Monday, March 10, 2014
Nathanael's brother James received his mission call on Thursday. He will serve in the Canada Montreal Mission, French speaking. He will enter the MTC on June 25. Nathanael is scheduled to complete his mission on July 15.
I’m really excited for James, it’s been bugging me the past couple of days. I’ve met a few people on my mission that served French in
not sure which missions, but that's exciting. Well it’ll be 4 years I
guess, so I might as well not bother with endeavoring to build a
relationship with him, doesn't sound like a worthwhile investment, so sorry James
if you don't hear from me for a long time. Just kidding. Go catch an Expos game. Canada
So it’s been a pretty average week. oh so mom "I hope you are happy to be on a mission still"... what’s that about? Are my emails lacking? I thought you guys were kinda hearing enough about the people. But anyway, it’s been a pretty fun week. Monday night we had a nice lesson and visit with T and L, they wanna read the book of Mormon in 90 days with the ward so that's exciting.
We met with B again the other day. He showed us his portfolio... it’s ridiculous, how good he is. I learned a lot about film making though. I had no idea how much stuff in movies is totally fake. He had over 250 model making trophies and that was all on the side apart from his career. It’s cool. He showed us pictures from things in a whole lot of movies... like a dumpster in Die Hard that I would never guess is fake, but had his address on it, or Japanese graffiti in Godzilla that has says his name, or the fact that there are tiny R2D2s snuck onto every plane that crashes in Airforce I. So that was super cool. Anyway, he’s reading the Bible now, and came to church Sunday.
We do a lot of walking around and have met quite a few good people with street contacts, one guy H, stopped us to ask for a prayer and we’re meeting with him tonight. Transfers are today and were staying together. We had basketball Saturday night. I caught 2 two hand oops in games, and as of Monday I can two hand 360 with consistency, hadn't tried it before Monday. Friday morning we went over to some other missionaries who live with a really rich member with a gym separate from their home and worked out, it was fun and I want to start doing that regularly.
Saturday we did service most of the day. While we were waiting for some other missionaries we went to a yard sale and we hung out there for almost 30 minutes waiting. I played catch with their 6 year old son about the whole time and talked to the mom and grandma, and Elder B bought a pair of his old toddler size
to hang from the mirror in our car. Jordans
If you’re curious, I’m still eating more healthy. For almost 3 months now my basically daily breakfast has been a can of salmon with half an avocado and grapenuts in it. I just invented a new lunch I really like... a tortilla with a chopped up grilled chicken breast, the other half of my morning avocado, cheese, and sriracha. We’ve been hittin’ up the 99cent store quite a bit, they seem pretty unbeatable on a lot of things. We’re also pretty good friends with E who I mentioned earlier, and he works there, so we swing by to grab lunch lot and see him. Well anyway, let me know if you guys have any questions, I guess I’ll wait to hear from James in a letter!
Love, Elder Pyron
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
This week has been good, very different but very good. So me and Elder R get along great and it’s been fun. We have good conversations. So the struggles are different and unique, and not that big, it’s just so different.
We had great lessons this week too. We taught S and N the Word of Wisdom. They said they had kind of panicked because they knew they were far from baptism and didn’t understand a lot of these things to be anything more than just a rule. So it was great, and they love and understand the idea of our bodies being temples and being "free" is key to letting the Spirit guide. (I like to paraphrase their understanding or mindset in my own words).
Then we saw J and P. They eagerly were waiting for us, at the table with Books of Mormon. He read this time, and they asked a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon, and they said they both felt that they’ve been missing something and that they feel it’s time to accept. He said he took forever to successfully use AA and when he did it was when he finally swallowed his pride and accepted it, and he’s had a good, but ungrowing relationship with God for the 20 years since then, and from that experience knows that he shouldn’t be slow to accept God, to grow. So they’re really excited. They are always out of town truck driving except Thursdays and this was their week off so they came to church! They enjoyed it. To give you an idea of these people, we know a neighbor of theirs who is in the ward. His kids know him as "crazy John" and they go over to his house to play. This member in ward counsel described him as "the guy at a formal adult situation, that finds the well behaved kids, gets them riled up, and starts the water fight." So he’s a cool funny guy. Just really fun. So hopefully things are well for them this week.
Unfortunately we had an awful (from a missionary perspective) sacrament meeting. The talks were just war stories for Veteran’s Day, and nothing gospel. And 3 of the 4 hymns were patriotic. But the speakers were pretty "loose" I guess so hopefully it’s a group or whatever that John would want to feel a part of, it was boringly formal or whatever I guess. The speakers were at least themselves.
We also taught L again, it was another fun lesson; all the kids are well behaved and excited. It’s amazing some of the spiritual things or ideas little kids can understand. I asked L why she thinks we had to get bodies, and she said "so we can do things like swim, and move under the water, and play with our families." It was great, such a good spirit of love in their home. 5 kids ages 7-11 and they were all so behaved and reverent, but not boringly so. And they were all super excited and ready for us to come over.
We also taught L, M's fiancé. They’ve been coming to church, but it’s been hard to catch them. M has little gospel knowledge, but is so happy that L comes to church willingly. L is a really good guy. He’s like 6'2”, pretty average build, kind of dresses and looks like a tough guy, goatee, works at Big O, usually wears like Lynyrd Skynyrd shirts or whatever, but also has a really kind soft face. They actually ordered pizza for us before the lesson too. L is really quiet and shy but genuine and sweet. The lesson started out pretty awkward and weird, but the spirit got strong throughout, and L being shy was slow to open which made it hard, but we could see his face kind of turning redder and redder throughout the lesson, and at the end we asked him if he would like to be baptized and he said "yes". Then everyone started talking about how great he is. M told how he brings so much good into their home, and it’s the first time she’s had like a "clean" man, and then C and K talked about the example he’s been to them, and he’s kind of shy, but all he can ever reply to compliments is things like "well, you’ll learn why one day, you’ll learn life isn’t about you, it’s about helping those around you" and it’s so good and genuine. And he’s a really hard worker too, 6 days 12 hours a day. But we’re really excited for them. He said "I’ve just been loving Christ and God too long, but its time I need to "get more in the word", so he’s going to read the Book of Mormon and all. So that’s most of the good stuff from this week.
Oh, the other night the sisters called and asked if we could come give J a blessing. It was good, she said she felt so much lighter after I gave the blessing, and we talked for quite a while, she was so glad to see me again, and it was just a good Spirit in her home. And we got to talk to C a little bit.
So things have been good.
We saw J and C last night. They like my new companion. He plays lacrosse and J plays hockey so they bonded over the similarities there. He's from Tennessee.
Monday, November 4, 2013
So transfers are today... I’ll be staying where I am, and Elder F is going down to Vegas. I’ll be getting Elder R, who I already know really well, so it will be very different. So I’m pretty surprised. Elder F is pretty sad I guess, he doesn’t like change, he likes to stay comfortable. He’s lost almost 20 lbs though!
And Tuesday and Thursday we saw S and N. Tuesday we got to know them and their backgrounds a lot better, and they asked some questions about things like blacks (she’s half African-American), and all but it went really well. She has no stumbling block there and had googled it and found nothing bad, so that was good. He read up to 2 Nephi 6 by then. And then they came to the Halloween party and we got them to meet several good people. Thursday we brought J, (reactivating guy I’ve mentioned, recent convert too) and it went really well. We taught the Plan of Salvation and it went great... she commented a lot how a lot of the things especially from resurrection on, and what happens in spirit world, were things she already believed but was never told them or taught them at church, so it was great. Then at the end she asked "so what’s EVERYTHING you have to do to go to the celestial kingdom" and you could tell she was eager for a baptism invite whether she knew it or not. They both accepted, both with an attitude of getting ready for it. So it was great. Then she asked about baptisms for the dead she heard about, and it just solidified everything she believed about baptism being essential, everyone getting a fair opportunity, and what the spirit world is like, so it was great.
Wednesday we taught L, part member family 9 year old, and it went great. Her mom is really remembering a lot of things and is getting excited and has a vision of what her husband and family can be down the road. The older sister is 11 and baptized,
is 9, and youinger brother is 7, and they all
participated. It was fun and they really loved it and are excited for
us to come back. Each one has personality and I like them all, they’re
just a fun family. I think they’ll like Elder R too. So L will probably be
baptized on the 23rd. L
Thursday we saw J and P, she had read from the Book of Mormon and he asked for his own. It was a good visit, she believes the story could easily be true (the introduction), but didn’t pray about it but will now. And you could tell they were expecting us this time. So we’re excited for them too.
Then there’s M and M, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned them. They too were tracted into, they’re a Native American couple. He’s big and tatted and they’ve got big trucks and cars, and they’ve got like 50 people living in their place at different times. But we’ve gotten to know them really well. He grew up near the church on a reservation, and she had some LDS foster parents for a while. Their whole religious history and understanding is unique. They have a lot of very interesting experiences with skin walkers and medicine men, possession, and all... but she has also had very legitimate sounding dreams about the Savior. And his father was very much into the Bible, which they do believe but know little about, but they also have all their native things and blessings. It’s really interesting, a lot is voodoo type things that Elder P described in
and another missionary from , but both of them said it was all
focused on images. But for M and M it’s
the medicine men and spirits. But so similar. And some of the
things are so interesting, like M had an experience overcoming a struggle
by talking to the medicine man and his spirit left his body, went into space
with him, and they counseled spirits, and it resolved his struggle. And she
apparently has the gift of healing, and stories with that. They also
talked about this annual Sundance thing, where they fast for three days,
glorify the sun and someone hangs from piercings in his skin for the whole 3
days which has so many similarities to Christ and you can see distortion.
