Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Weekly Email # 25

Week number 25. Whoh.

Another super duper busy week. A lot of meetings, interviews,
trainings, and more! Man, I'm spiritually pooped. I've been looking
forward to this P-day all week. Let's talk.

First, lets talk about the Worldwide Missionary training we had this
past Wednesday. Since  President Daines has to get permission from the
Area Authorities to have to whole mission come together for an
particular occasion, it doesn't happen too often. But we were able to
do just that because of this worldwide training that was put on by the
Missionary Department of the Church, which includes, Elder Oaks as the
Chairman, Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson, and more of that council. They
had it broadcast-ed to 75,000 missionaries around the world, and it was the
first broadcast they had done for such an event for more than a
decade. Let's just say I stayed awake the whole time.

Surprisingly, there was no new significant announcements or new
doctrine, but they all taught the very basics of the Gospel. And it
make me think of how freaking awesome this Gospel truly is. It can be
taught to ANYONE, and you don't need to be smart or sophisticated or
educated to share it with everyone. It was an awesome training.

The next day, we got trained AGAIN, this time by Sister Daines, while
President Daines administered tri-monthly interviews with everyone.
When the opportunity came around for me to have my interview with him,
I was confident but scared at the same time. I had no clue what we
were going to talk about, even though I have already had one occasion
to have a one-on-one conversation with him. President Daines is very
loving and very sincere. I was bold and straightforward with him,
expressing every thought I could in the span of 10 or so minutes.

He was able to answer every question, concern, and need I had. The
Spirit testified to me how inspired of a man President is. I'm very
grateful for his stewardship and his love for me all the other 200
plus missionaries in this part of the Lords vineyard.

On another awesome note, WE GOT TWO PEOPLE ON DATE (baptismal date)
AND ONE PERSON TO CHURCH yesterday! Well... Technically one on date
now... Let me explain.

Her name is Marsha. Very sweet 50 year old woman. She requested a free
Bible from us a few weeks ago and she started taking the missionary
discussions. To Elder Liu and I's satisfaction, she accepted the 27th
as her baptismal date this past Saturday. The three of us were excited
for the next day, when she would be able to come to Church and take
the Sacrament for the first time. We had arranged for a member to pick
her up and all she had to do was call that member and confirm the time
for that member to come to her house. The good news. Marsha called the
member. Bad news. Marsha told the member next week.

The member reported that to us at Sacrament meeting and we were
disappointed. So we tended and cared for the investigator that we did
get to Church. (his name is Greg, I'll talk about him next week. I
need more time for him. Haha) Right after Church had finished, Elder
Liu and I drove to Marsha's house, so that we could "act DEVASTATED"
that she didn't come to Church, as it says in Preach My Gospel. It
turns out we didn't even need to act devastated.

We knocked and she opened the door after a couple minutes of us
waiting. She walked out with her Book of Mormon, Restoration pamphlet,
and Plan of Salvation pamphlet in hand, and handed them all to Elder
Liu. Shocked, Elder Liu stared at them and then looked at her. She
said, "God answered me and told me to look on the Internet about
Mormons. And I'm sorry but I do not want to join a cult. Thank you.
Have a nice day." She started walking inside and Elder Liu got TICKED.
Like Chinese ticked. Trust me, it was a sight to see.

He said, "So you trust something you saw in the INTERNET?" Marsha,
taken a little back, said that the symbols on your "Mormon temples"
remind her of the Illuminati. She went on saying, "Again, sorry but I
just don't want to join cult." Elder Liu wouldn't say anything, like
NOT EVEN A WORD because was that taken aback and that hurt. So I took
the initiative and as strongly as I could told her that the
information she looked up was false and I testified of the
truthfulness of this Gospel. She kindly said no to any future visits
and closed the door on us.

Talk about a roller coaster type of a Sunday. But all in all, it's
been such a testimony building experience. I'm grateful for adversity,
such as this situation with Marsha, because I was able to see how much
stronger my testimony is becoming. Though not everyone will agree and
accept our message, I KNOW it's true and I testify of it 24/7. Being a
missionary is awesome. Elder Galbraith welcomes any future rejection,
because it WILL come. I say this to Satan. Come at me Bro.

Love you guys!

Elder G

Sent from my iPad

Elder Eason, Me, Elder Anfinson (District Leader), Elder Liu

Last District picture before Transfers. 
Elder Anfinson, Elder Liu, Me, Elder Eason, Sister Hill, 
Sister Farmer (she goes home this transfer. Feb 4.), Sister Blaser, Sister Hopkins

Anyone recognize this guy? I know the Brockbanks will! 
It was nice to catch up with Elder Stephens 
at the Worldwide Missionary Training. #futurecomps

Reunion with my dad! Again, at the Missionary Worldwide Training. 
He ran up to me and immediately starting taking pictures with
 his iPad, hence the "deer in the headlights" look.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Weekly Update # 24 - Days are weeks, weeks are days

Short email again this week. I'll give you a quick lowdown of what's
been going on.

So the Christmas Initiative that the Church did last month is still
continuing into this month apparently. That is because we keep getting
media referrals that we have to contact within a twenty four hour
notice. People basically request free Bibles or free Book of Mormons
from the adds the Church publish on the Internet and we, the
missionaries, are the ones that deliver them.

This has resulted in an NUMEROUS amount of investigators which is
freaking spectacular.  It keeps Elder Liu and I on our toes and it's
helping us get people closer to baptism.  Sadly we STILL can't get
anyone to Church. I must be cursed or something. Sometimes, you
literally just want to strangle the person that tells you that they
will come to Church, when in fact it is the opposite result.

ANYWAYS. Not frustrated by that at all. Nope. Not even a little.

If anything, these past experiences have taught me patience and I have
to see it from their shoes. There were definitely certain Sunday's I
woke up and immediately said no to Church. We are going to try some
different approaches this week when it comes to inviting people to
Church and hopefully, that will help involve the spirit more in their

This Wednesday, we will get to opportunity to participate in a World
Wide Missionary training that is being put on by members of the Quorum
of the Twelve. I'm super elated because, especially being out on the
mish, you rely on the prophets teachings and tips. I've also been
reading quite a few conference talks that are included in my personal
studies. It's been really helpful.

Oh, and it's  -14 with wind chill. Totally saw that coming.

Love you all! Have a blessed one!

Elder G

Sent from my iPad

Had to do it.

Sister Thornton, Brother Thornton, and me.
They came over and gave us a huge Tupperware bowl of Cheese Tortellini soup. So. So. Good.
 She recently went to the hospital to get her appendix removed. She's now home resting.
Please keep her in your prayers. 

Elder Liu and I with Rhonda Cookenour, a member that we visit weekly
in a rest home. She's really nice and has been doing awesome
missionary work even though she's confined to her bed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Weekly Email # 23

Hey ya'll! This week flew by so fast. I'm reminded of the saying that
while your out on the mission that, "weeks feel like days and days
feel like weeks." It's definitely true this week because I feel like
last P-day was just yesterday, freaking insane.

For those of you that heard, as of March 1, 2016, any missionary that
enters the MTC that is speaking their foreign language will stay 3
weeks instead of 2. When I heard about this I thought back to my
experience in the MTC. Though it was a great experience, I don't know
if I would like a three week stay there. Maybe being so close to home
was one of the reasons why I wanted to leave after two weeks, I don't

And because of this MTC change, that effects us current missionaries.
We will have 7 week transfers instead of 6 week transfers. At least
for me personally, I will come home a week earlier on July 28th
instead of August 5th which is weird to think about.

Anyways, the missionary work is going great! Elder Liu and I have
gotten really good at teaching lessons with each other. The only thing
we struggle with is getting people to Church. We sadly, haven't gotten
an investigator to Church in the past month, and it's been a struggle.
It's frustrating but we know Heavenly Father is helping us grow and
eventually we will get these people to come to Church.

This will be a shorter email this week, I'm going to go beat some
missionaries in some good ol basketball. Wish me luck!

Elder G

Sent from my iPad

My first opportunity to help someone with their Word of Wisdom
concern. His name is Art, a man we have been teaching ever since I got
in Marble Cliff 9 weeks ago. He has pretty much every Word of Wisdom
concern you can have except drugs, and last Saturday, I took his tea.
I feel like a policeman. Say no to drugs, kids.

Elder Liu taking a selfie #1

Elder Liu realizing I've been taking pictures of him for
the past 4 minutes of him just taking selfies.

Elder Liu still continuing to take a selfie #13

With the wind chill it got to -2 degrees last night.
 Desperate times call for desperate measures

Just someone walking a pig in the middle of Downtown. Nbd.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Weekly Email Update # 22 (5 month mark)

Happy New Year! I would send a really sweet picture out of us
celebrating the New Years by doing crazy missionary stuff, but that
crazy missionary stuff included us going to bed 10 minutes early than
our scheduled bed time. Haha!

Up until Christmas, I didn't really notice the blessings of leaving family
behind until I heard from you all and what you said. The Spirit works
in so many different and interesting ways. I've been blessed to come to
know that I can gain strength through just simply serving and forgetting
 about things that bring heartache. That Skype session was well needed
because I just needed to hear all your voices again. Chase's was
one of my favorites :)

Some really cool things that I read this week includes these talks. Of
course, they are both by Elder Holland. But if you ever have the time,
I encourage you to do so.

They are "Laborers in the Vineyard" & "Israel Israel, God is Calling".

Anyways! Yeah this week has been a roller coaster of a week that's for
sure. In terms of missionary work, it slowed down. Quite a few of our
investigators and less active's said they were all going to show up to
Church and only one less active made the attendance role. It's
frustrating to not see the fruits of your labor, but I'm confident in
these people. They all want to change and all want change in their
lives they just need to act. That's definitely been a recurring theme
during these 5 months. You can't force, you can only invite.

Tomorrow is my 5 month mark! Woohoo! One more month and you'll get to
see my tie burning. I'll probably burn one of my nice ties, right mom?

This past little while, we have been giving the Sacrament to a member
outside of Church. She has three autistic children, one of which was
in the Children's Hospital because of constant problems. For about two
months, every Sunday we go and give the sacrament to her and her
family at the Hospital and it's always a very great experience to see

I can't even imagine what it would be like to be in that situation.
They originally live in Indiana and they have been living out of their
hospital room for the past 6 months, when it was only supposed to be a
48 hour visit. And the awesome part of this is that they got to go
home the day after Christmas and celebrate it with all their family.
It's so great to see how happy they all were to leave the Hospital,
and she was always super grateful for us to bring them the Sacrament.

I hope you all have a great first week of the year!

Elder G

Sent from my iPad

This is a north part of our area. It's just barely south of downtown. Ladies
and gentlemen, this is ghetto country. I'll take some more pictures in the near
future. These aren't even the worst ones.

The Ohio State football stadium, aka, "The Shoe". Elder Orlandi and
Elder Stohlton, the Georgia Domes got nothing on the Buckeyes :)
Sports are pretty much the greatest thing ever. Oh wait, I meant
missionary work..... Missionary work...... Missionary work....

Nationwide Arena where the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team plays. Even though they`re pretty much the worst team in the league, people still support the heck out of them. You can tell when there is a Jacket game because there will be a HUGE line of Columbus fans lining into the sidewalks of Downtown.

One of those tall buildings we pass all the time but I never take a picture of.

Us in Downtown. The sweater/suit combo in the cold is great!

First district meeting for this transfer!
Left to right : Sister Hill,  Sister Farmer, Sister Hopkins,
Sister Blazer (replaced Sister Beebe.  Sister Blazer is a new missionary)
Elder Eason, Me, Elder Liu & Elder Anfinson, our District Leader.
Sister Farmer goes home at the  end of this transfer and then the rest of us are
younger than 8  months. Zone Leaders came by and took this picture for us.