Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just another week in Hinesville Georgia.....

May 27, 2013

I cant believe that another week has already gone by. and yet, this week was probably one of the slowest ones yet.. me and my companion werent able to get much teaching done. but thats okay. we still felt that we did a good job. we were knocking doors and we were able to talk to people quickly and give them books of mormon. we have a couple people that we have talked to and are hoping to go this week and fellowship with them and talk about the gospel with them.  the people of georgia are really open and willing to talk, if you find the right people. some people will tell you they already know jesus and say no thanks to our message. its getting frustrating. 

yesterday, me and elder meiling had to give talks in sacrament meeting. both on repentance. it was a good time. i learned new things and it has helped me out even more that i could have ever imagined. 

Today is Memorial Day, and being next to a Military Base, we are hoping for something really cool to happen. We email from the church and we are going to be playing volleyball with the people here and have a bbq after! we also have FHE with a family later tonight so we will be fed today.. i am excited..

yeah, nothing much happened this week, so i dont have much to write! oh well. it will take time.. 

Elder Bodily

Mom here~
I had the difficult task this week of informing him that a close family friend had passed away unexpectedly.  This was his poignant reply:

i seriously just started to cry reading that.. i am speechless.. please tell aubrey i am here too. i dont have her email but i would love to email her..  that is amazing that she came to you first.. she really does love you. i am so grateful for the memories our families shared. please convey that with them. if i could be there, i would.. but, i am unable to. i am here trying to find people that would listen to this exact message. that our families can be together forever! that is the beautiful thing about this church. we can be with our families forever!  i am glad i didnt hear her sing again though.. i would have been bawling!  
thinking back now, i am so glad we were able to spend time with them a couple months ago. our families are connected.  please tell aubrey and curtis and heather that i love them so much.

My hope for all who read this is that you'll take time this week to call that friend and tell him/her how much they mean to you.  Also, draw your families close and be grateful for the knowledge that Families Can Be Together Forever.

With much love~
Momma Bodily

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Weather in Georgia~


Hey everyone! 

this week has been another up and down week. lots of things on my mind. for the mission we did a thing that we would focus on different aspect of the gospel for each day. for example, one day was sacrifice, another was forgiveness, and another one was service and a couple others. it was really helpful to have a day set aside for that topic and we would focus on it for the day.  on the day focused on sacrifice, it was fun. with the car we drive, we have a miles limit for the month. so on sacrifice day, we put a sticky note over it, "Dont worry about a thing", and it worked for the most part! we stopped in this area and we tracted a bit. we call it the "Dead Zone" because on our ward map and roster, no one lives in this area. it is pretty big. so we tracted this area. we found 5 people and set up return appointments with all them! it was pretty special. it helped out a lot. 
the rest of the week, not so exciting. we were supposed to have two baptisms on sunday. both fell through. apparently the girl has been baptized before but the mom never sent the paper work in. it is all just confusing. we really rushed it haha. could you blame us though?? and then also, our 13 yr old who is on probation, Stephan, we are still working on him, but his family is going out of town for the weekends for the next couple weeks so we had to cancel all those plans. it was a downhearted day. yeah, we lost all three in like a 5 hour span. so we decided to park at sonic and get half priced drinks. yay!  but we have met a bunch of awesome people. they are open to the message so we befriend them and then set up a time to go back and talk more. it is neat. 

we were going through our ward roster looking at less active people we could visit and it took us to this area called "Happy Acres"... yeah, not so happy. it is a mobile home park that each mobile home is colored a different color with designs and yeah... kinda creapy. looks like an area that a horror movie could be filmed in. so me and my companion high tailed it out of there.. 

last night was a special night. It was Stake Priesthood meeting up in Savannah. it was a good experience. it strengthened my testimony of the priesthood and the power it has and the responsibilities that come with it.  but the weather last night was even better. lots and lots of rain. and thunder and lightning. and a tornado warning!! i love it. after the meeting was over, the air was so humid. it felt amazing. it smelled good too. im starting to love it. 

anyways, until next week! I love you all! 
Elder Bodily

Mothers of missionaries should not know of these things until the missionary returns home!

Painted mobile home park . . . (cue creepy music!)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

When Kevin's older brother, Justin, entered the mission field Trevor was just six years old.  The week that he entered the mission home, Trevor began to pray nightly, "Don't let the mission home burn down."  Obviously those prayers were answered because the mission home is still standing!  

On Facebook I used to post "Trevor-isms" which were funny, insightful things (like the mission home prayers) that Trevor would say.  You see, from the time that boy could talk, he seemed to know more about the world than the grown-ups he lived with.  Now that he's 11, those "Trevor-isms" have become scarce.  Until tonight.

