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Monday, October 10, 2016

THE WORK GOES ON . . .

October 10, 2016

Hi Y'all,

This week has been so great to be a missionary and to do the work of our Savior, Lord, and Redeemer. It has been so wonderful and the weather is changing here to be a little cooler and definitely not the same as when I came out in July. The humidity here is ridiculous and makes us super tired, but then when we talk about why we are out here doing this wonderful work then we somehow have that energy to finish the day and to push harder than ever before. We have felt the love of our Savior.

I have been doing some exchanges because Elder Benesh has been very sick so the other Elders have been so kind to go with me to go visit some of the people we have.

Tuesday: Me and Elder Downs went on exchanges and went to visit people me and Elder Benesh had found last week. We were only able to talk with one of those investigators but we were able to teach about the Book of Mormon and that was a great point for this guy to learn about our church. We even committed him to coming to church this Sunday and that was awesome, plus he even accepted that invitation.

Wednesday was a pretty good day because it was actually a little cooler which was a great time to go out :). Me and Elder Benesh have been finding a lot of people that we are going to go see. We have had a lot of Referrals this week that we have made contact with and that is awesome. Mostly we have been in the Hood or the Ghetto but we have been kept safe and it was a very humbling experience to have :).

Elder McEwan and Elder Benesh
Thursday was a pretty great day because we were able to go around and meet people :). Elder Benesh and I had a lunch appointment with one of our investigators but we decided to eat a little bit before we left. I'm glad we did because all this guy gave us was some chips and a banana plus a cold drink. This guy is actually pretty wealthy but we don't think he was sober at the time ;). We started teaching him and my companion drank the drink that he gave us and we kept teaching him. Well, he kind of kicked us out in the middle of the lesson because he "just had to go pick his sis up for work." As we were leaving Elder Benesh asked the guy what the drink was and the guy said, "Oh it's only sweet tea, hahahahaha." IT was funny because Elder Benesh had his first time drinking sweet tea, I didn't because I was told not to :).

Friday: So today was a pretty good day. We were able to plan for lessons to teach and areas to go knocking. It was one day after my three month and it feels like time is just flying by. We had a dinner appointment with a member and that was so fun. I had told them that it was a day after my 3 months on the mission. They bought a cake but the funny thing is is that they forgot who had told them about his 3 months and they gave the cake to one of the new guys who has only been out for 1 month :). Before we left I was able to give a blessing to the mom and the most amazing thing happened. It was not me who was talking. All I can remember is that I started the blessing and then that is all :). I can really feel the spirit and I love being able to use the Priesthood power that I am entrusted with.

Saturday and Sunday were the same and they were both great days :).

We were not evacuated from our area Hurricane Matthew. We only got the wind of the hurricane but people here were willing to let us borrow their phones to call home but we didn't need to :). There were some areas that were evacuated because they were right in the line of the hurricane and they are now going to be used to help clean up :).

Since we're seeing it get a bit colder, I could probably use my coat and some gloves but like not thick gloves:)


I LOVE ALL Y'ALL!

Elder Parker McEwan

PS That's so awesome that we finally have another state championship for sports in Salem instead of having the fine arts and drama taking over, hahaha :).

--
2 Nephi 31:20

Saturday, October 8, 2016

HURRICANE MATTHEW . . .

It's hard to believe that Elder McEwan has only been on his mission in Georgia for just over two months and has already experienced TWO hurricanes. So thankful for prayers, faith, and inspired leaders . . .

October 5, 2016

Dear Parents,

After consulting with local authorities, President Grayson is starting the evacuation of the missionaries in the East Savannah, Hilton Head, Ridgeland and Beaufort areas effective this morning as a precautionary measure.  They are coming to the Macon area and the mission home.  We will keep you updated as things change.

Thank you for your continued love and prayers.

Sister Jensen

October 6, 2016

Good morning families, we continue to wait on Matthew. Due to voluntary evacuation orders, we are moving (West Savannah Zone) Richmond Hill, Georgetown, and Pooler missionaries, westwardly. This means further on the west side of I-95. They were in the borderline areas. We in GA expect deterioration of weather and Matthew, Friday night into Saturday. As usual, we will email those families not seeing this information.

October 7, 2016
We are looking good in this area. All missionaries are safe and dry. Prayerful that the damage in the east side of the mission will be small.

October 8, 2016
Ok, now we are in the post hurricane phase. There are some power outages, fallen trees, but SAFE missionaries. The ones in Savannah, aren't ready to return quite yet. They are locally placed and helping do the missionary work, they came out for. As we say in our motto, "We are disciples of Jesus Christ.." They are being fed, and cared for. No fears, families...no fears.

Sister Grayson

Monday, October 3, 2016

INVITE TO ACT . . .

October 3, 2016

Hello Ya'll!

The words " WE INVITE YOU TO ACT" are not words from us but from our Heavenly Father and our loving Savior. These words speak loud to all those that hear them and when they hear them they are free to choose whether to act or not but they cannot build up their testimony without first reading the Book of Mormon or by then praying about what we as missionaries or members teach about. In one of the lessons we have as missionaries in preparing us throughout our mission is we invite people to commit and we follow up. In this we find that the only way to have success in this struggle to strengthen testimonies is to commit people to things such as praying to know what we testify is true or by reading the scriptures and really pondering. These commitments bind that person to finding out for themselves what we teach is true.  We find it tough in our day to day lives to help people see that the commitments are to help them in strengthening their testimony. As missionaries we teach that when we read the Book of Mormon or we go to church that we feel closer to our Savior Jesus Christ but it goes deeper and we work to make sure members and nonmembers see that with keeping commitments they aren't promising the missionaries or the member friends but they are actually promising the Lord himself to go to church and to continue reading the BoM as well as reviewing the missionary lessons daily.

One of the MANY cotton fields in the South
Well this week has been one that I am excited to share was a very successful week :).

Thursday me and Elder Benesh went knocking in the hot sun and we wanted to die but we made it a goal to knock for one hr everyday so that's what we did. We were lead to three houses and these people were very open to learning more:). I knocked on a door and this guy answered. I said, "Hi, we are missionaries-" and the guy said ya sure come on in. We were so confused but we went in and we talked to them for a few minutes and we get to go back tomorrow to talk with them some more :).

Friday we had interviews and then went out to lunch with the new senior couple in our zone. We then came home and started working to get things ready for the rest of our day. We took a member with us and that was great because he had served a mission and also taught in the MTC so he was so much help.

Baby Gators
Saturday and Sunday were about the same as ya'll at home. We watched Conference at the church building and that was a blessing to be able to watch it. We also watched a session at the Flakes house (new couple missionaries). I enjoyed the talk about member missionaries, because we all need to remember that throughout our lives. We are working now to fill our teaching pool and we have some very good potential in these people out here:).

Sounds like y'all had a very busy week as well. Dylan stop getting tackled, just be like Forrest Gump and just keep running :). I know that we may get down on ourselves a lot because we want to be better than we were the day before but we sometimes bite off more than we can chew. In conference (by the way, I stayed awake) we learned that little by little we make a difference from either visiting or home teaching to actual missionaries. We all help each other to strengthen our testimony in Christ :).

Love y'all and please write me letters:)

Love Elder MCEWAN

P.S. We saw some baby gators and even had gator tail one day (it tastes like chicken :)). We also see plenty of turtles.

--
2 Nephi 31:20

Friday, September 30, 2016

SEPTEMBER ZONE CONFERENCE . . .

Mission tour with Elder Uceda and Elder & Sister Meurs

Dinner at September Zone Conference

September Zone Conference

Monday, September 26, 2016

PHOTOS . . .

The other Elders slept at our apartment last night, so
Bear and I slept on the floor -- STILL my favorite place :)

Thanks for teaching me how to clean the toilet, Mom.
I'm putting those skills to use.

We love LUNCH TIME!

WE ARE STRONGER WITH THE LORD . . .

September 26, 2016

Hey Y'all,

Some things that I have been told and things that I have been through this past week have made me reflect on the things that I want to share with y'all. With being a missionary, Satan tries his hardest to make you feel very worthless and that no matter what you do you cannot make the day positive. I absolute love being in the South and I love the people, but sometimes it is a real struggle with cause everyone wants to believe but they all have different opinions on how the Savior looks and how he acts (don't know how they know the actions). The one lesson, out of many, that has stuck with me since being in Georgia is how much we need to trust in the Lord and seek His hands that are still extending! We need to stand in holy places and I am reminded of that everyday. The people we see don't see us as people with badges, they see us as representatives of Christ, even though sometimes not very nice things are said about us ;). We need not be afraid of what ifs. We need to think about the 'whens' and 'hows' we are going to rise up to those challenges with boldness and with bravery but with the Lords help in our everyday lives!!!!!!:) We need to stand tall and show people that no matter our size, shape, or color that we are representatives of the Lord!!!!!

