On Monday, November 9, 2015 9:59 AM, Brayden Jeffrey Shouse <email@example.com> wrote:
Wow...this place is a lot different than home haha. There are so many trees in every direction you see trees, trees, and more trees. On the flight we could see the ocean and the bay, and a few big ships, it was cool! We landed and immediately were greeted by our Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Christiansen, they are awesome! The first thing they did was hug each of us and tells us how much they love us, we took a family photo and then went back to the house. There dinner was waiting for us, oh my goodness, there was this endless pile of potato's, literally in Heaven. President made steak and all 25 of us sat around this huge table in their dining room. We talked for a couple of hours, played a few games, and then we each were interviewed by president. I went last, and by this time it was 1:15am the interview was kind of a blur since I was so tired. But President Christiansen is awesome! Cant wait until he calls me to be his personal assistant and we get to spend a lot of time together, he'll find out how awesome I am then he'll have to call me! I'll give it about a transfer hah. The next morning we woke up at 6 and drove to the nearest church building which was 30 min away, and there we were given our assignments for our new companions. First each of the new "greenies," boar their testimony, I went first and set the bar very high. We then sat in a group on the stand and awaited the call of our last name and our trainer's name. "Elder Shouse you will be serving in the Eldersberg/ Randalstown area, and your trainer will be Elder Rutter." I looked around to see in the corner of the room a 6'5 270 lbs man stand up, still looking around thinking he was way to old to be my companion, he ran from the back of the room to pick me up and carry me back to my seat over his shoulder. Yes it was weird, yes everyone was laughing, and yes I was extremely uncomfortable hahaha!
The meeting ended and we all went our separate ways Elder Rutter took me and all my luggage out to his car and we drove about 35 min. to our apartment. We live in Randalstown and i think i can count on my right hand how many white people I've seen haha. When we walked into our apartment building there was this aroma of cigarettes/weed! I've gotten use to the smell, its not that bad, good thing our apartment doesn't smell like that though. When I first saw the apartment it kind of looked like my room...food everywhere, unwashed clothes covered the floor, and had this foot smell to it - that was nasty. I dropped my stuff and Elder Rutter could tell I was kind of mad. We spent the rest of the day cleaning, haha. Now our apartment is spotless. But anyways that was the first few days, now I'm slowly getting in to the rhythm of things! I absolutely love it! Even though were living in the ghetto the people love us we walk up and down the streets and they yell out "how you doin Jesus People?" We talk to alot of people every day not every time does it go as planned haha, but we have fun with it! Elder Rutter is a stud... this will be his 4th transfer and he's the district leader of our area! He knows what he's doing and I know I'm going to be trained really well by him. Also he cuts hair which is really nice since I'll never have to go out and get one! We also have sisters in our area, which kind of stinks cause we have to share the car with them and share meals, so instead of getting fed every night we only get fed half the time. No biggy tho we'll be fine. Elder Rutter makes a mean Mac and Cheese so I think we'll be good!;) Ohh and the other day when we didn't have the car we were riding bikes and Elder Rutter hit a pot whole his back tire popped! I told him not to sit all the way down on his seat the tire was getting so low to the ground BAHAHA!!! I was laughing so hard then I realized that I had to walk for the rest of the day, so I wasn't laughing for too long after that! This last week we have already put two people on date to be baptized, it will be on the 28th of November. Really excited for that! Yesterday I got to meet all the members at Church, they made me feel right at home. So excited to keep getting to know them! I got to teach over twenty lessons this last week to different people, there are a few I can feel were really close with to be putting them on a date also, soon we'll be dunking people in the font left and right!!! We got a call from the President this morning, he said he felt inspired to come trackting with us tonight, hope it goes well! Im so grateful to be a missionary truly there's no other place I'd rather be than serving the people of Maryland! I'll leave you with a quote my Bishop told us in a lesson about prayer, "why do we tell our God how big our problems are, when we should be telling our problems how big our God is." When we become discouraged and we feel our problems are overwhelming us, know this, that our Heavenly Father will never leave us out to dry. As we strive to live the commandments, he will give us the tools and strength to accomplish all things. Pray with sincerity and be humbled by the blessings he has already given you. I testify that our God is bigger than all of our problems. Til next week!
Love you all