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.

Love,
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 mormon.org. 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.

Love,
Elder Arnold

Gangsta

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 mormon.org 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.

Love,
Elder Arnold

Miracles

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.

Love,
Elder Arnold