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