Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dec. 10, 2013 No snow!

Ha ha we're practically in a tropical paradise!  Woot!  Not really, we were actually in Coos Bay the last three days which doesn't have the blessed Chetco Effect to keep it warm.  We had Stake Conference Saturday and Sunday then Zone Conference on Monday which is why I'm e-mailing on a Tuesday.  At Zone Conference we learned a lot, but then we had kind of a nice happy Christmas section where we watched most of The Christmas Oranges.  NEW FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE.  We actually watched it last year too, but only the last bit.  It's a mormon movie not produced by the church, and I definitely recommend it. :D

This past week has been wonderful!  As you know, Maya and Renee are set to be baptized on the 14th, but we weren't sure they were going to be anywhere near ready.  Their hearts just didn't seem to be in the right place.  We decided however that we would push forward and do our best to have them ready, and we were praying for a miracle.  We taught them on Friday only a few hours before we were all going to go to the ward Christmas party.  The Spirit in that lesson was so strong, and as we taught, the change of heart we had been praying for was evident in what they said.  It was a Christmas miracle!  Certain complications mean that we'll have to move their baptism back (we haven't even told them yet, but we will tonight) but they are allowing the gospel to work in their lives, which is awesome to see.

The Ward Christmas party was a blast too!  Sis. Leavitt who organized it, had the ingenious idea to get Bro. Webster to have his middle school choir, Seabreeze, come perform in it.  So all the families of the choir kids came too!  So many nonmembers were in our building!  Maya was in the choir too, and a few potential investigator families we had been trying to work with were involved also.  Aside from that, a lot of ward members who don't make it to church so often were there, and we were scurrying around the whole time talking to everybody.

I have some more fun Brookings facts!  Brookings is the only spot on mainland U.S. soil that was attacked during WWII!  A Japanese bomber dropped a firebomb which didn't detonate the way it was supposed to, so it didn't cause the raging forest fire intended.  Somebody found the shell and reported it.  They chose Brookings because they thought it was the least defended section of the coast, but I'm sure it wasn't after that.  Also here in the area is one of only two places that the myrtlewood tree grows, the other place is Jerusalem.  So it's quite the tourist attraction with gift shops devoted entirely to stuff made out of myrtlewood.

I heard from the Zone Leaders that only 20% of the missionaries in our mission have been out for over a year.......  We're a really young mission!  But I feel really old....

Oh yeah, and did you change my Facebook login?  I might be needing it soon. ;3 i.e. that was most of what we talked about at Zone Conference and our mission has been selected to test out social media.  But it will roll out kind of slowly so I don't know when I'll use it for sure.


Elder Georgia!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dec. 2, 2013 "Thanks!"

So on Thanksgiving I played the violin a lot, we went to the beach and had dinner and hung out with ward members and a few investigators.  It was so much fun!

The Rushtons are awesome!  It was really weird to find out that they have the same first names as my parents....

I love Coconut lime bars!!!  I was just talking about how much I love them... and Christmas isn't Christmas without thumbprint cookies!

Hi to Mallory!  I would love to have her address!

Did you know we have a mission blog? It's

We were on exchanges with the district leader, but since we're so far away from Coquille--their area--they both came down and we all worked in our area.  Afterwards we decided to eat lunch on the beach--because Coquille's beach isn't as cool I guess--when we ran into a family from our ward known as the Scofield's.  They took a picture of the four of us and we chatted for a bit then left.  Then on Sunday after church, Brother Scofield asked me, "You're from Virginia right?  Did you go to LDSHE?  Did you know Kate Wilson(I can't remember exactly what her name was but I think that's right, I remember her being on the youth conference board of executive youth or whatever)?"  And I was like uh... yeah?  She was on the beach with all their kids, but since I hadn't met the Scofield family as a whole yet, I didn't notice her.  But I definitely do know her.  Crazy!  I guess she's related to them and was visiting for Thanksgiving.  Brother Scofield said she was like, "I think I know him!" When she read my name tag, but she was too embarrassed to say anything.  Haha.

Also on Thanksgiving I found we have a line on Familysearch that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve! :D  We're related to them!

I'm really thankful for the gospel, for Jesus Christ who suffered all things so He could be a god of justice and mercy.  I'm grateful for prophets who teach us the way.  I'm grateful for my family, for Mom and Dad and Lindy and Nick and Adri and Luke and Seth (and Baby) and all my wonderful cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents.  You're all amazing, loving, awesome people!  I'm not thankful enough, but I am so thankful.  I'm thankful to be here in Oregon, and in Brookings.  I'm grateful for the experiences I've had so far and the people I've met.  I'm grateful for President and Sister Young, they are so good to us.  I thank my Heavenly Father for this life on earth and the opportunities we have to learn and grow, and to have the Holy Spirit so strongly in our lives because of the fulness of the gospel that we have.

Love you!


Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013--Happy Turkeys!


So I forgot to update you on Maya and Renee, but because of complications they were not baptized saturday and their date has been rescheduled for 14 Dec 2013.  They have a lot of difficulties and obstacles, but it's amazing how much they've changed even during my short time here.  They're totally awesome.

Thanks for the talk and the Ensign!  That was a really cool story.

Today is only a little P-day, and Thanksgiving will be a full P-day.  So we'll spend the day with various members, leaving uplifting messages and stuffing ourselves.

Waiting till after transfers to send anything would be wise.  This transfer ends on the 15th.

Yes Father, we also will be receiving i-Pads shortly.  President and Sister Young came to Brookings for a fireside and they said we would get them the beginning of January.  Crazy huh?  They haven't said anything about Facebook yet.  So do the missionaries use their old accounts or do they make new special missionary Facebook accounts?

Brookings is a super artistic place (a lot of old retired people living in one of the most gorgeous places is the perfect environment for that) so for our senior family fireside this week there was a photography and music presentation all focused around the Book of Mormon and some of the scripture masteries, and the pictures were amazing.  The member who did it is going to get it to me on a cd so I can present it to you too. :)

We've been able to work with a lot of wonderful less-active members lately.  One Sister in the ward who is very open about the gospel teaches a nursing class, and one of her students confessed to her that she is a member of the church who hasn't come for a long long time.  She worked up the courage to meet with us and we had an awesome time teaching the Restoration.  She has a 16 yr. old daughter we hope to start teaching soon.  Another awesome family is Jeremy and Sina, she's Tongan and they have a bunch of kids who love it when we come over.  Jeremy bakes amazing bread and rolls and cinnamon rolls, and he loves to fish so he likes to give us salmon (luckily Elder Mock knows how to cook salmon) and it's delish.  They came to church yesterday and they have plans to become fully active again!

We also got a new investigator named Paola (sounds like Paula) who is a Bahai (I think that's how you spell it) which means she believes in serving others and being open to others beliefs.  She's super nice but she's an aeronautical engineer which means she's also super busy and we're not going to be able to teach her again for a month. :(  But she's cool.

Well, that's all I can think of to say!  I love you SO MUCH and hope you have a super duper, happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Elder Georgia

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18, 2013--Sunrise, Sunset (halfway through the mission)

Brookings has the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  We watch the sun rise over the mountains and set into the sea.  Seasunsets are more gorgeous than any other kind.  Why?  The other day I realized it's because as the sun gets near the sea it reflects off of it with an overabundance of light.  So they're a lot brighter than regular sunsets.  I think God gives us days so we can understand eternity.  There's a beginning and an end to a day, but it always begins again, over and over and over forever.  Years are the same way, and so are missions.  It's just a phase of life with a beginning and an end, and right now I'm terrified of the end, but I know a new mission will just open up after this one ends.

And for right now it's noon!  It's in the middle and I want to keep it that way!  I don't want to hear anything else about the length of time I've been on my mission! - [] - (a face)

It sounds like the fam is all being useful and productive!  Missionary work is the best!  But theater is pretty cool too I guess.  No I think it's way cool.  Keep it up Lute!

You can pray for Maya and Renee (their baptism date is this Saturday, I don't know if I told you that, but they've canceled a few appointments and there's a few other issues, so we're not sure if it will go through this week.  Maya's is more likely), Glenda (we're still not teaching her yet), Bonnie (we've got an appointment), Katie and Chris (kind of investigators, lots of problems), Jeremy and Sina (less active, give us lots of food), and Deondre (friend of some of the youth, we're trying to get something set up).

