Monday, February 27, 2017

This week went real quick. I went on exchange in Reedy Creek with Elder Jackson. Started off the exchange right with all you can eat sushi at Pisces uptown. It was the best thing ever. Then we taught a few people and went to go contact a referral who just happened to live next door to their investigator, Mupeni. As we arrived I could hear screaming and wailing from one of the homes and Mupeni's brother came out to greet us. He informed us that Mupení had died two hours earlier. The whole family just moved here from Africa and couldn't speak a lick of English. They had us come in and sit on their couch and they were just absolutely hysterical. It was really sad. All the women were singing and yelling in Swahili and the men were all somber just staring at the floor with wet eyes. It was really a miracle we just happened to be there that night because of the referral they received. It was comforting to be able to hug them goodbye and tell them it would be okay because they'll see their brother again. It was pretty awkward though because while we were sitting there the mom, who was this gigantic African women, leaned hard core onto Elder Jackson and just sobbed all over him. 

I also went on exchanges with Elder Hampshire. It was fun to be with him again. We hit up the crepe shop in High Point, best crepes ever. They had a super good Zone Meeting, the Alexander's grandkids were visiting and they went too. Their 12 and 14 year old were better teachers than some of the missionaries in the room. Some real protégées there. The theme was of course, the family. Particularly ohana and focusing on making sure none of our spiritual brothers and sisters get left behind. At then end we all sang the EFY theme song and it was pretty spiritual. Everyone was crying. 

Yes, Selena was baptized!!!! It was pretty great. Her mom is a member but doesn't ever come to church and her neighbor/close friend Leticia just got baptized with her family in December. The missionaries have tried with her for a long time, but it never really clicked until she had a close friend to go to church with. Now we're teaching her other friend Ariana and their other neighbor too.  

Alright I love y'all! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sup guys.

So I had no idea they were going to teach Aliyah in our home so when I Skyped in the other night I was kinda surprised. Luckily President is still cool with it as long as we keep it purpose driven and don't let it get me home sick or anything.

This week was kinda weird, I went on exchange with Greensboro and Gastonia. It involved a ton of driving. I listened to this talk while we were driving called "The True Meaning of the Atonement" by Cleon Skousen. It was super good. I really enjoyed it. When I was in Gastonia I was with Elder Brown who's from Sandy, Oregon. He played water polo for Sandy which means we played each other a few times. Small world. I also met the new office couple today and they're really good friends with the Carrs in our ward. The Deweys, the other office couple, used to live in Corvallis and they know the Schultzes.

This next week S is getting baptized. She's come along pretty well. It's been really nice because L is really good friends with her. L's whole family just got baptized and we've been teaching S at their house. G is on the stop smoking lesson again. He's doing alright with it. Yesterday we stopped by after church and caught him smoking. He'd literally been home like 3 mins from church and he lit one up. Dang it, G. Then when we left his place we waited down the road and like a minute after we left he came out and went to ask this bum hanging out outside for a cigarette and we pulled up really quick and he saw us and hid behind a tree. It was pretty funny. He still went to ARP that night and called us this morning to stay accountable. He's doing pretty good now😂

Maxwell flipped a cow when he found out an apostle is coming. It was really funny. He wants me to record his life story and write a book about it so I'm pretty pumped. If you can send the audio recorder by the first week of March that'd be great because Elder Cook will be here on the 10th.

Today we played sand volleyball and rugby with the Zone. That was pretty dope. This week I'm going on exchange with High Point! I'm pumped for that. I can't think of much else that happened. Pretty fast week yet not much happened. We did go to this super great crepe place! It was delicious. Okay I love y'all!

Monday, February 13, 2017

So perfect timing on the $40 because today is our 'treat yo self' day. Honestly I think I prefer the money over a package. We're at South Park mall living it up. I bought a new suit, and it's slick. Got a super good deal on it, 20% off and it's some solid material. I tend to wear a suit like every other day here and with only two suits I'm running out of variety. Plus I want them to last and it'd be good to get another in the rotation. Elder Peterson and Elder Everett both bought the same suit as me so we'll all be twinning. Oh yeah totally forgot to tell y'all. Last week when we were driving back from Greensboro we got a call from an unknown number. It's Elder Klebingat of the 70, he gave a really good talk in conference titled 'Approaching the Throne of God With Confidence'.  Anyway he wants to get a hold of President asap but Pres is in interviews with missionaries so we give him Sister Alexander's number. The next day we find out Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve is coming to our mission in like a month with Elder Klebingat. He's having a big meeting with our whole mission on Saturday and then Sunday all 7 stakes in our mission are going to a giant conference in Charlotte. I'm gonna hear an apostle speak in the  Bojangles colosseum!!! So of course we all had to get new suits and the rest of 'em are buying new shoes too but I just got some so I'll hold off.

Transfers happened last week. We picked up the new missionaries and brought them to the mission home Monday night. Had dinner there and told them what North Carolina was like. Then the next day we got up and trained them and sent them off with their new companions. We also had MLC this week which was pretty crazy because they happen once a month and I feel like we just had one. I conducted and Elder Peterson and I trained on the Book of Mormon. After that I went on exchange with Elder Murray. He's from Idaho and goes home in a few weeks. We taught a ton of people, which was super nice, and even found a new person to teach! The next day we drove up to Mt. Airy (aka the place Andy Griffith was filmed) and went to Elder Zesinger's district meeting. And then after that we went to this Mexican restaurant and the owner loves missionaries so he have us all like a huge discount! It was great.

We also dropped Elder Blanco this week. I was pretty sad, but I'll see him soon. Took him to the Holy Stake and Hoagie, best sandwich in town. I'm actually on my way there now #TreatYOSelf.

Alright time to play some bball. Thanks again for the Valentine's money! Hope y'all have a great week.

Monday, February 6, 2017

This was the busiest week of my life. We had three Zone conferences, transfers, and a baptism. Don't tell anyone, but yesterday we both laid down for a 30 min nap during our lunch, and woke up 2 hours laterI was so tired. But all in all Maxwell still got baptized and S accepted a baptismal date for February 25th. It's really quite amazing, all this success in Matthews. 4 months ago this place was not so successful. We used to make fun of the assistants because they hadn't had a baptism in like 9 months and they were supposed to be the examples to us. Elder Clarke and Elder Blanco really put a lot of hard work into this area while they were here. And now Elder Peterson and I are fueling it further. February is going to be the 4th month in a row Matthews has had a baptism every other week. (Or twice a month). I'm just praying and trying my best to keep up the trend. Hopefully I'll finish my mission here, I'd hate to have to spend my last transfer somewhere else, unless it was Danville of course. Speaking of Danville, Elder Beaulieu is getting transferred there!!!!!!! I'm really happy for him.

So here's how my week pretty much went:

Tuesday was super quick because we had to spend a big chunk of the day preparing for Zone conferences in the office. Then Elder Monteleone took us out to lunch at Moo and Brew, a burger place uptown. He's our favorite office missionary. He and his wife live in the Weddington Ward and are over housing and bikes. They're hooking us up with a new apartment soon because ours is pretty old and gross. Anyway, that day flew by real quick because we spent the evening teaching and helping G quit smoking.

Then Wednesday we had the two Charlotte Zone conferences together. It was a little rough because some trainings took a lot longer than others but we got through it alright. In the evening we drove up to Greensboro and stayed the night with Elder Everette. Remember him? The one I trained in Danville from Alaska that's kind of a wild animal? Yeah him. He made me a tie and baked us brownies. It was nice. He actually just got transferred down here to Reedy Creek and will live in the same complex as me so I'm pretty stoked.

On Thursday we had the Zone conference in Greensboro with the Greensboro, High Point, and Winston Zones. It went a lot better. That night we drove back to Matthews for our dinner and to check up on G and then up to Hickory to stay the night with Elder Hatch and Christensen because the next day (Friday) we had Zone conference up there with the Hickory and Gastonia Zones. It was kinda odd sitting through the same 6 hour meeting three days it a row. The theme was the plan of salvation and President taught us all the doctrine of the lesson so I learned a ton from that. Each time my understanding of the fall deepened. The fall has been one of my favorite study topics lately.

On Saturday Maxwell was baptized. It was a fantastic service. Brother Yessay baptized him. He joined the church in Liberia so they bonded pretty well. Maxwell cried a lot and it was a pretty spiritual meeting. Afterwards we went and got giant nachos uptown with the Reedy Creek ZLs and then went over to President's to finish up transfer business. Well by 5 that evening President wasn't quite feeling right about the transfers (he'd go in his room and pray about it, then come out and we'd make a few changes and he'd pray some more.) so we went to our dinner and proselyted till about 8 and came back. By then he was feeling pretty good and we went through the leadership calls he'd need to make and typed it up for him. We got out of there about 9:30got to the office around 10 and then started working logistics for where everyone would meet to get their new companion. That was a lot more complex then you'd think because you have to chain each companionship until you get a full circle of companions that are all swapping companions. Add in missionaries going home, training new missionaries, and a few car changes and we didn't leave the office till 1:30 am! Then at 6am we got up and called all the zone leaders to give them the transfer news for their Zones and hurried to church at 9. Maxwell was confirmed and we came home and took a nap. Last night we also had the mission president's fireside. G came and I think it helped him a bit.

Alright here the pics from the week: