Nathanael Pyron

Nathanael Pyron

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24

Dear Family!
     How are things going? Thank you so much for the package! That was incredible! Everything was great!  Just curious who picked out the tie?  Oh, did you guys get the SD card?!?! please email back.  So things are going great with me, we picked up a new investigator!  We got a referral for a lady named K, she works at a local gas station. She has 6 kids.  She's Catholic, and was picked up by some missionaries street contacting.  We covered the whole first lesson and she was very excited to read from the Book of Mormon.  As we were talking, we found out two of her daughters used to be good friends with two of the T's daughters and so Sister T has met her and is really excited to help fellowship her and give her rides to church.
     I have been on a bike this week.  The one I was handed down is AWFUL.  It's a mountain bike, real old, too small, and the previous owner did a lot of like make-shift adjustments and installments.  We only had to ride a total of 4 days though.  15 miles the first, 18 the second, 10 the third, and I don't know about yesterday, probably only like 6.  We got a new Corolla this morning.  I am glad, my bike had brake pads always rubbing, and a bent rim. And Elder Mendez has a nice, new street bike.  On Friday I bunny hopped off a little like ramp curve and got a flat, and then I had to ride almost a mile with no tube in it, it was kinda fun though.  Except it's scary, there are a lot of big mean dogs with really low fences.  Oh and on the bike, the previous owner left duct tape all around the handle bars, and the glue or whatever just melted in the sun all summer, so I had to use paper towels, and constantly replace them the first two days, but it's pretty much all gone.  And I had to do a little work on the brakes so they didn't rub so hard (they were bent and the screw didn't do anything) so I got some rubber band on there, so now the brakes are pretty much useless.  But anyways, I learned quite a bit about bikes, and my experience with them is over. But on Thursday night we were leaving our appointment  a little late (about 10) and we were driving by the Pirate's Cove apartments and we heard 4 gunshots, real close, and right after we heard them, this big lifted truck with gold rims sped out and disappeared.  We never heard anything more about it, so I dont know what happened, but it was exciting. 
     Oh, we got another new investigator the other day too.  I haven't met her or anything, she comes from a part member less active family, is 10, and just decided she wants to be baptized, and her parents are very excited. She has been coming to church for years apparently with her grandma who lives on our street.  Oh, and we went by to visit the M for our appointment, and apparently C and A's mom moved and took them or something, we are not sure when they will be back.  We were able to have lunch at the stake patriarch's house the other day.  Their family is fellowshipping K, and so they had her there and we did a question answer thing.  There was nothing too tricky she asked. She asked if we believe in ghosts, how prophets are chosen, and why we don't have pictures in the chapel. So that was good. 
     A couple days ago I got to go on splits with two other trainees, while our trainers were at a leadership meeting. It was a lot of fun, and was probably my best day from the mission so far.  I really enjoyed getting to know both of them a lot better (Elder S and Elder B), and I think we were all able to learn a lot from each other, and it was a lot of fun serving.  I really didn't want the day to end.  Elder S is from all over, mainly Venesuala, Miami, and Utah.  His whole life his family was inactive.  When he was 17 he recognized all he was missing in life, started to prepare for a mission, and has gotten his parents back into church as well.  Which isn't THAT atypical or anything, except that he is this really quiet, reserved and spiritual guy, that gives absolutely no such vibes of his past.  He is so humble. I had never met someone quite like that.  We both have a lot of interest in the same types of art and thinking, and we talk a lot.  (We always have at district meetings and pday activities and all, I just never knew any of his story) Elder B is from Arizona, and all 3 of us shared an increased desire to serve, and it was a really great day, and we accomplished a lot. 
     C is still doing well, and we were able to visit her again. I am getting really excited for conference, I never thought I could feel this way about it.  It is so amazing we get to hear the prophets inspired word from God about issues and things pertaining to US at THIS time.  I am sure there are other things I could talk about, but I will wrap it up. Oh, while I've got time, one scripture I found a while back, and that I find really cool is somewhere in Ether.  Sorry I don't have a reference maybe chapter 6, but it's about the Brother of Jared, and they get all their friends in families into the barges.  So they take this ENORMOUS leap of faith.  And while they are in the barges for 344 days, they sing, rejoice, and praise the Lord.  All while there are "mountain" waves and what not.  It would be so hard to not lose faith for even a little.  I'm not even a father, but can you imagine being in that situation, and even once thinking that you possibly just basically sentenced your wife and kids to death, by following a vain impression to follow, and do something as pointless and dangerous as herd them all into a barge and go across the sea? Just one little thought along those lines, one thought over the course of 344 days with terrible storms and waves... but that's not even my favorite part.  Those waves and storms that can so easily scare them into losing faith, are the same waves that are pushing them across the sea to the promised land.  So often in life we see those waves that come with taking steps of faith, and it is so easy to perceive those things as dangerous.  But as we do as they did, and hold faith, knowing that we have a perfectly loving and all knowing Father in Heaven whose goal is our happiness, we can see those waves for what they really are.  It also reminds me of when Peter is walking on the water, and just SEES the winds coming, and loses faith and falls.  (But the Savior catches him)  but I guess that story is a little different. I love sharing the brother of Jared things as spiritual messages after dinner appointments, I hate reusing some because there are hundreds of things I could use, but that story is just so meaningful and symbolic, and is overall just a personal favorite from all the things I have found.  There is something in that relates to everyone we visit, and is great for opening a spiritual discussion.  It is simple but deep.  And I had never or at least never remember hearing it until I read it, and it stuck, so it just feels really personal.  So I guess that's my thought.  I don't reuse it because it's easy, but because I just love it.  Anyways, enough of that.  Keep keeping me posted on the stuff of Richmond and your personal lives and all!  Let me know what ya wanna know!
Elder Pyron

