Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 5!

Deep fried Oreos.


I cannot believe it has already been a whole week!  Time goes by SO fast!  It's unreal.  This week was pretty grand though.  Thanks for sending me my iPod and the Salt and vinegar chips!  I have been craving those! We have been listening to a lot of Christmas music!  We have to enjoy it while we can;)
On Monday we went and played tennis after emailing.  It was pretty fun!  I'm not good, but it was still fun.  We had dinner at a members home.   They are awesome!  They are hilarious. 
Tuesday was...  Not so great.  Not a lot happened that day.  It just prepared us for Wednesday!:)
Wednesday was pretty swell!  We had district meeting and Elder Johnson gave the lesson. After we went to the Memmotts for dinner.  Brother Memmott is our ward mission leader.  They are an awesome family!  It's was so nice to eat home cooked food again!  I mean, we have home cooked food as well... only it's in the form of a Cup of Noodle, or eggs. <-- My favorite! :/.  We had B.o.M. Class that night as well.  Elder Johnson plays the violin, so the ward has definitely used  his talent with that.  He's very good, and while I was teaching the B.o.M. class he was practicing with some members of the ward.  It was hard to teach by myself.  It's definitely helpful to have Elder Johnson there, so that we can have different ideas flowing, and well as a different voice.  It went pretty well though!  We read Alma 51, and we just take the chapter a couple versus at a time and discuss what each of us learn.
Thursday was really fun!  We had exchanges that day!  Elder Martin (DL) came to our area with me, and Elder Johnson went to their area (Greensburgh) with Elder Little.  It was really fun and stressful!  Since Elder Martin wasn't familiar with our area, i literally had to do everything.  Now i know how Elder Johnson felt while he was training me.  It's so hard to do missionary work, with someone who doesn't know the area or people.  He can talk really really well with others, but as far as getting revelation on who to teach.  Well it was up to me.  Thankfully we had a full day planned.   I saw this pregnant lady walking up the street.  I can talk to anyone about anything, unless it's gospel related...  So i was super nervous, but i decided we would go talk to her.  She actually turned out to be awesome!  We bore our testimonies and all that.  She really seemed to like it!  Ahh, i felt so energized after that.   After we went and saw this lady.  We talked to her, and she has a child who has a lot of health problems.  A blessing saved his life, as well as her grandmothers.  So she has such a testimony of the gospel!  She just can't make it out to church!  AHH it's so sad, because she loves church so much.  We are working with her though and continuing to encourage and commit her to come. After we went back to the house and ate dinner.  Elder Martin is a really funny guy, and we just talked about random things. 
Friday we switched  back to our old companions.  It was really really fun to be with someone else for a while, but i really missed Elder Johnson.  He is so good at leading us.  It's really hard doing everything by yourself, and we have also learned how to work and teach together to be most effective.  I really took for granted some of the things that he is able to do, and it was nice to see how much harder it was without his gifts.  So it definitely made me way more appreciative of him!  This day was weird.  The spirit was there, but it just felt weird.  We've been teaching a man, and realized that he hasn't prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true!  He said he isn't going to until he's read the whole thing.   We had dinner at Sister Knights house That was really fun! 
Saturday one of our investigators texted us back and wanted to meet with us!  We were sooooo happy!  The spirit was so strong.  We read D&C121 with her.  When we left, it was snowing outside!  we were so happy, because i have been praying for snow every day!  I love when it snows, and so it just made the day that much better! 
Sunday We had church!  Church is awesome!  It's the best part of the week!  After church we went and had lunch with the Bohrer family.  They are so good at cooking!  We met with them, and had a lesson to help them find someone to have in there home that we could teach.  We later met with another family and had a lesson to seek more referrals.  Sunday's are the best!
I love being a missionary.  It isn't always super fun, and easy, but it is always rewarding.  No matter what we do, as long as we put our trust in the lord and do what we can!  This work is incredible, and it is definitely picking up!  It's not picking up on the missionary side.  It's the member side.  The key to the work hastening is the members.  They can reach out to people and introduce them to the gospel that we never could.  Once they've got the person interested, that's where we come in and we teach with the members.  It's amazing the fire this ward has!  They love helping us out to complete this wonderful work.
Elder Birrell

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Austin was running late so he finished flossing his teeth in the car!

Happy Monday!
  This week was, well... HARD! !  Every plan that we had just fell through this week.  But the end of the week was awesome!  Right now we are feeling great!  So when you put your trust in the Lord, he always rewards you times10!
  Monday: We had our P-day, and that was really fun! (Today we are going to play tennis after emailing).  We have all of this furniture we don't need, but it was just sitting in a box so we built it for fun:)  We also went to Target and got MUCH needed items to stay warm here.  After P-day we went to a members house, and had real authentic Korean food.  Elder Johnson was SO excited, and i was nervous.  I love foreign food, but Americanized foreign food.  Like panda express and cafe rio.  HAHAH!  It was really good though!  Very different from what i am used to, but i loved it! 
  Tuesday: A full day of tracting.  Yay!  Our plans didn't really work out again.  But later that night, we went and taught  an awesome lesson to a less active who really is in a tough situation.  She's the only member, and she has a lot of negative things around her.  I feel so bad for her!  She is really great though!  That was a lot of fun, and it made the day worth it!
  Wednesday: We had zone training in Butler.  It's about an hour away, and it's nice to get with a bunch of missionaries again. 
Thursday: Full of finding and 2 more cancellations.  So we talked to a lot of people.  Right before we were going to head home, we decided to see a less active family.  We knocked on the door, and they let us in!  We taught the mom (the kids are active) and came back later that night at 8 to give the kids blessings.  It was an awesome spiritual experience!
  Friday: We taught this guy.  We called and set an appointment.  It was an awesome lesson, and he is really starting to progress faster!   He is committed to come to fast and testimony meeting for December, and i know that when he goes, things will just explode from there.  It will really help him!  They key with him is just staying consistent.  The spirit works on him every time we go.   He is awesome and would be such a good Mormon :) We did some more tracting and that.  We had another cancellation.
Saturday: We fasted for some of our investigators.  I was so hungry!  We had this family history things from 9-12 that we helped out with which was pretty good!  For dinner, we had Ramen, Rice, sandwiches, basically a little bit of everything, and most of it is unhealthy.  Hahah!  But it was awesome to eat!
  Sunday:  We had a lot of less active members come to church.  None of our investigators :( But church was awesome!  One  lady we've been working with  is now coming to church! yippee!
     Elder Johnson is awesome!  He continues to help me, and we are become more and more of a tool in the Lord's hands!  He is a great missionary.  He has SUCH  desire to serve!  He is definitely someone who is going to be a missionary the rest of his life, no matter if he is set apart or not.  Which is something i really hope to develop!  He just does whatever!  No second thought.  The spirit prompts him to do something, and he does it before Satan can try and make him second guess himself.  Which is such a gift!   We are really becoming more and more unified which is amazing!  It really helps the work and pushes it forward.  I try every day to be a blessing and not a burden to him. I keep trying and praying!  He's great!  The Lord has truly blessed me with him, and he represents the Lord very very well:)
  I love this work!  It is amazing!  Thank you for everything that you guys do!  We definitely feel your prayers, and it helps!  Thank you!  This week was hard, but it only means a great week is to follow!  If you always put your trust in the Lord he will deliver you, and things will be WAY better than you thought they ever could be!  Love y'all!
  Elder Birrell

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

I cannot believe it has already been a week, let alone a month!  Time seriously zooms by.  Each week feels like a day.  The work is definitely hastening!  We teach about 15 lessons a week! We got one reactivation yesterday, and are close to another one.  We have another baptism coming up at the end of the month or the beginning of December.  We also added a whole family to our teaching pool yesterday, and they absorbed every word we said!  I love this work and mission!  There isn't any place I'd rather be!  I'm glad I'm in the USA.  The members here are so strong.  I love the people here!  They truly are awesome!  It doesn't matter where you are in the world, you encounter the same type of people with similar situations.  The setting is just different.  We only teach whom the Lord has prepared.  Someone was saying that my mission is 3rd for the least amount of members and church influence.  Hardly anyone has heard about the church, and if they have it was through commercials. 
My companion is awesome!  He's a great missionary, and super in-tune with the spirit.  He has taught me a lot, and helped me gain experience so i can learn for myself!  He is a blessing!
So on Tuesday we had our baptism!   It was awesome!  The spirit was so strong, i though i was going to get translated on the spot and float up to heaven.  He is so prepared it is ridiculous.  Elder Johnson baptized him.  I'm glad he did, because he was here the whole time for him.  I just happened to show up and be there when it actually happened.

We taught another guy this week.  He is progressing slowly but surely.  He has been investigating for a couple years on and off.  We finally found out that he really does have a desire to learn and know if this church is true or not.  Ever since, he has been making such good progress!  He wants to really be sure what he is getting into, but we committed him to come to fast and testimony meeting for December, and he really liked that idea.  He isn't sure how to feel the spirit, but we can see it in his eyes when he feels it.  Everything just makes sense to him. 
We taught some other people by looking through our list of Former investigators, and potential investigators.  we want to make sure we haven't left anyone out before we try and to find new people to teach.  Last night we went to visit one of the formers.  Our whole day was kinda messed up, because everyone we planned on teaching canceled.  Except for her.  So we decided to have faith and not give up.  I got kinda sad inside, because as we were teaching her i knew she wasn't the one we were supposed to find and teach tonight.  We went ahead with the lesson, and asked to say an opening prayer.  As we were praying, her husband popped out of no where and joined in our prayer. 
He. Was. The. One.
We taught him the whole first lesson, and he agreed with everything!  He is so prepared it is awesome!  He really liked the lesson, and he said that he's open ......Well he said that we are really similar to their faith, and the negative things he heard about us were not true.  So we are going to see him next week, and their whole family is awesome!
That was basically my week in a nut shell.  This area is awesome!  I love being a missionary!  I cannot wait for this week!  Missionary work is not easy at all!  But it is so worth it!  I have learned SO much!  Before i know it I'll be home.  I am really trying to enjoy every moment of everyday!  Love you all!
Elder Birrell

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4 ,2013

Fall leaves in Pennsylvania

Hey yinz! (means y'all here.  These people are crazy)
Many times i think to myself "Am i still in America?"  It's a whole different world out here!  But i LOVE EVERYONE HERE!  The people here are amazing!  I don't know what everyone is talking about, when they say all of the work is down in South America. ;) We have 2 scheduled baptisms this month, and could potential pick up a 3rd!  The work here is definitely hastening.  Elder Johnson is an amazing companion.   This week, we made some goals to revolutionize our area.  The work is on the tipping point, we just need to give it that extra push.  The solution: Do the Lords work His way!  It's funny how you always hear how to do things, but you don't understand it, or believe it, until you do it.  That has been true with missionary work.  We are continuing to strive for exact obedience, and change little things, and turn towards the Lord a lot more, and hearts have definitely been softened, and miracles are happening all around us!  I love being a missionary, and i love serving the people here.  There isn't any other mission i'd rather be in.  This is exotic enough for me ;)
On Monday, is when we really set the goal to be exactly obedient, and that day we had a miracle!  There is this less active family that got "offended"   Anyway, we go to the door and no one answers. But when the Lord wants to talk to you, he will!  Low and behold, they pull up into the drive way and she gets out and says that it isn't a good time.  However, her husband told us to come in. (miracle).  We sit down with them, and have a really good fellow-shipping moment.  Then we ask if we can share a quick scripture that turns into a 45 minute lesson!  It was awesome, and the spirit was so strong!  They definitely know they need to make changes in their lives, and we're gonna make sure they do them :)
This week we have really seen real progress.  One lady, who feels she doesn't have any friends in the ward, got a friend when she came to church!   She's awesome, and i love visiting with her.  There's this 80 year old woman on our street who calls us her Mormon grandsons.  She's awesome.  She says she is born catholic and she's gonna die that way.  We're teaching her, she just doesn't know it yet.  I love her so much.  She's super funny.  We met this lady who recently had a baby, and she's a non-member.  She really shows promise, and she seems really prepared to hear the gospel.  We also met with a family who seem SUPER prepared to hear the gospel.  Ahh!  The work here is picking up like crazy!  We have so many promising potential investigators!  Holly, who is one of our progressing investigators, talked to another lady about the gospel for so long, and now we are going to have a new person come to our Book of Mormon classes we have each Wednesday.  There are seriously so many people prepared here, we just have to find them, and teach them!  The work here is about to explode.  I can feel it!
For Halloween we had to be in by 6pm.  So we deep cleaned our house.  Pretty fun.  It was really warm here last week, but his week has definitely been more cold!  We didn't have any kids come to the door.  Oh well, their loss.  We were only going to teach them how to receive eternal life!  JK!  But we were going to hand out BoM's.
That's all i can think of.  I'm in a hurry this week.  Oh we get iPad's in January, and it's CRAZY what they will be able to do!  They will help SOOOO much!  It's gonna be amazing.  Love you ALLLLL!!!!!
Elder Birrell

Raking leaves!!!!