Thursday, September 3, 2015

August 31, 2015 - End of August

Hi all!!

Sorry for getting a later email to all of you. But I have a pretty good reason. So each transfer the mission plays football down on the Mall and this P-Day was the day. So we played football right in between the Washington and WWII monuments. SO COOL! It was my first time in DC since being out on the mission so it was fun being back up there, and of course it was fun to play football again. And then it had some pretty good back drops to be another plus:) So I will answer all your questions first and then get to my week.

So my apartment is a little small and from what I hear it is about the average apartment, some nicer but ours is still nice! I will try to send pictures of it next week. We share our apartment with another companionship of Elders. Elder Summit and Elder Dawson. They are both really cool! Elder Summit has been out for a little over a year, and he reminds me of Garret. He went to Mountain Crest and was in the band oh and he's about 6'7. Elder Dawson is a visa waiter for Angola so he is kinda trunky wanting to get to his real mission. My schedule is pretty normal. We have a weight set in our living room that we work out on. We are allowed to go to the Gym in this mission, but usually there is either weights in your apartment or the complex has a gym. So our gym is just right outside my room haha. So I throw a little bit of weight around in the morning but I need to get better at working out. So our area is really big. About 40 min across the ward boundaries so we spend a lot of time in the car. So yeah our area is just one Ward. The White Plains 2nd ward, but it is a really big area. But it is cool to be the missionaries of the ward because we get really close to the members here. I got my bike the first day I was here and I have yet to ride it. I will punch in addresses into our Garmin and we will have like a 20-30 min drive sometimes to the next house we are visiting. We keep a log of miles per month so as an example our car put in 1,990 miles this month.. So yeah lots of driving. But our area is one of the biggest so I will get to my bike eventually, which I really wouldn't mind. Especially with how much food the members put in front of us all the time haha Weather right now is pretty hot and humid. It is about 90 and humid so its pretty bad. I wear a short sleeve every day except when I have to wear my suit to church or to meetings. As for seeing other missionaries in the Zone/District we have a meeting every Thursday that we just do both our Zone and District meetings. (Elder Mcdonald is in my Zone so I love that!) 

So here is a run down of the past week..

Tuesday was a Zone Conference with Elder Perkins from the Seventy. He was really cool and gave us lots of good insight especially on finding people to teach. Right now that is the hardest thing for the mission and I can say that is really hard for us down in WP2 (White Plains 2nd) as well. Right now we have like 3 investigators but they are all cheese (mission slang for a soft investigator that really isn't going anywhere and will probably be dropped soon). So I have yet to teach an investigator lesson. That is super frustrating but I think it is good so I get some experience right off the block doing tracting and contacting. Plus we put a lot of time into teaching less actives from the Ward as well as recent converts.

Wednesday we had a new missionary meeting up in Kentland. (Area kinda by the Temple). So we had to leave around 7 to get to a 9:30 meeting with all that famous DC traffic. But the Kentland chapel is a really cool building, nothing like any church building we have at home! But that meeting was really good. Plus I got to see Elder Mcdonald and Elder Jackson. As well as all the other missionaries I came in with like Elder Kohler. The meeting was a lot of what is expected of us. Plus Sister Cooke gave a big presentation on what to make sure we see while we are here so that was really fun and made me want to get back to DC. So I am glad we got up there today.

Thursday was really fun! We had what are called the traveling trainers or what we like to call the home teachers with us! So it is a companionship of more senior Elders who are assigned to go on splits with all the missionaries. They are pretty much traveling AP's. It is a totally sweet gig that I wouldn't mind doing later on down the road. So since I am a new-bey they came with us. So Elder Thornton and Elder Tanner were with us for the day. Elder Thornton served in WP2 so he loved being down here again.

Friday we did service at this really interesting less active lady's house. So she is an ex-temple worker who has gone 100% inactive. She is a single sister and says the church is all about families so she feels like she doesn't have a place in the church. She is a little crazy but it was nice serving her. We do service at here house every other week and then she gets pizza for us from this place called Ledos. Which is super good! I know service is suppose to be free but I guess she insists and says that she wants to feed us since she can't have us over for dinner unless we get another member to come since she is a single lady in the house. So we pulled out some trees and weeds for her and man did I feel the Maryland humidity that day! Later that night we went over to this guys named Adam's house. He was baptized about 3 years ago and is probably about 25. He has a little daughter with and ex-girlfriend from before he got baptized that he shares custody with. So he got back into smoking and he just quit last Saturday! And he is super awesome. He wants to get worthy to go to the temple in a little while! And he gave us a list of questions so we are teaching him weekly now. (Actually later tonight!) Then his parents came over who are in the ward as well. Adam was going out of town so Bro Beal asked if he could give him a blessing before he left. Adam asked if we would stay and be in the circle. So turns out this was his first fathers blessing because Bro/Sis Beal are recent converts as well. Is was such an amazing experience! Really that was the moment where I realized that even though I haven't taught an investigator yet, that I am still doing good things out here on the mission!

Saturday was a run of the mill day as a missionary with lots of tracting and checking on less actives. It really was pretty tough. It was one of those days where people just slammed the door because they "didn't have time" "don't accept solicitors" "was happy with their religion" "don't wanna hear it" Really it kinda sucked... But we got to go the the Beals for dinner! They are awesome and they had a non member friend come to eat with us! We got to have a great breakfast for dinner. (We requested that when she asked what we wanted cause we always eat good dinners but have to make ourselves ok breakfasts haha). Then we got to teach an amazing lesson about the Book of Mormon to both the Beals and their friend. It was our lesson plan when we showed up and didn't even know about their friend so it worked out great! 

Overall things down here in So. Maryland is going good! Obviously I really wanna teach an investigator but things are good. Our purpose as missionaries is to bring all closer to Christ. Yes, it is best if we can baptize those we bring closer, but if someone that says no at the door but looks at the pass along card we give them thinks about Christ then we brought them one step closer. Hopefully they might sometime check out and request the missionaries in the future. But most of all what I have learned is that we are to bring ALL closer to Christ. And that includes me. So if at the end of the day I can at least know I brought myself closer through my studies and working. That is the biggest thing, just working hard. At the end of the day even if it was a door slamming day, I want to lay my head down on the pillow at night knowing that I worked hard. It is so much better knowing I worked hard than just sat around and didn't work.

Well I love you all and hope you are all doing good! 

Love you all!!

Here are some pictures from eating dinner at the Beals.  Speaking of eating Mom you should be proud that in the MTC I ate at least a fruit or vegetable with every meal. Yes I know it is suppose to be both but I am making progress haha. Today at Costco I bought a huge bag of Broccoli so yes praise me on that one haha.

Here are some pictures of what I look at daily. It really is gorgeous! I forget sometimes I am serving in DC!

Elder Mcdonald came down for football so it was way fun to see him! Pretty good back drop for some football too huh?:)

I still have a few pictures from the MTC. My district on our last night at the MTC

and look at the big asian I ran into a few times!


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