Monday, September 28, 2015

HOTLANTAAAAA (actually Smellville)

Hello family!

There are a billion things to say about this place so I really hope I don't forget anything too important. Also, just like the last few emails, this will be all over the place and complete brain vomit so please forgive me.

First of all: Being on a mission is honestly super weird. Sometimes I don't even realize that I’m actually here doing this and it all feels like a dream. I'm just thrown into a completely new place with new people I’ve never met before with some stranger I’m forced to be around 24/7 and just expected to be okay with it. Several times a day, I stop myself and say "um k I'm literally in Georgia talking to someone with no teeth and the thickest accent of all time talking about Jesus" and it's super weird but I'm okay with it.

Other things about Georgia: there is this constant mist all of the time. It's like it's almost about to rain all the time but it never does or it does for a little bit and then keeps misting. So that's really weird. I’ve been wearing a jacket everyday shockingly ha-ha--the humidity has not been that bad. Also there are TREES EVERYWHERE. Every single inch that doesn't have a building or a road is covered in super tall trees. I'll send a picture. It’s so beautiful! Also there are armadillos smashed all over the road. I have yet to see a live one hahaha.

Other important things: I'm currently in a town called Snellville (yes that is really what it's called). It’s the cutest little town of all time! I actually almost always feel very safe (my companion laughs at me because yesterday we were sitting in the car and I saw these guys walk past us staring and smiling creepily so I hurried and locked the doors and she said to me, "You are never going to survive if you serve in Atlanta." #rude. So from then on, I’ve been fine because I’ve realized that Snellville is nice) and the people here are AWESOME. My companion is Sister Russell from Gilbert, AZ. She's half-black so that really makes things A LOT easier hahaha. People are more open to talking with her than they are with talking to me, a white Utah girl. She's been out 6 months and spent 4 1/2 of those months in the Atlanta Ward where the Bishop from Meet the Mormons serves! COOL. She’s seriously an awesome trainer. All day long I hear "you are learning from the best!" so that's good news. She's quickly whipping me into shape and helping me with my weaknesses (which I have a lot of).

The thing I love about the Snellville ward is the people there. THERE IS SO MUCH DIVERSITY. We have people from Nigeria, South Africa (Johannesburg actually...they have super cool accents), Ethiopia, the Middle East, Haiti... you name it, and we probably have it. Also there is an abundance of old people in the ward too. But the best part is THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN MISSIONARY WORK WITH US. People are always asking if they can do team-ups with us or give us referrals or just even feed us. They are seriously so involved--it makes things so much better.

The first day was actually awful. We had transfer-meeting, drove an hour and half to Snellville, and I just sat there in complete silence the whole time. I'll be totally honest--it was bad. At the end of the day I just cried in front of my companion and she laughed and stared at me. It was just hard because I LITERALLY HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING OR WHAT WAS GOING ON AT ALL. We were just meeting with random people and walking around getting doors slammed in our face and walking around trying to find things to do--the day wasn't planned out very well.
Good news though--the next day was INCREDIBLE.

We met with an investigator named Lunjua (lun-yay). She sounded exactly like Mamma Odie from Princess and the Frog, had teeth missing, and was the happiest person of all time. She had previously been meeting with the Jehovah's witnesses until she ran into the Snellville Elders one day who turned us over to her. The whole lesson with her was seriously like all the miracle stories you ever hear about missionary work: We started teaching her; she said, "I feel exactly like Joseph Smith! I felt confused! But I really think this is the right place for me to be!" then she started sobbing and we set her on a date for baptism for October 17th, and she goes "OH MY GOSH. THAT'S MY HUSBAND'S BIRTHDAY. This is a sign from God!" so yeah, that was my first lesson here. For a second day, I was super shocked for something to happen like that. That is the sweetened condensed version of that story.

Then we went to meet with an investigator named Santana that Sister Russell has been meeting with for the last few weeks who is getting baptized on October 10th. She is seriously the most amazing person I’ve ever met. She just glows with the spirit and she's not even baptized yet! I was amazed with the amount of faith she has...she already has so much knowledge and just keeps wanting more. SHE IS SO COOL. Something that the mission really focuses on is getting converts to the temple doing baptisms within the first 30 days after they are baptized so we've been getting Santana really excited about the temple and I'm going to be able to use my family history knowledge to find her some family names to take with her! She's really excited and I’m stoked that I’m getting to use my talents. (Speaking of talents: tell Bailey and Ellie to move over--my comp and I sing hymns every single lesson so I’m #cool and #talented too)

While we were waiting for Santana to come home, we were talking with her neighbors who were outside smoking and started talking about prophets and the book of Mormon. They were some guys in there 20's and they LOVED what we were talking about. We gave them some book of Mormons and invited them to church on Sunday (they didn't come sadly) but we are planning on meeting with them this week! YAY.

(Also--the thing about tracting that I love the most is when you walk to someone's door, knock, ask them if they love Jesus, tell them there is a way to love Jesus even more and then they tell you all about their bachelor's and master's degrees in Jesus Loving and show their ministerial license and then slam the door in your face. THE BEST :))))

I LOVED WOMEN'S CONFERENCE. President Uchtdorf's talk was definitely my favorite. God didn't design us to be sad. Sometimes on a mission, you get sad--sad because you miss home, sad because you miss your family, sad because people don't want to listen... but the thing about sadness is that it's completely YOUR choice to get sad. You have been given every single resource to overcome sadness and it's entirely up to you to choose to be happy and get over it. I've been really working on my attitude this week and it's amazing how much faster the days go by when you just get over it and be happy that you're out serving the Lord. It really makes all the difference, even if there is a lot you could be sad about. Make your life a life full of MEANINGFUL "NOWS"--do good things, love yourself, love Christ, develop yourself, and develop an attitude of charity. So yeah, I love Uchtdorf a lot and that's all I have to say about that.

Ummmm there are a lot of other things to say but they're all meaningless facts and events.

Also, here is the apartment address:
Sister Brenna Lawson
2945 Rosebud Rd #305
Snellville, GA 30052

Okay! I love you all, keep sending the love and prayers, read your scriptures, do missionary work, be good people and know that I’m thinking about you always.

Sista Lawson

No comments:

Post a Comment