Sunday, November 29, 2015

one more freezing cold transfer i'm staying

This week was an interesting week. It seems like I have had a lot of
interesting weeks here in Cutbank. It felt like we were so busy, but
we didnt have a whole lot of lessons. We had another lesson with
M. on Monday. She is a really good investigator because she asks
a lot of questions as well as she accepts everything that we are
teaching and she believes it all. She had struggled with reading the
book of mormon in the past, but last time we met with her she wanted
to have a chapter that would "give peace to her soul", as she said it.
Last time we taught the plan of salvation, so we gave her alma chapter
40 which talks about the afterlife. When we came over last monday, she
said that she read alma chapter 40 and she loved it so much that she
read on to almost chapter 42. Its too bad that she is not technically
progressing because she has not came to church yet. We keep inviting
her but she is always busy on Sundays, but she is trying to come.

On Tuesday, we went to Browning to go and see some of our
investigators there, but the wind was really bad when we got into
Browning. It was so bad that we could hardly stand up straight just
walking. If we stood up straight, then the wind would blow us back off
our feet. We tried a few people but with no success, we just went back
to Cutbank. But the wind had picked up there as well. We had a really
good lesson with sister K, and her husband in their trailer house
(which we thought was going to blow apart) but we read a passage of
the book of mormon and the sprit was definitely there. She usually
interrupts us during the lesson and goes off some really long
tangents, but that lesson she didnt talk at all!
We didnt do a whole lot on Wednesday or Thursday because elder Masauo
was not feeling very well. So again, all I did during the day was just
read the scriptures and studied. It was a really long day for me, But
I learned a lot!
On Friday we went back to Browning and we tried to see C. again,
but to no avail, She was not home again. It is so frustrating when
this happens. But we also tried to see D, but the whole time we
were there, Everyone was running around doing different things. We
never got to a lesson, but right before we were going to leave, D's
wife  started asking us questions relating to the afterlife part
of the plan of salvation. So we taught her and shared some scriptures
from the book of mormon as well as some mormon messages. The spirit
was definitely there, and the distractions were less than before. We
then had a dinner with the W. family who live WAY north of
Browning. They probably live 10-15 minutes from the Canadian border.

On the drive back home, the wind was starting to pick up and blow snow
across the road which already had a lot of ice on it already! It would
have taken almost an hour to drive home, but we went slow and steady
to be safe. It almost took an hour and a half to get home.
Sunday was interesting at the church in Browning. About halfway
through the sunday school class, some people walked in to the church
and sat down, I could tell that they were not members. So the first
thought that I had in my mind was, "sweet! we just got some new
investigators!" But after church, we were talking about it with the
member who we got a ride from. He said that he has been in there many
times before because all he wants is money. So it kinda ruined my
hopes of getting a new investigator. The numbers in church have been
depleting every single week. People are moving out almost every week.
I dont think that it is because it is winter and they are turning into
snow-birds. I think they are actually moving out for good.

Well that was my week. I hope that your week was better than mine
because not much has been going on here. We are trying to keep the
work going here, but it does not help that we cant find people during
the day because they are all working or in school. Also, that the sun
is going down just before 5 every day and people do not want to answer
the door because it is dark. This time of year is always hard to do
missionary work, but we always try our best. We also got out transfer
calls this past week and we are staying in the coldest place in the
nation for another transfer!

Elder  Daniels

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Transfer has gone so fast!

Hey everyone,

This week was a very busy week. We ended up traveling a lot to different areas. We did a lot of service as well because we have had a lot of snow storms lately. On Monday, after preparation day was over, we walked outside and we had about 6 inches of snow on the ground when earlier in the day we had nothing! Our car was covered with snow! 
So the next day we needed to get some shovels to do some service. So we called up the E. and it turns out that they were going to call us because they didn't know how they were going to shovel all that snow. So it all worked out where we shoveled their driveway and walkways for them and we got to take their shovels for the day and do some service. God works in mysterious ways; let me tell ya!

