Monday, September 30, 2013

Pictures, finally!

Elder Darke finally sent us some photos!  Yea!  As you can see, he's enjoying himself as usual. Yes, that's the barn red trailer he's living in.  Beautiful!

From Elder Darke:
  I just wanted you to have some of these pictures, but as always i am really bad at picture and i have not taken a whole lot :D, however here is a few of them.  I am having fun here and being on a mission is super fun (it still hasn't hit me that i am really a missionary yet :P.  However i am having a great time teaching people (im really bad at that) and doing everything else i can to help :D.  Well love you
-Elder Darke
 I think he wants us to think he's gained weight!  NOT SO!  Hopefully he remember how to clean!
Melanie (Mom)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Message from your Missionary

           Galen's email this week was as serious as I've heard him write so far.  He is being very successful, but ever so humble!  We love to hear about his challenges as well as the triumphs.  He is doing well and loves to hear from everyone, even if he is unable to respond.  He does, however, read each and every letter/email that he receives!  I think that I'll be forwarding this to some missionary minded people that I know! 

From Elder Darke:
 So I want to tell you all something really amazing.  Part of my area goes in to a military fort called Fort Benning.  We are not allowed to tract or anything in the fort, so it is up to members to invite people to come to church.  Normally you would think, oh ok so normally you don't have many new people right?  WRONG!!! ha ha!  We had ten investagators at church this last Sunday.  Ten.  That is amazing!  We are teaching Nine of them right now, and we had a Babtism this last Sunday and we have one set up for next week to.  The most amazing thing about this is It is all the members!  The only thing that the elders do is show up on sunday and teach anyway who wants to know more.  At first i though, "well im not really doing anything to find any of these new people, so im not really doing missionary work."  I was so wrong.  We as elders have been called to "Teach the gospel"  We have not been called to find people to teach, or go tracting, or anything else.  We have been called to teach.  The members at Fort Benning help us with this becuase they find, invite, and follow up with everyone that comes.  The only thing we do is teach them.  So members, i ask if you would follow the example of the members in this Fort.  Help the missionaries!  Invite people to church.  Invite people to be taught by missionaries.  We need your help.  I know that if you help the missionaries the amount of souls that will be saved will be drastically different becuase of your involvement then without.
    Now I would like to tell you about my companion!   He has been out on his mission for about a year now.  He is amazing.  He has the spirit with him all the time and he really is very effective at teaching people.  He is funny and he makes me laugh all the time.  I really appreciate everything he does to help me :D.  He is very dilligent and focused and its fun when he tires to explain something becuase he makes really funny noises.  (yes the noises are very funny, and i am indeed 18.) :D.  We are working very hard in our area and i Love where i have been put.  The people are all amazing, and nice, and almost all of them talk to us :D.  They are just really nice people.  I can't wait to go to Brazil, however i am enjoying my time immensely here :D.  Well i love you all
-Elder Darke

Let's just blame the Portuguese for the spelling! Anyway, you heard him, HELP the missionaries TEACH!

He says that you can email him, just don't be waiting on a response!  It sounds like he's really busy!
Love y'all!  Melanie (Mom)

