a new suit, 2 rain/cold jackets a bunch of ties and a bunch of hygiene stuff! It was awesome.
But about the week, this week was a lot better than last week! We had some pretty awesome miracles in finding families! One of these families was a mom and a daughter and 5 years ago they moved to Georgia but before they lived in New Jersey and met and learned from missionaries and they loved them. They called them the "Jesus Boys". And when they moved they told the missionaries to make sure ones in Georgia came and saw them and when they first got hear some came but they weren't home and only left a pass along card with no contact info. Then 5 years went by and none have knocked on her door since!  So when we knocked on her door she freaked out.. which made us super nervous cause at first it looked like she was going to attack us, but then she was so happy and started bringing up things like the Book of Mormon and Moroni and that she went to the Washington DC temple to check out the visitors center! We were shocked, she then set up her own return appt. and made sure we were coming back! So we are stoked to go back and teach them and get them coming to church! Our other miracle is that we got one of our investigators who lives in our same apt. complex on date to be baptized for October 25th! He is super excited. We just need to help him with his word of wisdom issues and he will be baptized! Elder Talbot and I were happy to see success this week with a few of our investigators and hopefully this week we will have a lot coming to church! and who isn't so excited for General Conference!!! 2 more weeks!! It'll be awesome!

A little P-day Golfing

Ran into Dad's old mission companion, Elder Handekamp

September 29, 2014....

So it was a really good week this week, we got a lot of stuff done. We finally got some people to church! Our investigator, who is on date came with his 2 little girls and he enjoyed it a lot and then we got a part member family that we have been working with for awhile now to come! The member has been coming for 3 weeks now.  He is like 70 and on Sunday he received the Aaronic Priesthood so that was awesome to be apart of.  Then his Daughter came who we are teaching and she brought her little boy who we will be giving a baby blessing to in the next few weeks. But there is a lot of potential in that family so we are excited for them.
I think the big miracle this week is we finally got back in contact with one of our investigators who was on date before but fell off the map because he had a lot going on but we went and visited him on Friday. We were talking more about what we do and he said that he found out that we cant watch TV or listen to music and can't talk to our families and he said there was no way he could do that. We asked him where he found that out and he said he was in Carrollton over the weekend and met the missionaries out there because he was taking them to get some shoes.  So we asked him why he was taking missionaries to get shoes and he said he wasn't but his really good friend was and he was just staying with him over the weekend. I got super excited and asked who the friend was and he said, Tyrus!! I was like NO WAY!! I baptized Tyrus! and showed him the pics on my camera so we were both shocked and then he called up tyrus and we set up a time this week to teach Anthony with Tyrus!! But how cool is that! What a small world it is.  But I'm pretty stoked for that. It was just a great week for us in finding new families to listen to us so hopefully we can be teaching more people this week and see many families coming to General Conference to hear the Prophets voice! We weren't able to see Cindy and her daughter this week cause they had to run out to Arizona to see her husband but we are seeing them this week and they are coming to conference! and Conference will be amazing its like Christmas for us missionaries! I can't wait to see what Holland throws down  this time!