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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Frozen and Robots

Hola, everyone!

How's the weather up there???  Down here it was consistently around 70 or above, until last Tuesday, when BOOM. 45 degrees all day. Yeah, we froze, but now it's consistently around 55 or above, so no snow for us.  :)

This week has been a good one!  Many new things were tried, a lot of fun was had, and missionary work happened! 

First off, last Sunday we had an amazing lesson with an investigator and were able to put him on date for baptism!  Two days later, we found out from the less-active family he was living with, that he had to go back to his house with his parents (that's code for he got kicked out).  Unfortunately, he lives in Blue Water... in the Gallup stake, in the Farmington Mission... :(

But Taylor, the 10 year old from the Gallup stake, is going to be baptized here!  They are going to transfer her records over here to the Laguna Branch, so that is going to be epic!

We have zone conference tomorrow, so that'll be fantastic, and it  will be a lot of fun!  Elder Cornelison and I will be giving a training, stay tuned for scenes from our early Christmas episode... :D  (Yes, our training is on something for Christmas)

The last week or so, I've been realizing that missionaries have a robot mode, especially when teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the 3rd lesson. A lot of times, we start off with faith in Christ, which is a good starting point, but NOT the best starting point.  The first point tells the why of the Gospel of Christ: Through Christ we can be cleansed from sin.  Having faith in Christ, repenting, following Christ through baptism and through partaking of the sacrament, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost don't mean as much to me unless I am cleansed from my sin.  That just so happens to be the main message that Corianton in the Book of Mormon was supposed to share with the Zoramites (Alma 39: 15-16).  As shared in the scripture, this "prepares our minds" for what? For anything that comes our way!!  If our minds aren't prepared, it becomes extremely difficult to do anything!  So study the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be prepared!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Sanity: Who needs it??

(Elder Dial sent this email on 10/9/2017)

Happy late birthday in September to Adi and cousin Levi!

Pictures:  that's Elder Nelson and I on exchanges, we hiked a mountain for morning workouts.  Cause we can do that. :)

2: that's the truck we have, and the trailer we live in.  After 8 months of me being here, there's the picture of what we live in.  XD

3:  The sunset. FYI, that water is not usually there... Either that person decided to flood irrigate, or the rain just stayed there after like 3 days without rain.  I think it was the rain- we got enough that that would happen. XD

The reason for the title of this email, is that I've been going crazy being here for as long as I have been... I was starting to lose my mind about 4 months ago, but now I've gone completely bonkers...that's alright, my sanity was never really consistent anyways, as is shown in picture 4. 

We were on exchanges with the spanish elders, and we did a role play with this guy as the investigator... His name is Wormtail.  We started teaching him by saying, "We don't have much time, and we know you've been busy trying to kill Harry Potter, but..."  

This week started off discouraging, but it ended on a good note yesterday!  We've been telling people about the ratio rule, and a couple people have gotten offended. I feel kinda bad, but that's their choice for not liking our obedience to God.  If we are converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then that wouldn't be a problem-  but that's alright, we'll help them out as much as we can- that's why we're here!

We found a new investigator yesterday, and he's on date to be baptized for the 28th of October!  He seems pretty solid, we'll find out tonight, when we teach him again!

That's it for me this week, talk to y'all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pre-Conference Confusion

Wasabi, everyone!

This week was... a week, that's for sure.  Monday and Tuesday went pretty "normal".  Wednesday, the truck started acting up, so we called the vehicle coordinator who told us to drive to Albuquerque.  It's a good thing we had budgeted our miles, because we coughed up 300 in 3 days.  So on Thursday, we drive the 50-60 miles to ABQ and drop off the truck at the place we were told to, and got picked up by the zone leaders and did weekly planning at their apartment.  Then, we were called about the truck, telling us the fixed the initial problem, but that there was a leak in the truck that we would have to take it back on Friday for them to fix.  We were told that we could drive it, so we did, which we used to drive back to Laguna, to pack 1 day's worth clothes, and we drove back to ABQ that night- thus destroying 170 of our last 350 miles for the month.  

Elder Dial's shoes after Wednesday
That brings us to Friday, which was potentially the worst day of my whole mission. We take in the truck to the place as early as possible (8:30 or so) so it can be fixed and back up to speed.  We go to our zone council meeting, and lunch, which takes us to 12:30ish, and still no call about the truck.  We decided to go do some service with our zone leaders, and that took about 3-4 hours.  Now it's about 4:30, and no call about the truck.  We elected to call them, and they told us, "We can't fix that leak, you should probably take it to the dealership. You can still drive it, though. "  -_-   We decide to take the truck, go to our one appointment in To'hajiilee, then go back to our trailer to grab clothes till Tuesday night, (just in case we needed them).  We were already about an hour late to our appointment (we told them what was going on). But, with the area getting rain last week, and the dirt roads... yeah, we ended up getting stuck for about 45 minutes, even in 4 wheel drive.  At that point, it was about  6:30 when we got stuck. We didn't have phone service either, so it was quite the adventure. When we got out, around 7:15, it would take us 30 minutes to get home, and then the hour to get to ABQ, so we went home instead of to the appointment (Elder Cornelison had gotten out to start pushing, he was all muddy and wanted a shower) (we were able to reschedule with them, though), hoping to get something for dinner before we headed back to ABQ, which didn't happen. With everything that happened that day, when we got back to the zone leaders apartment, we hadn't had dinner, or even personal or comp study.  That took about 140 more miles out, so even if we wanted to go back to our area on Saturday, we couldn't. 

Elder Cornelison's shoes after pushing the truck out
To top it all off, that night, I'm writing in a notebook what I've learned that day, and how I've seen God's hand that day, as I have every day since August. As I'm writing, "I learned today that I hate car troubles" my FLIPPING pen dies.  Needless to say, sleep and General Conference was a glorious welcome to these missionaries.  (The leak in the truck STILL isn't fixed, though.)

On a much happier note, General Conference was fantastic! I am not sad that Elder Hales passed away, though.  I think he had the ideal passing.  The last song he heard was sung by the best choir in all the world, a song that should be our motto throughout life, and was his: "I Believe in Christ". My favorite phrase from that song says:

"And while I strive through grief and pain
His voice is heard, 'Ye shall obtain." 

But, the only catch, is that that part has to be sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  They make that phrase right there, the first climax of the whole song.  If you don't believe me, go and listen to it. 

This week may have been a difficult one for us, but that's alright!  We grow all the time, no matter the grief and pain we all have, if we press forward in faith, "[we] shall obtain". 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, September 29, 2017

Week 31 in Laguna (has it been that long??)

Hola, everyone!

I'm glad that I got to stay for another transfer, because if I was leaving, I wouldn't have been able to go to the biggest feast of the pueblo, which was last Tuesday.  We went to 4 houses- which means we had 4 meals.  No, it was not "breakfast-lunch-tea time-dinner".  We wish it was that simple. No, we had our own breakfast, then we had 2 lunches, and 2 dinners, which also means that we had all 4 of those within about 5.5 hours...  and with how windy it was, we got a 5th meal with how much dirt ended up in our mouths.  Man I love this area. XD
Also, today was our "Missionary Monday" which is the day that the Albuquerque temple opened just for us missionaries to go and do an endowment session!  I was able to go through for one of my ancestors that I found, and it changed my whole perspective on this work that we are engaged in!  I also got to see a lot of faces I recognized from El Paso, and if I were to count how many times I heard the words "you need to come back to El Paso"  I'd probably be around 30 times just today.
I gave a baptism interview last week, it was really cool!  The person preparing for baptism is in the YSA, his name is Kai, and he's doing awesome!  He's being taught by the sisters in the zone, and because the sisters are in my district, with me as the district leader, I got to talk to him to see if he is ready!  It was really weird, but pretty sweet!
It's General Conference week!  I'm super pumped because that's our time to receive personal revelation from the words of the living prophets and apostles!  I promise you that if you watch conference with a question in mind, and if you go with a desire to know of one thing that God wants you to do to become better, you WILL receive your answer, and that one thing is going to push your limits, but allow you to become more like Christ in a way that somebody in this world needs you to be! 

Someone needs you today for who you are right now,  and more people need you tomorrow because of what you become today!  Keep moving forward with faith, even while the world seems to be falling in fear- fear is not part of who God needs you to become!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Time flies....when the clock is thrown out the window ;)

Hola, everyone!  

This week has pretty groovy for the Laguna, Acoma, and To'hajiilee area, I think. I wasn't there for most of it, I was on exchanges twice in the last week, both times I came in to Albuquerque, so I only got to spend like 4/7 days in my own area.  Speaking of which, I have been in Laguna for right around 7 months now... and I'll be here for another 6 weeks!  This next transfer will be my 6th in Laguna, which is unusual, even for this area!

Exchanges with Elder Robinson, the zone leader here, was a lot of fun!  We ended up talking with some people who are from the Bi-hi faith.  Long story short they believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but that somewhere in the Book of Mormon he prophecies of a man named Ba'ha'u' lah, who is "in fact, the Risen Christ" and that He came about 200 years ago.  We asked about the 1000 years of peace that's supposed to come with Christ's 2nd coming, to which we got the response, "God's timing is mysterious."  -_-  Yeah, we taught her about the Book of Mormon, and how Joseph Smith's own words aren't even in it, but that we have the Doctrine and Covenants that are his words.  Elder Robinson told her that he had read all of the Doctrine and Covenants and that he hadn't seen any reference to Ba'ha'u'lah, and this lady said, "Clearly you missed it."  
Needless to say, we left without setting a return appointment.  XD

Then, on exchanges with Elder Furlong, I was able to test out my Spanish (that I didn't try very hard to learn while I was in El Paso), and it turns out that I can understand the gist of what they're saying, but I can't respond in Spanish.  It was cool to have that feeling of having no idea what's going on again!

Don't ever give up, I'll talk to you all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is that Tevya???

Hello, all!
This week has been pretty great, I finally got to go somewhere that is not normally open to the missionaries... Sky City!  A little background, Sky City is on the Acoma pueblo that we're technically not allowed to go.  Sky City is on top of a mesa that is off by itself, and it's sacred to the natives, and if you go on top without permission, you could potentially (98% possibility) be in prison for the rest of your life.  But, on feast days, they don't turn anyone away-and Sky City only has 2 feast days a year: the one this last Saturday, called the Governor's feast, and one near Christmas.  The kindness of natives is pretty epic!  Naturally, no pictures, but it's still a great memory to have!

We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders this last week, and it was weird to be in a house or two where the people didn't speak English... I kinda miss having that feeling of having no idea what's going on because it's all in Spanish!  It was cool, and those Elders, Elder Eskelsen and Elder Furlong, are doing amazing things in the two Spanish branches they cover! 
Now, for the part referencing the title of the email: Tevya.  He is the main character of "Fiddler on the Roof".  Something that happens a lot in Fiddler on the Roof is traditions are broken... and this area is all about traditions.  We invite people to learn more about what we teach, and they say, "I believe in my traditional religion [which is a mix between Catholic and Native American Culture]."  Over the years that this area has been opened, some traditions were created. Elder Jackman and I stopped one- all our planning was dropping by people, we wouldn't have return appointments.  We now set return appointments with a lot of people, sometimes people don't cooperate, but that's alright.  Elder Cornelison and I are tackling another tradition that this area has- what missionaries call the ratio rule.  The ratio rule is a rule that says that there has to be three members of one gender in a house or room to be able for us to enter said room or house, and we've been told that the ratio rule applies to us on the rez, because we wouldn't be able to teach anyone if we did...    Most of our investigators are single older ladies that enjoy having us over, but we have been telling them that we can't go over unless we either bring another male with us, or two more ladies with us or... they can invite their friends!  It's been difficult, but for the last 4 months or so, we haven't had any of our 15 or so investigators keeping commitments.  Just on Saturday, we found out that 2 of our investigators are both progressing- reading the Book of Mormon everyday, praying daily, and they both attended church this last week-along with one of them being on date for baptism!  It's really cool to know that as we are exactly obedient, miracles happen!
That's it for me this week, just keep your head up and never give up!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, August 28, 2017


Hola, ya at eeh, Guuwadzii, hello, family and friends!

This week sure was an interesting one, that's for sure!  We got invited to a free bbq while we were in To'hajiilee last Monday, and we were able to teach 20 people about the Book of Mormon, and also one of them had watched "Meet the Mormons" so she "knew what us missionaries are about". It was really cool, but it would've been better if she asked us herself, but hey- that's why they made that movie in the first place!  It was weird to see that technology like that still exists in this area, and that we have those resources in this area, even though we don't even have phone service in half of our area.  XD

Yesterday was a music fireside that our stake, Albuquerque West stake, hosted, and it was really cool!  They invite missionaries and others to play music that will direct people's thoughts to Christ.  For it to be an effective use of our time, we had to have either a less-active or investigator there... (or be a part of the program) so we were hoping and praying for someone to be there- and we had Alva, an active member, bring her friend, Theresa, an investigator, to it!  It was awesome!

Here's a fun experience for all of you:  Our Branch President in Laguna has been trying to have us to start teaching at the Rehabilitation/jail here in Laguna...  It's been a long process, but we were supposed to start teaching there a week ago on this last Thursday. So on that day, we went to the jail, walked in, but no one was in sight, so we sat down and waited.  We were there for 15 minutes before we saw two security guards who, naturally, asked us what we were doing there.  We told them that we're missionaries and that we were supposed to start teaching the inmates there.  One of their exact words, "Sorry guys, but we've bee on lock down for a couple hours. You're going to have to leave."   Yep, we were in a jail that was on lock down, and we were there for 15-20 minutes.  Man that was fun! XD

Don't any of you ever give up!  God believes in you, so you can do it! 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial