Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

 ******Austin's address for the next 12 weeks is******
313 Marshall Dr.
Penn Hills PA
It has been an amazing week!  I love Pittsburgh so much!  It is so pretty here.  The people are awesome and crazy, and i love serving a mission!  My trainer is awesome.  His name is Elder Johnson, and he just got done being trained... So he's learning how to do everything still.  He beats himself up a lot, because he doesn't feel like he is training me good enough.  But he's great, and i keep telling him that! It's been great so far.  He is from West Jordan.  He lived right by the temple i guess.  Knowing me, i ask a lot of questions, because that is how i learn best.  He's been doing a great job at answering. Sooo, where the heck to begin.
Sunday and Monday:  We had a devotional at the MTC, and then walked back to our apartments.  I finished packing my bags, then we went to bed around 10:30ish.  We woke up at 1am so we could get ready and all that, plus last minute packing.  Our bus was leaving at 2:30 for the airport so we needed to be early.  We went and weighed our bags again, and both of mine weighed 48 ibs.  The limit is 50 ibs, so i made it!  We got on the bus and drove up to the aiport.  We didn't get to the airport until 4ish, but they don't open the check counters until 4:45.  So we sat there for a while until i saw a phone and called you guys!  We got on the plane at 6am (no cafe rio for me>:( ) and i sat by this dude who is training for the winter Olympics.  It was awesome!  I talked to him forever.  Then, an elder gave me a pass along card to give to him, and i got nervous and shy and couldn't do it.  So i prepared his heart, someone else can save it :) heheh.  We had a 1 hour delay in SLC because something was wrong with the plane, so we missed our lay over in Minneapolis.  Instead of originally only having to wait 30 minutes between flights, now we had 5 hours.  It was awful.  I hate airports.  But hey, there was  PEI WEI so it wasn't as bad.  We talked to this one lady, and basically gave her all our pamphlets and told her everything about our church.  It was great.  We got into Pittsburgh around 8:30, and drove straight to the mission home.  We ate dinner, had a meeting then went to bed.  My mission president and his wife are awesome!  We had 4 elders going to Brazil in our group and one sister going to Australia in our group (Visa waiters). 
Tuesday: We got up, loaded in the cars, and drove to the church for the transfer meeting.  They "processed us through" and we ate lunch, and got paired with our new companion!  I am going to be with Elder Johnson for at least 12 weeks, that how long training is, then one of us will be transferred.  We are in the Pitts 3rd area.  It is north of Pittsburgh.  Some towns here are called Pitcairn, monnroville (don't quote me on that) and places around that.  I can't think of any of the names right now.  Tuesday night we had a lesson to teach.  We went to a members house, the Memotts, the best family ever, and taught this women named Holly.  SHE IS AMAZING!  We have had 2 lessons with her, and ALL OF THEM ARE AMAZING!  The spirit is so strong when we teach her it is unreal!  We are teaching her again tomorrow and i cannot wait:)  She's awesome.  She has such a strong desire to know.  After we went home, and went to bed.  It was a great day.  Except for the bugs... We had this bugs called House centipedes, and they are literally the sacriest things ever.  I hate them.  I prayed that they would all die, and i wouldn't see any.  I haven't since :)
Wednesday was not so good.  We woke up and did our studies.  Then we went and taught this guy named David.  He knows way to much about religion.  He is reading the Book of Mormon, but we feel as though he is scared to find out if it's true.  Also he talks forever, so we barely teach him anything.  We are meeting with him this week.  
Thursday was great!  We had all these plans to go meet with people, and none of them came together.  It was an awesome day though!  I don't remember what we did, but we just met a lot of people.  Oh we went to Pitcairn.  It's very humble.  We taught this guy who is so high on life, he is never coming down.  He said he felt the spirit though, so i guess that's good.  I just remembered.  I got the flu!  I threw up 8 times.  I couldn't eat anything!  I don't know what it was, but i felt awful!  My companion let me sleep for an hour, but then he woke me up so my sleep schedule wouldn't be thrown off.  Ahh, it was awful!  I also hate the water here.  It tastes really bad.  I am buying some at the grocery store today.  Every time i drink it, it hurt my stomach.  I guess they were saying something about it on the news here.
Friday was AMAZING.  We taught Holly again!  Every time we teach her the spirit is so strong, and it just an amazing day.  We are always so happy after we teach her and celebrate.  It was a 2 hour lesson, but it felt like 2 minutes.  The spirit was unreal.  We talked about 1 Nephi 8 with her, and also about the word of wisdom.  Oh We have a baptism on November 5th.  This guy named Brandon is getting baptized.  He's awesome.  Holly has a date for November 23rd!  So it's already so awesome here:)
Saturday: We did our usual things, and went around to teach people.  We had a trunk or treat/ chilli cook off from 4-7:30.  That was so fun!  We were the judges too!  Plus we got a free meal;)  After that, we went and visited with Sister Knight.  She is awesome, less active, but still awesome.  She came to church with us yesterday!  We had 5 less actives at church with us! 
Sunday was really good.  It was so nice to go to church.  I love church!  Then we went and did our studies in the afternoon, and had lunch with Brandon and a member family.  We just talked about his baptism.  Later that night we went to a members house and had Mexican lasagna.  It was really good, and we taught them the referral lesson.  We go and meet with members, and help them pray and think of people to have in there home for a lesson.  We give them 5 minutes to write down everyone one they know that isn't a member, and we have them use their phones, anything they can to help them remember.  After we have the pray about who the Lord has prepared to hear the gospel.  They circle some names, and we have them set a date on which they will have the person in their home before hand.  This family picked Christmas.  Referrals are so crucial out here!  Referrals usually get baptized, people we find on the street don't.  The support system is crucial!  So yeah, basically it was an amazing week!
It is so pretty here! The area is so beautiful!  Opposite of Utah.  Everything is different.  There isn't a single straight flat road out here, the cars are small, the houses are small.  If you think of Utah and everything in the opposite way, that's Pittsburgh.  But i love it!  The members here are unreal!  They are awesome!  There are 350 members in this ward, but only 125ish are active.  So there's a lot of work to do.  We are teaching about 7 investigators right now, and we have 5 or 6 potential investigators, and a million less active people.  I haven't tracked once!  Also everyone is so friendly here.  Very humble though.  

Thank you for everything though!  We are so blessed to live in Utah where everyone know the truth.    It really is a night and day difference.  I have seriously become so grateful for everything i had at home!  The members here are phenomenal and they are helping us so much to find people to teach.  The people out here are awesome, we just don't realize how good we have it in Utah.  The average size house in Utah is way bigger than the average size here.  Most people have 1 or no cars it's crazy!  The work here is pretty good!  We taught 10 lessons this week, and i can see the work increasing!  We do not have enough time each day to do everything!  Speaking of which, we drive a Chevy Cruze.  It's a great car.  I love it here so much though!  I love the people, and i love this gospel!  There hasn't been one second that I've wanted to come home.  I am so tired all of the time, but that's just because i am working so hard:)  I love my companion and i love this work, and i love you guys!
Love you!
Elder Birrell

So if parts don't make sense.  I'm
 typing fast, and remembering things as i go and just throwing them in:)


Austin with President and Sister Topham

Austin with his companion Elder Johnson

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