Before I went on my mission I had some interesting experiences. It was a chaotic time of my life that cause very many uncertainties though I was determined to go out and serve the Lord as a missionary. Some of the names have been changed so that nothing reflects poorly on their character being that time brings change to all people in some way, hopefully for the better.
Journal Entry 26 / August 21, 1998 / Timberland Book Bag
And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers. 2 Nephi 20:5
I awoke at 9 am only long enough to turn my alarm clock off and fall asleep again. At 15 till 10 am, my mom checked my room. She declared, not asked “I thought you’re supposed to be going somewhere?”
I replied, “I do.” I hopped up looking at the clock and fretting the early arrival of the missionaries, yeah right (I write oozing with sarcasm . I called the Elders. Elder Ortero answered the phone. I told him to delay their coming for a about 20 minutes because I still needed time to prepare. After the call, I hung the phone on the receiver and sat motionless for a minute to wake myself more. I then began to search for clothes to wear–especially underwear! I did the unthinkable however. I showered, powdered, deodorized and reused the same undies! The were still fresh though.
I then gathered myself together and called the elders to let them know I was heading to Sister Zonkers (A fake name by the way) home. I walked over there and was greeted by S**** and J****, the eleven and ten-year-olds to be baptized. They inquired about the elders and I told them they should appear soon.
I went in expecting the same odor as I had become accustomed to in the Zonker home, but was surprised that it lingered only a bit. Sister Zonker had bathed! She also filtered the air with her air conditioning unit! I sat in the chair across from her and discussed issues regarding her children. I focused a heck of a lot of attention on J****. He is my only hope to get the priesthood into that home.
Elder Mildenstein and Elder Ortero soon came to commence the discussion. It was mainly about fasting and tithing. The family agreed to follow these commands and committed to follow the Word of Wisdom once again.
I expected to see then bin church this Sunday. The discussions seemed to be doing well. I gues when one takes a personal interest in a family, home teaching is very effective.
After we taught the discussion and conversant a bit, we left. I went to get my check. With it, I took of to Tifton where I shopped and bought the wrong bike rim for my back tire on my bike. I will have to return it tomorrow I guess
I wanted to get Sasha Troupe and purchase her a Timberland book bag. she and her family had already left Tifton for Nashville though. I returned to Nashville and went to Mrs. Classie’s house. I saw Chad and asked him the whereabouts of Gwen because I needed to see Sasha. Chad directed me to find Corey to locate Gwen. I had to leave to do so but returned to Mrs. Classie’s house again and found Corey had returned. He told me that Gwen was at the beauty parlor and that Sasha was a Tonya Daniels home.
I reluctantly took Corey toward Tonya’s house because I was not supposed to be hanging around Corey, who was only one of my best though corrupt friends.We spotted Surriena on the way driving. Tonya was learning to drive a standard shift. Corey mocked her viciously. We eventually ended up at Tonya’s home where I found Sasha. I gave her $40 to buy her bag. I went home to give some money to my mom and prepare for work. Someone has stolen Freeman’s pistol.
Corey is soon coming to Amoco to work. I am happy for him. I hope to God it works for him. I want to see progress to righteousness. Steady work is always a good start.
Journal Entry 27 / August, 25, 1998 / Tuesday / Know To Live
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
The most extraordinary thing occurred last week, but I want to share things in order first.
Saturday I awoke very late. I took my mother’s car to Tifton to return bicycle parts that I purchased the day before. I went to the store and was satisfied with the result. I continued with my previous purchase–having the place take a piece off my other bike tire on the new tire.
I then went to Gwen’s home where I spoke with them, mostly Sasha and Corey. I had an enjoyable time. After sometime, Corey and I went to Nashville. I enjoyed his company and really like Corey. I think he is awesome.
I dropped him off at my cousins Roeanda’s leaving Corey in his company. I went inside Roe’s house before I left and it was beautiful. Of course, Roe greeted me in his accustomed way of expletives and jabs. While I was there with them, Roe and Corey doing their smokey-smoke thing, Chad pitched up. He asked me to go to his home and discuss with him about God. I was shocked, but I agreed! We scheduled to do it the following day.
Later on that day, I hung with Trever mostly. We went looking for Corey after purchasing some pizza and other items. While Trever search for Corey, I decided to stay with his mom, Lanteen, my first cousin once removed. We watched the WNBA. Her team won!
I feel so good right now that I have to stop recording. All these incidents seem to dull in comparison to my big news–I just so happen to be recording my journal at the stake center in Albany, GA.
The high point of the Saturday for me occurred as I sat over at the old Classie home. Gwen asked me to get a towel for her husband because there were none at the Classie home. (Since Mrs. Classie passed away, the older boys were to look after the house and did not do a good job. Since I lived like four houses down from them, Gwen knew I could quickly get a towel so that Rodney could use to take a shower there.) I took along from my house with the towel my journal and for some reason started reading it out loud while Corey and Trever played Resident Evil 2 on the Play Station. I love reading my journal.
The next day following a wonderful church meeting, Bishop Gaddy interviewed me for my mission and for a temple recommend. With that done I set out to home teach. I was so happy about my interviews. I had no luck with the Wilforks, but with Chad I did. I taught him the First Discussion–the high point! I felt the spirit as I taught him because I had already memorized the principles and they just followed. He seemed to take it very well. I learned that a person must no expect another person to live the commandments unless he has heard them.
Right now, I am waiting for my interview with President Whiddman. I am excited to say the least. I am about to interviewed by my stake president to get ready to go to the temple for the first time. I don’t know what to expect and I am excited!
Journal Entry 28 / August 29, 1998 / Saturday Interviews!
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
The days following my interview have proved the most instructional to me. have learned much by experience and ponder. I could not describe my journey at first to Albany with the Bishop, Bishop Gaddy. Now, I have allowed ample enough time to pass so that I now have a tempered mind to do so.
I awoke Tuesday very excitedly. I mean really, I am about to embark on a new chapter in my life! I could wait, but I anticipated the interview with president Whiddman! I went about doing things early so I could have no other objective than to go to the Albany Stake Center!
My mother took me to Bishop Gaddy’s home in Brookfield for the trip to Albany. Once in his home, I talked with his two primary aged daughters. The taught me about sea shells. Following a prayer with Bishop Gaddy’s family, he and I were off to Albany.
Once there, I waited for an eternity it seemed to get my turn to speak with the president. Once in there, in his office,, I felt such an overwhelming spirit of peace and love as to make me fatigue. I received my temple recommend. He also sent my mission papers to Salt Lake City! I await the letter from the Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley!
Corey Davis is now employed at the BP Amoco. I saw him at work Thursday. I was excited he came. We all ended up leaving because of a plant shutdown. The previous plant shutdown I went to the Classie home to see if Chad or Corey were around. I found Chad there that time. He was upset with Tammy, Tywan’s girlfriend. I don’t know if he was upset because she is White or because she moved into the Classie house or both, but he will get over it.
This second shutdown, I went to Lanteen’s home after fixing my bike. I stay their watching TV. I eventually went home to prepare for work.
Journal Entries 29 & 30 / September 21, 1998 / Monday / The Temple
And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity 2 Nephi 1:21
Three Weeks now have passed from the time I received my temple recommend until this day. Also, three weeks have pasted since my mission papers have been sent off.
On September 19, 1998, Saturday I went the Atlanta temple for the first time to receive my own endowments. I a first was nervous about what to expect. I did not really know all that I would need to do.
Now that I have gone through, I know what I need to know to enter the celestial kingdom to the highest degree–after I have finished all that I can in this life. This experience is one of constant remembrance I shall not soon forget my first temple session. Brother Thomas Burns escorted me through the temple. I wanted Brother Albert Burns or Brother Joe Alderman to do it, but with either the spirit would have been the same as it was with Brother Thomas Burns. I was almost giddy through the entire experience. I recall when the ordinance start in the endowment room I was really unnerved by the manner that we worship.The Spirit testified to me that it was true. Though as the hours pass, Satan tempts me with things, my experience does not diminish. For the entire time, Satan has no power over me. The blessings of the temple has set me free from the grasp of Satan–if I remain true and faithful to my covenants.
Friday I went to the Atlanta Temple with Sisters Alderman and Kate Burns. The drive was enjoyable. We spent the night at Kate’s daughter’s home, Dee Dee. Dee Dee prepared lasagna and her sister Patricia prepared salads for us.
Patricia is married and has a cute girl named Cheridan. Cheridan is awesome and energetic. She spent the night also. Dee Dee was not home. She had business. She is a dental hygienist. She is single and childless.
After leaving the temple, Bishop Gaddy, the sisters and I went to the book store Liahona. I purchased many items.
I returned to Tifton with Bishop Gaddy. The sisters stayed together until then also. We then switched, I with sister Alderman to go to Adel to spend the night at her home and the other with Bishop Gaddy to be taken home. The room where I slept had stars that glowed on the ceiling in the dark.
The next day at church, Sister Morrell and other Relief Society sisters decided to purchase a bike for me to take on my mission. Sister Morrell told me the news following priesthood meeting. I hope my mission call comes soon.
Truly the lord has blessed me with these wonderful ones. I love them and they love me. I love the Lord with all my heart and soul.I know I love God and my brethren. I look forward to my temple trip once more. I spent most of the remainder of the Sabbath with Elder Midenstein and Elder Ortero.