Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stitches, broken car.........


As you could tell from last week, i split my finger open, and had to get
stitches.  Little did i know, that was just the beginning of our problems
for the week.  This should have been the worst week of my mission, but
lucky for me, Heavenly Father is merciful and allows you to forget the bad
times.  I want to start and end my email this week with this thought.

In the span of two days--Monday and Tuesday--I got stitches, our car broke
down, our washing machine leaked, our appointments cancelled, and we
weren't even in our area.  About the car.  On Tuesday we were driving to
our service appointment, and we made a left turn, hit the gas, and tried to
accelerate; pretty normal.  However, when we hit the gas to accelerate the
car made a weird noise, and then made the sound when you rev the engine in
neutral.  We pulled off to the side of the road, and the "Park" gear
wouldn't lock the car.  Luckily the Sister's were coming to do service with
us.  They picked us up and we called the guy in charge of cars.  Long story
short, the tow truck picked it up and took it to the Chevy dealer.  A lot
of Chevy Cruze cars had been recalled for the right axle.  That ended up
being the problem.  The axle snapped in half.  They said that it could take
3 days or 3 weeks to get the part.  On top of that, all our appointments
cancelled for that night.  It was just great!
The Sister's had to get us for district meeting the following day
(Wednesday), which mean we had to give them the miles from us that they
used.  Luckily, the Chevy dealer got us a rental car, but it wasn't going
to be available until the afternoon.  So we went with the Sister's for the
whole day to their various appointments; not the most ideal situation.
Anwyay, we get the car, and to my dismay we find out we now have unlimited
miles!  The world was now our oyster.  This was the best blessing the Lord
could have given us.  Now we could drive wherever-whenever.  Only problem
was it looked like a chic car.  But I'd take a smart car or a bug if it
meant i got unlimited miles.
At this point, the week started to point up.  We were able to see some
people we normally wouldn't (because of miles limitations).
On Friday, we went and Taught our investigator and had a great lesson with her.  We
asked her to invite her daughter, and so she did.  Her daughter came out,
and we taught the whole family--minus her husband--and taught them the
restoration.  She look SO happy.  We invited her daughter to be baptized
and she said yes!
Saturday and Sunday nothing really happened.  Same old same old.
So to refer back to the beginning.  It should have been the worst week, but
the 1 hour we were with our investigator and picked her daughter up as an investigator
made the whole thing worth it!  I would do that every week if it meant i
could find more people to teach.  I can't even imagine Christ's joy for
what he did for us, and then to see us make correct choices, and eventually
return to Heavenly Father.  I'm confident he has never thought twice about
what he had to go through for us, and he would willingly do it again.  Love
ya!  Have a great week!  I love serving the Lord.

Forget Yourself
Elder Birrell

Monday, August 4, 2014

Battle wounds

A bird "pooped" on Austin...luckily it missed his tie!

Austin cut his finger and got 2 stiches


My letter today will be a tad short, since my left hand-middle finger is
out of commission.  I cut it on a glass jar this morning, and I'm gonna go
get stitches after emailing.

The beginning of the week was good!  We went and visited a less-active in
the Sister's area who lives in the Ghetto!  Everyone on the street sells
drugs.  We watched like 3 drug deals go down!  Best place to watch poeple
watching.  It was so good.  We taught our investigator and she asked a lot of great
questions.  She still doesn't see her self coming to church, but she wants
to start reading the Book of Mormon!  We had district meeting on Wednesday,
and then i went on an exchange into fairview with the elder's there.  It
was great!  That next morning i went tracting for the first time on my
mission.  I hated it!  I'm glad i don't have to tract on a daily basis all
day long.  It's long, boring, and unfruitful.  No one wants to talk to you!
Thank heavens for members.

On Thursday we went to dinner at a members house, the Townsends.  They're
awesome!  They moved up from the Greensburg area (my last district).  We
had Panera Bread soup and Olive Garden dressing (my kryptonite!).  We
basically had Dating 101 with them.  It was SO funny!  I
am not looking forward to that world.  Too scary and stressful.

On Friday we went to a members house in Erie, and he always cooks some
gourmet food!  We were with the sister's as well.  He made us lobster

Overall, it was a slow week lesson wise.  But it was super fast!  We have
goals and plans to make this coming week more productive!  We just keep
having things that pop up and eat away our time.  It's amazing how little
time you have on a mission.  Have a great week!  Love ya

Defend the Faith

Elder Birrell

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We are all enlisted

Austin helped someone bury their cat.
Bonjour, Hola, Ni hou, Hello, Howdie!

A lot happened this week, but I'll just tell two of the best stories.

So on Wednesday we went to meet with an older lady that we met in a restaurant on our way home from New York.  She is SO funny!  So her Sister and nephew both came up for the Palmyra pageant--they are both members.  So we went to dinner with them, and they asked her if she wanted to learn about our church from us.  She quickly said "No".  She's heard it 1 million times.  Well, as it usually happens we ended up talking about the gospel anyway, and basically taught the restoration and cleared up a lot of misconceptions she had.  She seemed very receptive, and enjoyed our company.  After dinner we went to their house for dessert, and to try and talk more.  As we finished we set it up so that we could come and do service for her tomorrow.  
     So we went back the next morning, and had great fellowshipping with her, and just tried to be her friend.  Her Sister and nephew told us that she couldn't believe that we wanted to help her.  She then fed us lunch, and we had a great time.  
     Couple of days later, we went to give a blessing.  That lady didn't come out, and they were telling us that she said to them "I don't know why i like them so much".  She was kind of upset about it, because she doesn't want to hear the gospel out of fear it could be true.  They said to keep doing service for her.  It's already softened her heart.  

     Later on in the week, when we were up in New York, we had a terrific lesson!  She opened up to us a ton! She started to cry as well--this took me by surprise--and we just showed a ton of love for her.  We asked her if she wanted a blessing, and she hasn't ever had one!  In the blessing we told her that she would have the holy ghost at that moment to comfort her.  After the blessing, she said that she felt our hands still on her head, and she felt peace flowing from her head!  So cool!

This gospel is true.  This message is all about hope!  This gospel gets us out of any situation in life that we are not happy with.  It will rescue us from any decision we make.  God loves us, and he wants us all back.  He's provided the way.  We are the only ones who deny us Celestial glory.  Not Him.  We are our own judge.  He will do anything he can to help us.  We just have to do the simple things to get the Holy Ghost in our life, and walk our way back to Him.  Stay strong.  Keep the faith.  You'll be glad you did.

Love ya!

We Are All Enlisted
Elder Birrell

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21


I can't believe it is already Monday again!  These weeks seriously go by
like days.  It blow's my mind.  This week was pretty great though!

Towards the beginning, we taught quite a bit of lessons.  We also met a new
less-active that i have never seen.  When we asked her if we could share a
spiritual thought, she said that the missionaries had never done that
before!  I couldn't believe my ears.  So we talked about the Book of
Mormon, and asked her to take the lesson's again.  She said that she will
think about it...  We'll get her.

On Wednesday i went on an exchange with the Fairview Elder's.  I went with
Elder Broom.  He is the funniest guy!  I was dying.  We did a role play,
and i was practically chasing him around the house.  He always did crazy
role plays.  We went to go tracting, and we found this trail that we
thought went to a house...  Turns out it ended up in the middle of no
where!  It was in a really rural area, so we thought that maybe someone
just cut out a trail to their house.  After about 10 minutes of walking on
it, we turned back...  It was pretty fun!

On Friday we had 7 lesson's planned, and all but 1 cancelled!  We walked so
much, and it was super hot.  It kind of stunk, but we had an awesome
lesson with One of our investigators and that made the whole day worth it!  That's pretty much
how missionary work goes i feel.  A lot of disappointments, but one good
things out weighs them all!

Saturday we decided to break out our bikes and ride them to NY.  16 Miles
round trip.  Only problem was it started to rain like crazy, and the wind
was super hard!  I got drenched.  It was fun, but i am glad that i have a
car.  I'll be good for the rest of my mission now.

It was a pretty slow week numbers wise, but the time went really fast!  We
are just trying to figure out how to get the work moving up here!  I guess
we just need more faith.  Heavenly Father will get what he needs done,
done!  Love ya, and have a great week.

Be A Believer

Elder Birrell

Monday, July 14, 2014

In the sun he melted.


This week has been great--as usual.  But hard at the same time;  Sounds like mission.  It's a roller coaster, that you don't enjoy until the event is over.  But after you love it, and want to go again, etc.  Number's wise it was a bit slower, but it flew by!

After emailing last week, we went and played basketball like we usually do with the other Elder's.  It was super fun, but i have really lost my stamina.  I feel like i want to die after every time.  Unfortunately, i have only gained like 2 pounds. >:(  On Tuesday we went and helped a member out with service.  Right when we got there, it started raining like there was no tomorrow.  I got soaked just from walking--running--from the car to their house.  About 20 feet.  We helped him out in his barn, and when the rain let up we helped him clean out his garage.  He practically has Home Depot in his back yard.  So many tools!  

On Wednesday we went to the library to put our area book online.  We are putting everything on googledrive now, and it took 8 hours!  My brain was fried after.  My eye's aren't used to looking at a screen.  I was a little delirious afterwards.  My bed never felt so good.  We only got a 1/4 of it done as well. #norestfortheweary

On Thursday we went to district meeting, and i asked Sister Anderson to teach it.  She taught on what it means to have "success" as a missionary.  **Side note: The librarians are talking about how Obama was rated at a 7th grade level when he tweets.  Hahah I'm loving this conversation!  They don't like that he takes time to tweet.  If Shakespeare starts to tweet, then they will learn how as well.  Too good!**  It was a great lesson.  For our role plays, she has us film them and then we watched them after.  This blasted my confidence as a missionary to the floor.  There is so much to work on!  It was cool to see myself teach though.  We saw our investigator afterward, and we committed him to baptism.  He said yes!  We just have to get him out to church now (The hardest part)!

On Friday we went up to Westfield, NY again.  We weren't able to see a lot of people...  That night, we went to visit a really old guy that just got out of the hospital.  We went with a member as well.  We knocked on the door, and answered it.  We heard from the screen "I'm in the nude boys" (Meaning he was in his garments).  It was so funny.  He let us in, and we were going to give him a blessing.  Next thing I see, he took a dive to the ground.  He tripped on his slippers.  It was the scariest thing.  I was just praying to Heavenly Father, and telling him that he couldn't do this to me!  He was laying on the ground, and after resting we helped him up.  We talked a bit, then i gave him a blessing.  The next day the member told us how this old man called him and said that the fall made his hip feel better--or it was the blessing.  Anyway, everything was alright!  He's a funny old man.

It was a good week!  Our goal is to teach 20 lesson's this week, and i have faith that the Lord will provide for us.  We just have to stay diligent.  Hope you have an equally great week.  Love ya!

Keep the Faith
Elder Birrell

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


This week has been pretty awesome!  My new companion is Elder Ireland, and he got to PA on Monday.  So he is brand spankin' new.  Poor kid has me as a trainer.  Nah he's awesome!  He's from Eagle Mountain.
At the beginning of the week we had to drive down to Pittsburgh that night.  It was POURING rain for 2 hours of the drive.  We were hydroplaning all over the place, because it didn't run off of the road quick enough.  We survived.  We slept at at the Pittsburgh ZL's place for the night.  I slept on the ground. Ugh! That morning, i had to go to the training meeting at 9:30, and we met the trainees.  I thought i was going to get Elder Ireland as my comp, and turns out i did!  Gift of prophecy i guess...

We taught our investigator, and she is doing great!  We went on this long walk with her in the heat of the day, because her son wanted too.  After, we taught her some of the restoration, and it was great!  She was super accepting, and had a bunch of questions.  Toward the end of the lesson she said that she wasn't going to come to church.  We talked to her some more about it, and she changed her mind to "maybe".  The next day we went and did some service for the food pantry up in NY.  They are moving locations, and it was a great opportunity to talk to some new people!  Later that night we helped a less-active with some service on there house.  We peeled off, what felt like, 100 layers of wall paper.  I hate wallpaper.  

Later on in the week we went up to NY and taught a 14 year old boy who loves the BoM.  He said that when he reads and touches it he feels the power in it.  He said that he prayed about it, and got an answers that it is true!  He wants to be baptized, we just have to get him to church 3 times.  He is super ready and prepared!

It was a pretty solid week.  I little slow numbers wise, but that because we had 2 days of travel.  We got a new mission president on Friday, and we are meeting him this Thursday down in Butler--about 2 hours away.  More driving... yay.  My new comp. is awesome, and i cannot believe last week is already over!  Time flies when you're having fun, and working hard.  Love ya, and have a great week!

Elder Birrell

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Good Morning! (or whatever time of day it is when you read this... if you read it ;))

This week has disappeared, gone in a flash, a blink.  I don't know where all of the time went?  It was awesome though!  I can't remember much of what happened, but it was good!

We ate at the Bishop's house this week, and he is awesome!  He really wants to help us out with the work, and get the ward involved--which is a HUGE blessing.  His family is awesome as well.  He went to Hong Kong on his mission, so we had this yummy chicken.  Maybe it was from his mission, but I'm not sure.  The next day--Tuesday--we taught our investigator.  She doesn't have much of a religious background of any kind.    We committed her to just pray everyday, and she said yes!  So far she has been doing it as well.  Hopefully she feels the spirit as she does so.  It was SO hot this day!  I was going to die!  It was 90 degree's with too much humidity.  I was fasting too, so i seriously felt like i was going to keel over and die.
On Wednesday we had my last district meeting with this district (4 of them are getting transferred, so it'll just be Sister Holmstead and I).  We discussed Power and Authority on Page 4 of PMG.  I think it went pretty well.  I did the least amount of talking, so that's a good sign!  After, i went on a exchange with Elder Griffeth.  The Elder in Fairview.  We had an awesome time!  Him and his companion are getting doubled out, so he worked on the area book for a bit trying to get it ready for the new missionaries.  The next day we exchanged back and Elder Linford and I did weekly planning at the church.  I drank some water out of my water bottle, and it tasted weird.  I felt like crap after as well!  I looked in it, and there were a bunch of black specs everywhere on the bottom.  Mold!  I guess that is what you get when you don't wash your water bottle for 9 months.  Needless to say, i nuked that thing that night, and I'm enjoying the clean water out of it right now!  Gotta love humidity, and not having a dish washer...

Later on in the week, Friday, we went up to Westfield.  It was great!  We had some really good lesson's.
On Saturday and Sunday we got word that Elder Linford is getting transferred. President gave me a call and called me to stay DL and also asked me to train again.  I'm excited  There are only 5 new missionaries coming in, so I've been trying to guess who the unfortunate soul is that gets me!  We'll find out tomorrow:)  We have to drive down to Pittsburgh tonight and we are picking up another set of missionaries.  One of the Elder's is getting transferred.  We will have 6 suitcases in our little cruze.  It's going to be a long 2 and a half hour drive.  Luckily I am the driver so i get the most room:)  Have a great week.  I love you guys!

Elder Birrell