Well, I survived the first week in Georgia! The plane ride here was a little rough. We hit some turbulence and dropped a few feet. The flight attendant that was standing in the back of the plane ended up hitting her head on the roof of the plane and getting knocked out for a few minutes. Once we landed we had to wait for the paramedics to help her off the plane. I’ll tell you what, stepping off the plane the humidity hits you like a wall. It is just like everyone says.
The first night I stayed at my mission president’s home. We had dinner and received our iPads, they are awesome and make work out here so much easier! Also, my first night I received the area that I will be serving in for the next 6 weeks as well as my trainer. I was assigned to the Ellijay branch in a little town called Jasper. Ellijay is super spread out so a lot of our time we spend traveling to places. There are so many trees it’s so beautiful our here. The branch is super small and most of the people we teach are less active members. There are only a few investigators.
My trainer’s name is Elder Spotten, he’s an amazing trainer and he’s funny. We get along pretty well. He did wild land firefighting so we have a few things in common that we can talk about. He’s from Spanish Fork Utah and has an accent. He’s a cowboy. So between Elder Spotten’s accent and the backwoods Georgia fold, I am getting a pretty good taste of the southern accent. I am catching on pretty well.
Ellijay is where they eat roadkill and have a ton of random critters running around and where all the country folk live; everywhere else is pretty normal with no accent haha. We all laugh cause out of all the areas I start here.
This week as been very interesting though. As I’ve gotten to know the investigators and less-active members better I’ve felt the spirit guide me on the things I should say that will help them. We have an investigator named Jordan, he’s a really awesome kid. The first time I had met him I had felt God’s love for him and I testified that to him and ever since then he has started to show a true desire to want to progress. He and I get along very well and I love teaching him. He came to church with us on Sunday and I loved it. The messages that were shared in all hours, I feel, helped strengthen his desire to want to be baptized. We have a temporary date set for him to be baptized, and I hope he will be able to follow through with it!
On the other end of the spiritual side, Elder Spotten and I found ourselves in a sticky situation earlier this week. We went over to share a quick message with one of our recent members, Scott, who was baptized the Sunday before I arrived. As we pulled into his yard, his younger brother, Alex, who recently got out of prison on Wednesday, was sitting on the porch. When we got out of the car and started walking to the door Alex b-lined for us and started yelling at us to leave. He said we come over too much and that we were trespassing and that if we didn’t leave he would call the police on us. Then he pulled out his phone and was about to dial 911. Elder Spotten explained to Alex that we were only there to check up on Scott and wanted to share a quick message with him. Alex wasn’t too happy about that, he was Baptist and didn’t like us coming over all the time. Now Elder Spotten and I are left with an investigator that hasn’t yet received the Holy Ghost and we are unable to get in contact with him.
It’s only been 6 days so far and I’ve gained 5 lbs., picked up some southern slang, got yelled at by a family member of an investigator, and got someone to commit to baptism, and I’ve met a lot of awesome people. Georgia is pretty awesome! At night, there are lightning bugs that come out. I’m trying to convince Elder Spotten to let me buy a net and a jar so we can go out and catch them 🙂 I hope y’all are having a great week!