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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Time flies....when the clock is thrown out the window ;)

Hola, everyone!  

This week has pretty groovy for the Laguna, Acoma, and To'hajiilee area, I think. I wasn't there for most of it, I was on exchanges twice in the last week, both times I came in to Albuquerque, so I only got to spend like 4/7 days in my own area.  Speaking of which, I have been in Laguna for right around 7 months now... and I'll be here for another 6 weeks!  This next transfer will be my 6th in Laguna, which is unusual, even for this area!

Exchanges with Elder Robinson, the zone leader here, was a lot of fun!  We ended up talking with some people who are from the Bi-hi faith.  Long story short they believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but that somewhere in the Book of Mormon he prophecies of a man named Ba'ha'u' lah, who is "in fact, the Risen Christ" and that He came about 200 years ago.  We asked about the 1000 years of peace that's supposed to come with Christ's 2nd coming, to which we got the response, "God's timing is mysterious."  -_-  Yeah, we taught her about the Book of Mormon, and how Joseph Smith's own words aren't even in it, but that we have the Doctrine and Covenants that are his words.  Elder Robinson told her that he had read all of the Doctrine and Covenants and that he hadn't seen any reference to Ba'ha'u'lah, and this lady said, "Clearly you missed it."  
Needless to say, we left without setting a return appointment.  XD

Then, on exchanges with Elder Furlong, I was able to test out my Spanish (that I didn't try very hard to learn while I was in El Paso), and it turns out that I can understand the gist of what they're saying, but I can't respond in Spanish.  It was cool to have that feeling of having no idea what's going on again!

Don't ever give up, I'll talk to you all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is that Tevya???

Hello, all!
This week has been pretty great, I finally got to go somewhere that is not normally open to the missionaries... Sky City!  A little background, Sky City is on the Acoma pueblo that we're technically not allowed to go.  Sky City is on top of a mesa that is off by itself, and it's sacred to the natives, and if you go on top without permission, you could potentially (98% possibility) be in prison for the rest of your life.  But, on feast days, they don't turn anyone away-and Sky City only has 2 feast days a year: the one this last Saturday, called the Governor's feast, and one near Christmas.  The kindness of natives is pretty epic!  Naturally, no pictures, but it's still a great memory to have!

We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders this last week, and it was weird to be in a house or two where the people didn't speak English... I kinda miss having that feeling of having no idea what's going on because it's all in Spanish!  It was cool, and those Elders, Elder Eskelsen and Elder Furlong, are doing amazing things in the two Spanish branches they cover! 
Now, for the part referencing the title of the email: Tevya.  He is the main character of "Fiddler on the Roof".  Something that happens a lot in Fiddler on the Roof is traditions are broken... and this area is all about traditions.  We invite people to learn more about what we teach, and they say, "I believe in my traditional religion [which is a mix between Catholic and Native American Culture]."  Over the years that this area has been opened, some traditions were created. Elder Jackman and I stopped one- all our planning was dropping by people, we wouldn't have return appointments.  We now set return appointments with a lot of people, sometimes people don't cooperate, but that's alright.  Elder Cornelison and I are tackling another tradition that this area has- what missionaries call the ratio rule.  The ratio rule is a rule that says that there has to be three members of one gender in a house or room to be able for us to enter said room or house, and we've been told that the ratio rule applies to us on the rez, because we wouldn't be able to teach anyone if we did...    Most of our investigators are single older ladies that enjoy having us over, but we have been telling them that we can't go over unless we either bring another male with us, or two more ladies with us or... they can invite their friends!  It's been difficult, but for the last 4 months or so, we haven't had any of our 15 or so investigators keeping commitments.  Just on Saturday, we found out that 2 of our investigators are both progressing- reading the Book of Mormon everyday, praying daily, and they both attended church this last week-along with one of them being on date for baptism!  It's really cool to know that as we are exactly obedient, miracles happen!
That's it for me this week, just keep your head up and never give up!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial