Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oct. 13, 2014 Back in Eugene!

Clap! Clap! Clap!

So this week was pretty great. I was right about the hills being fun, but we haven't ridden our bikes yet, we just got them in shape and ready to go today.

I do love being a missionary. I'm loving this crazy awesome city of Eugene. My companion is very cool, very humble and hardworking and fun. I've already met such great people here. To me now, that's what missions are mostly about, the relationships of love we forge with the people we meet. That's how we help God to bless the lives of His children and spread His message far and wide, it happens naturally as we seek to love everyone we meet. Looking back on the areas I've served in, I can't hardly believe that I spent the time there that I did. I don't remember putting in those hours. But when I remember the relationships I built, I know that didn't happen overnight.

We meet a sweet black man named Ronzel who joined the church not too long ago, he just got Sunday's off work so he came to church with us after an ecclesiastical recess of sorts. We also met a super awesome investigator named Maria, a young Hispanic mom who has been reading and enjoying the Book of Mormon, and has been thinking about coming to church. We met a bunch of other people that I'll probably tell yall about later ya hear?

Today was cray cray so sorry this email is short!

Love,
Elderly People

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oct. 7, 2014 Into the Jungle

Hey Guys!

I have been transferred away from lovely little Lakeview, back to the thickness and greenness of the one and only Emerald City. This time I'm in the Eugene Stake and Eugene Zone itself! Right in the heart of weirdness. Eugene 1st Ward to be precise, the ward the mission home is in. President Russell is in my ward! I probably won't see him too much
though, but more than in Lakeview. I didn't know until I got here yesterday just how gorgeous the city of Eugene is. Our area is all twisting verdant forested hills with the perfect mix of pines and deciduous trees, interspersed with large beautiful homes. Now when I say all hills I mean ALL HILLS. And not rolling ups and downs, but ridiculously steep mountainous monuments of hills that no one in their right minds would actually build a road on. Biking is going to be fun.
But yeah it's gorgeous. And still warm! The Klamath Falls area was getting cold and autumnal but Willamette Valley temperatures are still moderate and awesome. It's not even rainy!

My companion is named Elder Shaw and I just have to say, he's really awesome. I'll go into more details later. The weirdest part though is that when I came from Santa Clara to do the whole training thing and get Elder Porter, I stayed the night with Elder Shaw and one other
elder in this same apartment, we even went tracting in his apartment complex so I already know some potential investigators. It's strange, but super awesome. I know the Savior has directed me in each spot I go to in my mission, I often think I'm way more blessed than I deserve. Whatever circumstances I'm in I tend to think are the best, not that they're better than someone else's circumstances, but that they're the best for me at this point in my life. I know I'm meant to be here.

Love you tons!
Elder Georgia

Sept. 29, 2014 Fishers of Men (Bobbing for Apples)

Hello beloved personas!

This was a very eventful week, and most of it had to with apples.


It's definitely fall.  We helped the Christleys make apple butter, we cored and peeled and cut the apples and then put em in to bake! It smells so good while it's cooking! Then on Saturday we helped them make apple cider which was LOADS of fun, the perfect Autumnal activity, I highly recommend we buy a cider press. :) Or make one! Theirs was actually homemade! I will send a comprehensive picture report on the process.

This week was Elder Porter's week to take over every planning and teaching situation!  He did great. He has more to learn! But so does everyone else. President Russell challenged Elder Porter to hand out 2 Book of Mormons this week. We hadn't had much success with that here (a very small community with quite a few churches, most people have been trained by their pastors what to say), so we went tracting a lot, but we hadn't passed any out until Saturday we met a Hispanic family who were Catholic and couldn't read English, we told them we would be back with a Spanish one (we have a whole box) and they said they would take it. We didn't get over there on Sunday for reasons I will name later. Elder Porter's a little disappointed we didn't meet our goal, but I told him that the point of goals isn't to reach your goal, it's to make you stretch. And we did! We worked harder at finding than we would have otherwise.

Todd and Victoria are a great young couple with a few kids, but they're not married yet. They're a little rough around the edges, but they're just really good people. You can see kind of a light in their eyes. They're a little hard to pin down, but we just dropped by early in the week and they were there. Todd has quit his job which will make it easier to get in to teach them, but now he needs a job. So when we dropped by they were glad to see us and asked if we wanted to have a lesson then, (Elder Porter was a little uncomfortable because we didn't have anything prepared, but! We need to be ready to teach when we find and find when we teach! So we read 3 Nephi 18 with them, talked about prayer, and challenged them to pray in their families! It's cool because they have very little religious backing or education, but they really want to understand the things in the scriptures and they recognize the Spirit it brings.

We helped an older couple in the ward paint their house, and got pizza in return-always a fair trade.

Wednesday night we went with the single young man who actually attends every meeting to clean up fallen apples at an elderly member's home. We went in pros which was a bad idea, messy rotten apple gunk on your favorite leather shoes is not a good combination... and afterwards we went back to the church and learned how to tie paracord! So now I have a nice rainbow bracelet.

We weren't able to teach the Stockers, but their little baby was sick, she didn't sleep for two days and neither did her parents. They asked us on Saturday to come and give her a blessing even thoughj at that point she was doing a lot better, so we got the Bishop to give us a ride down there (because we're out of miles and it's in Cali), and I had the sniffles so I didn't want to touch the baby (I put my hands on top). It was realy nice. They were very appreciative. We're planning on watching one of the conference sessions with them.

So Saturday I was sniffling and sneezing, but I wasn't the one who was sick the next day. Sunday morning Elder Porter woke up at 3 am with the flu. He was not doing well. I gave him a blessing before church, but during Sacrament we sat in the foyer so he could run to the bathroom every five minutes. I had to talk to a few people after they got out, so people kind of clustered around Elder Porter commenting on how terrible he looked, how he was probably dying, and ho he should just go home and sleep. So that 's what happened. I had great intentions of cleaning the whole apartment and reading a ton in the Book of Mormon (we're reading it as a mission before the end of the year), but I didn't accomplish much before I fell asleep on a chair. It's too boring just sitting around. Luckily we had an ex army medic in the ward who gave us some advice and brought soup and propel for mi compy, and another member brought us dinner, so it was good. I had to drag him out for....

Bro. Christleys Baptism!!!!!! It went so well. He was just so happy. And everything became so complete now that they're fully members of the church and are now looking towards the temple. I was a little bit nervous as usual, but he went under great, he made sure to hold his beard down. The talks were really good, I picked the hymns, but I was very touched by my selection (cough cough not prideful), especially when we sang I Feel My Savior's Love, because it was just what the Christleys have covenanted to do, "He knows I will follow him, Give all my life to him." The only downer was that Elder Porter was still a zombie. Josh didn't really want him in the confirmation circle on behalf of his zombie-ism, but I knew he would rather be in it, so I insisted. I had him stand on my right side so his hand would be on my shoulder and I put my hand on top of everyone elses and had Elder Porter put his hand on mine so we wouldn't infect anyone else. For refreshments the Christleys brought brownies and cider, which was a huge hit. We got to take a full jar home! :D

This morning Sister Collins, who's kind of a matriarch of the ward, gave me a piano lesson! She gives them free to missionaries. It was fun. I'll be a pro by the time I go home! Though it may be the only lesson I get from her (transfers are a week from today, just a heads up).

And lastly but not leastly, Elder Kleinman called this morning to tell me the Red Yellow Green report had come in, and I'm a red driver, which means I can't drive again for the rest of my mission. I was so happy. Aren't you proud of me? To give you some context, when you get enough Tiwi violations your score goes from green to yellow. The first time this happens you are given a warning. That happened in White City on my birthday. A huffy Elder Rout called to tell me happy birthday and stop driving so bumpy. Miles driven without violations improve your score and get you out of the yellow zone. A second yellow violation comes with a driving probation of about 45 days. This happened in Brookings on the long stretches of windy coastal road and probably had something to do with me being transferred to Santa Clara 6th, an all bike area. So when I got a car again in Lakeview I was determined to drive my best! I did great the first two or so months, but then they decided to switch our cars and I got stuck with what I believe is a demonic hypersensitive tiwi. On the way back from a Zone Conference in Medford the GPS took us down a windy back country road with very sharp corners. These corners had suggestions for lower speed limits but I had never payed much attention to those, so pretty much ever time I turned a corner I heard, "Aggressive Driving". It was bad. So Elder Kleinman warned me I needed to shape up my act, and I tried, but stupid little things kept happening (stupid little things usually equaled deer), and finally I came to my third yellow violation which puts you down to red which means you struck out. Now! To make it even better, almost a year ago we had a month where the whole mission was green drivers, no one was in the yellow. This had never happened before! In any mission! Salt Lake was shocked! For Zone Training the Kleinmans provided green frosted sugar cookies for every missionary in the mission! Furthermore, I cannot imagine the vehicle departments shock as month after month, the whole mission stayed green. We had to be the poster child for missionary driving worldwide. And every month we got green cinnamon rolls, brownies, muffins, whatever they could come up with. All that kept up until.... This morning. I single handedly broke the roll we were on. Now I will go down in infamy (at least in Elder Kleinman's books) till the end of time. But I'm honestly so relieved to not drive any more! :D

Anyways that was a long rant, but I like our mission culture. It's the best.

So it was a great week! I hope yours was too!

Love,
Elder Georgia-Pacific

Sept. 22, 2014 Happy Days

Dear Familia y Amigos,

We recently got the news that Bro. Christley, who had his name removed in the past does need to be rebaptized so that's happening on Sunday! He is sooooo excited.

Our investigator, Jessica, won't be baptized this Saturday. She's going through some hard stuff and hasn't been able to keep her commitments.  We also haven't really been able to teach regularly. Nevertheless we will continue to work with her!

The Stocker family though is doing so well. They've come to church twice, even though he said he wouldn't come if he didn't feel well, and he didn't, but he came. They also came to the ward barbecue and had fun. Sis. Stocker accepted Visiting Teachers even though she's not a member! She even shared a Mormon Message on Facebook from the church's page. She seems to really want to be associated with the church, so we're way excited for her.

This is week 11 of the training and Elder Porter is going to to take the lead in every teaching and planning session! It'll be good. We'll see if he's ready to train muahahaha!

Wellllll I llllllllove you!

Ellllllllllder Georgia


Sept. 15, 2014 Ah Ha!

You Family types are so awesome. Keep up the good work!

Lakeview is fantastic. There's so much joy among the members here.  Going to church is the best. Especially this week because the Stocker family came!

We met the Stockers about a week after we got here, he's been a membersince he was a young man, but his wife is Catholic. She's from the Philippines so I always think of Elder Antig. They have an eight year old daughter and a little tiny baby that was born prematurely but she's doing great now. She's going to be a genius baby, you can tell just from looking into her eyes, she holds eye contact really well. So the Stockers are really awesome, they live on the state line so it's really hard for them to make the almost half hour drive to church.
Bro. Stocker has a strong testimony of the gospel though. They also keep really busy so after that first visit we hadn't been able to meet with them till Saturday! But we had a super great lesson about modern prophets and how their teachings and the gospel bless families. We're going to give them a Family Proclamation next time we see them. Sis. Stocker really likes what she's learned from the missionaries so far and really wants to know more. They're golden, but busy.

Did you know that Lakeview is the earthquake capital either of Oregon or of the US? I can't remember which. I bring it up because there's a very suspicious and pretty strong tremor going on right now. Big earthquakes are very rare, but there's almost constantly little tiny earthquakes that you usually can't feel. Sometimes at night I think I feel them. There's like an average of twenty earthquakes a day or something crazy like that.

We helped Jessica with her garage sale this past week because she got called in to work and couldn't get anyone else so we ran it for a few hours in the morning. That was weird, but kind of fun.

The Zone Conference on Tuesday was really awesome. They introduced a new online proselyting tool: Facebook tracting! We go to the Facebook pages of local attractions or businesses and stalk the people who like them and send them introductory messages and try to teach them online! It's awesome. We haven't had too much opportunity to do it yet but I'll let y'all (sorry, my Lakeview is coming out) know how it goes!
Lovey Doves!
Elder Georgia

Sept. 2, 2014 Fair Fair

Dear Deer,

So this week was fair week! That means the whole town shuts down and everyone gets busy with fair preparations. The fair ran Thursday to today and everyone was there. Missionary work was very sparse. So how did we use all the extra time? Well, we went to the fair of course!

Thursday morning we helped the 4H judging of the artsy stuff, the photographs, the baking, the quilting, the random crafts, and so forth. We checked in all the kids and youth and made sure their entries were ready to present to the judges. It was fun.

Friday and Saturday evening we directed parking at the main entrance. The fair was free, but parking was 5 dollars so we collected money and gave people passes and stuff. It was neat to see a lot of the people we knew from town, to chat with them a bit, and to get to know some more people. I think in such a small town to see us being of service was fantastic, it really opens the people's hearts to us. But by the end of the week it was like, aaugh we need to do real missionary work! So I'm glad it's over.

Yesterday we taught the youth a mission prep class to the youth during third hour. We had done it in Brookings and it was a smashing success so I had the thought to do it here. We had dinner with the Ward Mission Leader and he thought it was a great idea so we went to the young men's leader and he thought it was a fabulous idea so we went to the young women's leader and she liked the idea so we went to the Bishop's and he thought it was a good idea so we did it (it says a lot about the area that we could walk to head of each auxiliaries house and meet with them in under an hour). We only had two youth from the ward, but because of fair there were three visiting youth so it was good. Then we went with Bro. Voelkel, the previous stake president, to the county prison. I don't think I told you about this before, but we've gone the past three weeks. It's a low security prison, the inmates just run around in the big outdoor courtyard and play basketball and stuff, but it's been an interesting experience. The first week we had four men in our little church group, the next week one had been released, and yesterday another had been released so we were down to two. It's two hours and we have two lessons. We say a prayer, sing a hymn, then an inmate teaches one lesson and usually one of the brethren who visit them teaches the other, but yesterday we taught them a missionary lesson, the Plan of Salvation. It was really neat to read and discuss from the scriptures the principles of Gods plan for us that these men understand so well. They know a lot about the atonement and agency and justice and mercy and spirit prison. But that was probably the last week we can go without going through an extensive training program, which we just don't have time for.

This morning being P-day we went to the parade! We got to go on the Christley's summer reading program float and blow bubbles and throw candy. It was great. Did I tell you Sis. Christley does the summer reading program? But it's way more fun than our library, it's more of a summer reading activity group with one for teens and one for kids. That's why she did the stick bomb and stuff.

Oh and I got the cookies! They were quite alien again, but very oddly delicious. I love them!

Love love love,

Elder Georgia

Aug. 25, 2014 Stick Bomb

Dear Family and People,

We got to take part in a Guinness world record!

Sis. Christley put it on at the library with her teen reading group and she asked us to help kind of as ushers (our official title was Stewards). A stick bomb is a kinetic chain reaction made of tongue depressors woven together which creates a lot of tension. When one is pulled the tension releases and the whole thing blows up. It was created by the Kinetic King who showed it off on America's Got Talent. Sis. Christley got him to come down and help the kids dominate. The record was for the most sticks used, and we destroyed the last record AND the next upcoming attempt. It started in one room that was filled with 12,000 sticks woven in a grid-like pattern that blew up in a sweet wavey motion, then it went out of the room in three different paths known as cobra weave because as it detonates the chains rear up then explode. Only 15 sticks did not detonate. We beat the record just with the 12000 in the one room. It was awesome.  See the article here.

Aside from Guinnessness, it was a good week. Sis. Christley's son is here so we're including him in the new member lessons, hopefully he'll read the Book of Mormon like his mom and find out how true it is! We taught Jessica twice this week and it was good but her kids are crazy. It's actually a new transfer and Elder Porter and I are setting some great goals. We plan on filling the chapel by the end of this six weeks, we were probably spurred by the sadly empty chapel yesterday.

This week we're volunteering for Fair, because everyone will be there anyways. It'll be fun.

I saw a garden on Facebook. You have a garden?? How does it survive?

Say hi to Virginia for me!

Love,
Elder Georgia


Aug. 20, 2014

This week's reason for not emailing on Monday is that we were in Medford from 8:45 am to 4:30 pm being spiritually nourished by a general authority, after which we drove in a van of Spanish elders to
Klamath where we left our car, then made the two hour drive to Lakeview, just barely arriving in time to have dinner with some members at 8:00 pm! That's so late for a dinner.

So Elder Bednar did not come speak to us, but in preparation for this Zone Conference we were asked to read two of his talks, "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease," and "The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality." So we discussed those with Elder Nielson when he came. I learned so much. It's interesting because it wasn't really the subject matter that I learned, it wasn't a lot of information I gained, I learned so much about how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ both love us and what
they both did for us. The talks (which I heretofore invite you to make a study of) are both about the Atonement. I'll give you a sneak-peek from what I learned. The Atonement redeems us and enables us. It makes bad men good and good men better. It not only allows us to be truly cleansed and freed from sin, but to be transformed into a better person, to really be born again! Elder Nielson talked about the born again Christians who ask, "Have you been saved by grace?" (This happens all of the time) and gave us an answer for them, "Yes! Have you been changed by grace?" I understood this scripture in a whole new light:

Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

He quoted Elder Holland who said something like, the natural man is not evil, he is like a river in its natural course or a diamond in its natural state, not altogether useful or beautiful, but when irrigated,
diverted, or harnessed, or cut, and polished, the natural man becomes both useful and beautiful to the Father. He becomes a saint. And it's completely through the Atonement of Christ!

We also talked a lot about how we can receive strength to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks through the Atonement. When our circumstances are painful or difficult, we shouldn't pray for the
circumstances to change, we should pray for the strength to change our circumstances ourselves, or to be able to endure, because through the Atonement we can receive strength to do so. Emmyways I won't tell you everything that's in the talks, you can discover it yourselves.

