I am serving a mission for THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS in the TENNESSEE NASHVILLE MISSION. On March 31, 2010 I went to what is called the Missionary Training Center. I was there until April 19, 2010. While there I learned more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I learned in more depth about what I am called to go forth and proclaim. This is a message of The Restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Plan of Salvation. The MTC was an awesome place. I call it the spiritual bootcamp. Well worth the hardships you have there. Maybe it is being away from home or just maybe something you were not interested in but you did it for your family. Whatever the situation is I loved the MTC. It was well worth it.
On April 19, 2010 I flew out to Nashville Tennessee to start my field work. I met my Mission President at the airport. With me flew out 5 other elders. The start of our mission. The next day we had what is called a transfer meeting to find out where we would be serving at. I was assigned to the Tennessee Fairview Branch.
Fairview (April 20, 2010-October 5, 2010)
Oh how I love Fairview. I started out my real field work of my mission here. Which consists of knocking on doors, contacting people and teaching them about the Gospel. We also did many other things such as Service, Fellowshipping, Visiting other churches.. While there I was able to attend many church services. Very warmly received we were usually. There was a time or two that people were not happy that we came to their church. But while attending these churches we learned lots.
As many people probable heard about the flood in Nashville Area. I was there and experienced it. It was a HUGE eye opener. I never knew water would do so much damage. For months we were doing service projects trying to help people in their water filled homes and destroyed yeards. We would go and try to help anyone we could that we knew of which needed help. Such heart-breaking it was to see the damage caused and the families homes ruined. Never before had I seen a natural disaster like this. After numerous back hurting days and which seemed like endless service projects it finally came to an end. It was hard to be there because the families were in such great hardship but smiles on their faces. It sure made me think about what was happening and how good my life is. Even though I had pain it was no where near how bad these peoples lives were.
I was able to attend many churches as mentioned. Here are just a few of the churches which I went to.
Church of Christ - Liberty Hill, New Hope, Fairview Church of Christ, Liberty Lincoln
Baptist - Berean Free Will, Old new Hope, First Baptist, Parkers Creek
Cross Roads Cowboy Church
I attended more than this but here are a few of them. I loved going to all of these different churches. It was quite fun and rewarding. I made many friends here at these churches. I was able to grow closer to the community and be able to serve them. Many doors were opened to us by this small act. I can't believe I left there but I had to. I was able to attend some of these churches numerous times.
I grew very close to the families there in the Branch. I will admit I shed a tear or two or three or lots
when it came time for me to leave. I was not very excited but it was probably time to. We would go fishing on a members pond. We would just have a great old time. Bonfire preparation, hikes, kick off to summer, helping with calves, gardening in a white shirt and tie, spreading manure... These are just a few of the things which we did. Many people will tell you I knocked on their doors. No Lie! I will never forget my time in Fairview. I hold it very precious in my heart. Many times I was able to go and visit the members and just feel of their great spirits and desire to share God's word and do missionary work. I was able to be out with members visiting. As a missionary everything we do is help strengthen others faith in Christ. Always we are trying to help others come closer to Him. That is our calling! Oh the memories that will be with me forever from here. I have the opportunity to be able to help others come closer to Christ and go down into the waters of Baptism for a remission of sins. How incredible is that that we can be forgiven of our sins? I know and I testify of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are able to be cleansed from sin.
In my 6 monthish in Fairview I was able to increase the size of my family. Meaning I gained new friends and became very close to them. Many more friends I have now from my service there. In the mornings the LDS students go to seminary. It is a class where they study the Bible, Book of Mormon and other scripture early morning. We attended a few times and we had to be there at 6am. Very early but raised my spirit for the day. The students in this class taught me more than I can ever dream of. I honestly wish I was as righteous at their age as they are. They are not only great examples to me but to the people around them. They are very strong Disciples of Christ. They were able to share experiences from Especially for Youth Conference which sounded amazing. I respect each one of these young men and women who are so faithful in the Lord Jesus Christ.
From a father in the Branch I learned very much. I learned how to be a better father for the future. I learned more than I can even right. He taught me things about raising children and gave me different ideas on doing so. Just if I would have wrote a journal of all the things he said. They were all very profound. I would always tell him that one day he is going to be in church leadership. Gave him a hard time often which was needed. I respect that man so very much words can't even describe it. But I did not just learn from him. I learned from all of them. I have a great love for all the members of the Branch. In the hardest most challenging times of my life they were there for me. No matter what it was. I could depend on them. The examples of them do not go unnoticed. The Fairview Branch not only helped me but changed my life for the better. I want to thank each and everyone of them. They don't even no how much they helped me. many other remarkable families but I don't got enough time in my day to talk about them. Thank You Fairview Branch!!!
So many great experiences in Fairview that I will not be able to write on right now but this is the first 6 months of my mission. The best 6 months of my life. God Bless y'all!
"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all units had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto the FAIRVIEW BRANCH, behold the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men." Alma 48:17
TO BE CONTINUED...