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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bleh part 2

Hey, everyone!

This week... I am so glad it's over.  Out of my whole mission, this week was the most mentally and emotionally challenging, sobering, exhausting week.  I have been pondering over what happened this week, and what I should or should not say to you all about it.  I have determined to share with you many of the things that I learned all throughout the trio life with Elders Schraedel and Riehle, but also include some things that I learned from this week.  Here you go:

     First: Men/husbands, no argument is worth sleeping on the couch for longer than a day or two.  Trust me, five weeks on a couch is NOT as comfortable as you think it is.  
     Second: Struggles come from two competing ideas.  If you don't want to struggle, give one of your ideas up and get over it.
     Third: "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." -President Monson
     Fourth: God is just as real as Satan. 
     Fifth (a recurring theme I've learned throughout my mission):  There are NO coincidences.  If you and I believe the Book of Mormon, then we believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.  If that is true, then you and I believe that "a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection[s]" don't actually happen, because God knows (and plans) them all.  Either believe in the Book of Mormon, or believe in "just happenstance", because you can't do both, no matter how many people you may lose as "friends".  (slight rant right there, not sorry)

As for my experience being in the Eldorado ward and the Mountain View YSA, both of them are awesome!  The family ward is sweet, it's probably the smallest geographical ward in the mission, but we also cover the YSA, soo... It's a lot of fun!  I'd gotten used to embracing the awkward, then I got put in a YSA...  I'm not bashing on YSA's, but yeah, they're... something else.  It's fun, though.  XD

Sorry for the short email this week, but just know that the emperor's groove has not been thrown off, Nemo "once was lost, but now [he's] found" and that Star Wars is not about different stars at war. :)

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu! 
Elder Eli James Dial

PS- I forgot my camera cord, so I'll send pictures eventually. 

PPS- my companion is Elder Dudley, he's from Calgary Canada.  

Transfers....for real this time XD

Hola, everyone!
Out of all the weeks on my mission, this week was one of them.  XD
This week.. hmmm, where to start.  Traveling to Socorro twice a week was fun.  That's not happening any more, though.  I am getting transferred from the Sage area, I am going to the Albuquerque East stake, and I will be serving in the YSA and another ward which I'm pretty sure is called the El Dorado Ward... So I guess you could say I'm on "The Road to El Dorado"...  You might as well call me Miguel or Tulio, because I could basically sum up my mission by watching that movie.  I served among Indians for 9 months, and I'm here for something more precious than gold.  I gain friends, and then my one constant friend (Christ) is always there to remind me of the real treasure.  Boom. Summed it up for you all.  ;)
Anyways, they split the Sage and Ladera wards for a week.  They are combining it again, where Elder Schraedel will take over the area (again) and will be in a trio (his 4th and 5th companions for this area).  Both Elder Riehle and I are going to the East stake, but not as companions. 
We said bye to a lot of people, it was rough, I almost cried, but that's alright, I have plenty of things to distract me (namely, an awkward moment or two *gag*).  Tis the mission life, I guess.
As for the video, I didn't realize how much I missed scaring the crap out of people until I became companions with Elder Riehle.  I had too much fun.  This was the best one.  Go ahead and judge the sound effects, I don't care, it was grrrrrrrrreat (just like Frosted Flakes)! ;)

I love you all, be strong and of a good courage, and believe in yourself and in Christ! (not in that order, though. :)

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Transfers...Kinda Sorta

Hey, everyone! 
So, the news you've all kinda sorta been waiting for: (if you don't like the phrase "kinda sorta"... take luck, because I'm kinda sorta using it a lot in this email. XD) Yes, I do have just one companion now!  The trio has been disbanded.  But, no. My greenie has not come yet (flippin paperwork!!).  One of the missionaries serving in a different area in our zone has returned home, so his companion came up here to be with me- but we are kinda sorta covering just one ward.  When I say "kinda sorta" I mean we will still be going down to his area to work, to "keep alive what needs to be kept alive" as far as missionary work goes.  So Elder Nelson (that's my companion's name) and I will be traveling 80 miles south on Tuesday and Thursday to get to the other part of our area known as Socorro, New Mexico!  We now cover the 2nd most northern area (the Sage ward) and we kinda sorta cover the farthest south area in our zone (Socorro), but nothing in between!  Don't worry, it should only be for this week, then it'll return to "normal"... whatever that is.  XD
A little background, Elder Nelson and I met when I was still in El Paso, and we kinda sorta shared a ward down there (that's a long story) but that was for one transfer.  Then I came up north in the mission and a transfer after I got here, he came up and was in my zone for the next 5 transfers.  So we've served around each other for basically a year.  It was one of those "we'll never be companions" or anything like that, but boom!  Here we are.  We're kinda sorta sure this is only going to be for a week (until transfers next Wednesday, and we know that from some inside details from President Guffey).  In short, we've known each other long enough and we get along really well together, so it's going to be a party this week!

I did give a talk in the Ladera ward yesterday, even though as of Saturday I was no longer serving in that ward.  It was slightly weird to think about as I gave my talk, but that's alright.  I was talking about trials, and it was really good!  It was an enjoyable experience (I say that because I have offered 20+ ish talks (don't argue, I've counted them) in different sacrament meetings throughout my life- I was more prepared for this one, and so I call it enjoyable merely because I was improvising for 10 minutes, like I may or may not have done in multiple of those previous 20 talks), and I'm going to miss that ward, even though I'm just right down the road from them!
As for my talk for yesterday, I'll sum it up in one sentence for you: When we are in our trials, we need to practice patience prayerfully.  Now I'll give you a nice little rundown (which is not Englished very well, just go with it): I talked about the 3 P's to overcome the hurdles of life: practice, patience and prayer. I used the example from my life of running hurdles, talked about practicing good habits now so trials don't destroy us later, I shared the example of the Stripling warriors, how they probably practiced using weapons before they went in to battle, before they even decided to go to war.  I then went on to patience and shared that perfection doesn't come immediately, just as trials don't end the instant you wake up from your Sunday naps (I literally said that, I shocked myself when it came out of my mouth) but then shared the experience from Alma 14, where Alma and Amulek are forced to watch everyone they grew close to on their mission be brutally burned to death, and are imprisoned for "many days" before being delivered.  Next I went on to prayer and how prayer helped me to have the peace I needed to run hurdles even though the outcome at the end of the trial wasn't the one I wanted.
Super choppy rough draft right there, but that's alright, because I only used an outline in my talk. XD  
That's the end of the email for me this week, I invite you all to ponder on how patience, practice and prayer all go together throughout this week- and to do all three with whatever trials come your way this week and throughout your life!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

6 months to......what???

Hello everyone! I'm not going to explain anything specific about the title to this email, just go with it.

This week has been pretty well!  

The mission tour with Elder Brent H. Nielson of the 70 (who is also the Executive Director of the Missionary Department) was pretty great!  Yes, mom and dad, he and his wife did remember- as I was about to shake his hand, he read my name tag and, while turning to his wife said, "This is the man who's parents we met a week or two ago in Rexburg! We're glad we were able to see you!" (I realize now that I should've responded with, "most people are" but I didn't think of that until now XD)  As usual, I didn't tell anyone, so the Elder behind me was super confused. XD
While he was here, though, some beans were spilled...  This mission will be getting devices (smartphones) next month.  Believe it or not, with that happening, "I'm not happy, Bob. Not. Happy."  I'm going to be that missionary that helps transition it all from paper to electronic.  I'll probably spend like 4 days putting all the info from the area book into the app/electronic stuff (not to mention I've basically forgotten how those things even work), and barely figure things out just to finish my mission 5 months later.  That's alright, I'm over it. :)
On Sunday, we had dinner with a member right?  Well, we found out who this guy is: his name is Brother Dotson.  He helped make some of your childhood so awesome. How?  He played some music for Disney's Robin Hood.  (picture #1)  You're welcome.  (There will be a video sometime in the future of him playing that guitar.)
No, my companion is not here, we're still in a trio.  And what do we do in a trio?  We take pictures when no one is looking- check out those gems (pictures #2 and #3)

