December 11th Letter
the Mannington Elders came over for laundry and whatnot. Since they were going to help out moving in the new senior couple the next day, and in an effort to save on our limited mileage restrictions, they stayed overnight. It was fun to blitz our area with them, we were able to get quite a bit done.
The majority of the day was spent helping getting the new apartment ready. All the furniture they got was brand new, and most all of it was had "assembly required" written on the box. Lets just say some of it proved to be more difficult than we wanted. Amidst all our packaging paper and plastic wrap, we slowly turned our empty apartment into a nice little home for them to live in. We were making great progress, but at about 3 o'clock or so, we recieved a call saying that they were on their way and would be there in a couple of hours. We weren't expecting them till the next day. We worked hard and we were able to finish assembling everything and clean up the apartment before they arrived. It was pretty great.
The new senior couple are pretty awesome. They're from Nevada, and have gotten straight to work. Within a few minutes of arriving in their new home, they headed off to have a meeting with Bishop about our Christmas program on the 23rd. They'll be a great help to this ward.
E. Boughan lost his voice somewhere along the way. He wasn't super sick, he just really couldn't talk at all. His voice would go in and out and was mostly just a whisper. This made our lives quite interesting as we tried to proselyte. The main thing that missionaries do is talk to people... well... missionary work practically halts when you can't talk. So we did a little service, a little planning.
Cool thing: So we started going out and introducing the new senior couple to a lot of the members. Well, we went to Mutual last night and found out that one of the less active members we'd been teaching off and on had quite smoking for the past 8 days. So on Thursday we went and taught him/ encouraged him to keep it up. Now we just have to work on getting him out to church. Progress!
We had a referral from a member of the ward a few weeks ago that we haven't been able to contact. It was one of those that didn't have a phone number or address and was tucked away out in the hollers. Well, We were finally able to find a member that knew where they lived and we were able to get out there with them. The little girl is 9 and has wanted to be baptized for over a year now. Her grandma is an active member and he mother is an inactive one. I was very impressed with her. She's read through the bible, yes, the whole bible, the Book of Mormon, and we think she might have also read D&C. It was pretty great.
She was EXTREMELY excited to meet with us. One of the first questions she asked was if she could be baptized. When we told her she'd need her mom's permission first, she raced to the back room and asked immediately. Her mom gave her permission, and she came back out with a big grin on her face and asked us if we could do it on the 22nd of this month. We told he that would work perfectly. Sometimes God gives us a golden one out in these hills. :)
It was a big service day all day on saturday. First, we moved an investigator she'll be heading down to good old Arizona. There wasn't a ton of stuff to load, so we were able to finish in record time. Later that day, we helped out the salvation army and rang the bell outside of the grocery store. E. Boughan and I also decided that Caroling was appropriate. So we sang as we rang. A few people stopped to listen to our resounding renditions of "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
When we finished we went to the fairmont Christmas Parade. We knew quite a few people in it, and were able to bump into a few investigators there. Right before the Parade started, the fire trucks had to leave to help out with a structure fire on the other side of town. Well, that left Santa without a ride, so he ended up on a 4 wheeler at the end of the parade.
The new senior couple gave talks in church. Mostly about Tithing. Sis. L shared some cool stories about how tithing had brought many small miracles into her life. Bro L talked about the importance of tithing and tithing settlement. It was a couple of really good talks. We went out with our elders quorum president to go see some less active members. I felt like were starting to make some progress there.
December 17th Letter
Had our Specialized training/ Zone Christmas Party. It was pretty sweet. The actual training part was pretty cool. President Pitt normally will sit down with each new trainer (the missionary getting a brand new greenie companion) and give them specific training. Well, since there's going to be a ton of new missionaries due to the new announcement on missionary age, he just gave the specific training to the whole zone and said that basically all of us would be training.
After the training part, we had the Christmas party. We played silly games, like the type that would be on the game show "minute to win it". The first game I got our team off to a great start. The object of the game was to "football hike" rolls of toilet paper from the ground through a hula hoop a few yards away. Our district won that one, and ended up winning overall even with an intense tie breaker of m&m sorting.
To top it all off, E. Boughan and I were able to set a couple of people on date for baptism in the upcoming months.
Pday was pretty fun. We randomly found this brightly colored green bird on the hood of a parked truck. It looked like it either escaped from the zoo, or it was straight out of the rain forest. It was pretty cool, so of course we tried to catch it. We came pretty close, but sadly, we were unable to do so. The whole flight thing made it really difficult.
Later that day we were driving out to the church. The car in front of me was stopped at the stop sign and started to pull away. Well I wasn't paying enough attention and didn't realize that he'd stopped again. So I slowly rolled into the guys hitch. We got out to check the damage and there was nothing on his car, so he told us, "it's cool" and drove away. We had a small, round dent in our bumper. We got an estimate later on in the week, and apparently it costs $470 to fix small dent.
Pretty slow day overall, we mostly just street contacted all day long. It was kind of cold outside, so not too many people were out and about.
More car stuff... We looked down at our emissions sticker on our windshield and realized that ours was about 4 months overdue. So we went and got a new one.
Busy day. We planned our ward Christmas party for Saturday, so a lot of the day was spent inviting people to that. We ended up with a really good turn out.
Earlier this week I got a package from home that had a 12 days of Christmas theme to it. Each day, twelve days before Christmas there's a present and a scripture that goes with the present. So far I have yet to guess correctly the present based off of the scripture. Friday was the first day I got to open one of the presents. Mostly they're just some silly things, but I've had a lot of fun with them so far. The first gift was a small plastic pipe when that when you blow into it, it makes a ball float in the air. "like magic!" it says on the package. We've found out that it also works with mini marshmallows.
Ward Christmas party was pretty great. We basically helped set up all day. It turned out really nice and we had a bunch of non-members there. I was able to perform a Christmas medley on the piano using "Silent Night" "Angels We have Heard on High" and "Joy to the World". It was fun.
President Pitt called me and asked me if I would be a zone leader. I was somewhat surprised since I wasn't currently serving in any other leadership role other than Senior Companion. But I'm excited for the road ahead. The cool thing about it is I'm going to Clarksburg, one of the neighboring areas to Fairmont. My new area is only 15 min away.
Said some goodbyes to a lot of members here in Farimont. I've grown attached to this area and will definitely miss it. I might still be able to go on exchanges down here though. We'll see. :) Exciting stuff.
Love ya tons!
Elder Brayden Connole