Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The 250 missionaries serving in the Tennessee Nashville mission!

April 28, 2014
Hey Family & Friends!!
This week has been a pretty good week. I'm sorry for not writing a weekly mission life email to you guys. I've been super busy and Elder Harris has us running around everywhere on Pday, so I don't get as much time. I still love you guys and I think about you always. I still love my mission. Green Hills is definitely different, but the progress in the area is getting a lot better. We have a pretty good teaching pool now. We are finally starting to see the reward of our hard work from last transfer. Heavenly Father has a lot in store for this area. If we can just get the members fired up, we will be golden! Thank you so much for all you do. Thank you so much for your support. I can feel your prayers and I hope you feel mine.

Monday: Last Pday was a pretty good. Elder Harris and I did some laundry, then went to the library. We went to the Church after that and played some basketball. I almost beat him in basketball. He would have been pretty upset if I did. haha. We went grocery shopping afterwards at Kroger. (So many stores here have weird names) The Green Hills Sisters have an Investigator named, Jason. Jason gave us and the Sisters a gift card to Kroger for 50$!! It was way legit! He is so nice! We came back to the place and Bro Tolk picked us up for dinner at his house. Bro & Sis Tolk are so nice!! Bro Tolk is a physics professor at Vanderbilt and Sis Tolk plays the piano and organ really well. She went to Julliard. She is
a big name as well in the music business. We had a fantastic dinner. She cooked this amazing Parmesan Chicken. She was telling me how she makes it and it's a super simple recipe. I'm going to make it one day! haha. After dinner, we shared a message with them and challenged them to pray for a missionary opportunity, make a list of friends, pray about the list, then talk to them about the church. They were telling us about a couple that was in their "Nashville Community Choir" and they said that they would ask them to have dinner with us next week. They asked them and we set up an appointment today. We are going back tonight!! Super excited!!

Tuesday: Transfers!! This transfer was a special one because we had a guest speaker, Bro Dan Clark. President had everyone in our whole mission come to transfers!! 250 missionaries in one stake center building!! haha. Bro Clark does a bunch of talks throughout the world. He used to be a professional football player. His talk was amazing!! It was so powerful!!! It was probably one of the most incredible talks I've ever heard. The Spirit was so strong. Everyone was blown away with everything he said. I wish you guys could have all been there. It was pretty incredible. We took a mission picture afterwards. It was great. Check it on Facebook. We came back from transfers with a couple new members in our District. We had a couple lessons that night with a couple less actives. We also got in contact with this lady that requested a Book of Mormon and talked to her about it and told her that the Sister Missionaries would love to come by sometime. It was a great day overall.

Wednesday: We had a fantastic District Meeting. We were able to meet all the new missionaries that moved in. We had really inspired training that went really well. We tried to find some less actives that lived around the church area, but they weren't home. After dinner, we went on exchanges with Bro Thompson. He is way cool. He reminds me of dad. Haha. If you were to meet him, you would agree. His son is going on a mission soon. His name is, Cordell. He is going to Vera Cruz and he leaves in July. We plan on going on exchanges with Cordell really soon. Bro Thompson took us out and we saw a referral that turned out to be a pretty good one. Then tried to see some less actives and ended up just catching the Morse family as they were pulling in from picking up groceries. We got to know them better and we really connected with them. We thought it went really well. After that, we stopped by a potential Investigator's house, but he was busy that night, so we rescheduled for Saturday.

Thursday: We started off the day by going up to North Side. We tried to see a couple of investigators and less actives. Not too many were home or had time, but we had a couple good visits here and there. Headed back down for lunch. We saw bunch of people in the North Vanderbilt Area. We followed up with a lady named, Danielle. We met her a couple weeks ago and we gave her a Book of Mormon. Came back to see how she was doing and to see if she had read the Book of Mormon. She said that she had read some of it and that it was pretty interesting. We set up a time for us to come back cause she was busy, so we set up another time for next Thursday. She was telling us that she wanted to show her friend the Book of Mormon, so we gave her another copy!! It was amazing!! We tracted a bunch of houses on the other street next to Danielle. We found a ton of really solid potential investigators. It was a pretty good day!

Friday: We had a great weekly planning session. We have been organizing our area and putting in a lot of work. Now we finally get to us what we have been preparing. We organized our area into the 12 areas and now it's a lot easier to plan and stay organized. I love how effective it is! After planning we went out to see a bunch of people. It was a pretty good day.
Saturday: We tried to follow up with one of our investigators, Van. We saw him on Wednesday with Bro Thompson. We came by at the time we said we would, but he wasn't home. We were a little later than we said we would be there because of the bus, but that's just how it has to happen. We tried to see his neighbour who was a referral, but he wasn't home either. We decided to tract the neighbourhood next to his. We found this guy named Jay. He was Buddhist, but he let us in right away and was super nice. We got to know each other really well. We were discussing religion and what we believe. He was really fascinated with how we explained "Grace". He said that it wasn't like most Christians. We explained the difference between Physical Death and Spiritual Death. He seemed really interested. He is such a nice guy. He believes that we should have good values and how we need to serve others. It really helped us to compliment that to the Gospel and our Church. It was a great lesson. Then, we tried to take a bus back home, but the bus near us would't come for another hour, so we headed down south a little bit. We took a break at the gas station and found another bus near by. That bus was only supposed to be like 20 minutes until it got there, but we ended up waiting about an hour!! Oh it was torture!! haha. The sun was not our friend that day and the humidity is never our friend. haha. It was a great day overall. Minus the waiting. haha.
Sunday: It was a pretty good day. We had a pretty good church service. Our investigators didn't show up to church. That was kind of a bummer. After church, we came back to the apartment and studied. We went out for about an hour and a half to try to see some people, but no one was home. Came back and had dinner. Went up to the North Vanderbilt area to follow up with some potentials. It went really well. We came back to this black guy named, William. He just graduated from High School. He is such a nice guy. He lives with his mom and sisters. We came by and to see how he was doing and to see if he had read some of the Book of Mormon. He had looked through it a little bit. He let us in and we got to know him better and taught him the Restoration. It was such a powerful lesson. Our mission has really been wanting us to use these pamphlets. Man, the lessons are so powerful and simple. They are pretty short too. I'll have to show you what I mean when I get home. It is so nice becuase it covers all the main points and gives them pictures to see. We asked if he had any questions in the middle of it and he said, "I'm just soaking it all in" haha. It was great. We committed him to read and pray and he said he would. It went perfectly. After that, we went to another potential. His name was Rick. Rick is kind of an older gentleman, but he loves having us come over. He kept saying, "Man I'm sure glad you came back" haha. He is a character and so funny. We committed him to read 2 Nephi 31 and we would come back and talk to him about it. He said he would and he gave us his phone number so we could call him before we came by. It was great!!
Today: We just got done with laundry and we need to some shopping. Other than that, we don't know what we will do. haha. Tonight we have dinner with the Tolk family and the investigators they are bringing like I said earlier. It should be a good rainy day. It's pouring right now!! haha.

So, I have made a really dumb mistake. For the past 7 months, I have been sending an email every week to my mission President. The only problem was, I was sending it to andersOn instead of andersEn... I thought for the longest time that President Andersen's name was "son"!! He hasn't received a single email from me until last week... MAN!!! I didn't even think twice about it. He asked if I had been receiving a reminder that he hadn't received an email from me, but I wasn't receiving anything from him except his weekly email to everyone. I was pretty bummed. 7 months of emailing down the drain... haha. It's all good though!! haha. President had a good laugh about it and he was excited to start receiving my emails. haha.
Thanks for everything!! I love and miss you guys so much!! You're the best!! Have a great week!
-Love Elder Cottam

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