I have changes to make to my Christmas list!  New music rule being enforced is hymns, efy, and nashville tribute ONLY.  Not even any classical so I really hope Adrianne didn't make that cd yet!  No popcorn boppin' or anything.  So MOTAB is always good.  Maybe you could see if EFY 2013 is any good?  I've pretty much heard all the earlier ones.  You could send me that Steven Sharp Nelson cd maybe.  That's hymns right?  Aside from that I would love some easy to make recipes!  Maybe even on cute recipe cards. :3  I lost that no-bake cookie recipe!  Then I was thinking maybe you could send me those gray slacks I had?  As long as you don't think they are too shiny.  I could wear the vest that goes with it too, if I had the matching suit coat (it might still be at burlingtons??).  But that's pretty much it.

I have a violin right now!  I'm borrowing it from a member because they might make me play in their Christmas party if I'm still here, so I need to get unrusty.

Top picture is President Young (my mission president) with Elder Ballard (his mission president, seriously when P Young was young that's who it was [random, but when Elder Foster was here he told us that when he was a mission president he called his missionaries his Foster Children, then President Young was like, "And I've decided to call all of you my Youngsters." lol P Young.)

Other picture is our adorable chapel!

Elder Georgia

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 12, 2013

Sorry I'm late again, this time we had a Zone Conference in Roseburg where Elder and Sister Foster of the Seventy came and spoke to us.  It took us about four hours to drive there (back through California again) and four hours back, then the conference itself was three hours, so that took the whole day and our P-day was moved to today.  Next week there are no foreseeable events that will keep me from e-mailing on Monday!

A few highlights from the conference:

Sister Foster told us a story about her toddler granddaughter who loved taking baths but hated having shampoo put in her hair.  When her mother would try to wash her hair, the little girl would instinctively put her head down and the soap would run into her eyes and sting them.  Her mother just wanted to teach her to put her head back so that the soap would run harmlessly down her back.  When trials come, we tend to let our heads droop with fear, sorrow, and exhaustion.  We dwell on our troubles, and intensify the sting.  When we instead fall to our knees and look up to God in faith and hope and prayer, our pain can be washed away, and life will look brighter and cleaner.

Elder Foster shared this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 98 which I found very powerful:

1 Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;

 2 Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.

 3 Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord

Righteous prayers are covenants with the Father!  He will answer them if we wait patiently.  I've always known that, but to have it presented in that way was a revelation.

Glenda is actually an investigator of ours!  She's super awesome.  She was taught the first lesson then dropped, but after her husband passed away the missionaries did a lot of service for her and the members she knew reached out to her a ton.  She stopped going to her church for three weeks and none of the people there tried to contact her, so she came to ours and really liked it.  She's still teetering on the edge of continuing to learn or not, but we're praying for her and keeping in contact.

My mailing address is 606 Easy St. Apt. I (like eye) 97415.

Violations are when tiwi dings you.  Brittany just sent an e-mail with an admirable description of tiwi's vileness, so I will refrain from going into detail.

I drove to the conference and I did a decent job, but the road we traveled is extremely windy through rugged cliffs and redwoods beside roaring rivers... and I thought we were gonna die.  So at the conference we got permission for Elder Mock to drive back (Elder Mock is 23, and has a drag racing background, so I felt a lot safer with him driving back).

There is a wonderful little ward here in Brookings!  We have an extremely high inactivity rate, but our little chapel is actually pretty snugly full.  There's a ton of older people, but we also have an amazingly big youth group!  There's more youth here than in Corvallis!  And they are amazing.  The priests are always helping us out, and they all are constantly inviting friends to come to church and stuff.  This is the most missionary oriented ward I've been in so far, and I absolutely love it.  We keep hearing about potential investigators the members are setting up to meet with us, and we can't wait to teach them all.  Maya and Renee cam to Sacrament Meeting!  Maya stayed all three hours, but Renee left.  She has troubles with anxiety and large crowds, but we're teaching them today at 4:00.

November 5, 2013

Hello Fam!

So sorry I did not write you yesterday, and sorry my e-mail last week was so inadequate!  I should have warned you that it was transfers!  I no longer reside in Corvallis, I am now in an adorable little town on the coast known as Brookings.  It's in the very bottom left-hand corner of Oregon, I actually had to drive through California to get here!  First time in the CA woot!  I even got to drive through Redwood National Park!  SO GORGEOUS......

Yeah I was definitely blessed yesterday.  I woke up at five, left Corvallis at six, rode the transfer van to Grants Pass, got there around noon, then drove with Brother Griffith to Brookings, arriving at about two.  My new companion is Elder Mock from Kansas, I'm follow-up training him, but he's very mature and responsible so I probably have a lot more to learn from him.  I also got released as District Leader! (deep sigh of relief) I got to meet some of our investigators who are on date for baptism, Maya and Renee.  Maya is twelve, and is very intelligent, Renee wasn't feeling well, but she came down at the end to pray with us and is really nice.  So is her mom, Jean (they all live together, as well as a ton of other random people).  I met some members and the Ward Mission Leader, and they're all awesome.

Brookings Fun Facts: While most of Oregon's coast gets very cold in winter, Brookings stays very moderate due to some complicated wind inversion thing caused by the angle the Chetko river enters the ocean.
My whole mission up till now has been in the Willamette Valley (referred to by the Indians as the valley of sickness), and I just crossed the Coastal Range to enter the bizarrely named Illinois Valley.

I'm definitely enjoying the new glasses, but the driving privileges are iffy.  I never knew how bad of a driver I was till I became constantly monitored by the dreaded tiwi.  I was recently informed by the vehicle coordinator that my driving score is a 1.4 (or something) out of 5 and if I got another violation my driving privileges would be revoked. - n -  It's not that I'm reckless, Mom, I just have really poor handling skills.

I'm going to steal from Brittany and share a new favorite scripture.  As members and missionaries it is our duty to do all that we can do.  We must improve ourselves daily through careful study of the word of God, and through constant prayer, and we must reach out to those who are in want of things spiritual and physical, and to share what we have with them.  This is how we serve our Lord and King.

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. (Doctrine and Covenants 123:17)

Some things lie outside of our power, and we have to learn to not worry about those things.  When we feel unsure of where we are and wish that things were easier, we would do well to remember the advice of Gandalf the Grey when he said, "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.  All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."  Choose to do the very best with the time that is given to you.  Time is so precious.

October 28, 2013

Eric and Ron came to church on Sunday!

Two weeks ago Eric told us he couldn't come to church, he could never leave his dog for that long, he didn't like big crowds, and he just wasn't ready.  But he said he would pray about it, and we were definitely praying about HIM.  Then, when we visited the next week he said, "I don't know why I didn't come earlier, I want to come to church!"  Oh, how wonderful is the power of prayer haha!

You asked a lot of questions so I'll try to answer them.  I'm good!  So is Elder Boswell.  Bishop and WML are awesome.  Investigators are pretty good.

I'm getting glasses today!  Wooooot!

Sorry I don't have time to answer all your questions.

Love you!

Elder Georgia

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear Family,

I have recently been struck with the terrible suspicion that some of you have become obsessed with a sticky and addicting substance known as: "DOCTOR WHO"!  I would advise you to back off immediately.  I have firsthand observed the effects of such a dabbling, and I must inform you that it leads to severe geekiness, and the uttering of words and phrases that only others who are lost in likewise psychological fog can understand.  It's very silly.  I demand to know who in the family has succumbed to the Who world.

Did you know that the Corvallis Oregon Stake was the first stake that Thomas S. Monson organized as an apostle?

Thanks so much for the Halloween box!  You know, we've been getting ridiculous amounts of cookies from members and stuff, but none of them taste anywhere near as good as the ones I get from home. :)

I sent this to all my missionaries in different missions:

"Hello my beloved missionary friends!

