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Monday, March 27, 2017

It's General Conference Week!!!

As far as this week goes, it's been pretty awesome!  Elder Jackman and I have been teaching more in unity and teaching to the person's needs better, so it's been more fun!
This week, there was also a wedding that we got to go to, Vanesia and Julian, Vanesia is a less-active member that started coming to church with her Catholic fiance for the last month, and it was pretty cool to be there!  We were introduced to a bunch of people who don't believe the same things we believe, but they weren't very interested.  But at least a lot of people now know who we are and that we are nice!
We had a meeting as a zone/stake yesterday with Elder Torres, an Area General Authority.  The reason being is that this stake has been chosen by Elder Torres to be a pilot stake- we're trying something new in this stake to help some less-active priesthood holders to become more active.  If it works, it'll go to the rest of the stakes in the area- and it'll be awesome!  I'll keep you posted as to what happens and how it goes!
Nothing much else has happened this week, but there is General Conference this week!  Also, the Easter Initiative from the Church starts on Friday!  It's a great video, and you all better share it to your social media profiles!!  And you best be watching General conference!  Next week, you all better let me know where you shared the video (instagram, Twitter, Facebook, email, text, snapchat, carrier pigeon [however you do that], whatever it is!) , and what you are going to change in your life to follow the words of the prophets more in your life! (because, you know, that is the reason that they wouldn't have the sacrament for a two-week period, to become better from what you learned)  I'll follow up next week! (and I'll keep names of the people who don't let me know, and you'll be excluded from the weekly email.  ;)
Keep being you, no matter what anybody else says, and keep practicing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your life, because that's what was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and what is still revealed through the prophets today!!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Big Feast!!!!!

First off, feast your eyes on this sunset as we were driving to Albuquerque the other day!

(there has already been one movie quote, Merinda and Holly, you're not allowed to say where it's from, but you can bravely say it in the accent that it is originally in. XD  ;)
This week has been awesome!  We had Zone Conference last Thursday and it was a great spiritual feast, as always.  They only had two zones there, so it was a solid 30 missionaries, but that just meant that that there was more opportunity for participation. After the conference, Elder Jackman and I just went to town (if, you know, there were any towns here ;) with the work- we showed our personality with people more, (pretty sure it shocked some of the people) but we still were focused on our purpose- so we strengthened our fellow brothers and sisters with the gospel of Jesus Christ and a feast of the Spirit!  Twas fun!!
Now, I'm pretty sure you've noticed by now that something happened this week that was pretty feastly.  As missionaries, we call it a feast day.  A little background first: in this area we cover To'hajiilee (part of Navajo nation) Laguna, and Acoma, all part of the reservation, but different, of course.  To'hajiilee is super spread out so we named the different areas/cluster of houses, which are: East Housing, Lower West, Upper West, The Shire, Middle Earth and Timbuktu (Judge us all you want, I didn't even help name them- except for Middle Earth ;). In Laguna and Acoma, they are split up by villages, so Laguna has: Paraje, Paguate, Old Laguna, New Laguna, Casa Blanca, Encinal, Mesita, and San Fidel.  Acoma has: Acomita, Sky City, New York (that's original ;) and a lot of others that I don't know, but we're technically not allowed to go on Acoma because of some bum missionaries like six years ago.  Each of these villages has religious activities (for the Native religion) that they either close down the village for it, or open the village to tourists.  Multiple times have some villages been closed, so we couldn't go in.
Except for yesterday.
What happens at these feast days, I can describe to you Idahoans really easily-  it's Spud Day, with Native dances but no spud tug or parade. Well, how do you get free food?  That's why we call it feast day.  Because everybody prepares a HUGE amount of food (around as much as Thanksgiving) and they have their dinner table ready, but they leave their doors open.  What makes it a feast?  Here's a few simple steps:
1)  Walk up to a random house
2)  Let yourself in through the open door
3)  Sit down at dinner table 
4)  Start eating whatever is on the table
5)  When you're done, you may leave the house
(If you walk into a house, but don't eat [or eat very much], they get offended)

You can walk right in to anybody's house, and they'll have food for you, waiting to be feasted upon.  It's missionary heaven for this area, not because the members don't feed us very much, but because we're not allowed to knock doors in Laguna or Acoma.  It's pretty similar to dinner and a movie, but for us it's diabeetus and new investigators (hopefully).  Yesterday's feast was in the villages of New and Old Laguna.  So we got to walk around and talk to people who started talking to us first.  You may think that we're bums, but it's not gonna help people like you if you're preaching one religion at another religion's activity, sooo... we were just trying to be seen, spark some interest, and eat so much that we skipped dinner... but it was a lot of fun!!
Anyways, remember about General Conference coming up soon... Next week!  Check out the new First Vision video if you haven't yet at, and the new Easter video comes out the day before conference starts!
God loves you, so don't ever forget that you are His child!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, March 13, 2017

It's a Monday

It's been an awesome week here in Laguna, Acoma and To'hajiilee!  Elder Jackman and I have been following the Spirit better here, and it's been a lot of fun!  There's always stuff to do here, but it's difficult only because we have a limit to how many miles we can use.  That's the sad part.
I don't really have that much to say, but that we went on exchanges last week with the zone leaders, so I was with Elder Fonua in Albuquerque, in the YSA branch for the stake, and it was a crap ton fun!  There's a lot of work happening up here, (I say up here, because it's north of El Paso) but yeah, tis awesome!!
As for something that I learned this week:  we all have something that we "envision" ourselves to be: whether we want to be the best in this one thing so that people will see that we're just sooooooo awesome (be it sports, school, or even church).  Have I got a newsflash for you!  The only one holding you back from reaching your potential, is you!!  You can do it, and remember to help others to do the same, because by doing that, you are in actuality helping to achieve yours!!  Don't ever forget the power that a smile has for someone- even for yourself!!!!!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, March 10, 2017

Post Temple Monday

For this picture, that is my zone in Albuquerque West:  It's small compared to Chamizal, but it's awesome just the same! The other one, that's a sunset. In case you couldn't tell.  XD

Also, Happy Birthday Dillon and Makayla for the month of February! Hope it was awesome! (and I hope there was no one else's birthday in February that I forgot, sorry!!)
This week has been a struggle- that's because it was fast Sunday and then the temple trip the next day!  It was difficult this past week for that reason- a lot of people weren't home, we didn't quite know what to do at times, but it was sweet the last 3 days!  We asked one of the branches to join us in a fast for a lady named Becky- to help her stop smoking (she's been smoking since she was in her teens, she's now in her 60's).  She knows the church is true (and has for awhile), but she just has a hard time with giving up smoking.  So Elder Jackman and I decided to ask the branch to join us in fasting for her, then we went to the temple the next day with her in mind, and it's gonna be awesome, as soon as we can meet with her! (Today, hopefully!)
The temple trip: twas glorious.  We were in the chapel, where we heard from Sister Guffey, then President Guffey, then President Webb of the temple presidency.  Before that, though, we had an opening song and prayer, where I was volunteered *cough cough* Elder Cota *cough cough* to be the chorister/conductor/person thingy.  It was awesome!! (Not the conducting part, the singing part)  Imagine 40 missionaries, and about 20 other people who drove them up there from El Paso, singing "Families Can be Together Forever"... like they believed it!!  They didn't sing it like, "oh, we're in the temple, we need to be reverent, so let's mumble the words"  NOPE.  They sang it like the way you should sing it, exactly like, "I know this is true, this is in the Lord's house, no better way to show my love for Him, I know it!!"  It was awesome!

It's sweet down here, the only downside is that it gets cold here (I walked outside this morning and I could see my breath!  What is this, Idaho??? ;)  It's great (but not spacious or terrible) down here serving in a couple land grants and nations (technically that's what they're called. :) 
Don't ever forget the love that He has for you and who you really are!!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!!!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Week one on the reservation!

These pictures describe the differences of the two areas I've been in.  I went from El Paso, with buildings like that, to the reservation, where it's super NOT like that at all (in case you couldn't tell).  That's alright, though, because it's still awesome here!

This area is definitely trying for me, I got used to El Paso where the roads actually have names and the houses actually have numbers, and I could at least somewhat get the language, but there's no such luck here.  I'm just glad that I know that most of the people speak English here- and they'll talk back in English!
The third picture is the Book of Mormon in Navajo!  We only have 2, but that's cause everybody speaks English, basically!

Elder Jackman is an awesome missionary, he's been helping a lot- we do roleplays almost everyday to build our comp unity!  We're doing fantastic- we are willing to make sacrifices to help the work move forward-  we're giving up listening to music for most of the day every day for a week to see how that works- we/I get super distracted whenever there's music playing, music has been such a big part of both of our lives that we're gonna see how the work moves forward when we don't have it as much!  (General conference talks for days!!)  We'll let you know how that goes next week!
I love you all, don't ever forget it!!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial