Email Address: eli.dial@myldsmail.net

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Time flies....when the clock is thrown out the window ;)

Hola, everyone!  


This week has pretty groovy for the Laguna, Acoma, and To'hajiilee area, I think. I wasn't there for most of it, I was on exchanges twice in the last week, both times I came in to Albuquerque, so I only got to spend like 4/7 days in my own area.  Speaking of which, I have been in Laguna for right around 7 months now... and I'll be here for another 6 weeks!  This next transfer will be my 6th in Laguna, which is unusual, even for this area!

Exchanges with Elder Robinson, the zone leader here, was a lot of fun!  We ended up talking with some people who are from the Bi-hi faith.  Long story short they believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but that somewhere in the Book of Mormon he prophecies of a man named Ba'ha'u' lah, who is "in fact, the Risen Christ" and that He came about 200 years ago.  We asked about the 1000 years of peace that's supposed to come with Christ's 2nd coming, to which we got the response, "God's timing is mysterious."  -_-  Yeah, we taught her about the Book of Mormon, and how Joseph Smith's own words aren't even in it, but that we have the Doctrine and Covenants that are his words.  Elder Robinson told her that he had read all of the Doctrine and Covenants and that he hadn't seen any reference to Ba'ha'u'lah, and this lady said, "Clearly you missed it."  
Needless to say, we left without setting a return appointment.  XD

Then, on exchanges with Elder Furlong, I was able to test out my Spanish (that I didn't try very hard to learn while I was in El Paso), and it turns out that I can understand the gist of what they're saying, but I can't respond in Spanish.  It was cool to have that feeling of having no idea what's going on again!

Don't ever give up, I'll talk to you all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is that Tevya???

Hello, all!
This week has been pretty great, I finally got to go somewhere that is not normally open to the missionaries... Sky City!  A little background, Sky City is on the Acoma pueblo that we're technically not allowed to go.  Sky City is on top of a mesa that is off by itself, and it's sacred to the natives, and if you go on top without permission, you could potentially (98% possibility) be in prison for the rest of your life.  But, on feast days, they don't turn anyone away-and Sky City only has 2 feast days a year: the one this last Saturday, called the Governor's feast, and one near Christmas.  The kindness of natives is pretty epic!  Naturally, no pictures, but it's still a great memory to have!

We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders this last week, and it was weird to be in a house or two where the people didn't speak English... I kinda miss having that feeling of having no idea what's going on because it's all in Spanish!  It was cool, and those Elders, Elder Eskelsen and Elder Furlong, are doing amazing things in the two Spanish branches they cover! 
Now, for the part referencing the title of the email: Tevya.  He is the main character of "Fiddler on the Roof".  Something that happens a lot in Fiddler on the Roof is traditions are broken... and this area is all about traditions.  We invite people to learn more about what we teach, and they say, "I believe in my traditional religion [which is a mix between Catholic and Native American Culture]."  Over the years that this area has been opened, some traditions were created. Elder Jackman and I stopped one- all our planning was dropping by people, we wouldn't have return appointments.  We now set return appointments with a lot of people, sometimes people don't cooperate, but that's alright.  Elder Cornelison and I are tackling another tradition that this area has- what missionaries call the ratio rule.  The ratio rule is a rule that says that there has to be three members of one gender in a house or room to be able for us to enter said room or house, and we've been told that the ratio rule applies to us on the rez, because we wouldn't be able to teach anyone if we did...    Most of our investigators are single older ladies that enjoy having us over, but we have been telling them that we can't go over unless we either bring another male with us, or two more ladies with us or... they can invite their friends!  It's been difficult, but for the last 4 months or so, we haven't had any of our 15 or so investigators keeping commitments.  Just on Saturday, we found out that 2 of our investigators are both progressing- reading the Book of Mormon everyday, praying daily, and they both attended church this last week-along with one of them being on date for baptism!  It's really cool to know that as we are exactly obedient, miracles happen!
That's it for me this week, just keep your head up and never give up!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, August 28, 2017

Lockdown

Hola, ya at eeh, Guuwadzii, hello, family and friends!

This week sure was an interesting one, that's for sure!  We got invited to a free bbq while we were in To'hajiilee last Monday, and we were able to teach 20 people about the Book of Mormon, and also one of them had watched "Meet the Mormons" so she "knew what us missionaries are about". It was really cool, but it would've been better if she asked us herself, but hey- that's why they made that movie in the first place!  It was weird to see that technology like that still exists in this area, and that we have those resources in this area, even though we don't even have phone service in half of our area.  XD

Yesterday was a music fireside that our stake, Albuquerque West stake, hosted, and it was really cool!  They invite missionaries and others to play music that will direct people's thoughts to Christ.  For it to be an effective use of our time, we had to have either a less-active or investigator there... (or be a part of the program) so we were hoping and praying for someone to be there- and we had Alva, an active member, bring her friend, Theresa, an investigator, to it!  It was awesome!

Here's a fun experience for all of you:  Our Branch President in Laguna has been trying to have us to start teaching at the Rehabilitation/jail here in Laguna...  It's been a long process, but we were supposed to start teaching there a week ago on this last Thursday. So on that day, we went to the jail, walked in, but no one was in sight, so we sat down and waited.  We were there for 15 minutes before we saw two security guards who, naturally, asked us what we were doing there.  We told them that we're missionaries and that we were supposed to start teaching the inmates there.  One of their exact words, "Sorry guys, but we've bee on lock down for a couple hours. You're going to have to leave."   Yep, we were in a jail that was on lock down, and we were there for 15-20 minutes.  Man that was fun! XD

Don't any of you ever give up!  God believes in you, so you can do it! 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's a total eclipse of the heart

Good morning, Family and Friends in the Spudlands!

This week has been pretty good, it's been a lot of eating, and quite a few chewing outs were given/hinted at to us, but that's alright!  The work goes on, that's what matters!
There was a Mesita feast last Tuesday, so we feasted like kings, even though the spicy food 

....  I accidentally sent that first one before I was finished...

That sums up what happened this week. XD

So the spicy/hot food, was fantastic!  I'm still not quite used to it, but my tolerance is increasing. 

Elder Cornelison started to get sick last Wednesday, so that made the rest of the week fun. We went on exchanges with our zone leaders, Elders Damstedt and Robinson on Friday, then Saturday- I got Elder Cornelison's sickness.  So what do we do? We take some meds, and get to work!  One of us will take whatever opportunity we can to take a nap, hopefully get up to full speed before the week is out, and find those people to invite to come closer to Christ!  

I didn't have much to write this week, but we did have a less active member come to church out of the blue!  His name is Paul, and we have been unable to meet with him.  He's a genius, and teaches Navajo at a college, and has been to the temple and everything.  He went less active because of one friend being excommunicated from the church a while back, and he never came back because of it!  He just showed up at church yesterday, and it was really cool to see!

Love you guys, don't forget: "Don't let something to be done become more important than someone to be loved"!  (I might've quoted that wrong, sorry!)

Te whanuanga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dogs

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