Trevor and Kevin

Trevor said our family prayer and in it he sincerely asked, "watch over Kevin and protect him, especially if he goes to the wrong house and that guy doesn't like You."

It's a sad thought that there are people in the world that don't like God, and more so for a mother whose child is spending two years searching for people who want to know more, but will occasionally run into those folks who do not want to hear a message of hope, love and sacrifice. Apparently an 11 year old brother has the same concerns. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Even after our Mother's Day phone visit, he still had plenty to say in today's email:  

May 13, 2013


What a crazy week it has been for me. it has been very hard, not going to lie. but when i get on my knees every night to pray, it all seems to get better. i just need to have patience and realize i cant share God's love with everyone in a single day!
 I got to experience my first real P-Day in the mission field. it was pretty sweet. That night we went to a members house who lives on the army base. he is a crazy dude. part indian, irish, i dont know what else. he is such a cool guy. it was a good stress reliever to throw knives and sword fight with bamboo haha. and learn jujitsu also! these army guys sure know some cool stuff! i have yet to experience real southern food. we had a zone conference up in savannah and afterwards we went and ate at Golden Coral!! oh yeah! but it was a good experience. 
This week we have went around tracted around a bunch of different areas. we are still working with Nate Lyons and Messan Allado and Chris Carter. Nate Lyons is a genius. he reads a bunch. he sat down one day and taught himself how to read korean, arabic, portugese, spanish, swedish, and a couple other languages, all in different days. he is so cool. So nice. we visit him quite often. He has been working on sundays so he hasnt been able to come to church since he was baptized. but that will change next week. him and his sister will be there! Chris Carter is another amazing guy. he is involved with gangs and all that, so we have protection if we need it. we were talking to him about the downfall of the Nephites. and he read the stories of the final battles and the giant slaughters and you could see the pain in his eyes when he talked about it. it was really touching.

also when we were out tracting and talking to people, me and elder meiling saw a man sitting on his porch. so we decided, lets do it. so we started walking up to him and he asked how we were and then we started to introduce ourselves and he interupted us and said, yeah i know, i am a member! wow! sitting on his porch with his sweet tea and cig. butts in his ash pot. it was funny. we had a good talk with him. i saw a pineapple thing around his doorbell and so talked to him about my family having 300 little and big pineapples in our house. he said it was the symbol for southern hospitality. it was cool. and then he gave me and meiling a movie about war veterans and that, sponsered by the church, called "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled". we watched it and learned a lot. so we might show it to the army guys when they get back in a couple months. its going to be awesome. something we learned from that is that the Angel Moroni who is the one of the most spiritual guys in the Book of Mormon, one of the key parts, who is on the temples, was also one of the best army guys around. it was kindof neat to think about that. i wont ever look at a temple again the same..

so in July, there is going to be a new mission next door, the Georgia Macon Mission. it is drawing from the surrounding missions. the Mission Pres and his wife are really good friends with my Mom and Dad. so i feel that i will be switching missions come next month! i will learn on June 13! Either way i am so excited!! 

oh! yesterday, we had two people come up to us. she thought she has been a member and was baptized and all, but apparently not. they had checked with SLC too.. so from that quick hour meeting, because they both have been coming to church for years and know how to live and everything, and are living worthily, we have two baptisms set up for sunday! and then another the following sunday!

oh how the lord works miracles. 

i love this gospel!  
Elder Bodily.

A home flying the Stars and Bars.  He's in the South for sure!

A custom paint job on a Nissan 350 Z.  They visited with the owners who had sanded and painted the car themselves.

An establishment that caught Kevin's attention!
He reported that it was not up to Twileberries' standards!

Where he is currently living.  By mission standards, it's posh!

Kevin's favorite sighting!  Go Cowboys!!

Monday, May 6, 2013


Disclaimer:  I will post Kevin's letters in their original form, including spelling and punctuation typos.  I blame texting for his poor habits!  

May 6, 2013

Oh my goodness i dont even know where to begin with this letter! 

