No I never got my blue dress pants, and I forgot to tell you that at the MTC!! So if you ever get those, could you send those to me? Thanks! But they did give us bedding so I've got that! But if anyone wants to send me letter please give them my address cause I would love to get some! And could you send me Austin and Jordan's address, and also Babb's when he gets out into the field!
I'm glad President Baker sent you an email! He's a funny guy, and he knows what he is doing as a mission president. I've only met with him once, but I can't wait to talk with him again!
So my address is 456 Cox Landing Apartment #F Newport News, Virginia, 23608.
My apartment is pretty cool, although it is in a pretty sketchy complex. But we always talk to people there and they are all very kind to us! Except for this one lady who hates us, but we just don't talk to her haha! I'll send some pictures of the apartment.
Elder Calkins is in Harmony Ward?? That's awesome. He is a pretty cool guy, hopefully you can get to know him. He can name like any scripture reference in the Bible. Oh yeah I forgot to mention I sang in my branch sacrament meeting at the MTC! I sang I Know that My Redeemer Lives. Elder Hansen in my district played the piano, and he has played for 12 years so he made a pretty cool arrangement.
My companion is Elder Nutter. He's from Selina, Utah, which is an hour south of Manti. So I think we drove through it that one day when we went through Manti and Ephraim. We get along pretty well! He is a very interesting guy though, he's just very quirky. But he knows how to work hard which is all I really wanted when I came out here. I needed that to take my mind off of home. Cause as Gordon B. Hinkley's dad taught, "Forget yourself and get to work." So that's what I'm working on! He's a little OCD, so sometimes it's tough to follow the spirit in the lessons, because he likes to do it a certain way. But we're starting to work together well.
Something I've gotten better at is not being afraid to talk to people. Everyone here is generally pretty nice to us, even though they don't really want to hear our message. But they are at least willing to take a pass along card from us, and we invite them to watch the Because He Lives video. If you haven't seen it yet, I'd recommend you watch it, cause it is super cool! I have also gotten better at speaking on the phone, cause I know that was a skill I lacked... haha. But we have to do it a lot as missionaries so we can contact our Potential Investigators that we meet.
Right now I am serving in the Newport News 2nd Ward, as the B elders. The ward boundaries are so big that they split it in half, so 2 other elders (Elder Rice and Elder Weber) also live in our apartment complex, just down the street, and Elder Rice is training Elder Weber, but I didn't know him before. But we share the car, so that's why I really needed to get a bike. But I am going to get that today, and thank you so much for putting the money in my account!
The Sacrament meeting I went to was really cool. The ward is super small. The building looks just like the North Stake Center, so it has a super wide chapel. But they didn't need to open up the overflow, and there was a ton of open space in the chapel. The ward members are super nice though, and they sing really loud for how small they are... And from the few dinners I've had, they feed us very well. The Bishop asked me to speak on "The Good Shepherd," so I spoke about how Jesus Christ loves each one of us and because of that he suffered the Atonement. Which, as the Lord put it, "18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit--and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink-- 19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men." (D&C 19:18-19) So I shared that, and I also talked about how we can use the Atonement whenever we need to. I then shared the Lyrics of "Never Be the Same" (thanks for putting that in my suitcase by the way) and I said that we will never be the same after we feel and know what the Savior's love of us feels like. I may or may not have cried while reading it... haha! I know what that love feels like, and I know He is the only reason that I have the strength to do this. Which is awesome. A lot of people in the ward came up and talked to me and thanked me for my talk. Anyway, we invited a ton of people to sacrament meeting, both Less Actives and investigators. So many that I lost count, but we did see 3 less actives and 1 potential investigator there though! But I didn't get a chance to talk with them, because I had to leave!
Our area also takes in Fort Eustice, which is an army base. There is a branch that meets there, so 2 of the Elders go to that branch every Sunday! That was a super cool experience to meet there. There were only about 10 of us there, including the Senior missionary couple and myself and Elder Nutter. But there was 1 non member there so we talked to him for a little bit! We aren't allowed to proselyte on the base, but if they come to church and set an appointment then we can meet with them! I also got to play the piano for the meeting because they didn't have anyone that could play there, so that was pretty cool. I said a prayer before that I could, and I know the Lord helped me because I was able to play some hymns that I had never really practiced before.
So during the week someone that we were able to meet with twice was our neighbor across the hall. His name is Mack, but we call him Brother Mack. He's really good friends with a young couple, The Cooks, who are in our ward. So Sister Cook has been to both lessons with us. We taught him the Restoration, and he was really receptive to it and we asked him to read the pamphlet and pray about it. Then when we went back, he had put a note on the door telling us that he was glad that he met with us, but he didn't want to turn his back on his own beliefs... So we knocked on his door anyway. He let us in and we talked for a bit and we ended up having another lesson, this time teaching him about the Book of Mormon and how if he reads it and really ponders it, and prays sincerely with the intention of acting on that prayer that he could come to know that it is true. We were able to set up a return appointment for Tuesday, so hopefully he reads! He didn't show up to Sacrament meeting though so that was sad.
We don't have any other investigators that are on the verge of progressing, so I'll let you know if anyone starts to next week.
So something I have come to know about the people of Virginia is that they are pretty similar to what Zach said about the people in Pennsylvania. Everyone smokes and has a dog, or a cat, or some type of reptile or amphibian. Literally everyone I have met with has a pet. Most of the members don't smoke though so that is good. But everyone else that I meet smokes, and they smoke a lot of different things too... haha.
The roads here are very strange though... There are no bike lanes first of all, so they are very narrow. Then you can make a U-turn like anywhere. I don't know if it's legal, but people do it anyway! And the roads are named, but if you don't know where that road is, there's like no way to find it without a GPS, so I might need to get one. Elder Nutter has one now, so I'll be good for a while.
But things are going really well here, and I am excited to see what is going to happen these next few weeks while I'm here. We have 4 new investigators that we are going to meet with again this week, and like 10 other investigators, but no one with a baptismal date. So we have some work to do. But I'll let you know how the week goes!
I'm glad to hear that Teilani made the men's chorus and is having fun and that Jordan is doing well! And that picture of Austin made me laugh.
I know that Heavenly Father lives and that he loves each and everyone of us. I know that the Savior lives and he guides this church through revelation that is received by a living prophet. And I know that if I have the Spirit with me, I can "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." (D&C 84:85) As long as I am obedient then I can have that Spirit with me and the people will be able to hear our message.
And sorry if this email is very jumbled, I would start to type things and then remember something else and have to type it, there's a lot that goes on and I can't remember everything that happened all the time, but I am keeping a journal so I'll have that! But everything in this email should be okay for the blog! And are you sending my emails out to everyone that we got emails from? Just wondering cause they wanted to get them! And there are some emails that are on the notes in my phone just in case you haven't added those yet.
I love you! Thanks so much for the emails and letters. Can't wait to talk to you next week!
|At the Provo Temple|
|With Elder Napavong (a longtime friend!)|
|His district at the Prove Temple|
|His new desk in Virginia|
|His Room in the MTC|
|With district again at the temple|
|With Elder Griffin!|
|New Companion, Elder Nutter with Elder Collier!|