Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daniel vs Members

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 11:04:37 -0700

We did lots of hard work this week. We've been in kind of a rut on  teaching and everything the past few weeks. But we broke out of it a little bit. It was pretty good. The baptisms that we were supposed to have easy this transfer kept canceling on us for the past 3 weeks, so that's not going to work out. If I stay, definitely next transfer though.
Speaking of which, transfers are coming up next week. So don't mail stuff to my house, unless it will get there before Tuesday. I know right, its crazy. When I was younger, I never thought I would reach the day where I was out for 18 months on my mission. Its crazy to think about, but it doesn't feel real. I'm now one of the oldest missionaries in the mission. My transfer and all the transfers after me were really big, so the mission has grown a little bit, and we're old now! 

Not much progress to report this week. We have been teaching this guy who has it pretty rough. He's 19, and just got out of jail. He was supposed to get baptized before. So he cant get baptized now, because hes on probation. So we go over a few times a week and meet with him. To keep him on the right track. 

Joey was able to come to church this week! That was awesome, and he'll be able to come next week as well. He really enjoyed it. There was also a bunch of other random people there. A member brought a friend from work, another young woman brought a friend, and then these two teenage girls showed up after their own church to see if what their church was saying about us was true. The members reacted very well, and are keeping in good contact with them. Hopefully we'll be able to teach some of them soon. 

I've been doing a lot of work with the members here. I don't know if anyone know, but Gilbert is like little Salt Lake City. Well, most of Arizona has tons of members everywhere. But especially in the Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, and Show Low Areas. Which is where I've spent pretty much my whole mission. The missionaries here cannot find people on their own here. It all depends on how we work with the members. And we don't know how sometimes, so we just kind of do our thing and hope. But I've been a lot more proactive about it in this area. And I hope its working. The members of the church need to have a huge shift in their understanding. They not only need to know how valuable they are, but how to actually be useful to missionary work. A lot of members don't understand the doctrines of missionary work, even all these returned missionaries. The younger ones, the ones who used Preach My Gospel get it. But sometimes are not proactive enough. The missionary purpose in Preach My Gospel, on the very first page, says INVITE others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel though Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I pains me to hear people say, "we're setting an example, and someday maybe..." If its not inviting, its not missionary work. Being an example is what you covenanted to do when you were baptized. Inviting is not even hard, especially when you're already talking about it. If every gospel conversation we, as members of the church, had included an invitation to do something that will increase their faith, the convert baptisms of the church would double, like President Hinckley said. I've seen families be baptized simply because they were invited to church. The converting power of the Gospel is real. There is a sweet spirit that is there, and that they will recognize, and that sometimes we forget. Never forget that! 


Elder Feller. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daniel vs Cinderella

Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:39:05 -0700

The work has been going really slow here lately. All of our investigators have tremendous outside influences keeping them from progressing like probation, mandated community service, work, ect. So we're trying the best we can. We've got some good potential with the two other Porter kids, but their schedule has been crazy so its been tough to teach them. We have a for sure appointment tomorrow. 

But I have lots of other funny stories this week! 

Monday: I was talking to this greenie in our zone from the Ukraine. It was pretty funny. He said that America is just like the Ukraine, not all that everyone thinks it is. He said everyone just thinks we're rich. He was also in a Rap Band when he was 15. He rapped in Ukrainian for me.

Tuesday: Let me preface this story with this statement: Sometimes, I feel like especially in Arizona, members ask us to do really stupid things that have nothing to do with missionary work. I find it really annoying when members treat me like I'm here to stake up their chairs after church, or I'm just here to help their sons go on missions to mexico later... I hate it, and its really annoying. Don't ever treat your missionaries like that. They'll be nice, but secretly they hate it.  

So, we had this super hilarious awkward dinner at the Stake Presidents House. This is a Terrible idea, and don't ever do this to your missionaries. They had an appreciation dinner put on by the Mia Maids in one of the wards. They made us food and we had to sit at tables with them and talk to them... A bunch of twenty year old MISSIONARIES sitting down and eating dinner with a bunch of 14 year olds. It was soooo awkward. But really really funny because of it. We did not break a single rule, but it just kinda felt like it. We tried to talk to them, but all the girls at my table were in the 8th grade. They like soccer and piano... More importantly for later on in the email, when I eating, I was trying to cut something with the side of a plastic fork, and I totally snapped it in half right in front of everyone. 

Fast Forward to Saturday: 
So I went on exchanges with my Zone Leader, Elder Williams from Wyoming in his area. I slept really bad at their apartment, and we had to go to a baptism for the Spanish Elders in the Morning. So we go out in the afternoon, and we go to this members house and it looks like a Castle! Seriously, some of the more wealthier people in Arizona build these houses that are just huge and crazy, but pretty sweet. So we go past this gate, and over this stone bridge over a pond, and there's this huge house that is covered in stone. So we knock on the door and while we're waiting I look around and comment on how this looks like a castle. Elder Williams agreed and we made a few jokes, and then we turned to leave because no one answered, but when we turned this BMW came through the gate and over the bridge and turns past us to go through this archway to the side of the house where the garage is. Inside we see this girl, probably like 18, in this big fancy blue dress, waving at us. She goes back and parks, and we're like.. "that's weird" and she comes out of the archway in this big huge blue dress, hair all done and make up and everything, and I'm thinking, "what the heck... that's an ugly prom dress... wait, its not prom time..." and as she is walking up to us, she says "hey guys! how's it going!? What can I do for you today?" and we kind of just look at her awkwardly, and she says "Sorry I'm dressed like this, I'm a princess! ... I do birthday parties." And so Elder Williams talks to her about the family her parents were working with and we are about to leave and she says "Sorry, I'm not always dressed like this I promise." and we laugh, and leave. It was like a bad Disney movie! The missionaries end up at this castle and meet a princess!  But it was so funny. We talked about how we met a princess all day. 

Then later on in the exchange, we were at dinner and I was scooping some ice cream, and telling the story about how I broke the fork at the stake president's house, and while I'm putting a ton of pressure on the ice cream scoop, it snaps in half and the ice cream and this spoon slide across the table and into this guy. Everyone laughed, it was really funny, but I was really embarrassed! Twice in a week! And while I was telling the story!  

That brings us to Sunday: Sunday was stake conference, and I decided to wear this tie I got from Elder Lesh when he went home named "Handicapped Hercules" for the first time in public. See the picture below, its a very coveted tie in the mission, but President Howes specifically told Elder Lesh he hated it when he was in the office. (He hates all our polyester ties... but especially ones with people on them) And so we were waiting for the Porters to show up, and then on the other side of the building President Howes walks into the building... Of course... So I freaked out because I really didn't expect that. I figured someone from the stake would have told us if that was happening, so I wave and start looking for a member I know well so I can trade ties with him. Except all the ties I saw were really ugly, and I couldn't do it. So we go up to talk to someone and President and Sister Howes pull me aside and ask me what these people need to hear. I saw Presidents eyes go from my eyes, to my tie, and back to my eyes. In my head all that was happening was "NOOOO." So I stammer off some topic I thought would be really good for the members to hear, and they say thank you and we go get the Porters and sit down next to them in the first few rows. Its not that it really matters President saw me wearing that tie, it doesn't effect me at all, it was just really funny that it all happened.

Then later the Stake President was talking, and was going off on this huge story about the titanic, and then the "deep dive" to retrieve it, and then invited us to take a deep dive in the Book of Mormon. And then stopped and invited this little 10 year old girl and she talked about how much she loved the Book of Mormon and how scripture study enriched her life. It was really powerful! Like, we were all almost crying. 

Whew. So that was my crazy week this week. 

Elder Feller
Some of my new ties. "Handicapped Hercules sits in the center, with "The Lady Killer" one to the right, and "Chalk Zone" on its left. Some of my new favorites.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Daniel vs Time

Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 10:44:54 -0700

The weeks are flying by.
We went to the visitors center a week ago with Joey. It was awesome, it really helped him understand the story of Joseph Smith, and he really felt the spirit. 
We also got in with Seth again. He hadnt been reading or praying like he said he would, so we sat down and read 3 Nephi 11 with him and taught him the 3rd Lesson from it. The we talked about prayer a lot. He was afraid to pray, and didnt really know what to do, or what to think, or how to get an answer. So we talked about it a lot, and I told him the only way he was going to know would be to just do it. And he said ok and closed us with a prayer out loud. It was awesome. I love hearing someone's first prayer. He felt great after, and so I think it will be something he and his girlfriend keep up. We meet with them again soon.
The weather here is amazing! Its so nice outside everyday, and then chilly, but not too cold at night. Just perfect. 
I realized when we were at church that I had been slaking on setting up an appointment to teach the other two kids of the family that just got baptized. Also, Shannon's kids have been coming to church with her, so we'll see about that as well. We're really trying. 

