Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elder Milne

Elder Milne, who was in the MTC with Daniel

Daniel vs Baptisms!

Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 11:06:16 -0700

The most exciting thing that happened this week was Colten and Sierra Porter's baptism! It went really well. The dad was able to baptize the kids after all and we got everything sorted out. Last Sunday we realized that on the Church records Bro Porter was only a Teacher, but he swore he was a priest, so we had to get that all figured out, and it worked out really well. The baptism was really nice. The spirit was really strong, and I can tell that it really helped the family spiritually. They are doing so much better. The mom has been able to make it to church the last three weeks, and they want us to start teaching their other two kids pretty soon. 

I went on exchanges twice with the members of my district who live in my house. The first time I went out with Elder Riddoch, and we had a good time in his area. I always seem to learn more than I teach when I go on exchanges.  And the second time I stayed inside most of the day with Elder Lichtenstein because of his hurt feet... He had like 3 ingrown toenails. 

Also! We ate dinner at this guys house and his Christmas lights were set up like the vision of the tree of life! He was pretty funny. He said, "The only problem with it is that I live in the great and spacious building!" Picture below! 

Not much else happened this week. We're kind of out of options right now. But things are always looking up! Christmas is next week, and transfers are the Wednesday after! We'll see what happens! Dont mail me stuff if it wont get here before the 28th! 
Colten and Sierra Porter's baptism
Do you ever find yourself in Lehi's dream?
This is what happens when you tell me you dont like Christmas

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Daniel vs Surprise Baptism!

Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:21:16 -0700

You wont believe this.

On Tuesday was had a meeting scheduled with Shannon, the investigator who's daughter had passed away and we attended the funeral. She had been coming to church for a few weeks and so we tryed to set something up again. We texted her to confirm the lesson and she said, "Can we just bypass all the lessons? I have done a lot of research. I just  want to talk about baptism." So we met and she was telling us about all this research she did were she went to every anti web-site and then looked up all the church doctrine. She said the only thing she couldn't find was the process to be baptized. We didn't understand at first, because she didn't sound like she wanted to be baptized, so I was like, "... well... first you meet with the missionaries, and then..." and she cut me off and went on this tangent about the articles of faith, and then I got it. She was asking me what she had to qualify for. So I showed her the interview questions and said that you have to pass this interview. She looked over the questions and was said, "ok, I can do that."  So I asked her if she wanted to be baptized, and she said yes. Then I asked if she believed in the church and everything and she said yes. And so we put her on date for Saturday and she was baptized! It was a tottal surprise. 

But getting to the baptism was a little harder than that. We found out Tuesday evening. She also said she didn't want anyone to be there, because she's terrified of being in front of people. We also had her interview on Wednesday morning, where, thankfully, Elder Case got some of her understanding on the right track. Some people don't realize how important the commandments are, especially when they do their own homework. Then Wednesday night we told our ward about it all and they were happy, but the Ward Mission Leader was going to be out of town, so I had to get everything done for the baptism all by my self. Then, we had to move the time up because of the stake baptisms that day, and also, the Stake was getting mad at us because we planned the confirmation for Saturday because she is terrified of people, because the handbook says it has to be on Sunday at church, even in her situation and with the Mission President on my side. And then Shannon didn't get back to us about the program until the day before. So we spent all Friday night trying to find some members to help us make it. We ended up at this guys house who when we ate there for dinner, just told us all these funny stories about dumb stuff he did on his mission, who said to come over if we ever needed anything. So we got the program all set at 9 o clock the day before, but the Bishop still didn't know the time changed, because we couldn't get a hold of him all day. But we call him again at 9:30 and he tells us that the Sake President had sent him an email about how Convert Confirmations need to be in sacrament meeting because the handbook says so. So we have all this drama coming from the members! (again). But the Baptism and confirmation went off without any problems on Saturday morning... except I forgot to tell the person conducting that the time had changed... Oops. 

Lesson Learned: Don't have me do a whole baptism by myself... 

But Shannon is awesome. She has found the truth and wont let it go. She's a pretty funny person. She's super intelligent, and really stubborn. Hence why I don't even have a picture of the baptism. She didnt like meeting with the missionaries to get information, so she found it all out, and because of her already strong relationship with God she was able to discern the truth by the Holy Spirit. Which is a testimony booster of the converting power of the Gospel. 

That was most of the craziness this week. The rest of it will develop at a later time, and I'll fill you more in then. But get excited. 


