Nathanael Pyron

Nathanael Pyron

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday, October 21

Dear family,
     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. 
     Elder Pyron

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday, October 14

Dear family,
     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,
     Elder Pyron

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

Monday, October 7

Dear Family,
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 Salt Lake.  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.

Elder Pyron