Sunday, December 22, 2013

Living close to the spirit in becoming a better missionary

Letter #17
 December 16, 2013
Area: Broadway 3 North
Companion: Thomas

Hey guys! This week went by really fast too, but it has been good. As I already told you, we had our Christmas Conference on Wednesday, but it really feels like that was a few weeks ago... This week I spent a little time almost every day reading in Jacob 5 studying it in depth and I never understood it as well as I do now. I never realized that it is basically the history of the world and God's dealings with it. I have concentrated a lot on thinking of how I can be more like Christ and especially become a better missionary throughout this week.

This last week has been very difficult in some ways, but amazing in others. We went contacting a lot, but didn't get very many people who were interested in listening... But last week we had decided to talk to a lot of members to see when they would be available this last week because we wanted to actually get members set up for lessons. When we went out this week, we had almost no lessons planned for the days that members said they would be available. Through the week we had the hand of the Lord with us because we only had one member that we had to cancel on--we got lessons with all of the other members! Really felt rewarding, though I know it is because of our diligence and the Lord's blessing being poured down because of this.
We also saw a few other miracles happen throughout the week during Hour of Power and when we were contacting referrals. We were knocking doors during Hour of Power and we weren't really finding anyone that was interested, but we found a man later that day that let us in and was talking to us about his past experiences with missionaries. It turns out that he has talked to missionaries for about 4 years, but it has been about a year since he's seen them. He said he would love to have the missionaries over again and the only reason that he hasn't come to church is the fact that he and his family are kind of "stuck" in their ways. There is potential for us to help him along his pathway of getting 'unstuck'. Then on Saturday we went around contacting the referrals we've been given, and we went to the wrong house and found a former investigator! He said he would love to have us come back, so we set up an appointment with him for this next week.
I love you guys and you better be all together on Christmas when I call :P 
I almost forgot to mention, on Saturday I used the fact that we didn't know who was leaving to get a few less-actives to come to church! :) But that night we found out that I'm getting transferred tomorrow.

Here are a few pictures while I was serving here is the Broadway 3 North area:
Zone leaders with us serving a dear sister.

When you want something to happen, you need to...

Letter #16
 December 9, 2013
Area: Broadway 3 North
Companion: Thomas

Well, it seems like you guys had a good week, for the most part, except maybe Angie :P Well, I have had a great week too, but man did it fly by... :) Yes it has been cold, but luckily we still haven't gotten rain during this cold front...whew.

1) Well this week has been pretty full of finding, teaching lessons, and in the rescuing of less active members, but really we haven't taught many less-actives this week because they weren't home whenever we tried. We actually got our second-highest number of 'lessons for a week' this week. And, we got 6 new people who we taught, and almost all of them seem really prepared to hear the gospel and follow the steps they need to to become a member! While we would knocking on doors, we found a guy and it turns out that his wife is in prison and about to be deported because she doesn't have papers to be here. He invited us in and we got to teach him the first part of the Restoration.  Sadly we couldn't teach him since, but we have another appointment set with him for later this week :) We ended up having 5 lessons just in the last 2 days because we were on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, but instead of having one companionship in each area, we were all in my area, so we got to find and teach people in 2 places at once!
2) hahaha, Mom, Lilian is the mom of the family from Honduras, and now living here. And yes, we have gone back to teach those people, but we think that Lilian isn't coming to church because her husband doesn't want her to... We invited her to church and even had a member set up and she was perfectly fine coming and taking her whole family too, but she apparently called and cancelled the ride saying her husband would take her.  It's too sad when one spouse is receptive and the other one isn't.  It makes it hard for the one that really would like to attend church and find out more:(
And actually, Pablo is a guy that we have been teaching ever since the 1st or 2nd week I've been here. He is a man that has known about the church for 40 years and has talked with missionaries many times in the past. We have taught him almost everything, but he still doesn't feel ready.  We continually tell him to read the Book of Mormon and pray, and come to church and everything, but he still isn't doing it... He recently started dating a member who is also a divorced person and he is planning on marrying her, but we just found out about his plan to move in with her in January because she doesn't mind. :  (sadly she hasn't been to church in about 6-7 months because of work, and moving in together isn't conducive to gospel principles,...). So we talked to him about the Law of Chastity and asked him to follow that commandment. We'll have to see if he commits and carries through.
3) Well, my Spanish is good enough that I can say practically everything that I would want to say in a lesson, and even if I can't say exactly that, I can usually say it in a more round-about way to make it work out still. I am definitely still learning, and I know of a ton of stuff that I want to learn, so I know that I will keep studying it until the end of my mission. Sadly, when we miss Spanish study, Elder Thomas doesn't want to go back in and study it, so we have only done that once or twice, and we have missed a lot of Spanish study time...

This week I have really learned a lot about how sometimes when you want something to happen, you need to get down on your knees and ask. The guy that I was talking about whose wife is in prison, we found him behind the 2nd door we knocked that day :) That morning I specifically prayed to have us be led to somebody we could teach because we don't have very many people, then that happened. Now I ask every morning for our Father to lead us to somebody who we can help or talk to.  The blessings are amazing, and we really haven't had to knock as much--like yesterday, we had every hour after church scheduled with a lesson. Sadly, some lessons got cancelled that day or fell through, but we had the thought to go try some people that weren't ones of our backup lists and it worked out. We had the opportunity to teach a family of 3 yesterday, and I really think it is because we showed God that we were willing to plan out what we would do and pray to be led to people who would hear us. 

Another interesting thing that I learned while studying this week is about the power of faith/priesthood. It is actually found in Jacob somewhere in the first 4-5 chapters and it says that if we have faith and hope that something will happen, then ask God to do it, it will happen. We have the same power as the people in ancient times and we can say to the mountains "move" and it will happen, same with basically everything else. When I read that, I just thought of the Bible videos that are online and the ones that were shown last night at the Christmas devotional and how I have the same power to do those miracles--it just depends on my faith and the faith of the one being healed. :)
Note: here is the link for the 2013 Christmas Devotional that Elder Dye spoke about:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Insightful Thoughts

Letter #15
December 2, 2013
Area: Broadway 3 North
Companion: Thomas

Well, mom and dad, no, you never did tell me what you were doing with the Heims, you just said you were planning something great :P and why didn't we ever do that before? that sounds fun.  (We were invited to Grand Cayman Island).

It sounds like everyone has had a great Thanksgiving week, but for us, Thanksgiving as I've never had it before.... we got way fewer lessons and found out that some of the people that we were visiting were going to be in Mexico until after the New Years. It was difficult to teach people when there was nobody to teach and our lessons kept cancelling and when we were only getting out of the house at about 4-5 hours each day... At least we had all of Thanksgiving off as a P-day, so we got to spend time with the other missionaries and eat with a member. But sadly, unlike Shanny, we didn't have pie, which made me sad, I was looking forward to pie...(note: Shannon's family had 13 in attendance at Thanksgiving, with 15 pies!)

Well, even though we weren't teaching much this week, we did go and knock a lot of doors and find a lot of possible people to teach, and we placed a few copies of the Book of Mormon. We really needed the Tender Mercies of the Lord, and we got some really nice ones, here is one that is more memorable:

    On Saturday we tried everyone that we could go visit and we had already knocked doors for about 2 hours, making it so we really didn't know what to do. It was a little before 8 and we had an appointment soon, so we went in the direction of our investigator's house. And then while we were heading that direction, he cancelled on us, saying that he wouldn't be home by 8, so we ended up just stopping near his house and thinking of who we could go see. We were there for a few minutes just thinking, then an idea popped in my head that we could try calling a guy that we met knocking last week and haven't been able to teach him. We called, and it went straight to the answering, that was disappointing... We decided to go over and see if he was home anyway, so we went over there, and his son answered the door. His son is about 27ish and we talked to him about the Book of Mormon, and we even left him a copy :) It turns out that his dad was going to be in Mexico until about Tuesday, so we set up an appointment with them for this week and we are going to teach at least his son, who is really interested.

This week I've learned quite a bit as I continued reading a little from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and The Fourth Missionary. I just finished the second-last chapter in 2 Nephi and there are so many awesome things in the chapters right before it. One thing that I found was a couple of chapters before it, and it was about the descendants of Nephi. It said something like the gospel will be brought to his posterity and it will remind them of their fathers and of the beliefs of their fathers and it really hit me because I've been called to do exactly that, to bring the gospel to his descendants.  Here is all of 2Nephi chapter 29, and then followed by Chapter 30 thru verse 6.
 Also a funny thing that I found is a simplified version of the Lord of the Rings (in a way, it really reminded me of that story) in Mark 5:4-21. I really got a good laugh out of those verses :) And I've really been working on my mindset through the week trying to become more like the "fourth missionary".

Hey Carolyn, I wanted you to know that I got your announcement today. I still think its weird that my little sister is all growed up and she is getting married...
until next week,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

All that God has can be ours!

Letter #14
November 25, 2013
Area: Broadway 3
Companion: Thomas

Okay, so, I, like mom, have felt like this week flew by! Tuesday we had exchanges with my district leader, so I led our area for the first time and I was with another guy who was with me in the Mexico MTC, so I really had to know where to go and what to do... We ended up planning and doing really everything way better than I usually do, which felt good.  We had to stay on top of things if we wanted to be able to do things right. It was good to be super productive with Elder Petersen. I know that planning thoroughly does help to reap the blessings that the Lord has waiting to His obedient ones.  I do feel that our companionship study suffers some..I guess there is always each day to do better than the day before.

Other than that, the week really hasn't been too interesting. We were contacting a lot, but the main difference this week was that we had Zone Conference. Our zone, area in the mission, gets all together, and we had kinda classes with the Mission President, his wife, and the Assistants. In the first meeting, where we started the conference, we talked about how other churches believe in the trinity and how confusing it is for the congregations.  Also, how blessed we really are to be able to truly know our God-- who He is and who we are in relation to Him :).  And that the Godhead is made up of three distinct beings: God, our Heavenly Father; Jesus Christ, our Savior & Redeemer, and is the Son of God; and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit.   For the class with the Mission President, we had to study a talk called "The Fourth Missionary". In that talk, there are four kinds of missionaries you can be. And really it talks about the four kinds of people you can be, so I want you all to read it when you have time, it really is a good talk. Through this week I have been thinking about that talk [the fourth missionary] a lot, and I have been more aware of the kind of person I am being and where my thoughts and heart are. I have also been reading in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi, around chapter 26ish where it is an Isaiah chapter, and I realized how 'blinded' Satan has made people in this world....these words clearly foretells plainly what Joseph did and went through. To be exact, Isaiah 29 talks about the Book of Mormon coming forth, speech coming from the dust (in other words being brought out of darkness into light...being revealed) and how it will be brought forth by an unlearned person..Joseph, who had little formal education, yet was called by God to bring forth the translation of ancient text..  As I learned those things, I really started reflecting on myself and what I might be missing that is in plain sight, at least plain sight for me, meaning my thoughts and feelings. I have tried to think of how I can be the "fourth missionary", the one who is changed significantly from his mission and truly consecrates himself. In the talk there is an interesting observation mentioned, there are the people who give up time, money, and food, or really whatever else they have, but really it is Sacrifice because what we are giving up are really already God's. We know we will be blessed immensely if we sacrifice things, but consecration isn't just sacrifice! It is giving up the only things that God doesn't have--our mind and our heart!  When we give those up, it makes all the difference!! We give up ourselves to God and He gives us everything--don't you think that's worth it? Giving up everything that we have, both of the things we truly own (our mind and heart), and then receiving everything He has in return!  Moses 1:39  God says, "For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."  All that God has can be mine... I think that is the best deal ever made, and I am trying my best to do exactly that.

I love you guys so much, and congratulations to you, Kimmie, on the pregnancy,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye