Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

Mom and Dad-

How are you guys? This week was really good. All the ward members were really great and a lot of them called me to wish me a happy birthday; and some even dropped off cake and presents. Its really nice to be in a ward that takes such good care of us. So that was my last birthday on my mission. That is really weird. It really has just flown by. I cant belive we are already almost in August. I remember last year around this same time saying, I cant believe I have already been out for 4 months! Things are just flying by way to fast.

Transfers are next week, and I still don’t have a clue what is going to happen. I am kind of getting anxious to get out of Fort Walton. I love the people here, but if I am here for another transfer I will have been here for 9 months. I really want to go up into Alabama and see what it is like out there. Another reason is that the companion I have right now is a pretty rough one. The work is going good, I just struggle with patience from time to time. I have to go on a trade off with some one in my district at least once a transfer, so I conveniently chose the trade off day to be on my Birthday so that I had someone to talk to all day haha, I know that’s bad.

So you celebrated the 24th with Chad and Emily? That sounds fun. Are the big fireworks legal in St. George? Chad and Em sent me some great pictures of The Kids in there package. I was also very happy with the ones that you sent on the chip. Thank you so much for that package. I loved everything you get me, especially all the snacks. I thought you were going to put some videos on the chip though, but the pics were still great. I hope you’re still ok with me buying some shoes. I bought a pair of $30 slacks on my last week, and I found a pair of Rock Port shoes for $60 that are really comfortable, but I don’t want to buy them until I get the ok from you, because I didn’t tell you I was going to get slacks.

So as far as the work goes, everything went really well this week. I think I told you last week that we have two baptismal dates set up right now, and we are going to set another one on Wednesday with Alisha who is probably our most solid investigator. When we first started teaching her about 2 months ago she was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and living in a half way house. Now she is living on her own and is down to 3 cigarettes a day with a sincere desire to quit for good. She has been coming to church every week and has just been eating up everything that we have been teaching her. She carries around a copy of the Book of Mormon in her purse wherever she goes. It is really amazing to see the change that has taken place in her life.

The other miracle the has been happening is with Reid Steven, the one who was just baptized a couple of weeks ago. We were a little worried about him at first and we weren’t sure how solid he would be. Every week he would come to Sacrament in a stained T-shirt and some Jeans and then he would leave right after sacrament, but as soon as he was baptized, everything changed. He has been showing up to church in slacks and a white shirt and tie and has been staying for all 3 hours of church. He never participated much with the youth before, but this last week he went on the youth temple trip and spent 2 days up at the Birmingham Alabama Temple with all the youth in the ward. He wast able to do baptisms, but the temple president let him watch all the baptisms and confirmations in the temple. Reid came back from the trip so fired up and cant wait to receive the aaronic priesthood so that he can go back on the next trip and do baptisms. This was all such a big surprise to me, but I am so excited for him. There has been such a new light about him ever since he received the gift of the Holy Ghost. His best friend Westly Smith is the other one that has a baptismal date right now, and he is also a pretty cool kid. He is going to be baptized on August 8th.

We taught some good lessons this week, and we did a ton of tracting. I really have enjoyed tracting lately, we have run into some really crazy people which makes for really good journal entries. We went tracting on a street called Love Joy on my birthday which I guess a couple years back someone told the missionaries that they weren’t aloud to go on the street anymore because of the gang activity, but I think it has cleaned up a little bit. Anyways, we knocked on some doors down in the projects, and met some really awesome people. One of them was a little old black lady named Virginia White who invited us in to show us her nice clean house. She told us that if we ever got it dirty that she would beat our butts with her cane that she was holding. She was the sweetest old lady. Whenever she would say a swear word she would shake her finger in the air and say, “Its in the bible! It is in the bible! So anyway, we are going back to teach her soon.

I think that is it for the week. Thank you again for the package you sent. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for everything. I love you guys some much. And if you see any of my friends, give them my address and tell them to write me! I love you Mom, I love you Dad! Ill talk to you next week

Love, Josh

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 2009

July 20 2009
Emails made me so happy today. Shawna sent me some hilarious pictures of the kids. My favorite one was the poo coming out of im guessing Kenna’s diaper. I laughed pretty hard at that one. Anyways, yeah you should just send me the chip, I and I could just send you back another one. I would love to see all the pictures that you took at the lake. As far as the birthday thing goes, there is a mall down here, so I think I will just go pick some shoes out from kohl’s or Dillard’s or something. Im fine on shirts, I just need to get three of them tailored which will cost about $18 for all of them. Im fine on pants as well. I like ties. Im sorry that I stink at giving you ideas! As far as snacks go, I like 100% wheat wheat thins, I like chewy granola bars, you know I love cereal. Im sorry I am so bad at this. I am sure I will love anything you send me