Why aren't my older siblings in any of those pictures you sent me? I want to see chubby Lindy. Just kidding!!! The other day in fast and testimony meeting a sister who was then pregnant bore her testimony, after which an older guy with a gut bore his and said he had to wait till after the pregnant sister bore hers so he would look thin and trim, after which her mother got up and said you should never say that to a pregnant woman, her mama bear had come out and she was just waiting for HIM to get up so that SHE would look good compared to his gut. It was hilarious. I'm kind of glad we didn't have any investigators that day. So you're not chubby Lindy you're just beautifully curved with babyness!

Speaking of investigators @ sacrament meeting, we have been teaching an investigator named Jessica, she knows a bunch of people at church but she's been pretty flaky about actually coming. Last week she said she couldn't come to church but the following week she should be able
to. She needed a babysitter for Saturday so we asked a Laurel in the ward to babysit her two daughters and she did. Then what do you know, Jessica and the kids all show up with the Laurel to church the next day! Jessica had wanted her to babysit on Sunday too, so the Laurel said she would if she could bring the kids to church, so Jessica came, just planning on being here for the first bit to help the kids settle in but she got a text saying she didn't have to work so she stayed the three hours!! It was awesome.

Aug. 11, 2014

Dear Family,

On Saturday Sis. Christley was baptized!

She had made it through a lot of trials of faith, and a lot of concerns, but she built her testimony from reading and praying about the Book of Mormon so she was built on a firm foundation. The baptism
was glorious! Sis. Christley had asked a little boy to sing "When I Am Baptized" and two little girls sang "I Am a Child of God." It was so sweet. The talks were great too. Elder Porter was a little nervous
about performing the baptism, but he did great. His technique was perfect after a little coaching haha. After they had dried off and sat down I asked Sis. Christley how she felt. She said it felt like she
had come to the end of a journey, it was very peaceful.

We went over to their home Sunday night for a lesson and you could just tell the Spirit in their home was so much stronger. They're so happy right now. It's been a huge blessing for me and Elder Porter to
be involved in their lives.

We have a lot more work to do, we have a ton of people who I feel have so much potential, but just trying to teach them regularly is the hard part. So we keep trying!

I can't think of anything particularly strange that happened this week. It seems like my emails are usually just strange...

Oh! I got your package! I loooooved the notes from Adr and Lotey and Seth and Melissa and Yasmina and Matthew! I love you all! And I love Mom and Dad! And Lindy and Nick and Ivan(?)! And everybody else too! I couldn't stop anywhere in that list or it would've looked bad. The cookies were definitely... super strange. They looked like alien food. But they were completely delicious! I realized how much I missed orange carrot cookies. You could send those to me every week and I would be forever joyful. But that's what the gospel does.

We went tracting with a priest in the ward and we knocked on about four doors but we spent two and a half hours. How did we accomplish this? Because this elderly Jehovah Witness man talked to us for
basically the whole time! At first he said, I'll stop you there, I'm not interested. But we asked him a few questions and he came outside and just talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked
and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked about the Bible which he knows a ton about but of course it was all JW skewed. We got words and phrases in here and there, but he got off topic so easily that it seemed fairly hopeless. However as I listened to his scripture mingled with false doctrine, I came to appreciate how my testimony has grown on my mission and how I am not
"carried about by every wind of doctrine". This church is definitely true, just letting you know. Somehow or other, with companionship unity and the Spirit we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would
read it and we could come back in a few weeks. It was pretty great.

I can't tell you how I love you all!

Love,
Elder Georgia

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Aug. 4, 2014 Fuzzy Sun

Allo There!

This is Elder Georgia, life is going great! I have not received any
cookies in the mail so far, mushy or otherwise!

The sky has been a beautiful dirty grey haze for almost a whole week
now. It's kind of like very faded dusty blue jeans. The best way I can
think of to describe it is ugly/pretty. The sun is usually an orangish
color and on bad days turns quite red. The sunsets really are pretty,
like an opal, but the most frequent attribute of the sky at any time
of day is that it looks dirty. I want to scrub it off. This comes from
the astoundingly large number of fires in Oregon and the surrounding
states right now, it's also the alkali dust from all the bone dry
lakebeds around here.

So I can't shut our door from the inside. It locks from the inside and
you just swing it shut and push firmly to close it, remarkably similar
to other doors, but when I push it firmly THE LATCH DOES NOT LATCH. I
literally shut the door about forty-eight times the other night and it
consistently refused to close. Then Elder Porter closed it. On the
first try. I was so mad.

Elizabeth wife of Joshua is getting baptized on Saturday! She is very
prepared, having read the whole Book of Mormon along with a lot of
side research. We're super excited.

The members here are really great. They constantly are trying to help
us and give us new people to see. After White City, Brookings, and
Lakeview, I'm pretty sure I want to live in a small town. They're
great.

I want to share some of my life dream! I love being on a mission, and
sharing the light of Christ is the best thing I can think of to do, so
I want my life and career to be entirely devoted to bringing others
unto Christ. The main people I want to reach out to are young people,
and particularly those who are lost in the world. So I want to reach
them and teach them eternal truths in a way they can understand,
through stories! Like C. S. Lewis! And Art! So we'll see. 💖

I can't tell y'all how much I love you! I have all these pictures I
need to send but they're on my cameraaaaa! But here's a few.

Elder Georgia

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 29, 2014 ;-)

Dear Humans,

More Lakeview facts! Yup we've got a car. We drive four hours every
week to get to and from district meeting in Klamath but I enjoy the
drive. We do have the Area Book Planner app on our iPads so all the
info is synced in when we get transferred. The sisters left some nice
notes and a TON OF JUNK! Sorry to certain Sisters Shumway and Walker,
but sisters can be way grosser than elders. |( ̄3 ̄)| Did I already
complain about that? We spent most of today cleaning. It's beautiful
now though.

We went to the Medford temple!! I flipped out when I realized we were
in White City on the way there. I could even see my apartment! At the
temple I saw Bro. And Sis. Marks from Brookings and Bro. Brown from
White City working there, and Sis. Rushton had driven up the
missionaries from Brookings so I got to see her too. It was great. I
love to see the temple!

Missionary work is going great. One of our awesome investigator
couples had a random big concern about Joseph Smith being a Mason, she
had looked into temple stuff online and saw a resemblance to masonry,
and she actual used to be a mason and had terrible experiences with
them. So she was all upset, we sent a text saying we didn't know all
the answers, we knew the church was true through the Holy Ghost and
such, (this was going through texting) and we went over to talk to
them. When we got there she told us that she had already come to a
conclusion through prayer that she didn't need to worry about the
mason stuff, but she was still concerned about the temple. She was
afraid of the unknown, of covenants she may not be able to keep, she
wanted information, we told her we would get back to her because I
wanted to ponder over how much we could share before I said something
stupid and we had to head down to Klamath to stay the night with the
zone leaders. But Elder Porter made a really strong point that
everyone needs to rely on faith at some point. So we left, but as we
were driving down she texted us and said, (paraphrased) "We've decided
to rely on faith and on our testimonies of the restored gospel. There
is no need for you to answer my questions." I just felt so
overwhelmed. The Spirit truly does change and soften people's hearts.

We've been finding new people to teach, whether it's just finally
meeting people the sisters were teaching, or new people, so life is
good!

Love,
Elder Georgia

July 21, 2014 Bum ba, ba badabadadaaaa!! Bum badada, badumba! Ba baaaa badumba, ba bumbadadaaaa, baaaa da!!!




You are correct that this town is very cowboy, there are most definitely a lot of cows, but you're talking about the wrong missionary! Let me tell you a little about my new companion:

Elder Porter is from Heber Arizona which is not too far from Snowflake. His family owns like a 4000 acre ranch with 4000 cows. Elder Porter is into bull riding and steer wrestling. He got like four scholarships for football. He is also quite an accomplished welder. So he landed in the perfect spot!
He fits in perfectly here! He's also an awesome missionary, he knows
his scriptures, he's pretty confident, and yet I am amazed yet again
how big a shift it is from regular life to mission life. Everything is
completely different! From eating dinner to talking on the phone,
everything is done a special way on the mission so everything needs to
be explained. It's quite the task but I love it. Pictures will follow.

LAKEVIEW IS GORGEOUS. The drive from Eugene to Klamath Falls was
incredible, we stayed he night with the zone leaders (one of them came
out the transfer after me into my district so we were in training
together and I haven't seen him much since so it's awesome to be in
his zone), then the drive from Klamath to Lakeview was even more
gorgeous. We got to see the transformation from green forest to
rolling farmland to desert and you know what it reminded me of?
HYRULE!!!! I could have sworn I was driving through Hyrule Field. Then
Lakeview reminds me of Kakariko Village, especially because there's
all these awesome creepy abandoned houses that look exactly like the
ones in the village. That last section was pretty much entirely for
Luke. Pictures will follow.

On Saturday we got two baptisms. Annabelle who's 8 and Cheyenne who's
12. We met them the day before to discuss the final plans so we could
make the programs, and they were just so excited to be baptized. So
ready. Their parents are returning members. The baptism went
beautifully! The girl's grandpa baptized them and their uncle did the
confirmation. Their parents gave the talks in baptism and the Holy
Ghost, and they did such a good job. The Spirit was awesome. Pictures
will follow.

