Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas.

"Yinz"....Means You all!

So i am not sending a long email like i usually do since i will be talking to you guys in 3 days.  plus i don't feel like it:)  I have a headache. 
I got the last package!  You should see our fireplace...   I'm anxious to see what you sent me...  hahah i can't really imagine what i have:)  I got Julie's package and the Larson's (Dad's sister) sent me one as well. .  I'm sad a missed the party.  I'm glad it was fun though.  Oddly enough, some of the things i miss the most are getting together with the usual people, Family Christmas parties, BINGO with Julie and Rich, as well as, watching football with Jonnie and Natalie and Kristine.  I always really enjoyed doing things with them.  Wish them a merry Christmas for me:)   It seriously doesn't feel like Brandon has been gone for that long!  I feel like he just left!  I also can't believe that i am almost at my 3 month mark!  It feels like it has been forever, but also in the blink of an eye!
Elder Birrell
Christmas Presents.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Prayers are answered.....It Snowed!!!!!


That basically sums up our week.  It was, to say the least, awesome!  We started off a little slow, but exploded in the end!  Being a missionary for the Lord's true church is the only way to spend the remainder of your teenage years.  It is way more fun, busy, and exciting than i thought it would be!  So here was our week.
Monday: We had our P-day as usual.  We cleaned the WHOLE house!  Your could have eaten anywhere, and on any surface.  It was that clean.  Later that night, we had an appointment at a members house at 8.  We arrived 30 minutes early, so we decided to tract around.  One house had their lights set up to a song.  So obviously we had to tract it!  That didn't turn out very well so went and had that meeting with the members.  We have been meeting with them frequently to get them to give us a referral.  They are inviting 2 people to church this Sunday, and then the first week of January they are going to have us meet them!!!
Tuesday:  We went and taught the guy who lives down the street from us.  We answered all his questions,  His mom was there and She kept asking us why we were there, and that her house was not a house for Bible study.  We started to talk to her, and her heart instantly softened.  She was describing a way she wishes church's were, and she totally described ours!  We didn't end up having time to teach them though:(  Next we taught one of our investigators,  We talked about how much our Heavenly Father loves us, and he really liked that.  Sister Mcclendon was there as well.  She is so powerful, and she bore her testimony so many times. 
Wednesday: We had zone conference that took pretty much the whole day.  That was really fun!  President Topham is the coolest person ever!  Ah i love him.  I'm so sad him and his wife are being released at the end of June :(  That night we had Book of Mormon class, and after taught the Plan of Salvation.  We are teaching the new member discussions, which is teaching lesson 1-5 in Preach My Gospel again.
Thursday:  This is when the week really got awesome!  We went to teach one of our investigators and have lunch/dinner with her.  Her daughter was there, and she isn't a member.  She told the last missionaries that she wanted to wait until she was 14 to get baptized.    She sat in the first little bit of the lesson, but then someone called and she went to talk to them in the other room.  I felt the strongest feeling that we needed her in the lesson.  I asked her if her daughter was going to be joining us, and she had her come back and listen to the lesson.  Then at the end of the lesson, Elder Johnson asked the daughter what we need to do to get to heaven.  She said: "Pray, Church, and Baptism."  I was so happy!  I immediately invited her to be baptized, and she said yes!!!    Later that night we went to teach a guy who is less active.  We went over, and his dad (who is active) let us teach him.  Right at the beginning though he came down and sat in the lesson as well!  It was so great!  We taught him about the atonement.
Friday:  We went to go teach this lady who is less-active, and actually got baptized into the Baptist church >:(  We showed up right when she had gotten home.  As we were teaching her, she asked what Joseph Smith did.  We didn't have time to really teach her, so we gave her a little over view and we are going back this Friday to teach her more!  
Saturday:  The sisters had a baptism!  The girl who got baptized 2 weeks ago, it was her mom.  It was really really nice!  I love baptisms.  It also snowed ALL day!  I was so happy, it was unreal.  I pray for snow pretty much every week.  Driving in the snow is a nightmare, but i love looking at it! 
Sunday: ONE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!  Finally.  It was SO nice to see her there!  She really liked it as well.  Later that night we went to the stake Christmas devotional in Cranberry.  It was really good!  That's all we did on Sunday though.  It was sad not to be able to teach anyone.
The mission has been so much fun thus far!  I feel like i have grown so much!  Thanks for all you guys do!  Love ya!
Elder Birrell

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 8, 2013

Ward Christmas Party.
It finally snowed here in Picksburgh (That's how the locals say it...)  I was filled with joy!  We were in church yesterday, and it just dumped.  It was super scary to drive home in.  The roads are very narrow here, and there isn't a flat one in sight.  We almost crashed into this truck at a stop sign, because our car wouldn't stop moving!  Needless to say, i was very happy for the snow:)
Monday:  We had our P-day.  I took a nap.  I was dead.  It was awesome to sleep a little bit longer!  I am always so tired!  If they would just give us 1 more hour of sleep, i would be perfectly fine.  For dinner we went to the Mama and Papa Z's.  It was delicious as usual!  It's always such a fun time when we are at their house.  I don't think we taught anyone...  I cannot remember.  I think it snowed this day as well. Not sure though.  Your memory kind of goes when your on a mission.  Every day blurs into one.
Wednesday: We had the Book of Mormon class.  We taught it, and it was Alma 53.  It was great as usual.  Not a whole lot of people showed up, but we are grateful for the ones that did.
Thursday: We went and taught this a guy, and he said we could come back at anytime.  He has had some questions about differences in the BoM and the Bible.    He asked us again about some of his questions, and in my mind i just kept remembering what Elder Johnson said.  Something along the lines of "We have been set apart to answer any question people throw at us"  I TOTALLY DID THAT!  Every single question he asked, i immediately thought of an answer.  It was sweet!
Friday: we decided we would go OYM.  We gave this guy a card, and ended up talking to him for 40 minutes!  He asked us all of these questions about our church that all pertained to the restoration.  We kept trying to find something he didn't agree with, but he found we basically believe everything he does!  I was so happy!  It was snowing, we were outside, and we were spreading the gospel.  It was a dream come true.  After we went to a members house for dinner.  The Snow's.  It was delicious!  
Saturday: We went to lunch at the Z's, and it was super fun and awesome!  It's fun to go there, because it's kind of like a break to recharge, and head out and spread the gospel some more!  We then went to Turtle Creek and tried to contact a referral we had received.  They weren't there, so we just OYM'd.  Then we drove home, and got a ride to the church for the Christmas party.  That was a lot of fun!  I never liked ward parties growing up, but now i love them!
Sunday:  None of our investigators or less-active members came.  That made us super sad.  Ahh I wish people would come to church.  It's fun i promise!  I still felt the spirit super strong though, and it was awesome!  Later that night we went to the Z's to watch the Christmas devotional.  They picked us up with the sisters.  Their car is entertainment central.  We popped in a Mormon Message, and we all watched them.  It was super fun!  Mormon Messages are da best.  
Our area is going good!  For some reason, we are teaching one less lesson a week.  It's getting frustrating.  No one has time to visit with us.  Some how, i have managed to always be happy though.  I really haven't felt super down since i have been on my mission.  I just go with the flow, and if something doesn't work out, i know the Lord is preparing something else for us to do.  It's been a great week regardless, and i still love serving a mission!  There isn't anything else I'd rather be doing!  Love ya!
Elder Birrell 

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Transfer down!!!

The most comfortable couch ever!!!!

Finally!!!!! A Dunkin' Donuts!!!!!!!
First transfer down.
Where has time gone?  Time moves by ridiculously fast here!  It feels like these past 6 weeks have been 1 long day.  So much has happened.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!:)  It's way better and a lot more fun than i thought it was going to be.  Well here's a little of what happened this week.
     So we picked up a new investigator this week.  It turns out, she wants to know everything about the gospel!  We were talking to her about the Book of Mormon, and she's like "It's basically like another Bible!"  We were so excited!  The lesson went perfectly... a little too perfect.  It followed PMG to the tee.  So she's basically the coolest person ever, because she's so open and receptive to the gospel.  The only problem is, she says she's already been baptized... So we'll cross that bridge another day.
     We went on another exchange this week.  This time, i went to Greensburgh.  It's about 30 minutes east.  I was with Elder Little, and Elder Martin (DL) came to our area with Elder Johnson.  We had a pretty awesome time!  The spirit pops things into my head so naturally (patriarchal blessing).  I am starting to really realize that.  It's awesome!  Ahh i get so excited just thinking about it.   Later that night, they went to try and visit a family. They are a recent progressing investigator, and his wife .  They had an awesome time fellow shipping.  He is a chef, so he always cooks us amazing food when we go over.  I can definitely tell he wants to know more.  They basically said they could be Mormon.  They are super inactive Baptist.  They said "We just chose this route to know Jesus better, but there are more ways to learn about him."  They talked about eternal families, and they LOVED that! they then asked how our whole church started, and basically taught her the restoration!  I was so said I missed it.  ANOTHER investigator!  We dropped a lot last week, so the Lord is blessing us with new ones.  I had a fun time on the exchange!  Where their house is located is in a town called Jennette.  I guess there were a couple drive by shootings, murders, robberies, etc. all within the last couple of weeks.  They live in the ghetto part of their area.  We walked around at night trying to OYM.  With every car that passed, i braced my self for bullets to come flying at me.  It was an adventure!
          Yesterday at church was amazing! We had and investigator come!  He's been investigating for a while know, and we were so happy to see him!  It was the most powerful Fast and Testimony meeting i have ever been to.  Everyone that bore a testimony was super inspired!  I love church so much!  I never thought i would say that...  hahah! 
     Our area is doing pretty awesome.  It has it's ups and down's.  We are getting there though.  Elder Johnson and I are having a pretty grand time!  We both have a strong desire to serve, and i am so grateful he is my trainer.  I look at other people being trained, and those that are just finishing, and i feel like I have already caught up with, if not surpassed them on missionary work.  Not at all to brag or anything!  I am trying to be as humble as i can to say that.  It's all because Elder Johnson has trained me so well, and our goals are similar, and we both want to be 100% missionary.  The Lord has blessed me with him.  I wouldn't have been able to grow as quickly with any other trainer. 
    That's been our week!  Love ya, and have an awesome week!
Elder Birrell

The Sisters in our area

My District