This week I was wondering if missionaries in other fields of labor had any finding ideas that worked particularly well for them, or if they had had any special miracles they had experienced through finding that I could share with my district.  I'll be anxiously awaiting your insights. :D

Elder Georgia"

And I was so happy to hear their great responses!  I'll probably let you know what they said at some point.

This week we met an awesome lady named Cris that the Spanish Elders found, by pushing her wheelchair over a speed bump.  We talked to her about the gentlemen in wheelchairs that she takes care of when she's NOT in a wheelchair because of just having a full knee replacement.  Then we gave her a Book of Mormon.

We've sort of lost contact with Paul and Dustin, but we're working on regaining contact.  Pray for them.

People are being too loud.  I can't think of anything else to say, so... I love you!

Elder Georgia

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 14, 2013

Hey, Hey, Hey!

Back in August on Elder Boswell's first day we went tracting and talked to this nice lady named Natalia.  She said we could back, but she did live-in care, so she was always either taking care of her patient or otherwise preoccupied.  I kinda thought we would never actually teach her, but about a week ago she said, that that wasn't working, and she set up an appointment by herself and promised us she would be there.  So we got to meet with her!  We found out that most of her family are members of the church, but they went less-active before Natalia was baptized.  She has a sister who still lives here and attends regularly, and her nephew recently returned form his mission.  All this contributed to her agreeing for us to come back, and now she seems to be in the perfect position to hear the gospel.  We're going to teach her every Tuesday.

This week it struck me that I actually have a sense of time passing now.  Like, I know how long an hour takes to go by, and I can say that it takes about 20 minutes to bike to the Stake Center.  Crazy huh?  I guess keeping track of every hour of every day will do that for you. :)

Well, that's about it.  I hope you have/had tons of fun in York!  Hey, does anyone have any awesome ideas on how to make district meeting more exciting?


rEdle Gerogais

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 7, 2013 It Was A Dark and Stormy Night...

Suddenly, a shot rang out!

Actually it wasn't, and it didn't.

So about a transfer ago we were waiting at the main bus station in Corvallis waiting to meet up with sisters to give them their baptismal record for one of their converts when this man sat down next to us.  We struck up a conversation and it turned out he had attended an LDS church quite a bit in the past.  He seemed to enjoy talking to us, but when he asked if we could teach him he said no.  We gave him a card with our names and number, then we left cuz the sisters weren't coming.

Saturday during Priesthood Session we got a message from someone named Ron who said he had a card with our names and phone number on it.  We looked through our records and couldn't find anyone by that name.  So we called him back.  That was a strange conversation.  He was just chatting with us like we were his best friends, stopping to talk to his cat (Blondie), and telling us he was going to buy us Christmas presents.  He also told us he was on pain meds so he was kind of loopy.  That explained it.  We set up an appointment for Sunday night and hung up bewildered.

Then on Sunday we met with him in his tiny little one room apartment.  At that point of course we remembered what had happened two paragraphs ago and knew who he was.  It was crazy because we give those cards out all the time, but no one had ever called us back before.  We chatted about the gospel, but mostly just listened to what he had to say.  By the end of the conversation Elder Boswell and I both felt like he needed to hear the Plan of Salvation, so we specifically asked if we could come over the next night to teach him that.  He accepted.

Yeah it's been a prooty good week.

Love you all so much!

Elder Georgia

P.S. - Aw dang, I was going to say I love the rain jacket!  Ever since they lightened up the dress code I have an aversion to black things to I'm glad it's blue.  Thanks! <3

P.S.S. - Oh, and conference was the greatest thing ever.  I need to read through all the talks before I even take in half of what was said.  Too bad it's over!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September 30, 2013 - Singin' in the Rain

Doo doo doo doo, doo dee, doo doo doo doo doo...

Yes it has been pouring buckets over here.  I stay somewhat dry with my pea coat, and it's not too cold yet.  We've discovered that we stay much dryer by walking with an umbrella instead of biking, but most things are too far away for that to be plausible.  So we just get wet and enjoy it!  We're definitely protected with super immune systems as missionaries, because pretty much everyone is sick in Corvallis except for us.

Most of the people we had hoped would come to church this week didn't come, but they either gave us warning beforehand, or they turned up sick.....

I am sooooooooooper excited for General Conference!  Partly because we think we can probably get a lot of people we're working with to watch at least one session, and also because it's just the greatest time of year.  For Christmas I would love a copy of this October's Conference Ensign (a member gave me a copy of April's issue).

For Corvallis 2nd's 5th Sunday we learned about family history and temple work (secretly, I like Haymarket's topic better) and it was awesome.  The part that hit me real strongly was a quote from Richard G. Scott, that said something like: Family History is a sure way to protect youth from the influence of the adversary in their lives.  Yeah something like that.  Sweet!  All youth should do family history!  There's something about remembering our fathers and mothers who have gone before that just gives so much meaning to life.  To seek out names that have been lost to time, and then to repeat those names, something like twelve times(?) in the temple, and to offer them the saving ordinances really does make you feel very strengthened spiritually.  Yup that's what I learned from church.

Not a whole lot happened this week though, what with everyone being sick and all.

Hey did you get that Family Mission Plan thing I attached to an e-mail?  Did you do it? :D

Elder Georgia

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013

Hello dear fam, I won't have much time to write, but today is the first new day of the transfer!  The district and zone changed, but nothing changed with me and my companion.  Woot!

I literally cannot believe that Luke will be driving anytime soon.  How old is he??  Nine?

A bunch of the people we had wanted to come to church on Sunday didn't, but not for lack of interest in the gospel!  And we found a few new potential investigators.

Ummmmmm I can't think of anything else to say!  Too frazzled!  Been a long day!  Sorry!  Love you!  :D!

Elder Georgia

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

I'm so glad that box made it!  You know, I've been working on that since March or something.  That's ridiculous.  Oh, I sent those cd's because I didn't feel like they were 100% missionary approved.  I ripped songs from all of them that were bonito (incorrect use of spanish hablas) and burned those ones onto a few cd's.  The Piano Guys and Jackie Evancho I bought when we went to Portland at Deseret Book, and I knew I would send them home, after I took the missionary appropriate songs haha.

It's great to hear about Christian and Kayla, how do they get along with the Ariases?  How old is Samantha now?

Today is Elder Boswell's birthday woot woot!  He just turned 14 haha.  JK He turned 19, but yes he's young.  Everyone makes fun of him.  He's awesome.

We received a referral this week through some other missionaries that came from the institute.  We contacted him on Thursday.  His name is Eric, he's a painter, he has four or five parakeets that just fly free throughout his house, he has a severe brain disorder (he says anyways, it's not very apparent, unless you look at his art, but all great artists are crazy right?), and he has read the whole Book of Mormon of his own volition and knows it's true and knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet.  I love missions!  His first contact with missionaries was right after he traumatically split up with his wife, and gave his only child away to be raised by relatives, two sister missionaries lived just down the street.  He said they would visit him a lot, and just chat and see how he was doing.  They helped him through a really hard time.  Then he was in the hospital for a while and one of the other patients gave him a Book of Mormon.  He read it with a sincere heart and real intent and cannot deny it's truthfulness.  He has a few hurdles to get over, but he knows the church is true, and absolutely LOVES missionaries.  We taught him the Restoration yesterday (with a lot of interruptions, he's very easily sidetracked) which prepared us for....

Finally being able to teach Mandii and her husband Jim!  they have a 3 yr. old daughter named Ava.  Words cannot describe that lesson.  I absolutely know the Spirit just took control and did the teaching, because it was an almost flawless lesson.  Straight from Preach My Gospel.  It was the first real real lesson Elder Boswell and I have taught, and it was super easy to teach together.  At the end of the lesson, we asked Jim to offer a kneeling prayer, he was hesitant, saying he hadn't prayed in a long time, but he did it, and afterwards he remarked on how easy and heartfelt it was and how calm he felt.  we also discovered that Mandii is actually a less active!  She was baptized as a teenager and fell away as a teenager, so her knowledge is very basic and incomplete.  Her records aren't even in our ward.

I love you many times a lot!

Elder Georgia

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sept. 9, 2013

It's kind of becoming fall.  I think it will be really pretty when it does.  I know fall is coming because I'm starting to miss Cox Farms.  It's too bad Luke won't be working there this year, but he'll probably find a better job somewhere else.

