Sunday, May 25, 2014

What a beautiful week.....

Words can't begin to explain how this week went.  I suppose I'll begin with probably one of the most touching things of my mission so far.  Our young investigator that has Autism, Matthew Kirkland, and his brother Ben, were baptized Sunday after church! It was last minute for us, but it was ran through the ward so they had control. We left our phone at the house when we went out for the day. When we got back, we saw we had a missed call, so we called back and it was a lady in the ward asking about "the baptism after church for the kirkland boys."  My jaw hit the floor. We had thought it was this coming Saturday.  But we were so excited. when we got to church, the boys' family was just pulling up. They were so excited. Ben, the 8 yr old came up to us and said, 'hey were getting baptized today!"  ah it was so wonderful.  At the service, I spoke on baptism. I focused partly on taking upon us the name of Jesus Christ. If I were to chose 2 people to represent Christ, these are them. So pure, and so perfect. 

The Kirkland brothers, Matthew and Ben

This past week the ward was selling donuts to help pay for their scout camp. So you already know that I was getting my face stuffed!! Kripsy Kreme donuts never tasted so good. Of course, I only bought 1 box, but like 3 boxes were given to us by the ward. oh boy.. they sure know how to make me happy. the best part is how the other elders are on this health kick. so I ate most of them.. 

Saturday was a great day. We did not have too much stuff that was set planned, but we made the best of it. We knew one of our investigators, Brandon was playing a flag football game so we walked over and talked with him and watched him. It was great. A lot of his friends know who we are. Quite a few black people haha. more than we have come in contact with here in Pearson. But we were talking with him and he told us that Tyreek Hill was going to be there.. Now a little info about him.. He is from Pearson GA. He holds the Georgia record for the 100 yd dash, and a bronze medal in the jr olympics, and now he is going to be playing football for Oklahoma State. He is about my heigth, or shorter, but so thick.  At first it was just me and my comp standing there watching, then the other elders showed up and talked with us. Then he was joking, "man, everytime I look, they double" haha. It was great. He took either a picture or a snapchat or something with us in the back ground, calling us his goons. It was pretty funny haha. 

Later that day we headed off to Willacoochee to visit with our investigator Ressa. I cannot explain how wonderful she is!  She was doing some wood work. she's really good at it and has a shop in her back yard and everything. Like I said, she is just wonderful. She has been through a lot. Had eye cancer so she only has 1 eye, which made her retire from the air force, but doesn't let it get in the way of anything. But before we could really start our "friendship" conversation, she said, "So I've been reading and I've got a couple questions".. Wow. I was happy. Now she isn't one to argue, she is searching for answers. She explained how she felt the Book of Mormon was like the Bible because it was pretty much the same message.. I asked her where she had read to. Mosiah 19. It all made sense. Abinadi is a great man who preaches the 10 commandments!  We helped her understand that those who believe the Bible, should believe the Book of Mormon (Mormon 7). Well actually, I shouldn't say we helped her understand, because she already understood!  She just needed reassurance!  And she recognizes that if the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. She is just a little stubborn right now with coming to church, but we are so happy for her. She also was expressing emotions of life, so we gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and introduced it to her. 

We also went fishing with one of our priest's saturday afternoon. He always takes us out to his uncle's house that sits on a huge pond. I caught a fish!  Even though it was only a brim.. nothing like a huge large mouth bass, but I'll catch one of those one day.. 

The Big Fisherman

This week was just a beautiful one. Another rain storm came through that just made it all more beautiful. We also have a friend that comes through the backyard almost everyday.. 

A "little" rain

Daily visitor . . . 

Well, until next week!  I love you all

Elder Bodily

Monday, May 12, 2014

Washing a Car and Repentance

It was so good to talk to the family yesterday! I cant believe that is already the middle of May.. The summer is coming, and i can feel it.. the heat is starting to hit. 

This week was a great one.  We had a baptism on Friday night. That is always a good time for the ward to grow closer together. It was a beautiful service. None of the girl's family are members of the church, so this was an ice-breaker for the whole family!   Like I said this week was a great one. 

We met a lot of new people.  We walked through this one neighborhood and it was great! We met Wallice while he was out working on his car.  He is 64 years old, and his life has been all over the place.  He has quite the history - used to be addicted to every sort of drug, drinking, smoking, everything.  He said that one day, he just prayed to "the big man in the sky" and it all stopped.  No classes or anything.  It truly was a miracle.  He has such great faith and he is excited to learn more about the restoration and the gospel. He is very animated, which is good.  A lot of these southerners talk quiet and slow.  Not Wallice!  It was nice.  

This week I had kind of an enlightening about gospel principles and something I love to do.. Washing the car and repentance.. We washed the car this week and I was thinking about it a lot. They are so much alike.  This is what I wrote in my journal: " Cleaning the car to me is like repentance: Different stages of the process of cleaning, different tools.  You can take a mud-covered car and turn it into something beautiful.  It's hard work sometimes, lots of little details, but in the end, it is something you will be proud of because you worked on it."   

I also listened to a great talk this week, its called "I love my friends" by Hank Smith.  It was great.  I always have thought about this during my mission, I am grateful for all the friends I have had that have taught me things.. good and negative, all were learning experiences.. I just gotta say, I have the best friends anyone could ask for. 

We went fishing this week and we didn't catch any fish, but hey!  I saw my first alligator!! It was a baby one, but hey, I saw one!  It was so exciting! 

We went over to a members house and celebrated mine and one of the other elders birthdays..  Don't let the cakes trick you.. cuz they did me at first.. a balloon! come on.. hahaha. it was a good time though. 

Pretty cakes . . .

but they were just balloons covered with Cool Whip!

But then they got real cakes!

Well, not much else happened this week..  hopefully this week is more eventful! 
I love this gospel so much. I am grateful for the atonement and the ability to use it in my every day life as a missionary. 

Elder Bodily

The Bishop in his ward took them out to eat.
Kevin had a BBQ sandwich.
I hope they had a case of napkins on hand! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Week of Work and a Miracle

This week went by like a blur.. I cant believe that it is Monday already.  This week flew because we were having some good experiences! and well, some not so good ones.  

One of the many reasons i love the south is because its home to me. On Tuesday and Wednesday we went and did some service for city hall here in Pearson.  That gives me an excuse to get out of the shirt and tie. Thus the reason for the overalls. Yes, i know i look like mario, but that's alright, i fit in here in Georgia! 

It's a good feeling to have when we go to city hall, they already know us. This town is tiny and everyone knows us. We are best friends with the mayor and now the Chief of Police. I love it :)   One day we were trying to help, but it was raining too much for them, and we saw this man across the street unloading a u-haul by himself, and i could see a fridge, and a washer and dryer.. so we went over and helped him out. We moved quite a bit into his house, and then religion was brought up and then we were at a standstill for about an hour..... it was us 4 elders helping him. He was a pastor at a church in Texas and then just up and left and came here.. strange, but that's his life.  I wouldn't call it a bible bash, we were just all explaining our beliefs and he, his. But a couple days later we went by to see how the move was going, and then we talked for another 2 hours.. this time it was me and one of the other elders.. oh boy.. it was turning to a bible bash.. but, as truth is always truth, he was going in circles. He brought up anti points and everything, but it was to no avail..  this whole experience just helped strengthen my testimony of the gospel and how true it really is! 

This week we also had a couple great lessons. First one was with a cousin of a member here, our ward mission leader who just returned from Mexico in December haha.  He is great!  So weird to think he is pretty much my age.. but his cousin has been going through a lot lately, and finally decided that she wanted to learn more about the church and accept the gospel.  So we went down and met with her!  She is awesome.  Also our age.. it still makes me double take on my life, how i am their age, but yet i am the one sharing the restored gospel.. but anywho, our lesson was outside, at a table of a Dairy Queen. It was a good experience though. A lot of people saw us, and as we continue to do work in that town maybe it'll help them out.  She lives in Homerville, a town bigger than Pearson, but hardly any active members.  

Our other great lesson actually happened at an active member's house in Homerville.  It was with his friends which we have met before.  She finally received her Book of Mormon and is excited to read it!  The member reminds me of the movie Up.  He is an old guy that gets around better than me. 

Also in Homerville, we were going through our list of members and remembered someone telling us about an older sister with health problems.. it was really a miracle we found her. The gps didn't show her address, and as we turned a corner, we saw the street sign.  So we met her.  Sister Smith. S he lives by herself and is like in her 80's.  The first thing she said was that she hadn't seen missionaries in awhile.  I am so grateful we went by and visited with her.  It was wonderful.  I love being able to just visit people, and talk about their lives, especially the older generation.. (politically correct term, i think..)

anywho. the work is work, the area is amazing, and the gospel is true! 

elder bodily