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