Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Awesome Week In Quantico! 3/19/13

Well it has been an incredible week here in Quantico! Unfortunately I don't have much time at all to email this week though :/ We had to give rides around the zone yesterday so some Elders could get some shopping done and then we had to end P-Day a little early for some appointments so we only have just a few minutes to email this morning before we leave for district meetings. Just a few highlights for this past week though that really made it an awesome week: First we had 5 people at church for the first time this past Sunday, and all 5 of them loved it! They are all planning on coming back next week. Second we found 2 new families to teach that are awesome. Third we had a family in the ward have us over last night for a lesson and dinner with a 3rd new family that wants us to teach them on a regular basis. Fourth I got to go on an exchange to a bike area and ride my bike again for the day, it was awesome! Fifth we got to go to the Marine Corps museum yesterday and it was sweet! And Sixth I got a great package from my family for Easter! It was an all around great week here! I'll have to elaborate a little more next week but I just wanted to give  quick little update to let everyone know that things are going well here! I love and miss each of you guys though and I wish I had some more time to email everyone today but I think this is probably all I will have time for :/ I hope everyone's having a great week though! More next week!

Another Great Week Here In Quantico! 3/18/13

It's a rainy day here in Quantico! We woke up to an inch or two of snow this morning but now it's all turned to rain and slush, a wet and cold day for sure haha. It has been quite the week though! We were sad to lose Elder McFadden this past week due to an emergency transfer down to Fredericksburg haha. Not what he was expecting at all when President called and told him he was leaving. He thought he had gotten hs visa and he would be going to Brazil but instead he just got switched areas haha. We had a missionary have to go home so there was an all of a sudden open spot in the mission that needed to be filled and Elder McFadden fit the ticket! We had some good lessons and great exchanges with a few members of the ward. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened though. We had planned on having 7 people we were teaching at church this past Sunday but not one showed up! That was a bummer, but that's just how missionary goes sometimes haha we get pretty used to getting skunked. Elder Rasmussen is attempting a new all-organic diet from now on due to some info one of the people we are teaching gave him. I've never really been one for eating healthy but I told him I'd try my best to eat all the junk food before he gets to it and eat healthy stuff when he eats it so it'll be a little easier on him haha. St. Patrick's day went well thanks to some great packages from home! Besides that it was just a very busy day haha. Well that's about all I have to update this week! I'll end this one a little early so that I have some more time to email back a few people who emailed me this week haha. I hope you all have had a great week though! I love and miss you all lots!

Another Week in Quantico! 3/11/13

Well here I am another week in Quantico! I'm very glad I survived transfers haha. Elder Eaton was transfered though, that was a bummer. We only got to be comps for 5 weeks haha. But my new companion was quite a surprise. It's Elder Rasmussen! The Same Elder Rasmussen that was my companion in the MTC! How cool is that? We are way stoked to be companions again haha. So far we have gotten along great and are having a great time. We also got to keep our visa waiter, Elder McFadden, who knows how much longer he'll get to stay with us. He's a great guy so we hope he stays awhile haha. It sure has been a hectic week though because of transfers! Our zone changed a lot this past transfer. We had 8 missionaries transferred out and a total of 10 missionaries transferred in. With that we had 1 brand new area opened, 1 area white-washed (both Elders transferred out and 2 new Elders transferred in), and one area being switched to a bike area. So there was a lot of last minute calls for rides and housing and supplies and all sorts of good stuff that we had to make, stressful! But the week itself ended up still being an awesome one! Our ward fasted for help in missionary work this past fast Sunday and man it really worked well. We saw lots of miracles from it. We found some solid new people to teach and had some really great lessons. We had a really awesome miracle that I wanted to spend some time sharing though. So a little over a year ago when I was serving back in Sterling Park, Lauren (who had just recently joined the church) told me that she felt like she needed to give me some money she had. She said she didn't know why but it was a very strong prompting and wanted me to take it, she said that it was not for me but for someone else that I would eventually meet. It was a good amount of money so I told her to pray about it first because there was no way I was just going to take her money haha. She did and her answer was the same, give the money to me. I decided I would take it, fold it up in the back pocket of my wallet and just wait for the time to be right for me to give it to whoever it was for. Well like I said that was over a year ago and I had not thought about it since then. I knew it was there and told myself I'd keep looking for the person who needed it. Of course we meet people that need money all the time but never any of those times did it feel like that was the person who needed the money. Well last night we stopped by a woman's house named Linda. We met her this past week while knocking on some doors in her neighborhood when she was having a rough time and just needed someone to come inside and pray with her. We did and she said she would like to come to church with us on Sunday, she was in need of financial help and wanted to talk to the leaders at our church (something we hear quite often from people), we told her that we couldn't guarantee her anything and the Church's welfare system is built around self sustainability and not so much about just giving people money, she said she understood and would still like to give it a shot. Well two days later, the day after we pick up Elder Rasmussen. We go to park and walk to another appointment. Well parked next to us in a broken down car is Linda. It turns out Elder Rasmussen is a master at fixing cars so he diagnosed the problem we ran to the store and gave her a temporary fix so that she could at least get home. Her car was in too bad of shape to get to church so we came by Sunday night instead. Her rent was due the next morning (today) and she still didn't have the money she needed. She explained that she had spent her entire career working with people in homeless shelters, housing people in need, she had lost 2 sons to accidents of one sort or another, she had always been raised a God-fearing Christian and was starting to doubt her faith, she had been praying and praying for help and knew God would provide a way but just wasn't sure how or if he would still pull through. We asked her how much exactly she was short. It was almost exactly the amount of money that Lauren had given me! I felt very strongly that Linda was the one that money was for. So we gave her the money and explained where it had come from and how it had been saved for her, because God answered a prayer over a year ago, for her. She started to tear up and told us how she knew all the times that we had just happened to show up in her time of need couldn't have been a coincidence and she knew that we had been sent by God. Man what a feeling! It was an experience that I will never forget. It's things like that that make being a missionary worth every minute of the 2 years. God is awesome! Well sorry that went a little long, that was our miraculous week! I hope you have all had great weeks as well! I love and miss all of you!

Monday, March 4, 2013

What a week!

Well it's really been a out of the ordinary week here this past week haha. Very crazy but still we had some great success! The biggest out of the ordinary thing that happened this week though was we got a third companion! His name is Elder McFadden and he is straight from the MTC, he is waiting for a visa to get into Brazil for him mission. So Elder Eaton and I will be training him temporarily haha. He's a great guy though and we are glad to have him with us! We also had quite the exchange with some members this past week. Our ward here is great with exchanges and it really helps us cover a lot more ground. We actually had enough members volunteer on Wednesday night to go out with us that we were able to do a "triple-split" haha which is unheard of. We each went with a different member though and worked in a different part of our area. I went and talked to our Elders Quorum president and check on a few referrals, Elder Eaton and his member went and visited a few less-active families, and Elder McFadden (this was his second night out in the mission field) went and found a new person to teach and taught a solid first lesson all on his own! It was great! We were able to get so much done in that hour. Besides that we've continued to have the Spanish Elders living with us all week, which is hectic in our little 1 bedroom apartment having 5 people haha and having to have 5 people shower and be ready in missionary clothes and eat breakfast all between 7 and 8 each morning haha. Even with all the craziness though we still managed to have a really great week! We managed to find 5 new people to teach and a have whole bunch of lessons still, it was sweet! We are really looking forward to having a less crazy week this upcoming week though haha. The craziest thing about this next week will be that it is transfers already! So there is a very small chance that my email will come from a new area next week but I really really hope not, I just finished getting unpacked it feels like haha. It was only a 5 week transfer this time though due to the change in how long missionaries go to the missionary training center. So they had to push just this one transfer back to a 5 week instead of a 6 week. Which means that all the current missionaries will go home a week early. Which according to the calendar will put me at exactly 2 years to the day at the end of my mission haha. It was quite a stressful week here but it was a great one nevertheless! I hope you all have had a great week as well! I love and miss you guys lots

Mission Split! email from 2/25

Well the big news for this week is our mission split that will be happening this summer! Crazy! They are creating a new mission called the Virginia Chesapeake mission somewhere nearby. They will be taking from our mission both the Fredericksburg and Woodbridge (our) stakes and putting them into the Richmond VA Mission. So I'm not particularly sure what that means for us here in woodbridge at that time. If just everyone in those two stakes will get put into the Richmond mission or what. That would be kind of a bummer to leave DC South behind after being here for so long at that point. But I will be alright with it either way haha. It's amazing to see just how fast the church is expanding though! The amount of missionary applications received every week has gone from 700 to over 4000 since this past October and will continue to grow into this summer. Lots and lots of new missionaries haha. This week has been a good one overall though! With our current lack of people to teach we have been doing all that we can to find new people to teach haha. We found a sweet mobile home park in our area that we have been spending lots of time knocking on doors in and we've had some pretty great success so far! We found 3 new people to teach and they area doing great! Hopefully we'll  be able to see them continue to do progress as we keep meeting with them. Also this past week we had interviews with President Riggs, he's such a great guy. You just feel inspired to go out and work hard and be a better person after talking to him haha. We talked with him quite a bit about changes in the zone though and man are there lots of bike areas coming into the mission! They are expecting by the end of this year that only zone leaders and Sister missionaries will have cars. So lots of our car areas are already getting switched over to bike, there's going to be lots of unhappy Elders about that for awhile I imagine haha. We also went on exchanges with the assistants to President Riggs this past week (the AP's or Apes in mission lingo) so that was fun. My temporary companion was a guy named Elder Mankwenkwe from South Africa, so I got to learn all sorts of cool stuff about South Africa haha. It was sweet. We're also having a pretty big problem with bed bugs here in the mission. I really really hope we don't get those haha. Turns out they're a real thing haha, they live in anything with fabric, including beds, clothes, sheets, pillows, etc. and then they bite you while you sleep. The missionaries who live across from us have got them bad too! One elder had to get rushed to the ER because he was so itchy that he scratched a wound into his arm and then they crawled into it and he got a bad infection. Crazy haha. So we are housing a few of the missionaries from over there while the exterminator fumigates their apartment. So overall it was quite an eventful week! Haha and a good one as always. But it's about time for me to get running. I hope all of you are having a great week though! I love and miss all of you!