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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An Apostolic Transfer

Hello, everyone!
As you can guess from the title, this week is transfers!  I'll be staying here with Elder Schraedel, and it's going to be a lot of fun!
The other part of the title is explained in picture number 1:

Elder Dale G. Renlund (of the 12 Apostles), Elder Kevin W. Pearson (of the General Authority 70), and Elder Torres (Area 70), and their wives came and visited the north part of the mission this last week!  We had a meeting with them on Saturday at 8:15.  It was awesome!  The prophets and apostles of our day are definitely called of God!

Our week was going amazingly.  Stress levels were at the "Norm" for missionary work.  Then Sunday came around.  But first, more background.  We cover the Sage and the Ladera wards.  One starts at 9, the other starts at 1, so we are usually at church from 7-5 every Sunday, with a quick break to go home for lunch.  So we show up at 7 for the Ladera ward council, where we are told that Elder Renlund will be attending our block of Sunday services. (My first reaction: "He what.")  They didn't know which Sunday School class he was going to attend.  But, jokes on us missionaries, we're the ones teaching Gospel Principles that day... which we were unprepared for...  No, he did not come to our class, but, Elder Torres did.  *sigh of relief*  Instead of trying to lead a discussion on the 2nd Coming of Christ, we ended up talking with a member of the 70 about why an Apostle would pick the Ladera ward of all wards to attend.  (I'm still asking that question myself)
As for the rest of the week, it was awesome!  We were able to find a couple new investigators, one is kinda meh about learning more, the other one is GOLDEN.  The only thing holding him back is some paperwork- I won't go into detail, so don't ask. :)  We started teaching him this last week, so we naturally started with the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We got to the Book of Mormon and asked him if he had one. He said, "Yes, and I'm reading it." "Where are you at?"  "...3 Nephi 18"  "What have you noticed as you've read?"  "I am filled with peace, things are a lot better in my life...." 
My question for you all is what do you feel as you read the Book of Mormon? If you say you don't feel anything, try reading it in a different way- and don't ever read it just to read it.  This book is more important than your neighborhood novel.  It. Will. Change. Your. Life.
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!                   

Elder Eli James Dial

PS. Pic 2 check out our blue Christmas Tree. :)

"And so (Christmas) begins."

(Sorry it's late-I got sidetracked by the holidays) 

This was sent on December 4, 2017

Happy birthday in November to:
Grandpa Dial

This week has been crazy, but that's just the usual with Christmas and missionary work, so... Yeah, this week was pretty great!
This last week was the Ladera ward Christmas party, as is shown in the first picture.  Santa was there, but I wasn't able to get a picture with him.  :(

The next picture is the car of a brother that was baptized this last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing him for baptism, and he is from the Rio Grande ward (part of the same area that we cover, but the Spanish ward).  No, I do not know Spanish, he knows English so we did the interview in English.  
(Zoom in on the logo if you can-it says Jurassic World)

Picture #3-- That should tell you all you need to know about how much Albuquerque's good at spelling... XD

This last week we went on exchanges with the Rio Grande Elders, and it was fun!  I was with Elder Finlay, he's only been out about 3 months now, he's still in training, so it was quite the adventure!  We got a referral to give a blessing to a lady who was in the hospital, but we didn't know where the hospital was.  We got the main gist of where it was and went searching.  It was on the edge of our area, and long story short, we ended up leaving the zone. We knew we had, so I turned into the nearest parking lot I could so we could turn around and be back in our zone... But instead of turning around I parked.  Lo and behold, I just so happened to park in the parking lot of the hospital we needed.  "Coincidence? I think NOT."  It was cool!
With Christmas Eve on a Sunday, there will only be 1 hour of church, right?  The wards we cover are deciding to do a mainly music sacrament meeting... So, Elder Schraedel and I are now in 3 musical numbers... for the same ward.  2 of them are the ward choir that was organized just yesterday, and the other one is just us missionaries... Guess who's singing "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", "Silent Night", and "With Wondering Awe"?  (Hey, you do what you got to do to build member trust)
Anyways, #LightTheWorld with the Spirit of Christmas!  Go and serve those around in whatever way you can!  Love ya, talk to yall next week!

Elder Eli James Dial

We Gobble Gobble the Turkeys

(Sorry for the late posts-I got sidetracked by the holidays)

This was sent on November 27, 2017

I've had nothing but roasted turkey for 3 stinking days.  (the quote is slightly changed, but name that movie!)
Anyways, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  Keep being grateful for what you have and will receive! 
This week was awesome!  We went on exchanges with our zone leaders, Elders Pitcher and Chesler, both of which were in the MTC with me!  I went to their area with Elder Pitcher, and it was really cool!  I was in Los Lunas; it was strange to see that many trees again! They were brown and winter-ified, so I was actually very used to the color scheme ;)

These next few weeks are going to be very different!  We are having Elder Christofferson, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, coming to... half the mission.  He's going to El Paso on Saturday for some meetings down there, and one of those meeting is with the four zones of missionaries that are in Las Cruces and El Paso. Then, on the next Saturday, Elder Renlund will be coming to visit the other half of the mission- all seven zones of missionaries from Los Lunas to Santa Fe!  It's going to be awesome!

We found a couple new investigators this week, that are media referrals!  A media referral, for those of you who don't know, are people who have either called the church, or gone onto and asked for a bible, which just so happens to be delivered by us, so we do what we can to set up a return appointment with them and begin teaching them! 
One of our wards is having their Christmas party this weekend, where Elder Schraedel and I will be presenting the #LightTheWorld initiative to the ward!  It is going to be epic!  If you haven't watched the video for it yet, consider yourself with homework.  :)
Not much to say this week, but know that I love you all, and become a light in someone else's world during the Christmas season!  (But be sure to lead them to Christ!)

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

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