Monday, July 29, 2013

Life with a new companion . . .

hey y'all

it was transfer week. so it has been somewhat stressful. Getting my second companion was fun and stressful. Our chauffers were Joe and Auvae Matavao. i felt pretty safe with them. we had to drive to Macon. so it was a good 3 hour drive. it was fun though. 
once we got to Macon, there was a corner spot made up of like 2 rows in the back corner that me and elder meiling sat in. then a couple minutes later, practically our district came in and we all sat next to each other.  it was fun to be together for the last time.  

My new companion is Elder Paxson from a little town outside of Portland Oregon!   It is difficult to work together. not going to lie. our tactics of missionary work are different and coming from two different missions, it adds to the difficulty. but we keep pushing forward.

this week was kind of a down one for me. but  hey, thats okay. it happens.. This week my testimony of prayer and the power of the Book of Mormon were strengthened though. It was really humbling. i was feeling down and all one morning, (my emotions in this email are portrayed differently in actual life.. haha..) and so i was praying and pleading for inspiration. afterwards, i got up and started to read my scriptures. Mormon chapter 8 opened up. It is Moroni talking about how he is the only person really left and how he is left to write the sad tale of the Nephite Destruction, and how he didnt know if he was going to be killed or not. it was really humbling. and then he continues and says that all of his family was killed and that he has no friends to go to, and he doesnt know how long God will suffer him to live. but he kept pushing forward in the commandments of his fathers.  

but anyways, the work presses on.  we had a really cool experience friday. Me and Elder Paxson were going to visit some Former investigators and neither of them were home, but we saw a man standing against his car that wasnt there before. so we walked up to him. he was smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. but we felt we should talk to him. so we just started a conversation about the music he was listening to. and then the usual thing happens, since we are in the south, he practically told us his life story. it was really neat. he realized that God had sent us into his life to help him. His "Baby Momma" got him going back to church. She is Samoan. so they go to the American Samoan Christian Church.. which is perfect. because practically all of our samoans that are members that dont come regurally go there.. and he knew some of our members! i am excited about getting to know him more and to teach him!  

This week we met with our less active friend Todd Davis. Him and Elder Paxson kind of got to know each other a little bit and now Paxson knows a little why Todd doesnt come to church. but we are still working with him. While talking, he gave one of my favorite analogies of some members of the church. He said some members of the church are like a rock sitting in water its whole life. the rock represents us as members and the water is the love of christ.  when you take the rock, thats been in the water its whole life and look inside of it, its dry. they didnt let the love of christ affect their life. we would do better to be a sponge.

anyways, im trying to think if anything else cool happened this week. Nope. we didnt get rain this week. i think the south is in a drought! ah! i cant wait for october to come when all the storms hit :) 

Love, Elder bodily
(Mom here:  He didn't send a description of these pictures but I assume they are of his new companion, other missionaries in the area, and some member/investigators.  The Golden Corral one needs no explanation - Elder Bodily loves his food options!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Transfer Week

Hey everyone 

So this has been another week that has flown by. Im not quite sure what i did this week! but thats okay! i know one thing, my family does love me finally. i finally got a package ;)  but we planned to try and stay busy this week. We knew we had transfer calls on saturday, but we knew what would be the outcome. 

but this week was fun. there is a new video game that everyone is playing called the Last of Us. it is another zombie type game. but it seems pretty cool. but we were at a members house talking with him and he randomly said, "Did you know that the Salt Lake Temple is in that game?" we were like, what?!?! thats awesome. so he just had to show us, ya know? but it was really cool. and this past week we went tracting areas that we hadnt been to before. and we were passing out cards with the SLC temple on it.. so who knows. maybe that video game will get someone interested in the gospel! we'll see!

we visited our less active friend Todd this week. It was different. he saw us pull up, met us on the porch and said come on in, its too hot out side. oh man it was. it was right after a rain storm. so the temperature rose like 10 degrees. so it was like 98 with 100 humidity.. he is a great man. he is open to talking. but he is stubborn about forgiveness. he feels wronged by the way some members of his ex-wifes family treated him and how other members of the church treated him when he first joined. it is hard on him. he doesnt feel like he can go back to church.. i was about to do something not missionary like cuz i was kindof getting frustrated with him. but i relaxed. the spirit was so strong in the house though. its hard to know that he just isnt willing to lean on the atonement of Jesus Christ and make that first step in coming back to church.. 

so on saturday we were invited to go to the gym with our member/brother out here, Russ. he has two friends that arent members, but they kind of ask questions. and so we all went to the gym on saturday. we worked out for a bit and then we did MMA stuff. a bunch of different things. it was pretty sweet. it was a good work out. my body is pretty sore. but while we were at the gym, we got "THE PHONE CALL". so we went out in the hallway and talked to President Cottle.

Elder Meiling is being transfered and im staying in Hinesville. i am not training, but i will be the one who knows the area so it will be fun!  Tomorrow, we have to go to Macon to the transfer meeting. that is where we find out where elder meiling is going and also who my next comp is. its exciting to know i could get anyone. i dont know anyone in this mission practically! except for my zone. 

Yesterday, In sacrament meeting, the old bishop spoke. he was diagnosed with throat cancer a little while ago. he told the story of how the doctor told him that devistating news and yet, Bishop Hearon and his wife werent really phased. they went home and prayed together and then made phone calls around to doctors to attack it aggressively. the doctor that told him the news, called him the next day and had to make sure that they understood what he said. and they did, with kind of a chuckle. it was really neat to hear the story. he said that the attitude we face physical aliments should be the same attitude when we face satan and sin.  he also said a couple other stories about the treatment and all. one thing he said stood out to me. well a couple. that in times of struggle or anything, if you reach your hand out to your spouse or someone, the spirit will automatically be there and everything seems a little bit easier. It opens the doorway for the Spirit to enter.  he also said that if we open our hearts to God, he will bless us and reward us beyond what we would expect. 

well, time is running short and we have a lot to do today to prepare for elder meiling to get transfered and a new missionary to come to this area.. oh this is going to be fun :) 

again, im sure there are things i have forgotten to write, but get used to it. :)

Elder Bodily

Here are some photos that Elder Bodily sent ~ obviously he still has his sense of humor!

Proof that we sent him a package . . .
some of the items we sent . . . (you can never have too much TP or chocolate chip cookies!)
Trevor actually sent him a hand-wrtitten letter!  

Yes, he's pleased these are available again!
My Georgian Son!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rain, Rain, Rain . . .

this week was very uneventful. kinda. 

apparently there is a tropical storm moving through and so we have been getting rain for the past week everyday. it has kind of put a damper on the work but thats okay.  

we were doing these things called District Blitz's. where the elders and sister in our district all get together and work in one area for the afternoon. it was a good experience to get out and see other areas. when we were all in hinesville i went with our district leader in a ghetto apartment complex area. it was pretty funny. we would talk to some people at one building and they would send us to the other one and we'd say oh they sent us over here cuz they thought you might be interested and then some crude comments were made about the other building and all but it was pretty funny. we did get a bunch of people that were interested in Christ's church once again restored to the earth. everyone understands that there is a lot of churches but dont understand why. and thats why we are there. to help them understand! its perfect! we met a lot of people that were wanting that knowledge and hopefully we are going to be able to see them this week.  we were also able to help progress the work up in poorer and southside savannah. it was really fun. 

other than all that, the week was uneventful. with the members and the work being practically on the Military base, we have heard practically all the world news so i am caught up.. i am dumbfounded at the celtics right now.. and also the zimmerman case.  the world is falling apart. that is for sure. and obama is going to try zimmerman on federal charges? not just state level? crazy.. i love being near the military base. i feel safe. 

anyways, church news! i can now wear khakis! so i would enjoy it if i got those in the mail, along with my nice black jacket thats in my clothes box! that would be greately appreciated :) 

this saturday is trainer/transfer calls. so this is the last full week i have with Elder Meiling. Maybe.. he has been in hinesville since february.. president cottle said that that would most likely change. so next week i most likely will have a new companion. but we arent going to slow down this week. gotta push to the end.

have a blessed week.

elder bodily

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4th of July in Georgia

As i am sitting here trying to think of what has happened this week that i could email about, nothing comes to mind. Just kidding! This week has been another week in the mission field. i am looking over my journal to see what i should write about.. haha. that is one thing i have been doing good at. is writing a full page in my journal every night. maybe one day the things i write will help someone or even help me.. 

it is so good to hear about the 4th of july in lewiston. i sure did miss it. though me and elder meiling woke up and were able to cook up bacon and eggs. so ah! i didnt feel too left out. but no golf for me this year. sure did see a lot of people out golfing though. we found a golf ball in our backyard.. dont ask me how. we have a 7 foot fence that goes along the tee box, but still. they would have to take a 10 yard chip shot with a driver.. some people.. 

but this week was pretty exciting. we have been able to talk to more people about the gospel. slowly people are opening their hearts to us.  it feels so good when they are wanting to learn more. we have had a few opportunities to talk with someone and just give them a book of mormon and they take it and say they will read it.. i know its not always the truth, but hey, it gets my hopes up!  one of them was with Cedric. He is our friend that is retired Military that fishes whenever he was free time. except on sundays. he recognizes that his life has changed since the last couple months when he started going back to church. we went over and again we talked about fishing and his boat and that for a good hour and then i asked a simple question of what he believes in with his church. it was really good experience to hear that he really believes in christ and the KJV of the bible. sigh of relief there. but we are excited. and maybe, when we get him interested in our church, he might just be inclined to take us fishing.. ya never know. kinda reminds me of Grandpa Harold and all of his fishing stuff. 

last week was 4th of July. big whoop. just kidding. it was really amazing to be near the largest military base east of the mississippi. even though we as missionaries had to be in the house by 7:00 p.m., we could still hear the fireworks and all. the really special experience was how Sunday the 30th, a lot of soldiers returned from deployment in afghanistan. and Sunday just barely, being testimony meeting was extra special. to see these men who risk their lives for this country, to get up there and express appreciation for the ward. it was so humbling to hear their testimonies. they expressed feelings of being able to finally stand in front of members and bear their testimony for the first time in 9 months, and also to be able to take the sacrament for the first time, in as many months.  it really stuck it to my heart how special something is that we are able to take every week. 

This last week we finally had our Meet the President conference. it was so fun! President and Sister Cottle are so excited to be here. Its special to have someone that has another close connection with home :) Sister Cottle held back so hard from hugging me. oh well! she said she might have to break it when i go home :)  but i am excited with how the mission changed. its going to be fun serving in Georgia my whole mission! Which reminds me. are they going to be able to switch my plaque at church or get me another one? :) cuz technically i did serve in both missions.. 

im sure i am missing a whole bunch of things. i will attach photos to the email i send to my mother and she will post them to wherever she posts stuff.

thank you for your support!
I love you all.

Elder Bodily

The extent of his firework celebration.

He's happy for his companion who actually gets packages from home!
Will someone, anyone, PLEASE send this poor boy a package???

Nate - an investigator

Marc Schiermeyer - a member that lives on the military base
and who texts Elder Bodily's mom when necessary!
Boys being boys . . .

Marc's fiance, Angie

Southern food?
A big Georgia welcome to President and Sister Cottle!  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Officially GMM! and this week.. 4th of july on a military base!

It is now July 1st, which means i am officially in a new mission. its kind of a weird feeling. they landed thursday afternoon so technically President Cottle was in charge of the Savannah Zone as of then. its going to be fun.  On Wednesday we have our Meet The President Conference up in Savannah. That is going to be exciting to see the Cottles! ah!  but friday i was actually able to talk to President Cottle on the phone. but it was probably not the best first meeting. for me it was fine. but for my companion.. not so good.. we were coming back from switching back to our companions after a trade off we did with the district leader and his companion. so we were coming back. and there is a point in the road where it goes from a 55 mph zone to a 45, at the top of a traintracks hill.. yeah.. my companion was going about 70.. and a sheriff was there.. you can guess from there. but! the details you will never expect. My companion is from california and they have a law that says they can not just sign off on a ticket in georgia. they have to pay the cash bond right then. we knew we were burst cinnamon toast. the cop said the ticket would be $734!!!! uhh... we were kinda freaking out. the cop gave us a little bit to make some phone calls. we said a prayer and then called the military relations couple we live with. they were a ways away, but they made the sacrifice to help us out. we also had to call president cottle. yeah.. welcome to the GMM.. haha. so long story, a little shorter, my companion got to ride in the sheriffs car to the county jail and we were separated for 2 hours while i went with the MR couple to get money. they paid it in full. of course my comp is going to pay them back.  but yeah.. the first meeting with president cottle will be fun :)   of course this experience put a damper on me and elder meiling. we still tried to push through it.  of course now i am the designated driver :) this 2011 corolla is nothing like the Audi.. i miss my baby.

yesterday, we had the baptism of a 10 yr old boy, D'Angelo Phillips. His family has been inactive for a long time, they were a "DO NOT CONTACT" as of february but they are active again and the dad baptized his son! it was so special to see.  i will try to get the picture from the dads phone and send it next week. 

we had a crazy rain storm come through yesterday after church. we were visiting with Nate and we were outside and the skies were covered in white clouds. we go inside to read the BoM and then we hear a big boom and thunder rolling. we go outside and it is just a flash flood pretty much. so much rain. it was amazing. 

anyways, a really amazing experience this week. it was wednesday and we were supposed to have District Meeting but it got changed to thursday. as we were sitting at the house, we got a call from a number we didnt recognize. we answered it and it was a lady that is visiting her friends family down here and was at church on sunday. they family is really less active. she is needed a priesthood blessing badly. so we told her to meet us at the churchhouse. we told elder blau about it and him and his wife got in their car and met us at the church. we talked with her for a bit to get to know her a little more. she is from alpine utah and has a mission call waiting for her! the family she is staying with, she just cant feel the spirit in the house and it is weighing her down.  it was a good talk before and then we asked her who she would like to give the blessing. she said as she pointed to me, "I feel like you should do it." i was like, okay. it was very humbling to have that spirit in the room. we asked her full name.. and then it kindof set in. the spirit really knows what he is doing. her last name is Lamoureaux. UH! thats in our family tree. so somehow, somewhere we are related. it was really amazing. the scripture in d&c where it talks about the body shaking because it is full of the spirit.. yeah it came to life in me. it was amazing.. i dont even know how to describe it. i know that, that blessing and her calling on me was inspired and it strengthened both of us. it was so humbling.

other than all that, this week has been a normal week in the mission field. i am excited for this week!! 4th of July on a Military Base.. HOORAH! no clue what we are going to do yet though. we will see. 

me and elder meiling got our hair cut this morning by elder blau. i was tired of the whiteman fro and trying to get it to stay so i told him to really just cut it short. but not too short. it feels good to have short hair. i cant remember a time when i had it somewhat short. haha

i love you all!
elder bodily

The hair on the floor . . .

the missionary now . . .

and a beautiful rainstorm in Georgia!