While we were in browning the same day, we met this guy named K. K. is an interesting character. The elders had previously met with him before and Elder Masauo told me that he was saying that he is an apostle. So I thought that I was going to be in for a ride. But when we met with him, he was not saying that he was an apostle anymore. He was saying that he is the prophet! I thought it was really interesting and I wanted to see his reasoning for it because I was curious, so I let him keep talking for a few minutes.  The odd thing was, he was talking about (in other words) the apostasy and how "the body of Christ has been changed by man." He was also talking about the restoration (in other words) how "the world is going to be cleansed by god and when the world is cleansed, then god is going to join the body of Christ back together. and that is going to happen soon, so get ready" The odd thing about everything that he was saying was that pretty much almost all of what he was saying was true. besides the fact that he said he was the prophet and that the restoration of the church was going to happen soon. I would say he was about 95% true with everything he was saying. When he finished talking, I jumped in and told him, "You know, I really like some of the things that you said. I want to tell you that we are on our missions to testify about Jesus Christ as well as to tell people that the church, Or 'the body of Christ' as you called it, has been brought back. It has the same organization as Christ set up. It has a prophet, it has 12 apostles, and it has 70's the same way Christ set it up! This church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the 'body of Christ' you are talking about. We are the only church that has the true priesthood of god, and we want to share that with you so that you do not have to look anymore. It is here, and it is here to stay." It was a really good doorstep lesson/testimony. He is really prepared and we are definitely going to go back and teach him. 

On Friday we went to browning again. The wind today was super bad. If you didn't know yet, The wind on northeastern part of Montana is really bad sometimes. The wind can get up to 50 mph, and the gusts can reach 80+ mph! today was one of those days! On the way to browning, a highway patrolman zoomed past us with lights and sirens going full bore. Upon arriving into browning, there was a semi that had flipped over while trying to turn a corner when a big gust of wind must have came and turned it on its side. I couldn't get a good picture of it. 
on the way back from browning, the wind was still bad and there was another semi that blew over, as well as a regular truck with a trailer. There was a lot of accidents having to do with trailers that day. 

On Saturday, we had to wake up at 5:30 to get ready to go to great falls for zone training. Cut Bank to great falls is about a 2 hour drive one way. we left at 6:30 to get there at 8:30. But I forgot that they changed the highway speed limit to 80 instead of 75. So we got there almost a half an hour earlier than expected. Then we had zone training, in which I gave a discussion on how I have seen gods hand in my mission. zone training lasted for 3 hours and then I got to drive the 1 1/2-2 hours back to Cut Bank. I was pretty tired that day. 

Then finally on Sunday we were assigned to give some talks in church. Elder Masauo spoke on service and I spoke on gratitude. So this week I had to prepare for my talk as well as the zone training discussion. 

It is Slowly starting to become more and more like winter. It is becoming colder and colder (mostly because of the wind), as well as this is the last week of the transfer! I cant believe how fast this transfer has gone! It is amazing how fast some transfers are and how slow they can be too, even though they are the same length of 6 weeks. Come to think of it, I only have 3 more transfers until the end of my mission. Its a mixed emotions kind of thing. 

have a good week!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

First Snow


This week was one of those in-between weeks. The first half of the week was really good. We had a lot of lessons. But the second part of the week was slower. On Monday, we met with one of our investigators named M. She had not been taught in a while, so we decided to go in and see how she was doing and just get to know her. While she was talking with us. She brought up some things in her life that had to do with the plan of salvation. Which ironically enough was the next lesson that she had not been taught yet. So we taught her the plan of salvation and it was a really good lesson because she was soaking up everything that we were saying and she was understanding it all. 

On Tuesday we did our normal routine of studies and getting ready for the day. I Don't have a view of the outside world where I study. So when I got up for lunch, I looked outside and I noticed that it was snowing pretty good and the flakes were HUGE! After lunch we headed out to browning to go and see some people. On the way to browning, the snow storm kept getting worse and worse. We met a few people while in browning and most of them thought that we were crazy for being outside during the cold winter storm. Also, a few times while we were about to get into our car to go somewhere else, a drunk person would come walking up to us asking if they could get a ride to the bar because it was cold outside and they didn't want to walk. As a missionary, we are not allowed to give rides to anyone. So I proceeded to tell this one guy that we were not allowed to give him a ride. But he (thinking he could convince me in his drunken state) started to say he would pay for gas money and he would always say, "c'mon buddy..." It was kinda funny how hard he was trying to convince me (since I am the driver). But after a few minutes of him trying to convince me, he just turned around and walked away and gave up. Some people are funny. On the way back from browning, The snow storm proceeded to get worse as we went. We were going 40 in a 70 mph zone. But we made it home safely and cut bank had about 4 inches of snow. It was a really good first snow of the season.  The attached picture is when I first noticed the snow coming down. 