Now, for some slight (only slight) explanation of the title of the email.  Yes, I do only have 6 months left.  But during this last 6 months, I now invite you all to study the Book of Mormon, looking for something specific.  For example, I plan to read and highlight all the manifestations of love found in the Book of Mormon.  I challenge you all to do something similar (maybe not the exact same, but do it to help you with something that you would like to become within the next 6 months).  I promise as a representative of Christ (I have His prophet's signature in my pocket this very second) that if you do this, you will become something greater in the next 6 months and will be firmly built on the foundation of Christ (Helaman 5:12). :)

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
(Great is my love for you all!)

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Hola, everyone!
First off, I must that of all the weeks I've spent on my mission, I'm sure glad this one is over.  XD
We went on exchanges this last week, I was in Valencia with Elder Stephens, it was good!  That first picture sums that exchange up- we done did teach people the gospel, and found random funny things in the middle of nowhere (hence the picture).
We had interviews with President Guffey on Wednesday, where he told me that "within the next two or three days" I will be getting a companion- whether it was the one I was meant to train, or a different missionary who's companion was going to go home...  It is now day five and I'm still in a trio...  *sigh* paperwork. :(  Don't get me wrong, being in a trio is a lot of fun-it's just seems that it's more tiring as well.
Next, we went on an abrupt split with the assistants to the president.  They had an investigator for us, but we both had lessons at that time, so we went on splits so we could cover both lessons and introduce the other missionaries to the investigator, so that was fun.  We have this weekly sports activity that we do as a district to build member trust, and so the 5 elders in my district played indoor soccer in our "proselyting attire"-normal missionary clothes.  With how much traction these shoes have I think I might go into speed-skating when I get back.  XD Needless to say, as with all other missionaries (except when participating in the spud tug), we won.
Then Friday.  You know the stereotypical view of Mondays?  Yeah, that was Friday this last week.  We have district council every week, where we receive training on what to do and how to do it as missionaries, right?  Well, we got permission to leave our area (before district council) to go to UNM hospital and give a blessing to a brother who was in a car accident the night before.  The blessing goes well, and then we give a blessing to the father of the guy.  Thirty seconds after that, the father and I catch Elder Schraedel as he's falling to the ground.  Elder Riehle and I then spent the next 1.5 hours (that was supposed to be district council) in the hospital waiting room while the doctors check out Elder Schraedel.  Don't worry, he's alright.  Moral of the story: eat breakfast before you have high-stress situations, especially if you don't do good around blood and such like that.
Saturday there was a ward activity for the Ladera ward, it was awesome!  They went to find some of the people that are on the ward list but that nobody knew, so some families went to go find them.  We (the ward) ended up with 82 houses knocked on, and 7-8 people/families for us missionaries to go and visit, all within 1.5 hours. 
Sunday was going great, until I was passing the sacrament. There were some people there that were visiting from some Utah college.  They were in town for some race.  As I'm passing the sacrament, I recognize one of the girls there as a girl who graduated a year after me from Shelley, we were on the same track team for like 5 years.  (For those of you who know, it was Paytin) and I was confused and weirded out for the rest of the day.  I forgot that people from Shelley are even real people, it psyched me out.
Glad to be done with this week, even though it's been epic(ly stressful)!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  Hear from you next week!

Elder Eli James Dial

It's February

Hey, everyone, it's February 5, 2018.  Ponder on that for a second.

It's a date. XD
Picture 1:  That's the doormat of one of the less-active brothers we visit; sometimes we do actually yell ding dong. :D
Picture 2:  Don't worry.  That's just a paintball gun. 
This week has been awesome!  I'm still in a trio, my "son" is still in the "womb" (MTC) and his "due date" (arrival to the NM ABQ mission) is still unknown.  :(

We were able to have a lesson with Anton, he's a beast!  He wants to be baptized at the end of February, but the paperwork needs to be completed... *sigh* paperwork.
We contacted a referral this last week... kinda. So it was 7 at night, we knock on the door but no answer.  We knew they were home, so we knocked a 2nd time.  A lady comes to the door says, "1 sec" and closes the door...  10 minutes later, we decided that she wasn't coming back.  (She didn't).  We're pretty sure that was longer than a second.  XD  Tha'ts alright, she will be contacted and taught the gospel.
In about 2 weeks we will have Elder Brent H. Nielson of the 70 visiting the mission.  He's the head of the Missionary Executive Council, so that should be EPIC.
I've pondered a lot this week about love and charity and such.  I personally love 1 Peter 4:8, it is legit!  If we have charity, not only will it prevent a multitude of sins, but it helps us to become true followers of Jesus Christ and help others along the way as well!  You know, "...except [we] should have charity [we are] nothing...." (2 Nephi 26:30), and "by this shall all men know that ye are [His] disciples...." (John 13:35).  "True Christianity is love in action.  There is no better way to manifest love for God than to show an unselfish love for your fellow men.  This is the spirit of missionary work"  (President David O. McKay, in Preach My Gospel, page 13.)

Tip of advice:  Stop viewing it as missionary work. Start viewing it as showing love.  Whatever way you show love to your brothers and sisters, it is missionary work.  They are one and the same.  So if you claim to believe in and follow Jesus Christ, start showing love for (AKA doing missionary work to/with) people.
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
(Great is my love for you all!)

Elder Eli James Dial

All for One and One for All!

Hello everyone!
This week has been pretty swell!  No, my trainee has not come yet, I am still part of a trio, and that first picture sums up my companions.  It's still Elder Schraedel and I, but now, Elder Riehle (pronounced reel or real (he's the Riehle deal ;)), as shown on the left meditating while in Domino's. He's been out for 6 months, and he just came from Taos, the most north area of the mission.  (We are now the 3 Musketeers, hence the title of the email)
Our new investigator, that second picture is.  ;)
We had a good lesson with Anton, he's an investigator who wants to be baptized but has some legal stuff he's got to go through before he can be baptized.  He's been reading the Book of Mormon for over a year now, he's almost finished with it.  He's also reading the Gospel Principles book, the pamphlets we give him, and also Preach My Gospel. We basically go over that we may cover the material, so when the paperwork is complete he won't have to wait to be baptized.  (Paperwork.  It's holding him back from being baptized and my trainee from coming to New Mexico.  LAME.)
We visited with a less-active named Lindsay, she's pretty awesome.  She has a boyfriend, Chris, who's not really interested, but he respects us and pays attention and listens to the lesson.  They're expecting a baby girl (which will be named Leah) coming up, and we've been trying to help her (and him, inadvertently) to attend church more often.  We started to teach them who they are as children of God, and it was sweet!  They both have rough pasts, but they're really into Star Wars, and that's where they came up with the name of Leah.  They talked about how Leah, in Star Wars, was always a beacon of hope.  Well, their daughter, Leah, is their beacon of hope to be better parents than they had (part of their rough pasts was the difficult time with certain parents). In order to help them recognize the Holy Ghost more, we felt that we needed to draw their minds back to the moment when they decided on the name of Leah, because it clearly meant a lot to them.  So we did, and it turned out incredible!  Chris, who was raised baptist, almost said the prayer- he hasn't prayed in years, but he almost did!  Then his mom walked in the apartment.  (it's her apartment, they live with her temporarily)
Talk to you all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!

Elder Eli James Dial