Nathanael Pyron

Nathanael Pyron

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday, April 22

Taking a break while helping someone move

Dear Family,
      Things are still going good, and mom that picture (above) is from a move we were doing for someone (5 missionaries in pday clothes lying on a big bed).  But so this week we had our lesson with the S’s which was awesome.  The father stayed for the first lesson, the Spirit was strong, and he left the room to get something and never came back.  I think he felt really pressured and nervous because I do believe his eyes were opened a lot during the lesson.  After that we stayed for another 30 minutes and discussed reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and other things with life. S and A are going to be working on that.  We committed A to come to church but his mother was kind of hesitant for herself but he talked her into it. He ended up coming but she said she had migraines and didn’t.  But we’ll be back there soon. 
     We’ve met quite a few less active people this week, so that’s fun.  We also got a new investigator, S. Her boyfriend called us to set it up.  He grew up a member but has been in and out of jail and having recently got out, he wants to get structure and all in his life.  He’s like 27.  He doesn’t look like someone who’s been to jail, more than once especially.  He lives all the way in H but for weekends he comes down to stay with and see S.  Neither of them have cars.  So Saturday night we had a member pick them up at 8 to take them to the church building for the lesson.  It went good. He’s finding/remembering his testimony as well.  She has a weird situation though; she’s 26, lives with her grandmother who is opposed to all this so we can’t meet at their place and the only religion she has ever had or seen in her life is through her other grandma who is Jehovah's Witness.  So her understanding and all is a little different I guess, but she’s mostly a clean slate.  She says she’s not really looking for truth but for something that will bring her happiness, so we got to explain how they are the same, about the truth of a perfect, all knowing and loving God…the real truth of happiness.  But so that was good.
     We met with J again Tuesday, and we told him we’d be at his place at 9:50 Sunday morning (church starts at 10:20).  He said that was good, so we did. We waited for him to get dressed and went to church, all 3 hours. It was good.  We went to his classes too.  It’s so annoying when the kids you think would be the best fellowshippers and all are barely in the class above or below for Sunday School and all.  I think our ward is kind of like Gayton’s relationship with the  Henrico Spanish branch, we have a Spanish branch that meets at our building, so the youth are combined, so there were a few of the Spanish kids J recognized from school. It’s amazing how badly I hope they are good examples and all.  After church one guy recognized him because his daughter cheerleads for his school, and so he’d go to watch his daughter and recognized J from always seeing him play, so that’s cool.  But he’s a great kid, I really hope things go well.  He’s moving over to / near the Hillpointe Ward in a month, so he can play basketball for a better school, and I’m excited, the new school has way more members, like a ton and lots play basketball and all of course.  Anyways, those are the main people we’ve been working with. 
     Doing less active visits we met one guy, C.  We had that he and his parents in their 80s lived there and no one really knew who they were.  Turns out the parents are dead but C’s a real neat guy. He swung the door open, said I just finished making brownies, come on in!  He’s like 63, kind of tall, good shape, and a few tattoos.  He had a ton of unique art around his house and I asked him if he was an artist, and he is.  He said his whole life his goal has been to do things the easy / wrong way, i.e. don’t graduate, no paperwork jobs etc, and about 10 years ago he bought a camera, opened it, saw instructions, put it down and never touched it.  Two years ago he came home from a party, something had happened, so he pulled it out, and got into photography, learned how to use a computer for this first time in his life and now just does his art. But only for two years.  I can’t tell if I think he’s good or not, a lot of the things have no balance, and look elementary. It’s not a difficult thing to do at all but some of them I definitely think are good.  Anyways we talked about that, I think the brownies were ok, and then we started talking about church.  He went on for over 30 minutes with all his anti material. He had all these like theses
he had typed and all to bash with some local pastors.  He said most of his life he defended the church,  He spent a year in his youth attending seminary because he lived with his cousin that year.  And never lived the gospel or anything, but thought it was neat and true.  (He was, but is in denial of the fact he was ever baptized) but then 3 years ago was talking to someone in the Smithsonian about it, realized he believed it all false, and for 3 years has had the hobby of disproving Mormonism for one but Christianity overall is the real focus.  He’s a real nice guy, but then he just started printing out all his papers for us. One of his main ideas is that IF Christians believe in the Bible, the Jews are right.  Some of his arguments were very dumb, or not backed properly and like everyone we meet that is like that, they give no room for discussion, so we don’t know if we’ll go back, I think the Bishop wants to meet him after we updated the Bishop on all our less active visits. 
     So we’ve also met with B some recently... looks like his living situation will clear up soon, and he’ll be good for baptism, but he does drink coffee.  He’s a really neat guy... He was born on an Indian reservation, is half white, never knew his white father... traveled the country with several bands, likes talking about zombie apocalypse and stuff, but isn’t like immature with it, he just likes to talk about it when his son brings that type of stuff up.  He’s a very calm, compassionate person, and now works as a nurse. He was saying he’s his hospital’s number one nurse based on the patient reviews.  He’s got long grayish hair, usually in a ponytail and an earring.  He’s almost done with the Book of Mormon for his second time, and takes a ton of notes, and in a very unique manner.  So he’s real neat. 
     Oh, and last time I mentioned the S's, they have permission to stay in our ward, so we get them back and that should be cool.
     Anyways, things are still going good with training and Elder R.  He’s learning things.  I had my first district meeting Tuesday, it went really well, it was about finding with faith, I enjoyed it, even though President Black happened to be there... just happened to on my first one....
     But on P-day my hip/butt and ankle weren’t too bad, I wrapped up my ankle before hand, and surprisingly my hip hardly bothered me even though it does in normal day life.  Our zone is still good for ball.  Today we’re supposed to play crab soccer with another zone, but no one wants to do that so the plan is for it to turn into basketball.
     Hopefully I’ll write or send some things soon, I’m awful, I know.  We’ve been hearing about Boston, crazy.  It’s so weird, 144 injured 3 dead, if that’s right.  It’s cool they caught them, and seems no room for conspiracy or that they didn’t get the right people. 
     Love you all,
     Elder Pyron

