Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daniel vs 20 Months

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 10:59:10 -0700

Did you guys realize I've been out 20 months now? Woah.

Crazy week this week. We spent most of the first couple days with Elder Howard saying goodbye to people. Monday night we taught a guy named Jeff. He had been taught by Elder Howard for the last 4 months and actually wasn't in our wards, but in one of the ones that split off, and he got caught in the split. We still taught him because he hates getting completely new missionaries and he and Elder Howard got along really well. The lesson that night we tried teaching about the plan of Salvation, and it wasn't going all that great. He knows it all, just has trouble with faith, then his wife, who is a member, came home from her first day at work and just started crying when she saw their daughter. Then Elder Howard bore testimony on everything for Jeff, and everything he wants in life, eternal families and happiness and everything. He cried. It was really powerful. Then he told them when they got sealed he wanted to hear about it. They laughed, and she asked Jeff it that sounded weird, and he said a few months it would have, but not now. So were making good progress there. I'm going over tonight with one of the Elders who is actually in their ward.

Wednesday I got my new companion. Elder Jackson from West Jordan Utah.

Thursday we were supposed to go on splits with the singles ward. They wanted us to take them to places, and I was kinda frustrated because we don't have enough to do, and them just coming out with us to go do stupid stuff isn't really going to do anything... I think the assistant ward mission leader could tell I wasn't happy with the whole thing. The singles ward is awesome at missionary work... but they just don't get how it works here. But, it turns out that when we talked to the guy before and asked if he knew anyone, he did, and everything worked out and we taught his friend, Alex. Alex is a quadriplegic, and this guy works for him, helping him out. He met with us and just asked us questions about plan of salvation stuff. It went good and we set up another time.

Friday we parked our car and biked all day... and nothing happened. It was a long day...

Saturday we taught Danielle again. We were going to do her reading assignment with her, because she hadn't done it last time, but she did it and so we were going to read a chapter, but I was talking with her about a part in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and I really felt we needed to talk about the Plan of Salvation. I still don't know why, we taught it and it went well, but not amazing. But I really felt we needed to do that, so it was a cool experience for me.

She and Alex were both at church on sunday and so we had a good day. Our Sacrament meetings were pretty funny. We go to all four, so we have lots of opportunites for crazy things. And we serve in two stakes so in one stake it was fast sunday, and in one of the ward in the other stake, A guy, for part of his talk on fasting, compared the starvation of the American Bison in the winter of Yellow Stone National Park to fasting. In great detail... Comparing the months of -66 degree weather to the 24 hours of the fast. It was hard not to laugh really hard... Then in the fast and testimony meeting in the other stake, the Stake President and his family brought a friend to church, and so they warned the ward council not to let testimony meeting get out of hand. President Riggs was pretty nervous, it was funny. It went really well though, the testimonys were all very nice, with the exception of a young married guy who got up and quoted a notoriously inappropriate comedian...

It was a good week.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Daniel vs 30 Hours

Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 10:36:38 -0700

We had a pretty good week this week. On Tuesday we taught three teen aged girls at the Penrod's home. One of them was new, the other two we taught before. We're meeting with them again tomorrow. We taught them about the Holy Ghost, and receiving answers, because religion is a pretty new concept for them. It was awesome though. We actually taught that same lesson like 4 times this week. Its funny, a lot of the times all your investigators need the same thing at the same time.

I finished the New Testament in my studies. It took a while, but I really wanted to understand it. And I took some breaks to study other stuff, like Jesus The Christ and The Book of Mormon. It was pretty awesome. Speaking of, I got schooled by Joseph Feilding McConkie again. Remember him? Great grandson of Joseph Fielding Smith and Grandson of Bruce R. McConkie? He has a knowledge of the scriptures and a memory like Bruce R. McConkie too. We asked him about instances in church history of people being re-baptized and then I was asking him about the Sacrament. He taught me, through the scriptures, that we are forgiven of our sins through the cleansing of the Holy Ghost which we receive a new every time we take the Sacrament. Meaning, partaking of the Sacrament keeps us in perfect harmony with God. (from: Mormon Doctrine)

We had a pretty bad day on Friday. People kept yelling at us and our lesson cancelled. But we found three dollars on the ground and so we stopped by Sonic and got some ice cream cones on the way home.

Oh! Big story! Elder Howard and I are professional detectives. Two of the missionaries in our zone went on exchanges and went to walk around Mill Avenue (party street for ASU) and Phoenix for fun... Kinda a problem. So we had to deal with that. We found out from someone else they told and then we didn't tell the AP's until a few weeks later. They already knew too, but kinda chewed us out for not telling them. We kinda figured that getting in trouble wouldn't really do them much good... But that was wrong of us. President called us and told us that too and then gave us 30 hours to find out who took them there. It was like that show 24! The clock started! So we stopped by one of their houses to "drop something off" and I went into their closet to "look at their ties" (a common practice) and I called Elder Krueger in to ask him something. I asked him if he knew who is was. We did this twice. The only info we got from him was that he was in the other guys wards and that he was sent home from his mission in Chicago. Later on we found out this was false on both accounts, because we brought it up to Elder Kruegers companion after he had an interview with President and he told us he thought we caught him by seeing some pictures, and he showed us a picture of him and this other missionary and this guy that I recognized in front of the Diamondback's Stadium. So I knew who it was, he's in a different stake but he would give the Elders rides all the time. So I called the APs and I assume President has now handled it. whew. Some missionaries do stupid things. I wish they were smarter... But I am glad that going to Phoenix is the worst of our problems.

