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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I distinctly remember July was last year!! ;)

Hola, family!
Tis been a swell week down in the land of enchantment!   A couple unusual experiences, I can't think of any right now, but know that they happen!  We went on exchanges twice this last week, and for the first one I got to eat some oryx (see picture below for more info) or however you spell it (autocorrect's not saving me here), but I got to eat some (in meatloaf form) with one of our active member families/part member families. It was pretty tasty! 

This coming week is transfers- meaning transfers is tomorrow, we found out last week what's going on, and I'm staying in Laguna for at least another 6 weeks.  My companion, Elder Jackman, is going to Socorro, New Mexico, so my new comp will be Elder Cornelison, the most cheerful person I've ever known!  He's a beast, and it's going to be a lot of fun!
We had a less-active that we've been unable to meet with come to church yesterday, it was awesome!  He's been struggling to decide between the Native religion and us, and he's been choosing the Native religion for as long as I've been here, but he and his wife just showed up out of the blue yesterday!  We don't know why, but we do know that it was incredible!
I think I'm going to be a pro gardener/weeder when I get back, for service we weed a lot (a LOT) for people, but we're weeding their front yard, because it's too expensive/a lot of work for grass and such out here in the Land Down Under Colorado.  That's alright, though, it's a lot of good practice, and adjusting the schedule so we're not becoming crispy missionaries (in my case I'd be a baked potato), it's bueno fun!
Improve yourself everyday, you don't have time to waste wittling away the hours of the day!  Every moment is a moment that could've been used to help someone-even if it is "just a smile". 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The unexpected unexpectedly happened....expectedly

Hola family and friends!
A lot of things happened this week, so focus, Dory, focus as there is a lot of names to be given, puns to unleash, and quotes to share and this is the last time we'll be able to talk before the test next week.  ;)
Tuesday was our Bible study, and the first picture is the group that showed up.  

In the front is our branch president, President Begay and his wife right next to him.  Alva is right next to her, and the two people in between Elder Jackman and I are her daughter, RuthAnn and granddaughter, Taylor. RuthAnn has been less-active for a guesstimated 10 years at least (Taylor isn't a member), and she moved back to Laguna, the village of Casa Blanca, to get out of a rough situation. They now live in a "barn" that is probably barely bigger than the cars you all drive, and they had to get all the mice out and even then they wake up in the middle of the night with spiders on them.  But we helped them a little bit with the cleaning and we'll be weeding for them this week.  They ended up coming to the Bible Study (this week was Christ's baptism), and RuthAnn shared quite a bit and said that her moving back here is her gentle reminder from God to read the scriptures and come closer to him, it was an awesome spiritual experience.  Near the end of the study, Elder Jackman then felt that we needed to ask Taylor what she feels.  She responded and said something similar to, "I want to follow the path of Jesus Christ and be baptized."  The Spirit came in and basked in the 10 seconds of silence that followed.  We will be meeting with them this week to begin the lessons and figure out when a good date for her baptism will be. :D
Then Wednesday happened.  I almost got away with not telling anyone that it was my birthday, but we went to the senior center, where within five seconds of being there, Elder Jackman started the wildfire that happens when you tell one older lady a secret and she has a bunch of friends there: that lady asked me how old I was turning, then she guessed 16.  I thought she was joking, but I guess I'm only good at sensing jokes, not seriousness.  That sums up most of that day. XD
One of the ladies there, an investigator named Theresa, found out and went and made me a cake and brought it to the relief society activity, which is the second picture, the strawberry cake.  It was a nice surprise, and I would've been fine without the cake, but it was really nice.  She said she was my mom for the day because she made the cake. XD

Now we jump to Saturday.  We had been helping Theresa with her mom's 93 birthday party that was going to be Saturday so when it came time for the party to actually start, she said how grateful she was for the people showing up and everything... then she said, "Oh, before I forget, I want to introduce two of my friends, Elder Jackman and Elder Dial.  They're from the Mormon church and they have helped a lot with this party.  If you need any help with yard work or house work, contact them because they'll help and they'll share some of the word of God from the Bible with you."  We were completely caught off guard, but it was awesome to have an investigator do that without prompting!
Picture three: that is one investigator, Becky.  She has been taught for over a year, and she has only one thing holding her back from being baptized: she's been smoking for 50 years. This is the relationship we have with her.  She gets mad at us if we don't act ourselves around her or if we don't treat her house like our own.  She goes in for surgery this week, and we might not be able to see her for 2 weeks, at least, but with transfers happening while she'll be gone, we decided to get pictures now just to be safe. :) 

Sorry this one is such a long one, but know that I love you all, and there has been a lot of good things happening here and there, I'm sure!  Keep a smile on your face, and don't ever try to be someone you're not- but try to become a better you today than you were yesterday!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Happy birthday in May to:

Grandma D
Grandpa Crook
Jakeb W
Hope it was awesome!!

To answer the question that I knew all of you wanted to know but nobody really asked, this first picture shows how dusty and dirt-y this area is.  I had cleaned my shoes literally the day before, and this is what happens.  XD

The next picture, answers the age-old question: How do you fit 3 people on one bike?  Now you know.  Those are 3 kids, age 13, 11, and 10.  They are awesome, and hilarious!  One thing holding them back, is that they sleep in... so it's hard for them to come to church.  We've been helping them to read the Book of Mormon everyday- or even to listen to it, which is what Gaybert, the 13 year old, does, and he's awesome, we're working on getting him to the temple!

Everything is going swell down here!  We took the relief society president of the To'hajiilee branch to a less active that lives on the top of a mesa, in the area we classify as "Timbuktu" because it's about 20 minutes from the nearest civilization, if it can even be called civilization, because it's a flock of housen that is as many houses as Brentway is... yeah, the people live really close together out here. ;)  But they were talking in Navajo for 85% of the time, partly because that less-active doesn't speak English very well, partly because it was more effective to communicate that way for her.  It was flipping awesome!
The stake conference with Elder K. Brett Natress of the 70 was pretty awesome, he was a mission president of the Gilbert Arizona Mission when he was called to be a General Authority 70, and he was at the temple rededication in Idaho Falls this last week.  It was pretty sweet!  

Recently, I've been thinking about the difference between guilt and discouragement:  Guilt is what God created to motivate us to change and to become better.  Discouragement is what Satan uses to prevent us from trying again- to destroy our hope and faith in ourselves and in Christ.  It makes sense why Satan wants to destroy our hope and faith in Christ, but why in ourselves??  Because the belief in ourselves, namely that we are children of God and that He loves us, is what motivates us to even want to believe in Christ!  When we know who we are and our relationship with God, that's when "[We] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]" (Phillipians 4:13) and when "... with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37).
"If your self worth is dependent on anything other than your relationship with Christ, you are in deep trouble."                                   -Hyrum Smith, (not Joseph's brother, but a different one)
That being said, why do you think the first song in the primary song book is "I am a Child of God"??
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, June 5, 2017

The beginning of the freakishly-hot months

Hola, dear family and friends! 
This week was pretty bueno.  I don't really remember what happened but it was good, as it usually is in the service of the Lord. :)
Oh, I know! There's a thing that exists, and it's called "Faith dinners".  When you don't have very much money(broke), you go to a restaurant and pray that someone will pay for your food.  We did not do that this week, but we pretty much ran out of food.  Next thing we know, the Branch clerk in the Laguna branch tells us that he'll bring us food and desserts every weekend, and two members called us and said, "Aren't you coming over?  We signed up to have you over for dinner [or lunch]."  The best part was, was that we were thinking, "well, we have enough that we can do it".  God definitely takes care of those in His service!
Next we made a family search account with a less active member who has records of her family history oozing out of the wazoo. If you want to see the Spirit of Elijah in action, create a account with someone who has records of her family history account oozing out of the wazoo.  She wouldn't let us leave for 45 minutes!  She even offered us dinner (which is good, because we didn't really have much to choose from back at the trailer) to keep us doing something while she was putting her parents and grandparents information.
This weekend is going to be sweet!  It's stake conference, and we are having a general authority come, his name is Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy.  It's going to be incredible!
Everything is going fantasticly, so make every day a good day up there in "Potato-land" and surrounding areas. :)
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, June 1, 2017

MAYbe May is almost over

Yep.  I ran out of puns. 
Picture number one: We were doing service for a member, helping her build her chicken coop, and we found this poor guy... I guess he's pretty holy, right??  He seemed pretty dehydrated.  I don't think that it was pretty good for his health.  ;)

Picture number two: we were at an investigator's house on one of the Spanish land grants, where they have an open grazing rule/law/thingy.  That silver truck is ours, so I almost had a quick-draw with the cow. You know, the quick-draw from the old Wild West movies??  Yeah, I had mercy on the cow, though, so I didn't do it.  I would've won, though.  XD

As for the rest of the week, twas pretty fantastic.  We went on exchanges with Elder Snow and Elder Schraedel, and it was pretty fun! I got to help prepare for a baptism that they had on Tuesday, it was quite the adventure.
We also got to go on splits with our Branch Presidency in the Laguna/Acoma branch, which is really unusual to do, but it happened!  It was beneficial to help them see what we see with the people that we teach, and to see how they see those people! 
Then... we didn't have water for most of a day- no showers or anything!  Don't worry, we told our branch president about it, and he let us go to his house in the morning to get cleaned up and everything, two hours before we went on splits. 
It's been a lot of fun and a lot of amazingness has happened this week, including us getting permission and preparing for a Bible Study on a weekly basis!  And, when school starts up again, they're going to start a seminary class for the youth out here, with the missionaries as the teachers! I might be a seminary teacher!!! ;)  Now, back to the Bible Study, because we're doing things about that today.  We are teaching from the New Testament, specifically about Christ's life, following the Bible Videos.  Today is the first day of it, we teach the first one tonight.  Guess what that means today is???   Yep, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.  XD  Which leads me to my spiritual thought for the day:
Lehi's dream of the tree of life contained in 1 Nephi 8.  But, I'll be going to when Nephi has the same vision (including the interpretation) as found in 1 Nephi 11.  When Nephi is shown the tree of life and is asked what he desires, he responds in verse 11 that he wants to know the interpretation.  That being said, if there are no coincidences (and there aren't!) why, in verses 12-21, would Nephi be shown the Christmas story??  Simple- what is the love of God the Father??  Go to John 3:16-17.  THAT is why Nephi was shown the Christmas Story, why we invite people to come to Christ. Because God sent His son for us because HE LOVES US. Don't ever forget it!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!

Elder Eli James Dial