Good Morning Y'all!
How is everyone doing?? I really don't even know where to begin.. This last week was super long and quite the blur. The whole first day was crazy. Stepping off that plane was the most nerve wracking feeling, or even when they announced that we were making final departure. I couldn't sleep the whole flight because I was so anxious. I stepped off the plane and the humidity hit me like a wall. Not to mention that the Airport is huge. All 50 of us made it there. Half of them are waiting on visas which is unfortunate. There are so many missionaries here but I have to come to realize that there are 6.5 million people in Atlanta and the metro area. Given that Georgia is 8 million, that is quite a chunk of change. Seriously I don't even know where to start. Tuesday was such a long day and they threw so much information to us. Health, driving, Cleaning, apartments, etc. I was so super overwhelmed. Thankfully we didn't have to go and talk to people that first day! That was a load off of my mind. My MTC districts got to stay at the mission home that night, which was interesting. We all slept through our alarms and got up at 7:15. Not nearly enough rest to compensate for the hours I lost. My mission President is super tall and really serious about the work here. This will be a lot of work. He expects us to ask people to be baptized even on first contact. He can talk for ages too, but he is a good guy. He has a really mild and dry sense of humor it seems like. I didn't ever get to sit down with him and have an interview. There were just too many people here. Everything is so absolutely beautiful here. It is super green as I remembered. But driving these roads is awesome. Just trees lining them and draped above them is incredible. People love their golf carts here as well... At the high school, there are parking spots for Gold Carts. In Fayetteville where the mission home is, there is like 100 miles of Golf Cart trails... But not a golf course to be seen.
Wednesday was judgement day really. Everything hinged on that. Area, driving situation, companion, everything. The meeting lasted forever. I didn't get my companion until very last. I was on pins and needles. Elder Savage is from Lovell Wyoming, but you probably already know that by now. He played TE and loves basketball. He has only been out 6 weeks, but was trained by Zone Leaders. So he was destined to be training soon. I understand how stressed he must be. And no, he isn't related to Levi Savage. We are still trying to get ourselves going and finding a decent teaching pool to go after. We are in the Lost Mountain Ward which covers Marietta, Powder Springs, and Austell. It is absolutely beautiful. I am so blessed to be here. There are so many nice neighborhoods with stunning houses. We are on bikes by the way and one of the members is lending me theirs. Bless their hearts! It is super hilly here so I am likely to be loosing weight I feel like, or gaining muscle in my thighs! Maybe I can dunk soon! Show these people how to ball. The area is nice, but it is primarily middle and upper class people, so not too much diversity. Most people are religious and that is nice, but they don't see the value in our message. They think because they have accepted Jesus, they are saved. There are so many faiths around here. Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Episcoplain (or something like that), the Mormons. And many more I haven't ran into. The road system here... ridiculous. I hate it. Sure everything has a name, but it doesn't make sense, like Utah. We have gotten lost many of times on our bikes. We rode to the church our second day, and it is so far away, not to mention it was 90's and high humidity. I am sweating like a dog out here. I even had to stash a rag to wipe my face and hair. I already have a tan line from my watch. I also hate the shoulder bag idea and it makes half of my body sore. I could go for a camelbak haha.
A lot of what he have done is has been picking up tracks. We have dug through previous investigators, potential investigators, tracted around a little. We haven't taught too many lessons here, since we really have no one to teach. We do have on investigator, his name is Jon, older gentleman, and he is going to be baptized on the 14th. I don't feel like we did too much, but we have sat down with him a few times. He is so ready to be baptized. He has a hard time talking to us since we can't relate to him being older. It is true, but I can definitely relate to what we are talking about... that is why I am here. Elder Savage never had to knock doors his first 6 weeks, so we are both learning. Hopefully we will figure it all out, and start dunking people. The goal this month was to get two baptisms a companionship. Pray for us haha. I am afraid I will be in Elder Savage's spot in 6 weeks, training someone, leading a district, white washing... I need to learn now.
What else has happened.. We have sat down with several ward members just trying to get to know everyone. We have two sets of sister missionaries also covering this ward, and they have dominated the Elders. I forgot to mention we live in a basement of a member. They might contact you to get a favorite recipe. They want us to cook one night. They are the Carnell's and they are really nice people. Last Sunday was fast Sunday and I felt prompted to share my testimony. Not only was I feeling like sharing it, but I also knew it was a good opportunity to introduce ourselves to the ward, and get dinner appointments! Missionary work has been nothing like what I expected. There is no such thing as coincidence. I know that for sure, hence I am in Georgia. I love y'all! The ward is really sweet and super helpful for us. I love the Southern Hospitality. I still have yet to try a peach or fried chicken, or any other assortment of Southern Delicacy. Someday... soon hopefully!
Working yesterday was super draining. I might need an odometer for the bike just to see what we have conquered. Yesterday, we knocked many doors, but no one was super receptive. It rained all morning and I was afraid it would make the day longer, but thankfully it cooled everything down and provided shade. We ate at a members home which was awesome. Just the fact that people will have us over is such a blessing. The Wiblins is their names. Super awesome young family!
Well that has been my week in a nut shell, atleast what I can recall at this time. Total overload on what I have to say. I hope I get a chance to sit down and write people, because I could really use some mail. Have people send me a line, or get me their addresses. Seriously thanks for everything you do!
Good luck everyone with work and school! I know y'all will do awesome.I wish I had a chance to address everyone individually, but my time is running thin. I never get to bed on time here, so I am a little sleepy too. I love everyone of you and thanks for everything! Have one blessed up week!!
Current Mission Address
Elder Dallan Barnes
4300 Bristlecone Drive NW
Marietta, GA 30064