Better news, last night we taught Danielle again, at the McConkies home. We brought Matt, the Ward Mission Leader from the singles ward to help us get her coming to church. We were hoping young singles and some flirting would get her initially interested in coming to the ward. It worked! Haha, just kidding... kinda. Her and Matt hit it off pretty good, I think. We taught about the Holy Ghost again and everything went really well! The spirit was really strong and she felt it, she even cried. So we're making good progress there.

Also, last night late we got our transfer calls. I'm always super anxious on calls night. But it wasn't as bad this time because I thought I was staying, and I cant really get a new assignment. When we did recommendations we recommended that Elder Howard and I train a new missionary as a joke... And when Elder Gordon called he told us we were going to train and we got excited. But then he said just kidding and that Elder Howard was leaving... Lame. Not too much is changing in our zone. Just the things we really expected. Someone who's been here most of his mission is leaving. and also the two Elders that got in trouble for going to Phoenix.

Elder Feller

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Daniel vs Teenagers

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 10:41:26 -0700

This week we had zone conference. It was really good. They invited all the Stake Presidents in the two zones and only two of ours showed up. They both really loved it and were fired up about missionary work from it. One of them, President Riggs, already has a call to be a Mission President in Washington DC. But the conference went really well. We learned a lot. They finished it with a talk that Elder Bednar gave in the MTC like 9 months ago. And we had waffles for lunch! It was crazy!

Which reminds me, last P-Day we went to The Basha's house, (they own a huge chain of grocery stores in Arizona) and we watched "17 Miracles", a church movie about the Willy Handcart Company everyone here was raving about. It was ok. Not bad, not super amazing. But they also fed us a huge breakfast. Then we played in their back yard.
Our days have been pretty normal.Same old stuff. But Sunday was a pretty cool day. It seems like we're teaching only teenagers right now. Because one of the girls we taught last week showed up, (we have an appointment this Tuesday) and then after church we picked up another one, named Carly, at dinner. She's pretty interested, its cool. And then that night we traveled over to another stake we don't work in to teach someone because his parents didn't want him to be taught by Sister Missionaries. He's a 15 year old named Alex. His parents are less active and tried to tell us something about "choosing their path" and their son and daughter "choosing their own paths" ... 2 Nephi 31:21. But he's an awesome kid. He has been going to Mutual and stuff for a while, and really feels something different than from the Non-Denominational church his parents go to. He went to the Snowflake (Arizona) Temple on a camp out and waited in the lobby while the kids did baptisms and he couldn't stop telling us about how good he felt there, and he really wants to be baptized. So we're working on that. In the past his parents kind of held him up from that, but this time I think they can see that he is really sincere.

We have some good things coming up next week! We should get to meet with Danielle again, and pick up two more teenagers at the Penrod's house, where we taught the other teenagers last week... Haha. If only everyone could invite their friends like these teenagers do...

Elder Feller

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 10:46:34 -0700

This week was pretty busy. A lot of normal missionary work stuff. Things are going pretty well. We're facing some opposition with our investigators that we thought were pretty solid. But, I've found that something has to happen each time while people are investigating the church. Some trial or doubt or fear comes up. So we're working on it.

On monday we went to Barney's Sports Complex in Queen Creek, which is not very far away. It was cool to go through my old area again. We stopped to see if I could say hi to some people, but no one was home. We still had a good time at barneys though. As always.

On Wednesday I went on exchanges with one of our District Leaders who has been really stuggling... pretty much his whole mission. The day before at district meeting he talked about sacrifice and "gave up" a lot of his "weapons of rebellion" he was hanging on to by throwing away a bunch of CDs. It was good, I think he's making slow improvemnt. I just hope he keeps on track, we're trying to help him the best we can.

Thursday I had my first Zone Leader Council (ZLC) where we all go have a meeting at the mission home. It was pretty cool. Early in the morning before we went to the Temple to seek revelation on what our zone needs. We talked about a lot of stuff at the meeting. Administering stuff. Then in the afternoon we had some pretty good trainings. You asked in a letter if I liked being a Zone Leader. I do, overall. Its pretty fun, and I get to go to secret meetings and stuff. haha. But, I must say I think its over rated. People treat the Zone Leaders differently, and I think its kind of silly, because in reality we dont do all that much. But I was thinking about that this week, and I remembered what Elder Howard told me when I got here about the biggest thing we can do is be an example. I thought about how much I always looked up to most of my ZLs and what their example did for me. So I guess thats the whole purpose. And with that in mind, I'm feeling a lot better about the whole thing. It is acually pretty fun.

Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Schick, an old friend from when I was in Queen Creek. He's on of our District Leaders. It was fun. We had a good time, and talked about a lot of stuff. We're trying to work smarter and better than we have before, because doing the same old thing has not bennefited the San Tan zone very much in the past. We also got to set up a huge Teepee for this cub scout thing.

Saturday Venice was baptised! It was a good baptism. Its weird, because her whole family is active, but she just fell through the cracks because her dad wasn't worthy to baptize her when she was 8. He thought he would be able to this time but the answer came back no a few weeks ago. But it went really well, the whole family is happy, and they're doing awesome. It was kinda weird for me because I just came in on the tail end, so I didnt teach them the whole way. This is the first time thats happened in a long while. But it was still good.

Also, on Saturday we found out that Bro. McConkie, our high councilor over missionary work, was released. They want him to focus in more on the mission prep class. Its pretty sad, but we still get to visit him because he's fellowshipping one of our investigators. (he doesnt live in our area) He is super smart, and we always ask him gospel questions when we go over and he blows our minds!

thats all!
Elder Feller
Exchanges with Elder Schick driving the Teepee poles. 
Venice Allen's Baptism
Everyone jumped on me.