Well quick little note - I did not go to Bristol, TN, but just across the border to Bristol, VA. We cover both, but we live on the Virginia side. So my new companion is Elder Anderson. He is from Denver Colorado. I'm finishing his training and he is a pretty fun guy. So this week has been pretty good.
Monday we got the transfer calls. Then we went to the Chattanooga Zoo with a few other missionaries. It was pretty fun. Later that night we had a lesson with Zack. We talked about the Priesthood and the different Priesthood auxiliaries in the church. It was a pretty good lesson.
Tuesday we met with Olivia and Rebecca. We talked about how we don't have to know everything to show our faith and act upon it. We are hoping Olivia was able to talk with her parents when she was home so she can reach the date she set for baptism. Later we went and did some more tracting. We also stopped by to see how Jarvis was doing and so I could say goodbye. He gave us some sweet potato pie that was really good. Funny experience we had as we biked over: We are working on talking with everyone we see and as we were riding our bikes, we saw a guy in his driveway that was wearing a black shirt, some camo pants, and boots. So Elder Thomas, being a hunter, stopped and asked how he was doing and if he was getting ready to go hunting. He responds with, "What the *!?%$* does that mean?" E. Thomas said that he asked because he looked like he was getting ready to go hunting and said that he was a hunter himself. The man responds with, "I *!?%&* hate hunters! I'm a *!?%&* vegetarian!" We then said "Oh, OK. Well, have a good day" and left. I'm pretty sure that guy just woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day. We just laughed it off – that just did not go as planned. Later that night we went out with Bro Smith. We went and had a lesson with a referral and it went pretty well. Hopefully he will follow through and progress in the gospel.
Wednesday we set off for transfers. We had to be there earlier than most of the missionaries because Elder Thomas needed to go to Trainer training. So I got to chill with some of the other early missionaries. Elder Mcleod was there, mainly because he is now AP, but I got to talk with him a little bit. There were a couple other missionaries I knew and so it was good to see them again. Once transfers came in, I saw a few others I knew as well. I also saw Elder Christensen again. I then got to meet Elder Anderson. I also met Elder Thomas's greenie, or my “grandson,” Elder Myers who is also from Boise. We then headed off back to our new areas. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch before we left Knoxville. Then we set out for another 2 hour drive back to Bristol. Later that day, we went to the hospital to give a blessing to an investigator's dad. We gave him a blessing and he was crying afterwards and was so thankful. We offered to give the husband and wife blessings of comfort as well. After those three blessings, the Spirit was just so strong in there. We had a great time with them. We are hoping that we can start working with them a little more.
Thursday for Thanksgiving we got to go to a Turkey Bowl that morning. I was so pumped. It was only us and two other families so we played 4v4. Even though it was small, it was really fun. We then went home and changed and headed off to a part-member home. We ate and then played some games with them. We had to leave and go to our next appointment, which was at another member’s home and we ate there too. Then after that we went to our last appointment with two recently returned missionaries who are married and their families and friends. We ate there too and that one was a little more difficult to finish the plate. So that was my Thanksgiving this year. Luckily I was feeling better this year than last year when I got sick.
Friday we had District meeting. It is much different than my last District because my last one had 5 companionships and this one just has 3. Later we did some tracting and found a few people to go see again. After our finding, we had a lesson with a less-active member and his non-member wife. It was a frustrating lesson for me. It was a great lesson, but just frustrating because they were pretty stubborn and didn't want to really go to any effort to get answers to their prayers. She said that she is waiting to be guided by God on which church to go to. She doesn't want to leap ahead and make a mistake which is understandable, but you can still go to different churches without joining them. So I asked her, "How do you know which church God wants you to go to if you don't go to any? Won't you get an answer if you are there or after you went you prayed about it?" It’s hard for God to guide us when we refuse to act and just sit back and wait for something to happen. I looked at her husband as she responded and he was just smiling and nodding because he agreed with me. I thought that was pretty funny. There were a lot of other things that I wanted to say, but didn't because I didn't get the chance. We are going to continue to help them and work with them.
Saturday we went and did service in some really cold weather as we helped a member with her "farm." She has a few chickens and ducks and then we just do other miscellaneous chores around the yard. Then we helped a less-active move a couch into his apartment. That was an interesting adventure. Then we went out and did a lot of less-active hunting. We found a few new investigators as we went because I'm working on talking to everyone. Some of these people were outside and I went up and just started talking to them. So I'm glad that was improvement from even just a week ago. We were able to share the “Light the World” initiative with some of the less-actives as well. We even shared it with the Bishop here. He loved it and we told him about how they can possibly get a temple built here in the near future if temple attendance starts picking up. He got super excited at the possibility.
Sunday I got to meet the ward and it’s about the same size as the White House Ward. There are a lot of really nice, cool people here. Later we had a sweet lesson with one of our investigators that afternoon. He is currently working towards being baptized. There isn't a date set yet, but we are working on that.
So if you haven't heard, the new Christmas season initiative is entitled “Light the World.” On mormon.org there is a sweet 2 minute video about our Savior. The whole point of this event is to get everyone involved with serving others and brightening up someone's day. There is an advent calendar that goes with this for every day of December. It gives ideas each day of how we can simply serve someone else. There are videos to go with each day as well for 25 days with over 25 ways. This is just the start. The point is to get everyone in the habit of always helping others. If we lose ourselves, serve others, and not focus on ourselves as much, we will have more happiness. There is no greater light than the Light of Christ that is within each and every one of us. "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which art in Heaven." As the world gets darker and darker, we need to be the ones that turn the lights on in other people's lives. As we turn them on in other people's lives, we turn them on in our own lives during the process. I encourage all of you to go check this out and to get involved with this great, simple event. If you do, the Spirit of God will be in your life more and the people you serve will be so happy and because they are happy, you will be happy as well. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
My new address is 847 Old Airport Rd. Apt. 7 Bristol, VA 24201
|3 Generations - Me, Son (my Trainee), Grandson (my Trainee's Trainee)|
|New Companion - E. Anderson|