Monday, March 12, 2012

Mama Rika Missionary Update...Rats! No pics!

I sent off some pictures, I'm not sure if all of them will go through, so let me know if they do or not.
This week has been somewhat crazy with transfers and everything. I have been shipped off to Richlands Virginia, and I have a new companion named E. Stoven. Lets talk about Richlands first.
Richlands is a pretty rural area. It only has a branch out here, and is very spread out. The place has tons and tons of trailer parks everywhere, we in fact live in one. I think I said in the pictures email that our trailer is called the Yellow Submarine, and whenever we use the washing machine, the entire place shakes. It's pretty great. The Trailer, is actually in fairly good condition, and the land lord takes care of any problems we have. He's a member of the branch who lives just down the road. Speaking of Trailers, did I mention that the branch buildings consist of a small church-like starter building and a double wide trailer for the bigger meetings? Yup, we have sacrament meeting in a trailer. Awesome!
We work a lot with a senior couple from Casa Grande, Arizona who have been called to a leadership mission and help out the branch here. She is the young women's president and the choir conductor as well as a myriad of other things. He is in the branch presidency, is the ward mission leader, and helps out anywhere else he is needed. They are awesome, and take really good care of us. Plus the Branch members are super loving, and think missionaries are the best thing ever. They try to invite us to baseball games, their kid's birthday parties, and other activities that come up. We aren't always allowed to go to all of the things they invite us to, but they certainly are supportive of missionary work.
Now for my companion. E. Stoven is a nice guy, laid back, and pretty funny. He's a good missionary. He was the Goalie for the BYU soccer team, and gave up a lot to come out on his mission. So far I've really enjoyed serving with him, and I think this transfer should be a really good one.
Now for the daily breakdown:
Finished most of the packing I needed to get done and said goodbye to members, and investigators. Finally got a few good pics of the WV state capitol building before I left the area.
Since the transfer church was in our area, I still had time to finish packing in the morning. Since E. Ames and I were getting doubled out of the area, we also packed up his stuff. E. Ames was getting transfered to the West side of Charleston, directly adjacent to the South Charleston area. Since his new apartment was only 10 min away, we were able to move all of his stuff to the new apartment, and get back to the transfer building right on time. We said our goodbyes, and then I left for Richlands, VA. I'm not sure how long the drive was, but it must have been at least 3 or 4 hours before we stopped for lunch, and another hour or so after that to get to Richlands. That night I met a lot of the Branch members.
We met with some investigators, but a lot of everything we did that day revolved around planning and getting to know the area.
Every week the missionaries here in Richlands go work at the food pantry. We move boxes around, and bring food out to cars. Most of the people who volunteer there are older, so we tend to be a pretty big help. They love the missionaries, and were very friendly. It seems like everyone here loves the missionaries. We also met with an investigator named B who we put on date to be baptized next month. He's excited for that. Also during the day we accidentally locked ourselves out of our car, and we stuck outside a less active member's home for a good 30 min while we waited for the Bro & Sis H to bring us the spare key.
We helped the a family clean out their shed. The husband isn't a member, but the rest of his family is. When I first met him, I thought he was a member, and was kind of shocked to find out he wasn't. The wife and the kids had been members for about 4 years, and M had never really shown very much interest in the church. He was always supportive, but never wanted to learn more. Well, he had really been opening up to the members and to the missionaries for the last transfer, and he was more than willing to talk to us while we helped him out with his shed.
Our investigator's son, had a talk in church, so M decided to attend. We had a really great sacrament meeting, and in the meetings afterward, M started becoming really involved, and told us he really enjoyed the classes. When Church was finished, we were talking to Mark, and he told us that he wanted to start meeting with us. He was really curious about eternal families, and was really touched by what the speaker had to say. He is excited, we are excited, the family is excited, the whole branch is excited, Everyone should be excited! We hope he'll be baptized soon so he can prepare to enter the temple with his family. I'll keep you posted on everything
Pretty awesome week. I'm excited to be here in Richlands. Love Ya!
Elder Brayden Connole

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