Monday, February 25, 2013

Embarrassing stories…

Hey!

Well another great week preaching the gospel! 

Kinda funny story of the week. Well somehow I was able to pry out Elder Walker's most embarrassing stories of his life. Believe me the word pry is appropriate because it took a lot of persuading but it was worth it because they were pretty hilarious. He said that he never had an embarrassing moment until he got a girlfriend; now he has lots of good ones. Kinda funny that we were having this discussion because of what happened last night. Kinda embarrassing and kinda gross. Be warned for the lighthearted and light stomached. We had a pretty late lunch after church and our meetings. We had a big thing of salmon left in the fridge that I promptly chowed down on. Then shortly after that we went to our dinner appointment. They were a really cool couple that fed us some delicious pasta. I started off by drinking some sparkling cider bubbly. Tasted good but probably wasn't the best first layer in the stomach. Ate a bunch of dinner that made me really full. Went and shared a message in living room and then had dessert served. A super huge piece of really really rich chocolate cheesecake with a full glass of milk. The first bite was really good and then it was just torture. Somehow I managed to squeeze it all down until I came to the last bite. The dad hadn't finished his last bit either so I thought I was going to be ok to not eat it. But that last little bite was staring me down. It was challenging me to finish it and I couldn't turn down that dare. After I ate it I was done for! I knew I had to get out of there as soon as possible. They asked me to say the closing prayer which was perfect because I could use the short prayers I always so masterfully offered as a kid when I was really hungry. We were about out of there when they offered some water bottles to go. My comp accepted and I was dying inside. Noooo! We got to go. Finally we had the bottles and I shot out of the apartment and down the stairs. Finally able to relieve my stomach in the nearest dumpster. Phew. Most embarrassing situation of all time barely averted but still kind of embarrassing.

We got sushi on Monday :)

Love you all,
Elder Arnold

After hearing that mowing the lawn release chemicals in the grass that makes people feel happy and relaxed, Matthew said: We go to a lady house who lives in the ward on Fridays usually and mow her lawn. It is pretty small so it is just enough to make one nostalgic but not enough to be super hard work. I am always super excited to cut the lawn.

Pretty crazy that there is going to be an Irvine mission. Guess we did such a good job here they had to make it a mission. :) I am pretty sure it won't happen until after I am done so no worries.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Love God

February 19, 2013

Hey!

Well another great week flies by! We were able to set up some great things for this coming week and are excited about the work we have going. 

I spoke in zone conference this last week on Valentine's day! I think you might find some of my comments interesting. I talked somewhat about motivation in missionary work. We are motivated by different things. Some of these things are fear, wanting a reward or blessing, duty and love. We get up in the morning for fear that the APs will come knock on our door. We go out to find people so that our numbers will look good. We keep knocking doors because we feel duty bound to God and will feel guilty if we stop. The most powerful motivation is the love of God and our fellowmen.  Perhaps that is why it is the first and great commandment. I have worked the hardest in my mission when I have felt the love of our Father in Heaven and I want to do His work. I shared a scriptural example of this in Alma 4:3-5, 9-10 the people are awakened to a remembrance of their duty and begin to establish the church more fully. A year later the church begins to fail in its progress and falls into wickedness. They are only motivated by duty so it doesn't last. In 4 Nephi 1:15 the people have the love of God in their hearts so the church stays strong for 200 years. A striking contrast. Fitting that my remarks centered on love on Valentines Day :)

Hopefully I didn't bore you. I remember not really liking to read gospel comments in missionary’s letters home. I was just like: get to the action. haha. 

I don't know if I have ever really written very much about one of our investigators named Natalie. She is 16 and has been investigating the church for like 8 months now. She ran up to missionaries at a park and told them she wanted to get baptized. She was coming to church and wants to get baptized but her mom is vehemently opposed to it. Sad day. But we still meet with and teach her. She is super awesome and so filled with faith. She finished the Book of Mormon on Christmas Eve and started crying because it meant so much to her. Anyway, getting to the action story of the week: we texted her to set up an appointment and we got a kinda scary text back. She said that she had heard some stuff on the news and read some articles that she didn't think she could ever be Mormon. Uh oh not the thing you want to hear as a missionary. I sent her another text reminding her of what she had felt and the Book of Mormon. She said that she would always love the people and the Book of Mormon and that she had tried to forget what she had heard but she couldn't get over it. It is funny because we were texting back and forth while I was reading from the Book of Mormon and I came across this verse that very night Helaman 16:22. Fitting. Well I bore my testimony via a 6 part text. I told her that early on in my mission I had heard some stuff that really shook me; that I even prayed to know if I should stay on my mission. There were some things that really helped me. Getting answers from back home to clarify what I had heard, but also more importantly, the peace that the Spirit whispered to me as I prayed about it. I bore my testimony: I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I feel it in my heart. We got a short text back: I believe you. I still felt the spirit when I read that. I will keep praying. It was so awesome to get that text! It is cool that even via text people can feel the power of the Holy Ghost. I love this Church and this work! There is such peace and light that comes into your life from it. I would do anything for my Father in Heaven. 

Hopefully that was a better action story! Haha. Love ya!
Elder Arnold

Blast from the Past


February 11, 2013

Hey!

I got to go to a baptism in the Anaheim 6th ward on Saturday and it was so awesome. It was for Jen Atchelay. She is married to a member named Ray. I taught her every week for 6 months while I was in that ward. She was catholic and planned on staying that way. She had never come to church before and would always say she would come but then never come. Elders in the past had really pushed baptism and wanted her to pray about it a bunch. She told them she had a couple signs that she should stay catholic like after she prayed she looked up and saw a picture of Mary and stuff like that. So while I was there we showed them movies and had basic gospel discussions. The one step of progress she made while I served there was she came to church my second to last week in the ward. We twisted her arm and it was Mother's Day so it was perfect and she came and loved it and never stopped going. The Elders have been working with her for the past year to break a lot of habits and get her ready for this last weekend. It was so cool to see lots of hard work by a lot of people pay off and see how amazing it was for their family. They seemed so happy. It was a perfect baptism. Except she had to get baptized twice ;)

Going to that baptism was incredible. It made me realize how the small things do bring about great things; that no effort is wasted. I love this work. I love the Lord and would do anything for Him and His children here. 

Love you all!
Elder Arnold

Bye Elder Wadsworth


February 4, 2013

Hey!

Well we had transfers here again in the California Anaheim mission. Elder Wadsworth is heading back to the Vietnamese program. He was a great companion and I am going to miss him a ton. I am not even sure I told you very much about him. He was from Orem. He actually played tennis for Orem High his senior year. His dad was President of Tahitian Noni and was a mission president in Vegas. He taught me so much. One of my favorite things that he taught me was to enjoy whatever you are doing. He used the parable of the haunted corn maze. Either you can go through the maze acting too cool to be scared and not even have that much fun or you can just get into it and allow yourself to be scared and you will have a blast. I love that attitude! 

My new companion is Elder Walker from Rexburg, Idaho! Yay! He seems really awesome. I don't know him too well yet but that will change soon.

Love you all!
Elder Arnold

Questions Help


January 28, 2013

Hey!

So all is going well here in Irvine! It rained a little bit this last week which was a nice change of pace. Now it is back to being nice and sunny. 

Stuff that happened this week: We went to visit one of our investigators that is going through a 12 step program. For the second step she made a list of questions about God that she wants answers to and is asking different people that she knows. We got to be the first ones to answer. When we have a lesson with her it is hard because she likes to talk a lot. Filling out these questions with her was great because she had to take notes on what we were saying. So a few questions were how do you pray and what do you believe happens after we die? These were awesome questions to answer. Each one was like a mini question and it was stuff she actually wanted to learn for herself and not just stuff we were telling her. Awesome.

I have also been reading through the Book of Mormon with different questions and I highlight the answers I find. So last month I read it looking for the characteristics of Christ. Then I wrote up a couple of paragraphs about what I learned. It is way cool because you can focus on something that you want to learn. It is making reading the Book of Mormon way exciting. 

Love you guys!
Elder Arnold

Do a Good Turn Daily


January 22, 2013

Hey!

Here are the highlights of the week!

We got to go to the temple today as a zone which was awesome. It is so spiritually refreshing. It was way cool because I bumped into a kid I went to Provo High with. His name is Jeremy and he was in my biology class my senior year. He is a way chill kid. He is leaving on his mission to Arizona next week. He sat on my same table in Biology and we had tons of fun together. We made a rule that our table was a no swearing table and signed a little constitution. haha. I was so confused when I first saw him. It was way hard to place the familiar face after 3 years. Way cool though!

We helped a kinda crazy guy move yesterday. We had talked to him before because he is way into some eastern religious movements and wanted to "enlighten" us. haha. But we went back yesterday and he was moving so we helped him load up the truck and get him ready to go. He hosts a radio show a couple of nights a week on his religious thoughts and stuff. We are probably going to get to call into the show and talk about what it is like to be Mormon. That would be cool. 

We taught an atheist polish guy yesterday which was way cool. I had sat down with him once before like 10 minutes and felt like I made little progress answering his unrelated questions and concerns. This time we really tied everything back to the restoration as we went through the first lesson. He liked the idea of doing an experiment and seeking out truth. He is willing to read the Book of Mormon. He has such a nice young family that the gospel and church would help so much. 

Love you all,
Elder Arnold