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Friday, August 18, 2017


Hola, friends and family!  How's it all going?

This week has been pretty epic!  I'll start off with the pictures:  This is our guard dog when we are in East Housing of To'hajiilee. We call him Buster. He prepares the way for us.  

This second picture is our stalker stray dog, but we like to think he's making sure that we don't have a sneak attack from behind.  We're well protected when we're in East Housing, even without the dog treats that Elder Cornelison bought. XD

This next picture should tell you how missionary work can drain someone.  That is my companion, taking a nap as we drive. Nothing out of the ordinary right?  Look at his hands.  He's holding the phone, but it's open.  Yes, with how much we drive in this area, it's easy to fall asleep. But, he's so tired, that he fell asleep while he was texting someone; he was in the middle of the text!

Now on to the business that I know you all are just dying to hear:  the work of the Lord.  

It's been epic.  We talked to a less active lady that lives in Seama in Laguna- (Seama's the village that we know the least amount of people) and she had said to our relief society that we could be the home teachers, but that didn't work out. Turns out that she wanted to tell us not to come back or anything, and to tell us that God is not all-powerful, because if He were, He wouldn't need us missionaries to be His helpers.  If God really could do anything and everything He would just pop down here on earth and tell us which church was true and we would have world peace and we wouldn't have to live "in hell" as she said.  While she was saying all this I was listening, politely paying attention, and she then told me that I was too quiet and that she doesn't like that.  So she proceeded to tell me that "whatever you want to say, say it."  Naturally, I bore testimony to her that God puts all this bad in the world because He's helping us fulfill the commandment to "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect" and that we can't be perfect without His help. That because He is an all-powerful God He can help us to fulfill that commandment. If He weren't an all-powerful God Phillipians 4:13 and Luke 1:37 would both be false statements, and things like that.  It was cool to me because it helped me to recognize that as we listen the words will naturally flow out of from our mouths. :)

We are helping a former less active, who is now fully active and has a calling to teach relief society, named Verna, to go to the temple, she's looking for her own family names and is preparing for the first week in September.  Because she was baptized within the last two years, we would be able to go with her!  Woot! Woot!  (That second one was the echo, Bodie ;)

We found a new investigator this week, which is a pretty cool story because we were going to talk to her kids (her family has been taught before and is very difficult to meet with).  She ended up inviting us in and told us that she didn't have time to read "the Bible we gave her" (She meant the Book of Mormon)  and proceeded to ask us that whenever we came by if we would be willing to read it to her and help her understand then she would make time for it.  So we read the intro and all three testimonies in the Book of Mormon to her, and it was really cool!  She lives in San Fidel, which is in the west portion of our area.  Twas pretty sweet!

Lastly, we have a bunch of people who have difficulties forgiving people for things that were said but not meant.  How can we help people to forgive one another? Any suggestions would be awesome!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Hump day!

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email August 7th)

Hola, people of Earth that are on my email list!  How's it been going?  Everything has been going pretty fantastic down here in the New Mexico Sauna.
First picture: the camel.  His name is Humphrey. He is passed down through the missionaries, but only to missionaries who are about to hit their halfway mark, which, among missionaries, is known as Hump Day.  My zone leader, Elder Nelson who has been out for 6 weeks longer than me, gave me Humphrey. My "hump day" is almost here. 

Second picture:  It's been raining a lot this past week, and multiple times we've been in a position where we could see the whole rainbow. Here's the middle part of it for you. :)

Transfer news: Elder Cornelison and I are staying here in Laguna.  I'll be here for 5 transfers at least, which is the average that people are out here in this area. :)
This week has been pretty legit, we've been meeting with the branch presidents of our branches so that we can work together with them more and be more effective in this area. It's going to be amazing in this area!
We are going to start teaching at the local rehab this week, it's going to be a lot of fun!
The work is moving forward down here, and I know that it is up there as well, so why not be a part of it?  I love you all, and don't forget who you are!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thus begins week 6 of transfer 8

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email out on July 31st)

Wasabi, friends, family and fellow missionaries!
This week has been a swell week!  So swell, that I don't remember what happened. XD
We had zone conference this last week, on Friday and it was pretty sweet!  We were able to hear a lot of what the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would like us to do as a mission, and we were able to learn the we have a member of the 70 coming for a mission tour this fall/winter/sometime soonish. XD
We went on exchanges this last week with Elder Snow and with Elder Woods, (Elder Snow came out to Laguna with me) and it was pretty cool!  I took Elder Snow to Sky City, which is a sacred village that is on top of a mesa in Acoma (we're not allowed to go on top of the mesa, but we're allowed to go see it from a distance [well, we're kinda allowed to do that]), and it is intense (no, no in tents, but intense ;)
The Seama feast was this last week, it was pretty cool!  That was my second feast that I've been to, and it was legit!  I hope that I'm here for one more transfer, because if I am, then I would be blessed to go on top of the mesa known as Sky City for a feast.  :D
We had the opportunity yesterday to listen to four returned missionaries give talks in sacrament meeting (2 per branch) and it was really swell!  One of them said a poem that I memorized and wrote down:

"I tried to find myself
Myself I could not see.
I tried to find my God,
My God eluded me.
I tried to find my brother,
And then I found all three."
If you want things to work out in your life, if you want God to help you in your life, go serve others!  Pray as if everything depends on the Lord, and go out and [serve others] as if everything depends on you!  If you serve others with a prayer in your heart, everything is going to work out!  Fare thee all well!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Day of Pioneering

Good morning, everyone!  The world says hello!

This week has been pretty incredible!  It started off that we made salsa at Becky's (Becky's an investigator, she's one of the grandma's that us missionaries adopt while we're here).  Then, we had the Bible Study the next day.  That was awesome, we talked about Christ teaching the Samaritan woman at the well, it was really good!  We went to a relief society activity this week, bread making, and we had nine sisters there!  I know, most of you are thinking, "whoop-dee-doo, nine women there, congrats"  but only three were active members, one less-active, and five non-members!  FIVE. Needless to say, we were pretty stoked! As part of that, one of the active members is moving to Utah, and she was cleaning out her house so she brought some stuff to give away to whoever wanted it...  Becky decided to take a doll...  Long story short, her name is Daisy Dial and I am now a single father. How do you like our family picture?  It was pretty impromptu, they didn't even let me get up from my chair.  XD  (Don't worry, Daisy is in the care of her adopted great-grandma, she's doing fine.)

On Friday, my companion decided to take a challenge that our zone leader gave...  He ate a whole jar of peanut butter for lunch.  That picture is him, with how much peanut butter he would put on the spoon at one time.  What was his prize for doing this gargantuan task? 
A twinkie.  He won a twinkie.  (He doesn't even like twinkies, so his victory tasted pretty good to me. XD) 

With today being Pioneer Day, they both decided to have branch activities to celebrate... last Saturday. We were in Laguna from 11-2, then we helped clean up, to go to To'hajiilee and help set up for theirs from 4-7, then we helped clean that up.  It was a lot of fun, but pretty tiring being outside for the better part of eight straight hours.  The fun part was that To'hajiilee's was a basketball fun day, because the concrete of the basketball court outside got redone, so we played basketball with some kids for two hours (from about 5-7pm), in our proselyting clothes, but tennis shoes instead. 
Then, yesterday we gave talks in To'hajiilee branch, it was pretty good!  We were given our topics/stories to speak on, so we prepared talks... and then we get there, and the member of the branch presidency who asked us to talk says something like this, "The missionaries are our speakers today, and they're going to share with us more about pioneers through the topics they were given."  -_-  Elder Cornelison and I: "... Hey, Elder, do you know how pioneers fit into my talk??"  There were some last minute preparations made, that's for sure. XD
Don't ever give up, Jesus Christ has never given up hope in you, so don't ever give up hope in yourself!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pioneer Day and Fasting

Hola, yateeh friends and family!
For the pictures, with Pioneer day next week, I took a picture of the Mayflower for the sake of the Pilgrims. You're welcome. ;)  The next one is our AC unit... somehow, it froze.  It was so frozen it was singing, "Let it Go".  That made for some really warm nights.  XD  The third picture is of a sign they have here, I've been waiting for 4 months to finally get that picture, and I finally did!  I thought it was pretty fantastic, so you can enjoy the same thing that I have. :)

As for this week, it has flown by!  I don't really remember what happened this week.  So I'll tell you about this coming week: both branches are having a Pioneer Day celebration on Saturday, one branch at 11-2 and the other one from 4-7.  We'll be feasting like kings on that day, which is good because of something else we realized. 
When Elder Torres of the Authority 70 came to the Laguna Branch, he invited the branch to do a month long fast- the way they do that is one family takes one day, then another family does another day, and so on and so forth until the month is up.  They are fasting for missionary opportunities, and for Elder Cornelison and I specifically.  The branch asked us to have one or two days, so we did. We signed up for July 26th.  Guess what's on July 26th?  A flipping feast day!  We are going to be fasting on one of the few days in a year when free food is offered, when we can walk into any house and talk with people [not proselyte, but talk with people] (if we do that, we have to take food, otherwise it's an insult) and we'll be fasting!  That's alright, we're still going to go and learn more about the culture, and visit with the people that we do know or that talk to us first.  We'll do what it takes to help out this branch, though, so we are going to do it willingly. :)

I don't really know what else to say, but know that it was an awesome week, and that God gives us trials, not to weigh us down, but as tools to lift us up!  So rise up and be strong! You were put on this earth to succeed, not to fail!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

America's Birthday

This past week has been pretty swell!   We went on exchanges with the Cottonwood Heights Elders, Elder Snow and Elder Woods, it was a lot of fun, Elder Woods is a beast and knows how to do missionary work!
Elder Cornelison and I are going through the people that we are teaching and striving to teach them the lessons, because I haven't taught many people the lessons while I've been here- and this will help us to be able to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel in this area!
At this point, I don't really know what has happened this week, besides the anniversary of America being born, which is awesome!  (Not me forgetting what happened, but that America was born ;)
This week in my personal study a lot of things have gone back to the fact that is shared in the greatest throw-down in the Book of Mormon: Alma 5.

"38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd."

I believe that there are no coincidences.  I believe there is a difference between hearing and listening.  We hear the teacher talking, but we listen when he says the word "test".  That is the difference.  A lot of people (even members of the church) can hear Christ calling us- they even sing about it (Hymn #6 "Israel, Israel, God is Calling")  but we're not quite listening. Who's to blame us? There are many things in the world that are distracting *cough cough* smartphones *cough cough*.  Christ is calling us each in the same way; it's tailored to what we- specifically you and I- need.  But sometimes, when we're not listening, we have the nerve to tell people which way we want them to go, but not where Christ needs them to go.  That is one of the difficulties of this life: accepting that God needs us to go where God needs us to go, and accepting that maybe, just maybe, He needs us to walk a slightly different path from each other, but to get us where He needs us to go.  So, don't try and tell someone what to do or where they need to go, because you can't hear what Christ is telling them to do, where to go, or how to jump over that wall that you can't see is holding them back.  I don't know if this is making sense to you, but the gist is to come to terms that not everything is in His hands, so relax, trust Him, and do what you can to help others on their path to Him. 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Independence Day-but at least it's not resurgence!

Happy birthday in June to:
and if there was anybody else, let me know, because I don't really remember June at all!!

As for the rest of the week, I was doing fine. I was doing fine with being senior companion, taking over the area and all was going swell.  Then Friday came, and we almost died.  That picture of the dog? That is the equivalent to the Beast from The Sandlot. 

Except for the detail that if you saved his life he'd still want to kill you.  He's usually on a chain that just barely doesn't reach the porch.  He's the guard dog for three less-active kids, and he will usually try to kill us. The trick is to carry a rock and toss it up and down so he'll leave you alone (which is what I did). So we made it to the porch, and they weren't home. As we're leaving, before we're off the porch, he runs at us- but his chain BREAKS.  That was the second time in my life where I have been so terrified that I couldn't feel my legs.  Luckily, he didn't know how to get up the porch, but it was only a matter of time.  We said a prayer, thought of some things to do, (which included throwing a blanket on him and running for life for the truck and if he got too close I still had the rock and 6 years of soccer).  We ended up deciding to test out our faith.  We were just going to walk out there, and pray he didn't come after us.  As I'm weighing the options, I have this conversation with God that goes a little bit like this:
Me: "If we do this, will you protect us? I trust you, but I'm slightly terrified."
God: "If you trust me, leave the rock."
Me: "Aww, do I have to??"
So, we made it to the truck, and the dog didn't move till I was almost in the truck... we know have claw marks on the drivers' side door...  God will protect His servants!
Then, another panic attack happened on Sunday.  Elder Torres, who is an authority seventy (not a general authority seventy, but an authority seventy) show up randomly at Church for both of our branches- Laguna/Acoma branch, and the To'hajiilee branch.  He made a couple bold promises to both branches- including that if they did those invitations that he left with us, there wouldn't be enough room in the building for all the people that would come.  It was pretty epic!
Also, the other picture- that is my new companion, Elder Cornelison. 

He's from Richland Washington, he's been out for about 16 months or so, and to sum up his personality, imagine the happiest person on earth combined with my cousin, Levi, and boom, you have Elder Cornelison.  He's a beast, and he's picking up on the area really fast- especially because half of the area is related, whether it be through clan or a blood relative, it's really confusing.  The joys of serving around people who didn't know about the word 'cousin' so they would call each other 'brother' or 'sister' when they are actually cousins.  XD
Quick joke/spiritual thought:  
Two married brothers are talking about their wives to each other:
Bro 1: "Man, my wife treats me like a god!"
Bro 2: "What, she treats you like a king and worships you?"
Bro 1: "No, she ignores me until she needs me."
Is prayer your steering wheel or your flat tire?
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial