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Monday, October 24, 2016

New Experiences

So, the other Stephanie, the one we've been teaching, should be called Carmen Sandeigo or Waldo or something.  We've met with her 5 times, and none of them have been in the same place.  1) the bus  2) the church  3) hospital/ER  4) the mentalpsychiatric hospital  5) a motel that she was staying at (that was paid for by abundant living [a different religion]).  We're not sure what to do with her, as she doesn't really have anywhere to go and she can't really charge her phone, we try to call her and set stuff up, but it doesn't really work very well.  That last lesson we had with her was not good, because of the abundant living and all that, it almost sounded like she didn't want to meet with us anymore, (which made us both want to cry right then and there)  but I guess the only thing we can do is to keep trying to call her and wait.

We've also been teaching a family that was taught by missionaries before, but they weren't keeping commitments so we started teaching them again!  The first lesson was no bueno, they were distracted, they were just cracking jokes the whole time, and they were in complete shock when we wanted to leave after 30 minutes of being there- we had shared the message already, taught, and left a commitment (they were used to other missionaries staying for an hour or more just talking and such like that).   The next lesson, we were on splits, so it was me and a member called Brother Root.  (He didn't say the words, "I am Root" but there's still hope.)  The family, the Calderone's, paid so much more attention!! They hadn't done their reading, so we did it with them-it was just Moroni 10:3-5 and we left them to read the introduction to the BOM.  The 3rd lesson, 2 days later, they had done the reading and had questions about it!  4th lesson- splits again, so I went with the ward mission leader, Brother Tecuapetla and his wife (they don't speak very good English, and their in an English ward because they want to learn English better/more [and the Calderone's speak Spanish too, so it was perfect!) and it was a very productive visit!!  So, Jimmy and Laura, the parents are married through common law- so they basically told people they were married and it was binding (and it's legal here in Texas so it is binding but not to the church so if they want to join, they'll have to actually get married) they drink coffee, and they want to be "800% sure" before committing to baptism.  The reason they were so attentive at the 2nd lesson was because Jimmy was jobless, and the next day after that 1st lesson, he had people coming to him offering him jobs!  He knows something is up with this religion (well yeah, IT'S THE TRUTH) so he wants to learn more, and he was the main hindrance from before, so now the kids and the wife are willing to listen too!

So from transfers, half of my zone is now training new missionaries- last transfer there were only two of us that were fresh outta the MTC, and now, without the two of us, there are 5.  Yeah, I'm still a greenie, but those 5 are grass greenies. 

Hey Sarah, how was talking to Sister Butler??  She told me that she called, that mom wasn't home, and that she talked to you instead! 

Zone training is this week, so I'll be getting your mail on Friday!

The posse that's living at home right now, I sent that letter/collection of letters last P-day, just so you know how long it takes to get from El Paso to Shelley!  (and yes, some of those letters were written while I was in the MTC, so.... yeah. I still don't know when I'll be sending that package, but when I do, I'll probably forget to tell ya, so it'll probably just show up.) XD

Keep the faith, be humble, and don't stop being yourself- no matter what people try to tell you! God doesn't need robots who just go through the motions- he needs children who serve Him with love! Think about that for a second-- with love. What is associated with love? The heart.  

Then why does Moroni say that we need to pray with a sincere heart??  (Moroni 10:4)
 Why does he spend so much time of his last days talking about love, about charity?
"You have a divine future and destiny ahead of you and you cannot avoid fulfilling it"

If it's important to you, you'll find a way, if it's not, you'll find an excuse.

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

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, October 17, 2016

I don't know what to title this one


The pictures-- the star is the Star of El Paso, it's on the mountain side facing east, and it's on every single night. :)

X marks the Mexico!  Yeah, that's Juarez, the Mexican equivalent to El Paso.  I don't think that I zoomed in at all for that picture-it's that close!!

Anyways, we had/are having an epic miracle happen to us!

We're at the downtown transfer station, and we decide to go outside (they had a TV inside, watching the news, and we didn't want to hear about how "huge it was going to be"  to sit by the bus stop that we wanted.  We walked outside, and we hear this lady just yelling cuss words and wanted everyone there to see how her language was all the colors of the rainbow- but she was sitting at the same bus stop we wanted.  So we sat at the other end of the 20 foot bench.  She sees us and yells, "You waiting for the 36?"  "Yeah."  "Come here."  
We were prepared to feel that rainbow, but instead, she shows us a picture on her phone of a positive pregnancy test (that we obviously needed to see).  We find out that her name is Stephanie (weird, right??)  she's 25, pregnant with her 3rd kid (we think the other 2 went to foster care), unmarried, getting kicked out of her apartment, and is basically just wallowing in the "life-sucks" attitude.  So what do we do? We kept talking to her.  The next day, we had a lesson with her- the Restoration, at the church, and Elder Proctor says it was one of the most spiritual lessons he's had his whole mission. We committed her to baptism on October 29, to which she said yes, and that she'd read the BOM.  At the end of the lesson, she said one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard.  We set up another appointment for the next day, during exchanges, so it would be up to me and Elder Calvillo (a zone leader) to talk to her.  About 2 hours before the appointment, she calls us and tells us she's in the hospital-- so we decided that we're gonna go to the hospital.  Well, she was in the ER- we don't know why, not our business, and we got there while the doctor was asking her questions.  The one we remember is him asking what religion she is and she replied, "Mormon"  (Made our whole day!).  Found out that she had done the reading we left her, and that she had started the BOM from the beginning- and was just starting Lehi's dream.  We read that with her, (that's not what we had planned, but she was super distracted and just started reading it out loud to us before we could say anything)  and we told her that we'd be back tomorrow.  Tomorrow came, we went to visit her, and she had been released to go to a psychiatric hospital, that WE HAVE NO IDEA WHICH ONE SHE GOT SENT TO.  We called her and called her, but no response.  We couldn't go by her house because she no longer had one.  So, to sum up, she literally dropped off the face of the planet.

Until today. 

She calls us during personal study, tells us which hospital she's at, and that she wants us to come teach her, but that we can only do that on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 7:30.  So, she can't get baptized the 29th, because in this mission you have to go to sacrament meeting twice in order to be baptized, and we don't know when she can get out of that place, but yeah, she's super prepared to be baptized, and we are not letting her drop off the face of the planet again!

It's been awesome, and, as it's been said before, "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say, 'The work is done.'"          -Joseph Smith

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"  D&C 128:15

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

PS- my mission motto- "Everything is hard until it becomes easy.  We just have to know what to do and how to do it."
The work is staring us all in the face- what's keeping you from doing it?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tons of changes!!

Happy birthday yesterday, Steph!! (sorry it's late, time just goes by way fast :)

So, next week is transfer week, and we find out who in the zone is being transferred on Saturday- which is kinda sad, but good.  

Funny(est) story for the week: We met a drunk guy (who we think was homeless) who had met missionaries before.  So he started joking around with us...... by telling us that if we ever left the church he could "hook us up with a prostitute and a beer"...  Once he got off the bus, I promise, I HAVE NEVER LAUGHED SO HARD IN MY LIFE.  He did tell us that he was just kidding, but I really don't think he was.

I don't have any pictures for ya this week, but I'll try to get some soon!

News flash- this is my last pre-hump day P-day!  It's now going to be pre-pre-hump day (or post-post-post-post-post hump day, if you prefer).  Yep, as on next week....  IT'S A MONDAY.  So, for those of you who don't know (or didn't get that reference), there is going to be tons of whales-giving-birth-to-a-roaring-Trex-uppercutting-plato-cans references for the rest of the mission. XD
The best part about it?  Halloween falls on a Monday!!  So, we, as a zone, are getting together and having a Halloween party- and we're allowed to dress up!  It's going to be sweet! (and Christmas is on a Monday next year- woot!!)

Yes, Dad, I would like a copy of the conference edition of the Ensign, it was just THAT EPIC that I need to have one. ;)  and my comp is from Washington, and I'm probably gonna kill him (in missionary terms, "kill" means "going home"- he goes home the Wednesday before Thanksgiving)

Elder Proctor and I set a goal this month to get 4 baptisms- you think it's easy-ish, but this area has only had 4 baptisms this year so far, so we've been working around the clock to find people.  As of today, we are teaching a family of four, and have two or three more others lined up to officially begin teaching either today or tomorrow.  I'll keep you all posted on that!

We have zone training sometime during the first week of every month, so that's when I'll be getting all the snail mail you send, so just a heads up to plan better! 

Well, I can officially say that I understand what the Lord wants me to become over these next 2 years. I'm not going to tell all of you- because I'm just that rude l:)- but I am sending a letter home to Madre y Padre sometime soon (that I wrote on September 14, or something like that) that will probably give them a clue as to what it is, and it's up to them to share that information with the rest of you (if they actually get the hint [I did write that letter before I knew, so it's not blunt about it or anything])

I'm here for all of you, but Christ is all the time!  Turn to him and everything will be alright!!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu! :)
Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Funky Foods and Terrific Talks

Well, the Land of Desolation is doing great!  In the last week we've been focused on finding people to teach in our area- you'd think that'd be easy, but the last ten people we've found who want the lessons either want them in Spanish, or they're not technically in our area, so we've given all the missionaries serving around us like 2 people each (which is good for them, but bad for us).

That package I am going to send with stuff for Adi? Yeah, with the way everything's going, you might as well expect it around... March. I'm not joking, as P-day only goes from 10am-5pm, and the zone gets together from 2-5 to go hiking and such, emails from 10-12, lunch and shopping, I don't have much time to actually write stuff in that time. I'll do my best, but as for hand-written letters, don't get too hopeful. 

This picture (and video) is of the sunrise from my apartment- I finally got a good picture or two of it!  (If you don't get these, let me know, I'll try again later)

(Sorry guys, the video wouldn't load so you just get the picture!) 

As for the title of this email, in the past week I've had masubi- which is spam sushi, wrapped in the seaweed and everything.  We had it with a Samoan family, where the oldest is 18 and preparing to go on a mission, and the youngest boy is 15 and looks like he's the oldest (he's 6' 2" and weighs 270, he's the biggest [height and weight] out of the three boys that are between the ages of 15-18 and his name is Monhonrimoriancumer (the actual name of the brother of Jared, in Ether).  I also had lengua, which is spanish for "cow tongue".  (I can see some of you gagging already XD)  It was strange but pretty good.

Yes, I did get to watch all of conference, and I did see Elder Jaynes in the choir, the lucky duck. Yes, Pres. Eyring did mention my mission, (#NMAMrepresent!!) and that Albuquerque does have 4 stakes (that's 4 different zones for us missionaries down here).  You all should live by Elder Oaks' talk, cause that made all full time missionaries' dreams come true!!  Dad, we do get the Ensign, but you should still send me my own copy of the conference editions, cause I want to have my own copy where I can read it. :)  

So, I'm a representative of Jesus Christ, and because He chastens who He loves (D&C somewhere) I'm doing this out of love for you all.  After General Conference most people have the mentality that they were good talks, and then we go about our normal business.  So here's a quote or two that I found before the mission,  
          "... a message given by a General Authority at a general conference- a message prepared under the influence of the Spirit to further the work of the Lord- is not given to be enjoyed.  It is given to inspire, to edify, to challenge, or to correct.  It is given to be heard under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, with the intended result that the listener learns from the talk and from the Spirit what he or she should do about it."                      -Dallin H. Oaks
           "When we put off obedience or delay following the prophet, we bring more serious consequences upon ourselves."                                              -(I have no idea where or who)
I don't know about you, but from what I understood, the "theme" of conference was the Book of Mormon and/or the Atonement.  I don't know about you, but that's kinda freaky to me- the two most basic, important, taught things in this gospel, and the leaders of the church talked about them- for the purpose of having us become better.  Those two things provide hope- one of them even provides hope in the other-but it seems to me, that if they think we need to be taught on probably 8 hours of the 10 on those things, something is going to happen where it is absolutely needed.  So be changed by what you heard (and felt) at conference!  Don't just change your behavior-- change your nature.  Those two things, the Book of Mormon and the Atonement, are the ways that that can happen!

Anyways, keep going, and don't forget- Christ said, "I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

(Sorry guys, the video wouldn't load so you get another picture!) 
Elder Eli James Dial