Monday, August 29, 2016

Hey guys,

Glad you made it home safe and that you had so much fun! My week was really strange and I can't remember a lot of it. On Friday night I got a terrible stomach ache and threw up and then threw up again the next morning. So Saturday was mostly spent resting and contacting people over Facebook. Thursday we had interviews with President Alexander and that went all right I guess. I found out the Alexander's are actually good friends with my MTC branch president, Dave Durfee, which is a pretty crazy coincidence. Wendnesday no one had miles to drive to a church building so district meeting was held over Skype. And yesterday we went to a fireside President had for recent converts and investigators in Winston. We brought an investigator named Shakira and her two year old daughter named Janyla (Ja-nal-a). I was trying to keep Nala quiet with my iPad during meeting when all of a suddenly she looked up at her mom and said "you gonna hit me?". Shakira was like "what? No!" And then Nala stands up a little to show she's peed all over the chair and goes "you gonna hit me?". Needless to say, no one got hit but I still had to clean up a chair with pee on it.  

But yeah time is flying and the work keeps moving. I find myself going through the motions sometimes with everything going on. I think that can be dangerous for missionaries, especially ones that still have a year left to serve. Our mission president asked us to really deeply study the first chapter from Preach My Gospel titled "Our Missionary Purpose". I feel often missionaries get so caught up in all the crazies of being a missionary they forget why they're really out here serving. Hopefully I'll never find myself at that point. 

District meeting pics:

Monday, August 22, 2016


So, Shirley and Courtney and Dainger and David got confirmed yesterday! That was really cool to see. We had a ward missionary baptize them. The service was really well prepared and a lot of people attended. This ward is the best. I never really thought of it before this weekend, but I guess it's pretty rare for a full family to join together. I'm just happy I was able to be there for it. On the mission Facebook I posted a picture and said "Elder Cravey found them, Elder Smith and Elder Toki taught them, and I was blessed enough to see them baptized." I think it's crazy how each of us play little parts in the work and it all gets done. There was a girl in Danville that got baptized a few weeks ago that Elder Clarke and I found about a year ago. I think that's the way we stay humble as missionaries and why we don't get transferred. If we all just do little parts here and there no one can really say "look what I did" but more "look what I was a part of".

So today we're going to the Zoo! I'm in the car with Elder Andersen right now. (2nd comp from Danville that lives in Eugene). He just became a district leader so I'll be able to go on a lot more exchanges with him. The Asheboro Zoo is a pretty big deal, I guess. It's the biggest one in NC and I've heard great things about it so I'm super excited.

Lunch at the Yeoman's was super fun! I learned sooooo much about you mom. Oh yeah, I didn't know Grandpa Bob's movie collection was that old!!!!! Dang Gina, he's had that forever. Brother Yeoman was talking about how y'all would always throw parties in the basement and then he asked about grandpa's movie collection. I about died laughing.  They were super nice and I had a good time! Sadly, I was starting to get sick and was a little off; I hope they didn't notice. I woke up with a pretty bad head cold the next day that lasted the rest of the week.

...just got back from the was pretty fun. We went in this dome that was a "desert dome" and it had a bunch of sagebrush and other desert stuff and I felt like I was home! The craziest part was they even had dehumidified the air, I forgot what normal air feels like!

I love you!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wow, lots of new things happening...

Well that's exciting about our new Stake Presidency! As a Zone Leader we work pretty close with the Stake Presidency. Right now we're helping them change the was Ward councils are run. As I've mentioned, Welcome has a stellar Ward council and a stellar bishop to lead it. It's funny because the areas and companionships that struggle to find, teach, and baptized are also the ones who's Ward councils meet only once a month or don't operate well.

You have to promise to take me on a vacation back to NC in a year so we can go see Shirley's family be sealed in the temple! The whole family is going to be baptized this Saturday and I'm so pumped! They've come a long way, especially Shirley.

I got to go on exchange with Elder Andersen, my second companion, this week! It was pretty fun, we went and did service at a huge food bank and moved giant 1,000 lb pallets of food around. Then right after that I went down to Salisbury. It was a quick exchange. I was with Elder Marsh. Oh and in between we had a zone conference on technology use. President went out a bought an air compressor and had us build paper rockets to shoot off at the end. Most people's rockets just exploded and then it started raining.

We also found a few new people to teach. One was a referral from a member. Her name is Linda and at first she really didn't want to talk with us. Then we got her to sit down and taught the restoration and she was super into it. She really wants to come to church and read the Book of Mormon and the Spirit was strong. Hopefully we can help her get there! Another guy we found is named Dwayne. He's living with his less active grandparents right now because his grandfather broke his leg and needs help. 

Today we had Zone Activity. We went to a park and played kick ball. Now I'm on exchange with high point, so I'm pretty excited. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

 Hey y'all!

It's been a great week! We did service on Thursday with the whole zone. The stake relief society president organized a service project with the local Quaker organization and we built a play ground for some Vietnamese refugees. They fled here because they were persecuted for being Christian by their government. Now there's a ton of them living in the Greensboro area and a few members in the Colfax Ward sponsored some of them to come over here and get jobs. It was pretty fun and I got to hang out with Elder Andersen, my second companion, as well as a all the other elders in my zone.

On Tuesday we had MLC in Charlotte. It was a huge technology training. they tested it out in the Arizona Tempe mission and now our mission is the second mission to try it out. We're doing things like group chats with both investigators and members at the same time and there were Skype call lessons. It was a pretty neat training. I got to see Elder Glavin and Elder Peterson and Elder Clarke and Elder Blanco. We car pooled down there with Greensboro and Winston and on the way back we stopped at this bbq place and got these ice cream sundaes that were huge. Like for real I almost finished it and then felt like dying.

On Friday we had zone meeting. We pretty much just trained everyone on the stuff we learned in MLC. Our mission had 37 baptisms last month, which is an all time high, so we threw everyone a surprise breakfast. It was great, everyone was like whhaaaa?!? And then we had pancakes.

Yesterday Shirley came to church, she's on fire right now. She even got up in testimony meeting and bore her testimony. She was telling us how she's having her family have family scripture study and everything! Her kids are doing a lot better so hopefully we'll have the whole family baptized on the 20th, which I'm obviously super
stoked for!

This up coming week is going to be super busy. I'm going on a double exchange two days in a row, and we've got zone conference, so pray I make it through.

Today we played volleyball and basketball and ultimate ball at the church. I'm super tired now.

Alright, I've actually got pictures for you this week. Peace out!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hey y'all!

Shirley and her kids came to church yesterday!!! It was her daughter's first time there and I was a little nervous she wouldn't like it, but our ward is the best at fellowshipping. She was telling her mom they needed to come back on the 28th because the young women were going to be celebrating her birthday and that there's a youth activity soon she really wants to go to and how she made a friend that'll be a freshman at her high school with her next year. Perfect. Now we've just got to figure out her younger daughter, Dainger. Isn't that like the coolest name ever!? She's like 13 or so and doesn't want to give up tea.  We had a Boston tea party and looted all the tea from their home. Yesterday we taught the youth a combined 5th Sunday lesson and we did a "check out" where everyone said one thing they wanted to do different or work on and Dainger said give up coffee, so that's a start. But I'm super pumped because it sounds like Shirley's going to set the example for her kids and get baptized on the 20th!!!! Oh yeah, Shirley was on fire yesterday at church too!!!! In Gospel Principles she was answering questions and making comments all up the wazzoo! It was great, I'm so happy for their family. She starts her new job today so pray all goes well with them.

I'm really loving this Ward. Yesterday was 5th Sunday and I was actually kinda sad there was no council. Our bishop is super missionary minded and could easily be mistaken for Brother Loving in looks and personality. I swear they even have the same voice...  

Today we went golfing again with the High Point district! I did a lot better and pretty much bogeyed every hole. The Elder I rode with was Elder Ward. He shot a perfect 36. Parred all but two, and birdied the 17th hole. We played the back 9 this time and it was still a pretty fun course. Elder Ward, as you can tell, is crazy good at golfing.

Tomorrow we have MLC in Charlotte (mission leadership council). Me, Elder Toki, Elder Galvin (the one from Danville) and Elder Peterson (My last zone leader) will be singing a musical number. Pray that goes well because the last one me and Elder Glavin preformed didn't go so well.

So yeah, good stuff happening here! Alright I love you guys so much!!!!

Elder Earnest