Thursday, July 24, 2014

Self Reflection and applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Letter #47
July 21, 2014
Area: Broadway Central
Companion: Petersen

Hey guys, it sounds like you all have been having a great week, and I had one as well. :) We ended up changing the focus in our area a little bit because we have been having a hard time finding new people and teaching in general. We are starting to focus a little more on the temple because we got the notification a few weeks ago that we need to teach lesson 5 before baptism and we have been pondering on that announcement. We have met with a few more less actives and recent converts and have tried to set the goal of going to the temple with them. We have also started thinking about investigators eventually going to the temple, especially because this Saturday we had the opportunity to go to the temple with one of the recent converts in the area. It was the first time for both of us actually doing the ordinances, specifically confirmations. I lucked out and was doing the confirmations for the youth and all of them speak English, so I just did it in English, but then Elder Petersen did some converts who only speak was interesting because we already had a hard time pronouncing the Slovakian names, but then he had Spanish added onto that.
Youth temple trip to Houston Temple on July 19, 2014. Elder Petersen and myself with our recent convert.
           I have really been thinking through what I can do better as a missionary and companion this week, and as I have been working on myself, I have found more peace. Even though Elder Petersen still is doing the same things, I have been looking at it in a more open view. I know that sometimes the things aren't necessary, but even then, I just give him a small reminder and pray for him. Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend a Stake Priesthood meeting, and one of the counselors in the stake presidency talked about the "spirit of persuasion"(as talked about in the oath and covenant of the priesthood). He was relating it to parents trying to get the youth out on missions, but it is also used in general for doing what is right. I know that I can't change Elder Petersen, and quite frankly, I don't want to, but I will help remind him of what he needs to do and why.

Things are looking better in the area because we are putting more effort into it and trying to work it in the right way.

1) The ward helps because most are willing to come out. We are just hesitant to invite them out because we don't really have people to teach with them...
2) actually I haven't had a flat tire for a while--I guess God thought he has humbled me enough

I just wanted to mention something that I have learned as I have been out. When we are baptized, we covenant to always remember him and to follow his commandments. We are cleansed from sin through the Holy Ghost (see Mosiah 3:19) and not because we are immersed in water, though I do know that the immersion is representative of Christ death and resurrection and our giving up our sins and being a better, more righteous child. When we are baptized, we say that we are willing to take upon us His name. I won't give you all the answers, but I would encourage you and everyone else to think about these things:
1) if during baptism isn't when we take Christ's name upon us, when do we?
2) What does it truly mean to take Christ's name upon us?
3) What does this action, notice I say it's an action, mean/do in the eternal scheme of things (the plan of salvation)?
4) What does "enduring to the end" have to do with these things?

These are some things that I have learned a little about out here. I really love finally understanding a glimpse of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I know there is so much more than what I know. I have also been studying about the Atonement, and from the book Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage. I love understanding a little more about my Savior and what he has done for you and for me.

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Heavenly Father is aware of each of us!

Letter #46
July 14, 2014
Area: Broadway Central
Companion: Petersen

This week we made an effort to not fall back into our usual backups that weren't even good investigators. We finally got a new investigator by trying a person that Elder Petersen was scared of trying the whole time we have been together, it worked out great! The man we met was willing to have us come over again to teach him and was really nice. He is a good man, just a little lost in his ways, he ended up drinking a bottle of beer, then he pulled out a cigarette and smoked the whole cigarette, all while talking to us. He used to be a missionary for the Catholic church and was really active, but then he just stopped.

It is difficult working when your companion doesn't want to work as hard as he should, but I feel like Zone Meeting this week helped him because it helped him realize that he came out for the right reasons and is out here for good reasons, but his desire isn't where it should be, so recently he has been doing a lot of self-evaluation and it has helped us in the work. This week's Zone Meeting was centered on our personal testimonies/desire and teaching, it helped me as well because it required a lot of self-evaluation.

On Thursday we saw a delayed Hour of Power Miracle from last week. Last week, 4 people opened their doors, the first was a lost sheep found, the second gave us water, the third gave us a return appointment, and the last one we invited to church. We went back this Thursday to try the man who said we could come back(door #3), but he wasn't home, so we talked to the man we invited to church(door #4), who was outside at the time, and he said the English missionaries could come back, so we set them an appointment and got his contact information for them. We had the feeling that we should leave, so we went back to our bikes and a woman pulls up in her car and said "Hey, I need to talk to you!". She parked the car and said, "I think you are looking for me, I live in Apartment #13", (which was the number of the apartment of the man behind the third door that was opened). She proceeded to tell us that she just barely moved into the area about a week and a half ago and she was a member from a different state. She had talked to her bishop to have him send missionaries to her new place, but in a prior experience when she did this it took about a month. The miracle is that we got there like 3 days after she moved here and we never got notification that she had moved here. We just decided that Heavenly Father didn't want her to have to wait another month, so he put the idea in Elder Petersen's head a few days earlier that we should knock that apartment complex. I know that miracles happen, and that God allowed us to be a part of one these last two weeks!

Other than that, the struggles in the area are still here and I'm sure they will be fixed by just getting out and working because it seems like that is what's lacking...