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15

Dear family,
     So things again of course are well… Sorry I haven’t sent that SD card or written, I’m working on it. But things are good, we just have Cimarron Ward now, so that’s a lot different.  C was baptized Friday with special permission for font side confirmation because her nonmember dad is going out of town for sometime to look for a job.  They also had a special hula dance thing, but we didn't go to the baptism.  But things are changing a ton with Cimarron, the members are really latching on, there’s been a ton of promotion and all with the changes.  I love the ward more than I ever have.  I’m glad I’ll probably be here for 7.5 months.  Bishop has a solid less active list we have all graphed by neighborhood. We've been meeting and getting close with a lot of families. I’m really excited. 
     Our district is cool too. First district meeting is tomorrow, it's Elder C, who is actually training as well, and then another 2 missionaries, we now have 3 districts of 6.  
     But we've met quite a few less active families we're real excited to work with.  A few families with kids ages like 8-22 have mentioned this one part member family where the mom has kind of fallen inactive, the husband's not a member, one kid is kind of inactive after a year at BYU and no mission, and their 17 year old son isn't really going to seminary any more, and is falling away from his decision to serve.  We spent 45 minutes talking to her and her husband while they were planting flowers yesterday, they are really nice, and when her husband went in she started kind of pouring out her heart talking about her inactivity and why it's so hard,having to have other friends do the kids' baptisms, and ward temple nights and all, which surprised us based on what some other families had said about the way they handle it.  It was really cool,and the 17 year old son talked to us for a bit, he and his mom talked about those struggles some together, he clearly was kind of split vs LDS and mission and that life, or a more science/agnostic view, he asked about dinosaurs, but in a very nice curious way, not at all an attack or anything,but it just made it clear what his thoughts were and why he’s not sure if he wants to serve a mission.  He’s busy with volleyball but they actually said we could come by tonight and do a missionary lesson just because neither of them have ever heard them, and it’ll help him decide, and hopefully the "Catholic" father will sit in.  The son and the mom are both real excited, and so am I.  A lot of the big LDS families in the ward with that type of age group have been close to them for sometime,including the father, but the S's reception went way against what I was expecting.  (they’re all in a strange looking geographical part of the ward map, where the ward extends to grab a few wealthy neighborhoods with some awesome families) and it's been two years since she’s been to church about, but she’s had periods of their life where they were very active. 
     But anyways we’ve also met quite a few other families, and all we should start working with, and it's making it easier to connect with the ward because it's people so many of the members really care about.  We also had a referral for someone just across the street from our ward boundaries, and it was a Hawaiian lady with her husband, he’s 84, and nonmember, but she’s been active I believe for her whole life, and he recently came to Vegas because he has some brain fluid in his head or something, recently received a blessing, had a great spiritual experience,believes God has brought him to Las Vegas for a reason, for the first time has noticed that his being Catholic was sheerly tradition and not his choice, and for the first time in their marriage has accepted discussions.  