Monday, October 28, 2013

Variety in Experiences

hey ya'll. 

this week was a lot more productive than last week! i had a good feeling throughout the week that just kept me pushing. 

We had Zone Conference on Tuesday in Macon. We had Elder Aidukaitis from the Quorum of the Seventy come and mingle with us. i say mingle because he did not just stand there and preach to us. it was a very personal 4 hours with him. He talked to us about certain areas of missionary work in our mission that need improvement and how we can improve them!  It was very powerful. He really got me to take a look at my mission and my attitude toward it.  Me and My companion got the opportunity to teach him and invite him to have a kneeling prayer with us.. oh boy.. haha. we sat there for like 15 minutes in the middle of everyone.. joy.. with president and sister cottle staring at the back of my head.. oh boy. 

our next experience of the week was on thursday night. we were called by a less-active member who's sister in law just got in a car wreck.  they were at the hospital and so we went over. we found them in the ER waiting area sitting in the chairs. we asked if we could use a room and they let us and we gave her a blessing. we had to leave the door open though. but that was no problem. It was a humbling experience. It was another great time for me to feel the power of the priesthood.

also on thursday, we went over to a members house to chop wood.. oh boy. that was a workout.  there was only one axe. and the pieces of wood were huge pieces from a fallen tree. we got a couple of these pieces knocked apart. they were like a foot and a half wide by a foot and a half tall. yeah, that was an activity. the member is the one with parkinsons. so he  sat in the chair and made fun of us callin us girls and weak and all. haha. he took the axe and swung once. then he went back and sat down haha. his wife was baggin on him saying he never works. oh boy its funny. 

Saturday Night, was one to remember. it was our investigator's son  George's birthday party. His birthday is on Halloween so they had the party then. Otisteen can sing! haha it was awesome. But it was a good time. I was one of 2 wite guys there. and the other is our branch mission leader who i dont really consider white. he has tattoos and knows everyone. so i was the only white guy there. it was great haha. We had lots of contacts there. His family, our investigators, is one of the biggest ones in americus. haha so it was great. 

Well, Till next week!
i love you all.
Elder Bodily

Monday, October 21, 2013

Learning to speak in public ~

This past week has been another slow one in the work, but has flown by. Its hard to believe that i have been out for 6 months now..  I look back, and i can see how much i have changed already, and yet, i have so much more room to change..  

i really dont know what to say in this email, we didnt have many cool or crazy experiences this week. But thats okay. I still love the work :) 

ya'll know that i really dont like public speaking. but i need to change that. we had to speak on sunday, and we were asked to do it friday night. joy haha.  I was asked to give my talk on Prayer and Praying Always.  Oh Boy. That topic really has as much involved with it as faith and the atonement.. and my mind set needs to have an actually written talk for me to function, but i tried to help myself grow. I had a bunch of scriptures and key words that explain them, and then i had quotes from General Authorities. I went really well though. It is easier to speak at this branch because i dont feel higher than anyone. the Pulpit is just ground level and there is only about 40 people there. I have come to love these people though. Prayer is so powerful. It is such a priviledge to be able to communicate with our loving Heavenly Father. He wants us to talk with him. There is nothing in this world that can stop us from communicating with Him! So why are we scared to kneel and talk with him? or even have a prayer in our heart..  We should always be full of prayer. It keeps us safe from the devil and his powers of evil. 

This is probably an experience to hold off till i get home, but nah.. Were is the fun in that, and i am still a little kid!   We were visiting with our investigator Otisteen. He is our smoker who has cut back from 3 packs a day to only like 5 cigs. They have a beautiful Red Nosed Pitbull. His name is Trouble but he isnt very scary..  Until you are petting him and scratching him and then your tie bounces around then he sits on your foot and just stares at you and doesnt blink.. I can say that i honestly was more scared right there than i was as i looked out of a plane door at 12 Thousand feet.  Oh well. the next day we went back and we were back to normal :) 

I love you all! This church is true and prayer really does work. If you are having troubles, just take a moment, calm down, say a prayer, and listen. God will answer. 

Elder Bodily

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

6 Months!

Hey Y'all. 

Crazy to think, this coming thursday is my 6 month mark. where has the time gone.. I am not sure. But good news! i am staying in Americus for another 6 weeks at least with Elder Cawley! We work good together and are good friends. 

This past week went by quick again and i am left to ponder where we went and what we did. Wednesday was quite the experience. We were able to take Elder Farnsworth up to the Mission Home in Macon so he could fly to Argentina! He was so excited to finally get out of the states. It was wonderful to be in the Mission Home and talk with President and Sister Cottle and the Assistants. Sister Cottle cooked lunch for us which was delicious. It was quite the hectic story of getting things for them and Sister Cottle told us today even more miracles of that day. Its too much to explain. But one of the office elders, Elder Speirlein is a retired Air Force guy i think. He knows how to get things done. Its amazing. and he drives a BMW. no big deal.. 

It was a different experience though this week being in a trio. It was fun though. We had to work between both areas so it was difficult, but a good experience. Sunday was definitely a humbling time. Sacrament and other meetings were held with the Cordele Group. We had about 15 people at church, not counting us three missionaries. one of the members, Jermaine, he is a 12 year old kid, and the only one active in his family of like 7 less actives. He is wonderful. His testimony was amazing.  He talked about how God has really helped him out and all. In his testimony he shared feelings of how at school if someone says something mean he would usually want to just punch them right then and there, (he was making arm movements the whole time, imagine.) and then he talked about how he just lets God take care of things. I really cant describe Jermaine. He is amazing though.  One thing he said during his testimony was amazing. i know other people have probably said it, but it touched me more today. So Jermaine said the following, "The easiest thing to do is to criticize somebody, but the hardest thing to do is say a nice compliment." It was powerful. 

Last week i ate something i hadnt even thought of before. we were at a less actives house and her cousin was there and he talks with us a lot. He came from Liberty City from Miami, so he knows the hard life haha. but he cooked us up a Conch Fritter.. ya know the sea shell thingy? yeah, the muscle inside of it. oh it was good.. haha. Johnny C. was asking lots of questions because Elder Zukela is from South Africa and so its just fascinating to everyone. Its awesome haha. I love him!

This week i finished the Book of Mormon for the third time on my mission.. Wow, every time something new comes out, and is always so powerful. i love it. This time i read the whole thing, focusing on Obedience. Something on every page practically.. so crazy.

well, till next week! i love you all.

Elder Bodily

Saying goodbye to one elder headed to Argentina!

A pretty car will always catch his eye.  Since he's on a mission, I'm grateful it's not a girl . . .

It looks like it was a nice Toyota to begin with . . .

Elder Bodily knows what his parents like!

I don't think these are the original . . .

Will this kid EVER grow up?

Apparently not!

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's October (Exclamation Point) and it's Humbling

I cannot believe that it is October now.. But that does mean one good thing! COTTON FIELDS! Yaya! It was a crazy feeling of just imagining life back in the day.. very humbling.. that is for sure.  I suppose this week was full of humbling experiences.

The first began on Monday when we visited a Civil War/POW Museum. Wow. I cant begin to express the emotions i felt there. It was like i was back in Arlington National Cemetery again. So powerful. and luckily we went on monday, cuz tuesday the govt shut down.. i feel bad for the guy working there. he doesnt have a job now. thats okay. we gave him a card to cheer him up! haha. 

Another one of the moments of my mission that i will never forget happened on wednesday.. we were called by Sister Butler, who's husband is the one with parkinsons. she asked if we could come over and give her daughter and grandson a blessing.  Jace is about 7 and has ciliac and i think down syndrome.. and some other things that disable him a little. but oh my goodness he is the happiest kid i have ever met.  I really dont know how to explain the experience we had. Having the opportunity to give this boy a blessing that is closer to God than I ever will be on this earth is so humbling.. He is having his Kidney removed next week. The family has always asked for blessing before. It really is amazing. 

and then to finish off this week was General Conference.. 2 words.. Exclamation Point! But seriously.. Conference was everything and more than what i needed to hear. Of course, Elder Holland always has his moment and President Monson is touching with his facial expressions. But one of the talks that touched my heart was Gerald Causse from Presiding Bishopric..  I mean, anyone that quotes Les Miserables in a conference talk.. Bravo. It applies so perfectly to my mission and the south. Everyone is somewhat friendly.. Noone should be a stranger to us. We are all brothers. That is our goal as missionaries. To help others feel the love from God. It is always there. to help them feel welcome.  
No one is a stranger to God. 

Hope everyone have a good week.
Elder Bodily

pictures: Our District, the one on the far left, is going to argentina this week! and then things from the Museum and then me as a cotton picker! yay!   i love the south!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another day, another discussion . . .

Im not quite sure where this week went. Its all a blur. 
On Thursday I experienced one of the weirdest moments of the mission so far. We were out trying to contact less actives, and we chose one, Sanders Thornburg.  My companion joked and said we are going to see the Wild Thornberries.. as we rolled up to the house, he wasnt joking. but we both were shocked. He and his family live in a like a dome thing that looks like an mud igloo. trees had over grown around and everything.. it was sketch. He kinda looked like the guy right out of the game Jumanji. It was crazy.  He is a good guy though, but his views have been changed towards the Book of Mormon and all. It was sad. An endowed member and everything fell away into the tricks of Satan. He was set in his ways so we couldnt really invite him to read it, so all we could do is bear testimony to him and leave.. 
The weather this week has been amazing. It cooled down and then i was raining. but it was a heavy rain, it was like a snow-flurry rain fall. it was crazy.. 
really not much happened this week. but thats okay.. 
We visited a member in the ward on Saturday night. His name is Brother Butler. talking with him, i was humbled a lot. He is an older gentleman with a bad case of Parkinsons. He cant control his arm or his leg really. as we visited with him, his wife was off to the Relief Society Broadcast. we had a wonderful talk with him. He told us a lot about his life and everything, all of his problems with the parkinsons, and yet, in a quiet, calm voice, he said  "yet through all of this, i feel so blessed to have this gospel". it was so powerful.  
so this coming week, i am going to challenge all of you to really look at your life, and see how blessed you really are through all the trials. 
The Church is true and that is all that matters. Even when the missionary meal is ramen noodles and deverls.  :)

I love you all. 
Elder Bodily