Friday, August 27, 2010

Daniel vs The Small Town

From: Eric Feller <>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 18:04:14

So I'd figure I'd talk about my area. Its half of a little town called Saint Johns. Three wards. Half the town is already members of the church. Maybe more than half. The other half has rejected the missionaries over and over so staying busy is not as easy as other places in the mission. I'm designated navigator in our truck so I'm getting pretty familiar with the town. The most frustrating thing about Saint Johns is that the Zone Leaders have never been here and still want us to "OYM" or "Open Your Mouth" to 10 people a day. We'll its really ineffective and when we have the time to try and do it, we cant find people out and about. Namely late at night. Or any time. People actually have jobs here, and stay in their houses at night. Tracting is worthless because its been tracted a million times and everyone's mormon anyways. Oh well. We have a few investigators. One has been strong in the church for a year, but cant get baptized because her stupid boyfriend wont marry her. Their kids are baptized and everything. I told her to fast and pray that he would marry her last night. Hopefully it works! Our other investigators are pretty normal. They're attached to their church or their parents wont take them or stuff like that. I probably shouldn't go into to much detail. I did go on splits with the ZL's in Show Low when our truck was getting fixed, and I taught a recent convert. and the ZL made me teach the Law of Chastity. So in my first lesson I taught the most embarrassing principle.

Sis Treadway asked me a bunch of questions, and they're good, so I'll answer them.
Yes, we still live in the house that was haunted. It feels a lot cleaner now. Its actually a double wide "trailer" or mobile home. Puke Yellow. Its awesome... now.
 We dont teach near a reservation. Well we might, but we dont. The elders in "Eager" do. And they also go to Luna, New Mexico. Pretty cool.
Me and my companion get along fine. We're both quiet, and I'm new and trying not to mess up. But if I follow the spirit when I talk I'll be ok. He's had a rough mission and has lots of good advice and stuff. He's been out for 19 months and has had a few bad companions and stuff. Like really apostate companions. And its hard for him to really train me in teaching because we dont have a ton of lessons to teach and stuff. He also got what they call the "STD" call, meaning this is his first time going Senior companion, Trainer, and District leader. STD. haa. But he added a W because we had to "White wash" our area. Meaning neither of us were in this area before.
 I'm getting the lessons down ok. They're in the planner which helps when we do teach, and I've got a pretty good grasp of the topics in each section.
The biggest challenge is getting lessons with people.

Which reminds me. There was a stake priesthood meeting on sunday where the stake president "Threw Down" in my terms. He called out the whole stake and said it was their job to find people, and our job to teach them. Hopefully we can get a ton of referrals from that.

Oh a dog attacked us the other day! It was a little one and was scared. it kept trying to run around us. my comp kicked it in the head.

Oh if anyone wants to send me packages, go to thrift stores and get me cool ties. Like the cheap polyester ones. hahah. If you can see a missionary looking good in it. There's a difference between cool and ugly though. Its not cool to wear ugly ties. But ridiculous ones are cool. Use wise judgment! Also, thanks Stephen for the starbursts. I had them for dinner and they were gone in two days.

I'm gonna cut this short and try to send pictures. Idk if I have time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Week 1

August 17, 2010

I dont have a cute title for the first letter this week... Because what happened was so serrious and I dont want to joke too much about it. To be blunt, our house was haunted and we did battle with an evil spirit or something. There was something in there that did not want us there. Ok, I'll start from the begining. My companion, Elder Cromwell, told me this after, but he said he was getting weird feelings in our house. And I definitely agreed. The two bedrooms and the bathroom on the oposite side of us were very creepy looking, but I didnt think very much of it. We have this light that you have to plug in to turn it on, and unplug for off. Well my companion unplugged it before he went to sleep, and he woke up in the middle of the night and the light was on and plugged in. He asked me in the morning and I didnt do it. So he was a little creeped out by it, I again didnt think much of it. He was making his nightly district calls, because he's district leader, and telling some people about it. They told us some stories about how people thought weird things about our house, like when they drove arround the corner at night they saw a face in the window. Once the missionaires saw a person inside, and waited for help, but the person was gone, presumably out the back door. Well while he's getting people's stats and stuff, his back is to the creepy rooms at the other end, and he starts gettin weird feelings and chills up his back. He called me into the same room and turned the board arround. Imediately I started feeling weird too. And got some chills. Then he told me what people were telling him and that there was defintely something at the other end. It got stronger. We could literally feel it getting stronger and its presence growing in the side of the house we were on. We started feeling sad and stuff. Like... a dementor. He said it was the adversary trying to get us to go home, and it was almost working. Thoughts were poping into my head and I was scared. We called the Zone Leaders and they told us to dedicate the house. We looked up how in our white handbooks and went into the bedroom, which was the safest feeling place at the time. We dedicated the house with the Melchezidic Preisthood and in the name of Jesus Christ. When we were done we felt good for like 10 seconds, but my faith faltered for one second and then the feelings were back, but stronger, and in the bedroom. We both decided we needed to leave because we werent exactly sure how to cast it out. We called the mission president and asked if we could stay where the other two Elder's were on the other side of Saint Johns. He said it was ok, and so we booked it out, grabbing only our backpacks with our scriptures and stuff, some shorts to sleep in, and I grabbed a golf club that we had... for saftey. hahaha. We went outside and my companion told me not to look at those two windows at the haunted end. We peeled out of our gravel driveway, backwards, and drove fast down the street. Its like 11 o' clock, a half hour past our lights out time, and a Police Officer in an SUV see's the missionaries car going fast down the street. (Its a small town... really small) We stopped at a stop sign and to call Elder Gunter, and the cop pulled up next to us, smiling, thinking he caught the elders doing something bad. I told him what was going at our house and his face imediately changed. He said ok, asked if we needed directions or anything, and went to drive by the house. We met the other elders and they took us back to their house. We slelpt on the floor but I couldnt sleep. I kept thinking about how my faith faltered for one second, and that gave it power. I knew that by faith we could do anything and I kept thinking about how I made the blessing break. Because I was scared. I realized these thoughts was exactly what the evil spirit was trying to ut in my mind. So I asked Elder Gunter for a blessing. He gave one of the best blessings I've ever heard. And the only thing I really remember from it was the phrase, "Where there is faith, there is no fear." I imediately felt better, and fell asleep on the floor.

I know this church is true, and I know that I'm doing God's work out here. If not, why was this spirit after us? We are representatives Jesus Christ, and Satan wants us to go home. In my opinion, especially me, because I have a promise from God that while I'm on my mission, I will receive much joy as I see many enter the waters of Baptism. Also, how could this church not be true? Elder Gunter's words were not from him, they were directly guided by the spirit. From that moment on I've not had fear. Only faith.

We went back. The next night we told our Ward Mission Leader, Chad, who's been a great help to us in this whole area so far. I told him what happened and he asked some questions. He said we had to go back there. We were waiting until Saturday when the housing cordinators were coming up from Tempe, but he made us go there that night. We walked us and me and my comp started getting chills. We went inside, and Chad started trying to talk to it. He said he felt it too. It wasnt as intense at the night before for any of us. I dont know what was different. But I was not scared of it anymore. It was all over my companion. He could feel it really strong, stronger that me and Chad. Chad asked if we were okay with it, or if we wanted to cast it out. I asked him how to cast it out and he told me. My comp said he felt like it was still agressive towards him, and wanted it out. I stopped them really fast. I talked to the spirit for a little bit, explaining who we were and telling it to please find Christ, and the gospel. That made it really mad. We all raised our arm to the square and Chad started talking (Honestly, I wanted to cast it out hahaha) He said "By the power of the holy Melchezidic Priesthood..." and I felt it get mad. "And in the name of Jesus Christ..." It was furious, but all of a sudden it was gone. And we felt peace in our home.

Chad told us on sunday that he felt it follow him home, and was pretty pissed at him. So he cast it out again when he got to his house. So now there's a pissed lone evil spirit wandering arround Saint John, Arizona.

I hope everyone who hears this story, is not made afraid by it. But it helps your testimony grow. And never forget that "where there is faith, there is no fear." because I never will.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

St. Johns

August 17, 2010

Saint Johns is a cute little town. Actually thats a lie. When I'm not pretending not to be racist, I would say that white trash is my least favorite type of people. And there's quite a few houses like that here. But not everyone, so thats good. Just a lot of hard working farm or powerplant people, and some white trash. My biggest problem with Saint Johns is finding stuff to do. We visit everyone, and make apointments, but there's only like 4 good investigators left for us, and they keep canceling apointments and stuff. So I havent taught a discussion yet. I've talked and got to know a lot of people though. Some of our investigators and people from the ward. But its still hard. We rode our bikes for two hours last night and talked to no one. Ps my bike is awesome. Its a little bigger than I would've chosen, but thats because I my bike at home was always a little too small. and I liked it. One thing, the seat is really small. like only a few inches wide. And because of that, kinda uncomforatable... Maybe I'l fix that when I'm in a bike area in tempe or something. There's not much to say about this week because it was so un eventfull.

