Monday, September 5, 2016

Virginia is for Lovers

Well, I made it through a week in Virginia, where the slogan you see
on every license plate is "Virginia is for lovers".  It feels like
I've only been here a few days though. I'll give you all a brief
description of Virginia before I go through the week.

Trees, trees, and oh look, more trees

The max distance you can see in Virginia is probably half a mile. You
are surrounded on all sides by massive trees and it can sometimes get
a little claustrophobic. The only colors in the summer are green
trees, blue sky, and black roads. I've been told that once fall starts
however that everything changes and it's super pretty so I'm looking
forward to that.

My companion is Elder McDonald. He has been our 9 months and is from
the small town of Milad Idaho. He plays the banjo and is a fun guy to
be around.

The first few days were really hard, but as the week progressed it got
better and better. I've found that whenever I'm feeling down and ready
to quit I'll talk to someone, wether it be an investigator, a member,
or some random person on the street, and they will say exactly what I
need to hear to keep me going. So far I've met a lot of cool people
and it's been a really humbling experience. It's weird going from a
sacrament meeting with a full chapel and overflow to a sacrament
meeting with maybe the chapel half full. All the active members have
super strong testimonies and I learn a lot from them. I say active
members because we have twice as many less actives than we do actives.
Elder McDonald and I try to visit 2-3 of them each day. Some want to
be at church but have busy schedules, but others are going to a
different church all together.

We are fed pretty much every night which is awesome. On Sunday night
we ate at the Rogers. They are a really nice older couple who have
grandkids out on missions. During dinner I set a hand towel down on
the stove, a minute or two later we all smelled something burning, and
yes, you guessed it, the towel was on fire. I quickly grabbed it, put
out the flames, and threw it in the sink, crisis averted. The stove
had been left on but just barely so you couldn't really see the
flames. Needless to say they'll always remember the name Elder

We don't have a ton of investigators progressing right now. We have a
few that have potential however. Like David Wagner, who believes that
he's cracked the binary code in the bible, revealing that Wormwood is
on its way and the Earth only has until 2055. While we don't agree
with him on that we love talking to him and he seems interested in the
Book of Mormon. Then there's Ethan Shively, he's read the Book of
Mormon cover to cover two times already but has some serious word of
wisdom problems and is going to be homeless in a week when his
girlfriend kicks him out unless we can help him find a job.

The best parts of the week have been service. After slowly decomposing
in the MTC for 3 weeks its nice to be outdoors and do stuff like
building fences, moving furniture, or pulling out tree stumps.

Our ward mission leader is Brother Condie. He's married with 4 kids
and he graduated from East High School from Utah and knows some of the
same people I do who live around there. We set a goal with him to have
2 baptisms by October 30th, which happens to be my birthday. He
challenged us to tell every member we meet about our goal and
challenge them to share the gospel. The one thing I never realized in
missionary work is that members are super important. Tracting is great
and all (not really its the worst) but referrals are always better.
Even without referrals though I know that we can reach the goal as
long as we are exactly obedient.

If you're trying to send a letter or a package this is the address of
my apartment. If you send it to the mission home it could be a while
before I get it.

6407 Wooded Glen Ct.
Chester, VA 23831

Heleman 12:23
Heleman 10:4

Snowbird in Virginia

Tracking with Elder MacDonald

A crazy awesome sunset we got due to the tropical storm. #nofilter

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