Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Time

Hey!

So today is transfer day. Elder Wood is getting transferred to Utah so I got a new companion. His name is Elder Wadsworth and he is from Orem. Pretty exotic huh? haha. He has been serving in the Vietnamese Program his whole mission so far. So he is in for a big change. He is such a stud and I am super lucky to be his companion.

We had to say a lot of goodbyes this week which was sad for Elder Wood. We went knocking yesterday for his last time. It was pretty good we got to relive some pretty classic answers from people answering the door. Some guys said he was going to call the cops on us. haha what a jokester!

We got in the door of one of our semi investigators and shared a Christmas message with him and his kids. It was awesome. We told the Christmas story and then had them ponder who else saw the star the wise men followed. Then we told the story of Samuel the Lamanite and the Book of Mormon people. Awesome! The kids loved it and said they wanted to come to church with us.

We are having a very merry Christmas.

Love ya!
Elder Arnold

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hey!


Hello,

Well nothing very major to report. We had a pretty good week that was a lot of fun. 

I went on exchanges with the Vietnamese Elders and it was pretty cool. I got to eat some Vietnamese food which was good and I got to sharpen my chopstick skills. I had a big bowl of what they call Pho. Basically, noodles and meat and other veggies. Pretty good stuff. We also taught an English class of about 50 people. They get quite a few people out to the classes they hold. I don't know how much English the people are actually learning but at least they think they are. haha. The Elder I was with has only been out for a little more than a month. So his language skills aren't very good yet. It was fun to see him sweat bullets at the door trying to figure out what to say. I was just there to cheer him on! He did a good job communicating and it was a big learning experience for him. It is weird to think I was in his shoes not too long ago. 

I also went on exchanges with the Korean Elders. It was pretty fun to drive around and look for Korean homes based on what we saw. I am reminded of when Ben wrote home and said he was looking for Spanish people in holes under the rocks. haha. It makes me grateful I am just in the English speaking program and nothing too crazy. 

Sunday was a pretty depressing day. We have been working with this really cool lady named Claudia. She is catholic but has been attending a born again Christian church as of late. She committed to come to church but she bailed at the last minute. Sad day. She wants to talk to her pastor about it first. No!! haha We will see what happens...

Love you!
Elder Arnold

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Doing Better than Good!


December 3, 2012

Doing Better than Good!

Hey everyone!

We had a way good week here. Everything seems to be going very well. We were finally able to teach some of our really good investigators. My leg just fell asleep as I am typing this. Yikes it hurts. 

We taught again this couple on Saturday. Frank is agnostic and Heather is catholic. Frank has a hard time believing because he over thinks a lot of simple things but he says he wants to have faith. He says that maybe he can be an honorary Mormon. haha. Heather has a super believing heart so I think given a little bit of time and some good friendshipping that she will be a great member of the church. They are pretty funny lessons that we have with them. Frank spends time puffing on his electronic cigarette. And he asks the most off the wall questions. He has a unique perspective on a lot of things but is a really good guy. Heather is pregnant with twins and so is probably pretty nervous about all of that. Hopefully we can help them make some steps in the gospel and they can do the "experiment on the word."

I was on splits and was knocking on this one street when we knocked into a member family that I didn't know lived there. I talked to the son and asked if he knew anybody around that might be interested. He had a friend down the street that he pointed us toward. So we went and knocked on the door. This African American teenage kid comes out. Has on a black bandanna and a black gangsta hat on. He starts telling us how much Jesus is a part of his life. It was actually pretty cool. He was throwing down a ton of scripture references and everything. Really chill kid. He talked about how we have a purpose in life. So we asked what he felt his was. He said that he thought he was ordained and anointed to do music. Then we started talking about The Book of Mormon and how it strengthens our faith in Jesus Christ and it goes hand in hand with the Bible. I was with Elder Keyes and I thought he taught the principle very cool to this kid. Who told him to imagine having a song and only listening to it with one earphone. How certain tracks of the song don't come through. You can still hear the song and it is still good it just isn't super clear and sharp. Then you put the other earphone in and you get the complete song. It is like the Book of Mormon and the Bible. They together teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a cool experience of teaching how the Savior teaches. 

Have a good week. I love you all!

Elder Arnold

PS  So I think I got the school thing all figured out. I talked to President about it on Tuesday at our interview. He was willing to let me do whatever I thought was best. Then he gave me a call on Saturday and was looking at the departure date in April and it got moved up to the 23rd. So I shouldn't have any problems. Sweet, huh?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some Stuffed Elders


November 26, 2012

Hey!

Well Thanksgiving was great. We had two dinners which of course filled me up like crazy. I tried to eat really slow on the second one. The food was super good with all of the classics. I sure ate a lot of mashed potatoes. Mmm. It seems like we have had like 5 thanksgiving dinners though because now we are eating leftovers with lots of families.

This week was hard on the teaching front. Most of our investigators were out of town and super busy. Hopefully this week will go better. 

Not a ton to report. Sorry it's so short. I am loving it out here. I don't ever want to come home. Except to see loved ones :) The work is awesome. The people are awesome. I love serving the Lord.

Love,
Elder Arnold

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful for the Gospel


Hey!

Still living the life here in Irvine! We had a pretty good week. A bunch of our appointments got moved back a week so that is disappointing but no big because now we should have a great week this week. Yay!

We recently taught this kid named Josh. He was less active and going to another Christian church because he really likes the music there. His dad is super active and is a convert to the church. We set up an appointment with Josh and started teaching him the first lesson and about halfway through he stopped us and was like yeah I know the church is true and I need to come back. So we committed him to come and he showed up that Sunday with one of his friends. He also came yesterday with a different friend.

We were visiting a potential later that night and we set up an appointment with her. Then she told us her nephew went to church that day and pulled out a program. It was for our church! He and Josh were out on the balcony so they came out and started talking to us. So now we are teaching that family this week hopefully. I guess the Lord really wanted them to be taught. Getting them from two different sides. 

Love you guys!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Elder Arnold

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Loving Irvine

November 13, 2012

Hey!

We had transfers yesterday and I am staying here in Irvine with Elder Wood. This is his last transfer and so in mission terms I am "killing him off." We are doing great together and he is a super awesome missionary.

Quick story. The other night we were following up with a potential in our area book. It took us to this big apartment building and we drove to the top and parked in guest parking. We headed to the apartment number on one of the other floors. When we got to the apartment entry Elder Wood realized he had already tried this one and the person had moved. It was pretty late at night at this point like 8:45ish so we just started heading back to the car. As we were walking by an apartment we heard a dog bark and so we turned and looked at it. Elder Wood took a long look and started to turn away but was like crap realizing he had looked at it too long to just walk away guiltless. haha. So we hesitantly knocked on the door. A middle aged woman answered the door and we told her who we were and asked if she had ever known any Mormons. She answered her husband actually was kinda Mormon. We asked if we could come back and talk to him and she assured us that would be just fine.

So we stopped by again last night and talked to him. His name is Ted and he grew up for a good of part of his teenage life in Fillmore, Utah. He had converted to the church but when he joined the marines had just lost activity in the church. He still loved the church and went with friends frequently but had just not been able to find the courage to find his own ward and get active in it. We asked if we could teach him the lessons and he quickly agreed saying that he would love to feel again how he felt when he originally listened to the missionaries. We set up an appointment to return. It was pretty remarkable that the Lord led us to the one door among thousands that contained a less active member that was seeking to come back. The Lord is leading us slowly along to do his work.

I love this work!
Elder Arnold 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Work Continues

Hey!

What's up everyone? Great week here in sunny SoCal! It is actually 90 degrees here today which is a little bit to warm but that is ok. 

We had a super good week and we have some exciting things going on. We got a new ward mission leader. His name is Bro. Raevsky and he is pretty excited about the work. He has super long eyebrow hairs which kinda makes him look like a mad scientist but we are excited about his enthusiasm. 

So a good update on Claudia. She is the lady we taught when we got interrupted by the JWs. We sat down with her again and she is putting the dots together really quickly. She had gotten online and looked up four good passages in the Book of Mormon. So she had already read some of the most powerful parts. She was extremely moved by Moroni 8 which talks about how infants don't need to get baptized. She said she had problems sleeping for years because she didn't get her 2 kids baptized in the Catholic Church. She said that was the answer to her prayer and she knows the Book of Mormon is true. We shared with her about the premortal life and she was like, “That makes sense because there is the scripture that talks about how God knew us before we were formed in the belly.” It was awesome that she was quoting scriptures to us that we would normally share. Then we flipped to 2 Nephi 2 to share about the Fall. She had already marked verse 25 which says that Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. She said it had really stood out to her already. It was such a cool lesson! She has soaked so much up in just two lessons. We will see how the lesson goes this week.

Love you guys,

Have a great week,

Elder Arnold

Monday, October 1, 2012

Irvine


Hello!

I got transferred! I am now going to be serving in Irvine in the Westpark ward. My companion is Elder Wood he is from Centerville, Utah. He has two transfers left so I am finally getting a more experienced companion. Yay! I am really looking forward to the upcoming transfer. It should be a blast.

It was hard to say goodbye yesterday to all of the people I love. There were so many cool families in the Anaheim 2nd ward that I am going to miss. Elder Tietjen is staying there and is getting a pretty cool companion. He is going to do such great things on his mission. I really liked the Kailiponi family. They had the cutest daughters ever. We always played tag.

I am super tired and pretty pressed for a time because we had a lot of errands to run today. I will have more to say next week.

I love you guys,
Elder Arnold

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another week

Hey!

So everything is going great here in Anaheim. I think I start all of my emails that way. Haha oh well. I want to share one cool experience that came to a conclusion this past weekend. At the beginning of the transfer we had a district leaders meeting with President Bowen. He talked about how we can lift our districts. He talked about a lot of really awesome things. During this meeting I felt impressed to really focus on helping the sisters baptize this transfer. So I called them up later that evening and talked with them about a goal for baptizing this transfer. One of the sisters has served in that ward for all but 3 transfers of her mission and this was going to be her last transfer. During her time in that ward she hadn't seen a baptism. So she started telling me how hard their area is and that they will try but no guarantees. Not really the reaction I was looking for so I said a few more words of encouragement and then I promised that I would pray every day for them to find somebody to baptize. And I kept that promise. Throughout each day of this last transfer I have prayed fervently for the sisters in their area. One day as they were getting in their car they felt a prompting to go back and knock a certain street. There they knocked into a girl who was super humble and let them come in and teach her. Her name is Anna and she was baptized this last weekend. It was the first baptism in that ward in 2 years. I am so happy for them! I know that prayers are answered and that this is the Lord's work. I'm not trying to indicate that they found someone just because I was praying for them but because of their hard work and the Lord's will and of course because Anna was so awesome.

We also saw the last flight of the space shuttle. We were driving and we saw a bunch of cars parked on this overpass. So we stopped and asked what was going on. We were informed that the space shuttle will be flying around here pretty soon. So we waited for a few minutes and there it was. It was so big I was surprised. Really cool to see it being flown around and escorted by two fighter jets.

Love,
Elder Arnold

PS  Yay that grandma is with you guys. Tell her hi and I love her.

Yeah we have transfers this next week. My guess is that I am leaving but who knows. I'm happy with what ever. I have really enjoyed being with Elder Tietjen.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Work Rolls On


September 17, 2012
 
Dear Everyone,

So we had a really great week here in Anaheim.

It has been really hot here this last week. It was a little over a hundred degrees a couple of days. One Friday we were out knocking doors all afternoon in the heat. So hot! In the middle of knocking the complex we realized we hadn't prayed yet so we bowed our heads in the middle of the sidewalk. We prayed that we could find someone humble in heart. After that we finally talked to a couple of interested people after not finding almost anybody home or even remotely interested. The Lord does hear our prayers and direct our paths.

We were trying to catch one of our investigators home the other night and we couldn't get into the complex for like 15 minutes because all the doors were locked and nobody was coming in or out. We were getting frustrated and ready to quit when an old guy came out and so we finally got in. It turned out that she was just getting home and we would have missed her if we had gotten in the complex earlier. Maybe the Lord was stalling us for a little while so we could catch her home. It is cool to see the little miracles each week.

I love you all!
Elder Arnold

No use being pessimistic; it won’t work anyway


September 10, 2012
 
Hey!

So we had a pretty good week here. It felt kinda funny because our schedule was kinda crazy. We emailed Tuesday instead of Monday; we had our district meeting on Wednesday instead of Thursday; and had a meeting with President Bowen on Friday. But all that stuff kept us busy and made the week go by quick.

We had stake conference this week and it was good. Erin Kailiponi got called to be the new Stake Relief Society President. That is the lady you met mom. She is awesome and will do great. The whole conference was about doing missionary work so I was pumped about that. One of the members of the stake presidency talked about how he is studying The Book of Mormon and he is carrying around a soft copy with him everywhere. He gets to talk to people on the train about it all the time. One cool experience he had was when he and his wife were eating at Denny’s. The waiter noticed the BoM resting on the table and said that he had a copy of the book and was waiting for 2 young men to come teach him more. So then he was able to bear testimony.

We were able to teach Ozzie a couple of times this week. He is really starting to progress and we are excited about him. The next step is helping him come to church. I think this will be this Sunday.

Love,
Elder Arnold

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Small Miracles Every Day


September 4, 2012

Hey everyone!

So the last week has been pretty fun here in Anaheim. The weather is good and we are doing the Lord's work.

One good experience was when I was on exchanges in another ward this week.
The Elders there had tracted into a family and had shared that their message was one that could unite families. It really interested them and they set up a return appointment. So I was there for that appointment but the problem was only the daughter spoke English and both the parents were Spanish only. We brought a member that was bilingual so he ended up translating. They explained how they were having problems with extended family and wondered how our message could help. After talking about that for awhile we taught them the message of the Restoration. We would share a line or two of doctrine and have our member translate. It was a really neat experience because we taught everything very simply and to the point so that he could translate. The Spirit was so strong! Because of how basic everything was and they could really understand what we were saying and the Spirit could testify. Like the first principle talking about who God is: all we said was that God is the Father of our Spirits and he loves us very much. Then we would move on to the next point. The Gospel really is very simple.

One funny thing that happened this week that has to do with Elder Tietjen.
First, you have to know that Elder Tietjen loves and knows everything to do with cars. All day every day it is like a car encyclopedia is being downloaded into my head as we drive around. So when we were on that exchange, Elder Tietjen got to be the driver in our area. When we meet back up there was a little spare tire on the car. He had hit a curb and popped the tire. I razzed him so much because he is the car expert. Super funny.

Great things are happening!

Love,
Elder Arnold

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Little by little


August 27, 2012
Little by little
Hey!

So everything is going great. Pretty much just doing the same ol thing. The work of the Lord!

We had this pizza last Monday night that was pretty crazy. It was a deep dish pizza that was stuffed with cheese and sauce and pepperoni. I had two pieces and my stomach started to cramp up during our next 2 lessons. It was horrible. I'm never eating that much pizza again. I think it was all that cheese.

We are still working with Francisca and her mother and son. They are all committed for baptism on the 15th of next month. They haven't been able to be out for church yet because of some issues but hopefully next week. We are really loving working with this family.

Don't know what else to say....good things are coming!

Love,
Elder Arnold

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hello!!


August 20, 2012
 
Hi,

So it’s all going good. It was transfers today and we are staying together for another one. It is always kinda sad to see the missionaries you love go home. I got to see pretty much all of my companions at the transfer meeting. We gotta go because we are keeping one of the missionaries with us today until he picks up his greenie tomorrow. Elder Tait is getting transferred back to a different ward in Yorba Linda. Elder Parry is leaving and going to Irvine. So a lot of changes.

I don't know if I told you about Francisca plus her family. But we taught her a bunch of times this last week and her and her son came to the stake picnic on Saturday. She is really awesome and progressing really well. It is amazing some of the stuff she says because it is just what you want an investigator to say. Some of the quotes are, "(speaking of the chapel) It just feels peaceful in here", "When you were teaching you looked like a different person, it must be the power of the Holy Ghost", "I really love this book and the peace it brings".

The work is progressing really good. The church is true and I love the gospel.

Love,
Elder Arnold

Monday, August 13, 2012

California Adventure:)

Hey!

Well not too much new stuff to report. Elder Tietjen and I are getting some great work done. This will be the last week of the transfer but we will stay together for another one. I went on an exchange this week with my zone leader Elder Keyes. He was in my district when I first came out in Yorba Linda. It was really cool to look back on how much we have grown since my first transfer in Yorba Linda. So much different and yet fundamentally the same. Still that fire to share the gospel yet just a little more polished and refined. It is like I have been through one of those rock tumblers that polish and now I am smoother. Pretty cool stuff.
We have some new investigators who should hopefully start progressing.  We taught Ozzie again this week and he is doing great. We were able to show him that the bible does foretell the coming of the Book of Mormon. Since he comes from a very religious background and has read the whole bible we have to go into some depth to help it really click for him. Instead of just accepting as some youth do, he is really searching for himself. I know that he will find his answer.
I was inspired this week to go and visit this Samoan family who lives next to a member who attends our ward. The Samoan family are members.  They just go to the Samoan ward. It ended up that they had just lost a daughter and we were able to share a message on the plan of salvation and they referred us to go visit somebody. The Lord is guiding His work.
I love the gospel. The work is true.

Elder Arnold

Linda: Did you feel the earthquake that was in Yorba Linda last week?  Matthew: Yeah I felt it. It was pretty cool. Not scary at all. Lasted for like one second and not that powerful just enough to feel it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Too blessed to be stressed

Hey!
We were walking out of a store this last week and passed by a lady that worked there. We asked her how she was doing and she responded that she was well. She asked us how we were doing and we also said good. You know it was just a typical exchange.  But then she, in response to us saying that we were doing good, she said, “Too blessed to be stressed.” Haha it was awesome!!! And I think it was a very true thing.  It is amazing how many blessings the Lord showers down upon us as missionaries. It feels so good to be On the Lord's Errand.

We went to the Gutierrez this week and watched the movie about the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was fun and we had popcorn and everything.  That family is making a lot of progress in the gospel and it is amazing to see it. We also taught Eddie again this week. He is the one who was in jail. We were able to explain about the plan of salvation.  He had a lot of questions but as we explained everything, you could kind of see the light bulb go on in his head as he contrasted it to what he had been taught by other religions. He was confused about repentance and he felt like just saying sorry isn't enough. So we explained what repentance really is and he was like oh that makes sense. 

We had that fireside last night. We didn't end up getting a lot of non members out but it was still a success and I think that the excitement about missionary work will increase.

I love you all!
Elder Arnold

:)


July 30, 2012

Hello!

So everything is going great here in Anaheim! We were able to teach some new cool people this week. One guy that we taught just got out of jail a couple of months ago and he was locked up for 5 years. Crazy!  He is covered from head to toe in tattoos. He started studying all sorts of religions in jail and so he is pretty smart. We will see what happens there. We also taught this college student who requested missionaries from mormon.org. First time I have had a mormon.org referral like that on my mission. He is really interested and has a ton of questions. Hopefully he will stay interested.
So this last week or two there have been some riots here in Anaheim over some shootings. We were driving and we saw all these police cars and the road was blocked off. We asked the guy in a 7/11 and he told us that the police shot somebody. It was in the sister’s area next to us. So I called them and was like so you know how we are supposed to be shepherds over our respective areas? And they were like yeah...so what? Well you let one of your sheep get shot! The wolves came in and you were sleeping huh. We had a pretty good laugh about it. Then when the riots started we were able to razz them a little bit about the people protesting against their bad shepherding. haha.

This week we are holding a fireside in our ward for people to come and learn about the church. Some converts in our ward are going to speak and then our mission president is going to talk on the Restoration. We are hoping that a lot of people will attend.

I love you all!

Elder Arnold

Friday, July 27, 2012

July 23, 2012

Hey!!

So we had a pretty good week here. Nothing too exciting happened or anything. Elder Tietjen is doing great for a new missionary. I barely have to teach him anything; he already has most of it down. One funny thing about training that I didn't really think about is that he has all the news from the outside world. So now I am more up to date on what is happening in the secular world. It is weird to think of all the stuff I don't know about anymore.

We started teaching a kid named Angel who is 16 and plays basketball on the local high school team. He accepted baptism on the 2nd lesson and now we just need to help him come to church. He is awesome and is keeping commitments and reading the Book of Mormon. It is cool how many youth we are teaching. They are way more open to the gospel message it seems for the most part.

At the beginning of the month we are going to be having a really cool fireside. We are going to have some recent converts share their conversion experience and testimony and then our mission president is going to be speaking about the restoration with some mingle and refreshments following. It is something that I have been wanting to do for awhile and this ward very quickly jumped on the bandwagon. At our dinner appointments people are committing to bring friends and it should be a great way to be introduced to new investigators.

One funny story is that the ASL sisters were tracting in our area and they called us to refer some people that they found. They told me about this 14 year old girl named Jackie who we should go visit. I was a little weirded out that they were teaching someone so young but they said she was super interested. So we stopped by and knocked a couple of times and didn't get an answer. Then as we were about to walk away they opened and said their parents told them not to answer the door for strangers but they knew it was us and they wanted us to come back when their parents were home. We told them to check with their parents and make sure it was ok if we came and taught their family. So we stopped by again a couple of nights later and the whole family was watching TV together in the dark with the door open. It is always a little tricky when the door is already open. We knock and poke our heads in and the whole family is kinda just like what the? We are like, is Jacky here? But after the shock, Jacky jumps up and says come on in come on in. So we hesitantly come in and they turn the lights on. Half the family scatters to the rooms and we sit down kinda awkwardly. The parents only speak Spanish so we kinda motion to make sure it is alright that we are there. We start teaching the first lesson and Jackie is just smiling so big the whole time. And the only time she wasn't smiling was during the first vision when her smile kinda just becomes a stunned face. Everyone was just getting slapped by the Spirit. The older daughter is translating for the mom who is standing in the room. We have the older daughter close with a prayer and then explained that we would send the Spanish elders by. So then on our drive home who rides by but the Spanish elders on their bicycles. I guess Heavenly Father really wanted us to pass that family over quickly. haha. It was a fun lesson to teach.

I love you all,

Elder Arnold

July 16, 2012

Hey!

So my new companion is named Elder Tietjen(pronounced Tee-jen). It is kind of a mouthful the way it looks but pretty easy to say. He is from a suburb outside of Dallas, Texas called Southlake. He went to BYU this last year and is 19. He is really into classic cars and was restoring a 71 Chevy pickup before he came out. Believe me that I am getting a car education as we drive around. haha.

He is doing super good for only having been out a little while. I don't think I would be able to tell that he is a greenie if I didn't know. One good experience we had this week was during his first day out he got a call from President Bowen informing him that his grandpa had passed away. He was pretty down about it considering he was still in culture shock and now this on top of it. We were in the apartment because I had to prepare for District meeting. So we got up and left and went out to work. I gave him a map of our area and let him pray where we should go knock at. So we drove to that street and on the 3rd door an older man let us in to teach him. His wife had just died a couple of months earlier and so it was perfect. Who knows if anything will come from it but it picked both of us up and let us know that the Lord is directing his work.

Everything is good! I love being a missionary and serving the Lord!

Elder Arnold
July 9, 2012

What's up!

So we just had transfers and Elder Munguia got transferred to Santa Ana to be in the Spanish program now. He is excited to be in Spanish but maybe a little hesitant about the area and all new people and such. So it turns out that I will be training a new missionary again. This time I am a little bit less nervous because I kinda know what I am doing. It should be pretty fun to show a new missionary the ropes. Hopefully I can do an even better job. So I will pick him up from the mission home tomorrow afternoon. I bet he is super nervous/excited in the MTC right now. I remember that feeling.

This last week was pretty awesome. We had a bunch of investigators come to the 4th of July breakfast. Most of the Gutierrez family came which is good. Sam might even go on a weeklong campout with the boy scouts next week. That family is doing super good.

After district meeting we all went and picked up food and met at President's house. We rolled the ping pong table out of the garage and so I got to play my favorite game. So fun! President even brought us all some ice cream from his freezer.

I can't really think of anything else.

Love,
Elder Arnold
July 2, 2012
Hello from Anaheim!

Pretty awesome week! I will hit some of the highlights for everybody.

On Thursday we had district meeting on finding by visiting former investigators. So we talked all about how that is a great resource to find people to teach. Then that night we went and visited a less active lady who is really nice and funny. We had helped her come to church last week. So the cool thing is that she is really good friends with a mother and daughter who haven't been coming to church. The daughter is 10 and used to be taught by missionaries a year ago. So both of those 2 were over at her house and we were able to talk to them even more. And then the next door neighbors had been taught by sister missionaries a couple years previously and the kids were outside playing basketball. We started talking to them and we ended up playing with them. They invited us back the next day to play with them a little bit more which after checking with the parents we decided to. So the next day we went and played a little bit more basketball with them. We are going to have them come to the pancake breakfast on Wednesday for the 4th of July and we will see what happens. It was cool to contact 2 former investigators that very day. haha. So the 2 kids we played ball with are 13 and 10. Bailey is 13 and he is shorter than his 10 year old sister Avery so they are on the short side so they called me a giant playing basketball with them. It wasn't really fair but still very fun.

We started teaching a girl named Alicia this week. She is the girlfriend of the son of a family that we visit once a week. They are the Cruz family. Noel and Emma always feed us this really good Philippines (however you spell that) food. So we were asking Noel one day, while Alicia was in watching TV, if she would be interested in the church. She overheard us talking about her and talked to Noel about it later. And so he told her and she said that she is interested. So we taught the 1st lesson on Sunday and it went good. She is very open to learning and already has a testimony of prayer.

We are teaching Ozzie and his mom again tonight so hopefully that goes well. We taught the Gutierrez family again this last week and it was awesome. They came to church and are coming to the 4th of July pancake breakfast. The work is progressing really well as the Lord directs it. 

Love,
Elder Arnold

June 25, 2012

Hey!

So we had a fantastic week. We are working with lots of people and the work is progressing really well. I love being able to sit in people's homes and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are starting to teach a kid who has been going to scouts with the ward since he was 8 and he is now 14. He told his mom that he didn't want to be catholic anymore but he feels that he is a Mormon. So we set up an appointment with the mom because she wanted to hear what the church is about. We went over and the grandparents also sat in on the lesson. The grandparents only spoke Spanish so Elder Munguia taught the whole lesson. It was his first lesson in Spanish and he was pretty excited.  I bore my testimony a couple of times and he would translate for me.  It went super good. The next night we taught Ozzie the boy and he loved it and accepted baptism. We will see how it progresses from here.

I was the last speaker in sacrament meeting yesterday. There was a high priest in the ward who talked before me and he used to be a professor so he droned on and on. So I got relegated to the role of a youth speaker oh well I still feel pretty youthful. In my talk I related the story of mom's conversion and the ripple effect of missionary work in our family. I shared some simple ways that we can share the gospel. Like tell people that they look like they would be a good Mormon. Ask if they are Mormon and they will usually say no but I know so and so who is and then you can have a gospel conversation. It went pretty good. The other cool thing was that I was able to get quite a few people who haven't come to church in a while to come to hear me speak. So that was good.

The stone cut without hands rolls on!

Love,
Elder Arnold

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Food, food and more food!


June 18, 2012

What's up?!

Hello everyone! We had a really great week and everything is going fantastic here in Anaheim. Our visit to the Santa Ana Zoo was really cool last p-day and the monkeys were really awesome. We had a great zone conference on Thursday. We met with three different zones so all of my old companions were there except Elder Johnson because he went home this last transfer. It was good to see Elders Tait, Hansen, and Parry. We learned about finding at the conference and President helped raise our vision a little bit more. The most powerful part was the departing missionaries’ testimonies. There is an Elder who was very obedient his entire mission and dedicated to the work and he got up and you could just feel his testimony. It was awesome.

We taught another great lesson to the Guitierrez family. Erica, the mom, started crying after the daughter bore her testimony. She just needs a little more time to get ready before she accepts a baptismal date. We are teaching a nine year old boy named Alejandro. His mom has been less active pretty much most of his life. But he really wants to get baptized and he is such a sweet kid. He comes up and gives us hugs and stuff like that. He and his mom came to church for the first time this week and we are shooting for the baptism on June 30. We will see.

Church was a little hectic because people showed up that we didn't expect which is always good. Plus we taught the 13 year old Sunday school class. But everything went really good.

On Saturday night we went to a Tongan graduation party with the Tongan elders who are in our district. That is the most food I have ever seen. There were pigs on the tables every couple of feet. Probably 30 or so in all. Then piled around each pig were mounds of other kinds of food. They especially piled it up around us because we are the missionaries. I ate so much. It was super good. The next day on Sunday tons of people invited us over so we pretty much spent that whole day eating also. I had to loosen my belt a little. haha. So awesome!

Love, Elder Arnold

PS Photos are from December 2011

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hi:)




Hello,

Well it was such a good week here. We were able to teach more than last week and connect with more of our investigators. A really cool family that we are teaching is the Gutierrez family. The dad and oldest daughter are members but the mom and the younger sister Jessica(16) and brother Sam(13) are not members. Kristina the oldest daughter actually joined the church in the Yorba Linda 5th ward about a year before I served there. I had heard people talk about her. She was dating one of the guys who went on a mission to Peru. I knew him when he came back and he was cool. They have been coming to sacrament meeting for the last month or so. We were able to teach them the Plan of Happiness. It went well. I think the most powerful part was when we taught them about eternal families. It resonated really well. Sam is such a stud and has been taking the Book of Mormon with him to school to read during reading times. So awesome!

We did a car wash with the Zone Leaders this week. We did it just to do community service but not very many people showed up and it was mostly members. But oh well good try.

We are going to the zoo as a district today which should be fun so I don't have as much time to email. I think it will be a good activity to get the sisters in the district involved instead of just playing sports.

Love,
Elder Arnold

PS  Yep I saw the transit of Venus! Aren't you so proud of me? At first I didn't know if I was hallucinating the little dot that I saw or what. At our dinner appointment I broke out the glasses so the family could see it. The mom had actually already heard about it and had wanted to show the oldest son because he was really into it. There was an investigator there as well that looked at it also. It was pretty cool but really small.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Ugh






Hey!

So it was a really good first week in my new area. I already love it so much and there is a lot of potential for missionary work in this area. We are excited to move forward and start teaching a lot.
The bad news of the week was that we got pretty sick on Friday. We think it was food poisoning from some food that some members gave us. Elder Munguia had it worse because his stomach kept emptying itself. I managed to keep everything in but have felt pretty under the weather. So we have tried to take it easy the last couple of days. A member named Sister Avila made us chicken noodle soup and it was soooo good! I felt a little better after that. But everything is a lot better now and I am back to 95% which is great.

I am really liking my new district. I am getting to serve around some great Elders and Sisters. It is cool to be able to cover the main parts of Anaheim instead of just a little piece. President Bowen actually lives in our district and I am not very far away from him. Maybe he needed to keep a closer eye on me. haha.
We are working with some cool people that I will tell you more about later.

Love, Elder Arnold

Monday, May 28, 2012


May 28, 2012

Hello!



So I got transferred to a new area! I am now serving in the Anaheim 2nd Ward with Elder Munguia. He has been out about 9 months and is super awesome. He is from Brooklyn and loves the Yankees. I don't know him that well yet but I already like him. I guess this ward is super awesome and a lot of great work is already happening with some great investigators. Looking forward to meeting a bunch of new people this week. Always fun. It is sad to leave Elder Parry because he always made me laugh but we had a good run.

So we spent the last 2 days just saying goodbye to all the cool people in the ward. I made a lot of really good friends and so it is always really hard to say goodbye. I felt like I was able to make an impact on a number of families in this ward. Probably the family that I am closest with was Jeremy Greer's family. They are all pretty much active now and Jeremy is baptized and Stephen is on a mission. So awesome to see the difference from when I started visiting there to now.

There is a lady named Jen Atchely that missionaries have been trying to get baptized for years. But she would never even come to church. Now she has been coming the last 3 weeks in a row. So cool to see how different things will touch different people. The Lord is preparing people all of the time to receive his restored truth.

I am going to miss the 6th ward but am excited for a new area.

Love,
Elder Arnold

May 21, 2012

What’s up?!

So we had a super funny gospel principles class at church yesterday.

Just tons of funny random people interacting together. So there is this guy named Mohommad who comes to church but he goes by Ray. He is Muslim. He lived in Utah for 5 years and became good friends with the Bishop there and went to church. He actually worked for DI for two years while he was in Utah. So now he has moved here to live with his sister and has started to come to church for the last month or so. He speaks with a heavy accent and he likes to make lots of jokes. Then we also have Katie who just got baptized and she has autism. Then we have a guy named Scott who is a convert from a long time ago and he is just starting to come back to church so that he can get on welfare. Plus some other random people. So Bro. Jackson is teaching and shows a couple minute video clip of the first vision so we can talk about God the Father. Then Ray the muslim guy starts going off about how can you know that it really happened. Maybe if you are a little kid you believe but how as old man you believe. Then talking about Bro. Jackson he says you old man how do you believe. Everyone was just kinda shocked because he called Bro. Jackson old. Then Scott from the other side pipes up to explain why we believe and how Jesus died for us and then Ray is like Jesus didn't die God protected him (because that is what Muslim people believe). This whole time Bro. Jackson is trying to get control of the lesson by saying let’s get back on topic. But he keeps getting cut off. Also Katie is sitting in the back alternating between laughing and asking when it is going to be over. I helped diffuse it by telling Ray we can talk to him after. So he stopped asking so many questions in an accusatory manner. So funny. Plus we have some people who are there actually trying to learn and that we are working with and we just have all of this crazy stuff going on. Funniest Sunday school class I have ever been to.

We had some great lessons this week and some great people who are progressing. We will see what happens this next week.

I love you guys,

Elder Arnold

May 14, 2012

Hey,

Well we had a great baptism yesterday. Katie Borrelli got baptized and the service was really great and spiritual. I had the privilege of performing the baptism and doing the confirmation. Katie has autism so it made the teaching experience interesting at times but it was awesome to see how committed to getting baptized she was. The sweet spirit she has inside told her it was something she needed to do. Even though it was a little stressful with some stuff falling through, the Lord watched over us and everything went really great. And the water wasn't even cold. Yay!

Well I just got to call home yesterday so not too much other exciting news. 

I love you guys,

Elder Arnold

May 7, 2012

Howdy,

Well we had a pretty exciting week! We went and watched Jeremy play in a baseball game and Elder Parry got hit by a baseball. Out of all the people in the stands of course it was him. haha. The pitcher threw it off the batter's helmet and it went flying up over the fence and landed right on Elder Parry. He didn't get hurt very bad though which is good.

Funny story. I was on exchanges with Elder Nuss on like Thursday. We decided to go out tracting for a little while. After I finally pulled a bunch of u-turns and finally decided where to go we were walking down the sidewalk on the way to where we were going to go knock. A car pulled over and this Hispanic guy kinda starts messing with us and is like mormones hable espanol etc, etc. Then he says just kidding, Elders do you know how to get to the five freeway. So we explain how and then we ask him if he wants to come out knocking with us for a little while. He says that he would love to and he parks his car. We then learn that he is a convert and after 7 years he became a bishop in LA. Then he became a member of the mission presidency. Which is what he is now. So we are like dang we are going out with a member of the LA mission presidency. So we knock a couple of doors and no one is home. Then we run into this lady named Liz who likes to joke around and really strikes up a good conversation with our impromptu mission presidency guy (his name is John). He then just starts to bear powerful testimony. She says that she really does need some religion in her life and this sounds like it could be for her. So then we set up an appointment for the next night and John goes back home to LA.

The next night we are eating dinner with the Bishop when our ward mission leader Bro Jackson cancels on coming to Liz's for the appointment. We scramble to find someone else but it is in half an hour and so nothing works. The Bishop offers to come with us which we feel bad about because he is a super new Bishop and super busy, but oh well. So we head over there and Liz answers the door and is like oh no I forgot all about it and my daughter, who is 16, is throwing an impromptu cinco de mayo party with her friends. I kinda poke my head in and see a couple of high school girls listening to music and eating.  I was like crap because we dragged the bishop all the way over here for this awesome contact and now it is going to fall through. The daughter comes to the door and is pretty much like what the crap are these guys doing here. So Liz is trying to bail on us but ends up offering us a taco. I seize the opportunity and say sure and just walk in. So now we are dragging the bishop into the middle of a little high school party with a couple of random girls. The daughter is mostly just like what are these guys doing here but she starts cooking some meat and making us tacos. We strike up some conversation and end up sitting down and eating with them all. I am mostly just trying to crack jokes and put everyone at ease. I don't know how well that worked. Then after we are done eating we say well no cinco de mayo party is done without a quick spiritual thought. So we gather all the chairs around and start teaching lesson 1. It went pretty good considering where we started. I could tell the girls were like what the crap, but we made it through that pretty successfully and I think they were feeling the Spirit. So now we have a return appointment and I'm not sure how we are going to top that first lesson we taught. haha.

We are also teaching this guy named Dan who is the boyfriend of a lady in our ward named Saralee. Saralee is a convert of about 3 years and is super awesome. Dan is a detective for Anaheim PD and the head sniper on their sniper team. A way chill guy. So I was texting Saralee to make sure they we were good to come over for the 1st lesson and I said don't fall asleep right before like last time(because that happened), just kidding we love you guys. But I missed the you and it said just kidding we love guys. Oops. She sent back I think you are going to need to talk to the Bishop about that one. Haha pretty funny.

I love you all,

Elder Arnold

April 30, 2012



Well we had a really good week. On Friday we both hit our year mark and it was pretty awesome. We went out to lunch with Sister Barret at an Italian place and it was super good. We had dinner with the Kenneys which was awesome. They gave us a present of half a tie to represent half way done. It was a super ugly tie so I'm not sure what that represents. haha.

We were able to teach quite a bit this week. We found a new investigator named Jackie. She has been going through some hard times and has problems with alcohol. We taught pretty much about the atonement of Christ. It ended up being really powerful. The part that sticks in my mind is when at the end of the lesson she put her hand on her chest and told us that she was feeling something. We bore testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost. We will see what happens with her but I have a good feeling about it.

Our investigator named John Williams got hit by a car while he was riding his bike this week. He ended up in the ICU where we went and gave him a blessing. It was a great experience for him I think. He is back home now and it wasn't as serious as they initially thought.

Heavenly Father is watching over him. We went back and visited him the next day in the hospital and watched part of the Restoration DVD with him and talked about spiritual things. Good visit.

While weekly planning we were talking with our district how to make knocking more effective. One Elder who is about to go home soon suggested that you just walk in. haha. He did it earlier in his mission and a family of 10 ended up getting baptized in the Spanish branch. So we wanted him to come teach us how to do it. So him and I went out and started knocking doors. We ended up talking to a kid outside his home and we pretty much invited ourselves in and taught this huge family the 1st lesson. You could see the spirit working with them. Hopefully we will be able to teach them tonight when our appointment is scheduled for.

Everything is going amazing. I love being a missionary!

Love,

Elder Arnold

April 23, 2012 



Cali Swag

So everything has been going really good here. I feel like I say the same things every week but oh well. It has started to get pretty warm so that feels good.

Let’s see what did I do this week. We did a pretty cool weekly planning. We went to a place called Osaka's. It is a seafood buffet and it also serves other Asian food. So we stayed there for like 4 hours and planned and ate all at the same time. It actually helped us get a lot done and good brainstorming. Plus being able to get up and eat whenever you want is pretty cool.

We went and watched Jeremy get smashed in a baseball game. His team didn't do that good this week. That whole family is coming to church now which is so awesome. Even his step dad Ed has been coming and he isn't a member. So cool things are happening.

We had a spaghetti dinner slash auction as a fundraiser for the youth. I think they collected a little over seven thousand dollars. So pretty good. They got Lakers and Angels tickets donated to auction plus a bunch of other cool things. The youth all dressed up as waiters and went around and served everything.
Can't think of anything else. 
Love you all,
Elder Arnold

Monday, April 16, 2012

Triumphant Trio

Dear All,

Super good week out in the mission! One exciting thing was that we were in a trio for the last half of the week. That was pretty fun. A missionary in our district ended up going home and so we were with Elder Anderson for a couple of days. We got to go to both wards on Sunday and ended up meeting a lot of new people.

Amy will be proud of me this week. We were out knocking doors when we ran into this lady who was having the worst day ever. It looked like she was about to cry and when we asked how it was going she said horrible. So we drove to the church and picked some flowers and made a little bouquet. We then went back and knocked and gave it to her. Hopefully it helped her day out a little. The arrangement was so good because I channeled Amy's inner spirit. haha jk.

We got this little sound box this week that Elder Parry has been having a lot of fun with. It has different buttons that make different sounds like clapping or laughing. During dinners he will push the laughing button when he makes a joke. Super funny!

We have been giving quite a few blessings this week. This ward has a lot of older members so we get that privilege a lot here. My oil actually ran out and I had to fill it up. First time that has happened.

Oh it was transfers today but Elder Parry and I are staying together for another one. An 8 year old girl that we taught the lessons to for fun got baptized yesterday. We got to be the witnesses. Elder Hansen came so that was cool. His mom sent Elder Parry and I Alabama ties so we all wore those to the baptism. haha.

I love you,
Have a great week,
Elder Arnold

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter



Hello!

Well everything is going just fantastic! We had a super good Easter weekend. We went to the Greers for lunch. They have a cool easter egg tradition. They put out 10 small eggs for everyone with 4 quarters in each one and 2 big eggs with 5 dollar bills in each one. Elder Parry and I got to split one set so we went out with all the kids and found money easter eggs. Pretty awesome. Plus they were hidden pretty hard so it took a long time.

We pretty much ate food most of the day. It was awesome. haha.

The visit of Elder Bednar was the highlight of the week. That meeting was the most spirtitual meeting I have ever been to. Our mission met inside the stake center chapel next to the Newport Beach Temple.
Sister Bednar is cousins with Sister Bowen so I think that is how we got to meet with him in the first place. It was so surreal to have him walk in. He isn't very tall but he can command a room. He taught us about learning by faith. Instead of just giving a talk he made it very interactive. We made comments and at one point could ask any question we wanted. It turns out that he is super hilarious. Like as funny as John Bytheway. He said some stuff that only an apostle can say. He was very direct in his comments and very practical. I learned a ton.
Although he is just a man you can tell that he has that apostolic office.

The work is true!
Love,
Elder Arnold

From Elder Parry's email home from last week

So, we were at Walmart, checking out, and there was a guy buying a case of BEEEEER, and the cashier, Sandy said: "You have to be a certain age to buy that." and so I was expecting a teenager behind me, but when I looked, he was an older man, about mom or dad's ages, and he said: "Don’t let the gray hair fool you, darlin'" It was so funny! Elder Arnold and I just laughed! Or as Dennis would say: "We all had a pretty good laugh about that!" So, that was something that you don’t hear every day!

So, we watched conference at the Stake Center on Saturday, and that tired me out just sitting there! I loved Elder Bednar's talk in the Priesthood Session. Oh, speaking of which, He is coming to the mission, and we will have a mission conference on Friday, 04/06. It will be great!

Also, on Saturday, between sessions, we saw a homeless guy, and Elder Arnold gave him $5, and a pass along card in English, and Spanish. It took about 10 minutes because when we tried the first time, he had moved to the corner of the street, then back to the original place.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Exciting week in the mission


Dear All,

Well I'm writing a little late because we got to go to the temple today. It was super good. It was a little bit sad as well though. Our district leader Elder Anderson is going home at the end of next transfer so this would be his last time to go to the temple. When we got to the temple his recommend had expired 4 days before so he had to wait in the waiting room while we all went in. He just waited there talking to people and stuff. Sad day.

I absolutely loved General Conference! On Saturday we watched at the stake center. There were like 2 other people there. On Sunday we went and watched with a family in our ward named the Barrett’s. We are teaching their friend Katie who is 24 and autistic. She really, really wants to get baptized. They made us a huge breakfast with waffles and bacon and stuff. Super good. My favorite talks were by Ronald L. Hallstrom of the presidency of the seventy. He talked about the difference between the gospel and the church. I also loved Elder Bednar's priesthood talk. I didn't know that his dad wasn't a member growing up. I loved his boldness and the truths he taught about priesthood authority.

Guess what?! On Friday Elder Bednar is coming to visit our mission. We are having a mission conference at the stake center next to the temple. I am so excited. It will be awesome to be edified by an apostle of the Lord!

I love you all,
Elder Arnold

Yay a Baptism


Dear Everyone,

We had a really great week! Lexie was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday and it all went really well. There were quite a few people in attendance which was really nice. So the story with the family is that Bro. Hardin joined the church when he was 27 and has been a very active member ever since. He does really well in business. He owns 5 car dealerships that are pretty prominent in the area. The most famous is called Hardin Honda. It is really cool that he is such a great member. He and his wife are leaving on a mission in about a month to Wyoming. None of his kids have really stayed that active in the church. So Lexie is his granddaughter and she told him that she wanted to be baptized so we started teaching her. It has been cool to see her grasp the concepts and make this decision on her own. My favorite part of the baptism was when Bro Hardin was saying the baptismal prayer his voice choked up with emotion. The Spirit was so strong! It is the best thing ever to see families being strengthened by the gospel. I absolutely love it! Elder Parry and I got to stand in the confirmation circle on Sunday and it was a great opportunity.

We also taught a kid named Sev this week that we tracted into. He was pretty nice. He is going through hard times right now and has on an ankle bracelet. He comes from a very catholic background. We taught him the first lesson and it went well. It was frustrating though because he doesn't want to meet again because of his family ties to Catholicism. Sad day. But got to keep planting those gospel seeds.

Love,
Elder Arnold

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wow 20 years old today!


March 19, 2012

Well it is an interesting feeling to be turning 20 years old today.
While I miss all of you at home tremendously and especially on this my birthday I feel that I am so blessed to be able to serve as a missionary. This has been a year of growth and learning. It has changed the way I look at everything. I love my Savior even more as a result. I understand more clearly what the gospel of Jesus Christ is.

I love that we can always become a little better. Twenty years down, a couple more to go.

One exciting thing that is happening this week is that Lexi is getting baptized on Saturday! We are really excited for her and this great choice she is making. She is being a wonderful example to her family. She is only 12 and already making great choices. It will be a great day!

Jeremy gave a talk this Sunday that was really good. I was surprised that they had him speak since he was only baptized in January but it was awesome. It means the rest of his family has come two weeks in a row. They’re almost active. haha. He is such a great example of how the gospel of Jesus Christ can change you. To see where most of his peers are at and the choices he is making is cool.

This work is true.
Jesus is the Christ!
Love,
Elder Arnold

PS I like the playing TCG with grownups memory. Remember that tournament we entered with the super hero card game and I won one of the games I played in. Thinking about it now that guy probably felt like an idiot because he lost to a kid. haha pretty funny.

Thank you so much for the wonderful presents. I am really looking forward to reading those journals. The pillow tie will be great for next sacrament meeting. haha. Or general conference I guess. haha. Those dvds seem great. I already watched one episode this morning and it was awesome. I think the world of you!

Yeah that is the coolest news ever about Jonathan (state culinary team win). I vote that he should be assigned as permanent cook for future family reunions. What do you think?

Wow that is pretty interesting about all the local politics stuff. I think it is awesome that you are getting involved with all of that stuff. Our stake president here counseled everyone to get more involved in the community. Sounds like you are doing a good job.

This is Elder Parry's email home. I thought you might like to read it too.

Dear Family,

This last week was great! I don’t know where to begin! Today is Elder Arnold's 20th birthday! He is 240 months old!

Happy Birthday Amy! Happy Birthday Emmaline! Happy Birthday Samuel! We will be having a baptism on Samuel's 31st birthday! Her name is Lexi Bechtloff, and she is 12 years old! Her dad Robert is NOT a member!
But her mom Roberta is a member, and is less active! Roberta's dad, Lexi's grandpa, Brother Hardin is a member, and he and Sister Hardin are going on a mission to Martin's Cove, and they report there on the 24th of April! The funny part of the whole situation is that Brother Hardin's first name is Dennis. But his wife, Sister Hardin has a VERY VERY unusual name! Her name is, and when I heard this, I was laughing exceedingly hard! I still laugh about it today! Her name is, oh its so funny! Her name is Michael Ann, but she goes by Mikey! So, on the ward list, it says: "Hardin, Dennis and Michael"! So, Samuel, Amy and Emmaline, consider this baptism a birthday gift from me! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Also, Stephen Greer is a convert of a few years, and he is going on a mission to the Spokane mission, and reports to the MTC on Wednesday, 04/11. His brother Jeremy is 16, and he was just baptized on January 8! He too is a strong convert! He gave a talk yesterday with a great, strong testimony!

Also, on Saturday morning, we helped a family in the Anaheim 10th Ward move! WORST DAY EVER TO MOVE!!!!! Why? Because it was raining! When it rains in Southern California, It pours! I thought the Lord had broken the promise of his when he said there will be NO more floods, because it rained SO hard! But it rained, rained, rained! "The Rains came down, and the floods came up!" We woke up, we did NOT shower, I just wore my pajamas, a shirt, and my hoodie, and still that was NOT enough! When we got there, NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING was packed! The house looked like a bomb went off in that house! Elder Arnold and I spent 4 hours of our lives packing and unpacking the Penske Truck twice! Two pianos! The ramp on the back of the truck broke, so there was a big delay there! I was hungry, tires, cold, wet, and grumpy! But I did NOT let my grumpiness show!

We had Zone Conference on Wednesday, 03/14, and it was a great Zone Conference! It was the Anaheim East/Placentia Zone, and one of the Spanish zones in the mission! President Bowen is a wise man, and I LOVED his words! I took a lot of notes! President Bowen said: "Love you too. It was so good to be with you in Zone Conference. You are a rock!"

One quick funny story! We went to the Relief Society birthday dinner on Thursday night! While there, I met Sister Greene, She said: "It is nice to have you here with us!" Meaning with us in the ward. I was so uncomfortable and nervous and I was NOT paying attention to what I was saying, and I said: "It is nice to have you here with us too!" About 10 or 15 seconds later, I realized what I had said, and I felt SOOO STUPID! I went into the restroom and got all the laughter that I could out! I am soo retarded! But at the same time, it was so funny!

Well, I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

Love, Uncle Al Pal

Monday, March 12, 2012

Welcome Elder Parry!

Well we have had a really great week. It left me exhausted at the close of each day. I am pretty much ready to go to bed right after we finish planning at 9:30.

We had a 90 year old man come to church with us yesterday. We tracted into him and he said he would be interested in coming to church. The Sunday school lesson was on temple and family history work which was perfect for him to hear about. He wants to start doing family history.

Stephen Greer gave his mission farewell talk which was super good. Most of his family is either less active or not members. So it was a really good missionary opportunity to have them all at sacrament meeting. And to top it off one of the high council members gave a very powerful talk on his conversion and how he went on a mission. Super awesome.

We went to a baptism that Elder Parry helped teach yesterday. It was really cool to go to that baptism. One cool thing that happened this week was a lady I gave a card to got baptized. About two weeks after I left the Yorba Linda 5th ward she called the missionaries to come teach her. Her husband was an extremely less active member and on the do not contact list. I guess he bore his testimony last week at church and it was powerful. I am grateful the Lord let me play a small part in helping that family.

We taught a crazy guy this week named Fred. Here is what Elder Parry wrote about it:

Also, Saturday was an interesting day. We were on our way to the leasing office, and a man came up to us, and asked us questions. We ended up teaching him the first lesson, and he was NOT all there mentally. His name was Fred, and he told us that he was raised by Keebler Elves, and that mankind went with Elves, and then Vikings, and then Aliens. He kept saying the word sexy, and besides that, he didn’t have very clean language! I had a bottle of pink lemon-aid, and he said that we had sexy eyes, and that my pink drink was sexy! Every five or so words the word sexy was in his vocabulary! There was a man there at the park with his kids, and he said: "Are you having Bible study?" We said we were! When the man left, Fred said: "Was that Jesus?" We told him that it wasn’t Jesus. We invited him to pray, and he said: "No! I’m an Anti-Christ!" But he said he loved God! We invited him to read the Book of Mormon, and he said he couldn’t read. We told him that the Book of Mormon was on CD, and he could listen to it! He said: "NO! I want you to read it to me!" He kept sitting on the table, and Elder Arnold kept telling him to sit down on the bench. He also kept touching my pink drink!


Have a fantastic week!
Love,
Elder Arnold

Monday, March 5, 2012

Here we go again.

Hey!

Well the most exciting and pressing news is that I got a new companion. His name is Elder Parry! He is the man. He came out with me from the MTC. Funny thing is that he was companions with Elder Hansen in the MTC. I know Elder Parry really well because we have been in the same zone our entire mission. He is from Caldwell, ID. He is the 6th of 8 kids. He has a great sense of humor so we are going to have a funny transfer.

We went to the cheescake factory this week which was really good. I had a macaroni and cheese hamburger which was super delicious. A less-active member in our ward who is super rich took us. He drove us in his Audi A8 which has massage built into the car seats. Crazy!

We had a fun activity with the youth on Friday night. We played a bunch of minute to win it games. My team won of course haha. Then we played a jeopardy game with church questions. A lot of the kids invited friends so it was a really good missionary activity.

We had some super delicious Brazilian bbq this week. Some members just moved in that are from Brazil and their daughter just turned 8 so they are having us teach her to get her ready. So before a lesson they made us dinner and boy was it good. The made us eat so much that I was just stuffed but it was even better than Tucanos. Awesome!

Alright I love you all,
Elder Arnold

Yesterday it was 92 degrees. That is way hotter than it has been lately. Pretty crazy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pray for missionary opportunities

February 27, 2012

We had ward conference this week which was really great. The stake leaders really focused on missionary work throughout the whole conference. During ward council President Francis showed a clip from the Preach My Gospel dvds that I have seen a million times. So that was way cool. During President Francis' talk he gave five things we could do this week to share the gospel. The first thing he said was to pray for missionary opportunities. Later that day we had lunch with Bro. Beardsley who was the last ward mission leader and a convert to the church. He is a super spiritual man. His remark about the advice to pray for missionary opportunities was that a lot of members won't do it because they know they will then get them and they are too scared of that. There is just something in us that we have to overcome in order to share the gospel even though it is scary.

We talked about how there are 50,000 people in our ward boundaries. A general authority came and talked to the stake and said that based on the parable of the lost sheep that at least 1% of people are ready to be rescued by the good shepherd. That means there are 500 people in our ward that are ready to be baptized. We just need to overcome our fear and start sharing.

Just tons of awesome stuff is happening. I went on splits with our district leader this week. He had kind of a funny tracting approach.
He told one man that we are doing a survey of things that bring happiness. That led to a pretty good conversation so that was good.
One of my favorite things to do when tracting is tell people that they look like they would be a good Mormon. That usually surprises them.

Take Care,
Elder Arnold