Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Week 56

Saying goodbye to Elder Smith

  This week was another great week here in the great town of Jonesboro Arkansas.  University classes start today, so the city is going to be a lot busier!  
  We had a great Zone Conference this week in Little Rock!  It's always a busier week when we have a big meeting, because it takes up most of the day.  President Wakolo invited us to fast as a mission until we ate lunch after the Zone Conference was over.  It was really powerful, and the spirit was a lot stronger in the meeting.  That night we returned back, and were able to get one appointment in before the end of the night with Tina y Takiya. They have been really solid investigators, and we were able to answer some of their concerns about baptism, and their desires to take this step.  We definitely saw the fruits of our fasting in that lesson.  We were able to set a solid baptismal date as they opened up to us more, and have been able to see them almost every day.  We are hoping they will be able to be baptized this Saturday.  Takiya was able to make it to church on Sunday for the second week in the row!  We had a great lesson with her on the commandments, and she has strong desires to do God's will.  We have an appointment with them tonight, and we have been bringing members over there every time which has been great!

  Another cool experience was when we were just finding on a street, and there were a bunch of Hispanic houses.  It had been kind of a slower day but then we met three great people in a row, and one of them we were able to go back and teach them just a few days later.  They had a lot of questions about our church, and what we do as missionaries.  We are looking forward to continue teaching them.  As well after that we helped this Hispanic lady cut some trimmings up with her mower, and mow a part of her yard.  I have always wanted to help someone mow while being in my white shirt, and no one ever let us.  But she did and it was awesome!  She said we could come back another time to teach her.  
  Other than that just another solid missionary week!  Yup we still are teaching David, but he was busy with his coin show that he had this last weekend.  He is going to be less busy, and really wants to keep coming to church and receive a testimony.  We actually had an awesome lesson with him about not procrastinating repentance this week, and he took it really well and even received some personal revelation of why we should be baptized when we are accountable.  Thanks for the email, and enjoy your week!

Elder Geddes

Lesson's learned my first year on  my Mission
   I would say that there are a ton of important lessons that I have learned on my mission.  A big lesson I have learned is truly loving others, and truly leaving myself to be able to help them improve their life.  As I have done that I have noticed teaching has been much more effective, and people are more willing to listen.  Simply loving and being nice to people can make a huge difference in your life, and as well as their life. Even if you don't realize it.  As I have done this I have learned that everything is more enjoyable when you are smiling and being happy all the time.  People have noticed when we are happy, and they want to talk to obtain that same happiness.  Sometimes the mission work gets hard and you will get rejected all day, but I have not let that get me down  I know that things will just keep going downhill if I don't keep that positive attitude  All of that is directly related to Faith, it is such a core principle in the gospel, and will work many miracles.  
  Some of the most spiritual experiences I have had is when I have studied diligently for an investigator, and then when it comes to the lesson it is exactly what they needed to hear.  That's been such a testimony to me of the help of the spirit guiding me and my companions in what to study, and then saying the right words as we teach the lesson.  Many times I have wanted to ask a question ( this happened more at the beginning of my mission), but I was scared to say it in Spanish or not sure if it was right.    Then my companion would almost always ask that same question testifying to me that it was a question directed from the spirit.  As I have learned to be bold and confident, I have seen the spirit work through our words and questions for the investigators.  Confidence and relying on the spirit is a key element, and as I have been doing that I have seen many more miracles and changes in my investigators.  
  I am so grateful for this first year that I have had to serve a mission.  I have learned so much, and had so many incredible experiences that I would have never had.  I know that I was meant to come here to the Little Rock Arkansas mission,  and have seen that as I have connected with those the Lord had prepared for me.  The work of the Lord is amazing, and it will always continue to progress. There is no greater happiness than seeing the light of the gospel fill those who we teach as they accept the gospel.   

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 55
 La Primera Semana con Mi Hijo!
Elder Ceron and Elder Geddes
  Another great week here in Jonesboro Arkansas!  On Wednesday the ever so glorious tripanionship was separated back into two companionship's.  We had a good ride down to Little Rock, and then at transfer meeting I got Elder Ceron as my son!! (trainee)  It was pretty awesome, and I was super excited to get him.  His first name is Nefi and us as Spanish missionaries had heard about him coming out 3 transfers.  Through a series of events of his Visa coming one day late, and then keeping him in the Provo MTC for 6 more weeks to learn English.  He eventually made it to Arkansas.  It will be nice because I don't have to teach him Spanish, but I will have to help him  learn English.  He is from Mexico, Vera Cruz!  As for the other missionaries in Jonesboro, we got another set of Elders, so now there are 6 Elders here which is pretty sweet!  Elder Croft's companion Elder Hamblin is the new district leader.  My last companion Elder Zickella went Zone Leader in Conway, Arkansas.

Tripanionship saying goodbye!

  As for news about teaching this week, we had a pretty good rest of the week even though the whole week was kind of crazy with Transfers and everything.  On Saturday we were able to see Ti. and her Daughter Tik.  The daughter answered the door and the first thing she told us was that they are coming to church this Sunday, because her Mom wasn't working (she normally works until 6 in the morning).   We had a great lesson with them that night, and they both committed to come to church.  The next morning during Sacrament meeting no one had shown up, but then after a few minutes into the meeting Ti. and Tik. walked in!  As well as Ti's youngest daughter who is 6.  So that was awesome to see them to come to church after working really hard this last month with them.  They both participated really well in the Gospels Principles class, and really seemed to enjoy church.  We already have  two appointments set up with them this week, so that should be great!  

  Later on that Sunday we went to see a Spanish investigator named Juan.  He was behind his trailer so we went back to talk to him.  As we turned the corner there he was just casually butchering a sheep that was hanging by his two legs from a tree, it was awesome!  We asked if we could take a picture.  Elder Ceron almost passed out because he faints when he sees blood, so we had to sit down for a little bit after that haha!   After that we went to see Mant. who we had met the day before. He came out and said his parents just wanted him to shut the door on us, but he said he has been looking for a church to go and for a good youth program.  We invited him to church, and he said he wanted to come.  As well we explained a little bit of our message to him, and he was excited to read in the Book of Mormon.  We are hoping that he will be able to come to church next week, and start teaching him all of the lessons!   Other than that it has been another good week and a good experience training so far. 
  I love being a missionary, and being able to serve my Lord all day every day.  It is a peace that is like none other in the world.  I know the power of the atonement is infinite, and the joy that it can bring to people as they turn to Jesus Christ through repentance.  I know that seeing the potential of those we teach will help us as we prepare them to make covenants with God.
  Thank you again for the great update, and I hope this next week is as good as the last!  I love you tons!

Elder Geddes

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Week 54
P-Day Golfing!
  Well based on the title of my email either you were probably really confused or came to the conclusion that I'm training!!  I got the call this last week from the Assistants that I will be training this transfer!  I'm really excited about it, and know that it will be a great growing and learning experience.  Being in the trio has really prepared me for that, and I'm looking forward to leaving a positive impact on my "son".  On Wednesday we will be going to Little Rock for transfer meeting.  Elder Zickella will be getting transferred as well, and Elder Croft will be staying in Jonesboro.  It has been the greatest serving with them.!  We have gotten a ton of work done together, and gotten along super well.  They will be opening another set of missionaries here in Jonesboro, so our tiny district will grow a little bit!  I'm really looking forward to this next transfer, it should be great!  
  As for this week, it was a little slower of a week compared to the last week, but hey a week on the mission is always a good week!!  One cool story is that we went over to visit Nikki (Jason's wife,) and we were able to learn more on how to begin teaching with her, and just getting to know her better.  She really opened up to us, and shared some experiences with us about her life, that helped us understand her situation.  She also said that while Jason has been out working on the trains he has been reading the Book of Mormon that we left him.  She said if it is something that he is interested in she would start reading it as well, because she wants the best for the family.  That was super cool, and amazing to see how much both of them have opened up to us.  We are going to continue teaching her while he is away, so that will be good!

   On the turtle news this week., We were driving back from lunch and there was a friendly looking turtle in the middle of road.  We pulled over to help it to the other side before it got ran over.  As Elder Croft went to pick it up thinking it was just an ordinary turtle (us being from the west and Zickella on the phone) the turtle turned out to be an Alligator snapping turtle.  It about bit  Elder Croft's finger off haha, but we were able to kick it off the road.  I'm sure people were confused why three dudes in white shirts were getting a turtle out of the road.  We got some good pictures out of it though.  One including the Turtle biting the tie of Elder Zickella!  You never know what you will find in the South!  
  As for other investigators go two of our more solid investigators got antied pretty hard, so they dropped us.  But that's alright, it's just how Jonesboro goes.  They have seen the blessings from listening and applying the gospel in their lives.   I'm sure one day down the road they will have another chance to listen to the missionaries again!  David is doing well, He couldn't come to church, because he was on his way to Memphis week.  He is still praying and sincerely wanting to know the truth.  La Familia Lopez is doing good as well.  We just need him to start putting his desire into action.  We also found a really cool family yesterday tracting, so we are looking to go by and seeing them this Wednesday!  Other than that the work is going great, and we are looking forward to the upcoming week!  

Thank you for the email.  Love you!
Love, Elder Geddes

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 53
The Tripanionship
Elder Croft, Elder Geddes, Elder Zickella
  Well this week was truly an amazing week as I hit my year mark.It was full of miracles, and Sunday couldn't have been a better day.  I'll start with Sunday first.  In the morning we texted out the usual reminders to our investigators.  Then at church I was setting up for translating, and Claudio responded that he was on his way.  And sure enough a few minutes later Claudio y Gaby walked in!!   Fast y testimony meeting was really a great one.  Everyone bared relatively short y strong testimonies, inviting the spirit to the meeting.  After I was talking to Claudio y Gabriella, she was explaining to me how in the morning she prayed asking god if she should go to church.  Then she said after she took a shower she just got a super warm feeling inside, and knew that she needed to go to church, Claudio felt the same way.  So they both came and we had challenged him to write down a question, and bring it to church and that it would be answered.  He ended up bringing a whole paper in an envelope, and gave it to me.  I read it before going into Sunday school.  It was basically asking for a change and a desire to know if the LDM was la palabra de Dios.  It was super awesome. because Sunday school (the Spanish gospel doctrine class) was perfect for his questions, and was about putting the LDM to the test and really reading it to know if it was true.  It was a true testimony to me of the power of fasting, and really showing your love and care for the people you serve. I was able to go to teach them this week, and ask them simple questions to help them receive the answer they need.  It was a super good lesson, and they gave way better commitment than before on coming to church.  The spirit has really been working on them, and I can already see a big difference in them.  The spirit has literally been my companion while teaching them.  As well Gab. gave me her daughter because she said that she wants us to come over and meet with her, so we are looking forward to that.  She is the one we gave a blessing to a few weeks back.  

  David was also able to be able to come to church  again. and Taknechia came to church for the first time!!  Apparently David in Elders quorum said some great comments as they were talking about home teaching.  He said "that they should do everything that they possibly can to keep these missionaries here"  and he was explaining how grateful he was for our patience and our sincerity as we taught according to his needs and questions.  That was awesome to hear that!,  I was in the other class with the Spanish crew!   David loved church again, and Tak. said that  she liked it as well,and wanted to make it to all 3 hours next week because she was a little late!  Yesterday was just a day chalk full of amazing things happening,and it continued throughout the day.  

  As we were eating at the apartment later on another MIRACLE happened.  I have been waiting for this day for over a year.  I was just sitting there, and I just started rolling my tongue!!!  It probably sounds like something lame, but I have been trying to do that since day one on the mission. To be able to to roll my r's  is huge in speaking Spanish.  It was a great lesson to me of patience, and never giving up!  Throughout the day I was just rolling my tongue to make sure I didn't lose it, I'm sure my companions wanted to kill me ha ha!  

 Then after that we went to teach Jas, and Nik..  We had met her parents a month or so ago, and she had just gotten in a car crash.  We prayed for her and have checked up on her.  She ended up being fine, and little by little we have gotten a good friendship with her, and well as her husband.  Earlier on in the week I went on splits with the EQP,  We were able to have a really good talk with Jas., and share what our purpose was as missionaries, and get to know him. He has really opened up to us since the first time we met him. Yesterday we were able to share with him the Restoration.  It was one of the best Restauracion lessons that we have taught as a trio.  He was understanding everything, and the spirit was there in that lesson.  He even told us that there is no way that we came to his family at this time by coincidence,, and how grateful he has been for us coming over to check on his wife an the family while he has been away.  We left him with a Book of Mormon, and he said he was going to put it in his suitcase for sure and read it on his down time.  He will be gone for 26 days, because he works on the railroad.  He is an awesome guy, and we are excited to see the spirit to continue working on him as he reads and continues listening.  He has been telling us that he needs his kids to grow up in a church to bring the family together.  You never know who the lord will prepare for you, That is why it is key to talk with everyone.
The entire district/ One tripanionship!

  For other events this week, we held the smallest possible District meeting with the three of us! haha As you already got to see we were able to go to Memphis for the 40th anniversary!  I was able  to see a lot of great people, and of course was reunited with Elder Heaton again.  Alvaro came up to see me as well, which was awesome.  He has been doing great, and even gave a talk the other week in the Spanish Branch.  I was also able ti see returned Elder Henderson, Meyers, Pres. Perez, familia Benitez and several others.  Jessica Smith from BYUH was there as well!   It was a good meeting, and awesome to be able to see everyone again.. Basically it was  just an amazing week out here in Jonesboro, This week should be awesome as well as we already have a full schedule.  The trio is awesome, but unfortunately it is the last week of it.  We all wish that it could last longer.  Have a great week, and I love you so much!!

Elder Geddes

Pictures from the Arkansas Little Rock's Mission 40th Reunion
Elder Geddes and Alvaro
Former Elder Henderson and Elder Geddes