Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm outta there :(

Well today I got transferred from Yorba Linda 5th ward to the Anaheim 6th ward. So I got upgraded by one number haha. My new ward is actually in the same stake so that is exciting. I am just on the other side of a valley pretty much and across the freeway. My new companion is Elder Hansen. We came out from the MTC together so I know him really well. He is from Alabama and is way awesome. We are going to have a blast working in this ward. This ward is even richer than my last one if you can believe it. It will be a very merry Christmas indeed. No just kidding.

It was hard to say goodbye to everybody today but I was able to see almost everybody that I wanted to. We just ran around the whole time saying goodbyes. It was eye opening to see how many different people I had gotten to know really well. I feel like I made a difference in the ward that I served in. It really was awesome to look back on everything I did while I was there. There are so many families that I have gotten to know and love. Hopefully I will be able to visit them often in the future.

We went to the ward Christmas party on Friday night and it was so much fun. It reminded me exactly of home. I guess Christmas parties are pretty similar everywhere you go. The church must be true. haha.

Not much time today. Everything is going well. I am super excited to meet a whole new ward with its own characters.

Elder Arnold

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Boom goes the dynamite. Everything is going super duper good as always here in good ol' Yorba Linda. I am excited for Thanksgiving this upcoming week. It should be a day of feasting.

We did some exciting things this week. As exciting as it gets for missionary life. We went to a park and drew the Plan of Salvation in chalk on the sidewalk. It looked really cool. We got to have some interesting conversations with people as they walked by. Then we wrote in big letters so they could learn more. We felt like little kids again because we got draw with chalk. So that was a lot of fun.

I also got to attend a Relief Society dinner this week. Now I know all the secret workings of Relief Society. haha. The best part was getting to sing As Sisters in Zion at the end. I did the soprano part really well. I decided I like dinner with the women better than meals at scout camps. Women are better cooks for sure.

We got to make church super awkward for a kid in our ward. His name is Clint and he is 21 and leaving on a mission to Hungary in like 2 months. There is a family that missionaries used to stop by quite a bit but they dropped us the day I arrived in Yorba Linda. We stopped by there on Saturday night and talked to the daughter who went to high school with Clint. She used to have a crush on Clint so we always joke with him. We convinced her to come to Church and she came and sat with his family. My guess was that it was a little awkward for the missionaries to bring a girl you knew from high school to church. Haha it was the best.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Elder Arnold

Monday, November 14, 2011

Me sick two do do’s

(To understand Matthew's title, you need to understand some of Matthew's history. When Matthew was about 2 years old, we went to a ward Halloween party and Matthew ate two donuts, although I warned him that he shouldn't eat too many. He then said to me, "Me sick. Two do do's." Everytime he felt sick after that for several months, he said, "Me sick. Two do do's.")

I had to title my email that because I got a little sick this week but I am all better now. I was out of commission for about a day on Friday with just a bad cold. A little bit of rest did the trick and I am feeling okey dokey now. So all in all life is going super good.

So one cool thing about this week was Elder Tait and I got a bowling ball each when we went to PJ Carrols house. He is the old Irish guy in our ward. He loves to talk about bowling and he gave us some of his old bowling balls. I don't know what we are going to do with them but they are pretty sweet. We are planning on going bowling with him in a couple of weeks so that will be really fun.

We went to a baptism in the ward next to us yesterday. It was way awesome to attend. It was a part member family so the husband and two boys were baptized. Since they have been in the ward forever everybody knew them and attended the baptism. So it had to be in the chapel to fit everybody in. I got to do the missionary invite at the end so that was a little nerve wracking but I survived it. And life moves on.

Missionary work is amazing.
Elder Arnold

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time is Flying

Wow it seems like this week just started. Where has time gone? Well everything is pretty awesome here in Yorba Linda. It has been a rainy weekend so that was pretty fun. It is a good break from the sunshine weather we are used to.

We started out the week by going trick or treating and getting lots of candy. We just went around to members houses and loaded up with candy. A lot of people don't really go trick or treating anymore but they go to malls and stuff like that instead. So we were some of the only visitors to some of the houses so we got extra candy from them. Saweet.

Marylou and Noah are both doing super good. They both came to church yesterday and seemed to really enjoy it. Noah is planning on being baptized on Dec 3rd and is progressing really good. He is now living the Word of Wisdom and it is really cool to see him making changes in his life. Marylou texted us this week and told us how grateful she is for Elder Tait and I and said that we are men of light. Very cool.

Have a good week.
Elder Arnold

Monday, October 31, 2011

Yay I’m staying!

The most exciting news is that Elder Tait and I are staying together for another transfer. I feel like I dodged a bullet with that one. We should have a lot of great things happening this transfer so I am excited to not be missing out on that. The Bishop gave a great combined RS/Priesthood lesson yesterday on rescuing the one and it has energized the whole ward on missionary work and reactivation. A marvelous work and a wonder is about to come forth.

We had the opportunity to help with a "horror" move this week. Kinda funny because nothing was packed up and there were only a handful of us helping. We even went back the next day to move a washer. They forgot the dolly so we had to pick it up by hand and move it down the stairs. The power had been shut off and so there were clothes and water stuck in it. Then after loading them in the truck the washer fell on its side because it wasn't tied down. Fun stuff. It always amazes me the crazy experiences we have as missionaries. I love it!

We went to the ward Halloween party and that was a lot of fun. I went trunk or treating with the little kids and got tons of candy. Everyone was giving us big handfuls of goodies. There are pluses to being a missionary. Lots of them! Elder Tait and I are going to go trick or treating tonight and give the people pass along cards in exchange for the candy. We will see how it works out. Haha.

We had two investigators come to church yesterday but it wasn't the two we were expecting. The son of a lady we have been teaching just randomly decided to come. He has a family friend in Utah that just got back from a mission so he has become interested in the Church. We got his phone number and are going to call and set up a time to meet with him. That is exciting because it just happened and we didn't have to do anything. There was also an old Irish guy that came because his daughter was singing in church. His wife is a convert to the church and so all of the kids have been raised with the gospel and now they have a bunch of grandkids as well that are members. We always go visit him but I never thought I would see him at church. He is funny because whenever we go visit him we always talk about Ireland, bowling, and how much money he made with his construction company. Haha I love it.

Elder Arnold

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you about the most exciting thing of the week. On Thursday was a Stake Ping Pong Tournament! I made sure that I found an investigator to go with us because I was not going to miss this for anything. The exciting news is that I am the champion and the proud owner of a $10 gift certificate to In 'n' Out. There were some super good players but I squeaked it out. It was double elimination and I made it to the championship without losing. So I was playing a guy that already had lost once and he had to beat me twice to win. He ended up winning the first game. In the rematch he got up on me but then I came roaring back to claim the victory. Sigh, I love ping pong.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Same ol' same ol'

Not too much has happened since I last wrote. We have been doing good here. I have been eating lots of pomegranate because we took some from one of the members. I forgot how much I like to eat them.

We got to teach a friend of one of the members this week. It was way awesome because most of the questions she had were answered by the members. So that is exciting. She has investigated a lot in the past and is going to start again now. She feels like the doctrine and organization of the church is too good to be true. Kinda funny. She just needs a spiritual witness that it is true. It was also a great lesson because we got to eat pizza while teaching it. Always a good combo.

Church this week was really good as usual. The talks as well as priesthood lessons were on the power of scriptures. I am finding out how true that is as I dig into them every day. I love to share stories from the Book of Mormon with people because they relate so well to what is happening with people. The only bad thing about Church is that we were supposed to have two investigators there and they both bailed. Sad day. It is pretty frustrating that people have their agency. I want to make people do stuff. That is probably a bad thing. I understand better how parents feel about their kid’s wrong choices or how God feels when we make a bad choice.

I love you,
Elder Arnold

Elder Tait is super tall. He is 6'4" and is supposed to grow another 4 inches before he goes home. I bet we scare people when two tall dudes knock on their door. There was a lemon tree behind us. We get to go and help those people pick fruit. I have picked oranges and pomegranates there. It is pretty sweet. I haven't taken very many pictures with my camera yet. I will get on that though.

Transfers are next Monday so I will find out on Saturday night if I am leaving. My guess is that I will be leaving but you never know. Kind of sad because I have gone this long without very many good investigators and now that I finally have some I will probably be transferred. O well.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I love church

October 19, 2011

It has been a fantastic week. Sorry I forgot to tell you that I would be writing on Wednesday because we got to go to the temple. The temple was very awesome today. And afterward we had a great missionary opportunity. We had a lady take a picture of Elder Tait and I together and it turns out she wasn't a member. She had watched some of conference and we got to answer her questions about it and point her to She likes the temple because of the peace it brings.

The big news of the week is that our miracle family came to all three hours of church. We taught them a lesson the next day and we learned that Noah hadn't really wanted to come and felt like the Mormon thing wasn't for him. Mary Lou is super fired up about church and convinced him to go. She told him how much she wants an eternal marriage. Then the Sunday school lesson was on eternal marriage. After church Noah changed his mind and decided that he wants to be around happy people and that this is the path for him. Our ward is awesome and they did such a great job fellowshipping. Then the very next day we committed them to live the Word of Wisdom which is going to require some very big changes for them. Yay I am so excited for them.

This week we also met with Daniel Lopez. He has committed to stop drinking alcohol. He knows everything is true and is going to get baptized after his divorce is final next month. He is awesome and has a lot of faith. He wants a fresh start in life and knows how much this can help him.

Elder Arnold


October 10, 2011

Super awesome week. It rained a lot on Wednesday. I was on exchanges with another missionary that only has one leg. He uses a prosthetic leg. He packed really light because it is only for a day, right? So I got to wear my nice new rain jacket and he got to get soaking wet. We decided to walk around a lot that day and ended up walking 4 miles in the rain. I thought it was awesome; he wasn't so thrilled. Haha.

I have a way awesome story for this week. At night we go and walk around sometimes in the ghetto-ish area next to our apartments. On Elder Tait's second day here we ran into these two 21 year old kids and we asked if we could give them a card. It was a girl named Kim and a guy named Jesse. They have rough backgrounds meaning that they do drugs and swear a lot. Kim has a four year old son named Ezais. Then we started to talk about what they believed about God. Neither of them really believed in God very much. I told them my story of praying when I was in Dark Canyon and they kind of just laughed me off like I knew they would. Then Jesse started going off on Elder Tait for not sticking up and saying anything. It was only his second day out and I think it scared him pretty good because Jesse was dropping the f-bomb at him a lot. We walked off not really expecting anything to come of it. Probably about a month later we talked to them again when they were outside. I pulled out my gangsta side and started talking to them about rap music and stuff just trying to get to know them better. They thought it was pretty funny that a Mormon was trying to be thug. Then we walked off and talked to some other people. The another night we ran into them at a park and talked to them more. We jokingly told them that we were going to teach the gospel to them. They recoiled a little bit at first like no way. Then they said that if we did something crazy first then we could. I didn't like the idea of that so we talked to them some more and then left for another appointment. By this time we were starting to become friends and we just could mess with them a little bit. Then this last week when I was with Elder Downing on exchanges we stopped by the house they live at. It is Kim's parent's house. We asked if they were ready to hear the gospel yet. They said only if we brought them some beer to drink while we taught them. We said, "Give us 15 minutes." We went to the grocery store and bought........root beer. We took a sharpie and crossed off where it said root on the packaging. Then we went back over there and they looked at it for a little while confused. Like what kind of beer is that. Then they realized it was root beer and they thought it was funny. So Jesse was like yeah you can totally teach Kim now. He made her own up to her word. We went back the next day and taught mostly Kim but kind of Jesse lesson 1. We have stopped by a couple of more times and are still teaching them. The next step is to get Kim to come to church. It is cool because they don't know really anything about religion. We taught her 4 year old son how to pray and it is super cute. I love being with them because they are fun to hang out with and joke with. It is going to be hard to get them to live the standards of the gospel but it will be fun to try. Jesse is usually smoking weed when we go over but that can change. That is what the gospel is there for. I am learning to not give up on people and that the gospel is for everyone. Even druggies.

I love gospel. God lives.
Have a great week,
Elder Arnold

Monday, October 3, 2011

Elder Arnold Loves Strawberries

Built on the foundation of Prophets and Apostles

October 3, 2011

What an amazing general conference we had this weekend! I am very excited to hear that the Provo Tabernacle is becoming a temple. Best news ever! My favorite talk was by Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy. He talked about the Book of Mormon and how it allows for a correct interpretation of the Bible. He was very bold and straight forward.

We went and visited some people in our area that have a son on a mission but they aren't members. They ended up giving Elder Tait a long board so that is pretty cool. People just give missionaries tons of stuff. We are always getting free food from members. We went out to district lunch this week at Mimi's Cafe. A member from the ward next to ours ended up being there and paid for all of us. Wow! Super nice.

For breakfast before Conference Elder Tait and I had manwiches. We had a bunch of spam and eggs on bread. Really good really unhealthy. Good thing I have been eating vitamins. Haha.

Elder Arnold


September 26, 2011

It has been an amazing week. Really great things are beginning to happen in our area.

First I want to tell you a story about miraculous timing that happened this week. Elder Tait and I haven't been tracting very much these last couple weeks because we have been focusing on following up with people in the area book and on working with members. On Tuesday we felt that we needed to go out and knock on some doors to find a new investigator. At about 7 that night we knocked into a really nice lady. She let us in right away and proceeded to tell us her story. She had joined the Church about 5 years ago and had even been married in the temple. But she had fallen away and gotten divorced from her husband. She had since remarried a nonmember. She didn't know what to believe about God anymore. Her Dad had passed away about a year before and she felt that that was it. She had anxiety about death and she would just picture people all around her dying. Then this last week she had gone to a camp in Utah where she had some profound spiritual experiences. She felt her Dad's presence and knew that he wasn't gone and that there was more after this life. After returning from this camp we knocked on her door two nights later when missionaries hadn't knocked on her door in two years. We set up a return appointment and taught her husband. They were both at church this week. I know that God is looking out for his sheep. He is guiding us to them to bring them back to the fold.

We are also starting to see miracles by working with the members of our ward. We have been going around and sharing quick messages about the joy of missionary work with the members. On Saturday we taught a young couple that had just recently moved in to our ward. We shared the message and then talked about some of the people they were thinking about. We talked about a friend from school and their neighbor down stairs that they wanted to get to know better. Right after we left they ran into their neighbor and had a great conversation with her. The next day she knocked on their door to invite them to a bible study and they ended up being able to talk about the Church with her and inviting her to come with them. She accepted. Missionary work is contagious.

Elder Arnold

Monday, September 19, 2011

Still Here

Another transfer has come and gone. I am still here in Yorba Linda with Elder Tait so that is good. It seems like time is flying so fast. I love getting to spend all day in the service of the Lord.

One thing that we did this week was help one of our neighbors move. It ended up taking a long time because not that many people were there. I was really sore the next day. I could barely grab my scriptures. Ouch.

One thing that I have really grown to love is sharing messages with people and just inviting the Spirit into their home. As long as we are taking our job seriously then the Spirit is always with us. We can make a big difference in just making people's day just a little bit better. It seems whenever we plan to go and see someone that they were having a hard day. This last week we went and visited some less active members of the ward that I had never gotten into before. The wife was having a tough day and we were able to give her a blessing. It uplifted and edified all of us. And now we have a much better relationship with them and will be able to go back and visit with them more. The Lord is always opening up doors.

Have a great week.
Elder Arnold

Monday, September 12, 2011

I wish I was in Primary

Hello everyone. Another fantastic week in Yorba Linda the land of gracious living.

One great thing that happened this week was a baptism in the ward next to ours. A guy named Derek was baptized. His girlfriend is a member and so he decided to take the missionary discussions. I got the opportunity on exchanges to teach him once and it was really awesome to see him get baptized. I can already picture him being a great member of the church.

I decided I want to attend primary from now on at church. Elder Tait and I got to teach sharing time this week. We just introduced ourselves and told stories and sang our favorite primary songs. My favorite is Nephi's courage. It is really fun to be with all of the little kids. I think Sr. primary was more reverent than most of my teenage Sunday School classes I went to. Elder Tait told the story of knocking into a guy we have been teaching. We were knocking doors one day and it was hot. It was Elder Tait's turn for the door approach but I don't think he was expecting anyone to answer because when a younger guy answered the door he just stood there and didn't say anything. Haha kind of awkward. But the guy just said, "Come on in." Awesome. We started teaching him the first discussion and he accepted it really well. We taught him the second discussion the next week and he ate it up. Sad day though is that we passed him to the Single Ward Elders. We are all on the same team though.

I love you all,
Elder Arnold

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Doing Good

Another good week as always. We have been having some warm weather as of late but it should hopefully cool off pretty soon.

People always ask us how we (Elder Tait and I) are doing. I never quite know how to respond because we pretty much do most of the same stuff every day. We just drive around and try to talk to people about the restored gospel. I usually just say we are doing good the same as always. Fun stuff.

We got to teach a lesson this last week to a really interesting guy named Jack. He had us come in the back to his pool house I guess you would call it. It was an awesome man cave. Big ol TV and pool table. Pretty much an entire library with lots of books and stuff. He has an interesting story about why he believes the bible. For him it comes down to whether or not Christ was really resurrected. He thinks the lives of the apostles and the witnesses of Jesus Christ's resurrection are sufficient evidence that it really happened. The fact that all of the apostles were killed for it and the tortures they went through for it shows that they weren't just making it up. Kind of interesting point of view. He says he is right now agnostic about the Book of Mormon. Meaning he doesn't know what to believe. I don't know if we are going to get to talk to him again because he is super busy but it was refreshing to talk to someone that is logical and really just wants to know the truth.

Great things are happening.
Have a great week.
Elder Arnold

Monday, August 29, 2011

Too tired to come up with a clever title

We have had a better than good week. Same old same old here in Yorba Linda.

This week we have gotten to do some awesome stuff. We had a mission lunch where all the missionaries got together and ate Inn n' Out and then had a huge testimony meeting. It took 2 hours to get through around 1/3 of the missionaries. Longest testimony meeting I have ever been in, but super good and spiritually uplifting.

We also got to go to the temple as a Zone this week. I love going to the temple because it helps you understand the bigger picture of why I am out here. The final goal isn't baptism but the temple. Super cool.

We are teaching a guy named Daniel out here who is super awesome. On Wednesday we had a super good lesson with him. We were teaching him the plan of salvation and we were running out of time so I was rushing trying to get through all of the points of the lesson. Then I just realized what I was doing and stopped trying to get through all the points. I told him how much this could bless his life and then invited him to be baptized. He said he needs to think about it a little more but right after he bore testimony to us that he knows Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is true. God has prepared him to receive the gospel. I will keep you notified on what happens with him.

Everything is going well.
Have a great week, you deserve it!
Elder Arnold

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The crazy life of a missionary…

August 22, 2011

Well one more week has passed by. Everything is going really well. Time is flying. On Saturday I will have been out for 1/6 of my mission. I feel like I just got here. Crazy.

The crazy awkward thing of the week was that we went to a wedding reception. Huh? You did in fact read that right. This week the Elders in the ward next to us texted us and asked if we had dinner signed up that day. We surprisingly didn't and so they invited us to their dinner. It was some kind of party that a bunch of people were going to be at so they thought it would be okay if we came. When we got there we asked a guy if it was a birthday party. He said uh no it is a wedding reception. Uh oh. This is going to be awkward. We went in and started eating the food. Good thing almost everybody there were members and so they would just say oh the Elders are here awesome. Still it was pretty weird. Then to top it off we had a lesson on eternal marriage in Elder's Quorum on Sunday. Nice.

This week we had a missionary leadership training meeting. It was fun because I got to see Elder Johnson again and some of the other missionaries I know. We learned about the doctrine of Christ and how to hold more effective companionship studies. Stuff I need to get better at so it was really good. This upcoming week should be awesome because we are having a mission lunch. Inn n' Out is going to cater it and the entire mission is getting together to grow in unity. President Bowen is pretty awesome to set this up. We also get to go to the temple as a Zone on Wednesday. Exciting!

Everything is going well. Have a great week!
Make a profile.
The Elder Arnold

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Week in Yorba Linda

It has been a super good week! My new companion is Elder Tait. He is a tall skinny string bean. Even taller than me (6'4"). He is from Cedar City and is super awesome. It is fun seeing him struggle through the same things I was dealing with just a couple of months ago. He has some of the same reactions that I had when I first got here and most of the same questions. He is settling into missionary life really well and is already a better missionary than me. Yeah!

This week we had Stake Conference. Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the Seventy came and spoke. You can just tell from how he handles himself and how he speaks that he is a spiritual giant. He told a really great story about his childhood. Neither of his parents were active growing up in the church. The ward would always send people to pick the four kids up for church and all of the activities associated with it. So pretty much he grew up with the church even though his dad was against the church, smoked, and drank. When he was 14 he decided that he really wanted to go on a mission. Partly because he knew it would make his dad mad. Now to rewind a little bit their family had a home teacher named Chet Montgomery. Chet would come to their house every Saturday on a horse or a 4 wheeler and he would offer his dad a ride to church. Every week his dad would decline the offer. Chet came faithfully every week for 16 years! The week that Elder Duncan was giving his farewell talk his Dad finally accepted Chet's offer to come to church. His Dad has been coming to church faithfully ever since. Elder Duncan explained that the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed his dad from an angry drinker to a sweet hearted old man. That he doesn't know anybody more kind and loving than his dad. Because of a ward that loved and cared about his family they were rescued. There are people all around us that need to be rescued. There are lost latter day saints who have never had the gospel leave their hearts but it has only left their lives. They might know where the church building is but they need someone to show them where it is.

I accidently threw Elder Tait out of the frying pan and into the fire. His second day here I had set up an appointment with a really nice seeming guy. When we sat down with him he wouldn't let us start the lesson with a prayer because we are praying to a different God than him. The whole lesson went downhill from there. He kept talking about how we are preaching a different gospel than what Jesus taught. He was really stuck on a bible, a bible, we have a bible and we need no more bible (2Ne.29). The Book of Mormon describes today’s problems so perfectly. Elder Tait survived the experience so that is good.

We brought a kid (Clint) from our ward out tracting this week and let him do a couple of the door approaches. I was trying to help him slow down and just talk to the people. I told him to ask the people how they are doing. So the very next house the guy opens the door and Clint asks him how he is doing. The guy says back, "Who the (bleep) cares?" So much for that strategy. Haha.

Have a great week!
Elder Matthew Arnold

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Matthew's last day with Elder Johnson

Goodbye Elder Johnson

August 9, 2011

Hello all!

Sad news. Elder Johnson is leaving me to go to Costa Mesa. He is going to do so good there. It was great to have him as my trainer. I feel that the Lord really blessed me. So my new companion is...... Drum roll please....... I don't know yet. haha. For the next two transfers I am going to be training a new missionary straight from the MTC. It is going to be really weird to watch him go through the exact same things I went through just a little while ago. I am really excited to work with him and grow together as missionaries. The Lord knows I need all the help I can get so he made me a trainer.

This last week was awesome. I went on exchanges with Elder Keyes on Tuesday in his area and it was awesome. We were able to teach two new investigators the first lesson. I love teaching the first lesson and just trying to help them see why there needed to be a restoration. They both accepted baptismal dates and it was really cool to see people starting to accept the gospel in their lives.

Sorry for the short letter. It has been a crazy day and I don't have very much time.

I love you!

Elder Arnold

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Almost Converted

August 1, 2011

Hello all!

Everything is going great out here in California. We even had some rain this week to cool off and that was so good.

One interesting story we had this week was that we attended Calvary Chapel with one of our investigators. Calvary Chapel is a born again Christian church that likes to teach anti Mormon stuff. When we walked in everyone was so happy to see us. I think they thought that we were being converted. Everyone came up and shook our hands and welcomed us to the service. We went to the Saturday night service. It started off with a band playing Christian rock music. Then the preacher gave his sermon which was on life's storms and Acts 27. One thing that I had never really thought of was that they pass the money container around so that people will donate. That was a little funny. At the end of the sermon the preacher told us all to bow our heads and say a prayer to accept Jesus into our lives and we would be saved. Elder Johnson told me after that during this part he prayed a prayer of thanks for the Book of Mormon. Awesome! One good thing that came out of our visit was that a former investigator that we had never met (we had only met his wife) came up and talked to us and told us to stop by anytime. God is always putting people in our path.
This is all the time I have this week. I love you and I pray about you.
Do missionary work!
Get food storage!
Read the Book of Mormon!
Elder Arnold(who almost became born-again, too bad)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pioneer’s Rock

July 25, 2011

We got to go to a pioneer picnic this week. It was way fun. We even got some good missionary work done during it. One of the priests in our ward brought a non-member friend and gave her a Book of Mormon and we got to talk to her. She even came to Church the next day. The kids in this ward know how to flirt to convert. Haha. At the picnic we got to play some fun horseshoes and other games. The sad thing was that we witnessed a motorcycle crash. Now I don't ever want to get one even more. At Church yesterday we got to hear all about pioneers. What amazing people they were and I am so grateful that they paved the way so that I could be here today.

This week I went on exchanges with one of the new missionaries in our district. We went and visited a really less active member. Her niece was over visiting for the day. I asked if we could teach them the restoration so that I could practice teaching it. That is one of the sneaky things I have learned so far. Anyway we started teaching and it was going really well. The niece was totally listening. Then at the end I invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She got a really confused look on her face because she thought it was just for practice, then mumbled something out. We kept talking for a minute and then she kind of just stood up and left. It was pretty awkward. O well I guess I need to approach the invite at the end a little different with a practice lesson. I still have lots to learn.

Have a great week.

Make a profile!

Elder Arnold

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Warm 4th of July

July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July to everyone! Hope everything is going really well for you.

For the 4th of July we got to go to a BBQ. Lucky for us it was P-day and we got to celebrate. We went to some really nice member's home and hung out with them. We played basketball, volleyball, and paddle tennis. My favorite was paddle tennis because I dominated. Haha. Everyone got really sunburned. Sad day. I didn't get it too bad except for on my neck. I have a really funky neck tan from the collars on my shirts. It almost looks like I have cancer because my neck dramatically changes colors. But now the part that is covered by my collar is all red so it looks even weirder. I will have to send a picture home of my strange looking neck.

Yay we got our new Mission President! We got to meet the Bowens today and they are really awesome. The first thing you notice about President Bowen is that he is tall. He is like 6'4". Wow. I guess we are really going to have to look up to him. He seems like he has already been a mission president before. He is very confident and seems like he will be a great leader for the Anaheim mission. He told us about when he was a stake president and there stake only got 6 convert baptisms his first year as stake president. Then he decided to really follow the advice of the brethren as found in the handbooks. They also focused a lot on the 15 names program. The second year they had 40 baptisms. He said the point wasn't that they got all of these baptisms but that the brethren have already created programs to help us as missionaries and that if we follow them that we will be blessed and we will better bless those around us. You can tell that he has caught the missionary work fire and that he is going to try his best to share it with all those around him. Yay!

We got to go to a baptism that happened on Saturday in the singles ward. Her name is Candace and she lives in our ward boundaries. She has been fellowshipped by the members of our ward for a long time and it was really awesome to see that make such a big impact in her life. I am starting to understand a little better about why we come out on missions. We can help others make good changes in their lives. Also baptisms are the best. Strait is the gate and narrow the way. We are trying to help people find that way.

Have a great week.
Sent with lots of love from,
Elder Matthew Arnold

Summertime in Cali

June 27, 2011

Happy week everybody!

Wow the weather here is so beautiful! I might have to live here some day just because I would never have to deal with bad weather. Haha just kidding. I love Provo weather too.

This week we haven't been able to meet with very many of our investigators but we should be able to catch them home this next week. We have had the opportunity to do lots of door knocking. We call it hide and seek because they are hiding and we are seeking. One thing I have learned about talking to people at their door is that you just have to smile and see if they are interested. You can't make a huge difference in whether or not they will let you in. You make a small impact but they are either prepared or not. I love to talk to people about just normal life because then you can really connect with people. I think that I am using up all the words for the rest of my life. I won't be able to talk when I get home because I am using up all my words on my mission.

Bam! Elder Johnson and I this week ate a huge flippin' ridicilous Donut Burger. Read that one more time. Yes a Donut Burger. The buns were donuts. What in the world?!?

Elder you know


I "love" dogs

June 20, 2011

This week has been so great! We have talked to a lot of people who are interested in the gospel and so we will need to follow up with them this week. We met a girl named Katherine. She is a ucla medical student and was super open and said we could come back and teach her about the Book of Mormon. We will see what happens there.

I went on exchanges this week with Elder Brown. We went and visited a less-active(because of health problems) member. He has two golden retriever dogs that shed everywhere. We sat down on the couch and listened to him for awhile. When we got up and left our pants were covered with dog hair on the back. It was the best. We have lots of fun experiences with dogs. Every door we knock has dogs and they start barking really loud. The first week I was here Elder Johnson got bit in the butt by a dog. He was a big dog and he came up and gave him a nip on the butt. So funny! Also last week we almost died. We were visiting some non-members with a son on a mission and we opened the gate to let ourselves in. They property is kind of farm like and they have horses and stuff like that. So we opened the gate and started to walk in. All of a sudden we hear a loud galloping sound. We turn and look and see two huge great danes charging straight at us. We ran back to the gate and barely closed it in time. Wow that was scary. Lots of great things happening here in Cali. Haha.

Yesterday at church we had a father's day feast. There were tables filled with plates of cookies for all of the men. We snuck in under the label of future fathers. We got a little bit of a ribbing for that. O well.

Well have a great week!
Sent with love from Cali,
Elder Matthew Arnold

Monday, June 13, 2011

Safety for the Soul

Hello everyone at home. Hope everything is going well for you. This week has been great. We have talked to some great people.

I have the best story to tell you. We have an investigator named Adelia. She is from Brazil and is a very nice old lady. She has a crazy personality and is full of life. She is refusing to come to church on the grounds that she isn't a church going person but we are making some progress on that front. This week we went over and helped her with her lds singles account. She signed up for an lds dating website and she isn't even lds. We went over and helped her upload some pictures onto her profile. So hilarious. She is so excited to start dating some mormon men. Haha. Maybe if she meets some mormon guy then she will have to come to church. We will see.

This week we emphasized with the Ready family about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We gave them an assignment to read Alma 32 and then watch Safety for the Soul which is a talk by Elder Holland. It is the really powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. We are just praying that they get an answer to their prayer about the Book of Mormon. We were trying to think of a way to be bold and so we thought we would give them a bold talk to listen to. Elder Johnson says the best way to be bold is to let Elder Holland be bold for us. Booyah.

We had zone conference on Tuesday. It is the last one with President Watrous. Sad. The Watrous' are the best. We talked about the gathering of Israel using the Book of Mormon. It made me very excited to be a gatherer. The mission is very excited to welcome President Bowen and see what he brings to the mission. He is coming July 1.

This is the last week of the transfer. It is only a 5 week transfer because that way President Watrous can make the last transfers. Next transfer will be for 7 weeks. Most likely I will stay with Elder Johnson. Hopefully because he is the best. He is super fun to be around.

We have been playing tennis in the morning for exercise. It is awesome that our apartment complex has tennis courts. I am teaching Elder Johnson how to play and he is learning so fast. We also practice juggling a lot. It is fun to do before bed.

I love the gospel and I love sharing it with people.
Elder Matthew Arnold

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

John 3:5

June 6, 2011

Dale Coy got baptized on Saturday! It was so awesome to see the happiness it brought to the Coy family. Dale showed up to the baptism in his brand new suit. He looked so sharp and happy. Brother Coy has been a member of the Church for about two years. It was so cool to see him baptize and confirm his son. Yesterday he bore his testimony during Sacrament meeting. He talked about how much God does comfort us when we get down and the blessings he gives us. He said he expected all of his trials to go away once he joined the Church of Jesus Christ. However his life was still just as hard. What he has learned from these last six months is that you find happiness through living the gospel of Jesus Christ and not just being a member of the Church. He was so grateful that the Lord softened the heart of Dale's mother and that she finally gave permission for him to get baptized.

This week has been so awesome. Miracles are happening in the Yorba Linda area. This week Elder Johnson and I found four new investigators after not finding any these last two weeks. That is one quarter of all the new investigators found in our zone this week. The first new investigators we found this week are named Eric and Ryan. We knocked into their door and they said that missionaries helped them move in about six years ago but they didn't listen when their parents were taught the discussions. They are ages 20 and 16. They let us in without any hesitation and we had such a great lesson with them. They don't really have any religion and didn't know what the bible is about and why Jesus Christ is so important. We were able to explain to them about the restoration and the plan of salvation. When we told them that they could pray about the Book of Mormon and that they would receive an answer to whether or not it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost their eyes just lit up. They said that they were going to try it out that night. We look forward to teaching them more about the gospel.

We also met a man named Lee this week. We were parked outside of a bar looking up directions and just getting some stuff in order when a guy came out of the bar and started talking to us. He is a Jehovah Witness but has been disfellowshipped because he started smoking and drinking again. We had a great talk with him about what he believed and got his phone number. We had the chance to go and visit him on Saturday and had a lesson with him. He has a lot of strange beliefs but is a great guy who is trying to come closer to God. He has talked to missionaries in the past and his neighbors used to be members before they moved and they left a big impression. We are excited to share more about why The Book of Mormon is so important.

Yesterday we found a Philippino man named Brother Santos. We had a little bit of communication problems with him but were able to share a message about the Book of Mormon in his home with him. We are going to get a Book of Mormon in Tagalog and bring it back for him. We also think somebody in the ward may have gone on a mission there and will be able to speak to him better. He is such a nice old man that was very willing to have us in his home. He kept saying, "first time I heard this." We were happy to be the ones to introduce him to the Book of Mormon and share why it matters.

We got to teach a lesson on polygamy to the Ready family this week. It went over very well and they understood that sometimes God commands us to do differently than the standing commandments. We explained that it really comes down to whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet. Brother Ready is still reading from the Book of Mormon and praying to receive an answer about it. Right now he doesn't feel that it is true. As he reads it he feels that it was written by a man. He is trying to read very sincerely and we know that God will answer his prayer as he keeps reading.

I love you all very much. Share the gospel with everyone!
Elder Matthew Arnold

Disneyland was good!

May 30, 2011

Just kidding no Disneyland for me. This week has been really great and we are talking to lots of people about the gospel.

Let me tell you a little about Yorba Linda. We are in the bible belt of SoCal. There are loads of different churches on every street corner. We talked to a lady and her pastor last Tuesday. We were trying very hard not to bash with him. He kept telling us how much he loved us but then he would bring up some kind of anti-Mormon comment. He was trying to make sure the lady was confused about what we were saying. It was a very interesting lesson to give but we learned more about what he believed.