Our investigators are doing really good right now. We set to baptismal dates this week, both of which will be on August 8th. They are both really solid people. Westley Smith, who is 15, is one of them and we have been teaching him for about a month now. And the other one is a kid named Torin Caldwell who is 14. We have taught him twice and he is a really smart kid and has a good grasp on everything we have taught so far. We are teaching some other really quality people right now that I am pretty excited about. We taught a lot of good lessons this week and did a lot of tracting as well. Things are going pretty well with Elder Adam, I am learning quite a bit of patience which is a good thing haha. Transfers are in two weeks, and I really don’t have a clue whats going to happen. There are a lot of good things happening right now in this area so I don’t know if President will make any changes, but to tell you the truth, I would kind of like a change. Ive been in Fort Walton for 7 months now, and I kinda just want to see some more of the mission. But, if im here for one more, I would be fine with that, because like I said there are some good things happening.

So you’re looking in to buying this place out in Utah huh? I think that would be really cool. Is it a lot cheaper than our house? It would be nice having you guys out there because I am pretty sure that is where I am going to be for a while. Im curious to see how Brett likes the lds business college, maybe I will end up doing the same thing. You said they don’t even look at your high school GPA right? Oh yeah, do you know when Jeff Larson is getting home from his mission? Isn’t that pretty soon? I know Ray has like less than a month left, which really blows my mind. I think he said he is planning on going back up to Idaho for school.

Nothing too exciting happened this week. We had good success, but there isn’t any specifics that are too out of the ordinary. There was a cool experience on Friday where a guy pulled over in is car, stopped us, and told us to come over and talk to him. He was crying and saying that he had really messed up and wanted us to come over and prey with him this week. So we are going over there this week to teach and pray with him. We have little experiences like that throughout every week and I should start writing them down so I can remember them on Mondays when I email.

I still feel bad for not giving you any ideas for my birthday. I like I reallycandy and snacks and all that stuff. I trust your judgement like Charleston Chews, but I think they would melt before they got here. I like Socks. I like fine point pens. Im sorry I am so boring.

Anyways, I love you guys so much. Thank you for your emails every week, they really do make my weeks go so much better. Tell the family that I love them and if you see any of the kids, give them a hug and a kiss for me. I love you Mom, I love you!

Dad I love you!

Love, Josh

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009

July 13

Mom and Dad-

I hope you don’t feel bad about the whole email thing. I knew that you didn’t just forget. Yeah I checked it right before I signed off and I still didn’t get it, but I really didn’t mind. I knew that that meant I would just get double the emails to read this week.

So a lot has happened in the last couple weeks. I am so excited about Blake. I will be home well before his first birthday so I will get to be there for the fun ages. I loved that picture you sent of Parker and Kenna. I love those two. The other pictures were great too. Casey and Brett still look like themselves. I had no idea that Dan Henderson was a patient of Andy’s, that is so crazy! I heard about the fight from a member in our ward who loves MMA so he always fills me in on the latest fights.

Training is going alright. Elder Adam struggles a bit with his confidence and has some social issues, but he has a really good heart and always tries his best. Although we don’t exactly mesh like Elder Gooch and I, we still are working really hard together so I am still happy. Besides, if I ever get really irritated or anything, I have two of the other Elders in the apartment to help me out. Theres not too much more that I have to do as the D.L. I have to give trainings every Tuesday for 60-90 min. and I have to call the sisters every night, and report our Districts numbers for goals and actual every week to the Zone Leaders. So its really not that much more work. Really the hardest part is training, which still isn’t even that bad.

We had a baptism this week by the way. I baptized Reid Stevens. It was a pretty stressful day. Reid is a really big kid, so we had him try on a jump suit about a week ago just to make sure it would fit him. So he put it on half way, and then said that it would work. We asked him if he was sure because he didn’t put it on all the way, and he said he was positive. So anyways, the baptism was at 3pm on Saturday, and Reid shows up at 2:50pm and when he tries on the Jump Suit, it doesn’t fit at all. So me and the Bishopric are making phone calls and stressing out trying to find something that works. By the time 3:30pm rolls around, we decided to have him put on half of the jumpsuit, and then where a white tuxedo shirt that he ran back home and grabbed. So it ended up working out, and everything was very peaceful after he was baptized, so yeah it was still a great day. Reid’s friends all came to the baptism, and one of them went up to the bishop afterward and told him that he had never had such strong feelings in his like than watching that ordinance, So we are going to start teaching him. We are also teaching another one of Reids friends who wants to be baptized as soon as possible, so we are excited about him as well. We are still teaching Alisha Striblan. She was smoking a pack a day and is now down to a quarter of a pack a day. She had a baptismal date for July 18, but we are going to push it back to the beging of August probably. So there are some great things happening here in Fort Walton.

