Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in the West Virgina Charleston Mission

"How is everybody doing? I'm sorry I missed you guys when I flew out. They had us get calling cards for the airport and I forgot you guys weren't home. Each card only has about two calls but one of the elders in my mission forgot his. Thankfully I bought a spare but there wasn't enough left on there to call the cell phone afterwards. Yesterday Sister Pitt called us and told us about Sister Tuckett and relayed the message, she also said that President Pitt had a hug from you guys waiting for me next time I saw him. I'm glad you got back safely, how was Christmas and New Years? On my second day here I saw Sister Herring, she's awesome. On Thursday I met my new companion and trainer, Elder Sorensen. He's from Draper, Utah and is the best person in the world. He's kind of quiet but he's really patient and is good at explaining everything. I am currently assigned to the West Virginia University area in Morgantown, WV. It's one of the best party schools in the states so we aren't allowed to tract in dorms. Haha. I'm excited to be here, President Pitt said it was the big league of the mission but that he had confidence in me so we'll hope I do well. We flew in on the thirty-first from Fort Worth, TX to Charleston where President and Sister Pitt met us. They fed us dinner that night and told us about themselves. The next day we went through the orientation and went to appointments with members and taught a couple of lessons. The next day we were assigned our areas and headed to our mission homes. The apartment is nice and warm and I got all settled in. From what I can tell West Virginia has a lot of hills and trees. I say that because from where you are standing you are only able to see trees and hills around you and nothing behind it. On my first day they said it was all uphill from here, and it was. I'm in one of the walking missions which is fun because now I can say I walked in a foot of snow uphill both ways. Haha. The weather here is kind of temperamental and goes from really nice to really cruddy. The majority of the people we teach are students and they are all really polite and fun to talk to. The new semester starts on Wednesday so we'll have a lot of people to teach. There is one guy that we are teaching named Josh, his baptismal date is set for the sixth of February. Our other main focus is a girl named Laken, we feel like if we can teach her it'll be easy but the adversary knows that and has thrown up obstacles for her. I am excited to be here and feel very blessed and enthusiastic for the amount of work that can be done. On Saturday this week we have a class to help the international students practice speaking English and we're hoping it'll roll into teaching them the gospel. The new semester starts on Wednesday and we'll have lots of people to teach. I love you guys and miss everyone terribly and will testify that only the true gospel and doctrine of Christ is worth sacrificing for. Often times we lay things on the alter for the world, or for our convenience, but God rewards us for the things we give up for Him. He knows us and knows how and when to bless us. I can't wait to hear from you guys again and will write letters this week. I love you guys and pray for you continuously, thank you for the scriptures. I love you so very much."

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