January 7, 2019


Twin Oaks Ward - Decatur


Elder Hayden Woodard

Season 4, episode 3

Man, i havent talked to most of yall since last year!! (sorry, irresistible dad joke, but for real slideback in the mailbox or inbox)

But hello! And happy new year!

This week was actually a really good one. With the new year, I found a lot of internal motivation to set some goals and to identify some changes I want to make in my self. Realizing I would be in Georgia for all 12 months of 2019 was weird, but pretty cool at the same time. Giving my self a 365 day timer to reach my goals and to make changes was a unique thing, so I'm excited to see how it goes.

But this week we lost our beloved Elder Ashford. He left Monday night and didn't get to Madagascar til Wednesday, but he is safe so that's good. But Elder Woodard and I still made it a pretty good week.

Monday-- Got a bad hair cut from a Jehovah's Witness in a $5 barbershop that actually charged 10. Got shakes one last time with Elder Ashford and we sent him off with the Warners:-/ weird night in with me and Elder Woodard, because we had to be in by dark on new years eve.

Tuesday-- Pretty good day. Decided we should get up and go to the church to play basketball a few times a week for our exercise time. Had a good morning of studies, and then a day full of unexpected people. Found a drunk man named Richard and we talked to him for like an hour and a half. He was so funny, and we got to teach him alot, even though it was kind of like practice because of his intoxicated state. We found like 4 new people while trying to talk to old ones. Super cool. Then I got to join in on a scripture reading call with Stilesboro and Gail! My sweet Gail from Kennesaw. It was so good to hear her voice and to read with her, made my whole day.

Wednesday-- Ball again in the morning. Then we had Zone conference, and we focused alot on sacrament meeting. It was enlightening. Then we taught a lady named Bianca, and she was super cool. She wants to get the whole fam involved I think. Then we went over to Jerry, who opened up to us about a sad past. We told him about the plan of salvation and he absolutely loved it. He told us through tears that he wants to learn more. Very spiritual experience, but it's tough to put it into words. Rest of the night was average, except for my subway sandwich, it was way above average

Thursday-- Thursday was pretty slow. Planned alot in the morning for all of these new people we had found. Had 4 appointments and it started with 2 brothers named Robert and Kevin, and they weren't home. Then Deborah wasn't home, so that was half of our appts gone in like 15 min. Then we went to find a house on a busy road, where some person being taught used to live. the house looked kinda run down, and intimidating and kind of like a large redneck with a beer and shotgun should be sitting on the porch, but we hiked down this busy road to get there and we found Jasper! He wasn't the person we were expecting, but he told us he loved the Bible and when we told him about the Book of Mormon he wanted to read and study it for himself and so we basically threw it at him we were so excited. The other 2 appointments after that bailed so we got Zaxbys for dinner with Bro Ojeda.

Friday-- pretty dead day, but the end was good. Went and visited former people being taught and then knocked around them, and that got old after like 2 hours for me, and we did it for like 4 and a half. Lots of rain and rejection and on top of that all of our appointments canceled again so it was kinda dead. At the end of the night we called Regina to read the Book of Mormon and it was a great call. She understands so well and we got to read in my favorite Book of the Book of Mormon, Mosiah. After the call, a lady we gave a Bible and book of mormon to texted us thanking us for a text we sent on new years, and opened up to us about how life is hard and how she feels alone. We sent her some scriptures and uplifting thoughts, but I just love being able to help. sometimes as a missionary you don't see your positive impact and so it's hard to know it's there, so being able to help someone directly was motivating.

Saturday-- today was exchanges with twin oaks 1 and it was kind of a hot mess. Elder Wihongi and I Started with Clifton, who was on his way to a funeral so we didn't get to teach. Then we checked out goodwill and escaped with out any purchases(thank heavens) and then we drove to 2 separate people just for them to not be there. So we got chick fil a instead. Went to a member named Pride to talk and get to know him and help him grow his faith and it was such a spiritual time. Great testimonies of the gospel and great scriptural knowledge. Then we did alot of driving while 3 more appointments canceled, got dinner, and went to the adult session of stake conference. Good day, lots of bonding with the Bro and some good meals at the very least.

Sunday-- stake conference in the morning, and then a number of good lessons in the afternoon. Alicia, Dems, Jerry. Star studded line up. Great moments, I'm excited for these people to keep learning. Not too much else out of the ordinary for sunday.

This week was a good week, it's so cheesy to try to make a ton of changes around the new year, but there is something about the potential for change in a full calendar year that is just thrilling. I'm so excited.

Just in case yall were wondering, it's actually summer in Georgia. It hit 70 degrees yesterday and I was so confused. It should be like - 10 out right? This place is so messed up, but when it's warm people go outside so we can talk to them so that is always a plus.

life is pretty good down here in hot and toasty GA. im excited for the rest of this transfer and to see how much more we can help people that need help. The message we share is so true and i cant imagine going through life without it. i am grateful to have this time to be out and to serve God and to serve others.

write soon! love yall!

Elder Austin Smith
100 Woodberry pl
Decatur,GA 30034


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