Monday, April 23, 2012

Daniel vs Heartburn

Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:48:30 -0700

Last Monday we taught a whole family of 5. Im not sure how to spell their last name yet, so I'll get that next time. They are friends with the Smelser family who live in the little mormon gated neighborhood we live in. (I haven't sent pictures of that yet! Next week!) They know them from their daughters playing softball. Al and Heather and their kids moved here from Philadelphia a little bit ago. They are awesome! The Smelsers have done a good job sharing the Gospel with them. They invited them to church on Easter, and watched some of conference with them, so its going great. They invited us over for dinner on Monday, and then we taught the first lesson after. Al was into it, he used to be Catholic, but wasn't happy with that. Heather has never had religion or anything, and she was paying really close attention, and giving us this stare, and at first I thought she was mad at us, but she was just paying really close attention. It was pretty funny... But by the end there were tears and everything. So its going great. We have another lesson with them tonight. And he said he'd bring us legit Italian meatballs this time. They are also being fellowshipped by the ward they actually live in... which we don't cover.
Tuesday we taught Alex. I'm concerned about him right now. His mom is throwing all sorts of wrenches into it. She is giving him all sorts of concerns that wouldn't have existed otherwise. And its going to be difficult for him to stay on the path, and keep doing what he needs to with opposition coming from within his home. And his mom said he has to read the whole Book of Mormon before he gets baptized. Which is also crazy... He's 15... come on.
Wednesday night we taught Danielle the rest of the commandments. She is doing awesome. She is handling all the opposition in her life very well. We found out Sunday that her parents are being less supportive, and her best friend told her not to do it. But she doesn't care. She knows whats right, and she's going for it.
We have also found out that the girls we were teaching a while ago, Haley and Veronica, are making bad choices, and so their friend doesn't want to talk to them anymore, and so we haven't been able to teach them for a while... I understand where she's coming from though. and so does Bro. Penrod. He told us as a parent he's glad she's making good choices, but from a missionary aspect, he wishes she would stay friends with them and pull them in. So its a weird situation.
Thursday we taught Carly again. Carly is doing amazing. She left her journal/notebook at the Warner's house for them to read, and they had us look at it also. She takes awesome notes on whats going on in the Book of Mormon, she wrote down how to pray, and a question about receiving answers, that a bunch of her Mormon friends, including most of the Warner family answered. And then the last thing she wrote was a prayer, that was really touching. We assumed she was ready for a baptism date, and we went into the lesson prepared to do that, but as we talked to her she was telling us she wanted a more sure answer. She wants to "know" as she said. We talked about how that was important. She is the most sincere 15 year old ever... And that will be good for her parents as well. They are mostly supportive, but understandably a little apprehensive. They want her to attend a few other Christian church services just to make sure. But she also needs to come to ours! She misses it a lot because she plays competitive soccer.
Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Cox in my area. He is one of our district leaders. He is awesome. We had a ton of fun. Not a whole lot happened all day. I had to drive to wal-mart and get a bike seat on our "no drive day" because my old one was broken. But we had a good day. Elder Cox really cares about people, and is real and genuine. And I really appreciate that. Too many people get so caught up in stupid stuff, acting like they care, but they really don't do anything. I have always tried not to do that. I'm very realistic. And so it was a good day. Elder Cox is also hilarious. 
Saturday we went to the ward "foot-rodeo". Just a rodeo themed activity. It was funny. They, of course, had the Elders be judges of the Chili contest. So Elder Jackson and I tasted all 36 different Chilis. Oh man. It was fun, but I didn't feel good after. I found myself giving the highest scores to things that tasted the least like Chili... The white chicken one and the stake & salsa verde one were my favorites. We also watched over a hundred little kids chase chickens around the rodeo arena. A ton of them biffed it really hard diving after the chickens. It was worth it. We also got to talk to Carlos, the guy we taught on Easter. He is doing awesome, and meeting with the missionaries in Mesa.  
Sunday was a typical church day. Danielle was at the singles ward, which is always an adventure. Theres a ton of funny people there. We've been trying to make friends and get to know the ward better to try and get more referrals out of them. All the guys in the ward are RMs, so they're not dumb, and the more I get to know them, the better they'll do. Sunday night we met with a new High Councilor about the missionary work in his stake. [... I was about to write all this stuff about the stuff he said that I found annoying. but I decided not too. I've realized recently that I've become a lot more sassy on my mission. Mostly I think because I don't put up with as much, and I think I'm a lot more comfortable expressing myself... But I'm still working on being nice to people. Never has been a strong point.] but all in all he's a good guy, and will do awesome in the calling. The stake needs it to. So I'm excited for that to come.  
Pictures next week,
Elder Feller

Monday, April 16, 2012

Daniel vs Stake Meetings

Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 11:12:43 -0700
It was kind of a weird week. We're trying to pull all the stakes here together and build them up. But we also had a lot of lessons cancel... It was a long week. 

