Tuesday, April 26, 2016

  Week 91

   Where to begin, so many things happened in this past week it's been awesome! Well to start off the week we had exchanges with the AP's.  Luckily they both stayed in our area, so it was more effective.  I went with Elder Cunningham and we were able to visit a lot of people.  We went to see Amber who we have now taught serveral times.  On the way to the lesson I knew we needed to set a baptism date so I pulled up the calendar and felt like we should ask her to be baptized May 21st.  The lesson went super well and when I came time I asked her if she would be baptized on that date.   She then stopped and dropped what was in her hand and looked at us.  We weren't sure what was going on and then she said "On my Birthday???"  She said that would be awesome, and she excited to prepare herself to be baptized that day.  It's great how the smallest promptings of the spirit can make such big differences.  

  For the rest of Tuesday Elder Pearson and I went and said goodbye to everyone that her knew here.  It was sad to see him have to go, but he left such a good impression on so many people.  After saying goodbye to Cori's kids she texted us saying she came home to a 9 year old balling and was so grateful for the impression that we have had on their family.  They are going to love my new companion Elder Plaira as well.


  On Wednesday we headed to NLR fro Mission Leadership council and following that we did our transfers.  As I said last week my new companion is Elder Plaira and he is from the Philippines!!  He's super awesome and we already get a long really well.  He was a pretty famous rockstar over in his country and has an incredible voice.  He is super humble about it and won't really admit to it though.   My first few days with him have been great! During the weekend we actually went up to a town called Heber Springs for a fair where we had a booth set up.  It was all the Elders in the district and for two days we passed out tons of cards, pamphlets, and Book of Mormons.  It was a cool experience and we got a lot of return appointments for the Elders up there as well.  It is a super pretty town up there, and it's even got a lake and beach that we took some pictures by.  

   Here in Searcy we have a recent convert named Judith and she is from the Philippines.  She was super solid, but recently got offended and hasn't been able to express herself super well because of the language barrier.  So we told her that my new companion was going to be from the Philippines and she was excited.  When Elder Plaira got here we went over to see her.  The language in the Philippines that everyone knows is Tagalog, and then everyone has their own personal dialects.  He started talking to her in Tagolog and then came to find out that they speak the same dialect "ilonggo", and they were able to speak to each other in that.  Judith lit up and was so excited about that and really opened up to him.  Now we know her real concerns and are going to be able to help her better.  It's another testimony to me of the inspiration that President Wakolo receives for the mission.  And it looks like Judith will start coming back to church again!

   As well we had a dinner appointment with a less active family who are way cool.  We walk up the driveway and the son Devin said he had a friend inside and she may or may not be interested in the gospel and this was our chance to teach her.  We were able to teach her the restoration and she really enjoyed it.  Devin also bare his testimony which was the most powerful part of the whole lesson.  It was strengthening for everybody there in that room, and even though they are not active, he knows how much the BOM has helped him. Now we are going to start teaching his friend, and they invited us over to dinner this next week as well.

   Sunday was great as well as we were able to visit several of the members and talk about the missionary work.  Our bishopric member invited us to the baptism of his son in his backyard pool.  His house is crazy nice, and it was a good opportunity to get to know him better.  I met his wife and she is Hispanic, she said we could go to her mom's house and she will make us food from Salvador!  Also that night our Stake President called us and asked if we could go on splits with us and his son!  We were able to see several less actives and it was awesome to go teaching with the stake president.  He is the only stake president I have gone out teaching with, and he has done it several times. The work is great here in Searcy and we are excited for this upcoming transfer! 

Hope y'all had a great week, I love y'all!!        

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 90
Riding with Elder Pearson
  Well this week has been quite the crazy and great week at the same time!  As mentioned in the title it was my last full week serving with Elder Pearson ::(.   He has been serving as zone leader for a long time, so he will be getting released and transferred to a new area.  It has been so great serving with him. He has been one of my favorite companions!  He's taught me a bunch and we've had a lot of great times, He'll be getting transferred this Wednesday!  This next transfer I will be serving with Elder Plaira!!  He is from the Philippines, and I've heard a lot of great things about him.  

   At the beginning of the week we headed up to a town called Batesville to do an exchange before our big Zone Conference.  I went with Elder Jennings and we had an awesome exchange.  I got to teach several lessons in Spanish which is always the best!   I met for the first time a Mexican that is from Tijuana!  We we teaching all that day, and met a lot of great people.  

  We then drove down to Jacksonville for our Zone Conference.  This conference was also the time that they would be installing TIWI's on our car.  They are little boxes attached to the windshield that yell at you when you are going too fast, braking too hard, and don't have your seatbelt buckled. We are actually one of the last missions in US y Canada to get them.  They are kind of cool, and will reduce a lot of accidents and everything.  Also the AP's took our Chevy Colorado that we had, but luckily we got a new Nissan Frontier which is pretty sweet as well!  

  In our area we were finally able to see the Mauldin's again after a little while without seeing them.  They have been really busy but we're excited to see us again!  We taught her y the two boys a great lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They loved it and she even gave us a candle melter for our apartment.  They are planning it out so her aunt or daughter can make it out to the baptism towards the beginning of May.  What was awesome is they Cori and her Husband Jeremy made it to church this Sunday!!!!  Unfortunately the kids were at their grandparent, but that was a huge step for Jeremy to come to church and afterwards she texted us saying that they loved it.  

  As well our friend Joey was able to make it to sacrament meeting, and he had some good questions about it.  It was cool because we saved a seat for the Mauldin's and him.  Pearson was sitting in between them so there wasn't room for me on the bench.   I just went back and sat by a guy I didn't really recognize.  The whole back row ended  up being a bunch of Harding students (Harding is basically BYU for Church of Christ) that were there to learn about the different religions.  But he was asking questions and I got talking to him y his friend after.  And she turned out to be majoring in Spanish, so I got to talk to Spanish with her and it was super cool!  They were great people, and it was a cool little experience that I ended up being able to go back and sit by them.  

  We were able to teach y find a lot this week, and while finding we found this lady named Amber.  She came out and we had a lesson right outside of her house.  We started talking and she had a lot of questions, and we basically taught the restoration, and plan of salvation in the same lessons.  She said a lot of what we taught went in line with her personal beliefs.   Fast forward to Saturday and we are able to bring a member with us to teach her.  We gave her a teachings from Ezra Taft Benson book because she wanted to learn more about what modern day prophets taught.  Then we read the introduction with the BOM with her.  While reading we got to the part that says "Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity..."  She then immediately asked, "well what are yours?".  So Elder Pearson and I were both able to bare strong testimonies of how the BOM has blessed our lives and she really enjoyed those.  It was a powerful moment, and she said that our testimonies answered several questions that she had been having.  We are going to visit her again this week, and it should be great!  

  Well that's what I got for this week, there is going to be a ton of change this upcoming week.  Love y'all lots and have a great week!  

Us with Brother Shirley sporting our favorite baseball teams!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 89
The Searcy Zone
  This week has kind of been crazy with two meetings and everything else!  Earlier on in the week I was on Exchanges with Elder Hawkes here in Searcy area, and we ended up seeing a bunch of people which was great.  After that exchange we had our zone meeting.  The Sister training leaders had it all set up so it was primary themed because, we are going to be reading the New Testament and focus on Christ like attributes for the next couple of months.  Everyone in the Zone was seated in the little primary seats, and then for questions and other things we pulled Popsicles sticks out of a jar that the Sisters had made.  The zone meeting overall went really well.  It was the first Zone Meeting I had instructed at.  It's always a great experience instructing, because things will pop into your head that your weren't planning on saying!  Instructing with Elder Pearson always goes really well!  We presented the March Madness trophy to Elder Ceron y Santiago (my grandson y son) as they beat us in the championship game in the Searcy March madness.  

  After Zone meeting Elders Geddes and Elder Taleni spent a day with us in Searcy before the leadership meeting.  They blitzed the area, and we drove out to Augusta to give a Book of Mormon to a lady.  She loved it, but said she felt nervous because she hadn't talked to the Elders before haha!  The next morning we all headed to NLR for the leadership training with President Wakolo!  It was an awesome meeting, and I got to see a lot of good friends there.  The Cahoon's who were an office couple at the beginning of my mission returned back to the office for another mission, so it was great to see them!  

 We were able to teach a good amount through that week, but all of our lessons that were set up with members all seemed to keep falling through.  We were able to see the Lagoms. again after a super long time. They were so happy that we dropped by and said they felt bad, because they have been super busy and kept forgetting to respond.  We were able  to set up an appointment with the Husband Alex the next day.  He is from Uruguay so he speaks Spanish.  We taught him a great lesson in English, really getting to know his understanding of religion and the gospel.  We helped him understand some questions he had about God, and I showed him a Mormon message at the end in Spanish which he loved.  He told us that in that lesson we answered several questions that he had been having recently.  That was a cool experience, and I think it is going to help him a lot being able to express himself in Spanish more now that I'll be there to teach him.  They are an awesome family, and we are super pumped to keep seeing them, especially because they were a member referral.  They also gave us two free boxes of Samoa girls scouts cookies!

 We saw Cori and the family several times this week which was awesome.  Unfortunately they were not able to make it to church.  They are still doing great, and we have an appointment set up with them tonight.  We are going to move their baptismal dates so one of her daughters who is an active member in Oklahoma can come and see the baptism!  

  We had fast Sunday this week, and had a really good fast y testimony meeting.  There is a guy named Pedro in our ward who only speaks Spanish and can only stay for sacrament, because he works so much supporting his family in Mexico.  But he went up to bare his testimony in Spanish, and one of the bishopric members started to translate for him and he was struggling.  People started looking at me, and then I walked up to the stand and was able to translate Pedro's testimony.  He gave an awesome testimony, sharing some very cool experiences.  The spirit was strong, and it was great being able to have that opportunity, Definitely a highlight for my Sunday! And that'll about do it for the week!  Oh also I got my first tick last night, it was pretty crazy pulling it out!  And the weirdest part is earlier in the day was the first time someone showed me what a tick looked like.
Elder Geddes with Spanish Missionaries
Augusta, Arkansas

          Con amor,
         Elder Geddes                                                                          

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Week 89
Mission Leadership Council

  This week was a great one, especially ending it off with General conference!  It's always the best being able to listen to a living prophet, apostles, and other leaders of Jesus Christ's church here on the earth today!  There were several talks that covered exactly what we had been talking about with some of our investigators.   These men are no doubt called of God, and if we follow their advice (God's advice) in these last days we will come out triumphant.  It saddens me when people aren't able to accept there are living Prophets on the earth.  How happy they would be if they would just follow them. They world would be in a better place.  I loved how they talked about verse 7 in "How Firm a Foundation".  We have always sung that as a mission, because it's President Wakolo's favorite song.  

  At the beginning of the week we headed down to Lonoke for a district meeting and then I went on exchanges with Elder Thurgood to a tiny town called Brinkley!  Missionaries were recently called to that area, and in the last couple weeks they were able to start a group which is pretty cool!  We had a great exchange, There was a hotel that had just burned down and we went to took a picture by it.  A guy came over and asked if we were  Mormons. After we said yes he said "get the ..... Off m y property" it was pretty funny!  Also the third largest Bridal store in the world is located in Brinkley for some reason it's called "Low's".  When we exchanged back we went to a Mexican restaurant and the waiter gave me two free extra enchiladas, I think he loved that a gringo was speaking Spanish!  

 This week we have been consistently seeing Cori and her kids (Brayden, Hayden y Payton).  That has been going super well, and we were able to teach them the Plan of Salvation  and the kids retained it really well.  They are loving the gospel, and it's been great teaching them.  We as well watched the restoration video with them and after we left her husband came in y asked what the video was about.  So they watched it again, which was pretty sweet!  He has been listening from a distance, and I know he'll really enjoy the Gospel once he gets engaged.   We have plans to see them many times this week, and we are excited about!  

 We also were able to see Joey y Auburn, and they fed us several times to this week.  We had some really big Bible discussions with him this week, pretty much covering everyone.  It really just all comes down to if the BOM is true or not.  He is continuing reading it, and If he keeps doing that with sincerity he will be able to receive the divine witness.  We had pizza one night with them, and they had this raspberry chipotle Tabasco sauce that they didn't like.   Elder Pearson and I tried it on our pizza and both really liked it.  They gave us the bottle, and they said on the back it said it was good on ice cream which sounded really weird.  We ended up getting ice cream at our apartment and we put the Tabasco sauce on it and it was unreal!  

  We had a Mission Leadership Council in North Little Rock.  It was great going back and seeing all my good friends!  All is going great here in Searcy we are excited for this upcoming week as we have a Zone Meeting which should be good!  I love y'all and have a great week!