Monday, August 22, 2016


August 22, 2016

Dear Family,

So to be honest being I haven't had the right mindset since being in south Georgia. I was convinced that no one was going to want to listen to me. This was my legit feelings that I had and was having and I was considering coming home because of the way I was feeling and thinking. People have a hard time because they feel uncomfortable talking to their nonmember friends so the work has been really slow down here and it made me rethink the reason I came out.

View of Valdosta
In a meeting we had with the President last Wednesday, the answer came to me very very clear and it was to stop it! Stop thinking the bad things about life, stop thinking the bad things about the mission, and STOP thinking that the people are saying no to you. Elder Sitati came for stake conference a week ago and said very firmly "THERE IS NO REASON FOR YOU AS A  MISSIONARY OR YOU AS A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH, OR YOU AS A CHURCH LEADER TO FEEL BAD. THE PEOPLE AREN'T SAYIN' NO TO YOU BUT ARE SAYING NO DIRECTLY TO THE LORD HIMSELF THROUGH YOU."

So this week has been very long because we had interviews with the President and then me and Elder Benesh had the opportunity to drive to Macon for a meeting with the other "greenies" and trainers. This drive was a 2 hr drive there and 2 hr drive back to Valdosta.

On Saturday we biked a total of 23 miles in the hot humid heat of Georgia and it was terrible. Then I thought about why we were biking and I was able to be lifted:) That night me and Elder Benesh went to visit a recent convert in the hospital and that was awesome because she wanted to have a blessing. Elder Benesh asked her which one of us she wanted to do the first part and the second part. She asked me to give the blessing and I had no idea what I was going to do but I said o.k. and gave her a blessing. It was the coolest experience and I have learned that you really have to be ready for any time you are called upon :).
Another view of "my" city

Yesterday was a challenge because we went and saw the Lytle family. They are the nicest people ever. She is a member and an RM and he is not a member. We asked them what we could do to help them and what we could do to be good missionaries. They told us that one elder basically told brother Lytle that he was going to have to get baptized or he will lose his wife and their first child because they wouldn't be sealed in the temple. They also said that we (Me and Elder Benesh) were the first ones to make contact with them since they moved down here and got married. They have been down here in Valdosta since October of last year.

We are doing a lot to help reactivate this area. There were two wards in this area and there was a branch in Quitman (also where we serve) and now there is just one. A lot of hard work to be done down here:).

So Saturday I had to use my baby powder for the first time and I started thinking when the last time was that I used baby powder. Then I realized that it was when I was a baby, but it worked :).

Valdosta Missionaries
Mom -- Do you know a Kim Schramm, because she grew up in Payson from elementary to high school. She lived on 700 West. Her daughter is in my District right now:).

So good luck at school and work this week let me know how everything is going and how ya'll are doing:).

I got a hair cut today. I hadn't had one since Mom cut it before I left for the MTC :). Good luck with the wedding and such and remember the Elder in Georgia, especially since I didn't get to participate in the Bachlor Party and go golfing and to dinner :).

Love you Guys,

Elder McEwan


2 Nephi 31:20

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