1) my cold has gone away, just a lingering cough now :)
2) we met our new mission president; President Drake, but we haven't done interviews, he just talked with each companionship for about 5 minutes and then they talked with us all as a group and told us a little about themselves.
3) Well, yes I got the package, and no the tire liners haven't seem to help me.  I got a flat because the tire liners are apparently not made for slime tubes.  The slime makes a fiber-like thing that acts like a clot, a lot like blood/scabs. The liner slipped around a little and kept taking the little clot out of the hole, making the tire go flat, so I just took them out. They seem to be working on Elder Petersen's bike though, and I haven't had a flat recently, so I guess I'm fine.

Thanks for the advice everyone! And thanks for the updates on the kids, I would like pictures more often, but I think you would say the same :P

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A week that could have gone better...there is always next week

Letter #45
July 7, 2014
Area: Broadway 2 Central
Companion: Petersen

This week was pretty hard... It was a huge disappointment and a setback in our area. We both feel horrible for our lack of lessons, and want to do more. This week I got sick to the point that Elder Petersen would ask me to go lay down and sleep a little, but I would just start coughing harder and deeper as I was laying down. The past couple of days I have felt a little better, but the cough I have still lingers, so I got some juice with vitamin C in it and cough drops. I am not very concerned about being sick because I know that the Lord has a work for me to do and he will support me and be my strength when I can't do it on my own.
I feel like the lack of success isn't due to the sickness though, whenever we went outside and were working, I felt just fine, it was just when we were inside doing nothing that I would cough and have a stuffy nose. This week I mainly felt held back by internal challenges, well internal in that I feel that our companionship has been out of sync.  I don't know what else it would be. I know I haven't pushed us very hard to get out of our comfort zones and do our best.  I know that there is a sense of contention when I say that we should get going or do something other than what we are doing.   I feel that he would prefer to do anything then what I'm asking us to do...I have no idea what to do with him... If anything I want to put the blame on me first and take care of it, but it just isn't working because I know I am trying to do the best I can. It has been challenging because I really do love him, but I don't love what he is doing.  (He just isn't the same missionary as he was when we came out together.) I really want to help him, I just don't know what to do.

But on another note, 4th of July was just different...Hispanics, in this area, don't really celebrate it , so there wasn't very much of a celebration down here and we just went in an hour early.. It didn't feel like the 4th of July:(

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

PS: on top of my terrific week, the stupid post office sent the postcards that were meant for Angie and Mom back to me... So I'll just have to send them with a letter or package. :(  :(

Do flat tires discourage us? Nope!! Just our bank account...

Letter #44
June 30, 2014
Area: Broadway 2 Central
Companion: Petersen

It sounds like you all had a pretty good week, and had some fun with family and friendsThis last week has been good for our area, we had a few setbacks due to the rain storms early in the week, but despite that we still had progression. We worked hard to finally get a member present during out lessons this week because it has been hard in the past weeks--our hard work paid off. We had about 7 members willing to come out, and 3 or so lessons set up with a member, but only 1 worked for different reasons. We'll eventually will get there. We have been working to get our area to grow and progress; it has been hard, but worth it. In the last few weeks we have found a few families that have been progressing nicely, with very few problems, so we are expecting to have a few baptisms before the end of the transfer. 

I really don't know what to say still because I keep feeling like I don't do very much in the area, we end up getting out late and most of the time is spent just riding around. But the real miracle happened Sunday, even though we weren't able to get out until about 6:30pm, but we went over and talked to both of our solid investigator families.  The first we talked to about him and his "wife" getting legally married, which he has been wanting to do, then he offered us food off the grill. The other was actually thinking about calling to ask us if we could come over earlier in the day, but she forgot when we got there and they invited us in and we finally got to watch the Joseph Smith Video with them. They really liked the video and asked if we could meet again on Tuesday, but at the house of their member friend, so we set something up at 1 on Tuesday with them.  They then invited us to eat fajita with them. It was sadly already time to go, so we got the fajita and salsa to go. We were out for about 2 hours, got 2 lessons, and 2 small dinners :)

As for the questions:
1) The problems are from him doing track and cross-country, and injuries, the doctor said that he might have a slipped disc or something else, but since he has been out for such little time, they just tell him to care for it with icyhot and ice. If it is a slipped disc, he would be sent home for treatment, and he wouldn't be able to come back out for all I know...

2) the weather hasn't been that bad, it feels nice, but it is decently hot. It hasn't been bad this week because we have had rainstorms/cloud cover, but once the clouds are gone, it might be really humid

3) I have been taking some pictures here, but most of the ones I have are from my last area, but I still haven't sent them home. I will probably want to send a small package home with the memory card and the Texas spoon I got. Yes, I found one :P We went to Walmart on Saturday because I got a flat tire (again) and had no good patches, so we ended up buying a "slime" tube and that spoon.

4) The bank charges were from us stopping in a place to get some patches, where I got patches, more chain cleaner/lube, and I got a frisbee because the store we go to on PDay doesn't have frisbees and I have been wanting one..

5) Tire liners? what's that? I guess I'll find out when mail comes. but thanks again!

We are going to meet our new mission president this Wednesday, this will be interesting.

1)  picture of the sky which reminds me of some that dad has taken before
2) we found some bears
3) we rode the bears :)

Love you all, 
Elder Stanley Scott Dye