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Monday, January 8, 2018

The Joys of Missionary Work

Hey everyone!

Sorry about last week's email, if it seemed like a rant, that's because it kinda was.  *cue embarrassed cheesy grin*  If you didn't see it that way, awesome!  Then you can move on to the rest of the email. :)
Anyways, this week has been pretty good! 
Picture #1: I just bear-ly took that selfie today... (if you didn't see that pun coming, then you must not know me very well. ;)

Picture #2: I didn't realize it at the time, but I was practicing my impression of a cross-eyed dinosaur, what do you think?  XD

Picture #3:  That picture was taken of the Elders in my district the morning that Elder Finlay, the elder on the far left, was emergency transferred to El Paso.  They were staying at our apartment the night before, so we got up and instead of exercising we drove them to their apartment so he could take the 2 hours he could to pack before he left.

Picture #4:  I make muffins for the district so we can eat them after district council on Fridays. The muffins usually bake for 14-16 minutes, but one batch may or may not have been in the oven for 35 minutes...  I bet you can't tell which ones they are. XD #whoops

The two wards we cover now have meeting times that overlap: Sage ward meets at 9, and Ladera has ward council at 9:30, so we go on splits for church now-  and it's been pretty sweet so far!  Slightly difficult to explain to some of the members that we need to have specific companions during ward meetings, but fun!  The brother who was my companion for sacrament meeting, has only been a member of the church for about eight years, and it was hilarious!  He turns to me and says, "You're the senior companion here, I follow you."  They might have been pulling faces at the kids in front of us, but him and his wife are awesome!

Funny story for you: a brother from the Spanish ward just returned from his mission, and the family had an open house for him at the church this last Saturday.  We had just given a church tour to an investigator, and we walk in to see what was happening.  The open house was over, and there was still food out... We walked in too far.  One sister pulled us over to the food, and proceeded to pack us a meal.  The funny part, is that they had the little cutie oranges.  They began to give us all of the leftover oranges.  Our hands were full, but that wasn't going to stop these sisters.  What did they do?  They opened my backpack while I was wearing it to figure out where to put these last oranges.  *sigh*  Don't worry about me going hungry, that's for sure.

Some events the last two weeks have lead to me ponder this quote from this last general conference: 
"The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself!  You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place.... 
"The Lord needs you to change the world.  As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!"
-President Russell M. Nelson, as quoted in John C. Pingree Jr.'s talk "I Have A Work for Thee" from the October 2017 General Conference
God has a plan for you, just come closer to Him and you will be changing the world! 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial


Hey, everyone!
Happy days to celebrate (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.,)
Kalli, Holly, Sarah, Nate, Tyrell, Steph
Anyways, I have few minutes to speak, so some English may get rough in this email, stay on toes to keep up.  ;)
We had the "Day with the Lord" yesterday and Sunday night, it was awesome!  We didn't spend the whole day reading the Book of Mormon, like last year, but this year was a lot more powerful to me!  We received a lot of envelopes and instructions in each one-telling us to read this general conference talk, ponder these questions and write down what we learn and things like that.  It was a really cool experience, I'll keep the envelopes and such so I can do it again later on throughout my life!
Also, on Sunday we had our most solid investigator come to church again, but he stayed for the full 3 hours this time!  His name is Anton, and when he came to Gospel Principles class it was sweet... until the teacher started to teach some slightly-not-correct doctrine.  The lesson was on the Millenium (perfect for someone new, right?)  and this teacher somehow got talking about the pre-earth life.  Long story short he said that there was a lady he knew who said, "If I knew how hard this life would be I would never have chosen to come here."  Then he said that we were all shortsighted in making that decision to come earth. Multiple things about this have been bothering me:

1) that lady was focused on the wrong thing.  "Adam fell that men may be, and men are that they might have joy." You are here to be joyful, and it's hard to be joyful if you're focused on how difficult your life is.  If you find it hard to be joyful, "Count your many blessings, see what God hath done." That helps!

2) You and I knew full well it would be hard in this life. We didn't fully understand how difficult, but you and I knew that it would require us to stretch, work hard, and, essentially, give our whole being to God to succeed in this life.  We knew what our final goal was when we left, and we knew what we would have to do to get there, so no, we were definitely not shortsighted. 

