Tuesday, May 6, 2014

General Conference

April 7,2014
Hey Family & Friends!!
This week has been a pretty good week. We taught a ton of lessons and we figured out a better system for working with our members. We can definitely see the progress in the area. Especially from how we started the area. It's a slow process, but it's working out. General Conference was really good! A lot of fantastic talks! Watching conference is completely different while on a mission! Haha. It's amazing how inspired the talks are and how they go perfectly with what the Church as a whole needs to hear. I love it! I do have to admit that I miss watching it in my sweats. Haha. I also miss the big breakfast at Grandma's and I obviously miss the naps in between sessions. Haha. It was still a fantastic weekend. I can't wait to here about how you guys enjoyed it.

We went to choir practice and I got to email a little bit while Elder Harris sung. Then we went up to Bellevue with the other Elders. We went to a couple stores and we went shopping for our groceries. We came back to their place and put our groceries away, then decided to go bowling for a little bit. We played 3 games of bowling. It was pretty fun, but we all sucked! Haha. Elder Lovell was the only one to actually do well. I blame the bowling balls. Haha. They were horrible! They had weird weights and they had bumps and cracks all over them. It was still fun though! We came back to Green Hills and went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner with the Gould Family. It was pretty good! Had a pretzel burger for the first time and I loved it.

We went up to the North Side of Nashville and met with a couple of our investigators and less-active members. We had set up an appointment with this guy named, Bobby, but we got there and he was somewhere else paying a bill on something, but we met his friend, Marco. Marco is a nice guy and he let us in and we tried to explain the Book of Mormon, but he was so tired he started to fall asleep! Haha. It was an interesting experience! Haha. We tried to see a couple other people, but a lot of people weren't home. We found this one member who moved into our ward. She lived outside the U.S. before moving to Nashville. She was super nice and willing to have us come by. She has been a member for about a year and she has lived in Nashville for only a month. She said she had the address to the Church, but didn't have a ride. We said we will try to get her a ride and talk with the ward. A guy in our ward coordinates the rides, but he didn't answer his phone the whole week and the same was with our ward mission leader. Luckily it was General Conference and she could watch it on TV. Then we decided to head back home by catching the bus, but we missed the bus that was passing through by only a couple seconds! Haha. It was too funny. Two guys in white shirts running through the neighborhood! Haha. It was too great! Luckily another bus comes through the same route every 30 minutes or so. We came back and had dinner and tried to see a bunch of people after dinner, but no one was home.

We had a great District Meeting. The training went really well. We went and talked with a lot of potential investigators that lived around the Church. We got in contact with Laura and Cayce. They are roommates that are both going to Vanderbilt for college. They were really nice. We met Cayce awhile back and talked about the Book of Mormon and she said she knew a lot of nice Mormons and that the Book of Mormon was on her top list of books to read. It was awesome! We were just trying to follow up with her, but she wasn't home yet, so we met Laura and talked to her about the Book of Mormon. She also seemed interested. As we were talking to Laura, Cayce pulled in and we were able to talk to both of them. We couldn't go into their house, so we told them that we have some awesome YSA (young single adult) Sister Missionaries that would love to come by. So we gave Laura and Cayce the Sisters phone number and told them to give them a call. We also talked with the YSA Sisters after and they were so excited to start teaching them and meeting with them. After Facebook at the library, we headed to the bus where this girl named Jordan was there. Jordan came up to us and started talking about how she dated a Mormon a couple months ago and how she was almost about to join, but then left for college at Vanderbilt, but she still kept in contact with the missionaries back home. So yeah! A complete miracle to find her as well! We had to give Jordan's information to the YSA Sisters as well, so the YSA Sisters were super excited to get 3 new girls to meet. Yeah you know, we are just doing everyone else's work besides are own! Haha no problem! After dinner we tried to see this former investigator that the Green Hills Sisters had for us. We took the bus up there and couldn't find the address. We ended up finding this crazy psycho guy yelling at everything when we were looking for his address. This guy was muy loco! We don't know what he was yelling at, but he wasn't happy. Haha. We stopped looking for the address and we started to tract the near by houses. We ended up having a lot of success. It was a really good neighborhood to find and we plan on going back there. We met 3 women, Danielle, Zakeria, and Heidi. They had husbands and a family though, so we finally found people for our ward! Haha.

We went up to the North Side of Nashville again. We had a crazy lesson with this guy named George, but overall it went pretty well. The lesson was just all over the place. Haha. We also found this less-active guy named Mike. He was hilarious. He had so much energy and he was like the only white guy that lived in "the hood" but still talked like a black guy. I wish you guys could've met him! Haha. We always meet the most interesting people! Mike knows everything that goes on in the neighborhood. He works at this security business with his wife, CeCe. He said, if I don't take you down, she will!! It was so awesome! It was quite the adventure. Afterwords, we went to meet Flamauion. Sweet name, huh? She was a referral from Mormon.org. She is way cool! We stopped by last week, but she said it wasn't a good time, so we left her with a Book of Mormon and said we would come back another time, so we went over on Thursday and answered some of her questions. She wanted us to come inside and talk to her more cause she was really interested, but her husband was at work. She had such great questions though! We told her we would have the Green Hills Sisters come over. Another perfect person to talk to, but we have to let the other missionaries teach! Haha. We came back and had a great dinner with the Rowe Family. We talked about missionary work with them and challenged them to pray for a missionary opportunity like all the other members we have met with. It went really well. We went on exchanges with Bro Lambert and tried to see our main Investigator, Markwood, but it wasn't a good night for him. We went and saw a couple members and had a great night.

Had a great weekly planning session. We broke up the area and marked where the members lived and if they were active, less-active, or unknown. We also included the investigators that live in that area as well. We divided our big area into 12 areas. (We call them the 12 tribes of Israel haha) We could only do 7 areas on Friday. Which included about 185 members! It was a lot of work! Haha. It was good though. We figured out where most of our members live and now we can visit a lot more members that live near our Investigators and get to know them better. We took a break and had a great lesson with Markwood. We read 2 Nephi 31 with him and talked about Christ's baptism. We also talked a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. It went really well! We finished Weekly Planning by planning a time to see the 7 areas. We finished the night off by seeing a couple referrals. We ended up tracting around the building and found some really good potential Investigators. It was a good day overall.

Saturday & Sunday:
General Conference was fantastic! I'll email you my notes I took while watching Conference. I thought it was awesome! Especially Priesthood session. We had some members feed us lunch in between and we tracted a couple houses. I really enjoyed both days.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my emails. I miss you guys so much and I love you guys with all my heart. Thanks for all you do! Have a great week!

-Love Elder Cottam

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