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17

Dear Family!
     So it has been another great week, but first I'll address some of your questions.  The thing without a battery was an atomic clock with a thermometer, we don't have a thermostat downstairs, but Tuesday night we asked a member who gave us a fan, so that is good.  We have a 2012 Corolla; missionary vehicles are all later than 2010, and there are Focuses, Malibus, Corollas, and a few trucks and mini vans.  The church recently declined a deal with BMW, so we won't be getting those.  So Monday after I emailed we went to a store called Cardenas for some Horchata. It's a Mexican grocery store, the size of Walmart, with loud music, and really cool murals and all.  I really liked the atmosphere, there was a lot of stuff that looked good and they had cheap fruits and all.  I ended up getting a big thing of some Aloe Vera Strawberry drink, mostly I really wanted the 1.5 liter bottle it came in.  It was good, but it's like drinking Jello.  There's a lot of Aloe Vera out here.  Outside places like Home Depot, groups of Mexicans gather, and charge $10 an hour..and basically customers can bring them home to do what ever job they visited home depot to get supplies for.  They're not like Home Depot employees or anything, but it's kind of neat, I wonder how much work they get.
     I keep a note pad that I try to list points I want to hit in my email, but I'm not perfect.. so yeah.  So today is transfers, and we are both staying.  However, someone's car is in the shop, and we are losing our car tonight, and will be on bikes for a week, so I guess I'll finally see how that goes.  I finished the Book of Mormon the other day!  I could have never guessed how much enjoyment I could get from it, and I am started on the New Testament, which I hope to finish by the end of this transfer.  It's a lot different, and I'm still kind of adapting to effective marking for it and all.  Did you get my letter to James?  I will send my SD card tomorrow, I do apologize for the lack of stuff on it though.  I did like 3 quick videos to tour my stuff and desk.  And then there's some/a lot of pictures I took that have no meaning besides I was having fun with the camera, but I deleted a lot of those (they still might be the majority though).  Keep sending me pictures, I love 'em..  but could I get some more from the beach, and maybe some from childhood?  It's weird, I haven't been homesick at all, but at random times, I get real caught up in my childhood, and I get really nostalgic about Legos, Star Wars, Pokemon, reptiles, baseball and just about everything.  The feelings are what I miss me and James having the upstairs to ourselves on a rainy day and playing legos and talking, and when I used to have alone time where I would "work" on legos, reptile binders/drawings, Pokemon card decks, and going through my baseball cards.  Mostly all early in the morning when it's still dark, or if it's rainy.  I guess they're feelings there's no point in trying to describe, not to mention this letter is kind of inappropriate time for all of that.  Anyways, so today there's no Pday activity (because of transfers), so we kinda shopped and toured a little.  So this week we had another lesson with Art, we talked a lot about Ether 12:27 and the whole chapter really.  He sounds more committed about the October 20th baptism, so that's exciting.  We taught a recently baptized lady the last new member lesson at her home, and it went really well, she really likes having us and having gospel talk.  We picked up a referral who has had the first lesson... but she is 10, has no member family members, and no one in her family wants the lessons, her mom just thinks she's old enough to be independent so we will see how that goes.  We haven't met her yet.  We spent a lot of time this week visiting all the inactives in the "Pirate's Cove" apartments.  All of the members describe Pirate's Cove, at least two sections of it, as a drug haven.  We have members and investigators who live in 1 of the 4 sections, but they are in the best one.  We didn't get a whole lot of success, mostly drug addicts, and one lady that works in the strip doing show stuff for the Chippendales.  I met one lady from DC who is a legless 60 some year old black women, who was baptized 9 years ago.  She put us on the phone with her husband who I guess she is trying to convert, but he is currently on the run from the police and hiding out in another state.  He seemed nice though.  She had all these cuts on her wrists and neck it looked like she inflicted her self, it's pretty sad.  She was really nice, but I don't know how to describe it, I don't think the description I just gave really captures it.  I also knocked on one door in the area which is by far the worst... when I knocked we heard this really just mean sounding scream "who is it?!" and then there was silence for a while and then the door kind of cracked open.  The kid that answered was this black kid who was about 15, had tattoos all up his body, and black teeth, and he asked what we wanted.  I saw there were a bunch of people in the kitchen/ living room all staring at the door, and I asked if P lived there.  It was one of the creepiest things I've experienced I guess.  It was the middle of the day, but it was VERY dark in there, and there was a table with about 7 people all huddled around, and they were all just blankly staring at the door.  Our encounter there was really brief, but the image in there just locked in my mind.  I don't think I'll forget it.  It was really scary.  It just felt awful.. they were all black and looked older, but with the lighting in there it was like mostly silhouette.  I wasn't scared in the way someone might by just being around potentially dangerous people, it just felt creepy.  Like what goes on in there, they looked so like scared, and they were just huddled in the dark.  What's that teenage kid that lives there's life like?  It just was a nasty place and feeling.  Anyways, we had another good lesson with A and C.  The grandparents teach the grandkids a ton, really know the gospel, and are doing a lot to teach the kids those things.  We are working with the Bishop on that one.
     Oh, not sure what it was, but the other day we saw a dentist office that stood alone, and they had barriers blocking both entrances, and there were at least 10 police cars surrounding it, and no one else was in there, except there was an SUV and a mustang.  It was just odd, it didn't look like an emergency situation by any means, and I only saw like one actual police officer, I guess they were searching inside.  Oh, probably 3 times we've seen cars and houses with a bunch of cops, and then police with gloves searching. But we never see anyone actual getting arrested.  Oh, and at a dinner the other day we had Orange Julius's which I had had before, but they are AMAZING, mom you should try making them.  I forgot, C came to church Sunday, and we taught him Thursday, and we are again on Thursday.  We just need to get them on the right track again.  But anyways, let me know how things are going in Richmond, and in the news and all, and of course with the family life.  I love you all so much,
Elder Pyron

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, September 10

Dear Family,
I am still doing great, and thank you for the letters!  They all mean a lot, keep it up!   So today is Pday, we just finished shopping and we’ve got an activity later.  I’m continuing to learn so much from the people, and the Spirit, and love it here so much.  So before Saturday, we had NEVER taught a COMPLETE lesson to an investigator.  On Saturday and Sunday though, we did 3 to 3 different investigators!  First, on Saturday night, we went to see the M's.  They have been long time members.  We got to teach two of their grandkids and they are 9 and 8.  The kids were very reverent and interested.  We taught them the first lesson and it was a really cool experience.  We were able to have a lot of fun with them, and still teach and have the Spirit.  They were really excited and interested especially in things like prayer and eternal families.  It felt so good, and they were so excited about prayer especially.  The feelings I had in there are not ones I will soon forget.  They were awesome kids.   
So then on Sunday, we got to formally teach all of Lesson 1 to Art.  He knows the lesson about just as well as we do, but it was his first time hearing it as a lesson, and it still provided us with a good opportunity to better understand him, and help him with life application and all.  October 20 is now a set Baptismal date for him.  After church we met with Tommy and taught him lesson 3.  He had heard it a while ago and since he’s been coming to church for months (like Art) he had a good idea about all the things.  We talked about baptismal covenants.
A young man gave a great talk on Sunday.  He is a convert of about 2-3 years now I think.  The gospel really helped him get through a hard time.  He talked about  the way he felt after his baptism and how truly amazing it was, and that he couldn’t have ever imagined it being so great.  The Spirit was so strong.  Right now he is preparing for his mission.  
We also have been making some less active visits (met some very interesting people), but one was a real success.  Then Sunday to our surprise we saw him at church! We also got to talk with F some more, I think she will come to church on Sunday.  She’s always fun to talk to, she has a very strong testimony of God's love and prayer.  
So on Friday night, we were making less active visits in an apartment complex.  We had a visit that went well (with a guy from Africa named C I’m also excited about), and as we were leaving we saw some guys playing basketball on the apartment blacktop.  One guy was leaving and we talked to him for a minute.  He was like 6'4-5, 30 some year old.  He introduced himself and said we should come play.  So Saturday night we had had just finished a service thing with a member, and were in the area in our Pday clothes, so we stopped by to play for 30 minutes.  One team was stacked so they never had to sit, and so we were playing them first.  It was 4s, and the other team had the best players there.  First game, to 11 we won, Elder Mendez and I combined for 9, and they were shocked.  It was so fun.  The next game they got to keep their best two guys and we got half way through, when a fight a broke out over an accidental elbow on a rebound.  One guy was held back by everyone, and the other started throwing these gallon jugs, started screaming he was about to get his gun so he could "have some lead to throw" and started running towards his apartment. The whole park cleared out, but we got to talk to a few for a minute, they apologized for the idiots (the ones that are good aren’t dumb enough to fight over that kinda stuff), and told us to come back.  We plan on doing that today because it’s PDay.  The two that got in a fight were on the same team, so I think they were just frustrated about losing to us.  But for James, (you’d get  this) there was this one guy who was there named dre on the other team, but imagine if Melo was 4 inches taller, could jump, had agility in the paint, and had about the best jump shot you’ve ever seen...basically best I’ve ever played with. But yeah, so we might go again today, maybe we can get someone to play in the mornings.  It was disappointing it ended how it did.  (oh and they went nuts when I dunked)
So in Vegas there are people that push stolen shopping carts down the street, with a horn on it, and out of them they sell these like corn popsicles. They look so gross, it’s an ear of corn on a stick dunked in mayonnaise and chili...from a shopping cart! So the other day Elder Mendez bought one, (I just got a vanilla snow cone), but so the guy takes the corn out of a container, pops the stick in it, rolls it around in some butter, dips it in mayonnaise, sprinkles parmesan cheese on it, and dips in some like chili powder.  The mayonnaise and all isn’t kept in a container so its hot and drippy, and the guys all sweaty. The worst possible thing to eat in a hot dessert.  The guy spoke basically no English, but Elder Mendez has 8 years of Spanish, so he could make basic communication.  He said it was really good though, so I don’t know.  Least refreshing popsicle I ever saw. 
Oh and about the hot dessert, our basement is a furnace now.  We have an atomic clock with a thermometer on it for indoors, and it recently ran out of battery and froze.  So we know at 1220 am on Saturday morning, it was 78.2 in the big basement room, and its always hotter in our bedroom.  And we didn’t even think it was that hot then, we both really noticed we were sweating Sunday night and this morning.  It’s crazy, were gonna have to do something about that.
So I don’t have a whole lot of time left, so I’ll try to get to individual emails, but we'll see. 
I love you all so much!
Love, Elder Pyron

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5

Dear family,
So I finally have a chance to email! It's been another great week, and we have two baptismal dates! It's not that exciting though because we didn't earn either.  We got a call about a 16 year old girl who just moved here from California, and has had all the lessons there, and was set with a baptismal date.  We only got to briefly meet her Sunday, and she is now going to seminary, and although she's a junior she plans on completing all 4 years to actually graduate.  Her date is September 25.  
And then this man who has been in our ward for months, always comes, is not baptized, and I had never heard about. He has always been interested and knowledgeable about religion.  A ward mission leader grabbed us after Sunday School, told us to wait, and then brought him in.  We got to talk for about 30 minutes with him and we set the date of October 20 for his baptism.  I had always seen him in class and assumed he was a member, he knew just about everything.  He bore his testimony on just about all the things in our church... And he believes Joseph Smith was a prophet with all his heart, as well as the prophets of today.  I think he (rightly so) has a very high sense of responsibility to his family. The meeting was very good, and I am excited to see what happens.
I can't really remember what things I talked about last time.  We played warball at our pday activity the other day, so that was fun.  We've also got one more investigator who was introduced to the church by a member who lives in the same apartment complex.  She's got a strong testimony of God and prayer.  She is coming to the potluck, so I hope things go well with that. 
So about me a little more.. thanks for the letters everyone, I'll try to address some questions now(the ones I can remember at least)... So we do have a kitchen in the basement.  I have been buying a ton of fruits... I usually have cheerios in the morning along with an assortment of fruits and maybe a cheese stick.  I've got a lot of peaches, baby carrots, grapes, apples, plums, bananas...  This morning I caught some sort of orange see-through baby gecko in the basement.  It was real small and slow, so I held him for a bit and put him outside.  I still study the Book of Mormon a TON, I'm more than halfway through 3rd Nephi, and I write a lot along with study, and I've also done quite a bit in the Bible.  Still finding really neat stuff everyday.  We got a screw in our tire the other day...We've had some meals with some interesting people recently, but I've talked enough about people I meet.  Oh but this one family has a son on his mission, and they have this broomstick with a paper plate face they use as his replacement, so that was an interesting dinner at their place.  
We still play basketball Monday and Wednesday mornings which is always fun.  So let me know what else you want to know.  Keep keeping me posted on home life.  I really miss everyone, love you all,
                                                      Elder Pyron

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 29

Dear Family, 
I am sorry this is late but today we went to the temple so P-day was switched and I didn't have an opportunity to notify you.  The temple was a really good experience today, I learn so much every time, and the things I learn go right in hand with the things I study.  We still don't have a whole lot going on.  I gave an 18 minute talk on learning and teaching through the Spirit on Sunday.  It was a good experience, and I really think it went well.  It is hard to write a talk on scratch paper, editing is impossible and stuff.  I had a bunch written down with quotes and all, but when I went up there, I hardly read any of it except the quotes.  I was speaking through my knowledge and through the Spirit, and everything flowed so great and it was really complete.  I hadn't planned on doing that, but I did and it was awesome.  I had about 9 minutes on my paper, but I guess I was just able to expound so much more, and all, and include things as they came into my head.  Aside from identifying scriptures, I started the talk the night before.  I spoke in our second ward, which was nice because I could focus more on the sacrament in the first.  During Sacrament meeting in the first ward, my thoughts turned to my gratitude for my family, and then a quote from a scripture just popped into my head and wouldn't leave.  The scripture seems kind of insignificant, but I guess my interpretation and how it fit into my life right now made it stand out a lot more, and from the get go I had felt inspired to share it with all of you.  It is Doctrine and Covenants 33:1 "Behold, I say unto you, my servants Ezra and Northrop, open ye your ears and hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, whose word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow, soul and spirit; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The meaning of the last part was what was popping in my head and I loved so much.  The Spirit tell us our true desires...As we live in a way that shows faith, invites the Spirit and helps us grow...not only does the gospel lead us straight forward to Salvation and having an eternal family and all, but it makes us want it too.  If someone lacks motive to strive for these  things, having the Spirit in their life sets them towards their hearts true desires.  Satan confuses and blinds us so much as to what it is we truly want, and it has been such a blessing for me on my mission, to be able to live under the Spirit's constant care...and be able to know that everything that I am doing, is to direct me towards the things I truly want.  So many people live each day without progression, and work to satisfy the things that hardly matter...As we live righteously, it's not that we simply find happiness, but the commandments no longer bother us, the Spirit fills us, and we know exactly what our desires are, and that we are successfully working directly towards something that we know we want and will bring so much happiness.  As we grow, our visions of our goal draw so much nearer, making their glory so much more manifest.  So many people do not have that guidance or that hope...that faith to lead their lives in a happy way.  So I don't know why I felt so inspired to share this, I find great and applicable scriptures and meanings everyday...but as I thought about my family I just felt so strongly inspired to share this one.  So I hope it helps at least one of you.
So, to answer dad's comments, a ghetto bird is like the police helicopters that fly over the hood looking for people.  Last Monday after I finished emailing, I had my first contacting semisuccess.  I said hi to the woman waiting by her car and she asked what church we were from.  She had just heard about Mormons and missionaries, our service, the church welfare, and food storage, and was planning on watching that thing on NBC that was going to show that night (update me on that).  She lived in Henderson so we gave our number and all, but she is far from us.  She was curious and asked us for something to read, so I gave her a few pamphlets, and described them really quick.  She was Baptist and I guess mostly curious about our church's more secular successes and all.  She was really grateful for what we were doing.
So to finish up, it rained all day the other day which was fun.  It FLOODS. Someone died riding down a gutter on a mattress and drowned, they never found him.  It didn't ever rain that hard and it was only like 5 hours.  You can see so far out here, a lot of times we see rain and lightening way in the distance but never hear anything or get any rain.  It's disappointing.  We heard a ton of gun shots the other night when we were getting home.  We went with a kid in our ward to pull a palm tree the other day, that was fun.  We had 3 people with pickaxes and shovels just killing the roots for 2 hours, and then hooked this huge Ford F250 to it, and it still pulled his truck backwards before the tree finally fell.  And then we couldn't move it once it was down, but the kids said they came back and finished it all up.  I am sorry, there is so much more I want to say, but I have hardly any time.