Saturday, January 24, 2015

Most stressful week so far

This week we did exchanges with the first ward Elders. We did the exchange from wednesday till Friday. I stayed in our own ward and took the role of senior companion for a few days again (which is pretty stressful, I  don't know how some missionaries handle it) But we were able to switch with both companions. The the first 24 hours until Thursday afternoon I stayed in third ward with Elder Wilson who I had served with in Shepherd, MT. We had a few people that were set lessons and six, seven, and eight o'clock. So the rest of our night was booked. During dinner however, We got text messages and phone calls and voicemails from every one of our set lessons. They all needed to cancel the lesson. So now we had nothing to do for the rest of the night. after dinner We figured out that we were going to just try and see some people around the area after dinner. We were not able to get in with anybody. The next day in the afternoon we switched companions and then I had Elder Prescott for the next 24 hours. We were able to see a few more people in the morning. One of the lessons was with a less active family, the mom was not there but her son was so we taught him. He did not seem interested at all and it was a rough lesson. We then went down the list that bishop gave us. We found brother C, he is a member that just moved in and he loves the missionaries, he is an active member though, so there is not much that we can teach him. 
On Monday night we had a lesson with the C, family who are a less active/recent convert/non member family. We have been teaching all of them and the kids are always hard to keep in the lesson. The mom always gets upset because the kids will not listen. sister C, we feel, has been pricked by the spirit a whole bunch and she is just not acting on the things that she is being taught. We also feel that if she does not change, we will not be able to meet with her because she doesn't want to keep feeling guilty. We asked her if it would be okay if we set up a time that we could meet with her and the bishop so that she could express some concerns that she has about the church that she does not want to bring up in front of her kids. So after the lesson we called the bishop and set up a time that we could all meet at the church privately and talk about whatever her concerns are. I hope all goes well. 

So in summation, this week was and has been pretty stressful for at least me. We have had a lot of things going on that we have had to take care of. But other than that, I hope that your week was as good as always. 

have a wonderful week,
-Elder Daniels

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

no blog this week because of holiday but here is a good blog post from a sister RM

by zanna
Hisashi buri mina san! Long time no see.
I know that my mission is far from over, but when I got home, my mom asked me to write one last blog entry to finish up my mission experience. And of course I said I would. Then a week went by…. And another… and another. I started going back to school, I started dating the love of my life, I started working. I got thrown back into the world. And then I blinked my eyes, and realized that I have been home from my mission now for 6 months. Where did the time go?
I don’t quite know what I should write about, I wish I could say that I have missionary experiences every day, that I feel the Spirit every second, and that not a second goes by when I’m not praying for those people in Japan. I’m ashamed to say that’s not the truth. Coming home from my mission was the hardest thing that I ever did. In the moment I thought it was because I was leaving everything that I had learned to love. Now I see that leaving my mission was going to be one of the hardest experiences ever because I would have to learn how to do everything on my own again.
When you’re a missionary, you hear about something called “the slip”. A dreaded horrifying thing that every single person that goes on a mission will undergo. When you are released from your calling as a fulltime missionary, and you begin to live a normal life, you experience a slip in your testimony, a slip in feeling the Spirit, a slip in your routine that you developed as a missionary. And it’s not your fault. As a missionary you devote ALL your time to serving the Lord and his children. Coming home you don’t have that luxury. You do have to devote time to other things, even important things. And no matter how hard you try, you will feel a little distant from the Father, a little weaker in the faith. But this slip doesn’t matter. What really matters is how you fight against it.
I’ve seen too many friends, loved ones, and even family members let this little slip have a bigger impact on their lives than it should. That one little slip determines our futures. We have to decide to push forward in faith, rather than letting it drag us down. It’s hard, trust me, I know. I got so used to receiving answers to prayers, and feeling the presence of the Spirit that I honestly started taking it for granted. And then I started getting angry. Why wasn’t he listening after all the hard work and suffering that I went through on my mission, all of the dedication and devotion that I showed to my Heavenly Father? Was it even worth it to keep trying?
Looking back I’m ashamed I ever felt like that. I was extremely humbled the day I read this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 84:
119 For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.
I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t hear him, and because of my anger, it was becoming hard to feel him. Reading this I knew it would all be okay, and that I would be able to come back. I was still Sister H.
The memories of my mission are among the most cherished things I have. And it is those memories that helped me to get out of the hole that I was digging. The hole that all began with just a little “slip”. I will never forget how hard it was to serve a mission, especially in a place like Japan. I lost count of how many times people slammed doors in my face, or ran away when I tried to talk to them. I still cringe a little bit thinking about the nights I cried for hours to the Lord asking for his help, or when I had to do the work without a companion to help me. I still remember falling off my bike and scraping myself up, getting caught in rainstorms, and coming home in the winter with purple fingers and toes. But even more important than all those awful things, I remember how much I LOVED the people of Japan. How much I LOVED my companions. How hard I worked, how hard I tried, and how much effort I put in every single day of my mission to make sure that I was doing everything possible to help these people. After thinking about everything that I had gone through on my mission, the good and the bad, I realized that I owed it to myself to pull my act together and to try harder. I was not going to throw away those 18 months and go back to what I was before my mission.
The testimony I gained, the experiences I had, and the love I came to understand on my mission defines me. They are who I am. So yeah, unfortunately, being a returned missionary is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I wish I would have been able to pull it together sooner, but I know now that I can see all the blessings that the Lord has been giving me, even when I was pulling away from him. I have an amazing family, I have a job, a roof over my head, and the most loving fiancé I could have ever asked for.
Everything good that I have ever received has come because of my mission. I realize that now, and I will never forget it. And this is true of every single person that serves a mission. The slip that happens when we are released from our callings is real, and in all honesty, it can make us or break us. It all depends on how hard we fight, how much we nourish our testimonies, and how much we treasure our experiences in the mission field, the good and the bad. I know that the testimony I gained on my mission is the one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It will keep growing, and it is the testimony that I will share with my friends, acquaintances, and someday my future family. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored on this earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon, and that the words and prophecies and revelations written in it are everything that we need find answers in life. I know that God is my Heavenly Father. I know that he loves me, even when I turn away. I know that he answers my prayers. I know that his Only Begotten Son is Jesus Christ, who suffered for us, and who made it possible for us to overcome to trials that come our way. No matter how alone we may feel, there is always One who understands. I know that I changed on my mission. And I am forever grateful for that. In fact, I’m still changing, and I always will be. My time in Japan is over, but I still have a bigger mission to complete. I can’t wait to see the joys that lay in store as I embark on this next path and see what experiences are in store. The most important thing that I learned from my service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints is that missions aren’t just 18 months, or 2 years. Missions are forever.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Best week so far

Hello Family!

This week has been really crazy! There has been a lot going on, and ill just get into it right now. 

This week we were planning to go see this potential investigator and we looked his name up in the area book and his address was not there, but we new that we saw the address there a few days ago. So we looked back at the screenshots that we took on the ipad (so we new where he lived) and the picture had his address! So then we were at the point of if we should go see him because it was pretty late and it was about time to go home for the night. So we prayed about it, and after we prayed, I picked up a book of mormon and flipped to a random page and started reading. I read alma 26:27-30 which says, 

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success. And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God. And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again. And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some." 

I really liked that scripture a lot because it perfectly describes what we were going through at that time . We were suffering some sort of afflictions by not having a lot of people to teach because there has been a lot of turnover but we have endured it with great patience. We were going to "turn back" and go home because it was late. But that the lord would give us success. It has been pretty chilly lately and we have been "relying on the mercies of the world" to let us inside because we didnt want to freeze in the cold. But we relied on god to keep us warm. that scripture basically told us that we should go and teach him. We havent been mocked lately, which is good!  But we believed that it was an answer to our prayer! It was probably one of the coolest experiences that I have had so far on the mission with the book of Mormon answering questions. 

We are also moving into another apartment this week. it has taken a while from moving all of the missionary stuff in the apartment but we are doing it slowly but surely! This is only going to be a temporary apartment until the one that we are going to live in is going to be finished. That will take about three weeks from now. Well that was my miracle of the week and the highlight of my mission so far. 

The same day of this miracle, we had interviews with president Mecham. the interview went really well and I did ask him why I have been transferred a whole bunch. He told me to tell my mom that I am a good missionary and to not worry so much. He said that I have been tranferred so much because he has felt that I have needed to be other places at certain times because there are people there that are ready for me and I just have to find them, and that I needed to be with the companions that I have had because I have needed to learn something from them, or that they needed to learn something from me. So i hope that answers your question. Nothing else really interesting that I feel I should bring up is necessary to write. But I hope I keep having experiences like that. 

till next week,
-Elder Daniels

Monday, January 5, 2015

new year

As you know; this new year is a time to reflect on the past and to see what you want to change for the coming year. During thanksgiving,  I had made the decision that I was going to read the whole new testament. but my new years resolution, that I am going to keep, is that I am going to read the whole standard works by the end of my mission. The end of my mission is just a little after next year so I thought that this would be an appropriate goal that I could accomplish. It seems crazy that I am going to hit my year mark in 3 months! 

Ringing in the new year was pretty fun. We tried to get in with a few people but they were not home, most of them took a trip down to Utah. Apparently Utah is a hotspot for new years?!? But since most of the people were not at home we went to the stake center where the ward was having a party. We are usually supposed to be home at 9 but we were allowed to be out till 10:30. By the time that we got home and did our nightly planning for the next day and getting ready to go to bed, it was already midnight. So I was able to stay up till midnight even though I am a missionary. haha! But the bad thing about that was that we had to wake up at 6:30 that morning to go and do missionary work again! So we got 6 hours of sleep. But we would take a nap during our lunch hour to get some more rest. haha!

The new year kinda started out a little rough. We went tracting on new years day and we felt that we should go and tract this certain street in town, So we did and we got shut down and a lot of the people either didn't answer the door or when they did answer they were pretty rude. A lot of the people were not really happy to see us. It was a very interesting way to start out the new year I guess. 

This week has been really windy in WY. It has been warming up the past few days but it is really windy! Its pretty hard to do missionary work without a car every other week, its hard to have a lot of appointments during the day but it takes forever to walk to the appointments when they are not right next to each other. But we are seen a lot  when walking next to the roads in the cold at night. Like my letter last week, a lot of people have offered to give us rides but most of the time they are single women and we cannot get a ride with them. 

I hope that your new years was amazing, and that you have made some new years resolutions that you are going to keep. I love the area and the people that live here. They have great spirits and are very friendly. 

-Elder Daniels

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy Holidays

Hey family!

This chistmas season was pretty easy for me. I thought that it would be pretty difficult having a christmas away from home for the first time. But it actually was not that bad. I hope that you all had a wonderful christmas as well. I loved skyping home and seeing and talking with all of you. The winter is finally here in WY and I think it is going to stay! We opened our front door on christmas morning and we had a huge snow drift blocking the way out of our house. We were able to clear it out of the way however, and while I was backing my companion. We got stuck in another snow drift that was bigger! But luckily we have a four wheel drive truck and we were able to get out. I am grateful for the trucks that we do have in the mission.

The work is really starting to slow down here. we are trying our hardest to have set appointments but we only have a few throughout the week. We are doing really good with our 8 o'clock appointments though. There are a lot of people that we are working with that do not want to meet with us anymore. Most of them have decided to go to the harvest church. We are losing people in our teaching pool but we are doing a lot of finding to find more people to teach, and it is working! the ward in cody is really awesome. we almost always get a ride to where we need to go,we do not have the car. Sometimes they see us walking on the side of the road and they pull off and offer to give us a ride

Sometimes our host for dinner get upset when we tell them that we have to have a dinner at 5 and have to be out by 6 unless there is a non-member or a less-active there. Nobody seems to realize that we need to have dinner at that time and no other time. No matter how many times we tell the members that we need to have a dinner at 5 and no later than six, they always seem to not care as much and still sign up and say 5:30 or 6. Sometimes they get really upset when we confirm the apointment and say five! Its not our rule as a missionary or a mission, but as a missionary rule from the presidency in the white handbook. But the food that they make is really good! So I'm grateful for there service regardless., The people in WY whether non-member or member are really nice. 

I hope you have had a wonderful christmas, because I have too. 

-elder daniels

Merry Christmas Family and Friends

am very grateful for this opportunity to be on a mission for the lord at this time during the Christmas season. I am grateful to be here in Northern Wyoming as well, along with being companions with Elder Horsley who is from American fork Utah. all of the members I have seen since transfers have been very welcoming. Even all of the people that are not members are very nice. Since we live a little out of town in a little cottage on the KOA, we have to walk into town. We do not have the car because we are in a car share. but every day that we have had to walk into town. Somebody has always stopped to give us a ride into town. There is a lot of potential here. A lot of the people that we are meeting with seem pretty solid, but its hard to try and schedule a time during this Christmas season   Most of the people that we are meeting with say, "just come back after the holidays." which is like in a week or two.I

cody wyoming. our living quaters on the KOA photo DSCN31142_zpsaa433a21.jpg
Other than that we have been really good at having 8 o'clock lessons. this week while we were tracting, we were tracting in a snow storm that just came up suddenly. We knocked on a door and they opened up and we did the regular door approach. They saw that it was snowing outside and that it was cold so they invited us inside. We started talking about Jesus Christ and how he is the real reason for Christmas. While we were talking they interrupted us and said that they did not believe in Christmas because they were Jehovah Witnesses. We were unaware that they were Jehovah witnesses let alone that they did not believe in Christmas. So we just started talking about each others beliefs and why we believe what we believe. We brought up the pre-mortal life, and they asked us if that was found in the bible or just the Book of Mormon. I explained that it was in Jeremiah 1:5. so they pulled out their Jehovah Witness bible(which I think is the new world translation bible) and they turned to it an read it aloud. Jeremiah 1:5 is where it says," before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee." but when they read it out of their bible it read, " before I formed YOU in the womb, I knew YOU." then we started talking about the need for the Book of Mormon using the scriptures from the bible. such as " by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every work be established." once we finished talking about the necessity for the Book of Mormon. the conversation basically ended. They were the first Jehovah Witnesses that I have had the chance to talk to without them trying to bash on us. it was a really nice, wholesome, non-contentious conversation. other that what I have explained, that is all the things that have been happening here this week. 

Hope you are staying warm. especially because it is starting to become more and more like winter.  

-Elder Daniels