Email Address: eli.dial@myldsmail.net

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bleh

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

Transfers + Stress= -_-

Hello, everyone!
This week has been a stressful week. Again. ("Again? Freaking again?") 

So, we have been cleaning our apartment for 2 new Elders to move in- and we were in the process of doing that last Monday when President Guffey called and I was asked to be a trainer.  Then we go on exchanges, where I was with Elder Andrade from El Salvador, and he loses his wallet with some immigration information in there (hooray for driving around for 2 hours visiting different places looking for it).  Next was zone conference on Thursday, where I am the only missionary asked to give a 5 minute talk (which isn't stressful if you're prepared... guess who wasn't prepared :(  )  That night we get a call from the Assistants telling us they are splitting our area- the Sage and Ladera wards will both have their own missionaries starting this Wednesday, but that neither ward is going to get whitewashed.  So then we start speculating which ward we'll be covering and who our companions will be.  Then, on Saturday, President Guffey calls again and tells me that my trainee (that I would've begun training two days from now) has some paperwork for the military that he needs to have all figured out before he can come down. In essence, I was told that sometime that I don't know when (I'll probably find out the day he gets here) I will be receiving a brand new missionary.  Until that unknown day, Elder Schraedel and I will be staying in a trio in the Sage and Ladera area.  Once my trainee gets here is when the area will be split.  The worst part?  We still don't know which ward we'll be covering when the area does get split.  And to top it all off, those first 2 pictures are the closest I've been to fresh snow since spring of 2016.
That was a fun way to start the last 7 months of my mission. *gag*
That 3rd picture is artwork from Laguna (my previous area) in one of the Sage member's homes, my last area.  Someone put three bird feathers together and painted an eagle on them.  Isn't it pretty inconceivable? ;)
We started teaching a part member family recently.  The 12 and 13-year-old kids aren't baptized.  They are already active, they just need the permission of their mom in order to be baptized.  They're mom is against the church because her ex-husband is participating in it.  (side note: Don't let your pride destroy other people's salvation, please! It's already destroying your own, don't drag others down with you!!  [that's what Satan's trying to do, don't become his MVP]) We have began to move forward in faith that they'll be able to be baptized soon.  And so are they.  :)  They spend every other week with their mom, so they only go to church whenever they are with their dad- until recently.  The 13-year-old boy, named Logan, decided one Sunday that he was going to go to church, but he was at his mom's house that week.  Solution?  Wake up before mom, and "run away" to church.  XD  Naturally, Mom's furious, but two weeks later when they're back at her house, she says, "don't run away. I'll take you to church." 
Logan: 1
Mom: 0
God will provide a way for you all to keep His commandments!  All you need to do is exercise your faith and "go and do" (1 Nephi 3:7) in order to help you grow and become!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Missions are Sweet!

Hello everyone!
This week has been great!  A lot more stressful than I would've liked, but that's alright. 
Transfers are next week, and I will be training a new missionary (in missionary vernacular, I'm having a son).
As for the rest of the week, it was pretty good!  We receive a lot of referrals, mostly from the media, and it's been a struggle contacting all of them.  We've gotten a couple from sister missionaries from other missions, including one sister's (who's serving in Florida) dad, and another sister serving in New Jersey sending us some of her family to teach, it's been pretty awesome!  It truly is a small world!
We have zone conference on Thursday it was a surprise!  We found out basically a week and a half ago, and we usually know... before that sometime.  It'll be fantastic!
I've been pondering a lot this last week a quote by President Monson (wasn't his funeral epic?!), "Don't ever let something to be done become more important than a person to be loved."  Then I was reading in 3 Nephi 17 this morning, and I realized in verses 4-7 Christ did exactly that!  He needed to go and do, but He felt He needed to show more love to the Nephites!  So, He called the sick, lame, deaf, blind, and all others with illness or anything like that up to Him so He could heal them!  What people do you serve in your callings that needs some of Christ's love?  All of them!  Everyone could use some of Christ's love, and you can only show that by spending time with them!
Sorry for the short letter this week, but I love you all!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

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