On Monday I said goodbye to Jeff and Jenny. I'm turning them over to the missionaries in their actual ward. The lesson went pretty well, except Jenny, who is less active, doesn't really have a desire to make the effort to come back to church. Jeff is willing to do whatever right now, so its almost sad to see. Jeff is going to take a while, and Jenny is going to need to be leading the family in the spiritual aspect before he will progress. But I have faith in them. They are awesome people. 

On Tuesday we taught Alex, and put him on date for may 5th. It doesn't count for us, but for the sisters. But hopefully his mom will let him... She was walking in and out and around the whole lesson. Alex invited her to join and said we were having a blast and she said, "yeah it sounds like a Word of Wisdom party in here." I think part of the reason she's less active because she doesn't really want to live the commandments. So it was funny, but awkward. Alex is doing great. He understands the why behind the commandments, and so he's willing to live them. 

Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Schick. It was awesome. Elder Schick is the man. He covers the Reservation now, but unfortunately i didn't get to go there... But we did meet with a member of the stake presidency and he talked to us about this leadership training the mission president is going to be at in a few weeks. He invited us and so we're preparing for that. These stakes are really trying to shape up and do better, especially since the church asked them to make missionary goals and they're all doing really bad. So the training will be a great opportunity to give them direction.  

Friday we taught Danielle! She is doing great. She sailed through all the toughest commandments. She told us before that she had some trials pop up this week and handled them like a pro. Her old ex-boyfriend, who apparently is a tool, tried to get in contact with her and she just ignored it. Then, her friends wanted her to go out drinking "one last time" and she put her foot down and said no. She also talked with her family about it, and they are ok and so she is super excited! She went to church yesterday and everyone was super friendly and welcomed her. They announced that she was getting baptized, and so people were all over her. But she really loves church, and she tells us all the time about how happy the gospel makes her. 

Saturday one of the stakes in the zone called us and asked us to prepare a ton of reports and a training for a meeting they were having the next morning at 6 am insead of the normal stake meeting. So we spent a ton of time getting it all together and then meeting with the missionaries to figure out what to do. We woke up really early and went to the meeting and they hardly let us talk. But its ok, the stake is doing better. They are starting to make missionary work a priority and actually try. So hopefully they will do better. We're trying to direct them the best we can. But the rest of our Sunday was tough! I was exhausted and had a huge headache all through church, dinner, a lesson with a member family, and then a meeting with President Riggs. at 8 we went to the Bowen's house and she sowed our pants, and I drank a soda to get at my headache, then we went home, did some weekly paperwork, then crashed by like 10 and finished and faxed in the paper work this morning. So I feel a lot better. 

Today we're going to Queen Creek to play another zone is kickball. It should be fun. 



Monday, April 9, 2012

Daniel vs Easter

Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 10:55:58 -0700

We had a pretty busy week here. Not the busy I would like, but it was still an over all good week.

Tuesday we had a bunch of appointments all in a row, but the last one cancelled. We taught Carly about the Plan of Salvation. It went really well. She has been reading a ton from the Book of Mormon. She had a few pages of notes just from the introduction and the first few chapters. She's really interested, and we can only hope her parents wont be a problem. Then we taught Alex and asked him to pray about a day to be baptized. We've had to be really careful because it seems like his mom is looking for any excuse to try and stop him, even though she's a member herself. Just really less active... So we'll follow up on that tomorrow. Oh also, on Tuesday I returned an iPhone that I had found on the road a few weeks ago. She was really grateful and gave us some candy. Unfortunately though, I don't have an iPhone anymore.... haha. Pictures below.

Wednesday we had interviews all day. President always does the Zone Leaders last and talks to us about all the people in the zone. It was pretty cool. My personal interview was really short. But then he talked to both of us about most of the people in the zone. It was really cool to hear how well President knows everyone, even though its hard to feel like he really knows you when you dont know him that well, especially when you're young in the mission. Apparently he told Elder Krueger that he was going to get more responsibility soon. Which is good for him. I cant believe I trained him 8 months ago! But no other really big news. Oh, President has asked Elder Schick to start working on the Indian Reservation that is just south of his area. So that's pretty cool. He's really excited about it.

Thursday and Friday we spent all day in Leadership trainings. It was good, but long. Thursday we were in one of my old areas, which was kinda cool. I don't really miss the Mesa Zone... But it was a really good meeting. They paired us off with people we've never been around and we taught together. It was really fun. We talked a lot about making commitments and following up. Friday was good too. In the morning we spent a lot of time in a zone leader group, talking about specific questions. Sometimes I really hate all zone leader meetings because there are too many chiefs and not enough indians. A lot of the zone leaders think they're really hot stuff... Its annoying. And I really believe it causes so many problems in zones. You cant just be the missionary police and pretend like you were never where the missionaries are, you have to be their friends and make sure they know that you're on of them. I tried to bring that up, but we didnt have time. They were too busy  arguing about something stupid. In the afternoon we had a big question and answer, and the questions were actually good this time. I won a golden chocolate egg with one of my answers. Basically along the same line as what I said earlier. People were getting into this question and the answer there were arguing about was way off. They were talking about how we need to be "Preach My Gospel" missionaries and help people become converted to the book Preach My Gospel. I brought up how I don't want to be converted to the book, I want to be converted to the gospel because that's what the book Preach My Gospel, and Elder Bednar's talk "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary" is about. So I got a golden Easter egg. With these stories, I'm not trying to say that I'm more intelligent than a lot of other people, but I mean... come on.

Friday night we taught Danielle. She really wanted to be baptized. I'm not used to that. She really threw herself out there... We didn't really know how to react so it was kind of awkward for a second. But we put her on date for the 28th of April. The lesson went really well, but I felt like I wasn't entirely spiritually prepared for it.

Sunday was easter! We had church all day. And our dinner almost cancelled on us because their nephew almost died in a skateboarding accident... It was kind of awkward, I felt really bad. But it worked out great and we had a good time. We were going home after to do our weekly planning because we didn't get to do it on Friday or Saturday and we got a call from a family asking us to come over and teach their niece's boyfriend right away. I was kind of annoyed because I expected the guy to just be some thug who didn't really want to listen to us, but couldn't escape this family. I repented. Carlos was awesome. We had a really spiritual lesson with him, and he is really looking for answers and peace in life. We taught him outside by candlelight which was kind of cool. I didn't recognize the family, I think they go to a Spanish ward somewhere. But it was awesome. Too bad he lives in Mesa, and we probably wont meet with him again. But he will be taught. So its all good.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Daniel vs Work

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 10:53:03 -0700

Time is short this week because I have a lot of other stuff to take care of.

Not too much going on this week. Kinda slow, lots of things cancelled. And when things cancel they usually get pushed off to next week. Its funny how our time passes differently than the members time.

Tuesday we trained the zone. That was fun. San Tan is a tough zone and no one prays them self here, if you know what I mean. So it was good. We talked about the purpose of missionary work.

Wednesday my bike pedal fell out so we had to drive... I got it fixed on thursday at Zone Leader Council, but it was a looong day...

Thursday we had our secret zone leader meetings. I barely slept the night before so I had a huge headache and it was hard for me to pay attention. But it was overall good. Not much to say. There was only one disputation, and it was because the AP who was trying to get us to understand wasn't explaining what he wanted very well at all, and I really didn't want to call him out for it... So it turned into a little dispute as everyone was confused. But it ended well.

Thursday night we taught Aubrey Preston. We found out more about how he feels he needs to be baptized, but wants to do it for him. We found out that he doesn't understand a lot of things we thought he did, but we ran out of time, so we'll adress all that later.

Friday we biked all day, and taught Danielle at night. It went really well! We finished the Plan of Salvation, talked about baptism and she liked church, and committed to watch conference. The next day we talked to Bro. McConkie and he told us that they were talking after and Danielle said, "When I get baptized will you baptize me?" and he also told us that she said she was feeling giddy the whole time, like she wanted to laugh. That's the spirit. So we're going to extend a date next time.

Saturday was conference. It was awesome. Sunday too. We taught Shelby on sunday. She's pretty set on waiting until after summer to get baptized like her mom said... So we talked about how Satan is going to try to keep pushing that back and getting in the way. And we talked about how important being built on the Gospel is.

But yeah. That's it. Things are going well. We're playing Volley ball today.

San Tan Zone!
Elder Howard and I cruising
Make a weird face. 
Elder Howard and I at Transfer meeting

Gilbert Temple Progress.... (Our hospital parking spot.)
Greek Strained Yogurt is all the rage among healthy Arizona moms... mmm... gross.