Monday, August 26, 2013

He's Excited!

I had written to Kevin about my start to school this year and the new experience of being part of a Dual Language Immersion program the includes 56 1st grade students and how I was exhausted after the first two days.  One student had said to me, "You're pretty!" on the first day, thus his comments about sucking up to teachers.  Also, I had sent him a picture of the "Call of Duty" cd that Trevor had ceremoniously broken so he wouldn't play it any more.

I'm not exhausted so ha! i win!  you have 56 students?! do they rotate at least?  that is crazy.. haha gotta love those students that suck up. thats the only reason i survived elemtary school... well school in general. hahah.  thats good trevor's team won their football game again on Saturday!  

Of course i got Trevor's letter! tell him thank you and i will be writing him one back here soon! 

your anniversary fell on a weekend! did you and dad go out to dinner? 14 more years and you guys will be married as long as the couple i am living with now! haha.  

oh that hurts my eyes to see what Trev did to Black Ops, but its okay, there will be newer and better games in 20 months haha. 

So this week has been a good one! We played basketball last monday for like 5 hours with a bunch a black kids at the gym on the army base.. yeah. big mistake hahaha. but it was so fun! i could hang with them for alittle bit haha. didnt help that we had to mow the lawn also! haha

we got our new military relations couple moved in on Friday. The Bardwell's from Roy! he spent like 38 years in the utah Army National Guard. They are so wonderful. I really hope i can stay here longer and be able to kindle a friendship with them. So yeah, we moved them in friday afternoon and then friday night they took us and the Butler's to Golden Coral. yeah they are already high on my good list. haha :) oh i downed like 6 full plates. it felt good! 

This week we went out with Brother Lent, in the bishopric. we met this wonderful 97 yr old lady. her and brother lent have known eachother for awhile! it was so humbling to just talk with her and get to know her. we are going to continue to go by and just let her talk, she loves visitors and loves Christ. im excited. 

last week we were approached by a guy in the ward saying his daughters 8th birthday was saturday. so we were going to have a child of record dunk but he messed up on it is actually this saturday! cool story, yesterday, i forgot to grab the form to fill out for the baptism. so i called elder bardwell cuz he was still at the house and he said he would bring one. well he ended up bringing 2! and so i thought, hey! maybe that is a sign.. sure enough, another lady in the ward came up to us and asked about what we needed to do to get her son dunked too! so we have 2 child of record baptisms on saturday! i am excited! 

this week was a good one. a really good friend of mine gave me some advice on like repentance and forgiveness and stress. it was, close your eyes and imagine yourself holding a box. now imagine you put all of your worries and everything inside that box and giving it to Christ. That is how simple life is. If we give it over to Christ, he will provide for us!

i love you all! We are off to Savannah to do the historical Tour of it all! be jealous! 

Love, Elder Bodily

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meeting an Apostle

Hey y'all.

This last week has been a crazy one! We have been out hitting the doors trying to find people to teach. And we have had some success! Even though it rained every single day, but hey that is alright! Actually it rained everyday except for Monday! We were able to get our golf in! that was so much fun! haha!  but yeah, we were able to find 8 new investigators this past week! it was awesome! the rain works miracles for two men walking around in it! haha.  

so tuesday and thursday night me and elder paxson went on splits with some elders in the ward. it was really cool. a good experience. but thursday night, the 2nd counsellor in the bishopric asked us to talk in sacrament. joy haha. and the third person didnt show up, so we had to talk for the whole time. good thing im a Bodily and i just can ramble on about anything. but i spoke on accountability. so i just rambled and rambled haha. and we had a full house! i was surprised. the ward is getting so strong here. almost all the military guys are getting back from afghanistan.  

but anyways, thursday we got a text from the Zone Leaders.. they said we had a mission conference in Columbus and that an Apostle was going to speak to us... yeah, on Saturday, we rode 4 and a half hours across the state. and Elder Neil L. Anderson was going to speak to us! I was awestruck. He shook everyone's hand. It was so powerful. i was able to shake the hand of a man who has seen the face of the Resurrected Christ. i was thinking about it. The hand i touched probably has touched Jesus Christ. how humbling is that?  He was a stake pres in tampa florida and so he knows how the south is.  i hadnt really thought about it before, but I am in the Bible Belt. and yet i hardly know the bible. but i know the Book Of Mormon is true.  Elder Anderson spoke of patience, with the companions, with the work, and most importantly, with ourselves. He talked about how it will take probably our whole lives to really understand the experiences we have out here and the impact it has on people. In the moment the work is slow, but for the eternities, it accounts for more than we could imagine. he told us straight up that this is not an easy mission. how true that is..   

My testimony grew so much in that one day of being in the same room as him. and to think, on my 4 month mark my whole mission changed. again. 

im sure there are more experiences i have forgotten to email again. but oh well. get used to it. 

through the experience on saturday, i have felt the power and love of God in my life, and I Know that this church is true and i Know that Christ lives again.

i love you all!

Elder Bodily

The rain in Georgia is beautiful!

This must have come from the package the Corbett family sent him!

Monday, August 12, 2013

4 Months Down!

i know another week has gone by! where did it go?! its crazy that this week is month 4! when i think of it like that, all is well, but when i think ahead, i get sad and its hard to work.. but im slowly working on that. Satan works his ways. 

cade did what..? that is awesome. I cant believe his farewell is next week?!!!! where did the summer go? and that is amazing that Bishop is going to let her sing again. she sang "I stand all amazed" at mine, right? we sang that yesterday in sacrament and it took me back to my farewell.. it was so beautiful.. and now "i know that my redeemer lives" at cades?! wow! that is awesome..  

of course i am making the Cottle's work for their money! in their email today, he quoted Elder Featherstone from 1984. The quote is from Elder Vaughan J. Featherstone, given on April 30, 1984. It reads: 

"This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together. There are great hosts of marvelous Baptist, members of the Church of Christ, Methodists, and Catholics who are honorable people, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love him. As they see their church veering to the right or to the left of those basic teachings, they will begin to search for the truth: and as pivotal teachers come into the church and have influence we will see the time when we will baptize hundreds and thousands, tens of thousands. In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be Temples plural in the Southern States. What a great call you have to serve these marvelous people. The missionaries love the South. We are making great strides and expect to continue."   

Its humbling to be a part of that great work prophesied 30 years ago! 

this week was a good one!   though not much really happened. i feel uplifted.  we had zone conference on Tuesday with President Cottle up in Savannah. The main focus was on the Book of Mormon and how it can be used to answer any question any time. and how practically any scripture will have some doctrine of the gospel in it!  one of our AP's quoted someone and said, "The bible is the battleground of all Christianity. but the book of mormon is the field of conversion."  it was really powerful. especially after that quote from Featherstone!  

President Cottle also gave everyone a new Book of Mormon with a sticker in it of our name and the mission. he challenged us to read it in 90 days and take one color and mark one principle or doctrine of the church and mark it every time it comes up. i chose obedience. its crazy how often it shows up!  

it was the Blau's last week with us. The Military Relations couple that served here for only 2 and a half months. our new couple gets here in a couple weeks. so pretty much we have a full sized house to our selves.. and 2 fridges full of food.  the last night the blaus were here, we went over to a samoans family and had dinner.. oh do they know how to cook. and they gave us boxes of extra food.. haha. the coconut rolls they make are heavenly.. pannipopo. so good.  but the Blau's helped me out so much in just the short time they were here. 

the day after we went and mowed this lady's yard. it was a good service project. for some reason we started at like 1030.. right in the middle of the day of heat. but oh well. keeps me in shape haha. this family has a huge red nosed pitbull that i WILL become friends with it. even if he doesnt want to. sometime i will get a picture with it. but this family is wonderful. the mom is a former from 2008. she was in the army and got deployed and then lost conntact with the missionaries. they are so open with us. they fed us breakfast after we mowed their lawn and they started to just talk to us and ask questions and are really interested in what we do! they are a solid potential family of like 5.. they have had a hard life., so the gospel is perfect for them!  we visited our friend cedric saturday night. he is a hoot. we talked for another hour and a half about his fishing and everything on his boat. and then he talked about how he was in Somalia when the black hawk helicopter went down.. how crazy is that.?  

anyways, the work is good and i am good! i will attach a few pictures.  me and elder paxson are going golfing today!! yay! haha. a member has let us borrow some clubs! i broke out my "Tiger Red" shirt. its gunna be a party.

anyways, i hope you all have a blessed week! i love you all so much.
love, elder bodily

oh ps. the picture of the single peach-o, yeah i went straight for those from the package and i had them all down within a couple hours hahah on the first day! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Great Week! (Thanks for your prayers!)

hey y'all. This week was a good one. it was better than last week. we had a lot of finding experiences. We went through all the Former Investigators that had been to church before and we went out and tried to contact them. some of them had moved and the people werent interested. some just werent there. but we met one lady, victoria, she had just moved in so our former had moved, but the lady was a big black lady, and she is really church oriented. but she was still open to talking with us! it was really neat to hear her life story and the struggles that she has. and we were able to talk to her a bit about the church and we gave her a book of mormon. it was really humbling, when we were talking with her, it was getting to be about 8ish. the clouds were coming in, and the sun was going down, and the whole sky lit up and was orange. it was so beautiful.  

another experience we had. our plans fell through, and so i felt like we should just go to walmart and walk around! its a great place to meet people and be seen. well, we get just inside the door and this nice old hispanic lady stops us and asks where the church was! she is a member and just moved down here to be with her daughter who is in the military. and she would like us to come over and visit! it was great!  Another experience we had with tracking down formers, we knocked on this ladies door and her son let us in and then we were able to get to know her. apparently she had met with sister missionaries back in 08! and lost contact when she deployed to Iraq. She has had a hard life also. she has really bad anxiety attacks. so bad she really cant go anywhere without her son. but it was neat to be able to talk with her and her son. they are really interested still.

On Saturday, we went to the gym with Russ Darrah. he is our brother who does like MMA (mixed martial arts) stuff. lots of different things. So we worked out for about an hour and then went into the matted area and started to do stuff. and there was a guy standing over on the side waiting to play some b-ball. russ asked him if he was interested and the guy asked how much it cost haha. we laughed and said it was free. apparently this guy wrestled in high school and a little at michigan state!  since we arent really allowed to proselyte on base, we just introduced ourselves and continued working out.. but he kept asking questions so we were able to teach him a little. and now this week, Russ, our member is going to have him over for dinner and we are going to have a lesson with him! Its really cool. 

this week at Zone meeting, it was the first one since the missions mixed and made the Macon. our new zone leader is from Melbourn Australia. he has a beautiful accent.. but the meeting was wonderful. it had everyone laughing, and then at the end, we literally were all crying.. they played a clip from something called "Conversion of a Catholic". its hard to explain.. it was really spiritual. i will try to give a synopsis.  these missionaries in iowa knocked on this ladies door three times and no answer, they started to walk away. then they heard a voice telling them to come back. they went back and were able to talk to this old lady. they gave her a book of mormon to read in 3 nephi. when they came back, she talked with them about the whole book of mormon. from the beginning to the end.  and after talking with her for awhile. she was baptized and then they worked on getting her patriarchal blessing. when she got it. she called the elders over at 9 am. and asked one of them to read it. they declined and said it was between her and god. she told them to read it again. again they declined and then again she asked. then she explained, she hadnt been able to see much of anything for the past 20 so years.. God gave her power long enough to read the book of mormon. and in the patriarchal blessing it said that she would have been converted 25 years earlier if the missionary had accepted his call!  and then, 5 days later, the missionaries dedicated that ladies grave.. she died that day she had them over to read the blessing..  oh, and this all took place in the elders' 6 week extension of his mission.. wow..  everyone in the room was crying a little. It really made me think that i am out here for a reason and that someone needs me personally.. 

 I can tell you all, that this week changed my mission. from this experience making me so solid of being out here. it strengthened my testimony of prayer, tenfold.  

but then also we had an experience yesterday.. it was heartbreaking. the family that the father baptized his son a month ago. well they hadnt been back to church. apparently the father was on the internet and found anti mormon stuff and it devasted him. stuff about church history and doctrines. and he was so lost in satans plans that he had no faith left to just trust in god and the prophets. he had so many concerns and arguements... it was really hard. i cant even begin to explain the whole thing..  

but anyways, sorry this is a long one.   It is the military couples last week and today we are making panepopo. it is coconut bread. so good.. they leave on thursday.. i am going to miss them. The Blau's have strengthened me so much.. and then the new military couple gets here the23rd of august.. so we will be in the full sized house by ourselves for a couple weeks. good thing we have our paths set before us. we will be out doing the Lords work nonstop.  alma 26:5.  all the day long did ye labor. 

i love you all and thank you for the prayers. i really felt them this week. 
Elder Bodily