Monday, May 13, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
We had a good pday. We were able to have some extra time to check out the New River Gorge Bridge. They call it the "Grand Canyon of the East" It's not nearly as big as the grand canyon, but it sure is pretty. We thought we were just going to take some pictures and leave, but it turned out that we ended up going for a little hike up in the woods. We must have looked pretty strange to the other hikers as we still had our full proselyting gear on...
We had an unexpected lesson with an investigator that evening. We were just planning to contact some members of the ward, and our investigator also showed up. We taught him about scripture study, and set up on his phone so that he could listen to the Book of Mormon as he drove to work. I love technology.
First thing in the morning, we totally busted a drug deal.... well sorta. We went to go visit a less active member, and when we walked up to his place, there were a bunch of people outside (thankfully they weren't affiliated with our member). As we walked up, one of them said something about "the christian boys". It looked kinda sketchy, and they got really quiet when we started asking questions.
We also tracted into a lesson with an older gentleman. He was so chill about everything. I don't know if he understood half of what we taught about, but he was ok with it all.
We went back to S's house again, this time his wife was there as well. E. Warner got his first taste of good ol' southern baptist. Now don't get me wrong, they were very nice, and friendly.
We had zone meetings up in Charleston. It was cool to be with the other missionaries. President Pitt was actually there as well. He talked to me a little about how Beckley was doing and then made the comment, "It's kinda nice to be back in the trenches, isn't it?" Yes president it kinda is. :) It's a lot less stressful than being in leadership.
Also, when we finished up with the meetings, we got a call from the assistants. They informed us that we would be getting a new car today. So we traded our '09 chevy malibu with almost 60,000 miles on it for '13 chevy cruze with only 36 miles on it. (not 36,000. just 36 total) That's been really nice. The church puts a lot of money into the mission field
Later that evening we gave one of our investigators a blessing before his surgery the next day. It was the first blessing E. Warner gave, so it was a pretty cool experience for us.
A goodly portion of the day was spent looking for a map. The maps when we got to Beckley were just not adequate for our purposes. We needed to make things more organized, and a good map would help out with that. We tried everywhere. Would you believe that people actually use things like computers and GPS's instead? Crazy! It's like the world uses technology or something. It's really hard to find a good map anymore. We did end up finding a good one at a Go-Mart gas station.
We were able to go to the Tamarack (the main West Virginian tourist center), and although we didn't get a map there, we were able to give a Book of Mormon to a really cool guy there. He actually had been drafted to the Falcons football team and played with them for a while. You meet all sorts out here.
We had a good walk n' talk day. We were able to talk to tons of people. We picked up a new investigator. At first, I have to say I was pretty judgemental. She was dirty and down looking, she was smoking, and lived in a very poor part of town. Even when we first started talking to her, I was just thinking about all the problems and ways she wouldn't be able to be baptized.
Well, the spirit smacked me upside the head and said, "listen up bud. I sent you walking down this way so you could help this lady, so quit complaining and shape up. She's a daughter of God, every bit as much as you are a son of God.".
When I started looking at her from God's perspective, I realized that maybe the only reason she was where she is now is because nobody ever told her how great she really is. I think too often we judge people and appearances, but never truly look at a person the way God does.
Later that day we listened to a talk with another investigator. The name of the talk was "Charity Never Faileth" from Pres. Monson. The whole talk is great, but I thought I'd share the part that hit me hardest:
A woman by the name of Mary Bartels had a home directly across the street from the entrance to a hospital clinic. Her family lived on the main floor and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the clinic.
One evening a truly awful-looking old man came to the door asking if there was room for him to stay the night. He was stooped and shriveled, and his face was lopsided from swelling—red and raw. He said he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success. “I guess it’s my face,” he said. “I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says it could possibly improve after more treatments.” He indicated he’d be happy to sleep in the rocking chair on the porch. As she talked with him, Mary realized this little old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. Although her rooms were filled, she told him to wait in the chair and she’d find him a place to sleep.
At bedtime Mary’s husband set up a camp cot for the man. When she checked in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and he was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, he asked if he could return the next time he had a treatment. “I won’t put you out a bit,” he promised. “I can sleep fine in a chair.” Mary assured him he was welcome to come again.
In the several years he went for treatments and stayed in Mary’s home, the old man, who was a fisherman by trade, always had gifts of seafood or vegetables from his garden. Other times he sent packages in the mail.
When Mary received these thoughtful gifts, she often thought of a comment her next-door neighbor made after the disfigured, stooped old man had left Mary’s home that first morning. “Did you keep that awful-looking man last night? I turned him away. You can lose customers by putting up such people.”
Mary knew that maybe they had lost customers once or twice, but she thought, “Oh, if only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.”
After the man passed away, Mary was visiting with a friend who had a greenhouse. As she looked at her friend’s flowers, she noticed a beautiful golden chrysanthemum but was puzzled that it was growing in a dented, old, rusty bucket. Her friend explained, “I ran short of pots, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, until I can put it out in the garden.”
Mary smiled as she imagined just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when He came to the soul of the little old man. “He won’t mind starting in this small, misshapen body.” But that was long ago, and in God’s garden how tall this lovely soul must stand! 3
Appearances can be so deceiving, such a poor measure of a person. Admonished the Savior, “Judge not according to the appearance.” 4
It was a good lesson learned.
Sunday was great! We had a Stake Conference broadcast from salt lake. It was for 64 stakes and 1 district. Elder Robert C. Gay, Sister Rosemary Wixom, Elder Robert D. Hales, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf all spoke to us. It was a wonderful conference. I greatly enjoyed it.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Some of my time has been spent putting together our new website. You can have a sneak preview if you would like by going here: [http://completeleefamily.com/] More will be added as soon as I am able, but you can get a bit of an idea. Here's a mini screen shot. (We got our new CompleteLee logo, but are also excited for when we get our new "family circle" cartoon logo.)
This'll be a short one today since it's a transfer week.
Busy pday since I had to pack and say all the goodbyes and such. I really don't like goodbyes. Hellos are much easier
Got up early for transfers, and drove down to the Stake Center. It was a long ride up to Charleston. I got to ride up with Bro. S in the cab of the luggage truck. When we got to the Charleston chapel, we had a little meeting before we met our new companions. My new companion is E. Warner from Gilbert AZ. (no his name didn't have any connection with the road by the same name.) He's pretty excited to be out here, and has a ton of energy for the work. I always love "greenie fire".
We were dropped off in Beckley and were met by the Oak Hill missionaries, E. Boughan and E. Robbins. They share a ward with us. I actually served with E. Boughan in Fairmont WV, so it's fun to be around him again. E. Robbins was just recently trained in Vinton, which was right next to my previous area in Roanoke. It's always great to have some familiar faces.
It was kind of a crazy day, I know we had dinner with some members, and did some unpacking/ cleaning. We also met with one of our investigators named Bo.
Friday consisted of a lot of planning, and figuring out where we were in our area. Being doubled into the area, neither E. Warner, nor I knew anything about it. We didn't know (still don't) hardly any of our investigators, nor even where the church building was. Frankly we were probably like a couple of chickens running around with our heads cut off. We were able to meet all of our neighbors. Funny thing, out of our 4 immediate neighbors, 3 of them have the same first name. It must be contagious or something. Watch out or I might come home with a new name too...
We also met alot of the ward members at the ward Dinner and Desert Auction. It seems like a very tight knit ward. Very loving, and very accepting
Saturday Morning we helped a family move in. They drove all the way from California to here! With a 3 year old nonetheless! I was impressed with the turn out of members to help with the move. We finished everything in less than an hour.
We had a couple of appointments, and we had dinner with the Y's.
Well, I didn't know it'd be fast Sunday this week. I guess they're having stake conference next week, so they switched fast Sunday to this week. Unfortunately they didn't tell any of us new guys about it. However the testimony meeting was really good. Bishop asked us to go up and introduce ourselves and bear our testimonies, which we did.
Later in the day we met with the bishop to get his feel of the ward. He suggested some names of people we should go see. On our way back, we drove by an man in a wheelchair who only had one leg. E. Warner suggested that we stop and give him a Book of Mormon. We turned around and pulled over
We asked him where he was going and offered to push him there. He gladly accepted, I learned why pretty quick. We pushed him up a hill, down a hill, up a hill, down a hill. I don't know how the poor guy would've made it up there himself with only one leg, some of the hills were hard on foot.
It was a pretty good start to the week.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Good ol' Pday. It was pretty relaxing during the day. The evening didn't go quite as planned. However, because of some appointments falling through, we had time to stop by a less active family. They weren't too overly surprised to see us, which was a little odd. They then explained, "well the missionaries only show up for two reasons. One, someone asked them to stop by. Or two, they stop by when we have just recently started talking about coming out to church." It's amazing how the Lord works. He just sent us by their house within a few days of them wanted to return to activity.
We went on exchanges with the Salem Elders. It was pretty Crazy. E. Fehlberg and I were walking, or on bikes all day. It was the first time I was in a biking area all day. Some of those hills are pretty tough! We witnessed a car wreck right in front of us, and we slept in a photography studio. (their apartment was getting renovated, so the members that they rent from put them up in their studio. It was pretty cool)
Went to some district meetings today. We had a lunch beforehand at a little place that makes sack lunches for under $4 depending on what you get. Then we had our district meeting outside. It was good for the first 15 minutes, then the heat and humidity started getting to me. Suit Coats are just not designed for comfortable outdoor wear.
We had a couple of appointments in the morning that we took a member to go see with us. What do you know? They both cancelled. The one lady we were trying to see told us to hold on a minute after we knocked on the door. 30 minutes of waiting and a few more knocks on the door later, we decided to move on.
The good news was that the member took us to lunch at this awesome Mexican restaurant, and his less active wife joined us.
More Exchanges, this time with the cave spring elders.The exchange went well, we were able to work well with the members. The member that we had dinner with is actually a really good friend of Mitt Romney. In fact, sometime this week he'll be picking up Mitt from the airport to take him to Buena Vista to give a speech at the SVU. (a church owned school sometimes called "B.Y. Ya'll". A play on words for the acronym of "B.Y.U.")
President gave me a call on Saturday to inform me that I would be getting transferred to Beckley West Virginia, and that he'd like me to train a new missionary there. I'm pretty excited about it. It'll be a nice change from all the stresses of leadership. I'm going to definitely miss Roanoke. I've learned many things here that I couldn't have learned elsewhere. It's been a good few transfers here.
We've got 24 or 25 new missionaries coming in this transfer, and next transfer should be bigger. This is getting ridiculous!
Had a great little miracle on Sunday. We have been working hard this month to get what we call a "Resurrection Sunday" It's a new key indicator that includes 4 things in a given week.
1. Having an obedient morning schedule every morning. Including getting up on time, working out, getting to studies on time, and getting out the door right at 10am.
2. Every day praying at 1pm for the resurrection Sunday
3. One act of service
4. Having a meal with a member with an investigator there also, and then teaching a lesson to that investigator in the member's home.
We had already completed requirements 1, 2, and 3 for this week, but #4 was proving to be a struggle.
We went to dinner with the P family (pronounced poo-wee-zee... he's Italian, don't ask) and there we had a wonderful dinner, but we weren't able to get an investigator there with us. It was really a downer, since we had everything else finished for the week.
We had an appointment to finish off the evening with a member. We were planning on teaching them the Plan of Salvation lesson. When we got there, they had invited one of their friends to sit in on the lesson, and before the lesson, they offered us a plate of spaghetti. So, in the end we ended up taking a second dinner with a member, and taught their friend right afterwards. How great is that? Little miracles are great.
This was probably one of the busiest, and most successful, and smoothest running Mondays I've ever had on my mission. We started off the morning with a few paperwork things, then we had lunch with a member and started teaching their 9 year old daughter.We then talked to a less active member, J, and set up an appointment to come by later that day.We drove off to a wonderful lesson with an investigator of ours, after which we went back to see J.
When we got to J's, her non-member daughter was also there and we began teaching both of them. We had dinner with our Bishop and his wife, immediately after which, we taught another investigator and his son, then we visited a less active member to end our evening off.
It was one of the very few days that no appointments fell through, and all potential appointments worked out just as planned. It was amazing. One thing just flowed right into the next.
Had lunch with a member again. In fact, it was the same family that fed us the day before, they heard it was transfer week, and wanted to see us one more time before one of us left. Then we blitzed the North Roanoke elder's area. (meaning we did an exchange, but instead of one set of elders in each area, we both went to the north area) They're in the same ward as us, and we thought an exchange could really help them to figure out how to work more effectively. It was a really great exchange. We were able to teach an Albanian lady named G B. The lesson went well, and even though we had a few communication issues, things worked out in the end.
That's it for this week!
See ya next week!
Elder Brayden Connole
Monday, April 8, 2013
Here's what he had to say for this week...
Monday: APRIL FOOLS!
Not too many April fools jokes... My little brother tried to convince me that the family was moving again... He had me going for a second. I think I figured it out when he said they were moving to "April fools lane". Doh!
We didn't have a ton of things going on. We did stay the night at the Christiansburg apartment since then next day would be our monthly Zone Leader Council down in Charleston. That was fun.
ZLC was great. It ran later than we expected, so we had to cancel some appointments. However we were able to finally introduce some home teachers to one of our recent converts that evening. I've come to realize how important home and visiting teaching is to the growth and strength of a ward/branch. The Wards that do HT and VT have more active members, and more convert baptism retention, more Less active members rescued, and the list goes on and on. It really makes me want to be a great home teacher when I get back.
It was a pretty packed day.
We had a district meeting in the morning which we attended. Overall it was a pretty good meeting. Afterwards, we went to contact a referral from a member, in which the member to us to the referral's home, and introduced them to us. Then he invited them to begin taking the discussions and meeting with the missionaries. It was pretty great.
We took a member to go see a new investigator named D. She was so excited to hear about prophets! She went on about how important it was to have prophets on the earth and how most churches don't even stress the importance.
Taught a great lesson on Fasting to an investigator. It was great to see him connect the dots on how fasting could really help him in the trials he was currently facing. Those "aha!" moments are always great to be a part of. In the end, he said that since he had diabetes, he couldn't fast from food very well. Instead he said he would fast from cigarettes. How great is that?
Also, that morning, E. Brandon and I ran 3 miles.... boy am I out of running shape! Man I'm sure glad I discovered this before I went home, I'd never stop hearing the teasing from my brothers if I ran like I did on Thursday. I'll have to run some more before I get home.
We went on exchanges with the Cave Spring Elders. E. Folkman and I worked hard here. He's only been out about a month, so it was a really great experience to teach some members with him.
As I've always explained it, General Conference to a missionary is like the Super Bowl to a die-hard football fan. It really is that exciting! These men, whom we've been quoting, explaining about, and studying on, for the past 6 month, now speak to us again. Their words bring enlightenment and encouragement and fill our souls with that desire to do what is right. General Conference was not as great back home as it is now. And I think that is the case with a lot of things. As we fully invest ourselves in the gospel, it becomes more and more delicious to us. I wish Conference could last longer.
Another interesting fact. Since the time zones are different here than in Utah. The Priesthood session doesn't actually start until 8pm. Which means it ends at 10pm. You don't know how weird it is to be out past 9pm as a missionary. You feel so rebellious when you get home at 10:15. It was a funny little reminder for me at how much I've changed since being home. At college it was pretty abnormal for one to be in bed by 10:30 pm and up at 6:30 am for any reason at all.
More General Conference!
the first part of the day was spent on a few visits and invitations to listen to a prophet's voice. The rest of the day kind of coasted from there. We just had the time to eat, do a little planning and drive back to the next session.
Good week overall.
Monday, April 1, 2013
A fairly slow day overall. E. Brandon was still recovering, and we took care of some much needed shopping and laundry and such. We didn't go to dinner with a member that night because we didn't know if E. Brandon was contagious or not.
Most of the day was spent with specialized training. It was a really good one. Lately the mission has been struggling with getting investigators out to church. Every other key indicator number has been really good, but our Sacrament Meeting attendance has been abnormally low. A lot of the Specialized training was spent role-playing and practicing ways to help our investigators get out to church.
After the specialized training, As a zone we went to go bowling at Lee-hi lanes. It was really cool to see everyone in their white shirts and ties together like that.Our Zone did really well, we had the top two High scores in the mission at 181 and 173. I didn't do too great, I only had 1 strike between the two games we bowled. I was picking up spares like crazy though. I think I bowled a 125 and a 115 or something like that. Not the best game I've ever played, but a lot of fun for sure.
So we had a pretty fun surprise on Thursday. We got a text from the C family from Richlands Virginia (my second area) who said that they were in town for a doctors appointment and wanted to take me and my companion out to lunch. How great is that? I haven't seen them for about 7 months or so. M has lost almost 130 lbs since I last saw him. It was ridiculous. He was so much smaller than before! It was so good to see them all.
Later that day we needed to drive down to Martinsville for a couple of baptismal interviews. We didn't get home till around 9:30. It was a pretty long day.
Since we had so many trips to Martinsville this month, we were running low on miles. So, we basically walked around all day to our different appointments. We did have a cool miracle the Lord blessed us with.
We came home for dinner, and after we settled for a bit, we realized that our plans had all fallen through for the evening. We couldn't decide what to do, and so we started to study a bit for the rest of our dinner hour. I read a really great article in the ensign about the need for the atonement. It made me realize how much I needed the Atonement in my life, and I needed to rely on my Heavenly Father more than my personal power. I read through my Patriarchal Blessing a few times, and after feeling very spiritually blessed. I went to the other room. E. Brandon suggested that we should go see Bro. L (a less active member). I agreed and off we went.
About halfway there, I started doubting whether or not we really should "waste" our limited mileage allotment, especially since we'd just be travelling there and back, no other appointments along the way. Well, I still felt good about it, so we kept on.
Mind you, Bro. L is ALWAYS home. He can't really leave because of his wife's condition. Well, he wasn't home, or at least didn't answer the door.
Perplexed and a little disappointed, we trudged back to the car. I suggested that we try and talk to their neighbors before we call it quits, and E. Brandon said he was thinking the same thing.
The lights were on next door, so we tried that on first. A young man answered the door (age 18) and we talked with him about Bro. L for a bit. We then said that we had prepared a message on the Atonement for Bro. L, but since Bro L wasn't home, we wanted to give it to him instead. He let us right in, and we had a great lesson, perfectly adapted to his needs. Now M, the young man, is really excited about lds.org and all the resources, especially the Atonement article in the march ensign. It was a really awesome lesson. And the lesson we had prepared for Bro. L really was for M in the end.
Saturday was pretty long as well. We walked all day long, again since we were out of miles. We talked to tons of people, and even taught a lady on her porch.The bishop, somehow knowing our need of nourishment after a long tiring day, called us and told us he wanted to feed us that evening. What an inspired man.
So it was a good day and a bad day. Bad because no investigators made it to church. Good because Easter is always good, and some wonderful members had us over for an Easter feast. It was so good. I'm a simple guy. If you feed me some good food, suddenly the world just seems so much brighter.
that's all for this week!
Elder Brayden Connole
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A pretty relaxed day overall, those are few and far between as a missionary. To be honest, we didn't really do much besides the normal pday stuff. I made some salsa that turned out pretty delicious and made some tacos to go with it. I've enjoyed cooking more on my mission than anywhere else.
Went on exchanges with the Martinsville bike elders. It was really a fun exchange, especially since it was the 5th day in the mission field with for E. Morse. I was impressed with him. It was his first time ever knocking a door, and he did really well. We were able to find a couple of new investigators, and teach a few lessons together.
We exchanged back. It was a good little drive down to Martinsville. They're the furthest south Area in the whole mission, about an hour and 15 min from Roanoke.
When we got back to Roanoke, We went to the Red Cross to find out how we could help with the blood drive the next day. The lady there was really glad to have us come, and we were glad to able to have some solid service hours. It was a win win situation.
We had a quick lesson with an investigator, and then went to another lesson with a new investigator. A member of ours referred us to his Cousin D. The lesson when super duper well. We taught him the restoration, and he told us he wanted to be baptized. The member, Fr, we took along told D that he needed to quit smoking and drinking and all the other word of wisdom things to be baptized. D said he'd quit right then.
When we came back, we taught Fr's non-member wife. and that lesson also went really well.
We helped out with the blood drive. It went really well. They gave us the easy jobs of making sure the people were getting their snacks after the blood drive. Which also meant that we had snacks available at any time throughout the day. MMMmmmmMMMM it doesn't get much better than that.
That evening we called the district leaders and informed them that next week we'd be having a specialized training meeting. Immediately following the meeting, President Pitt said that we would be going bowling as a zone. Now, this has never happened before in the mission, and was a new thing for the district leaders to take in. So we booked the lanes at "Lee-hi" lanes (yes, it's pronounced like the Book of Mormon prophet "Lehi") and started calling our district leaders
We were talking to one of our district leaders who thought for sure that we were playing a prank on him. It was really hard to convince him that we were serious and that President Pitt wanted us to all go bowling together. Finally we were able to get him to believe a little bit, but then when we told him it'd be at a place called "Lee-hi" lanes, he didn't believe a word after that. I think he's going along with it now, but still insists that he "won't be deceived". It's been really fun.
Dah! a devastating day... We have a convert of about a month or two that the previous two missionaries taught and baptized. We've been trying to get in to see her for a while, she's such a sweet old lady, and really loves church and the people there. Well, we took a member to go see her, and she informed us that she no longer had a testimony and wasn't going to come to church anymore. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The member and her talked about things for over an hour or so while E. Brandon and I mostly just listened. She had been offended by this or that, and wanted nothing to do with the church anymore. We didn't know what to do, she seemed so solid a few weeks ago.
We left her home with a prayer, we left with our hearts heavy. A few tears were shed in the back seat by a certain missionary, who maybe understood now a little more how God feels when his children turn from His divine light.
Remember D? we went to go see him again. We got there, and as we sat down it seemed like D had a brighter glow about him. We looked at the table and the ashtrays were all gone. We noticed the brand new book of mormon on the chair, and realized it wasn't so new looking anymore.
As we began to talk with him, he excitedly told us about the stories of Laban and the brass plates, Getting Ishmael's daughters, Lehi's Vision of the Tree of Life, and Nephi's interpretation of it. Although he couldn't remember most of the names, he remembered. He had read and re-read those pages over the past few days, staying up late hours into the night. It was so awesome. We taught him about the plan of salvation, and he just ate it up!
Sunday was rather odd this week. We had only 30 min of church. It started snowing pretty bad but people had already started to show up, so they had Sacrament, a few hymns, and a short 5 min talk from one of the high council members. He started off his talk by quoting some scripture in Ephesians that states "Therefore let thy words be few". And they were.
While E. Brandon took numbers from the areas later that night, I went onto our balcony and made a small snowman. I used oven mitts to cover my cold hands. They worked pretty well.
Well, Sunday night E. Brandon said his stomach was bugging him, and that night, he got up several times to vomit. We're not too sure what caused it, but it got him something fierce. I gave him a blessing, and we went back to bed.
Later I was awakened by the sound of a pot clanging on the ground. Confused, but not fully awake, I asked my companion what was up. He had just then crawled into bed and informed me in between deep breaths what had happened. He still couldn't sleep, and felt really nauseated. He was also really hungry, so he got up to fix himself some oatmeal to eat. The last thing he remembered was turning the water on, and then he found himself on the floor. He staggered back into bed right about when I woke up.
I went into the kitchen and found a pot of water on the ground, and water spilt everywhere. I cleaned up the mess, and got E. Brandon a glass of water to sip. We were able to make it through the night, though it wasn't easy for E. Brandon, and the next day wasn't too pleasant either.
I was able to write a few letters, get my rubics cube time down to almost 2 minutes, draw a few pictures for some other missionaries, and read the book of Esther, and some of Job. It's always weird having to stay in all day as a missionary.
Eh eb eb eb that's all folks!
Monday, March 18, 2013
This past week was a transfer week, it was extremely exhausting. We had 3 or 4 days his week where we were up around 4 and to bed around 11. It was nuts. Since the last time I emailed was on Wednesday, we'll start there.
Typical Pday stuff, laundry, clean up, emails, etc. Things were pretty relaxed until later that night when we had to make sure everything was going to work for transfers the next day. Lots of phone calls there.
This was one of those early morning ones. Transfer days are usually pretty crazy. The morning part went off without a hitch. It was early enough that we were able to get home by 6:30 still. We did a few things that morning, probably the most unique was going to the Family History Library to find out how we could better use it in our proselyting efforts. The lady there got me onto the familysearch website, and she thought that Mormor's name was so beautiful. She made me say it several times, just to hear it again. lol it was pretty great.
The transfer train coming back was about an hour late. (we call it the transfer train, but really it's just a couple of big vans and a moving truck for baggage.) When he finally got to Roanoke, we found out we were missing a new missionary. We were supposed to have 3, but only had two, and neither of their rides out to Buena Vista Zone had showed up yet. talk about a nightmare in the making.
Thankfully, after a few phone calls, we found out there was just an error in the transfer itinerary, and our "missing" missionary was really a misplaced name. Thank goodness. Unfortunately we had some rides for the missionaries show up about 3 hours late. that was a lot of fun....
New missionaries this transfer ranged in age from 18 to 25. how crazy is that right?
We then had a dinner with the relief society dinner and learned how to be better daughters in God's kingdom.
He had a pretty packed day going in, and a fairly fruitless one going out. However we were able to set up a ride for an investigator to come to church with us, (which he did) that's a plus!
Another early morning, of course it was totally worth it.
We drove out to Charleston at about 5:30 Saturday morning to listen to E. Oaks of the Twelve, E. Hallstrom of the presidency of the Seventy, and Bishop Causse of the Presiding Bishopric. I was surprised at how energetic and upbeat E. Oaks was. He's very spry for his age. He's got a booming voice, and a twinkle in his eye. It was really cool to be there with him.
Also at the meeting were some old friends from a previous area, and to my surprise, R, an investigator from Richlands was there. How crazy is that?
We had a great day at church, we had an investigator there who was asking some really awesome questions. We're way excited for him.
Later that day we had dinner with a member. They invited their long time family friend, and we started teaching him that night.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Just a little FYI...I know I keep saying I am going to write about more and other things more often, but now I mean it...I think. LOL We are making a change to our business websites and doing a bunch of other things that will most likely have me blogging more frequently on a variety of topics. I am also in the process of creating a new blog site to go along with our other changes.
In the meantime, here's the latest from my missionary...
In the meantime, here's the latest from my missionary...
March 4, 2013
This week was pretty fast and furious and I had less time
than normal to write in my journal. Hopefully I'll be able to reconstruct this
week in this email.
The Assistants called us Monday morning to inform us that
President Pitt was sick, and therefore all of our planned meetings up in
Charleston were postponed a week. Also, all meetings that were originally
scheduled for next week would be switched to this week. So the zone meetings
that we thought we had a week and a half to prep for, we now had 2 days to prep
for....Everything was thrown off. We had to scramble to let all the
districts know when and where they were needing to meet.
To make things a little more exciting, the Assistants called
us Tuesday morning and asked if we could exchange with them that day. Of course
we told them we could, and they met up with us about 3 hours later.
I left with E. Makemson to get to Charleston, and we got a
little lost on the way there. Thankfully, another missionary had left his GPS
in the minivan, and we were able to find our way back.
Shortly after finding the GPS we got a call from my
companion, E. Brandon, and the other assistant, E. Klain. E. Brandon
excitedly explained to us that they just set one of our more hesitant
investigators on date for baptism. We had left him Alma 32 to read from the
previous lesson, and when E. Brandon and E. Klain followed up with it our
investigator said in essence, "What I got from that passage was that I
need to show God I'm committed, and set a goal date for baptism, I'm thinking
May 5th would be good." It was so cool! In the last lesson we had with
him, he was questioning if God even answered prayers. Thank you Alma!
Since I was trained in South Charleston and about a year
ago, me and my trainer were doubled out for the assistants, I knew the area
pretty well. I was excited to eat dinner with the Johnson family, they
remembered who I was, and it was cool to see how much their kids have grown. I
also was able to see a member that my trainer and I worked with every week for
over 4 months together. It was a pretty great night.
We exchanged back, and E. Brandon and I did some much needed
planning for our zone meetings the next day. That evening, after we exhausted
all our mental capacity for planning, we were a little goofy. We had to call
the assistants for something or another ( I forget what) and we started tossing
the phone back and forth each time telling the other to make the call. Well, E.
Brandon tossed it back one time, and It landed right on my eye. It swelled up a
bit and turned a nice purpley-greenish color. It made our zone meetings a
little more interesting the next day when the other missionaries kept making
eye jokes. (I didn't know there were so many)
Zone meeting went really well, it was really spirit filled.
We taught one meeting one Thursday for half the zone, and the other half of the
zone we did on Friday. I was really cool to see how, even though E. Brandon and
I planned the same material for each meeting, we taught completely different
things to each half of the zone.
Later that day we followed an impression E. Brandon had to
knock a few doors in a certain part of our area. We did three doors that felt
right, and got a return appointment on one of them.
2nd Zone Meeting went really well. One of the other
missionaries was kind enough to bring E. Brandon and I some chocolate cookies.
We took them home, and since E. Brandon knew I wasn't going to eat them,
He did. I guess he didn't think they'd affect him much, but with his allergy to
milk protein, he had to take a couple of benedril afterwards. We did a few more
missionary things, before we came back to the apartment for dinner. Because of
the benedril, E. Brandon was a little more drowsy than he thought, and he
didn't remember getting out of the car, walking up the stairs, or flopping down
on the couch and sleeping for an hour or so.
I cooked up some dinner for us, and let him sleep it off. A
couple of times he "woke up" and tried to talk to me, but just
mumbled some jazz about who knows what.
When he recovered, we drove out to Martinsville and
Interviewed a couple of baptismal candidates.
Hmmm, this is one of the days I didn't get to write about in
my journal yet... I recall teaching a few investigators. and having a
correlation meeting with our ward mission leader.
The bishop was out of town, so we didn't have our usual 9:30
meeting, also, Stake PEC wasn't until next week, so we had plenty of time
before church to take our studies and such. That hasn't happened in a long
time. Normally we have to get out to the church right away. After the
block, the other set of missionaries had a baptism. The place was packed!
Standing room only. Their investigator had been coming to church for a few
years now, and was finally making the commitment. It was a really sweet
That's all for this week!
Elder Brayden Connole
March 13, 2013
It's been pretty crazy the past week and a half here in Roanoke. Tons of meetings everywhere.
Monday of course was pday, but something different about this particular Monday is that we got to stay overnight with the Pembroke Zone Leaders. Tuesday would be Zone Leader Council, and to get to Charleston on time, and to save miles, we drove to their apartment the night before. That's always fun!
Early in the morning we headed up to Charleston for our day of ZLC. There we discussed goals, problems, solutions, new ideas, rules, etc. The meeting was literally all day long. (we stayed overnight in the mission home) but we were able to accomplish quite a bit during that time.
It's always a big plus to wake up in the morning to Sis. Pitt making french toast and eggs. They were delicious.
Most of the rest of the day was spent driving and planning for our district leader training the following day.
We had our District Leader Training meeting where we trained all the district leaders how to be better ones. Afterwards, we exchanged with E. Blaser and E. Tanoai up in Martinsville.
In our planning session the night before, had felt really good about a certain investigator we were going to go see. When we knocked on his door, and he opened it with a lit cigarette in his mouth, (He's been trying to quit). He told us that right then wasn't a good time because he was going through some family problems. (it sounded like he was talking with his ex on the phone). But he saw that we were cold, and he let us in to "warm up for a bit".
Once we were in the door, he put out his cigarette, and we talked for a bit. After a few moments we broke out the scriptures and taught him about the atonement. It was just one of those moments when you knew you were in the right place at the right time for that person.
E. Blaser and I were able to find some new investigators which is always exciting. We knocked a few doors around a former investigator's house and a nice family just let us right in, It was great!
After we exchanged back, we brought a member to a great lesson with a different new investigator. It was a very ideal lesson. We taught really well, and everything just seemed to click. At the end I invited her to work towards baptism, and we set her with a goal date. It was really awesome.
We took care of some stake correlation reports in the morning. Later in the day we had apartment inspections. Elder and Sister A who are CES missionaries in Buena Vista came to inspect. Sis. A paid us an extremely high compliment when she said that we'd find wonderful wives one day because we were such good cleaners. She also said she'd even write a letter of recommendation if need be. I thought that was a little over the top. I guess the last missionaries weren't very clean at all.
Sunday morning we woke up extra early to get to our Stake PEC on time. I felt so tired that morning it was ridiculous. I also couldn't figure out why some of our clocks were an hour or so off from our phone clock. I didn't realize until after church that we had Daylight savings kick in. Grrrrr..... I liked it better in AZ when we didn't have to worry about it.
That evening we were able to teach a family in the home of our bishop. It worked out extremely well. The spirit was really strong and truly testified of what we were teaching was true.
It was one of those days where literally nothing worked out. Around 8:40 or so, we stopped at the gas station, filled up, bought a delicious pastry and went home happy
17 month mark! sheesh time flies.
Not a ton exciting happened during the day. We were able to get out and see some members we worked pretty hard all day. Later that night we were able to call the different areas about transfer info. We're also going to have E. Oaks of the twelve visit the mission this weekend, so we've been working to try to get all of that taken care of (making sure rides are secure and whatnot for the new missionaries coming to the zone)
That's it for this week.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Pday, laundry, letters, etc.
We had a district meeting with Cave Spring that went really well. Afterwards E. Brandon and I had to rush to the City jailhouse for our appointment with a less active member. It was the first time I'd really been to a jail before, E. Brandon had visited a few people in his last area in jail. They had us sign in, and the jail scheduler made sure that we brought our "pastoral credentials". It was the first time I have had to use those. It was interesting to try to get to know someone over the phone with glass between us. But I think it went pretty good overall.
E. Brandon did most of the talking and even, to the member's surprise, invited him to come to lessons with us when he got out that next Saturday. After some convincing, he agreed to go with us, we should be calling him up in the next few days.
We received word from the Assistants that E. Oaks, of the Twelve; E. Hallstrom, of the presidency of the Seventy; and Bishop Causse, from the presiding bishopric, would be coming to our mission of March 16th. We're super stoked for it! It'll be so awesome to have all of them coming. We still don't know why they are coming, or what they will do when they are here, but it's exciting nonetheless.
Our Bishop asked us to visit a member who was recently hit by a van. The member's name is F, and he has a wife who is not yet a member. F loves the missionaries and would basically do anything for them, but is in a wheelchair until he heals from the accident.
We went to go teach him, in hopes that his wife would also be there. We taught him for about an hour and were just wrapping things up when his wife showed up. She just happened to get a ride from a co-worker home rather than take the bus and was about 1 hour earlier than normal. We were able to be in just the right time and place to be able to teach her. We had a great little lesson on faith with her.
We went on exchanges with the Cave Spring Elders. I helped them clean a bit while I was there, and found a leak in the sink. I looked under the sink itself, and found that the leak had probably been there a lot longer than we realized, based off of the smell and mold spots everywhere. Well, I watered down some bleach and went to town. Sometimes you've got to play maid as a missionary.
We visited a less active member. He was super sincere about the church, but it was so hard for E. Brandon and I to know what he was talking about since he was using a lot of protestant lingo to describe the church. For example instead of saying " they gave a priesthood blessing" he would say, "they prayed over her". He also used the word, "word" a lot. "spreading the word", the word is with God" "the word of the lord tells us..." I wonder if a lot of what we say as members is pretty hard for members of other faiths to understand simply because they don't really know the lingo.
Really loves the missionaries, and gave us huge hugs a the end of our meeting.
Well, for some reason, both E. Brandon and I felt like we needed to go to the library that morning rather than try the potential investigators we had originally planned to see. Well... nothing happened at the library. Se we don't really know why we were supposed to go there, however, we both still feel really good about it. Maybe we'll find out sometime why we were where we were, when we were there. How's that for alliteration?
Later that day we took a member to go visit a recent convert of ours. She's a sweetheart. She was concerned about not feeling an overwhelming spirit when she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We explained to her about receiving revelation and gave a summary of E. Bednar's talk "The Spirit of Revelation" given in the April 2011 Gen Conference.
Read it here:
or watch a shorter version of it here:
It's really good.
We were Spiritually and Physically really well fed. Stake PEC at 6:30am, Correlation with the bishop ant 9am, church from 11:30 till 2:30, studies from about 2:30 till 4:30, Dinner at 5 with a member. At 6:30pm we visited a less active member who we found out had also prepared a big meal for us. (so double the dinner)
It was quite the day.
That's it for this week!