I am starting to get settled in to normal mission life. I even remember to back up Elder Johnson now and again. On the mission someone has to get out of the car and back the driver up. I always forget and so Elder Johnson is always kicking me out of the car.

The members here in Yorba Linda are the best! They give us meals every night and they show so much love. I am starting to get to know everybody and can talk to people instead of just standing around in church. At least I can talk to people at the start of my mission unlike Amy and Ben.

I love knocking on people's doors and seeing all kinds of random reactions. Some people just slowly close the door and back up. I love those people the most.

Sorry for the short email but I have to go.

I love you all and miss you every single day.
Elder Matthew Arnold

Monday, May 23, 2011

Elder Arnold Arrives in Anaheim

Well here I am sitting in a library in Anaheim. It seems a little surreal but I am finally here. Wow! Let me tell you about my crazy first week. When I got to Anaheim we had an orientation for most of the day and then we finally got to meet our trainers. Elder Johnson is my trainer and he is super cool. He has been out for about a year and has already trained 3 times. He is from Orem and went to Orem high but we have never met before. Too bad.

After we finished with all of the instructions, we went out and started working. My area is the Yorba Linda 5th Ward. It is a little bit of a rich area but it is kind of a mix of everything. Anyway when we went out and we had dinner with some members. We get really good dinners almost every night. Then that night we did some tracting. Elder Johnson calls it hide n' seek. They are hiding and we are seeking. The fun thing about tracting is all of the crazy people that you meet. That first night I asked this guy if he believed in prophets and he said, "I am a prophet." Weird.

We have a bunch of investigators in our area. That first night we also went and taught the Ready family and it was interesting to be part of a lesson with real people. They are super awesome and the wife makes us cookies every time we go over. Brother Ready went to a temple tour with us on Saturday and he was very interested. I love sharing the gospel and knowing how much happiness it can bring people.

It was very nice to be able to go to a real ward yesterday for church. In the MTC church was just spread out all day and there were only missionaries. Here we get to interact with real members so that is very cool.

We have an investigator called Dale Coy. His dad and brother were baptized a while ago. He is now 9 and really wants to get baptized. He had to get his mom's permission and she wasn't really wanting to give permission. Then we got the Bishop to call her and he had a really great chat with her and so now he can get baptized. The baptism will most likely be on June 4th. Yay I am so excited for him!

We met a really great lady named Rowena this week. We talked to her at the door and she said we could come back the next week so we will be seeing her on Wednesday. She is going through a hard time because both of her parents have recently passed away. We really feel that the gospel can bless her life and bring peace and happiness. She works in the army and has had to go to Iraq. She is a single mom with two kids who are 15 and 11. I hope our visit with her goes well.

Sad news. My MTC companion Elder Herron got a hair line fracture in his wrist the second day out in the field. He is ok now though. He got a cast and now him and his companion just walk everywhere. It is a bike area and he isn't very good on a bike. He got scared when a car was coming and so he just jumped of his bike. Ouch. I talked to him on Saturday and it seems like he isn't too depressed. So that is good.

I am loving Cali! It is fun to walk the streets as a missionary just like I have seen my whole life. Have a great week!
Elder Matthew Arnold

Tony Wan is the father of a recent convert family. They are super awesome. We went over there to visit and share a message. We left with a whole bunch of food. Sister Pope is super nice and I'm glad that you got to meet her. Everyone is just taking care of me here and it is the best.

I don't need a bicycle as of right now. We will see if I ever get transferred to a bike area. I haven't gotten any paper letters yet. They deliver the mail to us every Thursday. You are just supposed to mail all letters to the Mission Office. They told us to tell you that you shouldn't send anything perishable because they only deliver it once a week. Next week I will bring my camera with me and send some pictures home. I live in an apartment so that is cool.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ANAHEIM here I come!!!!!

May 14, 2011

Well I am just about done with my MTC stay and I'm excited to get out in the field. I have one more class period tonight and then I am done with class. The time has really flown and I can't believe that it is already my 3rd p-day. When I look at the missionaries in my zone who have just started I remember when I first walked in. I felt like everybody was so old and knew so much. I am now 3 weeks older but I don't really feel experienced I just feel like I am sick of class.

One awesome thing that happened this week was that Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve came and spoke at the Tuesday devotional. He gave a great message about the merits, mercy, and grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It really motivated me to go and teach the gospel. After he was done talking some of the members of my district and I went and stood outside to wave him off as he drove away. There were probably around 100 missionaries waiting to see him. Then Elder Anderson came out and shook all of our hands. He is such a great example of charity and humility. You could feel the Spirit testifying that he is a prophet of God.

Yesterday I watched an old devotional given by Elder Bednar. He talked about becoming a missionary and not just going on a "mission." I have been trying to take that to heart and serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. Sometimes it is hard to focus on class all of the time but overall I am learning a lot. One of my teachers told me that this would be the hardest I ever studied in my life. However I feel like I am just in a continuation of school. It is probably a good thing I left so soon after school was over so that I could just keep my study habits.

I am excited to get to call all of you on Tuesday. I am leaving the MTC at five in the morning. Our flight leaves at around 8:40 I think. So expect to call between those times. It is going to be a little strange getting to talk to all of you but it will be refreshing.

The more I think about getting out in the field the more excited I get. Pretty soon I will be knocking on real doors and trying to give people better lives. It has been a little strange teaching my teachers here in the MTC but every time I think about the people of Anaheim I start to get really excited.

ANAHEIM here I come!!!!!!

Love you all and miss you tons,
Elder Matthew Arnold

Monday, May 9, 2011

What's up guys?

Howdy doody. What is up guys? I like saying guys because I can only say Elders nowadays. I hope all is going well outside the MTC prison walls. Haha. When I went for my temple walk last night I was thinking how easy it would be to hitch hike a ride home. It is really strange to walk around outside and know that just a little while ago I was a free man and could go anywhere in Provo. Saying that however, everything is going really great here in the MTC.

This last week we welcomed a new district to our zone. They are all really cool and for some reason they are all really tall. I could see in their eyes that they all felt like we were so old and experienced. Haha it is pretty funny because we have only been here for one week. I remember the feeling though that everyone was so old. It is strange to realize that we are all about the same age.

I am learning loads about teaching the gospel. Even though all of the investigators are fake you still gain a lot of practice from it. It is funny to go to the TRC and to teach people you know are members but they are making up this entire fake past. They also always throw lobs. Meaning that they will ask questions that lead you right to your next point or help you clarify some part of the lesson that you missed.

Last night we had a fireside where the administrative director of the MTC spoke. It was really powerful. He had about ten missionaries come up to the stage that had been baptized in the last two years. Then he asked them lots of questions about their conversion. It showed that what we are learning is what really converts people. Some of them talked about prayer, the Book of Mormon, and the spirit the missionaries brought with them. He talked about how we should teach the lessons in order but that we should show the investigator how each doctrine relates to their life. I have been kind of wondering about how exactly to address the needs of investigators through the lessons so it was a very timely message.

Elder Whelan in my district loves to try and scare the other Elders in my district. However I am somehow immune to his scaring power. His favorite tactic is to hide in your closet and jump out when you open the door. The first time he tried it on me it was at the same time that a member of our branch presidency walked in to our room to check on us. So when I opened the door he just got up out of my closet and walked out because he didn't want to do it in front of Brother Gray. It was really funny to just see him crouching in my closet and then to just get up and walk out. He tried to scare me again last night but I was just grabbing a towel from the top of the shelf and so I didn't really jump at all. I think my nerves have been steeled after all of the scaring we do at home. I am too used to people jumping out at me after using the bathroom or other things to be scared anymore.

I am loving the spirit that comes from being a missionary and talking about the gospel all day. My testimony has been strengthened in the simple concepts of our church. I understand the Restoration of the Church and The Plan of Salvation a whole lot better now. I have realized that I have been prepared my whole life for this opportunity and now I am ready to be a missionary and teach the gospel. The only thing that I still have to work on is just presenting the lessons more clearly and simply and to really connect with the investigators.

I love you all very much. I miss being around every one of you. Happy yester-Mother's Day, Mom!
Elder Matthew Arnold

PS There are eight elders in my district. Six of us are going to Anaheim and the other two are going to Little Rock, Arkansas. You are right that there are no sisters in my district. We didn't even have any in our zone until this last week.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Alive

Hey everybody I am still alive and kicking in the MTC. My companion's name is Elder Herron and he is from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is a really awesome Elder and we have only had a couple of major fights. Just kidding. MTC life is a little bit crazy because of the strict schedule. However, it is really amazing to be able to study the gospel all day. The principles of the gospel are becoming more and more clear in my mind as I study and learn. We have already started teaching some fake investigators that are acted out by our teachers. I thought at first that I was going to bust out laughing during the lessons but surprisingly enough you stay very focused and can feel the spirit during the lessons. One of the teachers acts as a golden investigator however our other teacher is a little skeptical so she is harder to teach. That is probably more how it is going to be out in the field. Guess what Amy and Ben? One of my teachers is Sister Voyles from the district 2. It is very strange to see her in the videos. Our other teacher is Brother Brown. He is a BYU business student who is very enthusiastic about the gospel and missionary work.

Osama is gone. Crazy! I guess I can't use that as my name at restaurants anymore. Too bad. It is very strange to be cut of from the outside world. Good thing I still get my sports highlights. Thanks Amy! It is kind of funny because when we pick up mail I always have a ton of DearElder letters and it makes the other Elders a little jealous. The sports highlights are usually four pages long. The only Elder who gets more stuff than me is Elder Parry. We have started calling him Elder "Package" Parry because of all the packages he has received from home. He is a really innocent kid from Idaho and he is so hilarious to be around. Thanks Amy for the donut and balloons that really made my day. I talked to Talisa before she left so that is really good and she said that she got the balloon package too and was very thankful for you.

It feels a little bit like home here already. Ryan Chadburn came in this same week and I see him all the time. We have eaten together a couple of times and can hang out in gym. There is also a ton of Elders I know from around Provo that I have run in to so that is cool. When I ran into Leonardo then I really felt like I was at home. I walked away from him with a big smile on my face and just thinking about my family. The other night I was looking at our family picture I have on the desk and Elder Herron said, "Oh I didn't think I had scratched it." I guess that he had knocked it over earlier and was feeling guilty. Haha it was pretty funny because there was no scratch I was just looking closely at my family.

I miss a lot of things from home but am starting to enjoy missionary life. I miss Parks and Rec plus The Office. However, we did get to have movie night yesterday which meant we watched the Testament and it was really good. I guess they realize that the missionaries miss tv so they give us a movie night. Yea! Our district has become really good friends which is really great. We are always pulling pranks on each other like one Elder scared another Elder by popping out of the closet. It was super funny to see his reaction. It is probably not very appropriate for a missionary but o well.

I miss everyone from back home.

I love you all,

Elder Matthew Arnold

Thursday, April 28, 2011

There He Went. To Serve the Lord.

The bittersweet day arrived and we drove to the MTC. We were all skeptical about the new curb side drop off system as we passed a hundred missionaries waiting to snatch up the incoming missionaries. They kept waving to us with smiles on their faces and we thought how dare you smile at us when we are about to leave our son/brother!

Turns out the drop off at the curb was better than the old system. No painful movies, no counting down the minutes, and ..... no tears. But there were plenty of tears after the fact. We are going to miss our boy. He sure brightens things up with his laugh and we will miss the way he drives us crazy with all the questions he asks.

He was well prepared and now gets to meet the challenge!

The last thing I heard him say as he walked away, "Oh man. This is weird!"