He’s Portuguese but lived his whole life in Hawaii.  He talks a lot and has good and interesting philosophies but gets off track, not like way off track, but just way too much time barely off the point. But that was Elder R's first lesson which was cool.  Oh, and so in Sunday school, correlation and Priesthood we were asked to share our testimonies and give words of encouragement and all and what we expect from the ward in missionary work and so we got a whole lot of publicity there, and then this Hawaiian women bore her testimony, and in it pointed us out and talked about how great we are so the whole ward turned their heads to us.  She was crying and all, then brought up her experience the day before with us teaching, and pointed to us and said "right there they are" and so things are changing here.  This is their 2nd week in Vegas so no one knew them, and they’ll be going to the other ward but it was coolish.
     We also got to sit next to a new investigator who just showed at church, apparently had met with missionaries in San Diego and loved it, but lost touch, and came here and found everything on his own.  His name was A, looked Egyptian almost from like the 3 I’ve known, and the non-Caucasian guy with jeans on is always easy to find at church as missionaries, but he to is barely outside of our area.  
     Well anyways, so Elder R (my new companion that I am training) is from Fort Worth, Texas his whole life. His parents have been divorced his whole life and he bounced around weekly between them, his dad active, his mom now Baptist.  He’s the oldest of them and his half siblings, and the only active one.  He’s a neat kid.  He ran track and loves basketball and football, he looks fit too. He has a lot for me to learn, and I’m real excited. He’s kind of got a Texas accent.  He has a strong testimony and likes to try and share it.  He’s always very happy, I don’t think he’s capable of not smiling, I’ve known a few kids that were similar in high school.  He goes with the flow, real easy to lead, and doesn’t hinder things in any other ways, so it's fun, and it’ll be good.  Lessons and all more much more enjoyable, now after the fact.
     I’m looking forward to this transfer for sure. Elder C’s companion Elder R is pretty cool, he’s from St. Louis, likes sports, kind of quiet, smart... he reminds me kind of of Jerry Fiala.
     Well, anyways I’m running out of time but, thanks for all the letters, pictures and articles are still great.  So when I sprained my ankle, I hit my hip pretty good, which wasn’t much of a bother, but now my ankles 90%, but my hip really hasn’t gotten any better, it’s really frustrating.  Usually it’s fine, but random certain ways I move it sends this extreme sharp pain.  I don’t know what to do for it.  It was an injury caused by impact, but there was never any bruising or anything, and the pain doesn’t at all match a usual impact injury. But anyways, I love you all,
      Elder Pyron

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday, April 8

At a training meeting for trainers

Dear Family, 
     So things are going good, I'll hopefully write and send the SD card soon.  Today is transfers.  Our area split so Elder P will go to Hillpointe and live with a member on bike, and I'm staying in Cimarron and in our apartment and am going to train and be district leader, so at least I'll keep the car.  Today we'll probably stay at home as Elder P has  tons to pack still.  But I'm excited for this transfer.  Elder P (a different one, who was also in the apartment) is leaving which is unfortunate, but it will be so much easier to only have one ward.  In Hillpointe we have a baptism on Saturday, for C, which is exciting.  But this week we've been pretty busy with General Conference and all, and getting Elder P situated, and some meetings, but we still got quite a few lessons.  

     We haven't got in touch with A since our first lesson which is really unfortunate, but we'll be able to lock down a little more now.  We had a good lesson with J, it had been a long time and he's an awesome kid.  He talked a lot about his life. He's still interested in the church, but his dad is just really supportive of him being religious, but doesn't have a particular interest.  Recently he's had some trouble at school, with people starting fights with him, the day we saw him he had been hit several times while playing basketball at school, but didn't hit back or anything, and shortly him and his dad are moving to a different apartment so he can go to a better high school, (he's in 8th grade), and that apartment complex is still close, and his new high school is going to  be full of LDS kids, and lots that play basketball... right now he knows 1 LDS kid.. So we're excited for him. 
     We got to meet with A, and she talked a lot about a lot of family problems she's been having, but I think conference was great for her, just like we told her when we met.  So what were you alls favorite conference talks?  I liked Elder Holland's a lot, and also some of the Seventy's. And President Uchtdorf's, and some more  are coming to mind, but I'm not 100% on the speaker's name.  I got 47 pages of notes though.      
      Anyways, so some members have been talking quite a bit about that Kevin Ware deal, and showed pictures and the clip... how does that happen? why did have to? My ankle's still swollen but it strikes so much fear in me to play basketball, all he did was jump and land wrong, I can't even imagine a way you could land so wrong that the pressure would be I don't even know how not to land...geez, and so what are they saying about recovery time and extent and all, or do they have any sort of neat insight of why that happened, how did the ankle and knee both avoid it? Any ways, enough of that. 
     But my shoes are real worn, but I'm bummed because they're way comfortable.  There's a few holes and all, but anyways that's for me to figure out.  Well, hope everything's going well and hopefully I'll get back to you soon! 
     Elder Pyron

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Monday, April 1

Dear Family,
     So again we've had a great week, we've done a bit of tracting and found some success there.  We got to meet a lot of cool and interesting people.  On Monday we met this guy L who let us in his office (the garage) and talked about life and church for about an hour,which was great because it was way better than tracting at that time.  He’s 30, recently married, and dirt bikes.  He looked pretty rough but wasn't at all.  While we were there his dog happened to escape the garage but we eventually found it.
     Tuesday we met J. He was about to do some yard work, talked to us for an hour and a half and then had to go.  He lives in the southern part of town but real recently started a lawn care type business.  He’s 21, and has been studying the Bible and theology for 7 years and is preparing to be a pastor.  He was a really cool guy, we talked a lot about the Bible, and our church, he was very set in his beliefs, but very respectful and good to talk with...  He thought and discussed a lot in the same way I feel I do, he reminded me of myself, but with different views.  We opened his eyes a bit to some things he couldn’t answer, but not too fully.  He said he had a read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon, but would read it, and pray, but he felt gyped because he didn’t have his Bible in his car which had his markings to discuss things,and he wasn’t allowed to give us anything to read ...but he did have a book in his car he wanted us to read.  So hopefully he feels the spirit and reads and prays with sincerity.  He’s a really good guy, and really does live what he believes and all, and it was real eye opening to hear a lot of the viewpoints he had and different interpretations and understandings.  We talked a lot about the nature of God, our purpose, the Godhead, and family.  He compared the Godhead to a Father, Mother and Son, or a simple family (he believed in the trinity), and really recognized the value of family, but did not believe they were forever (didn’t think it impossible but saw no reason to believe it). He saw the family as God’s quick route to sanctification, as it provides us with the opportunity to enjoy so many of God’s gifts, while also committing your self to SO much selflessness and service. So he saw it as a marvelous God given mechanism, but not as a building block for His kingdom or anything.  But anyways that was fun, and he wants us to come play volleyball with him and his friends some time, which is too bad we can’t, and he said he’ll take us to lunch sometime when he’s in this part of town which would be good, I really want to hear how things have gone. 
     But yeah, we had a lot of cancellations this week, but we met a lot of others tracting and all.  And then last night we visited the P family which was awesome.  Awhile ago I mentioned meeting the grandmother of a less active family, who talked about a set of home teachers.  We went back there, knocked, and the grandma was actually still in town until tomorrow.  The 16 year old girl J(whose mother is totally inactive, but the church has been part of her life,but she has really fallen away, but occasionally comes to seminary and activities, but feels judged and all that) answered, and then her grandma came out, and we shared like a 45 minute lesson, she talked a lot about her different feelings, when she came to know the church was true about a year ago,(baptized at 8), but talked about all the challenges and temptations, and difficulties of having a mother who is inactive, and the conversations she’shad with her.  She said she asked her mom, and her mom said "I believe its true but I don’t want someone telling me how to live my life" so she’s confused about it all, has great LDS friends, but they’re not her main friend base.  Then the 13 year old daughter came out, and we continued our lesson, which was awesome and the Spirit was strong and we closed with a prayer.  Then the grandmother invited us in, we realized the step dad had come downstairs, and so we went in and met him, and I kind of gathered he had come down and just listened discretely from the couch through the door to our conversation.  So we met him, he was very solid, which was a surprise since no members even mentioned trying on him or the mother, but just the kids.  The step dads name is RP, he’s like 30-35, and came to the US from the Philippines at like age 12 I believe.  His families mixed between Jehovah’s Witness and Catholic, but he hasn’t been anything religious his whole time in the US.  But he did say he had an LDS grandfather who he remembers taking him to church as a very young boy in the Philippines, and singing in Primary.  But that grandfather passed away a while back. But R was very quiet and really soaked a lot in, the Spirit was strong, and he would love to have us back, and the daughters really wanted us to come back (even just for them) which was amazing.  R is all tatted and has some studs on his teeth, looks rough, and plays point guard for some local men’s team or something and sounds pretty good.  He just looks extremely fast.  But so we haven’t met the mother yet but should soon, and I really am excited for this.  And J is going to seminary today which is awesome.  She did for awhile because she felt indebted to some of the families and teachers who have been there for her whole life, but now wants to make it more regular, and she really got a glimpse for what her family can become, through her efforts and example, and I think she really wants it. 
     Then we visited I at 8:30, he’s 90, got married during World War 2, after fighting quite a bit, then got married before it was over, his grandfather had 9 wives,and he had a great, great grandchild... and he’s in amazing health.  He got up so fast, smack his dog and pick it up and throw it in another room.  But anyways his wife was also in great shape but fell 5 days ago and broke her pelvis so he’s been distraught.  She’s probably going to come home today, and they’re helping her relearn to walk already after a broken pelvis at age 87... So I really hope the best for them, he really appreciated our visit.  It’s taken a huge toll on him.  All 5 days he’s been at the hospital with her from 7 am to 8pm.  But he was really funny, he’s got so many pictures of his grand and great and great, great grandkids, and he’s got no idea who any of them are.  But he had some amazing stories about experiences he’s had, but he’s not like most old men, he tells ones that are great, relevant, and he keeps them really brief.  But when we left we saw him staring at us out the window until we drove away (at 920 last night) but it was amazing to see how much he cared.
     But that’s most of what’s been going on recently. But Monday playing basketball I sprained my ankle, which I haven’t done in several years, so that’s been a learning process, and I’m bummed I probably won’t play basketball today, but it’s healing quick.
     But thank you everyone for your support and all and hopefully I’ll get better at writing, but today we might be outside and writing would be a pain, which is unfortunate considering I can’t play.  Oh and I’m real excited for conference, but for now,
     Elder Pyron