Nathanael Pyron

Nathanael Pyron

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday, November 4

Dear family,
     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, L 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. 
     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 Haiti, and another missionary from El Salvador, 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. 
     Love, Elder Pyron

Followup e-mail

     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). 

Monday, October 28

Dear family, 
     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.
     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?
     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.
     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.  
     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.
     Friday we had a ton of service painting the senior center.  So yeah.  
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.
     Elder Pyron

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