Email Address:

Friday, November 24, 2017

More Pictures!

Here's some pictures for you:
Picture 1: After 15 months of no smoothies, I still got it!  (But this time, without sugar :)

Picture 2: The closest I've been to the downtown part of my area.

Picture 3: At zone conference last week, we found that there were 7 of us missionaries that were in the MTC together- here we are! 

It's a Great week for Gratitude

Hello, everyone!
There has been a lot of things happening this week, but my brain is just tired enough that as I tell them to you, there might be bits and pieces everywhere, so you gotta have quick feet to follow what you're about to read. 
Picture 1: That was something we went and did last P-day as a district

                                                                  -Background time-
In this area, we cover the part of Albuquerque that is called "Old Town". Take a gander as to what that means.  JK, I'll tell you.  So it means that we cover the old part of ABQ- you know the old cowboy films that have this little village/thingy in the middle of nowhere? That's basically what it is, but slightly modernized and a lot cooler.  Anyways, while there, they have multiple museums that are not your typical museum.  That one in the picture is the one we went to.  It's a bunch of interactive stuff meant for kids, but we're young in terms of the whole, so we went as a district last week (besides, as we are a little older, we were able to appreciate it more).  Why the picture of our tower?  That plate in the middle is moving at speeds above your average merry-go-round, so it was quite the accomplishment for us (told you we appreciated it a lot more ;).
Then, Elder Schraedel and I have been building member trust as best as we can, we'll find out in the future how well we're doing.  Although, we can say that some members are unable to have us over for dinner sometimes, so they have been giving us money so that we can go out to eat.  But, instead of swimming through McDonald's or anything, we took the district out for a breakfast this morning.  Twas a lot of fun. :)
That less active couple that I talked about last week?  We visited them again, and sometime in the near future, we are going to start teaching one of their friends in their house.  And, that couple came to church this last week. :D
It's been a lot of fun this week, but I don't know what else to say.  So, I'll just give you a quote from Richard G. Scott that my dad sent me a couple months ago:
"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously.  When these trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more.  He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit.  To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."  (Richard G. Scott, October General Conference, 1995)
Keep pressing forward!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, November 17, 2017

Faith + Patience = Miracles

Hola, everyone!
This week has been a pretty great week!  A miracle or two, and a little bit more understanding of Alma 26:2-3!  It truly is a HUGE blessing to be an instrument in the hands of God!  I will explain a little bit more.

But first, the pictures.
So, Elder Schraedel and I will kinda just randomly take pictures, and this is the first one I took.  I may or may not have one of me mid-yawn, while Elder Schraedel is just in the background...  :D

Next is the most rural part of our area.  It has more trees than I've seen in 15 months, hence the picture. (In Laguna, it was mainly cactus and trees the size of bushes, so they don't count.)  

Now, I am not going to talk about the miracles and such yet, I gotta end the email on a good note, so I'll tell you about the opposition among the three companionships in this district: the Spanish Elders are a bike area- they had a car until this last transfer, but with an increase of missionaries and lack of cars, they became a bike area.  The difficult thing is the transition- they're fine being a bike area, but their bikes have had a struggle for awhile- enough that we've helped them out- but the problem is, is that our car doesn't have a hitch or anything for a bike rack- so, in order to help them, Elder Schraedel and I have been looking for a companionship in the Albuquerque area who has a car with a hitch so that we can switch cars in order to help them out a little bit more.  Next, last week the Hermanas, the other companionship in the district, got into a small car accident (they're alright). Because it must've been something preventable, rumor has it that they are going to lose their car- meaning they'll potentially become a bike area as well.  The problem with that is that they are the Sister Training Leaders, which means that they are the ones who go on exchanges with other sisters and report to the District Leaders and Zone Leaders of the said sisters to tell them how they are doing. And because there aren't as many sisters in the mission as they are Elders, these sisters cover multiple zones/stakes.  So these Hermanas go on exchanges with Sisters in the Santa Fe zone... the zone that is about 1.5 hours north of Albuquerque (around 60 miles), so they kinda need a car.  Along with everything that comes with the Christmas season, it is about 4 times busier as it is already, so... Yeah, this district has seen a lot of opposition recently.  Now to the good stuff. :)
There is a less-active family in the Sage/Rio Grande ward (some of the family is in the English (Sage) ward, some attend the Spanish (Rio Grande ward)) who recently had a son in his 30's commit suicide.  We were called and told about this last Monday, so we decided to visit them.  We ended up visiting them on Wednesday morning, and we were able to give the father, whom I will call Bill, a blessing.  Thursday night, we get a call from Bill's sister, who is also in our ward.  She told us that we saved Bill's life by going over on Wednesday.  Bill was planning on taking his own life in the same way his son had, but, when he was in the garage about to do it, he heard voices outside... Us two LDS missionaries had just pulled up and started talking to his wife.  ("Coincidence? I think NOT.") He then came out of the garage, and we were able to visit with them in their house, where we gave him the blessing. The funeral for Bill's son is today, and as far as we know, they are doing alright now. 

The Spanish Elders are giving whatever rides they have lined up for them to the Hermanas, and either way, the ward they cover (they cover the same ward) is stepping up to the plate. If the ward is not ready/willing to step up, Elder Schraedel and I are getting to know more members who can come with us so that we can save miles to drive the Elders around as necessary.  And as far as switching cars, zone conference is this Wednesday, so we will talk to some missionaries there and figure out if we can switch with them. Everything is lining up! (Don't worry, I just knocked on wood ;)
The joys *cough cough* stresses *cough cough* of missionary work just never cease!  :D

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  Keep the Faith!

Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Week 1 back in civilization

Heyo, everyone!
Real quick, (or as quick as you want to read this) happy birthday last month to 
Hope it was awesome!
For this week, I found out that as I covered downtown El Paso, now I cover most of downtown Albuquerque.  I guess there's something that I need to learn by making my way downtown. ;)
Elder Schraedel is awesome- he's so funny and it makes for quite the conversations when we're tired. Example 1: Scenario: we are laying on the ground in our study room at 9:30 at night, trying to tell ourselves to get ready for bed.
Me: "We need to make sure that we always have people to visit during the day so we don't stay here and stare at the wall like we are right now."
Elder Schraedel: "... That's the ceiling."
Me: "The ceiling is just a wall resting on other walls."
Elder Schraedel: "The ceiling looks a lot scarier now."
Me: "Yeah it does."  

Anyways, I cover 2 wards, the Sage ward and the Ladera ward.  The two missionaries who were in this area before Elder Schraedel and I were two missionaries who have both finished their missions- so they were getting trunky during the time they were in this area. (Trunky=ready to go home, but in missionary terms)  It's taken a toll on the members here.  I met a couple members on Wednesday night, and I was asked the question, "Are you nearing the end of your mission, too?" and the brother who asked it said it almost forlornly.  I knew right then that it had had quite the effect on the members here.  That's alright, the work is cut out for us (Elder Schraedel's been out for only 10 months, so if either of us get trunky while we're here, something is very wrong!)
So, I am still a district leader, and the only elders in my district just barely got switched to a bike area, so we have had a fun time helping them out.  They called us Friday night, saying they got a flat tire two miles from their apartment at 8:30 at night, so we went over to help.  Because we have a little car, not the truck like I was used to, this is what we did.  We managed to fit the bike into the car, along with the missionary who was riding it, which left his companion outside of the car.  As missionaries, obedience brings blessings but exact obedience brings miracles.  That missionary, Elder Blanchard couldn't be by himself at all, we're supposed to stay with our companions...  So we ended up driving the car alongside him while he biked until we got to their apartment.  The best part? When we got to their apartment, Elder Blanchard's bike got a flat tire as well. XD

Here's some pictures of the Laguna area, that's me standing on the baptismal font in the Laguna chapel,

then there's me and Elder Cornelison with an investigator couple, Claudia and John, 

and then there's me with Alva and Theresa, an active member and an investigator. 

I'll send a couple more pictures in a different email!

Talk to you all next week!  Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Transfer Week :( :( :(

(Elder Dial sent this on October 30th)

Hi everyone! 

In case you didn't pick up on the hint in the title, I am getting transferred.  :(  The good thing is, is that I knew it was going to happen, so I was able to say bye to most of the people before I left.  I would send pictures, but my camera is dead, and I can't charge it until I unpack the charger tomorrow.  Sorry!

I am getting transferred to Albuquerque, after 14 months of not serving in Albuquerque, I'm finally going there... to the ghettos, also known as the Sage ward and the Ladera ward.  My companion will be Elder Schraedel, I've been on exchanges with him before when he was in the Albuquerque West zone over here.  He's awesome!  I'll be in the Los Lunas stake, so that'll be fun!  I'm not the only thing leaving the Laguna area though- the truck is leaving also!  The 2016 Nissan Frontier that we now drive has been used in this area for the last 2 years, and it has 53000 miles on it- 20,000 of that have been while I've been in the area.  So Elder Cornelison will be driving a brand-spanking new truck and training a brand-spanking new missionary.  

As far as what happened this week, we were able to make tortillas with an investigator- I'll be able to make flour tortillas from scratch when I get home!  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad that I got to do that!  It was with an investigator named Becky, she's been investigating for 2 years, and every missionary that has taught her has made tortillas with her! I didn't think that I was going to be able to, but she made it happen!  I'm pretty sure I burned my finger tips though. XD

I don't know what else to talk about, except that Elder Cornelison and I have had so many funny moments, it's hilarious!  He's so funny, he doesn't even do it on purpose, it kinda just happens. XD  Last week, we were driving to an appointment, listening to music, and I look over at him while I'm driving.  He was staring intently at his index finger.  I asked him what he was doing, to which he responds, "I'm doing the finger worm. Can I help you?"
Another one happened on Saturday.  Knowing I would be leaving, we went to the post office in Cubero to check the mail one last time in case there was one for me.  Elder Cornelison had the key, so he opened it, looked in, seeing nothing, and said, "Hello?"  He usually doesn't get a response, but this time he did.  We hear this man's voice saying, "Hello" in response.  We were super confused. After about 10 seconds of looking around, we realize that the worker there had opened the back and was sorting through the mail right then.  Elder Cornelison realized what had just happened, and he said, "oh, I didn't see you there."  The man then says, "That's alright, you startled me."  We told him that he startled us, and then we awkwardly walked out.  It was pretty great. XD

Not much else to report, I'll let you know more about my area next week!

Te whanuanga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, October 23, 2017

Pre-transfers Email

Hola, yateeh, guuwahtsi, ellohae, hello (insert language here) everyone!

Out of all my weeks on my mission, this was one of them.  XD

Hope everything up there is pretty chilly, because it's pretty chili down here.  ;)  (I'm feeling pretty punny/ movie quotes today, so keep your hands at the level of your eyes in order to see them. :)

This week was pretty good!  We found 2 new investigators this week (we found them by teaching at the jail- they've been released and want to learn more!), and we put them on date for November 4th!  They're not going to make it, because they have to be living the commandments for at least 2 weeks before their baptism, and they would have to have started living the commandments on Saturday... Which is hard to do when you're living together but not married...  If they get married while I'm here, the title of my email may or may not be something from the Princess Bride, so you have to have both eyes open, just in case you miss it. ;) (in order to be baptized on the 4th, they would've had to be married last Saturday... 3 days after we started teaching them.)

Brother Nielson, the member of our branch presidency that was in a motorcycle accident 2 months ago, came to church yesterday!  Since the accident, he was told that he wasn't going to survive, then it changed to he'll have to be in the hospital for at least 2 months, to getting released from the hospital after 37 days and back at church after 2 months of the accident, he's a walking miracle!  He does have 6 titanium plates and 33 screws in his face, but he's walking with a cane and is doing fantastic!

Paul, the less active brother from the To'hajiilee branch, came to church yesterday, and he came with 8 of his less active grandchildren who were between the ages of 13-25!  In that branch, we had 17 people on the branch directory there- 11 of which were related to Paul- and that's a lot for our branch!  I've been to church where there were literally 2 of our branch there- outside of us and the branch presidency and their wives.  Progress!!!

We went on exchanges with Elders Furlong and Kropf on Tuesday, and then with Elders Robinson and Nelson on Saturday, it was a lot of fun!  I still don't speak Spanish, but that's alright. It was a lot of fun to be able to act like I understood it.  ;)

Transfers is next week, I'm probably going to be transferred, especially after 36 weeks in one area, but I'll find out for sure on Saturday!  "Stay tuned for scenes from [my next email]."

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
Elder Eli James Dial

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