This week went by so fast, it was unreal. I feel like that I've lived here and have been doing this for months already. This week was awesome, even if it did fly by. I have some great news by the way. The family that we started teaching: Josh, April, Sonya and Abby Bishop, They are set to be baptized on March 15th!! We had an awesome lesson with them on Tuesday and they absolutely love what they are hearing, and they're so excited to go through with it because they truly understand how important it is to follow Christ's example. Josh has been lighting up like crazy when he talks about what he's been reading or when he talks about things that he's learned with us. He is such an amazing man. I don't think I've ever met a man who loves his daughter so much and understands his purpose as a father. He astounded me this week when he told Elder Welty and I about his values and life experiences. He's such a smart and nice guy. We taught their family twice this week. Teaching them has gotten them closer to baptism and they love coming to church. Unfortunately April was sick so they weren't there yesterday, but we have another appointment with them and they want to come to church next time. Please keep them in your prayers. They have struggled so much throughout their lives and they only have prayed for other people and for each other. Also this week we were finally able to see Carl again. He cancelled on us about 3 times over the course of this week and kept re scheduling. It was a little frustrating to finally get to see him again but I was really patient and he finally showed up to see us at the church yesterday afternoon! He seemed like he was doing so much better too. He was more calm, he seemed extremely more sober, and he just seemed really happy. He brought his girlfriend with him to see us too. We walked around the church a little bit and then had a talk with them. Carl said that he needs to change so that he can be happy again. He says his mother would call him every day and reminded him to pray and to remember who he was, and I'm glad that she did that because I know that he was doing that this past week. He said that he has been extremely blessed as he has sobered up. He even got his old job back! I'm so happy for him. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is starting to work in him, and he is turning into a man who is eternally joyful and humble. He is going to come back to church starting this next Sunday, and his girlfriend Dory, who isn't a member said that she would come with him. I invited them to pray together every night so that they can be more unified as a couple and closer to Heavenly Father and they said they would. I'm so happy that their lives are changing for the better. Carl is such an awesome guy and I know that his struggles are subsiding, and his strengths are coming in control.
Overall this week was really awesome. I continued to work really hard and I'm glad that I did. Yesterday was probably the roughest for a time because it was fast Sunday, and you know how cranky I get when I haven't eaten haha. I'm glad I did it though. I know it helped me have the Spirit with me so that I could help Carl and Dory as much as possible. The biking has been getting wayyyyy easier too. It's been fun biking down a hill going as fast as I can, and the uphills don't seem as long as they used to. The members have been helping Elder Welty and I out even more this week too. We went with Brother Melick on Tuesday, Coach Williams on Thursday, and Brother Andersen on Thursday night on exchanges. Coach Williams is the best. He's been coaching girl's fast pitch softball for 20+ years, and he used to be partners with a retired MLB player, I forget his name though. He's been going out with the missionaries every Thursday for over a decade and he went out with us to visit some Less Actives. The best part is that once we are all done, he takes us out to lunch to this Greek/Italian restraunt called Manny's. It was so good I ate like 8 pieces of pizza haha. What was cool is that the owner and the waitresses sit down with us every week and they let us teach them a lesson. So I got to do that and that was pretty cool. Actually today we may even go to his coaching place and hit softballs and baseballs at his batting cages. Coach is really awesome I'm glad I met him. So yeah this week has been great. I miss you all so much and I wish I could've been there to see Troy swim. Good job buddy keep up the hard work so you can grow gills. Thanks for the emails Mom and Dad, I loved them. That's cool that you got to see some of the Iditarod Dad.
And okay mom here are my answers:
1. What is Elder Welty's first name so I can put it in your mission book?
His first name is Bryan but he said he's gone by Popeye since he was a kid. So either one is fine I'm sure.
2. What was your favorite thing that happened this week?
Definitely seeing the Bishops and getting them on date to be baptized.
3. What was the hardest thing this past week?
My least favorite thing would have to be that a couple of days ago we had alot of appointments with leads and less actives, and they all either didn't answer the door, or cancelled on us. It was a little discouraging and it tired me out but it happens on your mission. no big deal.
4. You are really in the deep South, what is it like? Is it a lot like Texas or not? Tell us a little about where you are and what the people are like.
This place is probably the perfect mix of Gig Harbor and Dallas. The people are the most Southern I've ever seen, and the trees and hills are just like GH. Pretty much everyone is baptist, and they all have such thick accents. It makes texas look like its just as North as Oregon down here. The weather is just like Allen too. It was super cold this week and then yesterday it was like 75, and then it's supposed to snow on Thursday! Unpredictable, just how I like it.
5. Do you need anything?
Elder Welty and I need a Gullah Bible. If you don't know what that is you'll know if you look it up. If it's cheap we would like one so we can study the language of the South better so that people understand us. Just saying, it may not say in my call that i'm speaking another language besides English, but Gullah should have been on there.
Love y'all. Hope you are all safe. Hope you have a great week!
This part was in a separate email to his Dad:
Sundays are amazing too. I love them more than ever now haha. And believe it or not, I sing as loud as I can whenever I can. Singing to music has helped me alot being out here and I'm finding out that I'm not half bad either. I like to sing a song I like when i'm biking and singing in sacrament feels great and it calms me down when I'm worried about anything.