Tuesday, January 17, 2017

From bikinis to biking

Hola y'all!

I've added a bunch of people to my email list in the last year so I thought I would explain why I open with that phrase. Real quick flashback: I get to the mission field. At transfer meeting, Elder Robison and I are sent to whitewash Simpsonville 2nd Ward. The elders we're replacing are Spanish elders. The Simpsonville Spanish area was closed and they put English elders (us) to cover the large area that is the SV2 Ward boundary. The Area Book on our iPads shows that EVERYTHING is Spanish. Spanish investigators, etc. So my first weekly email in the field I opened with "Hola y'all!" because of the Spanish situation, and you know, South Carolina. Just thought I would explain/remind that to everyone, I don't just do it because I'm a weirdo. It's a self-imposed tradition.

I don't have much to say this week. We have an investigator on date and he's great. His name is William and he's a humble and ready dude. He's a big Clemson fan too. Speaking of which, right when I get to Myrtle Beach/Conway, Coastal wins the college World Series. And then I return to the upstate and Clemson beats Alabama! I'm more of a Carolina fan, but I guess I'm good luck for college sports. Obviously not professional sports, because I got to SC days before the Panthers
lost the Super Bowl.

I'm still recovering from living beach life for the last 7 months. Spartanburg is very different. It's a lot more like the rest of the mission. What I'm really recovering from is biking. Because I do it every day and it never gets easier. (I hope you're happy elder Staker) And I couldn't be assigned to one of the many flat areas in the mission. But the white handbook says I can't say anything negative about my areas in letters home. And honestly that's my only complaint. The snow is gone. How about this: I LOVE SPARTANBURG! (95% true, and rising)

It's funny, we don't have wifi in our apartment but I check every once in a while for an open network just in case. But what I love about doing that is someone has named their wifi network "NOT THE MORMONS". Haha, not yet!

We are hanging out with the Spartanburg Spanish elders and Sumter elders today so here's some pictures of one from each companionship
 Have a good week and don't go riding on that long black train — Josh Turner


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Literally whitewashing

Hola y'all!

I have been transferred to Spartanburg 1st bike area. I am whitewashing with my companion, I would have said that in my email last week but here's the thing: they didn't tell me. Usually they give those kinds of calls on Saturday before transfers and I did not get one. It's funny because the assistants even came to the beach and brought us new beds (which we really really needed, I was sleeping on the floor because it felt better) and they didn't tell me any news.

That's ok. My companion is Elder Kempton and I already know him. He came out with me. We will hit our year mark on the 20th! We're doing ok so far. There's been a couple things that came up that have slowed our work.

We had a mission conference in west Columbia. That wasn't bad, that was great! Elder McArthur, our area authority, Elder Clayton of the seventy, and Elder Stevenson of the quorum of the twelve came and spoke to us! We took a picture as a mission which we don't get to do very often. Elder Stevenson is really funny too, I love seeing apostles in person

The other big thing that's happened is: SNOW ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️

This isn't funny, the temperature going below freezing was bad enough. But why would it happen that the weekend I get sent back to the upstate (I was here last winter), it snows for the first time in a billion years? And it stuck too! It started probably Saturday morning and it's still here. We are on bike so that's awesome, the roads are icy and impossible and dangerous to bike on at night.

But I honestly am not that mad. I mean it's the coldest it's ever been on my mission and I'm whitewashing (haha literally the ground is covered in snow) but it's not that bad! I miss the beach but I can complain or work in the area where I'm supposed to be right now.

It's funny because our ward is right above my first ward, Simpsonville 2nd. And on the way back from transfers I recognized some stuff. I recognized an exit onto I-385 that I have taken a ton of times, but this time we went onto I-26 and headed towards the Burg. Just weird how that happened, I have a picture so you can understand what I'm saying.

I hope everyone is doing good, oh also church was canceled yesterday so we haven't met the members of the ward yet. Snow is dumb

I hope everyone is doing good though 👍🏿 👍🏿

Also here is one of 9 billion pictures Sister Fox took of us back in the MB district




Beachy keen

Hola y'all!

Happy new year! Everyone prepare yourselves for the first year of the Trump. The Tabernacle Choir will be performing at his inauguration so the spirit will be there when he is sworn in. I'm not worried. Well, not about that.

This transfer is shorter due to Christmas and scheduling with the MTC and whatnot. If it was six weeks long, the missionaries coming in at transfers would have to go to the MTC the week of Christmas, so this one was five weeks and he next is seven. Basically what this means is the bad news has come a week sooner: I'm getting transferred!

Yeah I really didn't want it to happen but the fact that I've been feeling it would for the last like 3 days made it so I wasn't too surprised. I love this whole area, I've been blessed to serve in both elder areas, Surfside and South Myrtle Beach, back-to-back. I got to train a brand new missionary, and speaking of which, Elder Edwards is going to have to take over. Well I mean he won't be senior comp but he will be senior in the area. I know he can do it, he's leaving the nest and I guess that means I'm taking the nest with me.

Sayonara Dirty Myrtle, you filthy wench! It's been fun but I knew it couldn't last. Dang it I never got to go to the wax museum. That's fine it's like $30 and it probably sucks. But I have no idea where I'm headed, only that I'm going somewhere. I'm trying to imagine my dream area, but it's a lot like the area I'm leaving behind so I guess I have to be open minded. I'll let yall know next week of course

We had one of our best weeks work-wise, we got three new investigators and three progressing! So of course right when things get good I get pulled out of here. But I know I'm in the Lord's hands and I know Myrtle Beach is in Elder Edwards's.

I hope everyone has a good week and that you all will make the most of the time given to you. One day soon each of us will no longer be able to play football on the beach on p-day. Oh wait that's just me

Oh I almost forgot, shoutout to Carrie Fisher and her mom Debbie Reynolds, they were/are pretty cool. If they're reading this I hope they know the church is true. The LDS church btw


Below is an actual real life photograph taken of me crying when I got the news