I have noticed whenever I'm in a country town I always want to become a cowboy. hahaha. Like, Elder Gunter and his greenie comp moved into our house with us. And Elder Gunter is a champion He ropes this cow dummy outside of our house all the time. And he's gonna teach me! So I might buy a rope and practice all the time. Maybe I'll try to cowboy for a summer when I get back... hahahaha. Maaaaaybe. Um. I'll keep this week short. Thats pretty much it this week besides our house being haunted. Soooooooo. Cool. I'm gonna send a bunch of pictures. now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Email from Sister Jones

 Hi Sis. Feller,

My name is Kim Jones and my husband and I had the pleasure of hosting your son in our home. He and his companion and two other elders came here for the night and then today they were to be told who their companions would be and where they would be serving in the Tempe mission. They were very excited to see where they would be going. I enjoyed meeting him. He is going to be a wonderful missionary. You should be very proud of him. I am attaching a picture of him by a saguaro cactus. Nothing says I'm in Arizona like standing by a cactus and getting your picture taken!

Have a great day,

Daniel vs the State of Arizona

August 12, 2010

So I flew into Arizona yesterday morning at 8:30. I dont even know what to about the MTC except what I said in a written letter. Just scan it and put it on the blog before this one. Uh. Arizona is hot. but not as hot as I thuoght it would be. Aparently it was a cool 100 degrees when we flew in. We were picked up from the airport and greeted the president. Got all our bags and piled into a huge van, suv and a car. We drove back to the mission house and they took pictures of us... Then were fed an awkward and nervous breakfast. Then the Asistant's to the President talked to us for a little while. They kept making jokes and I couldnt tell if they were serious. We got a lot of instruction about mission stuff... I dont really remember it. I was pretty tired. Then they gave us our "red handbook" which is a Tempe Arizona mission thing only. It has a ton of extra stuff and references. Then we went to the Mesa temple... serriously just down the street from the Tempe Mission home... Kinda weird. We went though the visitors center and looked at the outside of the temple. Its a really pretty temple. And they told us about how it is one of our greatest resources because people can visit and feel the spirit anytime. The displays were great too. There was one painting of a Virgin from the parable of the 10 virgins who was holding a lamp that seemed to glow. but it was a painting! The guy in charge talked to us and told us that the artist mixed flourecent material into the paint, then he turned off the lights and we could still kinda see the lamp. it was so cool! Then we went to dinner at a members home. uhhh... it was awkward. But good. Then we went back to the stake center/mission home and families picked us up for us to stay at their house...

and then and then and then ... I know, but so much happened that I dont even know how to explain it.

Bro. Jones was his name. He drove us in his truck and asked us what we wanted for dinner. We said we ate dinner at some family and he asked what we had. I said "taco salad" and he said "thats not dinner" and took us out to a mexian restaunt. It was good, "authentic" as he said. But I'm from California and didnt need to be told that... But it was so good compared to the lukewarm mtc food. And I left so full. We got to his house and he said the bishop was coming over to give him a new calling. And also, a lady was coming over because she needed a blessing. He told us he wasnt even going to get dressed up because he had 4 missionaries over, and a bishop, who could do the blessing. We met with the bishop, and then the lady came over. They had me seal the anointing because I'd never done a blessin before. I was pretty nervous so I basically read it from the mission handbook. and then we all stood in the circle as the bishop gave her an amazing blessing. It was a really cool and spiritual experiance. We went to sleep, woke up, I showered in their awesome shower. I had two heads on different sides, one was detatchable, and also six water jets on the sides of the controlls that shot out water if you switched it. It was crazy! We went to the church and waited for the transfer meeting. We all came in and sat down on one side of the chapel and the trainers were on the other side. When he finally started reading the names, we would stand up and hug in the middle and sit down. My trainer is Elder Cromwell from Rexburg Idaho. He's quiet, which is what I was not hoping for, but I'm with him for a reason I guess. He's a good guy though. He's been out 19 months and this is his first time being senor companion, district leader, and whitewashing an area. Which is going into an area with two new missionaries. Its hard because you dont know anyone or anything. Ok, this is where it gets good. We also got our area's. Are you ready to know where I am right now. I'd have you all guess, but I cant answer back. I'll give you a hint. Its not Tempe. Its not Yuma. duhn duhn dunh! I'm in Saint John Arizona, up in the North East corner, in the White Mountains. Its a mild 84 degrees outside right now. Its a tiny little town, a little bigger than Melba Idaho, the smallest town I've been to. Think like... Battle Mountian nevada size. I think... Our mission car is a Truck, a chevy Colorado. Small, but awesome. And I live in the most ghetto awesome missionary house ever. There's all sorts of art on the walls from a huge poster of the Christus statue, to those pictures that three people draw togeather with a head, middle, and a back. You know when you fold it three times. Its awesome! We ate dinner on the way in at a recent convert's house. He also drove us up. He was an amazing person. He always searched for truth, and did a ton of Native American religious stuff, like sundances and whatever. He converted a year ago, and now he loves the missionaires. The food was good... I guess.. but kinda werid tasting. I hope thats just that house. hahaha. We were home last night for like 5 mins and some members brought over food. So I think they're really nice. This morning was an average morning, we had comp study, and because he's my trainer, he had to go over the "Lock your heart" talk... It was interesting... But kinda scary. Then we played with his rope on a roping dummy shaped like a cow outside untill Elder Gunter came to show us arround. He came, took the rope, and nailed the cow. He's a professional. He did rodeos and stuff before his mission. Then we came to the Family History center, where I'm writing this. Thats basically it. I forgot my camera, So I'll send all my MTC pictures next week. Plus some of my house and whatever else...

Thats it!

Love Elder Feller

Daniel vs the MTC

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Daniel vs the Travel Plans

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 10:01:32 -0600
Subject: Re: Hey Elder!

Hey this is for the blog. and you guys.

Ok, so the mtc is flying by quickly. I already have my travel plans. on Tuesday the 10th I get to the Salt Lake air port at like 5 in the morning, then fly at 8. Arizona is back an hour because they hate Benjamin Franklin so I'll get there basically when I leave. Plus or minus a few minutes.

Classes are great here. But its weird to think that I'm leaving soon. The people learning english learn so much more about teaching than the people learning another language. Like these Elders going to Madagascar in my Zone only learn the lessons and what to say and their testimony is "Malagasy" or something. I dont know how to spell it. My Zone is awesome. I got to host new missionaries coming in yesterday and I hosted a guy going to texas who lived in our zone, so on my floor basically right next to me. I told him all I knew about the MTC which is surprisingly alot... Stuff like dont drink 10 chocolate milks in 1 day, like one of my roommmates did. Or dont ever EVER eat the hot dogs like I made the mistake of doing. It was sweet! Uh but in class we learn how to teach effectivley. We especially rely on the spirit to teach, which is good because I'm probably the weakest teacher without it. Wow, typing is getting hard. I've lost my finger muscles I guess. anyways, so we learn how to teach. Thats basically all I can really say about it without typing out my notes or something... Im worried because I dont know how to do "door aproaches" and stuff.. I guess I'll learn from my trainer? Cool... Who I meet in less than a week! Oh my gosh. Scary stuff.

So we have two investigators at something called the TRC. Basically we go there and teach volunteers like they're real people investigating the church and we just walked into their home. then we leave and get no feed back from them... But there's a camera in the room so our teacher can watch it. Its scary. It reminds me of Monsters Inc. Because we all stand out side of the doors, preping, doing our Micheal Phelps warm ups, and then are like "welp, good luck" and then basically walk into different worlds to collect "Spirit" instead of Screams. Yeah. I made that up. But Me and Elder Carpenter have done good every time. One family we teach, Arnold and Sydney Young, are pretty interested. At least she is. She's facinated by the Book of Mormon and believed in it pretty much before she even read it. She heard stories about how the native americans thought that Cortez was "the great white God returning" and she said "they knew things they shouldn't know." But he's just really chatty... Even though he likes it and us. We met with them for the last time, and our teacher sister dunn said we were too nice and didn't try to make them make commitments hard enough.. Which I guess is half true. Lesson learned. Our other investigator is named Birgita and she's from Switzerland or something. She said she just wants to know about our church, and has no interest in being baptized, but I think we made her feel the spirit and become more interested last time. It was great. We meet again with her tomorrow. Hopefully we do good.

Uh yeah... Not much else happens here even though its really busy. Beach volley ball every gym time is amazing. This one new elder going to Madagascar can jump so his chest is above the net. He's awesome. We also sing Disney songs in the showers sometimes because it sounds really good in there. My teacher is a democrat, and he assumes I'm just another racist uneducated republican, which I guess is ok, because I assume he just wants to "care about people" (in quotes for a reason) and be cool with his friends. I told him I'm very educated and dont like to align myself with the republican party because a lot of the leaders are straight idiots. So... Whatever. I told my mom I wouldnt talk about politics and its hard.

Oh one good thing me and Elder Carpenter did is set a goal to have a good day. This came from
having multiple bad days. So we set a goal, like we're taught to do, had an amazing day. And now I write it down as one of my goal every day.

Thats it. I'm running out of time.

-Elder Daniel Feller

Daniel vs the First Week

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Daniel vs the First Day

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daniel Enters the MTC

On Wednesday, July 21 Elder Feller reported to the Provo MTC to begin his two year mission.  Here are some shots from the fun afternoon! With the family at the famous MTC sign

Are you OK?

With Aunt Katie

One more with the family

We are so proud of the great young man you have become! 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Last Dessert...

Some pictures from the night before Daniel reported to the MTC.  We went to Whiting Camp Grounds in Mapleton for some wonderful fun and desserts.  We miss you already Daniel!!!

The Last Supper...

The day before Daniel reported to the MTC we had a delicious lunch at Tucano's.

Thanks to everyone who came.  It was a great afternoon.