Monday, December 16, 2013

Dec 2nd

Well here we meet again after a frivolous week of feasting and shopping! I can only say that we partook of the feasts! Multiple ones at that. I am glad to know that no one slipped into a turkey induced coma, although I could see some of y'all getting close! The winds of change have been gusting here as you have caught wind of that from your confidential sources. It seems like you have eyes on me everywhere I go. Yes, things really got shaken out here. But as for me, I can trust in my foundation. I have two new companions, and a car. I have two people trying to keep me in line. I guess I am the trouble maker. I can't hold down a companion for more than a transfer...  Their names are Elder Wilson, and Elder Thurgood. Wilson is 20 and from Denver Colorado having been out 7.5 months and Thurgood from is 19  from Farmington Utah and has served for 6 months. Relatively fresh missionaries, but they are hitting their strides! They are both good guys and we can most certainly have fun here, but also get down to the work! We joke often actually, kind of a beautiful thing being in the car. You can't do that so much on the bike, unfortunately. It is funny to think these two were competition for me and Vandersloot in the ward. Now we have joined forces! The tri-panionship! Let me say that the living situation is a little messy currently. I am in between places. They put me down where the Elders were living in the South part of the area, where there is really only room for two. Half my stuff is at the Carnell's still because they plan on putting us back up there! It is much more logical because all of the members are up there, it feels like home (I have missed it dearly), and there is room for four missionaries. At this time, I am not sure what the final verdict is. They still haven't pulled the trigger yet as to what is happening. So in response to your question Mom, I don't quite know where to send stuff. I know we can trust the Carnell's if we need to head up there for mail. It won't be as immediate as I want, but we will find ourselves up there often. I am super curious as to what will happen come transfers. If I will stay here and get another companion, or train, or I don't know. It is crazy to think about. All I do know is that we won't be together come January 1st. Anywho, let me dive into my unique week (rhyming it up).
Monday was super awesome at first! It was Vandy's birthday, and he is quite the pen and pencil guru. I hadn't used that 0.3 Pencil you gave me, and I knew that would be something that he would like. So that is what I gave him for his Birthday. Now he always gets to remember me when he writes stuff. Sinister, I know! We took it pretty easy that day. He had a handful of gifts to open, which was neat. We stopped into the Heinhold's and had a small birthday bash, I hope you got the photos! And for the best birthday present, he got a phone call from President Harding, extending him an invitation to come to Peach Tree City and work in the office for the remainder of his mission. As long as he is serving, I am happy! But, that really rocked the boat. I just sat there kind of numb for a bit, thinking of what was to happen. But I am so blessed to still be here in Lost Mountain. I would have been devastated to find out I was headed elsewhere too.
We didn't know until the morning, so the night was spent packing. We did though hit Ross earlier in the day and found out that Ross isn't as fun when you are a missionary. We still need to hit a Goodwill soon!
Tuesday was the swap-a-roo. Vandy just packed all morning and what not, we got some photos with the Carnell's, etc. It was so crazy. I found out I would be in a trio that morning. The Carnell's even put forth this huge sales pitch to keep us in their basement. We were fighting valiantly to reclaim our territory. But, we are still just waiting to hear from them about what will happen. I had met my companions briefly at church, but we clicked pretty early on. It rained all Tuesday and was just a gloomy day all around. It was sad to see my companion go, but it must be for the best. Coincidence isn't something I believe in! I got a whole mess of ties from him though! Not sure if I will keep all of them, but I don't have to worry about that now. We met with a less active named Deena and gave her a blessing. I just so wish I could do more to help some of these people. Being a missionary is emoitionally draining. I hope when I get home, I am grounded firm enough that the Adversary cannot shake me.
Wednesday it actually snowed. Not a Utah snow storm, but maybe a small skiff. It was really frigid. The high was around 35 and the low in the teens. It was crazy! We almost got a white Thanksgiving. Who would have ever thunk! Luckily I was not on a bike, cause that would have been down right miserable. Let alone the roads iced over. We met this Family who the father looks like Jesus. They have an awesome story, their house burned down and he survived stage 4 cancer. Walking miracle right? They are pretty strong in their faith, but we could so build on theirs! It is so awesome being here in the South, where you can talk about Christ with everyone and they almost all believe. It was a good work day, hadn't had one of those in a little while. Knocking doors and taking names! The life of the soldier missionary.
Thursday, happy Turkey day! It was oh so happy. We got to do the Turkey bowl, which was awesome, my first one ever. It was in the 20's when we started, but it thawed out quick. It was a good turnout with around 40 people or so. It honestly felt like I wasn't on a mission, like it was normal life for a moment. I loved it! We had Thanksgiving Lunch at the Phillip's home. I hope you appreciated the call, I know I did! The Phillip's are an incredible family, I tell you what. They remind me of us! And I know, my hair has changed, but that doesn't change who I am ;) I am glad you called back too! I got a snippet of your voice and got a little teary, I'll be honest. It was different being away from home, but it was the closest I could be to home. I am so spoiled in this ward! We played Apples to Apples and just kicked back for a little. So relieving! We then had a dinner at Bishop Shell's home where they invited a whole slew of family. Something you will realize if you live out here, is that family connections are really prevalent. There were so many people there and we got to play some pool and foosball! We later headed over to the Heinholds for Thanksgiving Dessert and a game of Balderdash. I really need this day. Just totally refreshed! We slept well to say the least!
Friday, was an odd day. We spent a good portion of it with Brother Carnell. We put up the Christmas decorations, then when out to a teaching appointment, then came back for a post thanksgiving feast. It seemed like the feast they didn't have. It was just the two of them for Thanksgiving. I felt a little bad because that is one Holiday that shouldn't be celebrated alone. They spoiled us and I acquired some Cheerwine and this drink called Boiled Custard. It is alot like Eggnog, but just as tastey. It is a southern thing. And you know me, if it is Southern, I am on it! I got your package Mom and it was awesome, just what I needed to kick off the Holiday season!
Saturday, we had a monster day planned. Especially since a priest aged young man would come out with us on a "Mini Mission" and spend the day getting the missionary experience! His name was Andrew Frese and he was awesome. The day fell apart unfortunately, but that is the experience. We knocked several doors, had many laughs, and even had ice cream! It was a good experience I think for him! We will be doing this every Saturday for the next month or so!
Sunday was awesome because I get to see and mingle with the ward. I just love being a part of it. I didn't share my testimony, but things got crazy. The bread got forgotten and we did it at the end of the service. Krista made it to Church for the first time since I had been here. She even made me some Muddy Buddies. She is incredible! The Gospel can totally help her. She seems to be struggling, I even got a hug from her (hugs aren't against the rules, I have found out). We will be seeing her tonight though! Allen was sick and couldn't make it out which was disappointing. We also heard from an investigator that we fell out of touch with that has a baptismal date. Her name is Kai! Super excited to have her grow closer with God! I don't know, I just love Sundays! All the smiles, handshakes, hugs, and laughs. I love being able to associate with such incredible people. I get teased regularly! My hair is really a topic of discussion, which is so humorous to me. We had some serious heart to heart bro time as well.
We will be going to Zaxby's as usual with Brother Collins, and maybe hit a goodwill today. But that is my week! I am so blessed to have you as my valiant email writing family! You take care of me too well! I love hearing about your week!
Elder Dallan Barnes
Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your fears!

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