Those cookies you sent were super delicious!  A testament to that being that very soon after their arrival, a horde of hungry missionaries flocked down and ate them all.  Missionaries are like cookie vultures....

I've been telling all the homeschool families I meet about the LDSHE website!  There's actually a lot here in Corvallis, and they do co-ops!  They're actually going to do a mission prep class for the homeschool youth, and they may involve us!  So that'll be fun.

So are you still sending out my e-mails to people?  Or just uploading them on my blog?  I may prefer the latter, cuz then you can cut out the pointless stuff.  But make sure you let the people who were on the list know!  Dana said she wasn't getting e-mails anymore.

This week we were able to meet with a less-active woman we had been trying to get in contact with for a while.  We were planning on sharing a mormon message on the Book of Mormon, but she didn't have a dvd player!  I looked down the couch at my three-week companion, and the 17 yr. old priest who came with us, and knew that the fate of that lesson rested on my shoulders.  Actually, this type of scenario is a very common occurrence that I just felt like dramatizing.  But I was able to pull a pretty decent half hour lesson out of my nonexistent hat.  I don't share this to brag about my skills, but just to say, it's amazing what a mission does for you!  Until I started training Elder Boswell, I didn't know how far I had come.  I never would have been able to do that before!  So we still talked about the Book of Mormon, then we gave her 9 or so yr. old daughter a copy.  She was so excited, she kept asking her mom to read it with her.

Aside from that, the week was pretty good.  We weren't able to teach Mandy, but we got in contact with her, met her husband, and we have an appointment for next week.  We got to go to the temple again this week!

Love you!
Elder Georgia

Sept. 2, 2013

Your trip looked like so much fun!  Man I have the cutest family ever.  That's so crazy that you saw Hailey!

So... we've gone a long while without having any real investigators.  Paul got the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday, and he should be going to the temple to do baptisms this week.  Fiona is out of sight, but as she is either leaving for France very soon or already gone we knew she would get too busy to meet with us.  We still meet with Barbara twice a week, and she just barely found out that her father passed away, so she's going through a bit of a hard time.  We're praying that her heart will be opened up to the Plan of Salvation.

So... on Friday we got a referral from the Spanish elders, and we contacted her on Sunday.  Her name is Mandy, she has a husband and at least one daughter, she said she had talked to missionaries about fifteen years ago, and when we asked her if she would like to learn more she said, "Yeah I would like that."  So we're going to teach her and her family this week.  We're pretty excited. :D

President Young came with us to a lesson this week with a less-active lady.  It was sweet.

Aside from that, not much happened!

Love you all so much!

Elder Georgia

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Your week sounds awesome!  Now that you're back home, expect a package from me shortly!  It's been a long time in the making, but I really hope to send it off today!  Might not happen... we'll see.

We had a cool miracle happen!  I don't recall if we told you about Marcus, he's Paul and Dustins other roommate who we've been trying to get involved with the lessons, but he's pretty busy.  We decided to go to Avery Park and try to contact people there, so we walked in this huge loop around the park and took this little old rambling trail, when we had walked about full circle we were passing a little visitors center when a car pulled into the parking lot.  It was Marcus!  He had just come to the park for a little breath of fresh air.  He asked if we wanted to pray with him, so we walked down to the rose garden and he prayed for us all to have guidance and direction in our lives, then we parted ways.  It was obvious that he was the reason we went to that park.  No one else in the park talked to us, but it was super cool to see that we're lead and guided by the spirit a lot more than we realize.

So I'm sending a pdf as an attachment, this is what we're using with members to help them make family mission plans.  The black slide is the video "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" from the work of salvation broadcast.  So unless you already have one, I challenge you guys to watch the video and use the slides to make a family mission plan!  Do you accept ?  I promise you blessings!

So who's made profiles?  Mom yours hasn't popped up yet, I think you need to log on, go to edit your profile, then hit submit for review.  They have to review everything before they make it public.

Mom, did a Sister Jones send you a text with a picture of me eating dinner with the Cochran family?  And did she ask about LDSHE?  She totally reminds me of you.  She has about five redheaded children, and she's crazy about homeschooling.

Love yous guys!

Elder Georgiza

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

So... my new companion is awesome!  His name is Elder Boswell, he's from Provo, Utah, he's 18, and he's a lot less afraid of talking to people than I was.

Paul was baptized by his good friend Dustin Saturday, 17 Aug 2013.  Unfortunately Paul had to be baptized five times, I guess the water level wasn't high enough, and Paul's back isn't very good, so it was a little embarrassing for them, but they handled it well, and the time Paul went under the water, it was like an explosion of the Spirit throughout the room.  I don't know if it felt that way to anyone else, but it did to me.  The talks were super cool too.

Now I'll answer your questions!  I went to Eugene on Tuesday, we had district leader training, trainers training, then we went to bed.  On Wednesday morning we went to the Oregon State football stadium and ran around, then we went to the 18th street church building and did more training, then we practiced singing the efy medley while we waited for President Young to pick up the THIRTY-SEVEN new missionaries (the most we've ever gotten in one transfer), then we sang the song for them, we got talked to, we ate lunch, we trained together with the new missionaries while at the same time President was taking them out one at a time and interviewing them, then he prayed for inspiration as to who should be who's companion, then we all came together and President announced that it was time to announce companionships.  Of course, I was the first one called up.  Then President Young called the name of my new comp.  Yes!!!  Then we got driven back to our area and started talking to people.  The past few days we've just been trying to meet everyone, and it's been very interesting getting to train Elder Boswell.  It really makes one realize how much one has learned when one has to turn around and teach it all to someone else.  Pray for me in this!  It's super important that I do a good job.

Fiona has not been heard from in a while.  She was always bad at answering her phone,  and she warned us that she would be super busy this past week.  So who knows if she'll be baptized before she leaves for France?  But I'm okay with that.  I just hope she continues to read from the Book of Mormon and doesn't get lost in the world.  She could still be baptized though!

In a way, I'm super jealous of you guys all hanging out there in Idaho, but then again I'm really not.  There's time for that later and I'm just super happy to be doing what I'm doing.  I love you all sooo much.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Augu 13, 2013

Transfers again!  I'm staying here, Elder Benard is going to Ashland YSA (he's actually gone already) and I've been asked to train a new missionary!  I'll be heading down to Eugene tomorrow for some training then we'll get our companions on Wednesday.

Paul was not able to be baptized yesterday because he had a Word of Wisdom slip-up, but he's determined to quit and we gave him a blessing and he's on track to be baptized this saturday.

No I am not in a YSA ward, I've only served in family wards so far.

Oh! yes.  Yes I did get the package with the soft lemonade cookies and they were quite delish.  Thanks a ton for the cd too!  Unfortunately I'll be sending some of my other cd's back to you cuz they are no longer approved.......  I have a package I've been meaning to send to you guys for like three months now, but I haven't gotten all the stuff I want for it yet.

So President Young recently gave us a new key indicator to report on, it's Lessons Taught to Investigators in a Member's Home.  We wrote it in on our progress record last sunday for our weekly numbers and that night we had dinner with the newly-called Relief Society President and she told us she had been looking at our progress record wondering what she could do to help with missionary work in the ward, when she saw that key indicator.  She offered her home as a place where we could teach investigators, and we realized that her family would be a perfect fit for an investigator family we're teaching!  Yay!

Hmmm I can't think of anything else to say!  I love love Corvallis.  I would definitely live here if I didn't love Virginia so much.  Who knows where I'll end up?  Just not Utah. :)  Unless I live on the BYU campus.  In the Maeser building.

Eldste Georgia

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

So, Jesus the Christ is an incredibly awesomely amazing book!  If you haven't read it, you should.  For not actually being scripture, it's definitely inspired of God.

Dustin had another roommate move in with him this week named Marcus.  At first he was saying we should have the lessons not at his apartment, but then he found a Plan of Salvation pamphlet in Marcus's car and learned that Marcus was meeting with missionaries before!  So another new investigator.  Paul is still definitely on track for his baptism, we taught him the Word of Wisdom three days ago and he's been smoke-free since (we found out he was a pack a day smoker), we taught him tithing and he readily accepted.  He's awesome.

Fiona is praying about whether she should be baptized before she goes to France or not.  We hope she will.

Adri I can't believe you painted your walls!  They were so beauteous like a froggy ferny cabbage!  You'll have to send a picture.

Here's a picture of me and my cuz Elder Black!  Unfortunately he just got shipped off to Brazil....  He was waiting on his visa.

Love you all muchas!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July 29, 2013

So last week was our mission's trek.  We tracted the 10 hours, and definitely saw miracles, just not the ones we expected.  The week before last week we visited Dustin, a recent convert, and found that one of his friends, Paul, had moved in with him.  We talked with Dustin and Paul was pretty quiet, but on Monday we got a text from Dustin saying that Paul wanted to learn about our church!  We hurried over there and taught him the Restoration, then a few days later we taught him again and asked him if he would be baptized on August 10th.  He accepted it as a goal to work towards, but he didn't seem quite sure.  Then yesterday at church Sister Maloney (another awesome recent convert), me, and a missionary being sent off spoke in sacrament, so it was awesome haha.  Dustin and Paul came to church, received revelation, and when we saw them that evening Paul told us he had made up his mind to be baptized.  We just met him on Monday! :D

Another of our investigators, Barbara the Baptist, also came to sacrament which was super awesome because my talk was about Jesus Christ's true church that he instituted and how it was restored.  She needs to know that.

Fiona didn't come to church because she had to do some stuff for her visa she's getting so she can go to France.  The truly unfortunate part is that she feels her answer was to wait to be baptized till she comes back from France.  She'll be there for 10 months.......  So now we gotta try and deal with that.

We actually did family history as a zone and I found out about William Morley Black, and yes, Elder Black's descended from him too!  Different wife though.

This last week the Corvallis Stake was celebrating the 50th anniversary of its creation.  On Saturday we helped direct traffic for a ginormous salmon bake.  Smoked salmon is really good!  They also put on a play called Promised Valley.  It was pretty awesome.

This is all I have to say!

Love you!

Elder Georgia

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 22, 2013

I see that Luke wore my trek outfit “to the T.”  I'm sorry to see he didn't buy a new hat though.....  
Hey there's a missionary in my district named Elder Black, and he's from Blanding.  What are the possibilities we're related to him?
This past week was pretty slow... but I'm really excited for the coming week!  Our Mission President has challenged us all to do 10 hours of tracting and find 10 new investigators.  We need to focus a lot more on finding, to open our eyes and our hearts to those opportunities we have every day to share the Gospel with those all around us.  We've been sharing the video from The Work of Salvation broadcast, "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" with members we've been meeting with, and it's been amazing the effect it has on them.  If you guys didn't see that broadcast you should watch it for FHE.  It's all on line.
We met with Fiona again and taught her the Plan of Salvation.  It was awesome, and we asked her to pray for August 3rd to be baptized on.
I wanted to send some links to some awesome Mormon messages.  Enjoy!
Well, that's all for today.

Elder Georgia

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 15, 2013

So strange story time:  We had a dinner with these awesome members who told us this strange (true) story:  Once upon a time there was a family in the ward named the Cooks (I think it was) who had a little too much fun naming their children.  The first child was a girl so the wife got to name her.  "Her name will be Mary," she said.  "How dull," said her husband.  The second child was a boy.  "He needs to be named something bold and dramatic," said the husband.  "His name will be... Ares!  Now, for such an epic name, he needs an equally epic middle name.  His middle name shall be... Crimefighter!"  "No," said the wife, "His middle name should start with a 'b' so his initials can be A. B. C."  The couple argued back and forth for a bit.  "Fine," the husband finally said.  "His initials can be A. B. C.  So his name will be... Ares Bcrimefighter Cook!"  And so it was.  The End.

Haha anyways.  So this week we were blessed with a new investigator named Fiona.  She's 16, and she doesn't actually live in our ward boundaries, but her friend--the one who invited her to come to church, girl's camp, and to meet with missionaries--Alma's family is moving into our ward so of course she'll be attending church with them.  We met her and taught her on Wednesday.  We talked about the Restoration, and asked her about baptism.  She said that she'd been praying to know, but she had some doubts, and she read a scripture in the Book of Mormon that started off, "Put all these things aside(or something)" and she knew that was God telling her to put her doubts aside.  So now she's praying for a specific date!

I went to the best Sacrament Meeting I've ever been in yesterday.  So there's a young less-active couple we've been working with who've been having some marriage troubles.  We've been trying really hard to get them to church, and on Saturday they said they would come so I said a prayer that they would be well fellowshipped and the speakers and teachers would be good.  Sunday morning came, but only the wife showed up.  She came up to us and started crying and talking about how angry she was at her husband and how she didn't know what more she could do, "I don't even know why I'm here," she said.  But we sat down and the service started.  She was in such a state she didn't even take the sacrament (probably a good idea), and she didn't sing any of the hymns.  The youth speaker was good, but the first adult speaker, Sister Cochran, spoke about how we need to let the atonement change our hearts and our lives, that we all have weaknesses, but Jesus Christ can heal them.  I thought that talk was really good for her, but then Brother Burgess got up to speak.  "There were a lot of things I wanted to talk about today,' he said, "But I felt very strongly that instead of any of those things, I should talk about discouragement."  I, and the most-discouraged-person-I-know who I was sitting next to, glanced at each other.  "Don't you look at me like that," she said.  Brother Burgess's talk was so powerful ans so extremely well suited to meet her needs.  By the end of the talk, our friend had dissolved into uncontrollable sobbing again, with the sweet sister seated on her other side holding her around the shoulders.  After sacrament, many people who knew the less-active woman came up to talk to her, and many who didn't know her introduced themselves.  She went in to talk to the bishop for most of the rest of church, then she went home afterwards, but the whole time a spirit of cleansing, and of the Savior's love and grace was with us.

I love you guys muchas tons!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013

So Corvallis is probably the most gorgeous place on earth, just sayin’.  The first few days I was here I spent in a transport of delight and stupefaction.  All the colors here are brighter than they are everywhere else!  The sky is pretty much always the deepest blue, there's every kind of tree of every shade of green, and all the businesses and houses are put to shame if they don't have a representative flower for every color in the rainbow out front.  Yeah, it's definitely a hippy town hahaha.
Being a district leader is new and exciting.  I've already interviewed two(2) people for baptism.  One of them was Chinese and had to use his iPad to look up words, and the other one was Mexican and had a few similar language troubles.  But they're both super awesome and they both got baptized on Saturday!  It was so awesome to see how they had come to know, through the power of the Holy Spirit that this church is true.
I also got to go on my first exchange!  I went to the Spanish missionaries area with Elder Hassell who I knew from Salem.  It was fun, even though I didn't understand anything that was being said the whole time.....
Hey, you don't know how happy the picture of the trumpet vine made me. :D  Seeing that it has finally started to flower has begun to heal the wound in my soul from when my wisteria was brutally murdered.... ;)
So yeah, stuff is awesome here!  It's good to hear that everything's good there too.  Keep up the good fun-having!
Elder Georgia
And here's the crazy surprise of the week!  We went to a barbecue at our Elder's Quorum Presidents house, and we were just walking around talking to people when I heard, "Quinn!?!"  That kind of made me jump out of my skin.  I looked towards the sound thereof and behold, I beheld Hattie!  She was in my ward at BYU!  And she lives in Corvallis 1st ward!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1, 2013

Hey!  This will come as a surprise cuz, I realized that I didn't mention anything about transfers coming up, but I'm being transferred!  My new area is Corvallis 2nd Ward, and guess who my companion will be?  Elder Benard!  My MTC companion! :[ ]  And I'm going to be district leader.... So basically I'm reverting to the MTC cuz I was the DL there, and Elder Benard was my comp.  It's weird, but cool.  Thankfully Elder Benard has been companion's with a district leader for like, two transfers so he can actually help me know what I'm supposed to be doing!
Leaving White City is sad... but I'm glad that I'm leaving just as a lot of awesome things are happening!  That way Elder Haidenthaller will have a lot of exciting things to do which will make taking over an area for the first time easier.
So I told my District that I had challenged all yall to create profiles, who's done it (by the raise of hands)?  What!  No one!?  Haha well you still should.
Hey Lindy, check your e-mail!
We were able to meet with Lynn, an awesome 70 yr. old, redheaded, noun-confused, dog-artist lady.  She's the investigator we helped move in last week who's on date.  I say noun-confused because she had a tumor removed 20 years ago, and she wasn't able to talk or write for a whole year after.  She can't remember the words for the most everyday people, places, or things.  She told us she thinks she's about eleven or twelve mentally.  So talking to her is strangely super enjoyable.  She's very sweet and childlike.  Oy yeah, and she makes these super-realistic stuffed animal dogs.
Anyways, I can't think of any super awesome stories this week, so I'll send some super awesome pictures!
Love, Me.


Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013
Subject: 4 DOM

So the mission sends us these e-mails entitled 4 MOM, otherwise known as four months of miracles.  So I decided to call this one 4 DOM, for four days of miracles. :D
The worldwide leadership training was AWESOME and in light of that I would like to make a few comments: A. Yes mother you can do whatever you want with the blog and the facebook, but I may be doing that myself soon. ;) B. EVERYBODY should have a profile on  It is truthfully an amazing way to share the gospel.  The worldwide leadership broadcast had a heavy emphasis on technology and the internet and it's potential for sharing the gospel.  In these days people respond a lot better to internet advertising than to somebody knocking on their door. C. Not only a profile, but you should be familiar with the website yourselves!  It's awesome!  Luke, sometimes instead of watching Homestarrunner or Adventure Time, or Mom instead of doing LDSHE stuff, watch some "I'm a Mormon" videos!  They're the greatest!
On Thursday we were tracting among some townhouses when we saw this younger guy sitting on his front step smoking while his young daughter blew bubbles.  We approached him and asked him if we could say a prayer with him.  In a somewhat angry voice he responded, "Yeah, pray that I can get a job."  Elder H said, "Sure."  So we did.  After the prayer his attitude was completely different.  We then told him about LDS employment services and told him we would get him the address.  Not a new investigator, but a miracle!  That evening we went to the Oddo's and had a lesson.  He's still having a hard time, and doesn't feel like he could live the word of wisdom right now.  Brother Dabel, our ward mission leader, helped us to explain that with God, all things are possible, and that through obedience to the gospel we can find peace in our most trying times.  He's still not back on date, but it was a great lesson.
So we had gotten this referral that we had been trying to contact for about two weeks to no avail.  On this day of miracles our Bishop called us with a referral that turned out to be the same guy!  His name is Ron and HE had actually called the Bishop to get ahold of US.  So we called him and set up an appointment for the next day.  We had dinner at the Steens and watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with them.  Brother Steen said afterwards, "Now ol' Jo Smith may have been a prophet, but I don't understand what his problem is with coffee!"  So we're going to teach him the Word of Wisdom next week haha.
We got a call from the Medford 1st elders saying that a progressing investigator with a baptismal date was moving into our ward!  So we helped her move in on this miraculous day.  She's a redhead!  Haha but she's definitely a tender mercy.  We'll be getting to know her and her situation better soon.  Then at 4:00 we went to our lesson with Ron.  He was incredibly open.  He was raised Roman Catholic but had turned away from religion for a long time.  He had turned to our church because of the incredible example and light that members of the church had been to him.  He loves Lindsey Stirling haha (she has a profile on hint). We taught him the Restoration and committed him to baptism on July 13th.
He came to church with Brother Dabel, and it turns out that he was really good friends with another member in our ward!  Ron had been prepared to receive the gospel in large part by this Brother who had been a good example to him.  Then we taught this awesome guy named Daniel.  We had talked to him on the street and gotten his address a while ago, then we finally got this appointment set up for yesterday.  His father is (or was) a member and he knows a lot about our doctrine already, so he had asked to read from the Bible with us.  We went over there, and found that he had invited two of his friends over!  So we read John 3 with them then watched the corresponding Bible Video.  After the video, one of Daniel's friends, Mike, unexpectedly started asking us about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  We answered his questions, then gave him a copy.  We asked if we could go back same time next week, and Daniel said sure, then we asked if we should read from the Bible or the Book of Mormon?  Daniel was like, uhhhh, and Mike said, "I think we should read from the Book of Mormon!"  Miracle indeed.
Love you all!

Elder Georgia
June 17, 2013

Sure Mother I would love for you to make me a blog IF you think you could manage one more thing without having a nervous breakdown. :)
Thanks so much for following through on my commitments haha!
So this last week was really slow.....  I think everyone went somewhere for the summer that isn't White City.  It cooled down a bit though!  On Wednesday we were on exchanges with the Zone Leaders and we taught the Steens.  Did I tell you about them yet?  If I didn't, tell me to tell you because they're super awesome.  But we had an intense lesson where we got deep into how they really need to get an answer about joining the church or not.  It was way cool.  Sister Steen came to church yesterday and brought her granddaughter!  Yaya!
Well this was the lamest e-mail ever.  But I love yall and I'll send a better one next week!

Elder Georgia!
June 10, 2013

So here in White City, we have these nasty things called goatheads.  They're a type of seed with wicked thorns growing out of them, and we get them stuck in our tires ALL the TIME.  Luckily the Browns (coolest people ever) have decided to open a specialty bike shop just for reparing missionary tires.  Yes!
Good job on the missionary work fam!  I like that you're not being pushy with the neighbors but you ARE getting them involved in spiritual atmospheres.
Reading Brittany and Hailey's e-mails made me sooo happy. :3  It's great to hear that they're both so excited for the work they're doing!

One of the Eagle Point elders just walked in randomly and said, "Just remember: If you ever feel like trash, God recycles."  I thought it was pretty profound haha.
Last week we were blessed with three new investigators!  1. Dave is the husband of an excommunicated woman in the ward who we had been teaching.  We lost contact with him for a while but last week we had a great meeting with him and we set up to meet with him every tuesday!  2. Jim is the Brown's neighbor (I think I talked about him, he's the spiritual leader of the Shasta Nation).  Elder Haidenthaller went over there on splits and brought a member who is also a veteran-part indian, and they hit it off.  3. We met Daniel a while ago on the street.  He gave us his address and we went over there a lot but couldn't get ahold of him.  Yesterday he was home and we talked and set up a return appointment!
I love being a missionary.  I'm learning that there will always be hard times, but if we push past those and focus on the blessings, life becomes a whole lot brighter!

Elder Georgia
June 3, 2013

Allooooooo People!
So on Saturday we had a baptism!  It wasn't a convert baptism because she was 8, but it was still awesome!  Her name is Lilliana, and we've been teaching her because her family hadn't been very active for most of her life (her father isn't a member).  Lilliana told her mother she wanted to be baptized and her mom just wanted her to know what she was doing.  Elder Haidenthaller gave a talk and I got to baptize her.  She was kind of nervous when she came into the font, I told her to plug her nose after the prayer and she said, "I don't know what to say in the prayer," hahaha.  Then we got to teach her and her little brother's primary class the next day.
Also on Saturday we got to go to an Indian powwow(?) during our lunch hour because one of our potential investigators is the spiritual leader for the Shasta Nation.  And we ate indian tacos, yum.
Hmmmm the rest of the week was good.  We have lots of potentially awesome investigators, but making them actual investigators is the tricky part.
Love you muchas!
May 28, 2013

Hey you know the book Seth was reading about ducks and numbers?  Well right as soon as I got off Skype with you guys the little boy whose house we were at brought up a book for me to read to him, and it was the exact same book!!!  This boy was like five though so it wasn't as awesome.  I was gonna tell you guys but I forgot.
President Young told us this awesome story, and I relate:  In the mission there was an investigator who had been investigating the church for FOURTY-TWO YEARS.  This person finally got baptized recently, and they entirely credit this decision to a barely out from the MTC sister missionary who wasn't even called to this mission.  She was only here because she was waiting for a visa to go to Denmark or something.  God sends us to specific places to meet specific people, we may not understand it, but He does.
Another cool fact about White City, it started out as Camp White, a military base used during World War 2!  The city still uses a few of the old military buildings and out in some of the farms there's these old abandoned bunkers they used to practice in-field combat in.  They also kept a lot of German prisoners-of-war here.
I've been doing good!  We've been getting a lot of potentials through tracting.  I was again very glad that our companionship didn't change as we were able to set transfer goals that built on and expounded on last transfer's goals.  A few of our goals were to have three baptisms this transfer, and when we visit members to always have a message to share with them, as opposed to just dropping in.  This goal kind of came from an elderly couple in our ward who find it difficult to make it to church due to health.  They really enjoy us stopping by and so we were quite often and we were sharing a scripture with them each time.  After a few weeks they started thinking of family members, neighbors, and friends, they could invite to hear the gospel.  Because of them, we've already been able to get two new investigators, we're going to meet another one this week, and they have some other friends they're thinking of inviting in the future.  Yay!
Love you a bunch, sorry I haven't been writing very much.

Elder Georgia
May 20, 2013
Subject: Planted in White Soil
We're staying!!!  Yay!
So I'm having to use a library computer today so I can't send any pictures and I only have 7 minutes, sorry!  Next week I'll send a good e-mail! (although I may be going to Crater Lake....)
But guess what!  I was on exchanges in Medford and we were walking along and I thought I heard someone yell, "George!" from one of the cars.  That's what Elder Palmer called me.  The car came back again and it was Elder Palmer, he yelled, "George!" again, then they came back and offered to give us a ride to where we were going.  was fun to see Elder Palmer but the point of the story is that he told me Sister Bybee had texted him to say that Karin Siggel got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :[   ]

We didn't get to see the Oddos this week........  We taught GKL and that's going good but Garrett is really hard to teach because he has absolutely no background in religion.  We found a few new investigators, Edgar, who's a good friend of a totally awesome less-active family in the ward and Jay and Coy who are cool.  They all live in the same trailer park.
May 6, 2013

I feel like my birthday just keeps continuing.  I just got some love from the Georgia side of the family, I will respond individually!  Yes Mother the camera came too and it's awesome!  I thought I mentioned it already, but it's super nice.
I'm aware of the time spent on my mission already, but I try not to think about it.  It seems like it couldn't possibly be that long!  We're still living in Eagle Point but we should be moving in our new apartment this week.  Possibly tomorrow.  But because of the desperate need to have some space, we've been helping out on the stairs-building project.  We spent a few hours almost every day last week staining cedar green.  The green stain is actually really pretty when done right (it took us a while to master it).  For some reason the whole time we spent staining the semi-flesh-colored wood green, I had Wicked songs stuck in my head.  "Like a froggy, ferny, cabbage, the baby is unnaturally... GREEEEEN!!!"  I thought of you Adrianne.
That's awesome that you stalked me to Senor Sam's!  That place is the best! (actually it kind of just makes me miss Cafe Rio)  We sometimes go there after District Meetings which are at the Central Point Stake Center which is right next to the Medford Temple!
I like the Baby story.  She's so silly.  You should send some pictures!
Luke!  Be in the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat!  That would be the best!  Well, try out for it anyways.  What do you have to lose?  You have tons to gain!  I would think you were cool!  JK I always thought you were cool.
Soooo remember the hacky-sack people?  Well we went back on saturday but only the woman was there, she told us that just before we had stopped by the week before, her (Kristina) and her husband (Levi) had been talking to Levi's 11 yr-old brother who lived with them, (Garrett) and they found out that Garrett doesn't know anything about God or Jesus Christ!  He's heard people say the names (probably profanely) but he doesn't actually know who they are.  Levi and Kristina don't go to church but they definitely believe in God, so they were a bit concerned about that.  Then when we played hacky-sack with them and asked if we could come back to share a message it was perfect timing!  So monday we went over there and sat outside to talk to them. We taught simply about the Plan of Salvation and the nature of God and Jesus Christ.  It was cool.
We also had a way good lesson with Bro. Oddo on Monday.  Right after we said the opening prayer he started talking about how much he had liked the Bishop's wife's talk and the conversation transitioned perfectly into what we had planned on teaching!  It turned into kind of a testimony meeting with us, the member we brought, and Bro. Oddo all talking about the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives.
April 29, 2013

We did get a new apartment!  We'll move in this week.  It's an apartment on the top floor of a lady in our ward, so they've gotta build an outside entrance before we can live in it and they're doing that right now and it'll be done soon.  But it's right in White City so if we have to bike again we won't kill ourselves, the apartment is fully furnished, the rent was pretty cheap but it will help out the old lady, and we won't have to study on the floor anymore!  I'm pretty excited.
Guess what!  I wasn't really sick, I just suddenly have awful allergies!  So I'm medicated now.  But I hear that this valley and the Willamette valley are the worst places in the world for allergies.
This week we had a really good experience that helped me understand just how important listening is.  We visited Sister Steen, a less-active lady whose husband and stepson aren't members and she just had so much to tell us about them and how she thinks we can help them to live the gospel and eventually she got into talking about herself and her testimony and why she isn't active in the church.  Listening does not mean being silent!  You've got to give affirmation that you're listening, and when the Spirit directs you can make a comment, ask a question, or give an insight, but when someone has a lot to say you let them carry on most of the conversation.  That is when the Spirit is strongest, when you are actively listening to the thoughts of their hearts.  We're also having good lessons with the Oddo's (the bear-slayers).  Brother Oddo is continuing to progress, to read the Book of Mormon and to ponder on it.  We'll continue to work on the prayer part.  They came to church yesterday for the first time since we've been here and brought their two daughters.  Sister Steen was there also.

I loved the package, thanks!  It was super awesome and made me laugh.  Don't worry mama your birthday is not forgotten!  It'll be late, but my love will come in a box!  Seth's laughter is so appreciated. :3
April 22, 2013

So this week was prooty groot!  We met with the Oddo family again on Monday.  Last week we had given Sister Oddo a Priesthood blessing cuz she wasn't feeling well, so this week we sort of went over the Restoration with an emphasis on the restoration of the Priesthood.  When we mentioned that the Priesthood gives us the authority to baptize, Brother Oddo stopped us and said, "So what are the steps to being baptized?"  We invited him to be baptized right there, and he accepted.  He told us he wants to be baptized so he can be sealed to his family forever!!!
We've done a lot this week that has made me feel like I'm following in the footsteps of my parents.  First: we were trying to visit a less-active lady, but she wasn't feeling well so we decided to tract her whole street (it wasn't too long).  The first door we knocked on was a little old abuelita who told us, "No engles."  We tracted the rest of the street and were about to leave when Elder Heidenthaller remembered that we had a libro de mormon in the car.  Hehehe so we went to the car and practiced our espanol door approach.  We went up and knocked on her door again.  I don't know what she thought when she saw us there for the second time, but Elder H introduced us in gringo, then I read the last two paragraphs of the introduction to the Book of Mormon to her in spanish.  We then handed the book to her along with a card with the spanish elder's phone number on it.  She accepted the book then started asking us all these questions, haha we had pretty much no idea what she was saying so we were just nodding and si-ing.  It was so awesome.  We told the spanish elders, Elder (Ash) Ketchum and Elder Jesperson (I didn't really have a reason to put their names in there aside from the fact that I've never known anyone named Ketchum before and I think it's hilarious-and we've now been in the same district for three of my four transfers), and they visited her on Saturday.  They found her outside making some gross mexican food and they told her  more about the Book of Mormon (she hadn't read any of it yet) and said a prayer with her.  They said the prayer made her cry. :) Second: we ran out of monthly miles for our car on Wednesday so on Thursday we had to walk three miles along the highway from Eagle Point to White City (Elder H's bike tire was punctured and we couldn't find an inner tube of the right size) and then all around White City.  It was pretty exhausting.  On Friday we got the bike fixed and have been biking everywhere which is muchas bien.  But Dad walked a lot on his mission right?
Last awesome experience of the week: we were riding our bikes in the suburban type area of our ward when we passed some guys playing hacky-sack (spelling?).  They called out to us and asked if we wanted to join in.  I was starting to decline, for I know not how, when Elder H was like, yeah sure!  So he went over and played with them for a bit, a lady came out of the house and joined in, and they all had fun (I just watched for I know not how).  After a bit, Elder H said it was time to go, but then he asked if we we could come bacl=k and share a message with them!  I was surprised at his boldness, but was even more surprised when the lady said, "Sure I think that would be a great idea."!  So because of my comp's inspiration we got an awesome family of potential investigators. :D
Oh yeah I'm sick again... no biggie.
I'm excited for my P-day B-day present.  :3 We just had Mission President interviews though and he was surprised that we were still living with Eagle Point and told us that we needed to get our own apartment real fast.  Soon after that a few good potential apartments popped up that we're gonna look into, so I still don't know but we might move soon.
I'm so glad to hear about Seth's Georgianess, especially his burgeoning (a real word?) artistic abilities.
I can't believe you've signed up to lead LDSHE Mom.  You're crazy. <3