Things are going.


Elder Feller

Monday, January 2, 2012

Advent Christmas Tree

Dear Friends and family,

Inspiration was slow to come this year, but I think I finally have an idea - stolen from a web site of course.  We are making him a giant advent calendar of a paper, cut out Christmas tree.  We are then sending him a different paper ornament to hang every day to count down to Christmas.  If you are interested in sending him an ornament then call, facebook, or email me to let me know.   I will email you back a day # for December 1-24.  I was thinking of one ornament for a couple and one for each child, but let me know if you want to do just one for your family.   I am attaching a word document.  Print out the document and decorate the ornament.  You can use white or colored paper.  Decorate with pictures (school or snap shots), crayons, pens, pencils, stickers, etc. or write a note on the ornament.  What ever you want to do just be sure to sign it so he knows who they are from.  Then cut it out and mail it to him mail in an envelope marked on the back or somewhere with a date # so he knows when to open it and put it on the tree.

No worries if you don't want to or don't have time.  Just let me know.

His address is:

Elder Daniel Feller
923 East Park Ave
Gilbert, AZ 85234



Hey everyone!
For Christmas this year, we are sending Daniel a big paper Christmas tree, and we thought it'd be fun to have everyone decorate a paper ornament and sent it to him. We want him to open an ornament for each day of December until Christmas (1-24).  If you want to participate let me know so I can assign you a day, and please complete these steps as soon as possible:

1. Open the attached file and pick the shape(s) that you wish to print.
2. Print as many as desired (no more than one per person, please)
3. Decorate (don't forget to sign it)
5. On the front of the envelope, write the DATE HE IS TO OPEN THE ENVELOPE (WILL ALSO BE PROVIDED SOON). We will send you your date later! It's an advent calender, so we'll need at least 24 in separate envelopes, so please package yours accordingly. Please get decorating (we're keeping it simple over here - think stickers)

Thanks so much for your help in giving Daniel a merry Christmas!

Eric, Natalie, and Abbie Feller

Ok everyone here are your dates:

Natalie Feller                  December 1
Eric Feller                       December 2
Abbie Feller                   December 3
Katie & Dave Chase        December 4
Lincoln Chase                 December 5
Scout Chase                   December 6
Paul & Bonnie Walter      December 7
Tamara Sortman             December 8
Ian Sortman                   December 9
Val & Dorothy Stephens   December 10
Tami & Daryl Stokes        December 11
Meili Stokes                    December 12
Eliah Stokes                    December 13
Ana Stokes                     December 14
Dave & Robynn Walter    December 15
Walter Kids                    December 16
Jenny Her                      December 17
Treadways                     December 18
Fred & Mari Feller          December 19
Liz & Ryan                     December 20
Brad & Melissa               December 21
Stephens Kids                December 22
Steve & Debbie Walter   December 23
Bennett Walter             December 24

Mail the ornaments to:  Elder Daniel Feller, 923 East Park Ave., Gilbert, AZ 85234.  Remember to put the Date you want him to open it on the back of the envelope.

Thanks so much for your help.  This should be fun.


Nothing much happened this week. It was pretty typical.

Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2012 10:59:33 -0700

We had a good lesson with an investigator we have named Joey. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and everything he needs too do. Its really hard for him to progress because he has a felony on record, for something stupid that wasnt really his fault, and its hard for him to get another job because of that. We're going to the visitors center tonight with him and the family fellowshipping him. So we're pretty excited about that.

We FINNALLY met with this other investigator named Seth. He's a live-in boy friend of a less active woman. We started talking to him and felt like he needed the plan of Salvation. It was awesome. He was super interested. He was way into everything we were saying, and it was really interesting because he would really pay attention when we talked about returning to live with God. And so he asked us a question at the end about the commandments, because I had mentioned that a few times. It caught me off guard, but I was able to explain it ok... But He's really awesome.
New years was pretty boring. We went in early, and we were supposed to study. I tried for a little bit, but gave into my roommates and played board games. I won, by the way. But then I stopped and started to clean and write a letter. So it was productive.
Not much else, plus I'm out of time again this week because we're at a members house because the library is closed for new years!
Enjoy the Christmas Pictures!!!
Elder Feller
The Hobbit House. No joke...
Christmas Morning!
My new Star Wars hat and my Star Wars bed sheets!