So we talked about that and we’re going to bring them the Testaments. We’ve
visited with them quite a few times now and last time they told us they’ve
never let missionaries in before, but she could feel or see something about our
aura. It’s so interesting, the way different spirits or spiritual gifts
work or are and what’s what. They’ve also had powerful experiences with
death, near death experience, and loved ones, and it all seems different, but
also real. It’s neat. But they tell us we bring the spirit in their
home and make their days. They’re in their 30s, very nice and loving; he is so happy and positive
always. So it’s been a good week. El
Love, Elder Pyron
I’ve got two SD cards with stuff from back then, and I’m not sure which. Just tell me any particular thing or event you’ve pictures from. I wasn’t sure but I figured we’d stay, or I’d go, either one. And Elder R- I think there’s a lot we can learn from each other, but in a lot of ways I feel we’re opposites, but in others very the same. He reminds me a lot of Nick Atkins. Really big upside, very loyal friend, and very smooth and outgoing. He can also always tell what I’m feeling, which is kind of good. For example, he called all excited the other day and as we talked, he called me out on not sounding all that excited, but he doesn’t take it contentious, it’s just that he’s concerned, but not that big of deal and it’s not that I want to be contentious, he just really has a good genuine love for a good friend and I know he really likes me though, and I like him. So it’ll be very different, hard and different in some ways, but a breath of fresh air in others. R was "born" in Redrock (where I was for 5 transfers) at the start of my second, so I was right next to him for his first 6 months. It’s weird he’s kind of an older missionary now (like 10 months).
We had some great simple tracting experiences, and met quite a few people, yard sales are great for meeting people. One lady stopped in her truck, asked for a hand for her son moving a washing machine from a truck, so we went over down the street, helped out, and then she told us she lived right across the street from C and J, that C told her all about how awesome we were, and she told us to stop by her house next time we see C, so that was awesome. All our best referrals are from less actives and nonmembers, I've noticed throughout my whole mission. All the kids that get baptized, Art had an inactive wife, J was referred to us by non member, S and N heard about us and got excited from T and T... so that's cool.Oh we met a home bound old family the other day.. both very strong testimonies, over 80, and married 7 years ago. She was very cool. She had had a near death experience in 83, where she was in the spirit world, and learned a ton, she had wanted to give up, had suicidal thoughts from age 8... but was way humbled by the misery and experience in spirit world, and wrote a book (she just always heard how peaceful and nice dying was and found it appealing) and so her death experience, she was super sick, wanted to give up doctors didn't know what was wrong. At the end of her spirit world trip she was told to remove her golden crown on a tooth. She tried super hard once she was back in body, and finally got all the paper work ready and approved to have a perfectly good one removed. They removed it, something with the roots, and an infection relating was causing a host of ailments all over her body and she got all the way better within days of removing it. So she wrote her book, kept it nondenominational so it would reach more, and since she's often invited to speak at churches and things, and she really does know and love her scriptures, very doctrinally sound, and so she can go to churches, and basically teach LDS doctrine without people knowing, otherwise they wouldn't invite her. She was super intelligent and strong speaker even at her age now. She's been on the phone with hundreds of people contemplating suicide and none ever have. She's big into the "neardeath society" or something and studied tons of other peoples experiences and stuff. She says the biggest things you learn is that death is only peaceful or paradise if you took full advantage, that it's the worst feeling of guilt and suspense to be there, knowing you didn't do all you could, and with an awful sense of guilt and that you can't endure His presence, and confirmed so many scriptures about it, and longing for a body, and all. It was really cool. The way she described things, and answered questions, I wish I had time for details. But that was cool. So yeah.Well, I love you all. It's super windy today so were playing basketball. Oh two weeks ago I found if a ball is stuck in between the rim and backboard a certain way, I can get it down with my head.I tried canned salmon, the first was alright, the second was all full of bones and skin, so I guess I gotta read labels better.Love,
Its been a good week of course. FIrst to answer mom's question, I use a study journal, I'm on my 13th one probably 9 by 5 or so inches, over a thousand pages. I fill pages too. The birthday package was great, the protein bars were good, as was the jerky.Well for this week, pday, I didn't realize it, but my thighs hurt from the week before's bike accident.. I knew there were big bruises but they never bothered me, but on pday I realized any explosive movement caused a super sharp pain in the muscle there, which wasn't there the week before, but we were playing softball on pday so it wasn't too bad a bother, I had someone run for me when I hit.. and I think and hope it's better now.
My birthday was great, J called to tell us his home teacher brought him a Preach My Gospel, so we came over to show him about it and he was way excited. Then near the end of our lesson Cathie came out of nowhere with a cake and gift, it was great, I had no idea, I didn't tell anyone. So both of my mission birthdays have been good. So about sending my sd card, I'm not sure what I've sent before.. what do you have pictures of?