Yes my Birthday is coming up, but no, you don’t have to get me anything. I have already spent too much on the home card. I have had all sorts of bike problems and I had to by that pair of pants. Both of the lights on my bike didn’t work any more because I crashed really hard last week, so I had to spend like $35 to get new lights. The Crash was pretty sweet. I was looking behind me to see if we missed a turn, and my front tire went into a curd and it mad my whole front wheel turn sideways causing me my bike to go from 15 mph to a sudden stop in a split second which then caused me to do a front flip with my bike still connected to my legs. So I laid on the ground for a second, and when I looked up, I realized we were in front of a crouded resteraunt and there were a lot of really cute girls outside who saw the whole thing. I impressed them with my skills I assume. So anyways, that is why I had to buy new lights. I could use some things for my birthday, but I just don’t want to make you get anything. For instance, my shoes are falling apart, so I could probably use some new shoes. And I need to get 3 of my shirts hemmed which will be about $21. We have a mall in our area and I found some shoes that would work well, I just don’t want to keep sucking up your money. Some little things you could send would be some good socks, some snack foods, a new tooth brush and some sensidine tooth paste, I don’t know. That is all really boring stuff. How about this, I will think of things that I really need today, and I will write a list and mail it to you, because I cant think of anything right now. A cool silk tie would be nice, but that isn’t a necessity.

Anyways, I miss you guys, and I love you so much. Tell katey to get pregenant. It will be sort of like the count Down baby and Ill get home right before she has it. That was random. So yeah I love you Mom, I love you Dad! I love you everyone else who is reading this!

Love, Josh

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 6, 2009

July 6

Mom and Dad-

Blake is here!! Sooo good! Is he healthy and everything? I am so excited. Did everything go well? Those pictures you sent are great. I didn’t get an email from you this week, im guessing it just didn’t go through or something. How was St. George? Were you guys at the lake at all this week? I got an email from Brett saying that he did some wakeboarding behind our boat. He seems to be doing really good. Is he still pretty wierded out about being home? He is going to have one of his friends back very soon so I bet that will be good for him.

This was a pretty good week. Ive been working harder for the last week or 2 than I have my whole mission. Training this new Elder is pretty tough. You can tell he was pretty sheltered back home and his social skills are awkward. He has a really hard time talking to people, so I figured the best way to get over that is by knocking on doors for 6 hours a day. I feel a little bad sometimes because he really fumbles up his words and gets pretty frustrated when he tries to talk to anybody. I am thinking I might be leaving next transfer, or at least that is what I am kind of hoping for. The whole district leader thing isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Training is actually a lot more difficult.

I don’t have too many cool stories to tell. I guess there are a couple funny ones. We were knocking on some doors earlier in the week, and this old man came out side and told us to come over and talk him. His name was Evangelist Coon. He told this long story about how when he was our age, he was caught up in a sect and that the Spirit fell on him and saved him from this cult. He then told us that we were trapped just like he was. He told us that us that he had just had a revival and healed a bunch of people, so I read to him part of Mathew 7 and told him that I he worked those miracles by the power of Satan which he didn’t seem too happy about. So all of a sudden he jerked his whole body back and convulsed as if he was filled with the Spirit, and he reached out to grab my hand to save me. I jumped back as well, because I thought that he might posses me or something, so we just left while he continued to yell strange things at us until we were down the street a ways. So that was a pretty fun experience. The other story isn’t as cool, Just another old guy that flagged us down while we were biking and told us that the Apocalypse was going to happen on June 23, 2012. He had some other arguments as well but I wont bring them up. I realized that I get a little too heated sometimes when people try to bash. I just find a little too much joy sometimes in proving people wrong with the bible, which I know is wrong. I finished the Book of Mormon again, and im starting a new copy. I don’t know what I want to mark in it this time though. Wow, im just rambling, sorry.

So, not too much more to say. I am just so excited for Chad and Emily. They have their own little family now. How is everyone else doing? I really need to start writing letters to everyone. Can you send me all of their addresses? I love you guys so much. Thank you for the pictures! I love you mom, I love you dad!

Love, Josh