Love Elder G
April 15, 2013
Subject: Jerusalem to Minas Tirith

Dear People,
I'm still living in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment with three other elders.  So mom you should probably just send the package to the mission office address because who knows when we'll find a new apartment.  Elder Heidenthaller and I solely cover the White City ward which we were able to attend for the first time yesterday.  It was awesome!  The talks were pretty much right from PMG on the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation.  A bunch of the less-actives and a few investigators we had met during the week showed up for sacrament. :D  Our Ward Mission Leader is pretty great.  Him and his family kind of remind me of the Nelsons.  The kids are homeschooled and are really smart.  We had Ward Council after church and it seemed like it was straight out of the District videos.  They used the progress record as the main agenda and then they discussed how they could help the less actives and part member families and others in need of help, instead of a bunch of useless things.  It was way cool.
President Young has recently asked us to invite members to pray for streets for us to tract.  As I wrote this I realized that this is something we should start doing in our new area.  Everything's pretty far apart here, and good tracting streets are few and far between.  Inspiration!
I definitely can't watch any Youtube, I just want Seth to be recorded for when I get back so I can laugh at him then muahaha.  Anything else is too complicated.
Worst thing ever!  My camera's totally broke!  Can you send it a little moolah?  No but really, when I try to turn it on it just says, "lens failure" and turns back off.  Saddest of days!  Whatever canst be done??  I might just buy a cheapo kind.
Hahaha this is random, but we've been borrowing a gps from another elder because neither I nor my companion have one and there's no way we could get anywhere without it (we have enough problems getting around as it is).  But for the longest time we thought it couldn't talk because it wasn't high-tech enough, and it didn't have a mount, so Elder H would just hold it and tell me where to go.  Then just yesterday we discovered that all we had to do was turn up the volume....  So we did and it had this Australian man's voice!  It talked just like one of our AP's from Australia so we named it Elder Mckenzie after him.  It says, "turn left on Highway 65," and we say, "Blimey! Thanks Mckenzie!"  Oh pointless paragraph.
K.  So we have some really great people to work with here.  We're teaching the Oddo family, Sister Oddo had had her records removed but she wants to come back, and Brother Oddo is investigating with a very open mind. :)  He's not someone I would like to meet at night in a cage surrounded by cheering crowds though.  Haha he's an MMA fighter with a neck more broad than my shoulders and tattoo's all up his arms.  He is also a bear hunter, a bull rider, and a racecar driver.  The whole family is pretty great.  Their daughter who's about six was playing catch with me the other day and she started saying, "Hey dad, I mean missionary...."  So I'm already a father.
Another awesome family is the Steens.  The wife is a super nice less-active member, the husband is an extremely argumentative but fun nonmember who has taken the lessons millions of times but has never joined, and his son is being really introduced to the church for the first time.  Steen junior believes more in religion being between God and oneself, but he really likes that we ask him to read the Book of Mormon and find out for himself of its truth and divinity.  He says everything he's been taught so far just makes sense.  So I'm pretty excited for him, and I think that Steen senior will come around eventually.  Then Sister Steen will be able to have an eternal family! :D
So things are going pretty great here.  I hope that this e-mail was long enough for you mom.  I love you all,
Elder Georgia

April 9, 2013
Subject: Amazing Elder Georgia

Georgia family,
My name is Tracy Bybee. Your son served in our ward until his transfer to White City yesterday. We had the pleasure of having him in our home many times while our son Sam was preparing to leave for his mission to NY. Elder Georgia's spirit of love and dedication to The Lord added so much to the spirit in our home at that exciting time. When I heard, last Sunday, he would be leaving our ward I felt as if I were saying goodbye to my own son all over again. Thank you for your sacrifice and diligence in teaching your son of the importance of serving Our Savior. He will bless many lives and is a great example to us all.
Tracy Bybee
April 9, 2013
Subject: Transferred!

Yup it happened.  I'm now in the White City Ward, Central Point Stake.  It's pretty far from Salem.  This area is much more middle-of-nowhere than Salem too.  I like it. :D  I got double transferred in with Elder Haidenthaller who has only been out six weeks so I'm doing his follow-up training.  He's awesome.  This is my first real day being here so I don't know a whole lot about it yet, but we're gonna visit a lot of active and less-active ward members today so that'll help.  We don't have an apartment or a phone!  We're actually living on the street!  No just kidding, we're living with the Eagle Point missionaries in their tiny apartment and sharing their phone.  Eagle Point and White City have always been covered by one set of missionaries until this transfer, they just barely split it.  So one of the elders we're living with knows everything about our area and that's a big help.

Conference was sooo amazing.  One of my favorites was the one about how Jesus Christ is the source of peace.  He didn't bring world peace, but he brought peace to our hearts and our families.  I can't remember who that was though....  I also loved Elder Holland talking about how we can rely on our faith or our belief.  When we have doubts, we should start with what we DO know to be true and work from there.

Pleeeease record Seth talking.  I need to hear his jibber-jabber. :3

So Adri isn't going to Mozambique?

That's all for now!

Love you!

Elder Georgia
April 1, 2013

Subject: Easter is not for fools.
I seriously almost had a heart attack there.  That was not very nice.
So is Adri going to Mozambique or not????  My brain doesn't work anymore......
But anyways, my Easter was really nice!  Yes I did get my treacherous Mother's package, and I did enjoy it quite mucho.  The MOTAB cd is the bestestest.  Did you get one for yourselves too??  You should, it's super joyful.  I haven't got around to reading the whole article yet.....
We had a nice Easter program, and for dinner we had ham and rolls and potatoes and deviled eggs just like we have at home!  Oregon is so so beauteous in the springtime!  The sky has been super blue (which is a nice change), the foliage is the greenest because of all the rain, and now there are flowers everywhere!  They grow in gardens, on trees, even in people's lawns they just pop up all over.
Thanks for the FB update!  That sounds much better.  Luke, Benj, and AndyWilliamson'slittlebrother really is kind of funny.  Did they hit it off?
Although I almost died when I heard Adri got her mission call, I was also pretty excited.  Adri you should really consider that.  I think you would fit in pretty well in Mozambique. ;)
So this week we had had a ton of lessons planned but a lot of them fell through....  Tawnya and Laurie both did.  The biggest disappointment in missionary work is other people having free agency!  Not really, it's just when they make the wrong choices with their agency, but that's kind of the point of it all isn't it?  Karin is actually back on date for April 13th, but transfer calls are this Saturday so we'll see if I'm still here or not.  It doesn't matter to me if I'm there when she's baptized, I just want it to happen eventually.  Oh, and if I am transferred I don't know if I'll be able to e-mail you or not, hold on, yeah I just asked and if not Monday I'll get to e-mail Tuesday regardless.
Yesterday we taught this lady named Dorothy who's a very young-looking great grandma, a baptist, a widow, and a firm believer in God and in the power of prayer.  We had talked to her on her doorstep before about the Book of Mormon and yesterday we read and discussed 3 Nephi 11.  Strangely she seems to have automatically accepted the Book of Mormon as being true.
Well, I love you lots.  Keep me updated on cool stuff!  Huge and kisses,
Elder Georgia