First Week in Georgia

Austin with Mission Pres
Austin w/ President & Sister Cottle

Hello Everyone,

The humidity is awful! I forgot how much I do not like it!  I finally made it to Georgia and the humidity was the first thing I noticed as I got off the plane. You could see it on the other missionaries faces. I flew over with 15 others and they all had the look like, Oh my goodness this is going to be a long two years in this kind of weather. We met the mission president and he is pretty cool. For my first area my new companion and I were sent to Thomson, Georgia. I got my bike and my helmet is all white. The first thing I did was go to Walmart and buy mat black spray paint. Now it looks a little better. We found a bag of habenaro peppers in the freezer and of course we had to try them. I was on the floor for awhile debating whether or not I should try to make myself throw up.
The second day we locked ourselves out of the apartment but a miracle happened. It just so happened that my companion in the MTC was a lock picking expert and he taught me the basic principle of picking a lock. I never got to try it but he explained to me how it worked. I managed to pick the lock with a bobby pen and a pen. That was awesome!
It is crazy some of the condition these people live in.  I had my first dinner appointment and I don’t think it could have been any worse. First I walk in and I am hit with the smell of rotting chicken. Next, we go into the kitchen and at first I was like, this is weird, why does everything look like it is moving? Then I noticed hundreds of roaches climbing all over everything. I almost lost it. It took all my energy to focus that night on eating, and holding down my food. My companion could tell I wasn’t doing good, so luckily he talked a lot so I wouldn’t have to. Every time I opened my mouth I felt I could taste the smell.  Also, when I pulled my chair out from under the table to sit down, a bunch of roaches scattered off of it. After ward my companion said he couldn’t smell anything but that was one of the worst houses he has been in.
Another house we visited was of a less active member. The entire home was made out of cinder blocks…..that’s all her house was made out of!  I felt bad for her because she was single and was obviously having problems in her life. We shared a great message with her, tried to be friendly and talk to her. Also I have learned now that people in the south know their bible. We talked to some people and they keep throwing all these scriptures at us and I’m just like “oh my gosh, what do i do?”  I end up usually just shaking my head up and down and smiling. I haven’t got into any bible bashes and I don’t want to because these people will destroy me. I starting to learned how important listening to the spirit is because that’s the only way I will have a chance.
I mowed a lady’s yard in the middle of the day to help her out. I was drenched in sweat after that which was kind of gross. I also had the opportunity to attend a convert baptism this week and help confirm her in church. She was an investigator of the sisters in our ward. That was cool to see and the spirit was strong. Its amazing that when you get out here, you really see what its like to live in the world but not of the world. Its interesting to observe people and see how they live their lives and to be able to help them with things they are struggling with. I have never known until now how much better some peoples lives can be by having Christ and the gospel in their lives. I begun to realize that so many people are lost and are not going anywhere with life.  But it is great to be a missionary and help people improve there lives and help them get back on track.
Email Address:
My new address is:
170 Westwood Dr., Apt. 104
Thomson, GA 30824
And yes remember that is Thomson without a P.
Mission Address:
Georgia Macon Mission
400 Northside Crossing
Macon, GA 31210
Elder Austin Goodsell
Road to Damascus
The Road to Damascus
Picking Apartment Lock
Picking Apartment Lock
Habanaro Peppers
Habanero Peppers



2 thoughts on “First Week in Georgia

  1. Great descriptive writing about life in the first week as a missionary! Couldn’t have been scripted better. 🙂 My guess is the Lord will see him through quite a bit of these kinds of circumstances — and He will. And the wonder of it is that our Heavenly Father has called Austin and his companion and the other missionaries there to teach the gospel and help the people they interact with to rise above. I must say, though, that Austin is a trooper to be able to eat under the circumstances he described!! Not sure I wouldn’t have feigned illness and hightailed it out of there. Austin is in my prayers, and I plan to stay connected with him while he’s away. Love to all!


  2. Loved the stories about the roaches, picking locks, spray painting his bike and being brought to his knees by Habanero Peppers! Sounds like the language of his mission call had it just about right! 🙂

    He’s a fighter and has a stronger faith than even he realizes as this point. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this mission experience and life-changing journey unfolds for Austin – thanks for sharing!


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