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!!
|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