The Key is too big!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Daniel vs Satan

Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011 11:17:45 -0700
Satan has been hard at work in the Gilbert Zone this whole past week. We've had tons of problems with certain missionaries, and everyone is just kinda been down and having a hard time.  I wont go into too much detail, because its sad, but the good news is that we're pulling out of it! We've had a lot of potential pop up recently and all the problems and trials are definitely because we're on the brink of huge success. Its funny, that two of the companionships that are doing the best, are the ones struggling the most. And I've had my share of drama this week, but we'll get to that.
First! Sorry I didn't email last week, nothing much to report. But we've been working with this family and its been going great! They were less active, and their 4 kids are not baptized. We've been meeting with the two oldest, Colten and Sierra, and they're getting baptized on the 17th. We asked if the other two would be interested and the dad said no, but he was going to work on them, and yesterday the whole family was at church! It was awesome. It was the first time we even met the mom and two other kids. So that's going great. They're super excited, and so are we.
Then, on Wednesday, we were doing our weekly meetings with all our ward mission leaders. During one of the meetings I brought up how our investigator had asked why there was no one else in the Gospel Principles class and we asked if we could get some more people in there to fellowship her. And the ward mission leader just shut me down and told me that was a bad idea because when there's a lot of people they all like to talk and voice their opinions and get on tangents. I couldn't believe he shut me down like that... Especially because the teacher of that class only goes on random tangents by himself...
But then! In the next meeting, we had previously talked about going over the ward mission plan and trying to help the missionary efforts of his ward become more effective, and so we go in, and we talk for a second, and then I start my whole presentation, and then the High Councilor over missionary work comes in, and as soon as I mention setting specific goals, the Ward Mission Leader kind of shuts down and stops paying attention. Then something happened and he interrupted me and started off with, "I am a faithful member of the church... but this has gone too far" and then proceeds to yell at me for about ten minutes about how the Church is putting the emphasis in the wrong place, and the brethren are misguided, and he crumples up the Sample Mission Plan I gave him and throws it at me. Then he gets into how I as a missionary don't care about people, and I'm prideful and I need to get up and start working. I was completely thrown off. I couldn't believe it was happening, and I am not exaggerating about it at all. So I'm sitting there getting yelled at with my companion, and the Bro. Hale, the High Councilor is sitting right there. And then he starts in about how his ward is so doing all this stuff and I stopped him and said, "But where are the results? There are no results!" and yelled "Bull Crap!" And kept going for a few more minutes and then ended with, "You don't know what a hard mission is! You have it easy! I served in France!" and just went off about it. Then he closed with a prayer and I pick up the paper he threw at me and went to throw it away. It hit the edge of the garbage can and fell to the side, and Bro. Hale picked it up and started to unfold it and I just walked out of the room, and we biked home. I was pretty mad that night, and I told the missionaries about and the Zone Leaders were ticked! But I just went to bed. I woke up the next morning and it all kind of caught up with me and I was pretty shaken. But I got the spirit back and was good to go.
Pretty crazy, but it gets better. So Elder Gordon, our Zone Leader, talks to Bro. Hale the next day, and Bro. Hale had a long talk with the Ward Mission Leader and told him I was just doing my job. But Bro. Hale was interested in what I was talking about. So on Sunday, The Ward Mission Leader comes up to me and totally apologizes, and says that he wants to do things the Lords way, and asked for my forgiveness. So I have no hard feelings towards him. And! That night Elder Gordon and I go to visit Bro. Hale and talk with him about everything we've been doing to get missionary work going in our wards, how many people the members know, and how with an effective Ward Mission Plan, we can focus that effort and actually produce results. Lots of results. This is everything I've been working on since... almost my whole mission. Bro Hale ate it up and we're going to be working with him to help the Gilbert Stake follow the hand book, and become very successful. On the drive home Elder Gordon and I were talking about how big of a deal this is, and how we can see events in our whole missions preparing us for this. The things that are happening right now are inspired. Things are going to happen. And that's why Satan has been working hard on Gilbert. But we're breaking out of it now.
The Ward Mission Plan and everything I'm talking about is how the ward can effectively participate in member missionary work. I know I probably sound crazy, but its basically following what the Handbook says about missionary work, to help us be effective in our finding, teaching, and baptizing. Its interesting, because in an area like Gilbert, theres almost nothing that the missionaries can do to bring people into the church without the members. So this is how it has to work here.
Its like I'm in a movie!
Elder Feller.