Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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

Hello!

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

Hello!

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
salad...

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

Hello!!!

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.

Howdy!

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

Workin'

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

Humidity<;)

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!

Love 
Elder Birrell
 

 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Teenage girls

My week here in Erie was pretty good!  The work is still moving slow, but
we have made a lot of plans and set some goals for new things to try this
week.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed:)

The start of the week was slow.  We went mini golfing with people from the
district, and the biggest rain storm i have ever seen came in.  The thunder
was so loud, and we got soaked in the 1 minute we were in it.  The
windshield wiper could barely keep up with is.  The roads were straight up
rivers.  It was awesome!  We didn't teach a lesson until Thursday!  Somehow
we were still busy though.  Not sure exactly what we did. I went on an
exchange to the Fairview Elder's area, and they have a sweet house.  It's
right on the lake.  It looks and feels like cabin.  There area is pretty
different from ours.  It's a little nicer.

Thursday was a scary day!  This is where the title from my email comes in.
We were doing weekly planning, and we had to walk to an appointment that
was about 2 miles away.  As we walked out of our apartment there were 2
teenage girls across the street. We waved at them like we normally do to
people, and continued on our way.  Right as we rounded the corner i heard
these chilling words "You're hot!  You're hot!"  These words shattered my
eardrums, and made my heart stop in fear.  I didn't turn around but kept
walking.  I told my comp. that we should walk faster.  We did like Joseph
in Egypt.  Got the heck away!  We were walking, and we saw the girls come
around the corner.  Talking loud obviously trying to get our attention.  I
was freaking out.  My comp. was completely fine, however.  We finally got
to the end of the road and went up these stairs that no one ever goes up,
but us... and now our new buddies.  We walked the whole 2 miles, and i was
praying they wouldn't catch up.  They literally followed us the whole way
to the appointment.  Luckily the people were home and i was able to escape.
The next day we went to this fair here in North East, and there were a
bunch more teenage girls be freaky!  Needless to say i do not enjoy walking
around out side anymore.  I wish the -40 degree's were back.  Flirt to
convert i guess ;) heheh.

We went up to Westfield on Friday and visited a couple less-active members.
They were great!  We were pretty bold with them, but the spirit was there
so it was alright.  It was a pretty good week.  Love ya!  Have a great
week:)

Elder Birrell

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Short but sweet

Hello!
This week was great.  Kinda slow and short.  On Wednesday i taught my first district meeting in this area.  It went over pretty good i hope.  We talked and discussed on ways to build a fire underneath the ward to do missionary work.  After the meeting i went on an exchange into the Zone Leaders area.  Their area is pretty cool!  They have a lot more city than i do.  The Elder i went with has an awesome conversion story as well!  It was definitely an uplifting experience.  Thursday was slow.  We did some service for members that were moving out, and tried to see some less-active members.

On Friday we went up to Westfield, NY.  There are a lot of less-actives up there, because the church building is 1 hour away!!!!!  We got in a lot of lessons, and hopefully we are building up their faith.  Saturday we had some service opportunities.  Also i went and did a baptism interview in the other Elder's Area.  It took an hour to drive there, so that took a good chunk out of our day.  We went and did service for one of our investigators and visited with her after.  Hopefully her faith is building.  She's had a very rough life.  That was my week.  Short and sweet i guess.  Have a great week.  Love ya!

Elder Birrell

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New companion, New area

Hello!

Well it was transfers week last week.  I got sent up to lake Erie to a little town called North East.  It's about 2 hours north of my old area.  Sister Holmstead and I are serving in the same area again.  She served with me in Pitt 3rd and got transferred up here 3 months ago.  Now I'm here.  Small world.  My companion is super funny as well.  Works hard which is great!  My new address is

47 1/2 South Mill St.
North East, PA. 16428

The beginning of the week wasn't even real life as a missionary.  On Monday we were running like mad.  I had to go to a billion stores to make sure i had everything i needed.  After we went to the Zebraski's house for dinner.  We had hamburgers, hot dogs, and lasagna.  It was yummy:)  Then we went and visited with the McDowell's.  Tuesday, in my typical fashion, i was frantically trying to get packed in time.  I had all of my stuff on the floor trying to figure out how to pack my life into 3 suit cases.  Luckily i didn't have as many boxes as i did when i came out.  The Sister's picked us up, and we packed 6 suit cases into their tiny Corolla.  It was not a pleasant trip.  We got to the meeting, and President read off where we were going and who our companion was.  Since my area is so far away, my new companion didn't come.  So i had to ride with some other Elder to my new area.  We got home pretty late so didn't have much time to do anything.

We didn't have district meeting on Wednesday because Elder Holland came on Thursday!  We went and visited Some investigators they were teaching.  After we walked around and tried some potential investigators.  We have a car, but our area is so big that we walk a ton!  My legs were dying.  We hardly walked at all in my last area #norestfortheweary.  

Elder Holland came, and it was AWESOME!!!!!!  It was down at the Cranberry chapel (which is 30 minutes out of Pittsburgh, and 2 hours for me).  He came at 2.  The whole mission was there, and we were quietly waiting for him, reading scriptures, praying, thinking, etc.  Typical missionary stuff.  I couldn't concentrate though.  I was too excited!  When he got to the chapel, he wanted to talk to shake all of our hands at the beginning.  After Elder Hallstrum spoke it was Elder Hollands turn.  Pretty much the first thing he said was: "When we shook your hand we interviewed you."  My heart pretty much died when he said that.  Then he went on to say that we all looked good!  No one was sent home.  That would have been awkward for that missionary.  It was such an awesome experience though.  He talked a lot about change, and becoming.  We as missionaries need to "burst".  We need to reach the 212 degrees of boiling point.  We need to burst as missionaries, and not go home with the song still in us.  He also said that the Lord expects one convert from our mission--us.  It was awesome!  What i learned from it took place after the meeting.  My companion and I were walking out side after the meeting, and Elder Holland rolled down the car window and asked how we were doing.  Before he left he said "Work Hard".  That simple phrase summed up the meeting with him.  I had all the info behind that phrase.  I just need to do it!  Every time I get tired or discouraged, or fell like not doing something, his voice and face come to my mind, "Work Hard".  This work is hard; It requires hard work.  We know in Jacob 5 how the Lord said he did everything he could for His vineyard.  He didn't do here a little and there a little.  Nor prune and pluck a couple of trees, he did everything He could!  He gave His all and asks us to do the same.  However we have his help every step of the way if we are willing to have faith and "put our shoulder to the wheel".  He also said that we need to do what we expect from our investigators: prayer more fervently, read with power, etc.  We all are still God's investigators.  I love Elder Holland so much.

Towards the end of our week it was a little slow.  This area seems to be a bit harder than my last area--everything is hard in the east though.  We tried a lot of potential investigators, and did a whole lot of walking. I have been so tired!  It's been great though.  I'm trying to get the area down, learn the faces, and follow the Spirit.  

Monday was memorial day.  Consequently the libraries were closed.  So, we went to the Erie Zoo with the Sister's and the Zone Leaders.  It was a tiny little thing, but it was cool!  We all wanted to ride the train, so we were going to save it for last.  When we went to get our tickets there was a sign that said it was closed from 12-1.  The time we had planned to ride it.  So that didn't work out.  After, the Sister's and Elder Linford and I went to the BBQ at a members.  He lives on a farm/vineyard.  There are a billion grape vineyards here.  He took us on a hay ride of it.  That night, Elder Rasmussen, the missionary who I replaced came back to visit with his family.  We went to Applebee's with them.  It was fun.  They're a great family!

That was my week.  It's fun, but different.  I'm still trying to get situated.  Hopefully I'll get the hang of it this week.  Love ya.  Have a great week:)

Elder Birrell

Austin and his companion Elder Lindford

Monday, May 12, 2014

Last week.

Hello!
Well it looks like it could be my last week here.  I can't believe that i have already been here for a little over 7 months.  The longest people stay in 1 area is usually 5 months.  So I'm pretty much toast!  They call us on Saturday at let us know who is staying and who is going.  So we will see.
The beginning of the week was awesome!  We had a lesson with one of our investigators.... and all he talked about was the book of Revelation and the 4 horse men...  After the lesson we decided our time could be spent somewhere else.  After we went and visited our neighbor Joanne.  She is awesome.  She is 80, but acts like she's 50.   After she hugged my companion and I, but said she liked Elder Bowers a little more because he is a republican.  After i told her i was one as well she jumped for joy and pretty much tackled me in an embrace.  So she loves me just as much:) 
The next day i went on an exchange to the Greensburg Elder area.  The companion i went with is a little shy, so it was my goal to break him out of his shell.  I just kept talking to him and having a good time, and he came out of it pretty quickly.  He's super funny, and it was a blast!
Toward the end of the week we had dinner at the McDowell's.  A recent convert family.  They are solid in the church.  It was a lot of fun, and we helped the Sister's teach the lesson--since they are in their area.  It was great, and the parents pretty much taught their kids the lesson.  They have required the knowledge so quickly.
We were supposed to have our baptism on Friday, but he didn't come to church last Sunday.  So now it is this Saturday.  Instead we went to visit our new investigators.  They are from El Salvador and don't really speak any English.  We took a member who spoke Spanish so he could translate for us.  It was such a cool experience.  I wish i spoke Spanish!  They really liked everything, and seemed to really accept it.  They asked us to come back tonight.  It built my testimony on the spirit in teaching though.  Even though i didn't know what was being said i felt the spirit with it.  The spirit really is the universal language.  It doesn't matter how well you speak the language, because if you don't speak by the spirit it doesn't matter.
It was a great week.  It flew by.  I already feel like this week is over.  There is never enough time.  But I love serving a mission, and there isn't anything else I'd rather be doing right now.  Have a great week.  Love ya!




Elder Birrell






A Picture a member sent to me for Mother's Day!


The stash of groceries that Austin bought for $28.  He was so excited!

Monday, April 28, 2014

The sun is shinng

Hello!
Well it's finally spring here in PA.  There have been about 4 days of warm sunshine.  It's been awesome.  I have definitely missed that.  I've practically gone albino this winter.  It's starting to get so green here as well!  It's crazy, because it just feels so natural here.  It feels like i have always been here, and gone to the Pitt 3rd chapel.  Our week was pretty grand too!
The beginning of the weeks started good!  After P-day we went and taught P.  Our investigator.  He always talks about the book of revelations.  We looked on his desk, and he had all these creepy satanic movies.  So we pretty much got out of there pretty quick, and dropped him from our investigator pool.  Then we helped Brother Memmott do some more service.  They are frantically trying to get their house on the market by tomorrow, because they are going to Disney World for a week.  They are moving to Utah in the summer.  Brother Memmott got a job at BYU as a nuclear professor.  Tuesday i went on an exchange to Greensburg, with Elder Glick.  Elder Wilson came to my area with Elder Bowers.  They had a great time, and picked up 4 potential investigators.  I had a great time in Greensburg helping Elder Glick with his missionary work.
Wednesday we switched back, we went and taught A. and K.   K's. friend P. wants to learn again.  She said that she is going to beg her mom to let her be baptized.  After we had dinner at the Memmott's, and went to BoM Class.  Thursday we visited with T.  Our investigator getting baptized on MAY 9!  Previously before the lesson, we had to get our oil changed which took 4 hours!!!!!!!!  It was ridiculous.  After we had dinner with the Cooks.
Friday was interesting.  In the morning we went and helped Memmott with his house.  Then we did our weekly planning.  After we went to a members house and had dinner with them.  Then we dug a grave for their dog in the pouring rain.  I mean it was pouring; of course only while we were digging.  It stopped right when we finished.  After we went and taught C.  He's from El Salvador.  He doesn't speak much English so the lesson was... rough. We are going back today to teach him with a member who speaks Spanish.  He's investigating though!  Saturday we did a lot of service.  We helped a member rebuild his retaining wall.  Our FHC had a big event to we helped with that.  Then we helped the Memmott's and then had dinner at the McDowells.  It was super fun, but not a whole lot of proselyting.  Our appointments fell through.  Sunday we had church then went to dinner at the Snow's.  After we went and taught a less-active family with Brother Memmott.  He gave them his PS3 and they were SO happy!  It was really neat to watch.
Overall it was a great week.  I'm excited for this week, but i cannot believe i only have 3 more weeks here!  I really am going to miss this place.  I've been here for 7 months now!  CRAZY!  Well i hope you have a great week.  Love ya.

Elder Birrell

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Week




Easter Baskets!!!!





Hello!

This week was great!  Easter Sunday was awesome.  We have a baptism coming up on May 10th!

The beginning of the week was a little slow--the whole week was slow.  On Monday we went and visited our neighbor who is a devote Catholic.  She's super nice though, and interested in learning more about the church.  We taught her The Plan of Salvation.  On Tuesday we went to the doctors for Elder Bowers back.  It was also super cold this day.  It had a weird snow/hail mix.  We went to the doctors, and they weren't very helpful.  They said that he needed an MRI to be able to see what was really going on.  We left the doctors a little discouraged.  He kind of wasted our time.  He wasn't super helpful or caring.  As we drove through the Fort Pitt Tunnel to get back to our house, you couldn't see the city.  The whole area was covered in clouds.  It was pretty sweet!  After we went and taught our investigator T.  We set him with May 10 to be baptized, and he is so excited for it!  Our plans for the rest of the day kind of fell through, and we went around talking to people.

Wednesday and Thursday picked up a bit.  I taught my second district meeting on involving the ward members in our work.  I thought that it went pretty well.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and learn something from it.  We did an exchange with the zone leaders, and i went back to my area with Elder Weatherston.  He is HUGE!  He is 6 9"  He's awesome.  We went and saw some other investigators and then had dinner at the Memmott's.  The Memmott's have this huge pile of wood that they need to move, so we helped them with that!  Then they took us to Rita's after.  It's this yummy ice cream place.  Thursday we exchanged back, and went and helped the Z's take apart their deck.  They are doing and addition to their kitchen, so they needed help dismantling their deck.  It was fun.  We got to destroy it!:)  Then we went and taught T. again.  He's still doing awesome, and he agreed to come to the baptism the Sister's were having on Saturday.  After we had dinner with the Mickelson's, then taught some more people.  

Friday and Saturday were slow numbers wise, but we were SO busy.  On Friday we had weekly planning and then went and walked around a city called Oak Mount for 2 hours.  It's a nicer area, so people were less friendly...  After we went and had dinner.  Then we went and saw Sister S. a less-active and invited her to come out to church.  Then we Helped Bro Memmott with his pile of wood.  On Saturday we had the baptism.  It was such an awesome experience.  It's a great family, and 4 of them got baptized.  A lot of the ward came out as well.  T. came, and got super excited for his baptism on the 10th.  He really likes the church, and doesn't have any problems with it.  After we went and helped Bro. Memmott with the wood.  Then we went and taught G.  We talked about the resurrection.  

Sunday was Easter Sunday!  We went to church and had a good sacrament meeting.  T. came and loved it.   The family that were baptized, were confirmed.  I confirmed one of them.  It was a cool experience.  You can literally feel the Holy Ghost enter their body!  After, we went to their house, and had a little Easter thought with them.  Then we had dinner at the Memmott's.  It was yummy!  We had ham and funeral potato's.

Overall it was a great week.  I little slow numbers wise, but still great!  I am excited for this week.  It is shaping out to be a pretty busy one.  Have a great week.  Love ya guys!

Elder Birrell

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring is finally here.

This is sooooo Austin!
Hello!
It was another fantastic week on the missionary front.  We had a lot of success.  So that's been great to have:)  Elder Bowers and I are excited to keep pushing the work forward.  We've accomplished quite a bit, but there is still so much to do.  We are just putting our best foot forward, and trying to leave the area better then when we found it.
Monday and Tuesday we great.  On Monday, we found a new investigator!  His name is P, and he contacted us in the library.  He asked what we believed in.  He has mental disability, so we will see what happens.  We taught him the restoration, and about the BoM.  He really liked all of it.  Hopefully he's understanding it.  Tuesday was also very successful.  We got to an appointment early, so we decided to OYM (street contacting).  We gave this guy a card and said we could come teach him on Thursday.  We got another new investigator!  Remember when i told you about the guy who gave us a ride in the rain a couple weeks ago.  Well, we called him and he wanted to learn more!  We went to his house that night and taught him for about 2 hours.  He agreed with everything, and said that he would pray about the BoM.
Wednesday and Thursday rocked!  We had our zone training on Wednesday.  It was on asking inspired questions.  It was a great learning experience, and i got more of a fire to go out and teach people.  After we went and taught A and K.  They are doing awesome!  Sister Cardwell fed us and the sisters at the church for dinner.  We had Mexican food. yummm I've been craving Mexican food forever!  Thursday was awesome!  We got another new investigator.  The guy we contacted on Tuesday.  We taught him the restoration, and have absolutely no problems with anything.  He loved it all!  That was great! 
Friday and Saturday were good.  A little slow.  On Friday we had our weekly planning and went and taught Sister S. She believes that she's fine just praying.  I've been working with her since i have been on my mission.   After, we went to the M.  An awesome family that the sisters are working with.  They are getting baptized this Saturday.  So i had to go do their interviews.  They also invited us for dinner.  When we got there, sister M said that 3 other families were coming over (members of the ward).  Which is crazy, because they aren't even members yet!  That just shows you how well they get along with the ward.  The ward has done a great job in reaching out to them.   They are awesome.  They love the gospel.  On Saturday we went back to finish the rest of the interviews.  4 of them are getting baptized, and we only had time to do 2 interviews on Friday.  Can't wait for Saturday.
Sunday we went to this Easter  thing in Cranberry.  We drove through Downtown to get there.  That was cool!  The stake center here is over an hour away.  Which is crazy!  I'd never have gone to stake things if that was the case in Utah... hahah.  The members out here are phenomenal.
Have a great week.  Love ya!

Elder Birrell

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Done with the ice age

Hello!
I cannot believe this week is already over!  It seriously flew by.  In fact, this whole transfer has flown by!  We are already on our last week.  It's been a great transfer though!  It's also been a great week.  A lot better than last week:)  We're getting our numbers back up.
Monday and Tuesday started the week off good!  We had dinner with a less-active family.  The wife kind of laughed when we were talking about living with God again...  After we had a lesson with Sister K.  Tuesday was much too good!  We went on a team-up with this older guy who is around 80.  We went and visited his less-active friend.  Next thing i know, he is, explaining in detail, his first time getting a colonoscopy.  This was years ago, before they changed it i guess...  It was pretty detailed, and his words and expressions he used were quite interesting.  Needless to say, i was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face.  Oh man, it was so hilarious!  It was his friend too, so he enjoyed the story too.
Friday and Saturday slowed things down a bit, but they were both very fulfilling days.  On Friday, we did our weekly planning and were able to see a family called the G.  The husband is very less-active, but the wife is very solid!  It was nice to visit with them and have a dinner appointment.  After we visited this 80 year old Catholic lady who lives next door to us.  She calls us her Mormon grandson's.  She calls her self our Mormon grandma.  She is awesome!  We taught her the restoration, and she said she agreed with everything.  She said she is too old and we aren't going to change her.  However, she's interested in learning more about our church.  So we'll see if she is too old to change...  hehe.  On Saturday we ran out of miles for our car.  So we decided to walk to the library.  It ended up being a 3 hour walk, and it was raining.  I had an umbrella and Elder Bowers didn't.  I payed attention in scouts; always be prepared.  As we were walking, we made an effort to talk to as many people as possible.  We have these 2 activities we do called Friend 10, and Flood the Earth.  President Hinkley said that if missionaries would talk to 10 more people a day, we would have 665,000 more convert baptisms a year.  Flood the Earth is to hand out 1 BoM a day.  We were able to achieve and exceed these goals.  On our way back though, we had 1 more person we need to talk to.  This guy pulled over, and offered us a ride.  When we were in the car, he said that he saw us earlier waving to people but he was on his way to work.  As he was driving home he saw us again and felt he needed to offer us a ride.  We started talking to him and asked if he knew anything about our church.  He said he didn't know much, and asked what our foundation was, and what we believed.  We said we'd give him the short version, but he said he could tell his wife he had to give some guys a ride--meaning he wasn't on a time crunch.  We pulled in the parking lot we asked him to drop us off at, and we ended up teaching him the restoration in his car!  He accepted a BoM, and said we could contact him.  He said that he felt "enlightened" talking to us.  The Lord truly does bless you for your efforts.  He always places people in our paths that are ready to hear the restored gospel.
Sunday was great!  We saw 3 less-active families, and had 3 less-actives come to church!  It was a pretty good turn out!
I love this gospel so much.  I know that it is true, and it is in its fullness.  Jesus Christ loves us SO much, and is willing to take all of our pain away.  He will provide us with a change of heart.  We just have to be willing and follow him.  This gospel is true, and i love sharing it with those of PA.  I love Heavenly Father, and learn more and more each day how much he truly does love us, and how much he blesses us!  Have a great week.  I love you!
Elder Birrell

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Someone made us Tony Romas Ribs.  Yum!!!!
This week has been great!  We are down to 0 investigators now...  It's been really hard to find people as well.  We have set goals and made plans though, so i have a lot of faith for this week, and am excited to get out and get to work!  The weather has been pretty good.  It's definitely warming up.  I planted some sun flowers and then it froze the next day.  So they're for sure dead.  A lot happened this week, but we're kind of in a rut.  However, i am SO excited for this week!  I can't wait to just get to work.
     Monday and Tuesday were great days!  On Monday we had dinner at the Prince's house.  They're an awesome family in the ward.  We had planned to have a lesson with H that night.  When we texted her to confirm it, she said she wasn't home and she forgot...sorry.  She knows the church is true and LOVES it, but she isn't willing to give up smoking yet.  So i texted her, and told her to contact us when she wants to meet again.    On Tuesday we taught the usual lesson's.  We saw Sister H. and her Bro.   They both want to go to the temple which is awesome!
    Wednesday and Thursday we kinda a blur.  We have this Book of Mormon class that we do with the Sister's at night, and the bishop recently said that only one set of us can go... bummer.  So we went home teaching with Brother Snow to see this guy who lives in a retirement home.  He has MS.  It was sad to see, especially because he has such a strong testimony of the gospel; at the same time it has helped him with everything.  Thursday we saw P and Sister K.  We had great lesson's with them as well.  
     
Friday we had weekly planning and then went to see another investigator.  As we were talking with her, she pretty much said she doesn't believe the things that happened in the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  She thinks they were stories to help us learn.  We challenged her to read from the Book of Mormon each day, and pray about it.  She needs that witness that it is true.  She doesn't really have a testimony.  We then went home teaching with Brother de Poix that night.  On Saturday we went and saw Sister H .  We probably texted everyone in the ward to come on the team up with us.  It was really hard to find someone.  There was a relief society activity that night, so everyone had prior commitments. We finally found someone.  She ended up having 3 other people over and they were all way into the lesson.  That night we had a church tour.  The Sister's brought 2 of their investigators.  It turned out to be awesome!  They are both Catholic, but disagree with quite a few things in the church.  The spirit was so strong, and their hearts were really softened after being through the church.  On Sunday we had ward conference.  It was sweet!
     It's been a great week, and I'm grateful for all of the tender mercies from the Lord.  There is always more we can do, and I am definitely going to put more work into it.  This is a great work that we are ALL involved in.  The member missionaries are just as, if not more important than the full-time missionaries.  We can't do it alone.  I love this church and I know it is true.  I hope you have a great week!  Love ya.

Elder Birrell

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014




Hello,
This week has been great!  We've been busy trying to push the work forward in this area.  We've had to drop all of our investigators except for 1...  So were on the hunt to find new people to teach.  We had a zone conference on finding, so we're pumped to do it!
This week was similar to last week.  We taught H. once.  it was a great lesson!  She said that she need to "Get her self together."  We taught her the restoration.  The spirit was so strong.  Preach My Gospel is right when it says to make sure the people that we teach understand the restoration.  She said that she was definitely going to come to church.  Well she didn't end up coming... We are seeing her today.  We have planned to talk about temptations.  Hopefully it all goes well!

We had a great lesson with Bro. M!  He has changed so much!  He is reading the BoM everyday which has been awesome!   He is truly becoming converted once again.  Time is tight.  So this was our week.  The highlights anyway.

It's been so fun though!  Elder Bowers is awesome.  We get along great.  He's super funny.  I haven't been dead tired anymore!  I get in bed at 9:45 now instead of right after planning... haha no it's been good!  Our area is great!  I am very excited for the coming week.  Love ya!
Elder Birrell
 
 
 
 
 
Austin and Elder Bowers

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

First week of training

Hola,

As you can tell from my title, it's my first week successfully training (hopefully).  It's been a great week.  Not as scary and hectic as i thought it was going to be.  That's for sure!  It's been a great week though.  A lot easier than i thought it was going to be.  That just means something hard is going to happen... so pray for me!

Monday:  We hung out at the Zebraski's, and had dinner with them.  We had sister Holmstead's mom's chicken noodle soup, and these wheat pancakes from elder Johnson's.  Surprisingly it all went together really well!  We had soy sauce with pancakes, and you know how much i like soy sauce!  So naturally, they were divine.

Tuesday: Transfer day!  We drove to Greentree.  That is where the president goes to church.  There are two tiny tunnels you have to go through, so we were stuck in stop and go traffic.  We ended up being 30 minutes late... However, we beat the sisters, so we counted that as on time (they always beat us everywhere).  President ended up being late too, so we didn't miss anything.  I got my new companion.  Elder Bowers.  He's from Kaysville Utah, and he is a great missionary!  He has so much fire to be out her.  It almost blew me away.  I love training.  I enjoy having leadership positions.  They really help me, because they motivate me and "force" me to do better.  Ever since i have been a trainer I've had a lot more energy, and I've been way more positive.  It's a great calling!

Wednesday: Our Wednesday's are always pretty set.  Nothing to plan usually.  We always see A and K, and then have dinner with the Memmott's, coordination meeting, then BoM class.  It never cancels.  That's what i was telling Elder Bowers the night before as we planned for Monday.  I said heck would have to freeze over before these cancelled.  Well, it turns out the weather we've been having here made it down there!  EVERYTHING CANCELLED.  I was so sad... but whatever.  The Lord really needed us to see other people.  So we got to work!  We went and tried a lot of people.  It turned out to be a pretty good day though!  Members haven't been feeding us as they used to, so I've been scheduling with them to feed us!  The day go a million times better if we have a dinner appointment.

Thursday: We had our day planned, and went and saw sister H, sister M, and then we also saw H. that night.  Nothing exciting really happened. 

Friday: Elder Bowers got really sick, so we were inside all day until about 6pm.  Then we had a dinner appointment with a member at 6.  So we did that, and got home around 7:30-8.  We went and tried to see Y. after.  He was there, but told us to come back Saturday afternoon.

Saturday: Since Elder Bowers was sick on Friday, it pushed out weekly planning to this day.  Plus our 3 hours of studies.  So we did a lot of studying this day!  We ended up seeing H and eating at the Prince's for dinner.  It was really fun!  They're a great family.  We had Navajo taco's and i loved them!

Sunday: It snowed all day, and church was cancelled.  However, they didn't' tell us until we got there.  So, we went to the Z's and did our studies.  Then we watched the D+C videos with them, and had dinner. After dinner the roads cleared up enough that we were able to drive home.  Our neighborhood was really bad though, so we weren't able to drive anywhere.  Even with all of the craziness of the week, we still managed to teach 10 lesson's!  This week went by so fast!  Have a great week.  love ya

elder birrell

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Transfer week

Hello! This week has been a great one!  Transfers are taking place tomorrow at 9:30!  I can't believe this transfer is already over.  I went by in the blink of an eye.  Elder Johnson is a super great companion and missionary, and i am most definitely going to miss him :(  We get along great, work great, and look great! ;)  hah!  It's been a blast!  Sad it's coming to an end...  So President Called us last night, and he asked if i would train.    It'll be fun.  I'm excited! >
  Monday: WE WENT DOWNTOWN!  It was a party and a half!  It's not what i was expecting however.  It wasn't as busy as i thought it was going to be.  It's not that big of a city.  We went with Jared.  He's awesome!  We went to this super duper yummy pizza place.  I guess they are one of a few restaurants that have approval from Italy to make pizza.   Everything is imported from Italy.  It was way good though!  There was this guy named Wholly who sat next to us.  He pointed us out as Mormon missionaries, and sat by us while we ate.  I guess he was famous.  He's the man responsible for making Pittsburgh a food scene.  He was nice.  We then went to point park and to the fountain.  It was a lot of fun!  We saw the 2 stadiums.  PNC and Heniz.  We went back to the car since we were running out of time.  It was a great day!
Tuesday: We did service like usual.  After we went to visit Sister H.  We taught her the plan of salvation.  But her husband sat in!  He's not a member, and he wanted to learn more!  We picked him up as an investigator!  Sister H was so happy.  She really wants to get married in the temple!  Then we had dinner!  Our night fell through...
Wednesday: We had our last district meeting.  It was really fun!  We have such a great district, and it's going to be different without a lot of them!  3 are getting transferred.  After we went and Visited with A and K.  We went on an exchange as well.  Elder Little came to our area with me.   Then we had dinner with the Memmott's.  Bro Memmott came to Utah this this past weekend because he is interview at BYU.  Hopefully he gets the job!  After we taught Book of Mormon class.

Thursday: This day was awful.  Literally nothing happened.  We got 3 media referrals, but none of them wanted to talk to us.  It was a faith day.  We had dinner at the Mickelson's.  That was really fun!  They're a great family! We also saw H. We taught her about the Book of Mormon.  She really liked it!
Friday:  Another faith day.  We didn't have much luck lesson wise...  Our day was planned, but for some reason it kind of fell through.  We had a lesson with P, but during the lesson the sisters called twice.  So we assumed it was important.  We answered, and they said they had a flat tire and they need us to come fix it for them.  They called the office, but they told them to call us.  P said he knew how to change a tire, and he'd love to help!  So we went and fixed the sisters tire.  After we had dinner at the Zebraski's.  Our dinner appointment cancelled, so they said we could come have dinner with them.  After we went to see Y, but he wasn't home...
Saturday: Today was awesome!  We had so many appointment.  We had 4 appointments right in a row!  Some how we stayed on time.  We saw sister h, sister h, sister E, and Sister M.  It was a crazy day!  We had dinner at the de Poix's.  It was great!  Then we went and helped the Zebraski's with some service.

 Sunday: Only one LA of ours came to church.    We had a great lesson with Mr. H. about faith.  He's read Mosiah, Alma, and Helaman all in the past 3 weeks!  He really likes the BoM now.  After we had a lesson with G.  It was a great lesson on the Holy Ghost.  He said that the lesson's are helping him, and he just needs time and he'll come back!
  It ended up being a great week!  Sister Holmstead, Elder Johnson, and Sister Nay are getting transferred.  It's a sad day!  We have a great district.  I get my trainee tomorrow at 12!  Have a great week!  Talk to you next week.

 Love Elder Birrell

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Faith week.

Hello!

This week was a little rough...  A lot of our appointments cancelled.  Surprisingly though, we remained productive and the week went by in a flash!  Not a whole lot happened.
We went and taught a less-active member.  He is suffering from a concussion, and now he has pneumonia.  We showed up at his house, and he freaked out!  He was so mad we were there, then the next moment he was crying...  He said he was so sorry, and he asked us to forgive him.  He said that his diabetes makes his sugar level really high, mixed with his sickness.  I gave him a blessing of healing, and he said he was peaceful and tingling!  The spirit was super strong!  I felt it go through my arms into his head.  It was crazy.  I almost got teary eye'd.  We also taught H this week.  She recently got a job downtown.  She has been exhausted each night, so we haven't been able to meet with her.  We finally saw her on Friday, and she seemed really happy!  She is down to 5 cigarettes a day now!  She is continuing to be so converted in the gospel.  It's incredible to see.  We also saw her last night, and talked about the Book of Mormon.  She loves reading it, and she is seeing  how it is applying in her life!  Soon she will be ready to be baptized!  We committed Y to be baptized.  He didn't come to church, but he wants to be baptized.  We also been working with his mom. They both a really awesome.  That was pretty much our week!  It was a good week.  We taught 10 lesson's.  I just don't really remember what happened.  There weren't any milestone lessons.  The works just plugging along.  Have a great week, and i love you guys!  I know this church is true.  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I know that if we "treasure up the word" we will not be deceived in these last days.  The world is holding up their signs high in the air.  We need to raise our flags of righteousness, and not just stand by the way side as evil pushes forward.  We are the Lord's hands here on the earth.  I love this gospel and the joy and happiness that it brings into my life.  I love the atonement.  It is such a powerful gift from God.  Love ya!

Elder Birrell

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 16

Well.  I can't believe we are on our last 2 weeks.  This transfer has gone by in a flash!  I'm excited for next Monday though...  A member is taking us to Downtown Pittsburgh.  That'll be super fun!  But i am more excited for the coming week.  The work in our little area is really excelling!
Monday: As usual, was not very successful.  For some reason, our plans on Monday always fall through.  The weather was bad as well, so we weren't able to use the car to travel.

Tuesday: We saw Sister F again.  She never answers or calls us back, so we always just show up.  It was a great lesson though!  She said that she is going to get active again.  She knows she needs to come back to church.  She isn't happy with the baptist church anymore.  She's really hard to pin down.  
After we went to see sister M and H  Sister M wasn't there so we just taught H!  We asked if she'd be baptized and she said yes!  She said she was thinking about it again.  She always feels peaceful when we leave.  She was super open to the church.  The spirit in the lesson was super clear.  Everything just clicked.  
Later that night, we went to the Addiction Recovery Program.  It's church sponsored, and focuses on the atonement.  It's a great class, and we're going to try and get more of our investigators to come!  

Wednesday:  We had our district meeting.
After we went to teach A and K.  J was there again, so we taught her about the book of mormon.  Right when K walked in J had to leave.  K brought her friend with her, so we closed the lesson with J, and said an opening prayer to teach K and her friend.  It was awesome!  We taught them the Plan of Salvation.  She liked it all, and said she's going to get her mom to come! 
We had BoM class that night, and it was amazing!  It was only us, the sisters, and J.  The spirit was so strong though, and we all learned something crazy awesome!

Thursday: We had an awesome lesson with P.  We taught him about the BoM and prayer.  He said he was going to come to church this Sunday.  He said that the spirit told him he needs to live righteously again.  It was a successful lesson.  
We taught sister H.  She asked how she can protect her family from the evils of the world.  We basically told her she needs to start teaching them the gospel while they are young, and that is what will protect them.  It'll guide their choices, and they will be more sensitive to the spirit.  
We taught H at the Memmott's house.  We had planned to teach her this quit smoking program we have, but there wasn't enough time.  She said she isn't giving us her cigarette's.  We were bummed, but decided that the only way to get her to quit is to continue to do what we are already doing-teaching.  The spirit will be the one that helps her quit.
We also had 2 lesson's with members seeking referrals.

Friday: We went and taught sister H, and the same nurse form last week was there.  She was still interested in the gospel!  She said the missionaries we referred her to contacted her.  It was awesome!  She met with them Yesterday.
We had a lesson with sister S, and taught her tithing.  That's what she has an issue with.  We also committed her to come to church.  We promised her so many blessings.  She didn't come.  One day she will.

Saturday: We went to teach sister F. again.  She had the flu though.  Her son who is 16  answered and we asked if we could teach him!  We had an awesome lesson about the BoM with him, and he said he is going to read it.  We are following up with him this Tuesday.
We had a lesson with H later that day as well.  We continued to encourage her.  We compared her life right now to the Joseph Smith story.  She feels like so much darkness is around her.  But like Joseph Smith, the light will come.  She needs to continue to seek it. 
We had dinner at the zebroski's after.  It was delicious and super fun!

Sunday: We went to church.  No one we are teaching came...  It was still a great service.  After we taught brother m.  We helped address some concerns.  He is still struggling with how emma smith felt with the whole polygamy thing.  That's his biggest hang up.

It has been a great week!  I love being a missionary!  It's so fun!  Elder Johnson is such a great missionary, and i am honored to be his companion.  Transfers are coming up, and i'll probably be training.  If i can be half the trainer he was, i will have succeeded.

Love ya!

Elder Birrell

Monday, February 3, 2014

"Many are cold but few are frozen"





With a sign like this......we needed to tract that house.
Clearly, by the title of my email.  It was a pretty cold week.  Again there was a polar vortex thing at the beginning of the week.  Temperatures were in the low-single digits.  However, it didn't slow us down one bit.  The Lord has truly blessed us!  Elder Johnson's eye is healed an healthy again.  Our area is once again experiencing another successful week.  15 lesson's, and 2 new investigators- yet again.  We are really focusing on remaining as humble as we can, so the Lord doesn't humble us.  hehehe.
Monday:  It was cold.  We went to the mall so i could get a few things, and get a hair cut!  It was much needed, and i fell like a new man.  Ready to baptize my area.  We didn't have any "success" numbers wise this day, because it was so cold.

Tuesday:  It was a great day!  Tuesday's have turned into one of our best days in the week.  First we had a lesson with Sister H.  It was a great lesson!  We discussed the BoM.  We committed her to come to church, and she did!  She even bore her testimony.  They are both making a lot of progress.  After we had a lesson with Sister M and her grand daughter, C.  Sister M has been going through health problems, and we recently learned that she needs a new heart!  We watch the Mormon message "Mountains to Climb".  The spirit was so strong and she was crying.  We talked about enduring to the end, and our Heavenly Fathers love for us.  We left on a really good note.  She seemed comforted, and she's still pressing on!  After we had a lesson with H.  We talked about baptism, but it turned into the BoM.  She has started reading a chapter or two a night.  She is in 1 Nephi right now.  She had a lot of questions on what is happening.  I was able to answer them, because i have recently restarted the BoM and highlighting everything that pertains to desire.  So we discussed what she's reading, and she really enjoys the BoM.  

Wednesday: We did our exchange this day, with the Greensburgh elders.  Elder Johnson went to their area with Elder Little.  His companion (whom he is training) came with me to Penn Hills.  It was a great day!  We taught a less-active women, and then A. and K.  Except, A. had finally invited her friend whom she had been talking about for the last 3 months!  Her name is J., and we taught her the restoration.  She really liked it, and wants to learn more.  She said she is looking for a church, and hasn't found one she likes.  Great lesson.  After we went to the Memmott's and then attended BoM class.  it was a great day!  It was different teaching with a new an less experienced missionary.  You really take for granted the unity you have with your other companion when it comes to teaching.  It was great though.  I enjoyed being with him.  He is a great missionary!

Thursday:  We had our district meeting, and interviews the President Topham.  After we didn't have anything...  We tracted for 2 hours.  But if there isn't anything else to do, it's the only thing to do.  We actually ended up picking up a pretty good potential investigator.  We are going to follow-up with her this week!

Friday: It was a great day!  We went and taught Sister H.  She is old, and isn't able to make it out to church.  We felt like we should visit her though.  When we were there her nurse was totally interested in the gospel, and wants us to send missionaries!  It was so awesome!  We taught her about the BoM and the restoration.  The spirit was really strong.  After we went and taught Sister S.  We talked about church and the importance of it.  We committed her to come and she said she would.  She didn't end up coming... :(  Later, we felt impressed to try and see Sister F.  We went.  She was home.  She had a friend who's house just burnt down.  We taught.  Got a new investigator.  Had such an awesome lesson!  Pretty much sums it up!  They were both super interested!

Saturday: Another great day.  We taught Sister S. briefly.  Then we saw Sister F. and her Niece again.  We committed them to come to church.  They said they would, but they didn't.  We also had a super powerful lesson with H. that night.  We talked about tithing and the WoW.  We committed her to be baptized on February 22.  She was so excited, and said she would!  We committed her this week to stop smoking.  We have arranged for members to go over to her house each day and help her out (read scripts, talk, etc.).  She was so excited!  It was the most powerful lesson ever!

Sunday:  It was a great day.  We visited a lot of members to seek more referrals.

It was a great week!  Love ya guys!  Thanks for everything, and i hope you have a great week!  I love being a missionary!:)

Elder Birrell

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A great week in PA!



We had 75 egg rolls at a member's house.  They were DIVINE!!!!

My companion had to get new glasses......I suggested these!

A door that bright was just asking us to come and knock on it....hehe
I love the snow!!!!!

First of all.  I'M GETTING A HAIRCUT TODAY!  I'm so excited.  I can't stand this long hair any longer.  You might as well call me Rapunzel now.  I just swing through our house by my hair.  That's how long it is.
  It's been another GREAT week!  Better than last week.  We taught of total of 15 lessons, and we picked up 2 new investigators.  The work is thriving in this area.  It's stressing me out, because things are going a little too good.  I pray the Lord doesn't "humble" us... heheh We are always giving thanks for everything.
  Monday was pretty good.  We went and visited with Sister K, and talked about 1 Nephi 8.  We taught her how to find peace, and how the Holy Ghost helps us.  I also gave her a pretty sweet blessing afterward.  I am starting to like giving blessings more and more.  They aren't as scary as they used to be.  I'm beginning to understand the spirit more and more each day.  He's hard to hear, but he's always speaking.

 Tuesday we did an exchange with the zone leaders.  I went with Elder Jones (ZL) and Elder Stevens (ZL) stayed in our area with Elder Johnson.  They had a great day.  They taught 4 lessons and picked up a investigator!  My day was awesome!  It was a lot of fun.  First of all, it was dumping snow all day.  So naturally i was already walking on sunshine.  Elder Jones was super fun.  He's a really good missionary.  He knows what he's doing.  We went and shoveled some people drive ways.
 Wednesday was great!  I was still with Elder Jones.  He set the alarm for for 5:45.  That's when he gets up to work out.  I barely get up at 6:30.  I just fell off the bed (bringing everything with me) and slept on the floor.  I hate the mornings.  I am not a morning person.  Once i was up and going i felt great!  I got my energy back, and was worked out a bit (the 30 minutes allotted).  We met up with Elder Johnson and we switched back.  It was a super fun exchange!  I was glad to be back with Elder Johnson though.  We've really figured out how to work with each other.  He feels more like a brother instead of a friend.  Which is great!    We just get to work, have fun.  YOLO every day.
  Thursday was pretty fantastic.  We taught a less-active women and pretty much promised her all of this awesome stuff if she'd come to church.  She said she would.  She is really close from getting active again!  After we went to teach a family in our ward to try and get a referral.  They called us right when we were about to knock on the door, and they said not to come.  They had the flu:(  So we went tracting for a bit, and picked up a sweet potential investigator!  It was FREEZING cold!  We went to the car, and we pulled into a drive way that was on a slight incline, and the car got suck!  It took us 40 minutes to get it out.  We ended up pouring wind shield fluid under it, and scrapping off the ice.
  Friday was another great day!  We had a lesson with B.  We went and saw sister H, and potential picked up her nurse as an investigator, and then we taught Sister K!  It was so cold though that night, it snowed a lot so we weren't able to go out that night.

  Saturday was sweet!  We had a sweet lesson with P.  A less active who said he'll come back to church.  After we had a lesson with H.  Then we had a lesson with G.  It was a great day! Very busy.  Very snowy.  There is a guy that moved back to the ward who has joined our companionship.   and he was previously Muslim.  He grew up in the church here, went to Cali and turned Muslim.  Now he's back and he prayed on Wednesday and received his answer that this church is true!  He has such a powerful testimony.  He is fully converted now.  He was with us for 4 hours on Friday and Saturday just carting us around and teaching.  All we did was testify of what he would say.  He was addicted to a lot of stuff, so it was really helpful with H. to get her to quit. He's also saved our butt on miles as well.  We have been so over, but he's driven us around the past 3 days so we are on track again!

  Sunday they cancelled church.  We went and had church with the Z's and the sisters.  I went on a split with Bro Memmott to teach brother M.  Elder Johnson's eye was burning all day, so he stayed with the Z's and rested.  His eye still hurts, but hopefully it gets better!

  IT WAS A GREAT WEEK AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!  Have a great week!  Love ya guys.
  Elder Birrell