Monday, November 25, 2013

          Looks like a Party....Happy Birthday Elder Barnes & Elder Vandersloot!
           This is the exercise plan for all that Birthday Cake!

                         Happy Happy Birthday Elder Barnes!!!
So funny story, I saw that quote about changing the sails the other day and figured I would make it my thought... Scrap that idea. But anywho, I am back in the comfort of our apartment emailing. It feels like a dream having a speedy computer! First off, Thank you so much for the birthday wishes and presents. Birthday on the mission is something different for sure. We kind of took it easy for the day, which was nice. I opened one present early, just like we usually did it back at home. Then opened the rest after dinner! All the presents were awesome! I love the ties, sweater, cologne, peachie-o's, everything! It definitely made for a special day! I am so super blessed to have any incredible family! I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like without all of the support and prayers behind me. Behind every great missionary, is a great family! So let me dive into my week! It definitely wasn't the most productive of weeks. It really bites when it gets dark so early. There is not a chance I will be on my bike in the dark on these roads. We saw some awesome people again this week though, but not too many people were looking for the Gospel.
It was really sweet on Tuesday at our last district meeting because Bishop Shell and his wife made us a mean breakfast and then afterwards the Sisters in the District got us some birthday cupcakes, candles, hats, etc. It was super thoughtful of all of them. Sheesh, I still can't believe I will be almost 24 when I am home. We also saw Steve and Amy again. They were super anxious about us getting transferred, so luckily, neither of us got the axe. They fed us enchillada soup and tacos. We also went with Steve to help out with his Church's paintball course by making these bamboo barricades. It was a lot of fun to be a man for a moment, building stuff and what not. They are just awesome. They are LDS and they don't even know it ;) We also went out on splits to double our work load, with the Elder's Quorum Presidency. It has been a while since I had gone out on a split. It was a lot more comfortable this time, seeing how I have been out longer. Me and Brother Phillips went and saw three less actives. The Phillips are so amazing! They remind me of my family :) Just down to earth, fun to be around. They are going to have us over for Thanksgiving too! The biggest surprise was Mama Barnes's Cinnamon rolls that evening. That was so super thoughtful! And they were dang tasty! 
Wednesday, Birthday! Wow, it finally crept up on me! It has almost been 3 months out here in Georgia. Where has time gone?? I got a package from Abby and her mom which was chalked full of Southern Apparel! I think my southern conversion is almost complete! I got 6 ties, what a loot! I wonder how many I will come home with? I also got a card from The Lees, Abby, Abby's Mom, Grandma and Grandpa C and a letter from Jessica. It feels good to know you are loved. Thanks again for all those out there that help make this mission thing so much easier. I am so stinking spoiled, and I am not sure what I did to deserve it! I got plenty of Happy Birthdays from the ward too. The Miller's had us over for dinner and spoiled us some more. We got our favorite desserts, cheesecake and german chocolate cake. We also got to see this movie that Brother Miller was in. It is called Defiance, and it was filmed by a missionary while he was serving there. It was so funny! I will most definitely get a copy of it! 
Thursday I indeed had a dandy surprise. I was curious what it could have been, since you didn't know about transfers until Monday. I figured you just overnighted it just in case or something! But, all of our appointments fell through that evening, and we were in the apartment making some calls and trying to stay busy. Sister Carnell came down asking if anyone had come by for her. Then we heard foot steps upstairs, and then a familiar voice! Sister Carnell scurried upstairs knowing the intentions of the assailant. We heard some wheels squeal on the way up the stairs, and he was gone, like a rainbow in the dark. Thanks for the loot Uncle Jason!! I have so much gatorade and cheesecake to down. Not to mention the apples too! Just what every missionary needs-- variety!
Friday was not very productive. It was rainy and gloomy. I don't like going out on days like that. It just feels like a downer, and it gets darker sooner too. We were driven inside to make calls and stay busy again. Oh, and I have been wearing a new tie every day! Thanks again for all those :) We got to see Bob again, and read some more Book of Mormon Passages. It is only a matter of time. He is just kind of dipping his toes in the font if you know what I mean. Someone just needs to say the prayer and push him in! 
Saturday, our big appointment with Allen and Janet dropped. But he willing committed to coming to church the following day. So that was the best we could get. We were hoping to bike down and see him, since our biking miles have gone down lately. We were able to go out in the evening with President Clark (2nd Counselor in the Stake Presidency) and visit some less actives. This ward is just so blessed! There are such amazing people. I know I rave about them a lot, but it is the truth! We also managed to base out to the Hercules song you sent me! We also might have gotten some Christmas music in there too!
Sundays are always the best. I look forward to seeing the ward so much. We finally met the new missionaries, and they are alright! I think we will get along just fine! They want to go to Ross and Goodwill today at some point! Elder Wilson, had to get evacuated out of a place called Rockmart, because some missionaries got held up at sword point, by a drunk guy. Really? He was drunk.. Come on man! We got to teach Elders Quorum on how to teach the new member lessons from PMG. Teaching people to teach, go figure. Allen did follow through and make it out to church. A disabled kid that is highly functioning, asked Allen when he was getting baptized. Haha, when he is ready is what he responded. Sister Barnes swung us by this Cinnamon Roll cake and it was divine! The Carnell's also had us up for lunch, and they chatted about you Mom. Yes, I am spoiled! I love it though! We didn't have a team up that evening so we hunkered down and watched the Testaments on the couch in our blankets with popcorn. Missionary life! 
That is just about it! Another blessed week in Georgia! Thanks again for the weekly email! It means the world to me and to know all is well out there in the 801, just the way I left it! I am sad I missed Grandma's Thanksgiving! That was always the bomb! But I am sure all will be well by the time I get back! Well, I hope you have another amazing week! And I cannot wait to hear about it soon! Like maybe next week if y'all don't mind! And, I am soo soooo Thankful for my family! I hope you get a moment to think to thank! This time of the year is awesome, isn't it! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Also make sure to get out there and get some good deals on Black Friday. Who knows, maybe I will have to do some cyber monday shopping ;) I must be taking off, but thanks again for everything, I cannot say it enough! All y'all are the best! I love you all so very much!
Elder Dallan Barnes
If you don't invest very much, then defeat doesn't hurt much at all, nor is winning very exciting!

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