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