Monday, April 28, 2014

What a Week!

This past week was a good one. We had our first district meeting, 3 weeks into the transfer. That was a new feeling. It was my first as a district leader, and the zone leaders were present. Joy. But it was a good time. We focused a lot on the spirit and bearing our testimonies.  If we don't have the spirit in missionary work, or really in anything that we do, we really are just going through the motions. We don't necessarily gain anything from it.  

Afterwards we went on a exchange with the zone leaders. That was fun. The zone leader and I met a few great people. It's sometimes frustrating at times here, because the people love to talk, just not very interested in the gospel. They feel they have what they need, and don't wanna change. It's even more difficult when we can see that they really do need the restored gospel!  

The members here in Pearson are wonderful. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to serve with and around all of them and to gain their trust as a missionary and also as a person. Being a missionary is not just about baptizing people and moving on. It is about building that trust and friendship with everyone you serve, even if they don't necessarily accept the gospel right now. I am so grateful that I am serving in the states, and somewhere like the south, where I feel so natural.  It is just another testimony builder that this gospel is true. That it can take ordinary people in ordinary circumstances and make them into extraordinary sons and daughters of God. 

This past week we have been working with a girl named Lina. She is dating a member of the ward and expressed to the family that she is ready for the gospel and for baptism, which was amazing because she had been to church and introduced to us, but we never really started to talk with her and all until she came to us! We feel that she is very sincere and that she really is doing it for her self and not for the member. She is going to be the first in her family.  It really is a testimony builder that God is preparing people to accept the gospel, even when their family isn't quite yet on board.

Wednesday we went and did some service at the City Hall here.  It wasn't much but it was a good time to perform service. My comp had bought some overalls earlier and he just doesn't feel them. Well, he gave them to me. and daggum.. when I walked out, he said I was just meant for them.. I don't have a picture of them yet.. but I will get it to you. I love fitting right in down here.  

I'm attaching a lot of pictures.. a lot has happened the past 3 weeks and I haven't sent pics yet!

Well, I hope yall have a good week! I will continue to try and be more spiritual, but I honestly just don't think it will happen a whole lot.. so bear with me. :)  I love you all.

elder bodily 

Mom's note:  Kevin didn't label the pics he sent this week, so these are my best guesses!

I think these two show how wet the weather has been in Pearson, Georgia.

They do know how to grill in the south!

If there's a gun, Kevin will find it and play with it!

Either a 'gator or a member with some serious southern rock skills!

A missionary's version of the Burning Man celebration?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Paintballing and a new 'gator~

This week has been a great one. With todays excitement of paintballin, my thoughts are all gone..  but I will try. 

 On Tuesday we went out to a small town and walked around and talked to people. One of those peoplewas Ressa Kirkland. We didn't talk much gospel at first, but we became good friends. We probably talked for 45 minutes. At the end we were able to give her a restoration pamphlet. Thinking we only had a good door talk, we went on our way. 

As our day continued, nothing much happened. As we were at a members for dinner, we got a phonecall, just happened to be our Ressa! She wanted a Book of Mormon to learn more about the church. It was exciting. 

On Friday we had zone conference in Douglas with the whole zone. It was a good feeling to be around all the other missionaries. We learned a lot. For some reason, being around all the missionaries gets me on a spiritual high. 

And after the conference, we took Ressa her BOM. we talked again for 45 minutes..  It was again amazing.  

All day Friday and Saturday and Sunday it poured rain..  It was a good feeling.  Easter was a great day. And the ward had a beautiful speaker. His name, David White. Haha, just kidding, but really.. I was looking good.  It was definitely a different feeling with 110 people staring at you instesd of 15.. but none the less, I loved it. I spoke about Elder McConkies last General Conference talk in 1985, and three different gardens in life.  Eden, Gethsemane,  and the empty tomb. It was a good talk. I love having my testimony of the gospel and the resurrection. It helps me push forward and help others feel it for themselves.  Well, I shall get to yall next week! I should be able to send photos next time. 

Love, the georgian, 
elder bodily

For reference, here is the talk Kevin mentioned:

Monday, April 14, 2014

One Year This Week . . .

I really can't start to comprehend that Saturday was my birthday and now this week is my hump day.. can someone tell me where time went? I really need to find out. Especially this past week. It went somewhere..  

It is starting to warm up, and luckily we don't have to wear our suit coats anymore!  So that's a blessing.  We had some really good experiences this week. I don't remember days, I just remember experiences.  One day we were driving through the back country trying to find this place called "LAX".  I was curious.  So driving up towards it, we saw the county line change, a big house on the left with a lady outside picking up cotton on her front lawn area.  Now that we were out of our area, we flipped around and stopped to help her.  She was hesitant at first, but as we talked with her, we just slowly started to pick up pieces.  That took about 30 minutes. it was a good time though.  She had a huge house and a huge yard....   Her daughter knew a member in high school that's on his mission now, the daughter was off to college at Valdosta State.  So they knew about the church, but when we asked them if we could come share a message about Jesus Christ with them, they said, "Oh, we're baptist." and that was the end of it.. haha. kinda funny. but it was a good time.  

Another time we were going to a neighborhood to recontact some people.  We knocked on a door and a teenage black guy answered it and was super nice, invited us in right away. Come to find out, he had met with missionaries before and been to church!  It was nice.  As we were talking, we became good friends.  He had a metal can in his pocket.  He said  "Oh sorry about that, I just am paranoid right now."  He had a can of pepper spray on him....   I dunno what happened but I guess he was nervous.... and as we were talking, his mom came in and come to find out, she is a less-active member!  Crazy.  It was good though. We are excited for them.  

Another fun experience, we went to contact a less-active and he was out working on a big truck.  He used to drive trucks and pull mobile homes.  That was cool to talk with him.  He has a couple views he doesn't agree with, but really nothing against the church..  I don't understand some people like that.. ya know?  It comes down to faith and understanding that this church truly is true!  

Saturday was just a party.  We had a spring clean at the church, a lot of people came and we deep cleaned. it was fun!  It definitely is a new old feeling of being in a big ward.. kinda felt like home. it really did.  It was good.  We had dinner and a lesson at our investigator Kiel Pittman's house.  He is such a good guy!  I am excited for him. they got pizza for us, and then things called 'smallcakes', they are big cupcakes!!  So good!  

For being my first birthday away from home, it wasn't too bad at all :) I mean come on, silly string makes anything better!  I'm sure I'm leaving a whole lot out of my emails.. sorry!  But yeah.  Mom, DO NOT look at all  the photos, I just have to send the one you will hate :)

I love you all! 
Elder Bodily

He received our birthday package . . .

Including the things Trevor included!
No birthday is complete without Silly String and a princess wand!

Local inhabitant.  

Too late.  He tried to warn me, but I looked.  Gross!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Great First Week in Pearson!

With transfers come a new experience. I am so excited to be in my new area! I went from about 15 members to about 120! Even though we won't actually have a church meeting till next week, I can already feel the love from the ward. It definitely is a new experience. I am excited though! 

My new companion is Elder Hillier from Sacramento California. We are excited to work together! He has been in Pearson about 6 weeks, so he is the veteran of our 4 elder district/house.  The 4 of us live in a house right next to the church, its pretty awesome. 2 english elders and 2 spanish elders. It's a different feeling being a district leader.. its weird to think that I am the oldest and most senior missionary..  

But this week was great.  We were out walking a bit and meeting new people. We had a couple neat experiences. We helped a less active tear a tin roof off of a trailer. That was fun! Haha. Hard work but a lot of fun!  We were walking around a new area and talking to everyone. We met a lady that was hesitant at first, but then she opened up and we talked about how she lost her father, and then the JW's met with them and confused them a lot, so we talked with her and she talked with us. Ya know. Then we talked about her husbands Mustang that is the fastest around and still street allowed.. It was great. 

General Conference was amazing! I really took everything to heart and it helped me grow a lot. It truly is amazing when we can hear the living voice from prophets of the Restoration. It was comforting though.  

Sorry, I am just short on words this week..

Just know that I love this gospel and am so happy that I am a missionary. 

Here's my new address, if anyone wants to send a birfday love card by Saturday. :)

Elder Bodily
336 Pearson St.
Pearson Ga 31642

I love you all!
Elder Bodily

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What Happened?

Wait a moment.. it's Monday? daggum.  This week has been full of great moments and some not so great moments, but those made some great journal entries.  This week has really been off the wall. I'll start with transfer calls on Saturday

I am being transferred this week, I am training a new missionary, becoming a district leader, and whitewashing an area. Someone has a lot of trust in me, but I understand my purpose. I kind of knew I was going to be transferred.  Friday night I was praying to know how to help one of our investigators, one I have really come to love and become close with, and I heard something in my head say, "You've done your part."  It was really powerful. I had this overwhelming feeling of peace come over me.  Even though the task at hand is kind of a big one for me, because it's new, I know that through Christ, all things are possible. 

We had an amazing lesson with another one of our investigators, Betty. She is just so amazing. She lost another family member this past week, and we have been talking about the plan of salvation with her a lot. I think it really helped her out. She prayed that she will continue to have "added knowledge of the Mormon faith".  Wow.  It was so powerful.  She says she really wants to get into this, while softly rubbing the Book of Mormon.  And another lesson with Jermaine Dawson. He also lost a family member and he had some questions that were answered word for word with the Book of Mormon of how our spirits are taken to God after we pass away, and that we keep our memories.  It was so powerful!  He was loving it.  Alma 40.    

All of these great experiences, really outweigh our moment of meeting The Curles family. Now when I tell you that I haven't met someone that has been more anti, I aint telling a story.  They straight up told us that they have taken classes with their church, and have been prepared for when we come around.... Wow.  I was just laughing as we walked away. they were so shocked that we actually believed the things we did. and we bore our testimony and stood our ground and then walked away. 

Sunday was amazing. We got a call early in the morning from an Alabama number, we were still half asleep and not really understanding, but story kept short, waiting for church to start, and for this person to show up, we saw a mini van come around the corner, that was the first clue, the second, 4 bikes on the back.  I was so happy.. and when they got out, the mother and father and then 4 kids under the age of 6 got out.. it was so happy.  But they were just on their way back to Talladega from the Ft  Lauderdale temple open house.  But it was no coincidence.  They knew the Bodily name.  They met at USU and got married in the Logan temple! and they know a Bodily in the Talladega stake! crazy.. it was so good to visit with them and all, ya know?  

Saturday and Sunday were difficult though, saying goodbye to the people I have come to love here in the big city of Cordele.  For not being strong in numbers, they are strong in love and charity.  I will never forget Cordele GA.  I have never felt so much love.  It doesn't make it easier to leave when I am given a free DeMarcus Ware jersey (#94) for the Cowboys.. even though he is a Bronco now. We will forgive him for that though. He is just confused by the wisdom of men. 

Yesterday we spent dinner at a members home who lives on the lake here between the two areas. I loved it.. So beautiful. too bad it was Sunday, I was about to go fishin!  

I saw these signs and had to get a picture of them.. We're in a Republican state.  haha

And meet Estella Kinchens. One of my moms out here, and a diehard cowboys and Celtics fan!   :)

Till next week. a new home, a new story, new testimony builders. 

I love this gospel!

Elder Bodily