Monday, February 16, 2015

Charleston - 02/16/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

I am happy to inform everybody that I have made it safely to my new area, Charleston Illinois! I am now on the eastern side of the state of Illinois, just south of the city of Champaign. Charleston is a smaller college town, home to Eastern Illinois University (EIU). In fact about half of the population of the town is college students. Charleston is also where the food Chain Jimmy Johns got its start! Across from the campus is Jimmy Johns Location 00001. haha! So That is pretty cool I guess!

So I have a pretty good sized District of missionaries out here... Elder Phillips and I cover the Charleston area, and we share a ward with Elder Payne and Elder Knapp who cover the Mattoon area. Then There are two Elders west of us in the Effingham branch, Elder Blaylock and Elder Rausche. Farther East of us is a set of sister Missionaries, Sister Uta'i and Sister Lundskog serving in the Paris branch. 

In the Charleston area we have half of a car, which means we switch off every week sharing it with the Mattoon Elders. The car is a 2013 or 2014 Ford Fusion so it gets us around pretty good! I am in the Mattoon ward of the Champaign Stake, and there are a lot of great active members who take care of us and who are active in missionary work! The stake president is in our ward, and we hang out with their family quite a bit! 

The Charleston area is actually a great area for missionary work, in my almost one week of being here we have picked up 3 new investigators, taught 7 lessons and picked up several solid potentials! We also have 15 investigators who we are teaching right now, it is a lot to keep track of, but I think I am definitely going to be a better teacher once I leave this area. 

My New companion is Elder Phillips, and he is from Idaho! He is a pretty cool guy! We get along great and I am really learning a lot from him. Elder Phillips has been out on his mission for 19 months so he will be going home in July. He served in the mission office for a little while at the time I came into the field, so he was actually one of the missionaries who picked me up from the airport when I got here.

So we have a pretty full week of teaching and finding ahead of us! We have an investigator getting baptized on the 28th of this month so we are going to be getting her ready for that. Other than that it will be a week of walking around Charleston in the freezing cold and snow! From the time I got here, I don't think I have been warm once! The temperatures have been in the teens/almost single digits not taking into account the wind chill factor which goes straight to your bones and makes it like 15 degrees colder!  But it is fun, I enjoy the hard work that it takes! Going door to door makes a lot of people feel sorry for us.. In fact I have found out that I am actually really great at tracting! Haha! The meanest person can answer the door, but by the time we are done talking they have a smile on their face! 

It is still going to take me some time to learn the area and the learn all of our investigators and members and to keep them straight! It is a work in progress and I am sure I will have it down in a few weeks. Anyways, it snowed a few inches last night and Zone Leaders told us that all of the cars are grounded for the day, so that ruined our P-Day plans of driving up to Champaign to play Basketball. So now our day is pretty well open! 

Thank You all for the support, love, and prayers in my behalf... It really means a lot! I will type out my address in case anybody wants to write me a letter or send me something. Goodbye for now!

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