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Barn Red Trailer

Here's an update from Elder Darke on his first P-day in Georgia:
Dear Mom
    I am having such a great time in Georgia.  My Companion (Elder Stewart) is super funny and he reminds me of Mike a lot of the time :D.  It is kind of distracting sometimes though because when we are laughing too hard to plan at the end of the day then it is bad.  However we usually have smiles on our faces all day :D.  He is really good at teaching people to, he has been on his mission for about a year so he has everything down and he knows what he is doing.  He has also been in this area for a while so he knows everyone around here.  It is interesting because he recognizes people's cars as they drive by.  It makes me laugh a little.  The other day we were teaching (so teaching is still interesting for me becuase i keep thinking of words in Portuguese so when i talk i have to make sure i am speaking English, but it is amazingly spiritual all the time) on someone's doorstep and talking with them about the restoration and they agreed to let us come back! (this has happened a few times actually)  You wouldn't think that such a small thing as agreeing to return would make me very happy or anything but it does!  It is so weird how happy I get some days.  
    A really interesting thing about our area is that it also goes onto fort benning.  So not only do we teach the people in our area but every Sunday we go to fort Benning and we teach solders there!  It is cool because all the people that we teach, come to us.  We aren't allowed to tract or hand out panflets or anything to the solders but if they are curious about the gospel, (which quite a few of them are)  they come to us to learn.  We even had a baptism yesterday!  It was so cool!  We also have one scheduled for next week so i am looking forward to that also!  Our area is huge though.  We have a mission car, and its a good thing because we need one.  We cover three different cities and fort Benning.  We are based in Casseta, Georgia.  We also cover Buna Vista, Georgia and Richland and Lumpkin Georgia.  Plus everyone seems to live really far away from each other.  So i am really grateful that we have a car!
    Casseta doesn't have a ward, and we don't even call it a branch really.  We call it a group becuase we only have like 23 people that reliably come to church.  However we as missionaries are trying to improve that number!  We have many new investagators, and other investagators that are looking very promising and there are even a lot of non actives that i have faith in!  Everyone still has their agency but i want them all to go to church!  So sense we are based in Casseta we live in a barn red trailer.  Someone literally painted our trailer barn red.  It is fun!  i always know what trailer is ours :D.  The members here are all super amazing.  In fact, they are so amazing that they just gave us Bacon!  I am so excited!  They are so nice to us :D.
    My mission president is amazing as well!  When he went on his mission he was also a Visa waiter, to brasil actually.  So he speaks Portuguese and (this is kind of funny) he is really strict and how people lead music.  The first thing we did in our (new people meet the president) meeting was learn how to properly lead music.  So we are all professional music leaders now.  He is also super funny.
    400 Northside Crossing Macon, Georgia 31210.  This is my mailing/package address mail it here and it will be passed on to me until i go to brazil then it will get intestesting :D.  I Love getting letters and packages from anyone but i can't promise I will be able to send anything back very fast.  I have very limited time (again) but now its even more limited because im helping everyone :D.  I will keep sending letters and things as fast as possible though, don't you worry.  I hope to hear from you soon :D.  
    I also know what it sort of feels like to sort of work in a sort of fast food restaurant.  Becuse our group is so small we don't have a place to really do sacrament and church, but our group is too big to do it at any of our members houses.  So Every friday for like 4 hours the elders (my companion and I) go to a resturant place and do service there.  Becuase we do this the resturant lets us use their building every sunday for church!  So it is really fun :D.  This week for Preestood meeting we met in a hallway in the resterant :D. It was fun!
    Well anyway i love talking to you, talk to me back please :D
-Elder Darke

We love those letters!  Don't you love that spelling?! That's my boy!
Thanks all!
Melanie (Mom)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Macon, Georgia??!! What??!

Well, Elder Darke is now out in the mission field.  He received his "reassignment" last week to Macon, Georgia.  He says it's wonderful that he gets a "two-in-one" mission.  He is sooooo excited!  The first email I got from him about this was:

 "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Pretty much crazy, as Elder Darke's style usually is.  

Once he arrived we received one from him and one from his new Mission President and a picture (yeah!)

Dear mom
I arrived safely in the mission field yesterday.  The flight wasn't very bad, however getting up that early has totally thrown off my internal clock :D.  I am in Georgia though, my mission president is awesome and i have been sent to Cusseta Georgia.  It is a pretty small town but the people seem really friendly and I love them all so far :D.  It was sort of my first day today, we just got done driving here so now it will be fun :D.  I am companions with the a district leader and it is going to be super amazing.  I am living in a moble home thing that is super cool and i get my own little desk and a large mirror and everything!  I Can't wait to tell you all about it but i have limited time so i am just wanting to say hi, and tell you i am still alive :D.  For letters and things my address is 400 Northside Crossing Macon GA 31210. :D.  Anyway i will talk to you later!
-Elder Darke

His Mission President, President Cottle says that Elder Darke's first area is Cusseta, Georgia in the Columbus Stake.  We are hoping to hear more soon.

He looks good, don't you think!  Notice his new address in his letter. I think it's the mission home.  His preparation day is on Monday, so he'll look for mail then, I think. 

Elder Galen Darke
400 Northside Crossing
Macon, GA 31210

Love to everyone!
Melanie (Mom)