This past week has gone by so slow and yet so fast! so many things have happened i dont know where to start! 
i suppose i could start from the plane ride! i got to sit next to an elder burgan from england, he is hilarious!! i cant wait to see him again. sorry i missed calling you guys tuesday morning at the SLC airport, but i did call from Atlanta! whats up with that?! oh well! It is so beautiful down here! so many trees and everything. its crazy but the moment we all landed in jacksonville and president barry and his wife were there, i could already feel their love for everyone of us. the first day we were here, (tuesday), we spent at the mission office learning rules and then at the mission home being taught by the APs and President barry and his wife. it was an amazing experience. i already miss everyone that was in my zone in the mtc! i dont know when i will see them again! hopefully soon! so that night we slept at a hotel and then got up and spent wednesday at the church house learning more rules and having interviews and such. it was fun. they fed us so i wasnt complaining. but they arent joking when they say we drink from a firehose when learning everything at the first!! then the trainers all came in and lined up and we learned who we would be trained by! it was crazy. i knew one of the elders up there. he is from logan. elder belliston. but i didnt get him! it was close. i was the last elder to be called. my trainer is Elder Meiling from Carlsbad Cali!! and yes, he does know braxton! such a small world! his family has the elders over all the time! 

our drivers from jacksonville to hinesville, well, more body guards were two huge samoans, Joe and Auvae. both 350 ish. and we were in a crappy minivan. so obviously, these men push it. yeah, we got pulled over. and not only did we get stopped, we all had to get out and got searched for drugs and weapons!! hahaha!! luckily i left all those in someone elses bags! jk! but really.. anyways, i knew that somehow i would run into the cops quickly somehow!!  
My area is Hinesville Georgia! it is a small, beautiful town. it is already starting to grow on me!! we live in an actual house with an elderly couple that is on their mission, specific to military relations. they head home in 9 days! our house is situated right in the center of a golf course!! these people are killing me.. i just wanna go out and hit a round! it is so beautiful!

In July, the mission is splitting and a mission is being created in Georgia, called the Georgia Macon Mission. and the area i am serving in, might become part of that! so i might not even be apart of Jacksonville Florida! oh well! 
The weather down here is lots of rain, and then really hot. im excited!  my area includes Fort Stewart! An army base! so we get to go on post all the time and talk with members, though we arent allowed to procylite, we have to know who we are going to talk to. oh well! these guys are studs! 

A week before i got here, my comp and his trainer baptized a man named Messan, he is from Togo! he doesnt know english too good but he is getting better! He is so inspiring of how excited he is when he talks about the gospel and all. its beautiful.we are working with him to get the priesthood! 

anyways, my first real, touching experience happened last night! Elder Meiling and his trainer went and visited a Less Active man and his wife who is a practicing Catholic. They had us over and we ate dinner with them and talked. He shared his life story with us. he was baptized and all in the church. he was in the army and over seas a lot. he retired in 2004. he doesnt have his top front 4 teeth! but he shared how he knows the church is true and all but is scared of things he has done and doing. he shared an experience awhile back when he was at the bottommost part in his life. he had the means and everything to commit suicide, but not the courage. when he turned around and a lone missionary was right there and helped him out. oh i got chills hearing that. so we talked for a bit and i gave him Alma 36 to read and then we got a return date for next week!! i am so excited!! 
i will email pictures to my mother and she can post them to where ever!

Sorry this is so long! but hey, its my first real letter, jack!  I love you all and i know that this gospel is true!! 
Elder Bodily

Our district pointing to Florida

MTC - whole Zone at the Provo Temple

me and Elder Casey at MTC, temple walk
Me, sewing my suit on the third day at the MTC!
Sister Dodd, me, and Sister Nunes at the MTC
Sister Dodd and me at the MTC on the 1st day
Just an Audi that I saw right as we landed
in the Jacksonville Airport

Elder Burgan and me on the flight
from Atlanta to Jacksonville

My MTC trainer, Elder Meiling, and me
My first run-in with the law
on the way to Hinesville, GA

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

He made it to Florida!

I received this email today:

Dear family of Elder Bodily,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely to the Florida Jacksonville Mission. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come off the plane in Jacksonville. The smiles on their faces showed their excitement and readiness to be here.

Your son arrived with 24 other missionaries and they have enjoyed a dinner together at the mission home, have been interviewed by President Barry and were trained by the assistants. We have taken pictures and I have attached a picture of him with President Barry and I. As you can see he is well and happy although a little tired. We also took a group picture which you can view later this week on our blog at:

You are welcome to check this blog often to catch a glimpse of your missionary and find out what is going on in this mission.

Elder Bodily will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day which is each Monday. He will let you know where he has been assigned to serve. Just a reminder ... when Monday happens to fall on a national holiday, those who use the public libraries will not have access to a computer, therefore, they usually email on Tuesday instead. Also Preparation Day moves to Tuesday during transfer week which is every 6 weeks.

We promise to take good care of your son. His physical, emotional and spiritual welfare is our first concern. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us as we work together for his success as a missionary. 

Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for all you have done to prepare Elder Bodily to faithfully serve a mission. We look forward to getting to know him as we serve our Heavenly Father here in the Florida Jacksonville Mission.

Please accept our love and gratitude for trusting him to us and more importantly to the Lord.

May God Bless You,

President James W. Barry and Sister Marilyn T. Barry