So its been an interesting week Down here in Virginia.
As some of you may have heard there was an Earthquake in Virginia! It was pretty sweet! I was in the house talking on the phone to an less active when all of a sudden I heard this mighty rumbling beneath the floor. At first I thought a large truck was maybe passing down our street or that it was the train. But after a moment it clicked that this was something bigger. Elder Bolan exclaimed "I think its a Earthquake!" and proceeded to jump in the Door Frame. It was pretty sweet though it lasted maybe 15 seconds. But there was no damage hear nor anything really major besides that all the phone lines got tied up and I couldn't make any calls for about an hour. That was a pain. But I've now been in an earthquake!!
We were also scheduled for a Hurricane to hit this past weekend. It fizzled down to nearly nothing and we Didn't get any rain here the day it was supposed to make landfall. We did go through a pretty Messed up rain/Lightening storm last Thursday driving back from Buena Vista. We had an another awesome zone conference with Pres Pitt. Mission presidents have an amazing ability to expound Doctrine! You can learn so much from their insights! On the way back we had to take it pretty slow as the rain was causing large puddles to form instantly on the Roads, but he Impreza has taken good care of us thus far.
So that Covers the Rumble and wind, But what of the Itch you may ask? Well I almost mentioned it last week but I didn't think it was very much at the time. This week I found out I got much more than I bargained for. The Wednesday before last we decided to help out a Family with some of the weeds around their house. Some of them were literally as tall as I was. So I got right in there and started lopping them down with some hedge trimmers. Then later I took everything down to the Root with a Weed wacker. I cut down a small forest enveloping their house. when I was done I looked like the Big Green Giant covered head to toe with Munched up greenery. Just like back home working on the Golf Course. Unlike the Plants of the golf course though, some of the indigenous weeds found here in the east are not very friendly... starting Friday I noticed that my arms were rather itchy and I was waking up in the night Scratching. It wasn't until Tuesday night that the real rash started appearing all over my body. small Red bumps soon turned into large clusters where the skin would turn bright red and swell a great deal. By Thursday morning we had confirmed that it was Either Poison oak or Ivy. And it was Just about everywhere on me. FUN STUFF RIGHT? Luckily I got hold of the Mission Dr. who prescribed me some Prednizone and itch cream so I've been managing much better. It still itches but the worst is by far gone. Sometimes I'm not sure about this whole East thing. They got some messed up stuff over here but I guess its still a pretty great place haha.
With all of that going on our week was slightly less productive than most. But we were able to teach 2 awesome lessons last night and we still have Tiffiney on goal for Baptism coming up! I'm stoked to end the Baptismal Drought in the Branch. And with any luck in the coming weeks we'll have a few more dates posted.
We'll I think that's all for now. I love you tons!
I love you tons more when I get mail too ;) ahah
Hey So this Weeks is going to have to be a quick one. The Library filled up and things are way slow!! No Good! Also no pictures till next week at least. sorry!
But I'll get straight on to the good news then. We've had some really great Progress this past week with our investigators. We set a solid date for one on Sept 17th! I'm also hoping to set another date later this week but we'll see. Its so cool to see how the Gospel changes lives. I've had a huge testimony boost of this lately.
We had a lesson with Tiffiney and Josh. Josh hasn't been around much lately but since Tiffineys been back she's had some tremendous changes. Josh has noticed too and he really wants to change as well. It was especially cool when She bore her testimony to Josh about how happy she is now and how much her Baptism means to her. At first I was worried that Josh's interest was just so he could be with Tiff but in a later meeting we learned of his sincere desires to change and to be a better man in his life.
Tiffiney was able to make it to church this week and she looks so much different than when I first started meeting with her back in May. And no only in appearence but you can actually see that she's more peaceful and happy. Super cool!
This week we have another Zone Meeting which means more Pres. Pitt and probably some more nifty little surprises that are going to change the mission. I'm excited to see what both he and the Lord have planned for us next!
So Today as we were driving to the Library I noticed that there was an absurd amount of cars parked in the School parking lot. It baffled me for a moment until I remembered that School's back in session as of today for all of Pittsylvania County! HAHAHA Oh man I love being graduated from high school. I just had to throw that in.
Transfers were this last week. Only the zone leaders and Ourselves Stayed the same. All other areas were changed up some. So the next Zone meeting should be an interesting one. I was sad to see Elder Houghton go. We have some great plans to get together in the Future and Rock the World. Also a good deal of the elders down here have been trying to get me to think about going to Utah State University. I'm not so sure about it, but there are some pretty awesome people that I've met that are going there. I'm not sure thats enough to make me want to go but its a start. Anyways.
The rest of this week has been more of a quite one. Friday was spent mostly doing various service projects for different people. Lawn mowing, Bingo, visiting Ect. All good stuff. Oh Saturday we spent 2 hours tracting and knocked on 8 houses! Saw a lot of beautiful country side. On the Last house we knocked we stopped and talked to a man for well over an hour. He said we could come back and talk some more and we had a really great time. Sadly he's only visiting in town from Florida. So no new investigator but Heavenly Father did lead us to share the Gospel with someone. So our efforts walking miles around in the heat were not in Vain! There are many Tender Mercies that our Father in Heaven has given us. I've been reminded of a few this past week. Especially Sunday as there was a Baptism! It wasn't a missionary Baptism however, But a former member had made changes in their lives to work hard to get back into the Gospel. Seeing the changes that people will go through to feel the blessings of the Church is amazing! They were so happy being able to come out of the water again as a new person.
Well I'm going to have to Cut this one short but I'm so happy to be a missionary right now. I know the Gospel is true and its so wonderful to see if make other so happy and give people hope and comfort here.
Sorry for the delay on emails this week. I forgot to mention that tomorrow was transfers and thus Tuesday (today) would be emails and not Monday. But Alas here I am!
Its been pretty crazy this last week. Lots of Driving. We had to drive to Buena Vista for a Zone meeting, and from there we piled in the back of a Malibu for another hour to Roanoke For a special training meeting. The training meeting was great! There's exciting things going on in the Missionary world. The First Presidency has just rolled out the new Unified Train the Trainer for missionaries. Its an intense program which has a very structured 12 week program to follow for all new missionaries Globally. It also includes some new hardware. We got a Portable DVD player added to our apartment! Pretty soon all missionaries will get them but seeing as we are training using the Preach my Gospel Dvds we get first dibs on the new Tech. Sadly we can't take them out of the apartments to use in our teaching but thus far its been a great tool for morning studies. Our companionship study has improved immensely. I was running out of things to go over with Elder Bolan but I knew there was so much left to cover. Now we get a full 2 hours for companionship study and we almost always run out of time on what I want to accomplish. Much more productive. New missionaries are going to be much better teachers from here on out. I wish that I had the opportunity to go through this but at least as a trainer I get to do it as well and perhaps even benefit more from it now. So that's the main bit of exciting news. I'm part of the first generation of the new training program!
Aside from that this week we've done a lot of running around Gretna. We had some good Book of Mormon Loans tracting, which is impressive considering how few houses we knock due to mass distances between properties. Have some new investigators! Oh and on Sunday we had some great news! One of our old investigators returned from North Carolina and is working to set up a date for baptism again and Also We had another investigator in Sunday school who said she really wanted to be baptized and wanted to know right away what she needed to do in order to prepare for one! So we should finally see some baptisms lining up this upcoming Transfer! I'm pretty stoked and I know that Elder Bolan is too. I really hope that we can make things work out to get these two in the water quickly.
I most of the Zone is transferring out which is sad because we've had an awesome Zone. I love everyone that I've worked with so far. But its kinda neat too because we'll be getting the only other Canadian Missionary currently in the mission to our district! We'll be the Maple leaf District!! I'm way excited for that. Elder Jensen is going to try to secure me a copy of O Canada for our Next District meeting. I've had to play all of their patriotic Songs, Its time for some Canada!
We'll I'd best be running and getting everything ready for the rest of the week. I miss ya'll lots. Can't wait to see your letters in the Mail ;)
Oh man I ate too much Chinese food too quickly today. The reason why I'm doing emails kinda late is because we went with the L1 Elder To Appomattox today. Its a town in there area which was were Gen. Lee surrendered with the Confederate army to the union and ended the war. It was pretty neat because up till now I haven't been able to stop and spend anytime in Civil war sites. This is a pretty important one so I was pretty stoked. A member from their area, Bro. King, took us and gave us a bit of a guided tour, then took us out to Chinese for lunch. We stopped by his place for a little while and showed us his Dairy goats. We got Some Cheese and Feta!! I'm excited to go home and eat some more later on. Anyways that's been my P-day so far.
Sunday was a busy day for us in Church. It being a branch and the 5th Sunday of the Month it automatically designates us for giving talks in Sacrament meeting. I was a little worried for Elder Bolan Because he informed me that the longest talk he'd ever given was 7 mins. That was his Farewell talk. Our assignment was for 20+mins and he was to go first. So I was a little worried he was going to hang me out to dry but He did a good job and was able to pull up a solid 18 mins. I also kicked myself for sending home some of my previous talks that I've given. I could have saved them and improved upon them instead of rewriting them. I've learned. But we got through that well and I did an ok job of winging a Sunday school Lesson. Then we tried to go out and visit a bunch of less actives in Hurt, a little town on the northern edge of our area. I think we tried 7 or 8 houses and no one was home. Lame. Its always a little frustrating when you think you've got lots to do then it all fizzles out and you have to make plans on the fly. But we did alright. We finally got to the Covingtons, who fed us well and sent us on our way to Lynchburg.
Earlier this week we had our first interviews with President Pitt!! It was awesome to be able to spend some time with him and his wife and get to know them a little better. He's also a great man, who's got a different style of doing things than Pres. Thornock but he's already gained my trust in his abilities to run the mission and to seek spiritual guidance from. It was awesome!
Oh I think I forgot to mention that a few weeks ago I had to play piano in Sacrament meeting for a musical Number. First public performance I've given since I was probably about 11 or 12. I practised as much as our schedule would allow and I did alright. I had a few more hiccups than I would have liked but I got through it and the Branch seemed to enjoy it.
I found out today that I'll be staying in Gretna for sure for at least another transfer. It was expected anyways but Now I know for sure. they're Introducing a whole new training curriculum and they want those who are half way through training to start working on it too. So on Wednesday after our Zone Meeting we'll be heading into Roanoke again for some Train the Trainer meeting. Sadly I don't believe I'll be able to spend anytime visiting anyone there because their zone leaders will be driving us and we'll have to make it back to Gretna that night from Buena Vista. Crazy day but it should be fun. Well I think that's all the big things going on so far.