On Thursday, elder Masauo was not feeling very well. So we stayed home all day and since he was the one that was sick, he rested all day and I didn't have anything to do after studies in the morning because we cant do a whole lot on a mission that we would do back home. So I tried to find stuff to do. I caught up on my journal and also washed all the dishes and that only lasted a few hours. So I was still stuck with what to do for the rest of the day, I finally came to the conclusion that I was just going to read the book of mormon. I started around 3 Nephi chapter 5 and I by the time the day was over, I read all the way to the book of Ether. While I was reading the last couple chapters of the book of mormon (in the book of mormon), I was understanding a lot of it and I started to realize that Mormon in chapter 7 was pretty bold with some of the things that he said. One thing that I liked was this, "Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews (a.k.a the bible), which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you. For behold, this (a.k.a the book of mormon) is written for the intent that ye may believe that(the bible); and if ye believe that (the bible) ye will believe this(the book of mormon) also;" But even though Mormon was pretty bold, Moroni, his son, got much bolder in chapter 8 and 9. In chapter 8 Moroni basically says that he saw our day and he describes what he saw and it got me thinking, because a lot of the things that he was describing, it is actually happening today! It was very eye-opening. There was a lot that stuck out to me. Here is one, "For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted." Is that how today is? How many people in this world fit that description? I know I have at times. Most people I would say love money and our nice clothes and stuff that we have, rather than showing compassion and love to the poor and sick people. But wait, it gets better!! In chapter 9, he really gets bold! Verses 1-6 he calls out the "atheists" and basically asks them if they will still not believe when the second coming happens right in front of them. Then from verses 7-20 he really hits hard on those people that say that god does not work with miracles or revelations in the latter days. He says, "He that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them." I don't know if anything that I tried to describe made sense to you. If not, I would invite you to go ahead and read it yourself and you will see what I mean by lots of boldness! =) Anyways, long story short, it was a really good 9 hours of studying the scriptures! 

On Friday, we had a bunch of lessons lined up every hour of the day between 1-5pm. but the sad thing was, EVERY SINGLE ONE FELL THROUGH!!! UGH!! The first appointment we had was with the person we have on date. But she would not answer the door and we heard people inside. The second one was a new investigator that we found last week, and the wife was being kinda rude to us and saying that he was not home and that she didn't know when he would be back. but I am pretty sure that I saw him Inside. The last one that we had was really frustrating, one of our investigators said, "could you guys come back some other time because I am getting my son ready for the day?" (but this was at 4pm???) So we asked her if we could come back in half an hour, she said that we could. So we did, and there was people inside, but nobody answered the door. We knocked about 5 times pretty loudly and still nobody answered. So we left. 

I also finished the book of Mormon this week on Saturday, I have come to know the book of Mormon fairly well as this is the 4th time that I have read it on my mission. I have started on my 5th time and I am almost done with the book of 1st Nephi. I know that it is true. 

Have a good week. I hope you are staying warm this winter season. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Stormy week Way to much wind!

Hello all,

This week was a little bit better than last week. The work in this area is getting better and better as time goes by and we keep working, but it is still slower than I am used to. I am used to just hopping from appointment to appointment and having lots of lessons during the week with our teaching pool being really full. Here is different; It is basically like we just opened the area, We are struggling to get in with people to teach lessons and find people to teach. The branch is getting smaller and smaller as the weeks go on. Thee last branch president only served for about a month and then he moved out as well as other families. It is by far the smallest branch that I have been in. Dont get me wrong; I love it here, It is just a lot harder work than the others. Ive looked in our area book recently and it looked like most of the people have not been taught in over 150 days on average. So we have been doing a lot of "weeding out" trying to find those that are actually interested and those that are just being a time filler. Every Time we are at a doorstep with somebody and I ask if we could come back at a specific day and time; their usual response is, " could come back.....whenever." Thats usually when I straight up ask them, "so are you interested in what we have to say or not?"(typically in a nicer tone than you think) Thats when they say, "well, to be honest, im not really interested." When they say that, I thank them for being honest with us and that we dont want to waste their time and keep bugging them if they are not interested. It sounds like a pretty bold approach, but it works and people don't get mad at us. they say that just because they dont want to be rude and they say that we could come back. 

Ever since I have been on my mission longer and longer I have found ways to "weed out" the interest of people really fast, to help people understand and fix false information that they received from another source(typically anti stuff), and i've learned to (in bashing situations) have comebacks that will stop people in their tracks. We always try to stay away from situations where we bash with people, but it will always come up sometime or another. So you have to be ready for it just in case. =)
I haven't had any bashing situations for a while. But if we do happen to come across one., I found a perfect scripture in the bible that will stop it immediately. it is found in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 16. It states, "but if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of god." that is usually the scripture that stops people in their tracks as I previously described. 

I just noticed that this letter is not like any of the other letters that you have received from me. I didn't know what I wanted to write for my letter this week. So I just started to type, and this is what I came up with. I know that studying, especially in the scriptures, is important for us because we receive a knowledge of truths and guidance in what we can say and do. I don't think I could have been out on my mission this long if I did not study or read the scriptures. Oh, and by the way, today marks 19 months on my mission thus far. It has flown by so fast! I cant believe that it has been this long. When I was 5 months out, I thought, "this is going to be the longest 2 years of my life!" But now I look back and I ask myself, "where has the time gone? I only have 5 months left. this has been the fastest 2 years of my life!" I've also noticed that I am not the same as when I came out. During the course of my mission, I have not realized that I have changed all that much. But a mission really does change you whether you know it or not, and its for the better; not the worse. 

This week, we did some tracting for a few hours. There was not much that we did this week because of the halloween holiday as well as some really bad storms the past few days. We found a few people tracting, but you wont BELIEVE how hard it is to get someone to commit to do something SO simple like reading a small verse. Ill try to describe a situation to you to show you what I mean. So we found this person and we shared a lesson with them and invite them to be baptized. They said, "well, I guess I could be baptized." then we would ask them if they would prepare to be baptized, and they would say, "I guess so." Then we would try to set a date for them and they would agree the date and then back down and say it is too early of a date (but the date would be about 2 months down the road?) That is one instance that shows how uncommitted people are. That is not just here, but that is almost everywhere. 

On Friday, we had the branch halloween party/trunk-or-treat (apparently the trunk-or-treat is not just a utah thing). It was a super windy though, so they did the trunk-or-treat inside the church. and for halloween on saturday we did nothing because we were supposed to be inside when people were trick-or-treating

For the past few days, there has been some storms that have been really bad. Just to give you an idea how bad they are, the wind speed has been about 30-50 mph with gusts up to 70+. Its really hard to walk around because you walk right into the wind for about a block and you are so beat because you used all your strength just to get there. We went to the store one day because elder masauo ran out of food, and when I opened the door I completely forgot about the wind and the door flung open and almost dinged somebodies door really badd but i caught it just in time. 

That was my week, sorry if the letter was kinda weird. 

Elder Daniels

McDonalds lesssons and DQ! I love shakes!

Hey everyone!

This week was a better week than last week. I didn't really know the
area when I got into Cutbank, but now I have been here for a week and
a half and I am starting to know the area. The first of the week was
pretty slow. Wednesday was when the work started to pick up for the
week. We went tracting on Tuesday night and we tracted into this guy
that told us to come back and see him the next day. So we went back on
Wednesday at the time he told us to come back and he walked right
outside and told us that he was going to take us to McDonalds. He said
that the missionaries stopped by a while back and he said that he
usually takes them out to McDonalds and meets there because his house
is a mess. So long story short, we went over to McDonalds and he
bought us some shakes and we sat down and we talked with him. He has
heard pretty much everything about "the mormons" from the missionaries
and he loves what we are doing. He then asked us if we would be able
to listen to his presentation of his buisness that he just started. So
we listened to him. The business was pretty cool I thought. He
basically works his own hours, and whatever he sells he gets money in
1 oz gold bars on a card and he can trade it for money or they just
put the money on his mastercard. but he gets a better deal when he
gets the gold instead of the money because gold has more value than
the dollar. he said in one day he made almost 500 dollars. I dont
quite understand it, but it sounds interesting.

After That lesson that we had with him, we were supposed to go to
dinner but the member was not home and he texted us a couple hours
later saying that he was never going to be home. After our dinner that
we had at home, we got ready and packed up our stuff because the zone
leaders told us that we were going to stay the night in Conrad with
some other elders. So after we packed we headed out on the road to
conrad and got their about an hour later. you see, on the highline
(which is basically highway 2 on the east side of montana) the time
between each town is AT LEAST an hour or more. We stayed the night at
their apartment and then we all got up at 4 in the morning to get
ready for the day and go down to great falls to meet up with the rest
of the zone at 6:30. Then we Carpooled with the zone all the way to
Helena where we had a Mission leadership training from 9am-4pm. It was
a very long meeting. We talked a lot about the sabbath day observance
and other things of the like. One thing that President Wadsworth
mentioned in the meeting was that elder holland said at one time that,
"this church is only one generation away from extinction" That phrase
got me pondering for a little while. During the Mission Leadership
Training we had a breakout session where we got together as zones and
we had a Zone Leadership Training meeting. It was a really spiritual
meeting for me. One of the experiences that I had in the meeting is as
follows. There was a discussion going on by some of the sisters.
During their discussion, I had this phrase of scripture come into my
mind. I shrugged off the Prompting and kept listening to the
discussion. Not even 10 seconds later the same phrase of scripture
came into my mind, so I new that it was from the spirit and I was not
thinking of it myself and I looked it up and as soon as I found it, I
raised my hand and I shared the scripture with everyone and It really
shed some light on the subject. I can testify that the spirit works in
many ways, and one of those ways is promptings. If we heed to the
promptings of the spirit, we will be blessed as well as be a blessing
to other people. Anyways, after the meeting ended, we headed back to
great falls and then went to lunch at DQ because we get it there for
free. I got it a lot when I served in great falls over a year ago. But
after dinner we had to drive all the way back home which was about 2
hours. we didn't get home till 9 at night. So by this time I had
already been up for 17-18 hours and only running on less than 5 hours
of sleep Wednesday night. You can imagine that I was pretty tired.

On friday, We got a call from the second counselor in the Branch
presidency. He was calling because he wanted to know if I could speak
in church the next sunday. He wanted me to speak on the sabbath day
using one of the talks from last general conference. So I said I
would. On sunday, My talk went pretty well. He asked if I would speak
for about 10-15 minutes, but I ended up talking for about 30 or more.
I was pretty bold in my talk as well. I mainly focused my talk on the
talk by elder M. Russell Ballard called, "God Is At The Helm" In that
talk, Elder Ballard was pretty bold and straightforward. As I was
Preparing my talk, I remembered that President wadsworth said a few
things about sabbath day observance. So I took portions of his
discussion as well. Everyone loved my talk. I think they gave me the
assignment of me speaking in church so that I could tell everything
about myself before I gave my talk so that everyone could know who I
was. But when I got up to give my talk, I did the exact opposite. I
just taught straight doctrine and ended my talk. I have found
throughout the course of my mission that the best talks are the ones
that teach straight doctrine and truth.

After church we went over to the previous branch presidents house (he
was only branch president for about a month and then moved). He said
that he had some boxes that he didn't need. so he gave them to us
because we were going to give them to an investigator that said that
they were looking for some boxes so they could move. We showed up and
we got way more boxes than expected. The investigator(i dont remember
his name) thanked us for the boxes and he said that it was going to
get pretty cold in the next few weeks. he also said that he had some
extra parkas that he owned and he would give them to us for free so we
could stay warm because cutbank gets pretty cold.

well that was my week and I hope that the work progresses even more
because right now the work is kinda in a drought and there is not too
much people to teach.