Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012

Hello Family and Friends!!!!

My first week in Brunswick, Georgia had been great! I already love it here and am so excited to spend the next 3 months here. My first day it rained (of course) and we drove up to Brunswick from Jacksonville. (About 45 minutes north) Within a few hours of our arrival I already began teaching people. It was a great experience and our first lesson was very spiritual.

We are lucky enough to have a car here- so no biking yet. (But we are allotted a certain number of miles each month so if we run out then we will bike.) My trainer/companion is a great elder named Elder Reid. We also share the apartment with Elder Crosby and Elder Foulger- who cover the rest of the town. They are great too and we have some fun times! The smell from the nearby paper mill mixed with the humidity produces a smell that I really can't describe in words but it's certainly something I will have to get used to. :)

The bishop's extended family owns a BBQ place here called Baby Mack's where the missionaries eat for FREE! We don't go there too often but a free meal sure is nice. Bishop Wilson is a very down-to-earth man who is hilarious!

The ward here isn't huge... around 100-175 people- if that, but it's still great.

It's kind of funny really- at the MTC we prayed a lot, before meals, night and morning, in class. etc. but here we pray so many more times! For our work to succeed we must rely on the Lord for strength and guidance. He really has blessed me so much and I know He is preparing many people in this area that I will teach over the next 2 years.

Thankfully I have not been chased by a dog or had a gun pulled on me. But I think that's all part of the experience. (Don't worry Mom, I'll be okay!) The people here are pretty nice and will at least take the time to hear what we have to say, even if it's just for a minute. It helps with both members of the church and those we meet on the street when they find out I'm from Austin. I think my southern accent is coming out real strong especially when I'm around those who have lived here their whole life. Sometimes I have it and other times I still sound like I'm from Utah. Unfortunately- after 5 years of refusing to acknowledge its existence, I have started using the word "y'all". I guess that's ok... I'll probably stop using it when I get back home though.

I'm eating pretty good. Cereal in the mornings after we run and play basketball. Sandwiches or chicken or something for lunch. And dinner depends. Very few dinner appointments at members' houses- but they have to have an investigator there so that's really the reason. We had a breakfast at the church for the ward on Saturday- I had grits (I think for the first time) but now feel like a true Southern Boy! :) I've had homemade creamed corn and mac & cheese as well... it's wonderful! (We missionaries do love our food!)

We are teaching lots of people and seem to be doing pretty well. Not so much tracting because we seem to have enough people to teach but we are always finding more as we go around to visit different people. These Southerners do love their prayer, so when we pray with them they open up more so.

The days kind of blend together here and a lesson we taught yesterday feels like it happened a week ago. I'm scared to blink in fear that my mission will be over. (But that's inevitable so I'm not going to keep thinking about it- just focus on the work!)

If all goes well *knock on wood* we have a baptism scheduled for the 11th of August for a great sister named Sarah. (That's another mission-ism, everyone is Sister Jane or Brother so-and-so... it helps us remember that we are all children of God and that is our purpose here- to bring them back home.) Anyways- we began teaching her on Thursday (my first night here) and she committed to be baptized! Hopefully the Lord's will can be so that Sarah can come to the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Well- it's about that time. There's no red countdown clock on my screen but we've got shopping and things to do.

Love and miss you all. Keep those prayers coming!


Elder Nielson

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