Monday, December 28, 2015

A really big snow cave


This week was a much better week that the others since I have been here. Yes, it was Christmas and that is always good. But we had a lot more lessons than we usually do. You know about most of the week from the skype call, but I'll just write it again. 

We had district meeting on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. It was the most powerful district meetings that I have had in my whole entire mission. The spirit was totally there, no doubt about it! The zone leaders where there as well, one of them gave a role play on asking inspired questions. usually the first role play is a bad example and the second is a good example.  The first role play that he did, the person was not keeping his commitments and he wanted to do other "more important" things. One of the questions that he asked was, "well, is that more important than your salvation?" it was definitely the boldest thing that I have heard on my mission! The second role play was super powerful though. The spirit was definitely felt. Near the end of the district meeting we had a testimony meeting. Everyone (including me) bore their testimonies on the atonement. The spirit came stronger and stronger into the room every time someone got up. By the end of the district meeting, I felt like I was in the temple! District meeting ended up going just over 3 hours instead of the usual 2 hours. But it was definitely worth it. Then we switched companions and went on the exchange. Elder Pett came with me and we went straight to browning. 

The reservations are pretty interesting. There are dogs EVERYWHERE! They don't even care. You can be driving, and they will walk in front of your Car for no reason. Sometimes, they will be sitting in the middle of the road and you will drive up to them, and they won't even budge. One of the funny things that we saw while we were driving was a car driving around (that's not the funny part.) As we passed the car, we saw some kids on a sled that was being pulled by the car! So we took a picture really quick before they passed us. (Attached) 
we taught a few lessons there, which we normally don't do. Then we headed back to Cutbank. When the exchange was over the next morning. We drove all the way to Conrad to switch back. It was a really good exchange. 

On Wednesday we did not have a dinner. We went out during the day from 3-6 shoveling random peoples driveways we shoveled 4 then headed over to brother C. He is a really good member, he always asks how the missionary work is going and if we got fed. We told him that we did not have a dinner and we hadn't had dinner yet. He then got up out of his chair exclaiming, "Jimmeny Christmas!!" Walked over to the kitchen, and put in a pizza. While we waited for the pizza to cook we played a board game which I don't know the name of but here is a diagram of what it looks like. He made it himself. Each of the dots are holes where the marbles can sit. And there are 4 colored marbles that you use. It was a pretty fun game. 
Then the pizza was ready, he said that if we ever did not have a dinner, then we can come over and he can feed us "in 22 minutes and for only $2.50!" he is funny! He always complains how none of the members feed us. He says every time, "all they have to do is get $2.50, grab a pizza at the store, put it in the oven for 20 minutes and then have you over for dinner. It's not that big of a deal people!" 

Christmas was really good. It was pretty cold in the morning. And got colder throughout the day up until it was -20 at night. Skyping home for the last time was really good. 

On Saturday we went to East Glacier to go find some people since we had not been out there before. Some of the people we met were really surprised that we were out there. The missionaries had not been there for almost 20 years from what the people said. There was so much snow there! The cars were all drifted over with snow and had 2 feet piled on top of them. We met some Indian kids that recognized who we were. They were building a snow cave out of a giant pile of snow. So we offered to help them. We ended up getting to the point where we could all fit in the cave. It was pretty fun. We talked to them for a little bit before we had to head back for dinner.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Week before Christmas service

Seasons Greetings!

This week was pretty good. We had our lesson with M. on Monday night and the lesson went really well. She told us that she understands now how the Book of Mormon explains more and answers more questions than the bible does. That is a HUGE step for her to know that! She now has a testimony of the Book of Mormon!

On Tuesday we went to Shelby for the doctors appointment for Elder Masauo. Even from the bloodwork,  they still didn't know what was wrong. The doctor said everything was normal. I have no idea either what is going on. We then went to browning to go and see T, but when we got there, she was sleeping. We rescheduled for Friday this week, She said that, "it would definitely work." We gave a blessing later that night to a member who is going in for a knee replacement. 

Wednesday we gave a blessing to another member who had a doctors appointment in the morning. Then we got ready to go out and do some service shoveling snow since it snowed the night before. We would go and shovel the persons driveway without telling them, and when we were finished we would leave a pass along card on the door. The last one that we shoveled was this old lady. Right when we were finished, she came out and told us, "stay right there", we both knew that she was going to try and give us money, which we were right. But she was astonished when we would not take the money. We told her that it is a service that we were doing. "Well, can't you give it to some charity or something?" She said. We told her that Jesus Christ served without getting paid and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. "Are you sure I can't give you anything?" She asked. We replied in a kind tone, "gratitude is the best thing you could give. Merry Christmas!", and then we left. We then drove to Conrad to stay the night with the elders for the Christmas zone conference the next day. 

Thursday was a very long day. We had to wake up at 4 to be at the Great Falls stake center at 6:20 AM. I did not fall asleep the night before till about midnight. So I only got about 4 hours of sleep, and I was the one driving. I ended up having to drive all the way to Helena as well. The Christmas zone conference was amazing! It was probably the most fun that I have had in months! To start, Me and sister Stacey had no idea when we were going to play in the conference and we had planned to practice and warm up during lunch. But they called us up right at the beginning! It was not too bad though. During The conference, when President Wadsworth spoke. He said, "Christmas zone conference is the only time that dignity and decorum can totally be thrown out the window." He then demonstrated what he meant when we were all reading our letters from home. He came barging in the room and he starts yelling and saying that Santa was coming, it was pretty funny. We sang Christmas songs and all that good stuff. It's was a very long day. We did not get home till bedtime due to travels and eating. I was super tired. 

Not much happened Friday. We went to Browning and went to see T. again. Sadly, when we went there, Nobody answered the door (we knocked many times and rang the doorbell). There were people definitely inside the house, not to mention that their car was running outside. I think some people think we are not smart...

Church attendance was very small this week, probably because everyone is going out of town for the holidays. 

That's a day in the life of a missionary in Cutbank this week.
Happy holidays!

Elder McKade Daniels

The people we meet

Seasons Greetings!

As you probably already know from all the letters that I write, My week was pretty good. This letter is going to be a pretty long one because a lot of things happened this week that I want to write about.

On Monday we had a zone preparation day in Great Falls. It was super fun, we played some Podball(which is a twist to the classic game of dodgeball. Its a mission made game) I drove the 1 hr 45 min to great falls after lunch and then after having our zone preparation day for 4 hours, we all had dinner with the stake president and his wife. We had a fun time playing the "christmas story pass around" game (or whatever it's called.) That took the rest of the night, then I had to drive back to Cutbank. I was pretty tired when we got home. I wasn't tired driving though, which was really good!

On Tuesday we went to Browning. We went to see D. who was (to no surprise) on another hangover. We didn't really teach him because there is no point in teaching something to someone who is not going to retain anything because they are drunk. After we left his home, we hurried over to T house for our lesson with her. T, is the person that we found last week that wants to be baptized. When we arrived there, we walked into the home (after knocking of course)and everyone had this look of astonishment on their face. When they saw us, they realized that they had forgot they had the lesson planned today. T, was not even there anyways. So we set up a return appointment for this next week.

After our dinner with the Ericksons the same day, We went tracting for the new initiative called "A Savior Is Born". There are two funny stories that I have from this. We tracted into this guy that said right from the get-go, "guys, I am a 'die-hard' catholic, so you are going to have to kill me to convert me." Then right at that moment, Elder Masauo jumped out from behind me towards the guy and said, "Do you believe in Jesus?!" It was pretty funny. The guy just said something like, "not interested guys. stay warm." We laughed about it for a while. Then a few houses later, we Tracted into a Jehovah's Witness lady. She was a very interesting lady. She was talking with us and she was asking us some weird off-topic questions such as, "do you believe in war?" I felt like she was trying to catch us in our words just like many of the people did to the prophets in the book of mormon. She proceeded to try and put us down by saying that we only do our missions for 2 years and that she does her's for life. Thats when I had enough and I spoke up and corrected her in the most polite way that I could summon. I said, "let me stop you right there. You are right, In a sense. Yes, we do this for two years. But for those two years we do this from the time we wake up, to the time that we go to bed. nothing else. We gave up our lives to do this all day! Then, after our two years are over, We do exactly what you say you are doing for the rest of your life, We continue to share the gospel while still having our lives." After I finished speaking, She had no other comment for a little bit. I could tell that the spirit was working on her pretty good. The spirit was testifying so strong from the testimony that I had given her. We then went to leave and I told her, "merry christmas!" (completely forgetting that I knew that they don't believe in any holidays because 'they are pagan') I then told her that I was sorry and that I forgot they dont believe in it. Then before we left again, I unintentionally said, "happy holidays" to her. Long story short, It was a very awkward situation. But thats why finding can be fun, you get some funny stories!

Then Wednesday we had district meeting in Shelby, I gave a discussion on our purpose as missionaries. The only problem was that the district leader forgot to give out the assignments until the night before. So I gave the discussion with very little preparation. It turned out to be a pretty good discussion. After district meeting, Us and the sisters went into the chapel so me and sister Stacey could practice a song for the Christmas zone conference this Thursday. Here is a little backstory, During the zone preparation day, Sister Stacey remembered that I could play the piano. She needed somebody to accompany her and she didnt know who. So I got roped into it. We practiced for a little bit and made our little arrangement of "o come all ye faithful", and then went home for lunch. Then later that night we got invited by one of our investigators to come to an advent service at her church (there was a dinner as well) so we went. The people there were really nice, They welcomed us. The service was interesting though. Everything was scripted in a little booklet that they passed out. All of the songs and what the pastor (who was a woman) had to say was in the booklet. It was very scripted.

Thursday and Friday we didn't do a whole lot because elder Masauo was not feeling very well again. But we went to dinner with some members in East Glacier. We got stuck behind a couple snow plows with their lights flashing most of the way back to Cut bank. Our heads were hurting a lot from the super bright lights flashing.

Then on Saturday we drove down to Great Falls in the morning for interviews with the mission president as well as going to stake conference after. Luckily we didn't have to drive all the way back to Cut Bank that night and back down to Great Falls in the morning for the Sunday session. We stayed at the zone leaders house for the night.

That was my week. It was pretty busy and pretty fun as well.

Happy holidays!

Elder Daniels

Tracting for miles

Hello everyone! 

This week was pretty good. We had the doctors appointment in Shelby which went fairly well. The doctor didn't really know what was going on, But she thought that it might be pre-diabetes (which is what everyone else we told thought as well) He did some blood work and we are going back on the 15th to see whats up. After the appointment we drove back to Cut Bank and we went to go and see sister  and her husband who is not a member. We helped them clean out their freezer because they were getting a new one. While we were there the fridge guys showed up and it got really hectic so we left. 

Wednesday night We went tracting for a few hours walking down the highway towards Canada. We knocked on all of the houses that we passed by. We didn't find a whole lot of people nobody was really interested. We found this one lady that said she had been to every single church in town, but she had never been to ours because she was never invited. So needless to say, we invited her. (but she never showed up on Sunday) 

We went to Browning on Thursday and tried to see all of the investigators that we have there. Sadly, we met with none of them. But when we went to go see A, he was not home but Sister S (a less active) was there with her daughter. She told us that her daughter was not baptized yet and she was wondering what she needed to do to get her baptized. So we told her that she had to take the missionary lessons and get interviewed and come to church as well. So we were able to find a new investigator that is probably going to be pretty easy to teach and get baptized.

On Friday, we had a zone training in Great Falls. So we drove down early in the morning. From Cut bank to Great Falls it is about 1 hr 45 min drive one way. So after the 3 hour zone training, I drove back the 1 hr 45 minutes to Cut Bank. It was a long day for me.

On Saturday we went walking down the highway again. We started between mile marker 1 and 2 and then walked and tracted all of the houses between there and mile marker 4. So we walked about 6 miles today in the cold and tons of wind. Your probably wondering why we were walking for so long in that kind of weather. Well, we are going to be driving to great falls for Stake conference this next sunday as well as meeting for the Christmas zone conference. So we are going to try and use as little miles as possible. While keeping elder Masauo's health in good condition. He loves walking. After tracting, we went over to the church to go to the Christmas party for the branch. It was a pretty good Christmas party. There was a lot of food and we were pretty hungry. But we got loaded up with so much leftovers of turkey and mashed potatoes and ham that we probably wont be having to shop for the next week or two...

On sunday, We had a potluck at the Browning church after the meetings. Some of the food was leftovers from the Cut Bank Christmas party. But it was still good food. One lady made a cake that was pretty good. She then told us what was in the cake. Pinto beans!

That was my week this week, I hope all of you are enjoying the christmas season and remembering that christ is the reason for the season. 

Elder McKade Daniels

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Greetings from the coldest spot in the nation! 
This week was pretty slow, probably the slowest on the mission so far. The first few days of the week we were able to do some missionary work, but the latter part of the week elder Masauo was feeling pretty sick. So we ended up staying home from Wednesday until the present time. He said that he has felt sick for a while but it was worse this week.
On Monday we had our lesson with M. She is such a solid investigator, but all she needs to do is come to church and think about baptism. She accepts everything that we teach and she says she believes it all. She just needs to take that step of making time to come to church and to get baptized. Our lessons are always great discussions. I think we just need to be more patient. 

On Tuesday we went to browning because we had a lesson scheduled with D. We were supposed to get a big winter storm that was said to be pretty bad. We did get a little snow during the morning, but the worst part of the storm hit great falls and all of central and south Montana with massive amounts of snow up to 8 inches! I am actually surprised that It did not hit us at all. But We got a voicemail from the assistants to the whole mission saying that we should stay off the roads if at all possible and to use our best judgement and common sense during the transfers on Wednesday. Good thing we were not getting transferred! Anyways, the lesson with D was not the best lesson. He said that he was not feeling very well, and he said that he was "hungover". I remembered that he had said that sometimes during our lessons he was drunk, but we did not notice. But this time we noticed for sure. He was VERY out of it and groggy.

After our "lesson" with D (I say "lesson" because I don't know if he got anything that we said) we went and saw k. We showed up to his house and it was really cold outside, I'm sure that it was at most 0 degrees outside. He was about to not let us into his home because he had something in 15 minutes. We told him that we could share our message in 15 minutes. So he let us inside. We sat down and shared with him the restoration, he did not interrupt us until we got to the part of Joseph Smith. When he would interrupt us, he would go on some really long tangents where he would just babble on. (haha i just thought of Babylon with babble on because it sounds the same. I guess babbling on and on is something in babylon. haha JK!) Ive focused on not interrupting people when they are talking, but when we have a message to share in a short amount of time that they gave us, and they are not letting us share it because they are talking too much, I don't really have a choice and I have to interrupt them or else we were not accomplishing our purpose. But when we walked out of the house after the lesson, We were there for almost an hour! But I thought about the lesson for a while and I realized that we did in fact share our message in about 15 minutes total time throughout the hour. So I felt good about the lesson. The spirit was definitely present as well. It was a good lesson despite the interruptions.

Then from Wednesday until now, elder Masauo was feeling sicker than he has before. Some of the members that we had dinner with checked his blood sugar, and it was 405 when it should be somewhere around 150. So that probably explains part of the sickness. We have an appointment Tuesday the 1st (tomorrow) to see what is wrong.

During the time that we have stayed home, I have started to run out of things to do. I finished reading the Old testament the day after thanksgiving. Which, by the way, means that I have read the whole standard works of the church in one year. If you remember, I started reading the New Testament the day after thanksgiving last year when I had nothing to do because my companion (Elder Graham) sprained his ankle. After finishing the New Testament, I started the Doctrine and Covenants. Then I read the Pearl of Great Price, and then the Old Testiment, all while still reading the Book of Mormon at the same time. Ive come to know the scriptures more during the past year of reading them all. It was a pretty hard task to do, and it takes lots of dedication. But I know that it is possible to do. I accomplished  my goal to read all of the standard works on my mission. Not to mention that It was a year to the date! Now i've started to read the church handbook from cover to cover. Partly because I am running out of things to do while Elder Masauo is sick, as well as I want to know what the church's stance is on things because Ive gotten a lot of questions about things like that on my mission( especially during these changing times). Plus I get to know how the church works and everything. Then when I finish that, Ill probably start to read Jesus The Christ. Ive hated reading my whole life but now it doesn't bother me at all.

Im actually surprised that this letter was longer than I expected, I was expecting it to be pretty short because there was not much that happened this week. I hope I didn't bore you at all. I hope you all had a great thanksgiving and that you remembered all the things that you are grateful for,  and especially those things that you normally don't think about. I tried focus on those things that I normally don't think about. It got me pondering a lot! I got into a deep thinking mode for a while. Deep thinking really blows your mind sometimes! I want you to try it as well. You will be blown away at the simplest things that you have never thought about being grateful for. Anyways, I hope you have had a great thanksgiving holiday and a great week as well.

till next time,
Elder Daniels