Later that day we attended a ward barbecue where we met an
investigator couple named the Christleys who told us they wanted to
meet with us to discuss their baptism that they would like to take
place on August 9th but they're open to change that. They have a
challenge I shall not disclose, but please pray for them that all will
go according to plan and they can be baptized on their chosen date. We
met with them again tonight and taught them a lesson and the Spirit
was so powerful.

I'm emailing in the evening because we spent pretty much our whole
p-day doing service for another investigator! It was great.

Our apartment is so adorable. Pictures will follow.

In case you're wondering about the title of this email, have Lucha
chuuchy sing it for you to the main tune of the herein contained
videogame reference.

We get to go to the temple this week wooooooooot! Not the water
temple, the Medford temple!

I loves y'all! People here talk very properly....

Elder Georgia

July 14, 2014 One Short Day Has Come To A Close

Transfers! I'm going to Lakeview! Double transferring in, kicking out
the sisters, and training. So I'm in Eugene, waiting around with some
other elders. Tomorrow we'll begin training and such and Wednesday
we'll pick up our brand new missionaries. Pray for my trainee!

Make sure you look up Lakeview, it is literally in the middle of
nowhere. They told me it's the farthest area from the mission home and
we're about two hours away from any other missionaries. I hear that
the ward (or branch) is amazing though. I'm super excited! It's going
to be way different but way good. I'm also excited to train again,
it's my favorite thing to do cuz it helps me be the best missionary I
can be.

I hope to give you the news of Cindy and Mitch's baptisms as I receive it!

Saying goodbyes yesterday was sad, but I'm grateful for Facebook!

Love you all tons! Give the kittles kisses from me!

Elder Georgia

July 7, 2014 On A Golden Summertime

Dearly Beloved,

I have a confession to make. It takes a lot out of me to write emails.
Not as much as writing letters, but nevertheless it is still most
exhausting. And this week we woke up at 6, left our apt. at 6:30, and
went and hiked Spencer's Butte with the zone! It was pretty increyable
and gorgioso, so I'll have to send pictures eventually. Near the top
we obeyed the Savior's command to "Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) by befriending a
squirrel named Gworge. He said it was pronounced George. Seriously
though I'll have to send you the video. He was just this wild squirrel
that would let us come up and tickle his belly. It was so awesome. The
view from the top of the Butte was pretty gorgeous. It was strange to
look down on the great and spacious city of Eugene (by which I mean no
disrespect to The Emerald City) as a little tiny scattering of
neighborhoods.

We then came and cooked and ate the sacrificial waffles and bacon and
had a "share the best thing you learned from your mission so far" and
I told the missionaries that I learned that nothing makes me happy if
I'm not loving and serving other people.

We taught Walt and Cindy on Thursday at the Stake Center. We taught
them what we in our mission call a "font to table" lesson where we
start in front of the baptismal font where we taught them about the
baptismal covenant and the gift of the Holy Ghost then committed her
to be baptized on August 23rd and she accepted!! Then we went to the
chapel and sat in front of the sacrament table and talked about
enduring to the end and remaking our baptismal covenants each week
through the sacrament. It was wondrous. We planned to do the same
thing with Mitch last night but he rescheduled for tonight then he
just a minute ago as I was typing rescheduled for tomorrow. He's a
busy guy.

Mom I know's how to use apostrophe's ok? I love's you'.

You had a fun independent day it appears! For the 4th we helped
someone move for most of the day then we went to a members
neighborhood barbecue then went to our apt. at 7 for weekly planning.
When the members asked if we could do fireworks we just told them that
missionaries are highly flammable.
Love is truly the tradition! Is a quote from our mission theme song which I'll be excited to sing for you if I ever decide to come home. Elder Georgia

June 30, 2014 Dear People

I'm writing you now as I wait to meet my new mission president,
President Russell. A little nervous, but excited for newness and
change.

This week we taught Walt and Cindy and it was fantastic! We taught the
first half of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so through Christ we can be
cleansed from sin, faith, and repentance. We showed two sequential
bible videos, to this end was I born, and my kingdom is not of this
world, that I highly recommend. At the end Cindy was crying and she
said she just felt so light inside and so loved. :D sometimes a smile
is all you can use to explain how you feel about something.

Go Adr! Honorary sister missionary!

Next up in Your Weekly Missionary Email: Meeting President and Sister Russell!

So we met the Russells! It was a super spiritual meeting. You could
definitely see how the mantle of leadership had passed to President
Russell. He had the same... Aura? As President Young, but he's way
different. He speaks gently and simply, and he reminds me a little bit
of Elder Scott. His wife is like a spiritual bomb, she's very
businesslike and energetic. The coolest thing I learned was when
President Russell put three things on the board and asked us to order
them in what our level of focus should be. It was investigators,
companion, and self. I thought, oh we should focus mainly on our
investigators, then our companion and we should forget about
ourselves. But he said we need to focus on ourselves first, that we
need to develop spiritually before we can help others. That made
sense, but on pondering it a little I realized that yes, we need to
come first. But our motivation for self improvement needs to be from
our love for our investigators and our companion!

Oh mom I forgot to tell you, my allotment card isn't working so I've
been using my home card for everything for the past three weeks or so.
They said they would send me a new one but I haven't got it yet.

I love you all! The circle of our love extends beyond the reach of
time! Beyond the span of days and years it goes forever! If you know
what I'm quoting send me a shoutout! (Cuidado: this is a scam to get
you to email Elder Georgia)

Love,
Elder Georgia

June 23, 2014 Oh, some stuff...

Dearest family!

I love you. This week was great! I did stuff.

Just kidding, we had our last zone conference with President and
Sister Young this week. Emotions ran high. They had us make a
scrapbook page for them with pictures of ourselves and I'm just going
to send you what I wrote:

President & Sister Young,

Thank you for changing my life. Serving a mission has been a terrible
and wonderful struggle, but strength has always come from knowing
right from the start that you loved me and believed in me, more than I
believed in myself. It wasn't difficult for me to leave my home and
travel to this strange new world of Oregon, not at first. I remember
my first impression of Oregon was just to be overwhelmed by the
emerald greenness of it all. Then how wonderful to be welcomed by
piercing blue eyes that looked through me and seemed to know me
instantly inside and out, and by the warmth of a thousand mothers
combined into one being.

Oh I quickly began to learn that mission life contained it's fair
share of struggles and disappointments. I was surprised to learn that
missionaries aren't perfect, the members aren't perfect, and helping
our investigators along the path to perfection is no easy process! I
learned that life could fluctuate as quickly and easily as the Oregon
rains: sunny one minute followed by torrential downpours the next, or
gray drizzles which could last for weeks only to suddenly burst into
dazzling rainbows. I have learned to love these Oregonians, to love
the wonderful missionaries in our mission, and to love serving
alongside them to help the good people here to overcome life's trials
through the gospel.

Most importantly I've come to love serving my Heavenly King. That in
His service I've been blessed to be nearer to Him than I've ever been.
I know He loves me, because I am His son. He loves all of us so much
He sent His Only Begotten Son to suffer and to die that we might live
with Him eternally. I know His church is here again in glorious form
and order, that truth once again rains down from Heaven, and that We
are His angelic ranks sent forth to proclaim redemption to the world.
Thank you so much for your service to all your missionaries and to our
Heavenly Father.
I don't want you to go! It's so much easier to leave than it is to be
left. But I will keep in touch on all the big stuff! I love both of
you so much.

Go OEM!

>From your:

Forever Youngster,

Elder Quinn Jerome Georgia

At the end we bore our testimonies and I just sobbed through mine.
I've become so emotional on my mission........ But now I'm resigned to
them leaving and it will be a fun new experience with President
Russell! He'll be here on Saturday.

Saturday was the Community Family Night. We had four hundred name tags
and they were all taken! Some people never got name tags. We had 35
pots of chili and they were SO GOOD. The line for the food came in the
back door then wrapped halfway around the building, went through the
gym where the food was, and out the other side. We didn't eat until
everyone else had eaten and when we got there most of the chili's were
pretty depleted and the cornbread was basically all gone. It was
great. There was a dunk tank, volleyball, basketball, pie eating,
square dancing, tug of war, chili contest, and zany zoo! <- an exotic
petting zoo with a boa constrictor, a tree porcupine, a lemur, a
cockateil, a giant tortoise, a big gerbil deer mouse guinea pig thing,
and a bunch of other snakes and turtles and stuff. It was pretty
amazing. There was a pretty good turnout from the other churches, but
it was hard to tell how many. Everyone had a lot of fun. We also had a
drunk homeless couple show up asking for food and then dance the rest
of the night away! It was great.

We taught Mitch the rest of the Plan of Salvation and we taught the
whole thing to Cindy and they both were great! We thought Mitch wasn't
coming to church because Tyus was supposedly going to their cabin near
Bend over the weekend, but the whole family were there, Mitch
included!

And last night we had some plans but they didn't really happen, it was
the night of the desserts cuz at dinner we had brownies and ice cream,
then we stopped by another member's later to use their bathroom and
they fed us s'mores (and Elder Carroll had a piece of chocolate pie),
then we were biking back when Cindy and her boyfriend Walt saw us and
invited us in for spice cake! Good thing I gain no fat. But anyways it
was a great week!

I did get my package! Thanks so much for the cookies and everything! I
have to admit I'm fairly worried about the 5 billion active cultures
you expect me to eat.....

Love y'all!

Elder Georgia

June 16, 2014 ?

This week randomly decided to become colder and wetter again, but we
avoided being rained on mostly which was nice. We weren't able to
teach Mitch, but we're going to play volleyball with him today!

We did however teach a new investigator! Cindy was taught the first
lesson by missionaries a few years ago but then dropped off. She is
the girlfriend of a member named Walt who hadn't been to church in a
long time. He got hit by a car on his motorcycle but got away with a
broken leg and some back pain which is much better than it could have
been. So his home teacher invited us to come with him to give Walt a
blessing. The next Sunday Walt and Cindy came to church! The week
after that Walt had to go back to working on Sundays but last Monday
after dinner Elder Carroll felt impressed to stop by, so we did and we
talked to them for a while, then we asked if Cindy would like to take
the lessons again and she said yes! So we taught them on Thursday with
Pops, their home teacher. We taught the Restoration and it went well.
It had been cloudy all day, but when we got to the story of Joseph
Smith I started to recite the First Vision and the sun broke
brilliantly through the clouds. Elder Carroll and I sat with our backs
to the window and the light shone straight into Cindy's face, she was
the only one really in the radiance. We both wondered if we should
shut the curtains, but It didn't seem to bother her, she just kept
direct eye contact with us. It was a cool moment. The light stayed
until we about finished the discussion and were getting ready to
leave.

It was a good week.

Random Eugene factoid! Eugene is the #2 city in the US for bike theft!
The first being New York City. There are actually whole gangs devoted
entirely to stealing bikes and reselling them. That's why we always
lock up!

That's all I have for today! Love you,

Elder Georgia

June 9, 2014 Idunnowhattotitlethisemailivebeenrunningoutofideasforalonglonglongtime.

It's cool you sent me FHE ideas cuz we're planning as a zone to send
around FHE signups and teach their friends! So we needed ideas shanks!

My June is fabulous. We taught Mitch last week! We taught him the
first half of the plan of salvation using tons of scriptures. I think
it went over his head a bit?

Our mission president has given us a new directive. It really isn't
new but he's put a lot more emphasis on it. We're out to find
families. We had a ZTM all about that and it's really shifted my
thoughts about missionary work. It's. It that we won't accept single
people into the church, but it's so much simpler and more powerful for
a whole family to enter the waters of baptism at the same time, to
strengthen and support each other as they begin their journey to the
temple and eternal life as a family. It's cool because after that
we've seen a bunch of prospective teaching families on the horizon,
don't know what it will take for them to investigate, but they're
definitely there. We went family finding the day after and the second
door we knocked on was a shortish man with a ball cap and eyebrow
piercings (everyone in Oregon has tattoos or piercings somewhere, I
can no longer remember if it's the same in ol' Virginny) who waved us
in while talking on the phone. He identified himself as Jared and said
he worked for a bunch of Mormons and really respected them. He has a
lot of undefined notions about God, we gave him a Plan of Salvation
pamphlet and he said we could drop by whenever. So that was cool.

Mom I have a task for you to complete! Will you email me when you
complete it? There's a lady in the 1st ward who we had dinner with who
homeschools her kids and she was asking me about different programs I
liked for different subjects and I said she should just talk to you so
would you message her on Facebook for me and give her some advice?
She's in my friends list. Her name is Jenni (I think it's spelled like
that) Cragun.

LOVE is all you need. The Beatles or something?

Elder Georgia

June 2, 2014 Good Week

Allo Fam!

Earlier this week we were asked to give a blessing by a less active
couple to their son who was in the hospital for appendicitis, he was
going in to surgery at 2:00 but we had a meeting with some other
missionaries to plan out our community family night and it went over.
Then we got to the hospital and parked in a lot, then went looking for
the emergency entrance but we walked the wrong way around the whole
building almost back to where we started to get to the entrance and
right as we got there the sisters (who are the ones teaching the
family) walked out and said he had just gone into surgery. We got a
call a few days later that he was doing worse so he wanted us to come
again to give him a blessing so Elder Hanssen went there on splits and
had a good experience with him. A while later we got another call that
he had gone into respiratory arrest and his mom just happened to find
him not breathing and they got a bunch of doctors on him. He literally
died and was able to be brought back. It's interesting because when
Elder Hanssen gave him the blessing he really wanted Hanssen to say he
would be miraculously healed and made all better, but Hanssen wasn't
prompted to say that, he just blessed him that the doctors would be
able to find out what was wrong. And that's exactly what happened. We
went to see him again on Sunday and he was awake and sitting up, he
told his story so funnily he had us and the sisters and the bishopric
member all cracking up. He's an ex marine who broke his leg then ran
for a mile, but he said the pain from his appendix bursting was the
worst thing he had ever felt. He told us that he had been away from
the church for a long while but he still had a testimony and planned
on coming back when he was in town. But he spends ten months out of
the year mining in Lakeview for sunstones, Oregon's state gemstone!

That was a good story. Long but good.

We taught Mitch this week! It was great! He read the chapter we left
him twice but said he hadn't felt the same thing he felt during our
lesson. We explained more about revelation and that we couldn't tell
him exactly HOW he would get an answer, just that he would. He's so
great, we love him.

Jordan Henderson got baptized on Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the
most fantasticest ever. Bro. Henderson performed the baptism, he had
gotten the priesthood the Sunday before. He had one practice baptism
then he dunked her again without saying the prayer but the third time
WAS the charm. Elder Carroll and I sang "When I Am Baptized" without
practicing once beforehand but it worked out. Bro. Henderson came into
the chapel a while after Jordan, and the guy conducting was like,
"It's the first time a woman beat a man getting dressed" and everyone
laughed, but i was right behind Bro. Henderson and I heard him say
very softly, "I had to take a moment." It meant so much to him. We
confirmed Jordan the same night and us elders got to stand in on the
circle. It was great. And Jordan just looked so happy. I didn't get a
picture with them cuz we were late! But I'll get one before I leave
here.

So today is transfers! And Carroll and I are staying yaaaay! But we're
kicking Hanssen back to first ward and it will be so great to just
focus on sixth ward.

That's All Folks!

Love you.

Elder Georgia

May 26, 2014 Yay for Stuff!

Hi lovelies!

So I like Facebook a lot, our Facebook rules are extremely limited now
we can only get one once a week for like 15 minutes, but I like to get
the good news. I got a message sent to a bunch of elders on Facebook
from a girl named Mariahn who was down in Brookings. She was taught by
the other elders but we got to know her and teach her too. She said
this:

Thank you guys for teaching me and helping through my lessons I was
baptized April 26 ( a week after my birthday) but I wasn't able to get
a picture till just now. I've had so much experiences in the last
month that I'm overwhelmed by the hold ghost haha I've gone on splits
with the sisters, given a few talk (once in sacrament meeting with the
sisters), graduated seminary, and I am now the young women's secretary
and so many more things I also got my patriarchal   blessing yesterday
and now I feel on fire to read scriptures and be awesome haha thank
you for everything elders!

She sent a picture of her baptism too. It made my week.

The other nice Facebook thing was the Lawtons, who I definitely told
you about, finally came to church and Bro. Lawton made a nice post
about it. They didn't go the whole time I was in Brookings.

So we weren't able to meet with Mitch this week, he was too busy
winning state track records with his fellowshipper. In fact we didn't
meet with a lot of people, but it was good. We're probably losing
Elder Hanssen soon which will actually be good, it's so much harder to
plan for two separate areas, and we have too much fun together.

But! If you buy five cumplaintos! We did meet one very exciting person
this week! The 2nd ward elders met a lady on a bike trail who had read
some of the Book of Mormon and was excited to read and learn more, so
they set up an appointment with her, but she lives in our area so they
told us to just go over instead, so we showed up on Saturday and she
had completely forgotten we were coming but she said to come back
Tuesday at 7 when her husband and kids would be home and she would
feed us dinner! Our minds were blown. We accepted. Pray it goes well!

Tell Lindy to check her email!!! I'm not sure if it went through!

I love you more than a thousand burning suns!

VI.

How do I know these things of the man called Christ? I did not live at
a time to hear His voice or see His face, but I feel His goodness in
all the world around me, and He speaks to me in the words of His
servants who have lived and died for Him throughout the history of the
earth.

I know there is light in this world.  The earth and nature herself are
unspeakably beautiful and glorious.  Light itself in its radiance and
illumination tells of the power and glory of its source.  In the eyes
and souls of my fellow men and women I see a light which tells me of
the power of human love, the glory of intelligence, and the inherent
divinity in all of us.

Just as when a ray of light suddenly illuminates your surroundings,
you know it has a source, I know there is a source to this light in my
life.  I read the words of Christ, telling me that He is this source,
and I know them to be true.

"��Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the
world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have
the light of life." John 8:12

Elder Quinn Georgia

May 6, 2014 Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Hi peoples!

This week was pretty great. We had the nicest weather, such a good
break from rain. On the 29th I waited till the evening to open my
package, we got to spend about two hours cleaning off the Hendersons
roof which was the perfect thing to do on my birthday because I LOVE
the Hendersons and I got to wear shorts.  then our ward mission
leader had us over that night and they made this awesome dessert, kind
of like a Dutch baby with creamy filling and chocolate and caramel
sauce on top. Then when we got back I opened my wonderful package,
thankshomuch! I love new garments. And everything else was perfect. I
made the cake and it's beeootifull!!!! And way good, I love the lime.

On Wednesday we were visiting some Less Actives, and we had just
invited a family to dodgeball and were heading out when a guy on a
bike yelled at us from across the street and biked towards us. He was
obviously homeless. He had this bag of Halloween bat and pumpkin
shaped pretzels that he said someone had given him but he couldn't eat
because he, "got no teeth", and they, "would cut the (spiritual death)
out of his gums". So he gave them to us. They expired in February so
we're just going to enshrine them on top of the fridge for forever.

We got to help our downstairs neighbors move, they're really awesome
siblings: Jim and Debra, African-American, 40'sish, and super nice.
They just moved to another apartment in our complex cuz their apt. got
flooded. It was interesting though because our apartment checkers, the
Johnstons, said they had talked to Jim and Debra before and were
fellowshipping them. So it was good.

Loves,
Elder Georgia

p.s. I wrote this yesterday then I didn't send it.......

III.

"To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of
death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Luke 1:79

The call to come unto Christ resonates with my heart and soul.
Everything I have come to know about Christ is beautiful to me. The
story of His birth, of His life, of His death, and His resurrection,
as it is found in the Bible, along with the added truths we know of
Him from modern revelation, of his premortal existence, His advent in
the Spirit World, and His work He continued as a resurrected glorified
being from His ascension to these last days.

Yet sometimes I have wondered, did He really live? Does He now truly
live? Was Christ really who He said He was? How can I learn to fully
put my trust in Him?

The heavens bear record of all things, and their cycles are analogous
to life. I lived with God. His full presence and glory was like the
light of the sun. So warm it burns and so radiant it's too bright to
look at. Life is like the twilight sinking into night. We must leave
the warmth of God's presence and find our way in the dark. Become
subject to the fall, and become separated from God. However, as
twilight turns to night, one by one His stars come out. We come to
know His truths line upon line, one at a time, until our lives once
dark, are filled with the glorious patterns of His plan that we can
use to navigate our way back home.

The most important truth we can come to know, is that Jesus Christ
truly died for us to lead us back to our Heavenly Father.

April 28, 2014 Birthdays!

HAPPY BIRHTDAY MOOOOOM!

How was YOUR day? Was it fantasticubulous?

On Saturday I got a lovely large package in the mail that said, "Do
not open until April 29th." Oh man! I thought, that's so far away!
Then Elder Carroll looked over my shoulder and said, "Wait, your
birthday is this week and you didn't even tell me???"

I had completely forgotten about my birthday.

This also reminds me that a few weeks ago I was at the church helping
out with mutual when Sister Foutz came up to me and said, "So if your
birthday was on April 29th what would you want?" I was immediately
overcome with suspicion and bewilderment. How did she find out? Why
did she find out? Was this a setup? While I was frozen, unable to
think of what to say, she said she didn't know what to get for her son
on his mission. My suspicion was turned to shock at the outrageous
coincidence that could let that exact situation come about. When I
explained that, why, my birthday was on April 29th! Sister Foutz and
the other members in the vicinity were likewise surprised and tickled
pink. It was quite goofy.

Oh will someone make sure to say HALLOOOO! To Abby the Nelson? She
Facebook messaged me but I'm not allowed to respond.

Where is Mallory Seely? I thought she was in New York, but all these
emails say she's in Jamaica.....

I'm so excited for Aysha and her papers!

This week we tracked this one street and everyone was these nice old
people who had Mormon friends or family and saw us on our bikes all
the time, but who weren't interested thank you kindly. Yeah we had
pretty much the same conversation with everyone. There were two people
though who told us to come back, one wanted to argue with us more, the
other was Frank. He told us he was an atheist and his wife was an
optimistic agnostic whose great great great something grandma married
Joseph Smith! (supposedly) But we had a cool conversation with him and
he told us we could come back any time. We think he might have some
potential. 

I love you.

Here's the second part of my talk!

II.

"But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more
and more unto the perfect day.

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they
stumble." Proverbs 4:18-19

I was born of goodly parents and raised in a sacred home. I was taught
from my youth the plan of happiness. I learned I am a child of God,
and He has sent me here. I learned that Jesus loved me so He died for
me. I learned that I should say His name when I prayed, and not say it
when I didn't mean it.

In Sunday-school I was taught about Christ and the restoration and
organization of His church on earth. In Seminary I learned more about
the scriptures, the deepness of the doctrines of the word of God.  I
read the words of the ancients as if spoken from the dust, they spoke
of Him.  Of power and glory, of meekness and peace.

Although this brief act of life is all I know, all I can remember, I
believe that I am an eternal soul, born from the love of God. I
believe I was present when the foundations of life and the plan were
laid with Father as the architect and Jesus Christ as the builder. I
believe I was with Him in the beginning. I heard His council in the
heavenly realms. I loved Him and wanted to follow His example of
obedience to the Father. I wanted to be like Him.

I watched as He came to earth trailing glory, was born as man, faced
the trials and temptations of mortality and yet, lived a perfect life.
I watched Him be despised and rejected of men, suffer for all our sins
and afflictions, and die.

He died for us.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 He Is Risen!

Happy Easter!  It sounds like you guys had fun, and I had a wonderful holiday.  I completed the talk President Young asked us to do on the Atonement and turned it in Sunday on time (it was semi last minute but I guess that's just how I roll).  But it was wonderful to write.
On Saturday morning we performed our song, I Heard Him Come, at the ward Easter breakfast, and it went pretty good.  Elder Rushton and I recorded it without the piano and the sisters and we may possibly put it up on Facebook, but if not I'll just send one to you.

That night we had Elder Rushtons b-day party since we pretty much knew he was getting transferred, we went with our WML and the sisters to a mexican place then to an amazing little dessert cafe called Sweet Life.  Before that though we had gotten the transfer call and Elder Rushton was assigned to White City (I was soooooooo excited having been there and I made him a big long list of everyone he has to see) and my companion will be Elder Carroll who is descended from James Franklin Carroll which means we're related!  He was in my district in Corvallis.  He's awesome, I'm excited.  But sad for Elder Rushton.  He's gone and I'm waiting with some other missionaries.
Sunday's Easter program was awesome, we sang in the choir, then we just said bye to some people and packed the rest of the night.  We were up till 1:00..............  Normal life that was hard enough, but as a missionary it's terrible.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Life is good.  The Hendersons are still coming to church and Tara is still investigating.  They could both use your prayers though.  And we really need prayers that we'll find new people to teach.  But I love this area, it's great.  Tons of missionary potential.
I don't have my iPad right now which is my new brain in lieu of paper planners, so I KNOW there's something else I have to say but I can't think of what it is...  I did have some pictures to send you but those will have to wait.

I decided to send you my talk one segment at a time.  I'm not sure why I segmented it like this but I did.  Let's just say it's not a talk I would probably give in Sacrament Meeting, it's actually specifically for President Young.  It's definitely quite disjointed but I wrote from my heart and that's what counts. :) The first segment is definitely a little depressing, but it gets better!


I.

In darkness I walk, helpless and alone. The flames of the world led me
here, promising gold, but I find nothing. I heeded their siren song,
even though in my heart I knew the words were wrong.

"A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death,
without any order, and where the light is as darkness." Job 10:21-22

I hear a voice. "Come unto Christ. Because of Him, the chains of
despair are broken in pieces. Light may break forth to fill the
immensity of space, all the stars of the cosmos may sing together, and
all mankind may rejoice."

My heart swells with joy, can I truly be freed from this obscene dark
prison? I hasten towards the sound of the voice, I keep running, but I
see no one.

The mists in front of me begin to swirl like the fire that led me
here. My progress slows as I become mesmerized by the dark psychedelic
shapes. My soul longs for the promised light, but my heart is still
chained by darkness. My feet wander away.

The mists leave me in agony of despair. I do not notice their absence
until I hear the voice again. "Because of Him, I can begin again, and
again."

I knew the words were for me. With weakening limbs I arise, and
continue my search.
Love you sooooo!
Elder Georgia

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 14, 2014 Defying Gravity (FYI - some of these titles are from the Broadway musical "Wicked"-he's a fan)

My Dear Family,

Oh, how I love thee. 
So the weather here has been gorgeous, the rain has decided to vacation in Alaska or something, which has been quite nice for us. I haven't got much time, thanks so much for your nice long e-mails to me. 

This week we taught Tara and Elizabeth an awesome lesson, Tara is continuing to ponder on what we teach and considers joining. When she tells people hat Elizabeth was baptized they freak out and become concerned for her and give her all this anti-ness but Tara has become pretty confident that we will always have reasonable answers that make perfect sense. 
Teaching the Hendersons is going well also, we've gotten the Sisters much more involved to connect better with the 12 year old girl. We're going to be performing a musical number, "I Heard Him Come," at the Easter Breakfast this Saturday and we haven't even practiced yet! Yay! 
I loved your story mom. Oh and mom, I was wrong about Henrie, he lives in New Mexico. 
And you're the boss of your conference so you can do whatever you want, but Bro. Marks would be good. ♪( ´▽`) 
Gotta go defy gravity! 
Love, Elder Georgia

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 8, 2014 "Delighting in Fatness"

Dear homefolk,

Oregon spring is the best! So many flowers and joyfulness! And it's in
the 70's right now. So gorgeous. We had interviews yesterday so today
became p-day which is why I'm e-mailing today.
Conference was absolutely incredible. My most favoritest talk was
President Uchtdorf's from Sunday morning where he told us of the power
of gratitude and talked about eternity. So amazing. Elder Oak's talk
in Priesthood about priesthood and the authority of women was very
well said, and all three of the first presidency messages were awesome
in that session. I loved Elder Bednar's, and the 70 I can't remember
who talked about his wife jumping from the truck. We watched every
session of conference in a different place. Saturday morning was our
ward mission leader, afternoon was at pop's place, priesthood session
at a church building in the Springfield stake that happens to be
closer to us than our own building, then the DeGraws who drove us
there took us to a burger place. Sunday morning we had breakfast at
the DeGraws and watched the session, then last session was at the
Hendersons and I made them bacon cinnamon rolls!
*・゜゚・*:.。..。.:*・'(*゚▽゚*)'・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*
This week was grood, I can't remember if I told you about Jean, and my
iPad deleted my old sent emails, so we met Jean a few weeks ago
tracting before dinner, she was just next door to the members we were
eating with. She was an immediate, thanks but I have my own church,
but we offered service, gave her our number, said a prayer with her.
After the prayer she randomly volunteered the info that she had a
grandson who was a Mormon, who had even served a mission. She was
warming up to us. (^_−)−☆ so a few days later we got a call from jean
(who is a little old lady I should say) and she asked if we could
de-moss her roof for her. No one ever actually calls! This is not the
first time I have done this same job as you may recall. I'm quite the
expert now. So we borrowed some tools from her neighbor and got to
work, but this moss turned out to be a very devious and vicious
variety, so we called up the sisters and they came to help. It still
took two different sessions and about six hours total to get it done.
She was very grateful, and asked what she owed us (they always do),
she didn't become a new investigator, but it was good contact and she
has her Mormon neighbors to keep on her. It was fun.

Teaching and stuff is good, we need to find new investigators.

In case you've been wondering, the pad has all these foreign keyboards
and I got this Japanese one that makes those awesome faces.
ヽ( ̄д ̄;)ノ=3=3=3

Eternally love,
Elder Georgia

March 31, 2014 Dancing Through Life

Dear Familia,

This week was great!  Spring break, so lots of people out of town, but we taught the Hendersons, they came to dodgeball and church, fed us dinner, and the 12 yr. old girl wants to be baptized!

We had a zone conference this week, and it was awesome, as usual. I think the biggest thing I learned was about the power of prayer.  We started off with Joseph Smith's experience, his humble prayer he offered with so much faith, and later we talked about the importance of teaching sincere prayer. When we take the time to pray sincerely to our Heavenly Father every day, we will feel His love in our life. Never underestimate His willingness to answer prayers!

The gospel library app on my pad is so amazing! Lately I've been reading ensign articles, institute manuals, and of course, the scriptures, almost constantly. And there's such a great system for marking and collecting scriptures and quotes.

Mom, I have another speaker for your conference! He went home recently from our mission, he was homeschooled, was our a.p., writes music and plays it awesomely, and lives somewhere on the east coast.  I was thinking with all the emphasis on missionary work in the church, the homeschoolers should get on board. So if you want to take me up on that his name is Will Henrie and you can Facebook him, he's on my friend list.  Since he was a.p. He would be a good speaker and he could play music. :3 and don't forget Bro. Marks. :) wahaha.

I discovered a kind of toothpaste that is, believe it or not, mint chocolate flavored.  It tastes exactly like the ice cream. So amazing.....

I inserted this photo to show that I have completely rebelled against black clothing after the rules changed trololo.  Don't look too closely at our room, I didn't make my bed very well, our zone leader left some of his junk, and I'm using my suitcases for stuff until I can organize it or throw it all away. Or send it home.

Love love love!


Elder Georgia

March 20, 2014 The Wizard and I

Hello dearly beloved fabulocious familia!

You're awesome.

I just bought new shoes and belts and a sweater.  Why would I do such
a thing when I already have negative room in my suitcases you ask?
Because I'm a sucker for thrift shops.  I've developed a love for old
man clothes.....

The Hendersons came to church again this week which is only the second
time they've come as a family for years!  Sooooo happiness. Soon we
hope to get all the boys the priesthood so they can baptize the girl.
(They won't all baptize her)

There's some awesome people we're teaching here. And the members are
super cool. Love it. We did dodgeball on Friday and it was a smashing
success! We had these fancy expensive dodgeballs (this ward can be
kind of ridiculous) that you can throw far but don't hurt. We had
about 40 kids come from our ward and 1st ward with a pretty good
number of less actives and nonmembers. The Hendersons came and I
pretty much just watched them the whole time- they're so funny. And
really good at dodgeball. We began and ended with prayer and had a
spiritual thought at the end. This week we probably won't get as many
people, but next week we expect an enormous turnout.  It was so great
we spent like 5 minutes talking about it in ward council.

I am not looking forward to spring break. Everyone and their dog here
goes to Bermuda or something so we'll be left all alone in a ghost
town. We hope to find some new people!

I CANNOT WAIT FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE(hyperventilate)

I loves you all.

Most Elder Georgia

March 17, 2014 Seeing Green

Olo! Elder Georgia here! Coming to you from his one short day in the
Emerald City!

I really like it here in Santa Clara, which I have discovered is
really just another word for Eugene.

Elder Rushton is very cool. He was a music major so of course he's
super musical and pretty laid back. He's been in this area going on
six months by the end of this transfer so he'll definitely be ready to
move on... But for now he's fine with being here.

I use a lot of superlatives don't I? :[]

First Sunday here we got a very less active family to come to church!
They're awesome.  The week before I got here the elders baptized an
awesome 17 yr. old girl name: Elizabeth, and now we're teaching Tara,
her mom! Then last week the sisters in our ward had a baptism too,
which doubles the amount of baptisms this ward had last year! We're
rocking the boat! Yes this is the first time I've shared a ward with
sisters and yes it is kind of weird, but they're cool.

They just reorganized the Stake presidency and called our bishop as
one of the councilors and they haven't got a new bishop yet, on top of
that the ward mission leader is out of town, so it's kind of
awkward.... Regardless we are moving things forward and will be
starting an invite-your-friends dodgeball night this Friday at 8! Tell
your missionaries! It's awesome!

For my birthday I want... A very small amount of things. This last
move almost killed me and I'm going to have to send home or throw away
a lot of stuff before it happens again. Ties are nice, there's one cd, A Nashville Tribute to the Prophet Joseph, that I want. If I think of something else I'll tell you, and you can send whatever you want as long as it isn't very much please!

Everything here is green.

Love, Elder Georgia

March 10, 2014 To the Motherland!

I'm not going to Cottage Grove!  I won't!  Pretty close though!  I'm going to Santa Clara which is basically just a suburb of Eugene.  I've never been so close to the motherland (aka Sodom and Gomorrah) haha.  I'm prooty excited!  Super sad to leave Brookings but ready for a change!  My companion is Elder Rushton which is interesting because that's the elder I took over for here in Brookings.

Have Bro. Marks come to your conference it would be awesome!

No, adjusting to le iPads.

Matthew and Seth are going to be bestest friends one day.

Get better Adr!  Tell Adr-anne to write me!  Even though I haven't written her.... @ 3 <

Love, your Elder.


Fare thee well Brookings!

March 3, 2014

Hey Erryone!

Make sure you read that article I posted about Imagine Dragons.  That was awesome.

Hey Mother did you get Bro. Marks' letter?  You should give him a call.

Fast and testimony meeting yesterday was a-a-amazing.  Us elders had been getting up every month, but this month we didn't have time.  All the testimonies were about missionary work, and it seemed like most of them were from the youth.  One of the young women investigating bore her testimony, we had watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with her the day before, and she said after the movie she felt like she was wrapped up in an electric blanket for the rest of the day, and that she no longer had any doubts about the church.  She also comes to our mission prep classes.

Mom, you should always listen to the Holy Ghost.  I definitely do NOT like raisins. :)

Good to hear things are going well.  I pray for you guys all the time.

Love,
Elder Georgia

p.s. Oh yeah, I have an iPad.....  This week felt really weird.  We're having some minor adjustment issues... but it's awesome at the same time.

February 17, 2014

Dear family,

I am greatly Overperturbed and Disenunciated and Suprajoyed at the Lindy news.  Never fear, I have scolded her already and am now somewhat calm.

Happy Valentimes! (tines)  Thanks a ton for le package!  It was super great.  I loved the letters and such and the candy, and the cookies are fantabulous!  Mom, did you make them?  You've gotten really creative.  Did you use pudding mix?  I shared some of them with our mission prep class and they said to tell you they were delish!

Last night we were at our ward mission leader's house for dinner and his grandkids were over and we were teaching them a lesson when one of the granddaughters all of the sudden interjected with a referral.  To clarify, we have not been getting hardly any referrals, maybe one every three weeks, and this was entirely unexpected.  But this approx. 8 yr. old girl just asked us to visit a friend of hers who she had been inviting to church and faith in God.  It was a touching moment for me, because of her faith, and because of the tender mercy it was for us.

This week we taught 17 MCV's (lessons we teach to members).  The previous record was 5 trololo.  We taught 8 in one day [disclaimer: this was largely because our Zone Leaders came down and we split with them].

Nick is getting baptized this Saturday.  There was finally one thing he didn't accept super easily, which was not drinking tea.  But he agreed to live the Word of Wisdom, pray about it, and move forward in faith.  So we're super excited for his baptism, we hope the whole ward will be there and lots of nonmembers.

Well, I love you all tons!
Love,
<3

Elder Georgia <3 <3

Feb. 10, 2014 Groceries

Just thought I'd let you know, a sister in our ward bought us like five tons of groceries last week.  So your prayers are answered. :D

While I was in Corvallis I told you a bit about Eric, well I got news recently that he got baptized!  That's always good news to get.

MOM.  I have been absolutely failing in my duties as your son.  This week Bro. Marks, our ward mission leader, drove us to the medford temple (which is about a three hour drive) and talked pretty much the whole time.  But he has written a bunch of books about raising children, and "selecting a mate", he also wrote a program that taught all of his children to read before kindergarten, he has eight kids who were all extremely successful in highschool and continue to be successful, one of his sons lives in our ward and recently started homeschooling his six-or-so kids, another son is a professor on family values or studies or something who actually uses Bro. Marks books in his curriculum, and Bro. Marks is a fabulous public speaker, very wise and pretty hysterical.  All that hit me on the drive to the temple and I was like, duh!  He needs to get in contact with mom!  So I'm going to send you his reading program, and you should get in touch with him and fly him out to your conference!  Cuz it's cool to get flashy people like John Bytheway, but what you really need is down to earth people like Bro. Marks. ;)

We had a good week last week.  We finally taught Maya and Renee again, Nick is still progressing strong, We had an awesome lesson with Holly and Ray, and we remade contact with a few people who fell off the boat.  The Lawtons are among our favorite families to visit, They weren't able to come to church for various reasons, one being that Bro. Lawton-an in home health care provider-worked on Sunday.  Now we've been praying ever since I got here that they would be able to come to church.   So on Saturday we had dinner with them and he told us that the patient he took care of on Sunday had passed away suddenly....  Hmm.

Anyways, we had a really cool experience yesterday.  We were biking along the highway in the dark when we came across a man walking in the same direction.  Elder Antig (I have to brag about him a bit) always wants to talk to everyone he sees, so he slowed down and started talking to this guy as he walked.  He was cool, and said he respected us for what we did.  As we conversed he told us that he wished he had been more brave and had taught his girlfriend about Christ before she had passed away, and that he felt terrible about it now.  Because we were listening intently to what he was saying, we were then able to testify that all people will have the opportunity to hear the gospel, even after this life.  It was obvious that he was deeply impacted by what we said.  He didn't have a phone, and he lived with his uncle and didn't feel comfortable with us going there, so we gave him our number and told him where the church was and the time we met, so it's entirely up to him and Heavenly Father for him to learn more.  We'll be praying for him, and hoping he will make contact with us.

Love,
Elder Georgia


p.s. This song was written by an elder in the mission, Elder Henrie.  He was our AP last transfer, and he was also homeschooled.  He wrote it for an investigator, and it's awesome.

February 3, 2014

I know I'm terrible. Sorry this is short. Stuff at home sounds awesome! Poke Seth from me for being a stinker (but that's pretty funny). The work's going well. We're finding new people, more people are progressing, Elder Antig and I are doing good work, President Young has asked us to come unto Christ, to focus on building our own testimonies of him, being able to express them, and developing His attributes. To do that we're all writing 15 minute talks on coming unto Christ. It's gonna be awesome. So stay posted and I'll send it to you!
Eternal Loves,
Elder Georgia

January 27, 2014

This week was awesome.  It is transfers but I'm staying.  Elder Woestman is going home, and we'll miss him, but Elder Hall will do great as a replacement.  We had lots of great experiences with the youth of the ward this week.  They've been inviting their friends to be taught and inviting less-actives back, and the response has been amazing.  One young man, Christian invited his friend Nick to read the Book of Mormon, and to make a long story short, he'll be joining our church on February 22nd as he proudly announced in Priesthood yesterday.  Renee also wants to be taught again which fills our hearts with joy.  :D


Sorry this is super short, I'll send a good one next week!

Love muchas!

Elder Georgia

January 20, 2014 Why Does It Rain, Rain, Rain...

Just kidding it was gorgeous this week. :D

We just got our first box of new and improved 2014 Bom's.  They're awesome (they feel so soft).

I found some more cousins.  I'm fourth cousins with the Johnsons in our ward cuz they're direct descendants of Joel Hills.

As to sweets, the tupperware you sent for Christmas worked well to keep it all intact.

Luke doesn't take after me at all.  I don't know what you're talking about. = u =

Alvin came to church again this week which surprised us, so we're going to ask him to be baptized this week.  We were trying to make contact with a potential investigator who didn't answer his door, so we crossed the street and started knocking on his neighbor's doors.  The first door we knocked on told us he was busy but we could come back at 4:30.  We talked to a bunch of people who weren't interested but we went back at 4:30 and the first guy was awesome and we taught him and he's letting us come back.  I'll tell you more about him later.  We found another investigator next door to him too.

All four of us spoke at church.  It was awesome.  I might send you my talk.

Gotta go love you!


Elder Georgia

January 13, 2014 Oh Rain!

The weather was beautiful.  i.e. we got soaked.

I'm glad to hear the chitlins are being good (ish) and having fun.  That home teaching appointment sounds like it was hilarious, and I'm proud of Luke and Age for containing themselves.

This week was sweet.  Elder Woestman and I sent our children up to North Bend to be on exchanges with the Zone Leaders while we worked down in Brookings.  We had almost straight teaching appointments the whole time.  It was awesome.

Bro. Stonebreaker asked us many times to visit his friend, Scott, who had been taught by missionaries before but was kind of dropped, and we tried stopping by and calling but we never got a hold of him.  So on Thursday we tried again.  The screen door was shut but the door was wide open and there were lights on in the house so we knocked.  And we knocked.  And knocked and knocked and knocked and knocked and I wanted to leave but Elder Antig said we should knock more and suddenly... some chihuahuas came and started barking at us, so we knocked some more then we gave up and just before we walked around the corner of the shed Elder Antig glanced back and saw Scott!  So we went and talked to him.  He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he's been taught all the lessons but he's still smoking so we asked if we could set up a time to meet with him and he was like, how bout we just talk about it at church?  And we were like, yeah.  So he came to church and stayed all three hours and it was fantastic.  Alvin came to church too!  He's the sweetest old man who absolutely loves us but seems incapable of accepting the message of the Restoration.  We keep working on him though.

We had interviews with President Young this week and he mentioned he would like to send Sisters to Brookings, whether he'll add another set or just replace a set of Elders is up in the air, and it probably won't happen for a little while, but we mentioned it to Bro. Marks (our wml) and in Ward Council he got up and announced that Sisters were coming and we needed to prepare for them (facepalm).  That Ward Council exploded with excitement. (I bet that never happens to your ward council eh Dad? ;)  We had to clarify the particulars but it was pretty awesome.

Does Haymarket have multiple sets of missionaries?  Do they have iPads?

TTFN!


Elder Georgia

January 6, 2014

Hey fam!

Thank you so much for all the awesome Christmas presents!  If I already said that I say it again.

For New Years we watched Monster's University.  Infinite lawls.

Last week we met a less-active/part-member family who are super awesome.  We set up a return appointment for Thursday at 5:00 forgetting that the senior fireside/potluck was at that time so when the day came we were thinking of just dropping by at 4:00 instead but something came up that kept us from that so it was close to 5:00 and we were wondering how solid of an appointment it really was and if they actually remembered we were coming (hey, our dinner was at stake!) but we decided to head over there and we got there right after the nonmember husband got home.  They invited us right in and the husband told us he was glad we were so prompt, he usually left work around 5:00 but he made sure to get there right on time because of our appointment.  I was so glad the Spirit prompted us to go!  We had a great lesson with them, talked about their religious views, shared the message of the Restoration, and got a return appointment.

On Sunday we dropped in to visit a former investigator I had met once before, but this time he and his wife were both home and they invited us in and started talking about their past experience with missionaries but we had dinner coming up so they asked us to come back afterwards!  We did, and we spent... two and a half hours... just talking to them about the gospel.  It was awesome but bad.  We're not supposed to be at someone's house for so long, but they're so open and have so many questions.  So it was pretty sweet.

Well, that's pretty much all I have to say!  Hope you have a great week!

Loves,

Elder Georgia