3) Teach out of love!  That was something this teacher did not do.  He was trying to teach a concept, but no one really tried to pay attention because he didn't show love.  With this new "Come Follow Me" program coming out for you adults it is all love based!  If you love people, you will provide a discussion-oriented environment for the people you teach will come to know that you love them.  You love them by listening to their input, by asking them what they learn, and inviting them to share!  You show your love for them and for Heavenly Father by providing them an opportunity for the Spirit to speak through them-which will also help them to be truly converted to the gospel that you would've tried to lecture to them anyways.  Some of the most loving words Christ said to the people in the Book of Mormon were in 3 Nephi 11:14- His invitation for them to know who He is for themselves.  By having a discussion based lesson in your classes and quorums, you will be saying that same thing to the people you teach- "Arise, and come [and know for yourself]"!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  I love you all!  Start the New Year off with your lightsaber in your dominant hand!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Saturday, December 30, 2017


(Elder Dial sent this Dec. 26th)

Hello everyone!  Hope you all had a merry Christmas yesterday!
This last week was awesome!  Both of our sacrament meetings sang sooo many songs, my throat has been dry for... less than 1 day.  Don't know where I was going with that sentence but I'll keep it in the email. XD
I'm starting a new Christmas tradition, as I told my family yesterday when I skyped home...  behold, picture number one:  the New-and-Probably-Not-Improved Elder Eli James Dial Christmas Smolder.  You're welcome, world.  XD

Anyways, we had a white elephant gift exchange yesterday as missionaries, where some of the other missionaries brought two gifts, soo... my gift was the only one not picked.  Sums up how close Elder Schraedel and I have been to having really good success this week. ;)
For example, we had planned to have dinner with a family on Tuesday and then we were going to go caroling with them right after dinner. Sounds good right? But when we get there for dinner, we find out that we're going to meet up at the church... (But aren't we all already here?)  So we're riding with them down to the church, where we find out that we're participating in the Relief Society Social.  -_- Not what we had in mind, but we'll take it. XD

We had zone conference this last week, and it was sweet!  The whole last half of it was dedicated to some improvised skits for some fun. 
But, one of the things that has been going around in my head is, "why is Christ's birth one of the most important events to the whole world?"  I was wondering that because I didn't feel that way myself. Then, at a member's house on Christmas Eve, watching the Nativity Bible video, that's when it hit me. I was pondering about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson and that's when I decided that the day of the First Vision is the most important day to me.  Why?  Without the First Vision, you and I would believe that Christ's birth was just a moment in history that we measure time from.  Because of the First Vision that Joseph Smith had, you, me and other members of the Church know who Christ is better than any other religious group in the world- and that's a fact.  

Anyways, I got to go!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tis the Season

(Sorry this is late, I had family in town for the holidays. Elder Dial sent this Dec. 18th)

Hello, everyone!
Hope you all are having a great day, week, and Christmas season! 
Picture 1)  Check out this Christmas stocking I got from one of the members in the ward! 

Picture 2)  We had the Sage ward Christmas party on Saturday, and the decorations were made by the members!  The members had to draw themselves as snowmen- so Elder Schraedel and I joined in!  We kinda forgot about it until 1 hour before, so that's about 45 minutes of speedy artisticness! (No, artisticness is not a word, but it doesn't bother me.)

This week has been great!  I've been freezing in this 50 degree weather down here. ;) 
Anyways, there was a nonmember sister, Marissa, who went to church last week, but also wanted to yesterday.  So we found her a ride, and before sacrament meeting started, Bishop came up to us and asked us if we knew how it all came about with Marissa attending church.  When we said no, he responded with, "When she was in Georgia, she was walking down the street when someone picked her up and took her to one of our churches.  Then she moved here, and the same thing happened.  There's no coincidence in that."  We have an appointment with her for later on in this coming week. Woot!
As I said earlier, we had the Sage ward Christmas party this last week, and just know that there will be pictures of Elder Schraedel and I with Santa coming soon. XD
Love you all, talk to some of you when I skype next week (the rest of you might get a weekly letter on Tuesday, but no promises)!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu

Elder Eli James Dial

PS. I do not recommend pig heart or pig kidneys for a snack.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An Apostolic Transfer

Hello, everyone!
As you can guess from the title, this week is transfers!  I'll be staying here with Elder Schraedel, and it's going to be a lot of fun!
The other part of the title is explained in picture number 1:

Elder Dale G. Renlund (of the 12 Apostles), Elder Kevin W. Pearson (of the General Authority 70), and Elder Torres (Area 70), and their wives came and visited the north part of the mission this last week!  We had a meeting with them on Saturday at 8:15.  It was awesome!  The prophets and apostles of our day are definitely called of God!

Our week was going amazingly.  Stress levels were at the "Norm" for missionary work.  Then Sunday came around.  But first, more background.  We cover the Sage and the Ladera wards.  One starts at 9, the other starts at 1, so we are usually at church from 7-5 every Sunday, with a quick break to go home for lunch.  So we show up at 7 for the Ladera ward council, where we are told that Elder Renlund will be attending our block of Sunday services. (My first reaction: "He what.")  They didn't know which Sunday School class he was going to attend.  But, jokes on us missionaries, we're the ones teaching Gospel Principles that day... which we were unprepared for...  No, he did not come to our class, but, Elder Torres did.  *sigh of relief*  Instead of trying to lead a discussion on the 2nd Coming of Christ, we ended up talking with a member of the 70 about why an Apostle would pick the Ladera ward of all wards to attend.  (I'm still asking that question myself)
As for the rest of the week, it was awesome!  We were able to find a couple new investigators, one is kinda meh about learning more, the other one is GOLDEN.  The only thing holding him back is some paperwork- I won't go into detail, so don't ask. :)  We started teaching him this last week, so we naturally started with the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We got to the Book of Mormon and asked him if he had one. He said, "Yes, and I'm reading it." "Where are you at?"  "...3 Nephi 18"  "What have you noticed as you've read?"  "I am filled with peace, things are a lot better in my life...." 
My question for you all is what do you feel as you read the Book of Mormon? If you say you don't feel anything, try reading it in a different way- and don't ever read it just to read it.  This book is more important than your neighborhood novel.  It. Will. Change. Your. Life.
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!                   

Elder Eli James Dial

PS. Pic 2 check out our blue Christmas Tree. :)

"And so (Christmas) begins."

(Sorry it's late-I got sidetracked by the holidays) 

This was sent on December 4, 2017

Happy birthday in November to:
Grandpa Dial

This week has been crazy, but that's just the usual with Christmas and missionary work, so... Yeah, this week was pretty great!
This last week was the Ladera ward Christmas party, as is shown in the first picture.  Santa was there, but I wasn't able to get a picture with him.  :(

The next picture is the car of a brother that was baptized this last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing him for baptism, and he is from the Rio Grande ward (part of the same area that we cover, but the Spanish ward).  No, I do not know Spanish, he knows English so we did the interview in English.  
(Zoom in on the logo if you can-it says Jurassic World)

Picture #3-- That should tell you all you need to know about how much Albuquerque's good at spelling... XD

This last week we went on exchanges with the Rio Grande Elders, and it was fun!  I was with Elder Finlay, he's only been out about 3 months now, he's still in training, so it was quite the adventure!  We got a referral to give a blessing to a lady who was in the hospital, but we didn't know where the hospital was.  We got the main gist of where it was and went searching.  It was on the edge of our area, and long story short, we ended up leaving the zone. We knew we had, so I turned into the nearest parking lot I could so we could turn around and be back in our zone... But instead of turning around I parked.  Lo and behold, I just so happened to park in the parking lot of the hospital we needed.  "Coincidence? I think NOT."  It was cool!
With Christmas Eve on a Sunday, there will only be 1 hour of church, right?  The wards we cover are deciding to do a mainly music sacrament meeting... So, Elder Schraedel and I are now in 3 musical numbers... for the same ward.  2 of them are the ward choir that was organized just yesterday, and the other one is just us missionaries... Guess who's singing "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", "Silent Night", and "With Wondering Awe"?  (Hey, you do what you got to do to build member trust)
Anyways, #LightTheWorld with the Spirit of Christmas!  Go and serve those around in whatever way you can!  Love ya, talk to yall next week!

Elder Eli James Dial

We Gobble Gobble the Turkeys

(Sorry for the late posts-I got sidetracked by the holidays)

This was sent on November 27, 2017

I've had nothing but roasted turkey for 3 stinking days.  (the quote is slightly changed, but name that movie!)
Anyways, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  Keep being grateful for what you have and will receive! 
This week was awesome!  We went on exchanges with our zone leaders, Elders Pitcher and Chesler, both of which were in the MTC with me!  I went to their area with Elder Pitcher, and it was really cool!  I was in Los Lunas; it was strange to see that many trees again! They were brown and winter-ified, so I was actually very used to the color scheme ;)

These next few weeks are going to be very different!  We are having Elder Christofferson, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, coming to... half the mission.  He's going to El Paso on Saturday for some meetings down there, and one of those meeting is with the four zones of missionaries that are in Las Cruces and El Paso. Then, on the next Saturday, Elder Renlund will be coming to visit the other half of the mission- all seven zones of missionaries from Los Lunas to Santa Fe!  It's going to be awesome!

We found a couple new investigators this week, that are media referrals!  A media referral, for those of you who don't know, are people who have either called the church, or gone onto and asked for a bible, which just so happens to be delivered by us, so we do what we can to set up a return appointment with them and begin teaching them! 
One of our wards is having their Christmas party this weekend, where Elder Schraedel and I will be presenting the #LightTheWorld initiative to the ward!  It is going to be epic!  If you haven't watched the video for it yet, consider yourself with homework.  :)
Not much to say this week, but know that I love you all, and become a light in someone else's world during the Christmas season!  (But be sure to lead them to Christ!)

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial