Monday, April 28, 2014

The sun is shinng

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!!!!


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!
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

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