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 mormon.org profile.
Sincerely,
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!
Love,
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!

Sincerely,
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!
Love,
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 mormon.org profile!

Love,
Elder Arnold