My birthday was great, J called to tell us his home teacher brought him a Preach My Gospel, so we came over to show him about it and he was way excited. Then near the end of our lesson Cathie came out of nowhere with a cake and gift, it was great, I had no idea, I didn't tell anyone. So both of my mission birthdays have been good. So about sending my sd card, I'm not sure what I've sent before.. what do you have pictures of?
Tuesday we had our lesson with S N and V which was great. we brought our ward mission leader who is about 30, and a full time seminary teacher. We taught well, they really liked and latched to the whole idea of how apostasy fades to dispensations, and that Christ was demonized by so many, and that as clear as the signs were they still weren't that obvious (like worlds view on the Book of Mormon). They are loosely Lutheran, and only recently had heard we're Christian before they had always heard we put Joseph Smith over Christ... it's ridiculous the crap some spread... It's embarrassing to them that they would spread such a lie.. but they are excited to read the Book of Mormon, and they all came to church, all dressed, he bought a white shirt and pants and tie and everything for it, we found them in the parking lot 10 minutes before, they said they were nervous and only staying for the 1st hour, and brought their Books of Mormon. I think they liked the meeting and we're seeing them again Tuesday, and then they're coming to the ward party so that's good.
3rd ward, Bishop S's was good.. he invited a counselor from the mission presidency to speak, an he's new, young, and is over all seminary teachers in this region of the United States, so he's very smart and a good teacher. And he talked about the ward needing us over to feed us, and how our cupboards are barren... and he didn't even know that the ward just had their week and not a single family had us over. One family heard about it and brought us dinner 3 times, but pretty small, and none in any members homes, and that's the first time that's happened on my mission for sure. But it was a great sacrament meeting, Bishop S reminded everyone at start that "when we have someone on the stand with a name tag doesn't mean we change who we are, right...right..?" until everyone said "yes" out loud. Then he begged everyone to find out all they know who need any sort of holiday help, and to talk to bishop and that they'll all be helped, and it was actually pretty powerful the sincerity he has, then he hyped up our first speaker "a tough islander girl" who was a half Samoan girl, 7 years old, and she actually gave probably the best talk from someone that age about the temple, then we heard Pres. and Sister Stuart speak, they told great stories, and then Bishop came on and told everyone how excited he was, that converts do things how they want, and told a story about Sammy Sosa and missionaries, and then said their changing the hymn selection to Armies of Helaman, had everyone stand, and the youth do the first verse and stuff, it was cool.Thursday we saw J and P again, they hadn't read the Book of Mormon but you could tell they had planned to and regretted and will now. We had a great spirit led discussion.. it started I asked several questions about their beliefs, and she made it clear or whatever how she grew up Pentecostal, was offended dealing with her baptism and ended up not doing and has been too busy on Sundays since... and we asked a ton about their beliefs, I was genuinely curious, they know they believe the Bible, and know they don't know as much as they should be, she expressed very typical Pentecostal beliefs, focused on heaven, hell, accepting grace and the book of Revelation. then I simply explained our beliefs, the plan of salvation lesson up through all being resurrected and rewarded, and they felt the spirit and said they agreed with every word. Then we talked about baptism, because she did understand scripturally that it was a must, but I kind of led her into internal conflict when she realized she also didn't belief ALL unbaptized go to hell, which according to her understanding was what the scripture said, so we shared about baptisms for the dead and all, and they loved, and then he expressed an experience he had seeing his father after he died, and her seeing angels as a youth. His dad didn't tell him much more than that Jesus was the Christ, and that we was to come. So it was neat, their minds were definitely opened, and had new understanding and hope and outlook on life. Our conversation was basically me and her when it was about scriptures, and then me and him, and we talked about the point of life and where were going. He called this life heaven and said he wasn't sure he wanted a heaven where they sit around, so then he got led to a little internal conflict, because then nothing added up concerning his beliefs about what happens when we die, so I shared about that, and it was just a great simple informal powerful lesson. I really like them.
Friday we had a ton of service painting the senior center. So yeah.
Monday, October 21, 2013
So yes I got the card, there are 6 in the district and mail is no different. They just don’t have mailboxes in Mesquite so they do mail weird so not every missionary has to have keys and go to the post office daily. I did get Bompa's letter.
It’s crazy I totally didn’t realize my birthday was near til like yesterday, I didn’t think I could ever care so little about a birthday, it’s ridiculous. So Bishop Sleppy is still funny, yesterday he was conducting, gave more on the spot callings, and started by saying "good morning" and then a lot of the congregation responded "good morning", and then he said "just because I’m not brown doesn’t mean I can’t be cordial", and that wasn’t at all a big deal to anyone, it’s amazing how calmly they heard it.
Well, things are going good this week. Elder Fiddler has lost 12 lbs in the past few weeks. You’ve asked about the protein powder, its EAS soy protein, an old missionary left some I finished off and then I just got another of the same.
We’ve had a lot of good small successes this week. Wednesday we met a family from Germany right outside the library, they just came here, and are living out of their car looking for work. They just dress and walk and talk like typical tourists, it’s funny, but they’re here for good. They asked about who we were because they heard this is a good town because of all the Mormons, so we taught them a brief first lesson outside in front of the library and they liked it a lot, and it was all brand new, they knew nothing, not even sure if we believed in God, so they didn’t know if we were a religion or what… but then we walked out into the parking lot so we could show them the steeple on the chapel, and then offered to walk down to tour it, so we walked down with them, and gave them a brief tour. They were very impressed and fascinated, and excited to read from the Book of Mormon and write down questions, and they really like the picture I showed them of Christ in the Americas. So they went their way afterwards, when I realized a baptism was going to start, then we ran over to Bill’s house, I super luckily found a German Book of Mormon, it’s a miracle how I found that, considering there’s no collection of foreign Book of Mormons there, we were in a hurry, and it was under a coat in the kitchen where no books are ever kept, and we didn’t even know there was a German one there, but we got it, ran after them gave them that one, and then they came back for the baptism. It was way cool. They were so excited to get the German Book of Mormon, and to study English between the two. Unfortunately, we didn’t see them at church like we expected, but they were definitely genuinely excited. And earlier that morning we got another 3 new investigators, we were trying to find an old former, but I had a brain fart, totally went to the wrong door, and there we met a woman who had heard a lot about the church from some people we teach, and was really excited about the things she heard, so we set a time to come teach her, her husband, and son, and they were very excited as well, so it was great.
Friday we came back to a busy couple we met tracting, they let us in, said they had talked with missionaries before and just liked to talk. They were way cool, both truck drivers for Walmart, he’s really funny and outgoing, he has huge trust in God. We taught a great brief first lesson, and they definitely caught the spirit of it, and asked some questions. I really like him, he’s really goofy, but it’s just the perfect note of goofy/funny but down to earth, teasing but respectful, questioning, but listening... so we’re going back there, and have interest in checking out the family history center, and definitely received the Book of Mormon gladly and excitedly, they said they had "some floating around somewhere" but definitely still wanted one, I think they understood its value from the first time. So I’m really excited there. He also talked about journal writing and kind of testified of its value, as he kind of rebuked me for my answer to his questions about our contact with family while on the mission.
So yeah, I’m excited. Lot's of people we teach were all at church, and we should be meeting soon. Friday we visited kind of a random less active woman who at first was pretty standoffish and all but as we persisted and talked she then opened up, and talked about her situation. She’s now married to a nonmember and all, but just "not ready yet". So we left thinking it was just a good little seed on her way to "get ready" but then to our surprise we saw her at church, she talked to us, and said her 9 year old daughter would like to be baptized, and we set up a time where her husband will be home and we can teach her. So that was great to see.
So it’s been a fun week, and we’ve had a few other good experiences tracting and all. Oh, and J, I mentioned earlier said in the early 90s, he was working with an insurance company in fire protection, in San Mateo... he asked for your name and it didn’t ring a bell. He said it was a small company a friend of his owned, but then he tried to sell it to him, and he left. I mentioned you were with Kemper and he was familiar. But so close. I doubt you’d know him but he’s like 6'2-3, thin and was commuting from Sacramento at the time. But that’s kind of it here for me.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
This week’s been good of course. So I think I mentioned M and M, Native American / Polynesian couple. We got a hold of them the other day, and they invited us into to watch them feed their fish and stuff so that was good, and we got to know them well.
I had exchanges twice this week, once I went up to Beaverdam with Elder R, which was fun. They had a mouse too big for all their traps, but I rigged my own invention of a trap, and it caught their mouse so that was fun.
I don’t know if I mentioned but I’m the district leader. Thursday I got to go on exchanges in my area with Elder C who is from my MTC group. That was fun, we got to cut down some trees for a less active we met, and had a good talk about the Book of Mormon with an excommunicated guy. We got to see R and N again: she watched part of General Conference, just bought a table in the community art show, so she can put her modge-podged thrift shop puzzles, and glass art (rocks and flowers and stuff in a glass). So she’s staying busy. R is doing good, really loves and appreciates what we do, he always is able to grab us alone and tell us how we change N’s mood so much.
Sunday night we had a good talk with K and J. J’s foot is doing well, he’s still "struggling spiritually" and especially with having small habits of reading or praying, and he tells us this because he sees it as a problem. I love our visits with him. He had just seen a little show on Roddy Piper and his paranormal experience, and loves watching those things. They do him so much good too. He’s very particular to when he believes someone’s story, and I feel is pretty good at sniffing out the liars. And he also pays no heed to the "psychics" or whatever, and is good at realizing what’s going on there. So for him it really is just a testimony builder. So we talked about that stuff a little, and why we don’t get more abundant signs, and how real conversion doesn’t come from your head but heart. I love teaching him. I feel he understands my points so well in ways most can’t. So we have some good deep talks.
Sunday we had a speaker give probably the best sacrament meeting talk I’ve ever heard. His topic was "Christ centered lives" and he started out testifying of what the last speaker said, and then said he had no idea what he was going to say until that morning, it was manifest that reading the Book of Mormon was it. And he gave such a powerful spirit led talk with the greatest mission stories, and still all this "boldness" and uniqueness without at all appearing prideful or self righteous, everything he said was so spirit led. He told of how he began reading The Bible at age 3 and 4 and spent his whole youth learning to prove all things from The Bible, and spent the beginning of his mission just seeking pastors to Bible bash, and said he never even carried his Bible but just because he had so much memorized it was easier. Then he met the smartest one he had ever met, and was doing phenomenal answering his questions for an hour, then the spirit left him, he couldn’t remember or say anything because he got prideful in what he knew, and then was destroyed for 2 more hours, so a total of 3, where the second two he got destroyed. Then he left with a weak testimony of the Book or Mormon and challenge to read it. And from then on he spent his mission studying and teaching from the Book of Mormon. Nearly two years later at the very end of his mission, he ran into him again, the guy remembered him, and invited him in to bash. This time he simply asked if the man had read it, the man said yes, and that it was of the devil. Then Brother C saw lines and lines of scripture, from James, about asking things amiss, and he hadn’t even memorized those, but he just started reading it from the image of it he saw in his mind, and the man started trembling intensely and everything, just like Sherem. But it was just an awesome talk, and he told other stories like it, and just somehow with such a spirit that you wouldn’t think for a second he was boasting, which now in hindsight I can’t even picture.
And I’ve been studying the Bible a lot recently, and most of my mission, so I started reading in Jacob yesterday and it’s phenomenal. I had been studying in Samuel, and really learning a ton of great things, but the Book of Mormon was just different. Brother C was the old bishop, and was one of those ones that the whole ward just remembers and loves, as the "best they ever had" and he knows the ward better than anyone, and there’s many inactives that refuse contact from anyone but him. So that was just a neat experience.
Things with Elder F are all right. We’ve had some "heart to hearts" I guess recently. I also had a good talk about him being passionate about life, or wanting to change himself, because he was kind of stuck as a child, and not really making change, but I and the other missionaries have noticed big change in him. It’s been fun, getting his confidence up and desire and passion and all in the "harsh" manner, and I think it being fun makes it go well. He makes it up the huge hill to our house every time now, still slow, but for a long time, he couldn’t ever even get close, but he consistently makes it now. It takes beating him up there and yelling, but he does it. It’s all with a light mood too (you know me). It’s one of those things I wish I could talk with you about in person.
But speaking of that hill, I wrecked hard this AM. I was going down it, FAST, and talking on the phone, and riding on the sidewalk where at every intersection you have to turn to go up the elevated ramp that continues the sidewalk, and then immediately swerve again because of the light posts, and it's tricky, and I was talking on the phone, getting annoyed with the guy for one, and then couldn’t quite make one of the swerves fast enough with just my left hand, so I stuck my hand out to not wreck straight into the pool (pole?), then I went over my handle bars into a roll, right back onto my feet, didn’t let go of the phone with the other hand, hung up, straightened my seat, and got back on. I think I’ve got a bruise on each thigh were they hit the handle bars, and my left wrist hurts, so I’m way fortunate.
Basketball is still fun of course. Two p-days ago I had 5 total dunks in 4 on 4 games, definitely my best. One it was 10-9 we were up, and there was loose ball up above the arch, so everyone was up there, and then we got the ball I cut toward the hoop, as they threw a lob pass, I caught on the run, took a step and threw it down to win. Then for #2 I crossed my man at the top of the key and cut to the hoop as defenders from both sides tried to swarm in, and the guy on me was running by my side and I just threw it down, that was my favorite, the whole defense was collapsing on me, I beat ‘em all, jumped from far, and dunked hard. Then the next two were kind of similar, but without quite the same collapse, so a pretty open lane but still full defense, but not that cool. Then the last one I was being guarded by the 6'4” black girl that had a full ride scholarship to play for Utah State, and I was like 12 feet out from the hoop, I crossed her over so she literally fell, and dunked it, so that was kind of the coolest, but kind of the least cool. But it’s just my personal witness about women’s basketball though. I touched 11'3 for my first time the other day. (I just see the mark on my wrist and measure when I get home.) But I thought James would like that.
But that’s about it,
Love you all,
PS. Bishop S is hilarious, he had Elder F give a talk and teased him over the pulpit, nicely, and he was giving out callings from the pulpit, having new faces stand up and introduce themselves and everything, he started out sacrament meeting by saying "well, I’m 28 days clean from swearing... so girls, you better get to work, because I’m not helping you get to girls camp" (one of them had challenged him to quit swearing). But despite the beginning of the meeting being basically comedy hour, he said some really funny things with the introductions and callings and all, the spirit was definitely there, and people feel loved by him. I’d love to bring an investigator there. His wife was there so he didn’t wear jeans. We first met him the other day when we went to give a blessing to a new less active he never met, and he showed up paint and mud covered in boots, shorts and tee shirt. He said "I’m still just a convert so don’t let my Mormonism fool you". But when he was conducting priesthood meeting, he was joking just a much as anyone, but really said so much through the spirit, and was so bold. I haven’t felt the spirit so strong in the beginning of priesthood meeting before they split ever before, nor laughed so much, and I wasn’t like in a particular deep or spiritual mood to begin with where I would say that. He hits the perfect score of being himself, doing nothing for traditions sake, but really loving with real intent, and trusting the spirit.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Of course things are well here. Conference was great of course as always. It’s good to hear the girls enjoyed it. We’ve met quite a few new less actives from the 3rd ward that we are excited to be working with. One most frequently is a lady, she was married in the temple about 25 years ago, but the marriage ended bad fast. She’s got a son that was raised by her parents and served a mission and everything. She is well on the path back, has read the Book of Mormon 2x, and now is in the Old Testament. She has trouble with her memory and communication, but she’s really sincere.
Tuesday we had a cool little experience. I decided to bike down J’s street and happened to catch him outside. We talked for a bit, he was really glad and appreciative and we had a good brief talk, then we were heading by a familiar apartment complex and saw a woman that we knew, in her motor wheel chair trying to get her shopping cart over a curb to bring home. I hopped off my bike to take it, and Elder F followed bringing my and his bike(which is kind of hard) but a second later, an SUV pulled up, and S hopped out and helped. We got the groceries to her place and in and then I finally got a minute to say hi and thank S, and I noticed he looked awful and had been crying. He told us he had just watched his grandmother pass away over skype, and needed a prayer. He didn’t want anything more than that so we prayed with him, and he said "it’s neat that I’m not even Mormon, but I just knew I needed a prayer, and I find you guys." So that was good.
We also saw K sitting out in the complex talking at the little neighborhood picnic bench which was great to see. He’s a less active, he smokes, he’s about 50, he’s a really nice guy and used to come to church (alone) but we hadn’t seen him in a while, and were really worried he was depressed and spent all day drinking, and no one had seen him in forever (we scout out info from the neighbors) but he was out there and we got to say hi and he seemed well.
Wednesday morning we talked to W again for a bit. Hopefully we’ll get to play basketball with him sometime soon. We talked about conference and it was good, he really does want to meet more, but really is really busy. He felt really bad for not studying. He works a night shift and is a busy guy, but we’ve got a good relationship, and it’s clear the Spirit is telling him something whether he realizes it or not. Every time I really start to think he’s just a nice guy, he says something really sincere about wanting us to keep trying, and thanking us.
We’ve been tracting some and have some people were hoping to work with. One’s a Polynesian family from
. Elder F's still plugging along on his beach cruiser bike. I’ve been trying
to work out some, I did 101 pull-ups the other day. Pull up bars are
great. I eat oatmeal with protein powder for breakfast (my invention, as
far as I know) and I eat a ton of tuna. Another little invention of mine
as far as I know is I put Grapenuts in it, it’s good. And Greek yogurt
seems easier and cheaper to buy. Salt
Monday, September 30, 2013
This is Nathanael with Mitchell Aldridge and Brian Goodhue, his friends from Richmond who are also missionaries in Las Vegas.
Thanks for the tree picture- it doesn’t look good yet but it looks like potential!
So the week’s been good of course. Tuesday we met our new ward mission leader and he took us to see a falling away recent convert of 1 year and a half. He’s living in one room of this tiny house. He’s a smart guy and used to have a good family and a good job, and but now he’s in an awful state and embarrassed. But he’s really nice and has a testimony, and lives in the 4th ward, so we got a ride set up for him on Sunday and he made it, met people, loved it, etc, so we’re excited there.
Wednesday we were trying to figure out what to do in this ward so we tracted...just one road, and met a less active family that’s really nice and has potential, met a few ward members, had a great talk with two kids 18 and 19, (senior and recently graduated) in their garage about the gospel and life and all. I think it was just a seed planting, but a really good one.
We also tracted into a family who offered to feed us that night because we didn’t have a dinner so that was good of course. That night we got to see K’s mom and her new boyfriend, and K’s grandma who is really old, but recently had a blessing and is surprisingly out of the hospital and all so that’s exciting. For some reason the mom thought I was the one that gave the blessing and was telling the grandma "this is the one that saved your life"…so that was funny. But the mom is coming to church frequently now and has a great relationship with the bishop.
Then Thursday we were able to catch C and K. It was great. First we talked to K, things are real well, she’s going to be getting 40 hours at Walmart and 40 at Smith’s here soon which is fantastic. So we had a good talk about the priesthood with her and C, and gave her a blessing in a chair in their driveway (chaotic inside). Then she went in to sleep, and we got to talk with C for an hour. He recently got a grasp of what he wants to be for P (the 6 month old) and K for his whole life. Now C just delights and enjoys living full days, and accomplishing. He was telling us with such excitement how he loves getting up early, getting things done, going to church, coming home, doing yard work, taking pride in those things, preparing a life and example for his son, he has goals to get their own home, he’s real excited for that. He recently started weight lifting, and is really excited over the gains he’s made, a new found talent (he’s like 5'11 160, but apparently lifts a lot for his size) and is real excited to develop that, and overall just stay busy doing good things, no longer hanging out with lots of old friends, and being a new man. He doesn’t fully understand a lot, but still exhibits a peculiar desire to one day baptize his son. He loves Bishop S (who unfortunately was out of town Sunday), and has a good relationship there. So I really love C, K and P, and am excited. Friday we tracted some more, met some cool nice people like always, some good seeds and all.
Friday night we stopped by J’s, their really old dog had just made a mess, and they were outside cleaning, and its hard with J’s foot but they were out there cleaning with the hose at about 8. So our timing was perfect, we got a lot done, I replaced a filter because I’m tall, and we had a good time talking with them all. G said he'll get baptized if we get bishop to fill the font with bourbon. The change is hard for them and J; J doesn’t feel nearly as comfortable from the one visit with the sisters. C doesn’t want to get attached to them like she has us but we got J’s mind a little more clear, I told him if he tries and makes them feel appreciated, they’ll feel more comfortable and things will get going smooth in no time and all. So things seemed well and we departed. Sunday at about 7:30 we biked over, (we didn’t tell them we were) and they were super glad, we clarified everything about a recent misunderstanding, told them why things were said and what needs to happen, that the sisters were just passing down what they heard from the ward mission leader, and he just needs to let them know how bad he wants/needs the visits and things will get sorted. He hadn’t done his "homework" to read Enos, and a couple verses in Alma, so we then read that with him, me and him connect well so I explained the story and he wrote down what the things meant, it was really good, and we got that done right before the sisters came. Then we talked for a minute and left, C kept telling us she had never been more excited to see us than ever when we came by, and things were a big mess, but we left J and C with way more peace of mind and all, to go into the visit with the sisters. J kept saying we came to the rescue like Batman. He left a voicemail later last night, thanking us, he told me that the sisters were shocked by what he got out of the scriptures and what he wrote, and he didn’t tell them he had done it right before they came, (we cleared the evidence right before they got there), and he told us after they left it brought tears to his eyes, to see how timely and effective and loving our visit was. It was short, quick, turned he and C’s mind set 180, and he had a good peaceful spiritual experience, and I’m seeing that this change may be for the better. Our role is still there, but it can work well in helping him transition to the sisters being the teachers. So I’m super glad, because things had potential to go really bad with J and his progression in the church could have ended there, and that’s such a big difference in years of progression and service.
Saturday we did service to help with a race to raise money for a kid that needs a kidney. That 50 some year old with the toe shoes finished in second by a long shot, and his son won. But besides his son, he smoked the whole cross country team and a lot of other young fit people. But after that we marched in the Homecoming Parade with a "Is there more to life banner?", so that was a lot of fun, we were right behind the Taco Bell float, so I’ll see if I can get some pictures.
Saturday and Sunday evening we met a family, they’re reactivating, and so we’re doing lesson practices. She’s got a decent gospel knowledge, and has a real sweet testimony especially of God’s love and grace. She was sick one time so we just talked to her husband. He considers himself a member, believes the gospel, celestial kingdom. He’s nice, and thinks he has testimony, (sometimes). So I figure my best shot is to fill his mind with facts that he can find neat and take hold of and incorporate to make his overall stance a little better, like polygamy and its practice in ancient times is something I simply described, said it’s in the Old Testament, and he found that all neat and latched on, even though he would never look to try to understand it or even see if it’s really there. And he believes a lot of prophecies of latter days so I just tell him simple things he finds neat and so I’m just kind of getting rid of the dirty water which is his brain, by pouring more clean water in cause he’s too stubborn to get rid of the dirt. He and his wife always bicker but finish laughing, I have no idea how it doesn’t escalate, she’s a women of good sound understanding. So that’s good.
Anyways…pics will hopefully come soon. I’ve got to wrap up, biking is well. My companion has wrecked twice recently but he’s all right.