Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 22
Merry Christmas!
Missionary Stockings
Christmas Joy!

   It was so great talking with all of you on Skype on Christmas!  So nice seeing everyone's faces again, way cool that we are able to do that now!  I hope that the trip to Boise was a great time.  The rest of our Christmas was really good as well. 

Christmas Eve dinner with the Lopez and Barrientos family
Christmas at the Riveras


1st Christmas Eve dinner with Amore!

   Then the weekend was really awesome.  On Saturday we had one of our members (Alfredo) teach with us the entire day, he is such a great and humble guy.  We had some really good lessons with him.  We tried to see Luis who has a baptismal date on Saturday but he wasn't home.  And earlier in the week he told us he wanted to go to church, and that we could come and guide him to church.  We didn't really hear from him so we were a little worried.  Then on Sunday morning me and Meyers called him, and it just went straight to voicemail.  Then while me and Meyers were studying we get a call from a random number.  It was Luis!!  He said he still wanted to come to church with us, and that we could come by his house at about 11:30.  So we went to his house to guide him to church and he was ready to go and also his wife and two little girls came as well which was a great surprise!  We had only really taught him, and his wife has always been in the back room so we were super excited that she was coming as well.  We get to church and the first 2 meetings are really good (we have sacrament last).  Then after Church we were asking him how they liked it and they both Loved it and saying how we were such nice people!  Elder Meyers asked the wife why we hadn't taught her at all and she said she just thought it would be better if we taught him and she watched the kids.  But now she wants to join us in the lessons, she was super nice and well.   So we are still looking good for the baptism, and now hopefully we can bring them both into the waters of baptism!  I just loving seeing these miracles, and the blessings that God has in store for us and the people we are teaching.  It is going to be awesome preparing them to be baptized.  Luis already has so much faith, so I know he will be a great member in this Church and receive so many blessings.  
Eating with Alfredo!
  Sunday night was really awesome as well.  One of our members Gerardo (Jerry) came teaching with us after we had dinners at Ana.  Probably the 4th dinner with her this week, she really is the best!  But we went teaching with Jerry and we met 5 new investigators in just a couple hours of teaching with him.  They were all really cool people to, and we set up some really solid return appointments.  I always love teaching with members because their testimonies really relate to the people we are teaching.  Members are key in bringing more people unto Christ.  In reality every member is a missionary, it may be hard sharing the gospel but after you do it the blessing you will receive are better than anything else.

Our District
   That's all about all I have this week, but these upcoming weeks should bring many miracles.  I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me and Elder Meyers this week.  Thank you so much for the email and have an awesome week!  Love you so much! 
The Capitol

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 21

Zone Conference Gift

   Well Christmas is just right around the corner, and the year is almost coming to an end.  These last 5 months have been some of the quickest and best months of my life!   I love the area that I'm in right now, and Elder Meyers really is an awesome companion!  
   This last week was a super quick week, and also a really good week.  We were able to set a baptismal with one of the Referrals that we had  gotten from the Spanish sisters.  There used to be us and Spanish sisters in our Area but they closed their area this transfer, so we have been kept busy.  It's been great!  The baptismal date was with Efren, he is super cool and really interested.  He is going to Mexico for a week, but we can't wait to help him prepare for his baptism.  We just need to get him to church, which is one of the hardest things here!  As for our other Baptismal date, Luis is still looking really good.  He has super strong faith, and we were able to teach him the plan of Salvation to him last night.  He loved it, and understood it pretty well.  We'll keep working with him and he promised he will join is at church next week.  We are even going to guide him, so I'm really excited for that.  I know that he will love the church, especially because he has been reading in El Libro De Mormon consistently and loving it. 
  Other than that, we finally we able to teach a lesson with a lady named Monica last night.  She is super nice, and has been interested but just has been really busy.  She was super easy to teach, and asking plenty of questions.  It's so much easier to teach when people are asking questions and showing real interest.  We also met a really awesome lady last week, and we have a return appointment with her tonight.  Oh and she had some of the sweetest Nike shoes! Hahaha!   But our area has a lot of potential, so I'm hoping we could get it up and running pretty soon here.  All is well here in the great state of Arkansas, I love it here, and it kind of feels like home already.  There are so many great people here.  we are working with a family(Riveira) who was less active for many years in Miami because of a weird situation, but they have been active since they have moved here.  They are way awesome, and have the cutest 2 little girls.  I think we are going to be over there for a little bit on Christmas.  They are going to be a huge help to the branch! 
 I'm really glad to hear that Chad's niece Ashley will be coming out earlier than expected.  Because if she didn't there would have been no sister Spanish missionaries to train her. She would of been trained by someone who had been out for only 6 weeks.  Which happened to the Spanish sisters about a year and a half ago.  But now it will be perfect and she will be trained by some really good Spanish missionaries!   
 I can't wait to to Skype with ya'll on Christmas!!  Thank you for the email, have an awesome Christmas week!  Love you tons!
Elder Geddes
Sweet swing Me and Elder Meyers found on P-Day!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 20

 Elder Geddes with Santa

   Tu Dijiste que quieres ver mas espanol en mis correos electronicos.  Entonces voy a escribir toda la carta en espanol! Solo Bromeo! Podria hacerlo, pero no pueden entenderlo haha. Well there is some espanol for you, maybe google translate will be able to translate it somewhat correct for you!  
   This week was another great week out in the mission field here in Little Rock Arkansas.  Me and Elder Meyers have been working really well together, and have been really working on talking to everyone.  As we have been doing that, we have found a lot of great potential investigators and have some solid return appointments as well.  I'm excited to be able to get to know them better, and start teaching them the lessons.  

Missionaries serving in the branch and Ramirez who just finished his mission and came to visit!

  We had the Branch Christmas party this last Friday, and there was an awesome turnout there!  Every set of missionaries in the branch (now 3) had investigators that came.  We even had a couple guys who come to soccer every week, come to the party as well.  I really love when there are activities, because it is a great way to get investigators to come see the church and see what we are all about.  We had one investigator (Maria, 16) who came to the Christmas party as well as her little brother.  Elder Meyers had taught her over a year and a half ago when he was in this area.  He actually started his mission in this area.  He said she was almost baptized, but then he was transferred and not really sure what happened over that.  But we are going to teach her again, and hopefully bring her into the waters of baptism!  She's came to church this last Sunday as well.  I believe she has already read the book of Mormon as well.  We're looking forward to start working with her again, and as well as her brother.  They will benefit so much from having the gospel in their lives (as all will), and will help strengthen the branch.  
Enjoying the Branch Christmas Party!

   This last Sunday we were able to teach Luis who we have been kind of on and off teaching for a while but he isn't home a lot.  The North Spanish Sisters actually received a media referral from him, wanting the finding faith in Christ movie.  We took it to him, and had planned to watch it with him.  He ended up watching it himself, because he was too excited to see it I think ha ha!  We read about faith with him in el Libro De Mormon on Sunday and invited him to be baptized on Jan. 10!  He accepted!  He is so faithful, and always tells us how grateful he is when we come over to teach him.  
   For a crazier story this week, which seems to be a normal things every week since I've been with Elder Meyers.  We were driving down a street on Saturday and we are coming up to a school.  There are tons of cars parked, blocking the school on the road, We were a little confused, because it's a Saturday and no one should be at school.  So we drive closer and we see like 40 teenagers yelling at each other and stuff.  We could tell that something was going to happen, then they start just going crazy and hitting each other.  A big brawl breaks out between them and some girls had bats and stuff that they were hitting each other with.  Then after a couple minutes, they all run for their lives at the same time and sure enough the Police come strolling up the road          ha ha!.  The things that happen here in the South are the greatest!  

Thank you so much for the email!  !Tenga una buena semana!  Te queiro mucho.  Y estoy emocionado por hablar con ustedes en la navidad!

Elder Geddes

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Week 19

 Well as the subject says my new companion is Elder Meyers!!  We predicted right.  He is from Kaysville, Utah and has around 4 months left on his mission.  He's super cool, and we already get along really well in our first week.  He is super nice and caring and a hard worker.  Serving with him is going to be really awesome, I'm really excited for it.  I'll be able to learn so much with him as well. 
 This week was a pretty busy week with Transfers and everything.  The transfer meeting was really good, and President Wakolo had all the missionaries come to the meeting to talk about our success as a mission in November and a few other things.  For the final numbers of the month it was 92 baptisms and 90 confirmations!! 

 At the mission home saying goodbye to 1st companion Elder Castaneda
Saying goodbye to Elder Ramirez

  After transfers we had another Elder (Doty)  come with us for a few days.  He is a new missionary straight from the CCM in Mexico.  He had an appointment here in Little Rock so we were in a trio for a day and a half.  He was super excited to work, and had an awesome attitude.  It was funny, the first day he was like yeah I can understand most of what they are saying.  Then by the next day he was like "wow I can't understand a single word they are saying".  I remember saying the exact same thing when I came out, super funny to see that!  Feels like yesterday, and now it's basically Christmas already.

Finding my picture on the missionary tree at the Mission Home!

  We found a ton of new investigators this week as we knocked a lot of doors.  It was really awesome, some are pretty interested as well.  We met a really nice lady named Veronica.  We knocked on the door, and the first things she said was 'pasenle" (come on in).  We were like shocked cause that rarely happens that they say come in before even saying anything.  So we went in and we got to know here a little bit.  She had actually lived in Salt Lake City so she was kind of familiar with the church.  We set a return appointment for a few days after.  We taught her a really great lesson and the spirit was really strong.  I'm really excited to continue teaching her, she seems really interested.  We've been busy with a lot of appointments so it's been really good. 
  For a funny story this week, me and Elder Meyers were walking down a street.  We had knocked a bunch of doors, and tried some of our appointments and just weren't having to much luck.  As we were walking down the street, a car started coming at us, so we kind of got on the grass/sidewalk.  Then the car stopped and a guy jumped out.  Then he started walking right towards me and I was like uh oh what's this guy going to do.  Then he said to me and Elder Meyers "pray with me"  Then he grabbed our hands and told Elder Meyers to lead, so he offered a really good prayer with him while the music from his car is still playing behind us.  He then says thank you and was on his way haha!  Only in the south!!  It made our day though, it was pretty funny and just super random. 
  Well it sounds like that you had a pretty busy week.  That's really awesome that you were able to have a special fast for Grandpa.  I actually got a letter on Saturday from Grandma updating me on the situation.  So I was able to fast for Grandpa as well.  I know that the fast will make a huge difference, and that all will work out.  I always keep him in  my prayers and pray that the surgery will all go well today.  Grandpa is such an amazing example to everyone, I love him so much. 
  That is a really awesome experience that Sam Smith shared.  It's so true as long as you trust in the lord with faith, he will help you in times of need.  I've no doubt I've  been helped so many times as I have been speaking Spanish, and especially as I was able to confirm a couple weeks ago.  I'm so sorry to hear about Roberta's brother passing away.  That is so crazy, just a random heart attack.  Please give them a hug from me!  But it is amazing that we have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.  We know that death is not the end, and that those who have passed are in a much better place. 
  I loved the quote from President Monson.  We really do need to reflect more on the Spirit of Christ because that is the real importance of Christmas. A great thing to think about as we are in the season.
Well that's about all that I have for this week, thank you so much for the email!  I love you tons and have a wonderful week as we head full speed into the Christmas season. 
Elder Geddes

        Me and Heaton found the 
    "Weiner Mobile" the other day. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 18, Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving Dinner!

  Well this week was a pretty awesome week, being Elder Castaneda's last week, as well as Thanksgiving week.  It was a great time to be able to reflect on all of the things that I have in my life, and how blessed I have really been.  Just the fact that I was grown up in an active LDS family is one of the biggest blessings I could have, the gospel of Jesus Christ truly is real happiness on the earth today. 

 On Thanksgiving in the morning we got to play in a Turkey Bowl with the English wards, a lot of people came, so we had a really great time.  It was nice playing football again, just because we normally only play Futbol.  After the turkey bowl we went to our first thanksgiving dinner with the Bowen's a family in our branch and we also ate with some other families from another ward.  We had a ton of really good food, and were able to have a really good time.  Then after we had our Second thanksgiving dinner with the Lopez's who are another family in our branch.  They had a lighter thanksgiving dinner, which was good or else we might have exploded, but it was really good, all the food was cooked well.  It was great eating good food, this week we were actually fed almost every day and sometimes twice a day which was rare but awesome.  A lot of people were sad to see Castaneda go, he has been in the Branch for 9 months!  

Baptism day for Eddie, Victor, and Brittany 

   As great as Thanksgiving was, the real highlight of the week was the miracle that we had of having 3 baptisms on Saturday!  It's kind of a long story, but Elder Castaneda had taught the mom (who is the soon to be wife of the Elders Quorum president) 6 months or so ago.  Her and her kids have been living in Nashville, but continued to have the missionaries over.  They moved back here just a few weeks ago, and we had kind of talked about baptizing the kids but we weren't sure when because the Mom (Sandra) wanted to be baptized with the kids.  She is waiting for a divorce paper, and it could come any day or in a few months.  So we received a call this week from Sandra saying that the kids (Eddie, Victor,  Brittany) want to be baptized this weekend.  We had the baptism and everything went super well!  I was able to baptize Eddie and Victor and then on Sunday I got to confirm Brittany as well (all in Espanol)!  I said all the important stuff right, so I didn't have to repeat it which was nice.  For our goal as a mission we got 89 baptism which is 16 baptisms more than the highest month before!  Way awesome to see the hard work pay off, it shows that sacrifice will bring blessings for sure.

Baptism of Israel by the North Misionaries

Well as of an hour ago we said goodbye to our companions for the last time.  Me and Elder Heaton will serve together until this Wednesday at transfers.  I have an idea of who I will be serving with but we don't officially find out until Wednesday.  I'm really excited to continue to work hard and find more people to bring unto Christ!  Oh and I will be staying in my area for sure, same apartment and everything. 
It sounds like that you had a great Thanksgiving week with everyone in town.  Well I don't have too much time, but have an awesome week. I love you so much and thank you for the email. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

  Week 17

Elder Geddes and Elder Castneda in front of the Mission Office

 This week has been a really good week, as always on the mission.  Today Me and Elder Heaton are companions because our companions get to go to the temple because they are leaving.  As for this last week, we were able to have some really good lessons and as well meet some really cool new investigators.  The weekend was the highlight for sure, as it normally seems to be.  On Friday we met 3 new investigators within an hour at an apartment complex.  So we are looking forward to our return appointments this upcoming week!  As for my Spanish it has really come along within the last week or so.  I'm now able to understand most of what they are saying as long as I stay focused.  It's really awesome, I've been blessed so much to be able to learn the language so quickly, even though I still have a lot to learn I know that It will come quickly as I learn more and more each day.   Our Soccer activity that we have weekly has been going really well, we have more than 20 people come every week and most of them are non members.  This upcoming week we are going to try harder to incorporate the gospel and get some appointments set up with some of the non members who come out in play.  We have talked to a few of them and they said their perspective on Mormons have already changed from what they had been told before.  There are tons of rumors out there, but when people come to our church they are really surprised to see that we are just normal people.  So that is a good stepping stone, that will lead to miracles in the future. 

   I'm grateful for this time of year to be reminded and to be able to reflect on how blessed we really are.  There are so many things that we have that we take for granted for sure.  That's why it is important to boast of our God for the strengths that we have and the things that we have.  Because without him we would have nothing, and we would be nothing.  I know the more grateful and humble we are the more blessings we will be able to receive.  I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving! For our thanksgiving we have a pretty full day, in the morning I believe we are playing in a turkey bowl and then after going to a members house to eat breakfast.  And then after that we have  either 2-3 Thanksgiving dinners planned throughout the day.  We are going to EXPLODE by the end of the day, but I'm really looking forward to it. 

   As for your questions transfers will be Next Wednesday.  So me and Heaton will be companion again for a couple of days before because our companions go into the mission home on Monday,  and then leave on Tuesday. I will stay in this Area, which I'm glad because it's a great area.  But I have no idea who will be my companion, because these next transfers are going to be super crazy.  30 or more missionaries are going home in December and almost every Spanish Elder Companionship will be seeing a change.  But most of the Spanish missionaries are pretty cool, so I'm looking forward to see who I will get.  As for President Wakolo we see him every couple weeks which is cool.  He is one of the most loving and kind guys that I have ever met.   

Well that is about all that I have for this week.  I hope all goes well for Thanksgiving!  I love you tons and thank you so much for the emails you send me every week. 

Our unreal dinner at the Branch Presidents house!

Elder Geddes

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 16

Elder Geddes' new friend "baby Sadler"

  Thank you for the email, it's always nice to hear the fun stuff and experiences that you had throughout the week!  Wow that's awesome that Tyler Hunt got called to the Little Rock Mission!!  It's the best mission out there, he is going to love it for sure.  Tyler is a good kid, I can't wait to see him when he comes out in January.  Cool to hear that Joe put his mission papers in as well, can't wait to hear where he goes.  

 Well this week surely has been a pretty cold week here in Arkansas!   Nevertheless it has been a pretty good week, I'd say it's always a good week when you are serving a mission!.  Even if you don't see many successes that week, you are planting seeds to see miracles in the following week.  As for our baptism with E.M. she wasn't able to get the marriage license They planned to get it on Tuesday but it was Veterans day and it was closed, Therefore, we weren't able to have the baptism. And now they are not sure if they want to get married anymore.  We'll keep praying her, and hope that things will be able to work out soon.  She is basically like a member of the ward, It will be nice to see when she receives the blessing of being baptized.

 Enjoying doing service

 Exhausted after service!

  As for other things in the week, we got 4 pretty solid commitments for coming to Church next week.  We recently met N., H. and E.  They are really nice and we have taught a few lessons, they seem interested and should come to church next week.  And another solid investigator we have is L., He really likes the book of Mormon already.  He attends another church but he said that he will be able to come next week as well.  This last Saturday we were able to have 2 service opportunities in the morning we helped raked leaves for Sister Culwell who has been feeding missionaries weekly for the past 60 years!  That's pretty awesome! I ate there my first week here, but she lives in the North Elders area so we don't get to go very often.  Then after we did service with one of our Family members the A."s.  They are the family that was really inactive that I wrote about a month or so ago.  and I said that I felt inspired to directly ask them to come to church the week after conference and they ended up coming to sacrament.  Since then they have pretty much come to sacrament every week, and yesterday on Sunday they came to all 3 hours!  It's so awesome to see them become active again, and be a strength to the branch.  That's why it's always important to listen to the spirit, you never know what is going to happen.  But other than that just another great week here in Arkansas, Castaneda only has 2 more weeks before he finishes his mission.  Half of our district is finishing their missions on December 1, so next transfers are going to be pretty crazy.

Have a great week, and thanks for the email as always, I love you tons!!
Elder Braden Geddes

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Week 15

Pic: Us and the Ward Missionary Jerry at an Air force plane.  He's awesome and a recent convert. 

  It has been a really good this last week here in Arkansas, once again the week has just flown by.  We met some really solid investigators this week N. and E. they seemed really interested so hopefully all goes well with them.  We have a lesson planned with them for tonight. 
On Friday we had a soccer activity and it actually turned out really well.  The majority of the people that came were non-members and they all had a really great time.  One of the guys who came is Aldo . the brother of Erika M. who we are baptizing this Saturday.  We are going to start teaching him this week, and hopefully some of his friends that came and played soccer.  When we got to the Gym on Friday there was a wedding set up in the gym.  But luckily it was only half of the gym so we were able to block off the wedding tables with other tables and Chairs.  It ended up working really well, and luckily nothing got broken or anything.  It's the first step to introducing all of the people to the Church. 
As for Erika  we had here baptismal interview on Sunday and all went well and she is ready for this Saturday.  All she needs is to get her marriage license which she will be getting this Tuesday.  I'm really excited for the baptism, it is going to be really good.  The North Elders Ramirez & Heaton should be baptizing Izrael, who they have been working with for a long time.  I know him really well, because his mom (Ana) who is a member feeds us twice a week.  She is so nice, and always makes amazing meals every time we go there. 
Elder Geddes and one of his investigators sisters.

  On Sunday night we went and saw the G. family, who are a part member family.  They came to church the week before, and the Dad came to church this week.  Only the 2 kids are the members in the family.  I remember visiting them my first or second week on the mission.  They didn't have too much of a desire to change at the time.  But in Church yesterday he said we could come visit them that night.  We went over and had a really good conversation and lesson with them.  He now has more of a desire to get married and then be baptized.  They have been together for about 25 years or so, just haven't felt the need to be married.  He reads the book of Mormon, and I believe he is reading it again for the 2nd time.  It's so awesome when people decide to change their lives, and come closer to the lord.  I'm praying that this desire will be able to stay with them, and they will be able to be married and baptized in the next couple of months. 
  To answer your question Elder Castaneda is from Quetzaltenango Guatemala, which I believe is in the east.  He  has been living in Houston since he was 16, so after his mission he is going to return to Texas and work.  

   I love you and hope that you have a great week!
Love Elder Geddes

Elder Geddes making his Dad's Swedish Pancakes (Crepes).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 14
   This week was a pretty good week.  It went by really fast, just like every other week on the mission.  Nothing too exciting happened this week, but we had some really good lessons and were able to find some really cool new investigators.  Our investigator Erica  is still looking really good for her marriage and baptismal date on Nov 15th.  She really is awesome and I know that she will be a strong member in the church because of her great testimony. 
   This last Saturday one of our members Hermano Ibarra was able to come out with us the whole day!  It was awesome because we were on bike week, so that day we didn't have to use our bikes.  He is about 23 years old and is a recent convert.  He is always helping out the missionaries and has a really strong testimony.  We had some really good lessons with him, it is always a huge help when members come out to teach. On Sunday we had 2 of our investigators comes to church and as well as some old investigators who haven't been for a couples months or so.  One of the investigators is Harrison.  He has been living with one of our members for the last couple weeks, because his house is just kind of crazy (tons of kids).  He is 15 and has already come to church twice.  So we are going to try to start more consistently teach him this coming week.  I'm really looking forward to it, because he is such a good kid and I know how much the gospel will help him and his family. 

   Well not a whole lot exciting happened here in Arkansas this week, just the normal missionary work.  But it's always a great feeling when you are spreading the gospel.  I've already learned so much, and I have so much more to learn.  I love reading the Book of Mormon in my personal study, because I learn a ton from it.  The Book of Mormon really is amazing and such a great guide for us in our lives. 

   Well sorry for the short email, but now we are sacrificing our p-day time so we can fulfill our November goal of 100 baptisms as a mission!  So I don't have a whole lot of time to write.  I love you tons, and thank you for the email!  It's always great hearing from you.  Have a great week!
Love, Elder Geddes 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 13

Mormon Street

  Well this week was a pretty good week here in Arkansas, and especially the weekend.  Our Branch, and two other wards had a Halloween party Chili cook-off and a trunk or treat after.  The turnout was awesome, there were TONS of people there, the parking lot was packed.  There was all sorts of Chili and games and other things to do.  We had a few investigators show up which was nice.  The activity went well, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. 
  On Sunday we went to Church and all the meeting were really great.  The North Elders  (Elder Heaton and Ramirez) had a baptism on Saturday.  It was a great service, and I actually had the opportunity to give a talk about the Espiritu Santo (holy ghost) in Spanish.  The talk actually went pretty well, and I'm definitely seeing that my espanol is getting better and better every day.  After the first exchanges 2 weeks ago I decided to only speak Spanish to my companion, it has helped a ton and just in the last week my Spanish has gotten a ton better.  I also feel more comfortable talking with our investigators in Spanish as well.  I'm definitely blessed with learning this language so fast, and i'm grateful for the opportunity to learn it.  Elder Heaton confirmed Jeranimo in the Church on sunday as well.  Jeranimo (the one who just go baptized y confirmed) will be a great strength to the ward for sure. 
  On Sunday night we had a lesson with some of our most promising investigators the C. family.  It is a Husband and wife (J.& L.) and then J''s sister Li.. who is also married but her husband just went to Florida for work.  Her husband actually has brothers who are members.  I was sad he had to move, but they are all still really interested.  So we go into the trailer and start teaching the plan of salvation.  Something just seemed off, and different.  The lesson wasn't going to well.  We finished the plan of salvation and then asked if they had any more questions.  Then Li. said she had been reading about our church on the Internet and she had some questions.  It was a lot of Anti stuff that she had read, but we were able to answer all the questions pretty well and they were relieved that those things weren't true (multiple wives, etc).  They were actually really happy, and we had a great conversation with them at the end and invited them to a family home evening at a members house.  They are really excited to come.  And then J. actually offered to take us and our bikes to our next appointment  which was kind of far away.   So I'm really grateful that all turned out, and hopefully they will all come to church next week.  Linette has come one time.
  Our next appointment was with an investigator J. L. A, and he had a baptismal date in October but just won't come to church.  So we had a good lesson, and I was really direct with him about how going to church is a commandment.  We reset his baptismal date, and it all went really well.  I think he just needed a little of a push.  So i'm looking forward to several baptisms in November, it should be an awesome month. 
  Other than that, just another great week of missionary work, and i'm learning so much every day I love it!  I'm so grateful for this gospel and how it has blessed my life.  I'm even more grateful to be able to share it with others, because I know that it will bless their lives. 
Have a great week, love you tons!
Elder Geddes                                                         
Sight seeing on P-Day

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week 12

   Sounds like Joann Brown's funeral went really well.  I'm sure it was fililed with a great spirit because of the amazing and faithful life that she lived.  Nothing better than hearing Seth sing as well, his voice is just amazing.  It will be sad not being able to hear him sing in the ward anymore.  That's an awesome story about Jackson Lloyd, what a blessing that is to be able to teach all those people.  When the spirit is with you amazing things can happen and you will be guided to those people who have been prepared for you.

.  Last night I actually find out that one of the AP's Elder Udall (who lives across from us)  Is Chad's second cousin!  Well his mom I believe is related to Michelle.  That was super cool to make that connection.  He also said he had read his Book and remembered the story about Andrew!

   Well I don't have a whole lot from this week so it will be rather short.  Last Wednesday I went on exchanges with one of the Zone Leaders Elder Nielson.  We went down to his Area pine bluff which is about an hour from here.  It was a good learning experience.  It was nice to be able to understand what was going on in the lesson!  Because it was in English, all the people we taught were pretty nice, and some pretty crazy as well!  Later on in the week we were able to set a Marriage and Baptsimal date with one of our investigators (E.M.)  )that we have been working with for a really long time.  She will be baptized in November, and I'm really looking forward to that.  She is super nice and comes to church pretty much every week.   This last Saturday we met some really cool people outside of some trailers, so i'm looking forward to be able to teach them.

  For the month of November we have a goal as a mission to have 100 Baptisms which has never been before.  To reach that goal we are making a sacrifice and cutting our P-days in half in the month of November so we will be able to be more productive and fulfill our goal.  I think it's a really good idea, and I know with our sacrifice we will be able to have a lot of success in that month.  Transfers are this Wednesday, but as new missionaries you are on a 12 week training program, so Elder Castaneda will be with me for the rest of his mission!  I can't believe I've already been here in Arkansas for a month and a half, the time just really flies by.  Other than that it was just a really good missionary week, and I'm hoping that this next week will be even better!
I love you and hope that you have a fantastic week!

Elder Geddes
ps. sorry no pictures last p-day rained all day so there wasn't much to do.          

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Words from the South! Week 11


         Beautiful Arkansas!

   This week has been a really great week in Arkansas especially this last Sunday went really well.  It seems like Sunday is almost always a highlight of the week.  First off we we had a Zone meeting last Thursday and we were able to watch "Meet the Mormons".  It was an awesome movie, and it really showed the true lives of Mormons and quiets all the rumors about us.  The spirit was strong during the movie, and the stories of these people were awesome.  Make sure that you go and see it, it's definitely worth it.  That movie was definitely inspired, I'll tell you why in a second. 
   So on Saturday night we went over to our investigators Ci.. and Ag.  They have been our investigators for a while, so they have been taught all of the lessons.  Ci. comes basically every week to church and participates in other activities.  Ag. comes when he can.  They haven't been baptized because they aren't married.  And in the last couple weeks they had been telling us that they are going to separate because things haven't been going well and Ag.. had started drinking again.  So we weren't sure what was going to happen with them in the future.  When we visited them this Saturday they had gone to the Movie the night before.  They loved it and they even watched it in English, and they don't even really speak any English. Ag. told us that the movie was all based on families.  And now he said today is the day that he is going to stop drinking and he wants to know what he needs to do to be baptized.  Now instead of separating they are going to get married, and then after be baptized.  Such an awesome experience!!  We were not expecting that at all, the spirit must have really touched them during the movie.  We are probably going to set baptismal dates with them this week. 

Elder Geddes and Elder Castaneda with their investigators adorable little boy!

   On Sunday all 5 of our investigators that we invited to church came!  2 of our new investigators came as well.  We went to guide them to the church, and they were all ready in their car to go, that was super cool.  We have sacrament meeting last, and when I walked in I saw the Arroyos!  They were the family that I talked about a few letters ago that had gone inactive.  And how we visited them and gave them a blessing, and I felt that I needed to directly invite them to come to the Branch.  Well they did come, and that was definitely a testimony builder for me, they hadn't come to the branch in over 3 months.  Hopefully they will become active once again.  So that was really awesome, it was nice to see our work paying off.

  This last P-day we went to Central High school where the Little Rock 9 happened.  The first black kids to be segregated into a public high school.  It was really cool to see it, because I had learned about it in history.  I never thought I'd actually go there.  The high school was massive, it looks like it should be a capitol building or something.

I'm sorry to hear about Sister brown, that really is surprising to me.  That's really sad, she was so nice.  That's too bad that Seth and Don have to move.  Seth is amazing, it's impossible to not be happy when you are around him, or he is singing, or bearing his testimony.  Such an example to all of us.

T hat's all that I have for this week.  I hope that you all have a awesome week.   I love you tons!
Love, Elder Geddes

Elder Geddes scored at Goodwill. $3.50 for all those ties

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week 4 in Arkansas/Week 10 on the Mission
General Conference

Elder Geddes and his district

This week was a really good week, especially because it ended with amazing sessions of General Conference.  I have never been so excited and grateful for General Conference in my life.  The spirit was so strong during all of the sessions, and there were a ton of great talks.  It was really cool that several speakers were able to give their talks in their own language.  I was able to watch almost all of the sessions in English, except for the final session we watched it in Spanish.  We did see Elder Bednar's and President Monson's talk in English though. I love Elder Bednar, we listened to several talks by him in the MTC that were incredible.   We are so blessed to have the opportunity to be able to listen and receive guidance from the Apostles and Prophets.  That was a big theme in this conference, how we need to listen to the counsel of the prophets and apostles.  I can't remember who said it but I liked this "listen to the words of the prophets as if they were from Christ himself" or something like that.  That's so true, because they receive personal revelation for the church that will help us become better people.

  This week we had some really great lessons with some members from the Ward.  The spirit was so strong in those lessons, especially when the member would share their experiences of their conversion and their testimony.  Missionary work can only reach it's potential with the help of the members.  I love it here in Arkansas, and have really come to love the Members of our Branch a long with the many  people we meet and our investigators.  We do get fed a couple times a week, but not a whole lot.  When we do get fed though it is a LOT of food normally.  The food is pretty good, only a few weird things here and there but overall it is great.  The other day we were walking down the street and a member from the branch picked us up and took us to a Chinese Buffet which was pretty sweet.  To answer your other question we were on Bike week last week, It is actually kind of fun.  And our area is relatively flat, so it isn't bad at all.

 1st week riding bikes

  Meet the Mormons is going to be an amazing opportunity for missionary work and for people to understand us.  I really hope that we as missionaries will be able to watch it.  Maybe for Christmas or something as a mission or at some Zone conference.  How cool the church produced a movie to explain us as a church.  People will feel the spirit as they go see the movie, and want to learn more.

  The weather is pretty good here, and only a few days has it been really hot.  I think that I came here at the perfect time of year.  It was crazy the other day was a really nice day and at around 7 or 8 the sky got completely dark and the Tornado sirens came on.  The wind started up really fast and it just started dumping rain.  Luckily we were with a member and he took us back to our apartment.  That would of been the worst if we were on our bikes.  The tornado apparently touched down by the Arkansas river, but I don't think it did anything.  It was crazy the sky was full of a blue/green lighting, it looked awesome.  That was the first real storm I had since being here in Arkansas.  Then last night I was woken up by the rain because it was coming down so hard.  And you know me I don't wake up for anything.   It sounded like explosions because it was coming down so hard on the window.  But other than that the weather has been really mild.

  Last P-day we went to downtown little rock and took a little trolley around the city. It was way fun and the driver explained all the building and stuff which was way cool.  I really like the downtown area, it's just has a cool feel to it.  In the future I most likely will go to Tennessee about half of the Spanish missionaries are in Memphis, so I really hope that I will be able to go to that side of the mission.  Sounds like almost all Spanish missionaries do.  It surprises me how many Hispanic people are in this area, my area right now is one of the best areas for that other than Memphis, i'm lucky to start my mission here.

Downtown tour with the district

I love you tons and hope that you have an amazing week!

            Love Elder Braden Geddes        
Elder Geddes met a new friend

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week 3 in South Arkansas

  This week was a really good week. On P-Day we went to this pond behind a trailer park where a member lived. We fished and made hammocks and just had a good time. We were fishing with water bottles and fishing line haha! I’ll send some pictures.

Enjoying P-Day

   Tuesday we had a Zone Conference with Elder Zwick from the first Quorum of the 70 and his wife. They were both super awesome and way nice. At the beginning they lined up and all the missionaries go to shake his and his wife’s hand. That was super cool, he was a mission president in Chile and knew an Elder Geddes, but it was probably some other Geddes.

Elder Zwick and Elder Geddes

 They both gave really amazing talks during our conference and as well at the devotion that night with ward and branch leaders form 3 stakes in Arkansas. Elder Zwick talked about always reinforcing and keeping your foundation strong. He talked about how the Portland Temple’s foundation was built. When they went to dig it, it was way too soggy because of tons of rain, and would be impossible to pour a regular foundation. So what they did is drove I believe 500 96ft steel beams in to the ground with a 48” concrete caps on top. He related it to our lives and how we need to drive another “Pilon” into our foundation when we need to adjust, or to reinforce our foundation. If our foundation is strong enough it will not break. I really like that because we are constantly facing adversity, but with a strong foundation, we will not be led astray. Every time Elder Zwick talked that day, the spirit was so strong. He was a great speaker and definitely knew his stuff. He told a bunch of awesome stories.He then told us that we will have i-pads in our mission by December. He is really confident in them and knows that he has our trust, and the quorum of the 12 has our trust with the ipads. The ipads are going to be a really good missionary tool. I wasn’t too excited for them before, but when he talked about them it made me pumped! That day was a great day, and we are really blessed to have living prophets and apostles in our lives to give us amazing guidance.

Meeting with Elder and Sister Zwick with the missionaries in Arkansas

 Sister Zwick in the night devotional told a story about her son that has special needs. He was flying to Boston alone to see he brother. Some friends of the Zwick family happened to be sitting behind him on the flight, so that is how they know this story. He was talking to his seatmate and asked where are you from. The man responded Las Vegas. And the special needs kid (scotty) responded oh you have a really pretty temple there. The man said I think so and asked “are you Mormon” Scotty said yes and told him simply how he loves being a Mormon. Then he asked the man “So when are you going to join, it will make you happy?” The man said “I’m not sure, maybe in the future. Then scotty told him how happy the church has made him. The point of the story is if a kid who can’t read or write can share the gospel so easy, we can’t be afraid to open our mouths and share it with as many people as possible. This gospel is so amazing that is why we as members and missionaries need to invite and share the message with more people. I loved that story, such a great example of how simple missionary work can be.

  This Sunday was really awesome as well.  We had a great dinner with some members, and it was actually kind of American food which was great.  After we were tracting we then felt like we should go to a less active members house who use to be way active.  They had gotten offended.  They are super nice, and welcomed us in and fed us another dinner.  It was this weird soup stuff with really chewy meat noodle looking stuff in it.  I asked Elder Castaneda later what I had eaten and it was COW STOMACH and PIG FEET!!!  Disgusting, good thing I didn't know what it was while eating it or that would have been bad.  After the parents and the kid all wanted a priesthood blessing.  I gave the kid a blessing in English, and while there I felt impressed to ask them to come to the branch with us in 2 weeks, because conference is this week.  He said he would, so I hope that they will come because they can be such a strength to the branch once again.  All of Sunday was a great day, and we had a lot of good lessons. 
 I'm so glad to hear about the Ollie's baby blessing! That is an amazing experience for Adrian and Ryan, and what an awesome birthday present for Uncle Rich.  I agree with the long testimonies, a short and to the point is almost always more powerful than a storimony. I have learned that from being in the CCM and on my mission. We have had several Testimony meetings that are only suppose to be a minute long each, and every one is really powerfully, and the spirit is so much stronger.

  I'm glad to hear that Nick Emery is heading back on his mission. That is a great example of being obedient, and finishing an important work that he started. He will be blessed significantly for his decision for sure.

. I love you so much. Thanks for all that you do. Sorry I would have written more, but I ran out of time.

Love, Elder Braden Geddes