December 17, 2018


Twin Oaks Ward - Decatur


Elder Hayden Woodard

Season 3 episdode 6, the continuation of East Atlanta Santa

What a week it has been. Quite possibly the least traditional week ever. But nevertheless it was a good one. I digress.

We got transfer news on Saturday and I will be staying in the twin oaks ward for atleast another 6 weeks. I am glad I will be in the same place for the holidays, even though this place struggles to feel like home sometimes. But the week was a good one, so I will hop right in.

Monday-- pretty regular day, got a package from my favorite SC Sobas family <3 and then regrettably went to taco bell for lunch. You always think you'll get what the menu pics are but you never do. Anyway, after some hoops and emails we went to dinner at the DeLongs, where I started my evening pillow fighting a naked 2 year old... Just as odd and funny as it sounds. And yes, of course I won the fight, but we all won when the 7 year old put a diaper and clothes on her sister. After dinner we met with Kingsley and his brothers even though they tried to cancel on us and we hatched a new plan for them to get to church.

Tuesday-- started the day at Brother Yancys family cemetery. Spent a good 3+ hours chopping trees and hauling wood. Then we spent another hour and a half raking leaves at Reginas again to finish the job. Dropped another 20 piece of lawn bags. Got showered up, and then was showered with some more Christmas blessings and then had dinner with the Howard's. They had us play Blockus with their son after din and it was so fun. Spent some time at the library doing family history work so I learned about Pocahontas and John wooden and Jack Dempsey, all of whom I am related to.

Wednesday-- Wednesday was like a lil slice of Christmas:,) we went to the temple for a zone conference and Christmas party. The Clayton's take such good care of us. Temple session, a party with a harpist(ultimate flex), a full Christmas dinner meal and a gift stocking for each missionary, as well as organizing gifts from all of our families and filling in where families dont support. They are so so wonderful. The rest of the day was good, got Popeyes with Brother Ojeda and then went to Bible study class and played around the world after.

Thursday-- started with a decent weekly planning session. Scheduled some basketball and Bible study sessions with our youth over their Christmas break, so I am pumped about that. Had a boring afternoon and went to an appointment that wasn't there, but his neighbors were and so we got to talk with them and set a return appt with them. On our way to dinner, we got stopped in traffic by like a billion cop cars zooming around. Total pandemonium, we were stuck for ever while cops directed traffic and closed down the freeway and yelled and pulled out rifles and flew helicopters and we had no idea what was going on. We later found out a routine stop turned into a shoot out and manhunt where the cop, suspect and K9 unit ended up dying:( it was absolute madness. We missed our dinner, but went caroling and then and saw a sweet house, and then got dinner afterwards(we had 2 planned😈) .

Friday-- outrageously normal morning. Twin oaks 1 found someone who needed help moving at their Kroger so we went to help them later in the afternoon. It was a disaster but thanks to me and Elder Wihongis master packing skills we figured it out. Carolled in the rain afterwards and got Soaked, then kicked out of an apartment complex and then got an absurd amount of waffle house for dinner with twin oaks 1.

Saturday-- correlation in the morning, studies, and then we met back up with twin oaks 1 for a pass off meeting with a guy named Lorenzo. A pass off meeting happens when someone being taught moves into another missionary area. After we went tabling downtown Decatur and what a night that was. Tabling is setting up a table in a public space and then giving out stuff and talking to a ton of people. We gave out hot chocolate and light the world cards. But People are so stuck up it drives me nuts. Met a JW who wanted to bash and a drunk guy that was belligerent and no one wanted our free hot chocolate even though we had marshmallows(although they did get a kick out of me asking if they were sure they didn't want any even though we had the mallow)

Sunday-- was accidentally late to ward council, and then no one we are teaching came to church, and then church was weird. But after church we helped someone move in and build a plastic bike shed, then we visited Alicia and then we studied and ate din and took reports and went to bed. Most of the district is getting sick and I am not down, so I'm gonna sleep it away before it even comes.

So not the most regular week as far as missionary work goes. Not really any door knocking or anything super typical, which is fine by me but it was really weird.

Today will be slow, Elder Woodard is sick so we will most likely be at the apartment most of the day, but if I send this that means Im at a computer for atleast a little bit.

To get up on my soapbox for a minute: Friends and family I am so so grateful for this chance I have to be in Georgia. I think I say this every week, but the chance I have to share Christ's gospel, something that has blessed my life immensely, and the Book of Mormon in this capacity is something that is 100% irreplaceable. A lot of people think I am crazy for choosing to do this, and to leave behind school and family and friends and loved ones to come and talk to strangers for 2 years. And before I came out, I agreed, but I knew it was something that I needed and that I wouldnt regret. I sure am glad I did. For my life, and more importantly for others lives here in Georgia.

I hope all of yall have a very Merry Christmas season. It is hard to be away from home during the holidays, especially when things aren't exactly cruising, but knowing I am loved and supported by many people in my life is a blessing I do not take for granted. I wish yall the best and i will see and talk with yall soon!

Elder Smith


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