SO this week has been really good. I told Elder Benesh that I felt we needed to go tracting (knocking on doors) and he said that we could. So we went on Wednesday to a neighborhood and most the people were open to learning about Jesus but they didn't want anything to do with "the Mormons". We decided that we just needed to keep trying and so that's what we did. We knocked on this house and a lady answered the door. We talked to her and she said that she had just gotten out of the hospital that day and that she was super tired. Elder Benesh started walking away and I said, "Ma'am, why were you in the hospital?" and she said, "cause I have breast cancer." I thought to myself wow everything does happen for a reason! She was pretty nervous about us and didn't really want anything to do with us. I said, "Well I had cancer twice when I was younger and she was like, "Wow you look really good for having cancer twice." She said give me two weeks to recover and then y'all can come back :). I felt so blessed to have had an opportunity to share my story (a little bit) and have someone feel more comfortable with us :). I was so pumped that night. I got down on my knees and prayed and thanked Heavenly father for the experiences that I have had in my life :).

The rest of the week was pretty good in that we were able to find some places to knock for this week and some people that we can go see as just individuals that could one day become members :) .

I love getting the letters from y'all and hearing about all the awesome things that y'all are doing back at home :). Garrett and Sean good luck in life and work this week and always remember that your Savior's love is ten fold. That goes for you too, Dylan. I know high school is tough and it doesn't get any easier cause Satan knows that you are trying your best but that just means you need to work so much harder :0. Mom, Dad keep being awesome parents! I know that we never had it easy growing up and that we were not always the easiest children to teach but we learned life long lessons from two of the best people in the world . I look at the lessons that we were taught about hard work and I see that in the mission life right now. It helps me know that where ever we are Satan will be there as well trying to make us take the easy way out but the Lord knows that we are much better than that and Satan wants to push us to test our faith.

Being positive has really helped me a lot this past week get through some hard things. I know that Satan tries and tries to pull missionaries down. I see that everyday and it is nice to know that the savior is always there for us, 24/7 -- everyday!


Love y'all so much!

The camel back is GREAT!!!
Love Elder McEwan

P.S. Thank you so much for the package! The camel back is working great when we ride our bikes.

--
2 Nephi 31:20

Monday, September 19, 2016

KNOCKING IS HARD BUT THE LORD SAYS 'KNOCK' . . .

September 19, 2016

Hi Y'all!

So this past week was super busy and we had lots of stuff to do, well, until we got dropped by two people :0.

Tuesday was Zone conference and Elder Uceda and Elder Muers (new) came and talked to us for a long time. They talked about the important role of us being a missionary and that we need to first convert ourselves to the Lord. We then talked about reading scriptures and helping others see the importance of reading as well.

On Wednesday we were working at the food bank that we do every Wednesday and that was so much fun. We were able to fill 230 boxes for a disaster relief aid. It was a ton and we were drenched in sweat! Afterwards, we went to visit a lady who seemed really interested in the BOOK OF MORMON and we even gave her one but then we went by and she said that she didn't want us there to teach her. She said she was going to learn on her own and that if she had any question she would find a way to contact us. This is the funniest thing that I have heard in a long time :). The next guy we went to visit was the same way. He said that we and his church taught the same thing and kept saying that he loved the King James version of the Bible but didn't understand why the Book of Mormon was so important. We were just about to leave and I said, "Whats the same about the two churches," and he said, "Well there is a God" and that's all he said. I was trying to teach him the restoration and he didn't want to talk about it so we left.

It has been slow because its been very hot here and sometimes the people just aren't very nice to us and don't see the importance of us being out here. Last night we did an exchange and I went with the zone leader. It was a great time because we were able to knock and find people who showed a little bit of interest. Knocking in the south is hard but we love the Lord and if he tells us to knock then we knock!

The work isn't easy and there are times on the mission where you just think, " . . . and I came out here for doors to be slammed in my face." But it goes deeper than that -- How much of your time and effort are you willing to put into being a missionary? How far are you willing to go to find that one person? The Lord doesn't ask too much of us but he asks just enough from us to make us push ourselves to the end!

The people here feed us like crazy! I feel like I'm getting a little chunky :/.

So that is great that ya'll have been having fun this past week and that there is so much going on. I'm glad that Ricky was able to get married in the temple. We have new member and he and his wife plus their two kids are being sealed on Saturday in the Orlando Temple and that is so awesome!

Keep being positive and working hard and everything will come fast but the way we handle it is through the Lord!

Love Elder McEwan

P.S. Momma -- We can listen to music, so if ya'll want to send me a flash drive with music, that'd be great! Maybe some meditation music, too. I could also use the Insanity work outs :).
--
2 Nephi 31:20