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Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Day of Pioneering

Good morning, everyone!  The world says hello!

This week has been pretty incredible!  It started off that we made salsa at Becky's (Becky's an investigator, she's one of the grandma's that us missionaries adopt while we're here).  Then, we had the Bible Study the next day.  That was awesome, we talked about Christ teaching the Samaritan woman at the well, it was really good!  We went to a relief society activity this week, bread making, and we had nine sisters there!  I know, most of you are thinking, "whoop-dee-doo, nine women there, congrats"  but only three were active members, one less-active, and five non-members!  FIVE. Needless to say, we were pretty stoked! As part of that, one of the active members is moving to Utah, and she was cleaning out her house so she brought some stuff to give away to whoever wanted it...  Becky decided to take a doll...  Long story short, her name is Daisy Dial and I am now a single father. How do you like our family picture?  It was pretty impromptu, they didn't even let me get up from my chair.  XD  (Don't worry, Daisy is in the care of her adopted great-grandma, she's doing fine.)

On Friday, my companion decided to take a challenge that our zone leader gave...  He ate a whole jar of peanut butter for lunch.  That picture is him, with how much peanut butter he would put on the spoon at one time.  What was his prize for doing this gargantuan task? 
A twinkie.  He won a twinkie.  (He doesn't even like twinkies, so his victory tasted pretty good to me. XD) 

With today being Pioneer Day, they both decided to have branch activities to celebrate... last Saturday. We were in Laguna from 11-2, then we helped clean up, to go to To'hajiilee and help set up for theirs from 4-7, then we helped clean that up.  It was a lot of fun, but pretty tiring being outside for the better part of eight straight hours.  The fun part was that To'hajiilee's was a basketball fun day, because the concrete of the basketball court outside got redone, so we played basketball with some kids for two hours (from about 5-7pm), in our proselyting clothes, but tennis shoes instead. 
Then, yesterday we gave talks in To'hajiilee branch, it was pretty good!  We were given our topics/stories to speak on, so we prepared talks... and then we get there, and the member of the branch presidency who asked us to talk says something like this, "The missionaries are our speakers today, and they're going to share with us more about pioneers through the topics they were given."  -_-  Elder Cornelison and I: "... Hey, Elder, do you know how pioneers fit into my talk??"  There were some last minute preparations made, that's for sure. XD
Don't ever give up, Jesus Christ has never given up hope in you, so don't ever give up hope in yourself!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pioneer Day and Fasting

Hola, yateeh friends and family!
For the pictures, with Pioneer day next week, I took a picture of the Mayflower for the sake of the Pilgrims. You're welcome. ;)  The next one is our AC unit... somehow, it froze.  It was so frozen it was singing, "Let it Go".  That made for some really warm nights.  XD  The third picture is of a sign they have here, I've been waiting for 4 months to finally get that picture, and I finally did!  I thought it was pretty fantastic, so you can enjoy the same thing that I have. :)

As for this week, it has flown by!  I don't really remember what happened this week.  So I'll tell you about this coming week: both branches are having a Pioneer Day celebration on Saturday, one branch at 11-2 and the other one from 4-7.  We'll be feasting like kings on that day, which is good because of something else we realized. 
When Elder Torres of the Authority 70 came to the Laguna Branch, he invited the branch to do a month long fast- the way they do that is one family takes one day, then another family does another day, and so on and so forth until the month is up.  They are fasting for missionary opportunities, and for Elder Cornelison and I specifically.  The branch asked us to have one or two days, so we did. We signed up for July 26th.  Guess what's on July 26th?  A flipping feast day!  We are going to be fasting on one of the few days in a year when free food is offered, when we can walk into any house and talk with people [not proselyte, but talk with people] (if we do that, we have to take food, otherwise it's an insult) and we'll be fasting!  That's alright, we're still going to go and learn more about the culture, and visit with the people that we do know or that talk to us first.  We'll do what it takes to help out this branch, though, so we are going to do it willingly. :)

I don't really know what else to say, but know that it was an awesome week, and that God gives us trials, not to weigh us down, but as tools to lift us up!  So rise up and be strong! You were put on this earth to succeed, not to fail!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

America's Birthday

This past week has been pretty swell!   We went on exchanges with the Cottonwood Heights Elders, Elder Snow and Elder Woods, it was a lot of fun, Elder Woods is a beast and knows how to do missionary work!
Elder Cornelison and I are going through the people that we are teaching and striving to teach them the lessons, because I haven't taught many people the lessons while I've been here- and this will help us to be able to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel in this area!
At this point, I don't really know what has happened this week, besides the anniversary of America being born, which is awesome!  (Not me forgetting what happened, but that America was born ;)
This week in my personal study a lot of things have gone back to the fact that is shared in the greatest throw-down in the Book of Mormon: Alma 5.

"38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd."

I believe that there are no coincidences.  I believe there is a difference between hearing and listening.  We hear the teacher talking, but we listen when he says the word "test".  That is the difference.  A lot of people (even members of the church) can hear Christ calling us- they even sing about it (Hymn #6 "Israel, Israel, God is Calling")  but we're not quite listening. Who's to blame us? There are many things in the world that are distracting *cough cough* smartphones *cough cough*.  Christ is calling us each in the same way; it's tailored to what we- specifically you and I- need.  But sometimes, when we're not listening, we have the nerve to tell people which way we want them to go, but not where Christ needs them to go.  That is one of the difficulties of this life: accepting that God needs us to go where God needs us to go, and accepting that maybe, just maybe, He needs us to walk a slightly different path from each other, but to get us where He needs us to go.  So, don't try and tell someone what to do or where they need to go, because you can't hear what Christ is telling them to do, where to go, or how to jump over that wall that you can't see is holding them back.  I don't know if this is making sense to you, but the gist is to come to terms that not everything is in His hands, so relax, trust Him, and do what you can to help others on their path to Him. 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Independence Day-but at least it's not resurgence!

Happy birthday in June to:
and if there was anybody else, let me know, because I don't really remember June at all!!

As for the rest of the week, I was doing fine. I was doing fine with being senior companion, taking over the area and all was going swell.  Then Friday came, and we almost died.  That picture of the dog? That is the equivalent to the Beast from The Sandlot. 

Except for the detail that if you saved his life he'd still want to kill you.  He's usually on a chain that just barely doesn't reach the porch.  He's the guard dog for three less-active kids, and he will usually try to kill us. The trick is to carry a rock and toss it up and down so he'll leave you alone (which is what I did). So we made it to the porch, and they weren't home. As we're leaving, before we're off the porch, he runs at us- but his chain BREAKS.  That was the second time in my life where I have been so terrified that I couldn't feel my legs.  Luckily, he didn't know how to get up the porch, but it was only a matter of time.  We said a prayer, thought of some things to do, (which included throwing a blanket on him and running for life for the truck and if he got too close I still had the rock and 6 years of soccer).  We ended up deciding to test out our faith.  We were just going to walk out there, and pray he didn't come after us.  As I'm weighing the options, I have this conversation with God that goes a little bit like this:
Me: "If we do this, will you protect us? I trust you, but I'm slightly terrified."
God: "If you trust me, leave the rock."
Me: "Aww, do I have to??"
So, we made it to the truck, and the dog didn't move till I was almost in the truck... we know have claw marks on the drivers' side door...  God will protect His servants!
Then, another panic attack happened on Sunday.  Elder Torres, who is an authority seventy (not a general authority seventy, but an authority seventy) show up randomly at Church for both of our branches- Laguna/Acoma branch, and the To'hajiilee branch.  He made a couple bold promises to both branches- including that if they did those invitations that he left with us, there wouldn't be enough room in the building for all the people that would come.  It was pretty epic!
Also, the other picture- that is my new companion, Elder Cornelison. 

He's from Richland Washington, he's been out for about 16 months or so, and to sum up his personality, imagine the happiest person on earth combined with my cousin, Levi, and boom, you have Elder Cornelison.  He's a beast, and he's picking up on the area really fast- especially because half of the area is related, whether it be through clan or a blood relative, it's really confusing.  The joys of serving around people who didn't know about the word 'cousin' so they would call each other 'brother' or 'sister' when they are actually cousins.  XD
Quick joke/spiritual thought:  
Two married brothers are talking about their wives to each other:
Bro 1: "Man, my wife treats me like a god!"
Bro 2: "What, she treats you like a king and worships you?"
Bro 1: "No, she ignores me until she needs me."
Is prayer your steering wheel or your flat tire?
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial