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Monday, April 29, 2013

Elder Inman Letter April 29, 2013

This week was a busy week (as always)! For whatever reason I haven't been sleeping well all week. Lots on my mind I guess? Not sure, but either way I was exhausted allll week. On Tuesday I finishe reading the New Testament beginning to end! That was a super neat experience and now I feel better prepared when teaching the Bible Scholars around here. Now I need to finish the Book of Mormon before the Transfer is over (May 13)! I'm currently in Helaman 5 so I need to read about 12 pages a day :P Anyways, we did a bit more service this week! As the weather gets warmer, there are more and more projects to do. On Tuesday we raked leaves for Sister Barnett and then she cooked us dinner, She makes the best roles ever!
On Wednesday, our apartment was inspected by the Senior Couple missionaries. Luckily Elder Nay (our District Leader) gave us a heads up the night before so we had a spotless apartment! Haha. We fasted ALL DAY Wednesday. Mike Bias (our eternigator) said he would be home on Wednesday. So we fasted for a baptismal date and to have the Spirit. We walked around Twin Bridges for hours and he was never home. He was out fishing -__- That was frustrating. He's been hiding from us!
Thursday was sweet! We left Sheridan about 6:30AM for Helena which is about a 2 hour drive. The Dillon Elders picked us up. It was Zone Conference which is a big meeting of several zones. The Mission President, his wife, the AP's and 2 other zones were there (Boseman and Great Falls). On the way up to Helena we saw a $6 Million home...there are lots of those up here! Zone Conference was from 9-4..yeah. Long day. But I got to meet new Elders and Sisters, so it was fun! At the end they issued our new bikes! They look like they will last through the Millenum haha they are made by "Giant" and have 7 gears. They are actually $500 bikes and we only had to pay $300 so that's a blessing. Been a while since I've had a new bike! Although we haven't got to ride them yet since E. Villejo didn't get a Helmet yet -__- After Zone Conference we went to the Good Samaritan Thrift store, goodwill, and Ross haha there were al ot of missionaries there! On the way home we got Subway. All the ride home I was messing with Elder Nay. I convinced him he wasn't a man unless he ate an entire orange. Peel and all. So he ate it like an apple because I, "challenged his manhood." He gagged through it and ate it all! The next day he called me and informed me that the peel apparently had a lot of Fiber haha.
Away from that, I got the package from home! It was great to have Torie's Prom pictures, Jesse in his coon hat, and Mom's sweet Armour of God Costumes! How long did those take? Oh! Mom and Dad, I don't have ANY pictures of Lacey at all. Or the whole family. So if possible, could you send me some of those? Thanks!
On Saturday I hauled a lot of wood for the first time in my life! Brother Morgan, our ward mission leader, is already stocking wood for the winter. So we went out into the woods and he would chainsaw trees while Elder Villejo and I would haul the cut logs of wood into a big trailor. Good workout! Also got to see an actual tree fall and yell "Timber" haha that was pretty sweet. Some of the logs we were lifting were a good 60 pounds! Then the Morgans had us over for lunch in the woods. We roasted Hot Dogs on an open fire right next to a beautiful creek. Got some sweet pictures. Later on, we visited Gene! He's been reading! He said he's about 1/3 of the way done. What was interesting is that he is a History Major, and he told us that the Book of Mormon was historically accurate and that it matched his in-depth research of early exploration of the America's. So if anything, he is accepting the Book of Mormon has a history book! We hope he will get the spiritual aspect out of it, but hey it's a start!
I don't know what it is about Sundays, but they are just the best. We had hoped Gene would show up but he didn't. However....something better happened. A guy named Ryan Madison showed up out of no where. Bishop Breakall had given this guy a Book of Mormon months ago and has really been his friend. Ryan has a rough history and apparently is facing some legal charges. However, sometimes that is what it takes to be teachable! Humility! Anyway, Bishop invited him to church. He stayed ALL THREE meetings! That NEVER happens! Elder Villejo and I felt inspired to teach him a discussion instead of Priesthood. SO we asked him and he agreed. We went into a storage closet (the only open room) and taught the Restoration to him with Brother Morgan present. It was incredible. The spirit was immense. We asked if he would be baptized and he said he would think about it. He grew up Catholic and his wife is somewhat anti from what we could tell. It was so cool! Our teaching pool doubled (from 1 to 2)! Haha After church we went on splits to try and visit some less actives...yeah that didn't work. But we tried! For dinner we went to the Vials and I had Mule Deer for the first time. So good (if cooked right from what I hear).
Thanks for sharing your mission stories dad! I'm hoping to have a baptism here soon but since we are opening up a new area, we had to start from scratch! I'm staying healthy and the weather ranges from the 40's-upper 60's (perfect!). I've also grown a bit...I had to get my pants lengthened! Luckily not widened. Oh and as of May 1st we don't have to wear our suit coats! Thank goodness. Mom, could you send me some short sleeve shirts? About 3-4 would be good! I think my neck size is 16 1/2 or 16 3/4? Couldn't tell ya haha.
Good job on your band performance Torie! I'm proud of you! Fun story, Elder Villejo's sister just won 1st place in a singing competition for all the islands of Hawaii! Each island had a mini competition to select the best singer to represent the island and then there was one big competition for one winner of all the islands. His sister won!
Sorry, I know this one is long but I have a spiritual thought from my journal:
"Alma 49: Strengthen and Fortify (4/24/13)
Today in personal study I read all about Captain Moroni. Under the evil King Amalikiah, the Lamanites, Zoramites, and Amalakiahites were commanded to wage war on the Nephites so that King Amalikiah could rule both civilizations. The Zoramites (who knew the Nephites best) wanted to attack the weaker cities of Moronihah and Noah because they had 'hitherto' done so with success. It mentions Lamanites being, "dissapointed" 3 times and being "exceedingly astonished" 4 times. When they had reached these cities, they beheld that Moroni had built a wall tall enough that the Lamanites arrows would have no effect. In the city of Noah, "Moroni had fortified, or had built forts of security, for EVERY city round about;." Verse 14 reads, "the city of Noah which had hitherto been a weak place, had now, by the means of Moroni, become strong...."
I found it interesting that earlier in verse 10 it talks about Amalikiah (like Satan) would have sent his armies through the fortifactions anyway because he did not care for the blood of his people. It wasn't until now that I realized how much application this has. The weakest places that had previously been conquered, had now been fortified, had a body of the strongest men, swords, scimitars, and slings to "smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security...(vs 20)." Are we fortifying our weak places where Satan has had success before? We need to fortify and strengthen our weaknesses enough to astonish and disappoint Satan.
Have an awesome week!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Elder Inman Letter April 22, 2013


Some crazy stories this week. On Tuesday it was FREEZING outside (12 degrees) with high winds. We got a call from Sister Smith (who we've done a lot of service for). She wanted us to do some work for her and we told her it was way to cold to work outside. But she didn't think it was cold so she insisted haha. We ended up raking 2 really big flower beds and over-filled a large trailer with all the branches and dead plants that we raked up. We were there from about 12:30 to 4:45 in the freeeeezing wind. I was frustrated if you can't tell haha. And I ended up ripping my jeans so that just added to it :) On a happy note, dinner was legit! Sister Stalder cooked us 18oz steaks, corn, yams, cornbread and ice cream! (That is why I am getting fat).

Wednesday we went to the second-hand store called "Reruns." I found a sweet Jacket and a pair of jeans for a total of $4! So I was pretty stoked, I need those for service projects. Afterwards we visited James and he was outside again. He was depressed as usual but he said that he would start reading the BOM the next day before bed and he promised. So we were pretty excited about that...a few days later we checked back with him. We walk up to the door and the Book of Mormon is sitting outside on the porch with a bookmark in the second page of the Introduction to the BOM. We knocked on the door and held up the book and he said, "I was seized by an entity." He let us in and after further questioning and talking, his story goes as follows:
"I started to read the Book of Mormon before bed and fell asleep. I woke up to pee and something had me in an eagle claw (demonstrates him being choked) and it was the devil! I couldn't see him but it felt like I was going to die and I couldn't get up! Till eventually I sat up. I thought to myself, 'what did I do before I went to bed?' I remembered I started reading the Book of Mormon. So I put it outside because it invited in an evil spirit. It's not in harmony with the Bible and is just pagan doctrine. Honest to truth it scared me and I won't read it again!"
He explained this story about...hmmm...6 times or so with a demonstration each time. He's out of his mind. Either way we told him about how Joseph Smith was seized upon and that before any good thing, Satan does his best to interrupt. He wasn't buying it and said we were there pretty much to deceive "the elect of God." So....we dropped him. What's sad is he can't even blame it on the Book of Mormon because he only read to the second page of the introduction. So that was a bummer and semi-funny because the way he acted it out wasn't very convincing...but either way we decided to drop him.
Funny story...we had gone to see Mark Sullivant (a less active) and he was just getting home. He told us that he had locked himself out of his house. So for about a half hour we helped him break into his own house by turning (and breaking) the doorknob with a pipe wrench haha. That was sweet! After visiting with Mark we headed to Gene and found him doing calf raises on his front porch :) We gave Gene his 12x12 book of Mormon! And on Saturday he said he had started it and was on page 18 of 1 Nephi :D He also came to church Sunday! We were pretty excited about that. Church was good because we had ANOTHER mission farewell, this time by Sara Dustin who is going to the Philippines. It was High Councilman Sunday and there was a musical number so the spirit was really strong. Hoping that Gene enjoyed it and could here it. After we visited Gene on Wednesday we ate at the Godfrey's home. We had Viel (?) stew which is actually baby calf. I guess they raise beef cows but this calf had frozen legs so they killed it and we ate it! It was pretty good as sad as that it haha. The Godfreys collect a ton of anticques. They have a pump player piano that you pump with your feet and it plays itself! It uses scrolls for music, it's pretty interesting. I took a video of it :D

Did more sheet-rock for Brother Stockett. We actually enjoy it because it's exercise and it's different from the every day stuff. And Brother Stockett is super cool. He took us to the Garlands for dinner and we had Salmon, Codfish, and Swordfish! Im tellin ya, the meals here are incredible. We gave Sister Garland a blessing which was neat. She's probably in her late 60's or early 70's and has severe arthritus in her hips. I anointed this time :) Afterwards we got free haircuts from Sister Anderson! Jordan (her 19 year old son) was there and I guess he's moving to Butte...which is a bummer because he really needs to get reactivated. He's such a cool kid.

Sunday (as usual) was the best day of the week. Between the farewell, musical number, and Gene coming, the meeting was super good. Afterwards we ate at the Roylances (who yes, mom, he is related to Robert Roylance! But not directly). Elk and beef roast, home grown carrots, potatoes, good. The best part of the day was later that evening. Around 8 we went to see the Shammals. They are the couple that we visited on Easter and sang too. We didn;t have a discussion but talked about horses and bow hunting (which Brother Shammal LIVES for). He was so excited to show us all his saddles and bows and things like that. Something also neat was Roxanne (the non-member wife) was in Surprise this last weekend! And guess what part?! She said, "There was a Safeway on the corner and a big Catholic church on the other side? And Happy Trails trailer park and golf courses?" Haha! I told her that she was literally 5 minutes from my house! She was visiting family that lives in Happy Trails. But anyways, AFTERWARDS...we asked to leave with a prayer and I asked who they would like to say it. Brother Shammal said, "Well...I guess I'll take a shot at it." And he voluntarily gave the most beautiful prayer. The spirit was immense and he mentioned how he was simply happy that he was able to talk to the Elders about the things he enjoys. It's amazing how just loving your investigators can make a huge difference. So neat.
Last story, we visited the Wards again (the one's from Alaska who are extremely nice but don't want discussions). We sang to them and they loved it. The spirit was powerful as always and they invited us over for dinner sometime! Bonus!

Today we went to Butte! It's snowing pretty good there. Sister Stalder was nice enough to take us up there. We went to Walmart, Goodwill, and KFC. Fun day :) Well I hope you are all doing well! Good to hear that your knee is feeling better dad! I've been praying for you. Good luck Torie with your audition, you will do great! Just go with confidence and rely on the Spirit to help you play and comfort you! That's hilarious that Jesse picks a project that will improve his room haha but hey that's sweet! I'll have to look out for decorations he can put in there! They are everywhere up here!
Love and miss you all! I pray for you every day!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Elder Inman Letter April 15, 2013

What's good in the hood family?!

So many awesome things going on at home it sounds like! Busy busy! This week was actually probably our slowest! E. Villejo was sick on Tuesday with a migraine and was throwing up. So, while he napped I read scriptures alllllll the day long! Although I enjoyed it! Montana does online proselyting...meaning we can use Facebook for an hour of the day to reach those who would be to shy to take the discussions in person, and also to help the recent converts with uplifting messages. This month, we are having a "facebook fast" meaning that instead of online proselyting, we are reading the Book of Mormon. I love it. The goal is to finish it in a transfer (6 weeks) while at the same time doing personal study in the morning. In the morning I read the New Testament and right now I am in 1 Thessalonians. It has been so cool to read the Bible and BOM side by side because you see just how in perfect harmony they are! I started the Book of Mormon 2 weeks ago, and just got to Alma. For an hour a day, that isn't too bad :D I'm getting so much more out of it this time!

So Tuesday wasn't very productive. However, Wednesday was very productive! We visited Sister Bond (the part-indian that made Torie's doll), visited an inactive named Byrl Quilici, and visited our two investigators Gene and James. We have to have the most unique investigators in the mission haha. All Elder Villejo asked Gene was if he had ever been married. Gene starts out with, "Well it all started at my dad's funeral...". Totally unrelated stories and an hour and a half later, we found out he's never been married. He's 82. Quite the visit but at least he is comfortable talking to us. He said his Book of Mormon has "vanished." We told him "Don't worry we got a whole box." Haha. He had trouble reading the small print so we got him a 12x12 Book of Mormon haha it's enormous! Can't wait t give that to him! James is a sad story. He was extremely depresed when we visited him. He has had all kinds of aweful things happen to him and has never been married. He's the kind of guy that tries so hard to follow the bible with exactness that he's afraid to try anything that may confront it. Never been married, still a virgin (he tells us all this stuff), has had a brain tumor, skin cancer, kidney cancer, lives in a beat up home, no family, was ex-communicated for dissagreeing with the Jehovah's Witnesses, and wants to see the second coming before he dies. We promised him that the Book of Mormon would bring him everlasting happiness and that all those losses will be made up. He was thankful for our visit and still wants us to come back so we will! :) Have high hopes for him.

Friday we sheek-rocked with Brother Stocket some more! More so sanding all the putty. Sanding is A LOT of work but I love service projects! I was completely COVERED in white dust, my hair was white, and I had a mask on so only half my face was white haha it was awesome! Afterwards, we played darts with Brother Stocket! Took me a whole game to figure out I'm left handed at darts haha. Later that night we visited Sister Stalder who had lots of food for us :) She is a lifesaver! And we just talked about girls, marriage and all that fun stuff with her. She really knows what she's talking about!

It is currently freezing. Legitimately. It wouldn't be to bad if it weren't for the wind. This weekend it's been hailing/snowing/freezing rain with a 20mph wind. Not fun to tract in but we were missionary troopers! Friday Morning Sister Stalder made us pancakes, bacon, and eggs! Soooooooo good. And we visited Sister Jensen at the Jensen family grocery store. Sister Jensen has been through so much and we haven't got to visit her. Her husband has been standing trial for some things he's been accused for and he also just had his leg amputated :( She is going through hell. So she happened to be at the store and we talked to her for a few hours (no one was there). Such a sweet lady with so much faith.

Sunday was the SO AMAZING. Trisha Breakall (the Bishop's daughter) gave her mission farewell. It was extremely spiritual and brought back the feelings of my farewell. Her and her sisters sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" to the flute and piano. I was crying haha. I got to give a blessing of comfort Sunday as well. Sister Meeks (an older lady that we visit) came up to me after sacrament meeting, grabbed my arm and asked for a blessing after church. So we did :) And Sister Jensen (mentioned earlier) was who drove us, so she got hear the blessing as well. Sister Meeks was going through some difficult trials and after the blessing sister Jensen said it was a beautiful blessing that she would relate to herself. Such a cool experience. After church we were invited to her open house. There was about 50 people there and it was so much fun to visit with people. There were a few non-members as well! Great food an desserts as with any Mormon gathering. Elder Villejo and I stayed till everyone was gone and we talked with Trisha about how great it is to be a missionary. All of us had teary eyes and we sang Trisha, "God Be With You, Till we Meet Again." Classic. So that was our week! Still freezing but it beats the heat for sure!

Prom sounded like a blast! I want to see all the pictures! Of the kitchen, of Jesse, of the decorations, all of it! Torie looked BEAUTIFUL and Jensen looked like a stud! I'm so happy they both had a good time. The church is so neat that it does things like that. Dad, sorry you had to get surgery! That doesn't sound fun at all. I miss being able to help you out with all the yard work, believe it or not. Don't over-work yourself! Hope everyone is healthy otherwise! Send more pictures!

Sunday during Gospel Doctrine we had a lesson on trials. Brother Stockett (the one we help with sheetrock) gave the lesson. He is one of the younger families and has only lived here for about 6 months. He is a Juvenile Probation officer for the county. He told us something I will never forget. The difference between sympathy and empathy. He said that growing up he had some of the worst trials. I won't mention them but believe me when I say they were horrible. He said, "Sympathy is somewhat understanding what someone is going through. Empathy is having experienced what someone has been through and helping them get through it." He went on to say that as a juvenile corrections officer, he has EMPATHY for these kids. And because of the things he's been through, he's been able to help these kids. So sometimes our trials aren't meant for us. Yes, we will benefit from overcoming them. But sometimes our trials will be for the benefit of someone going through those same things later on. It's all a gran plan presided over by a supreme being. That just really hit me this week. That my trials will help someone else because I will have empathy for them.

Have an awesome week and sorry this one is so late in the day! Love you all!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Elder Inman Letter April 8, 2013

Hey family and friends!

E. Villejo and I just got back from the Senior Center. Sister Talbot (an older widow here) volunteers to cook at the Senior Center for 11 months out of the year! Such a great lady. Today she was short handed so E. Villejo and I helped out with preparing the food, serving the seniors (kind of like waitors) and washing the dishes. It was actually a pretty cool experience and we got some free tukey burgers out of it! :D Mormons seem to agree to anything if there is food involved. It was also a really good opportunity to get our names out there and for the seniors to see us giving service. Hopeing that might open some doors for us! So we did that from about 10:45 tillllllllll 1:30ish I think. Going back tomorrow!

What an awesome session of conference huh?! Lots of good stuff, I hope you all got to watch it or attend! This week seemed a bit slow as far as missionary work goes. Not a lot went on but still had some good experiences. Transfers were last week so the mission in general has been kind of hectic with new missionaries coming in and old missionaries leaving. E. Villejo and i were pretty excited that we are still here in Sheridan though. The ward is just flat out awesome here. I don't remember what we did each day so I'll just write about the few experiences that we had as I remember them.

Monday night we had dinner with Sister Smith (the lady we built a fence for). She brought 2 non-members over to eat dinner with us so we were super excited! One of the non-members was actually who picked us up from our apartment. Her name was Gloria, and has been great friends with Sister Smith for a long time. Sister Smith's neighbor named Clous (CLOW-S) was also there. After an amazing dinner, (I just realized how much I talk about food in these weekly letters...but that's another experience), we all sat down and Elder Villejo took out his guitar. We sang, "I know That my Redeemer Lives" and he said it was "very nice." We asked him afterward if we could visit him sometime, and he said that we could! Sister Smith on Easter, had brought him over an Easter Basket with a Book of Mormon in it haha. he said he has started to read it! So we'll see.

On Wednesday we went back to Sister Smith's for another service project. This time, we raked here ENTIRE Montana-sized backyard to clear all the leaves, rocks and sticks so that she can plant grass before all the rain comes. It was actually kind of enjoyable and the weather was nice! I also got to drive her lawnmower haha. 

Thursday was the most productive day of the week. We first visited with a new investigator named Ron Kee. He has met with missionaries before, but isn't necessarily interested. He's an extremely nice guy who likes to travel a lot. After asking about his beliefs, he said that he doesn't feel the need to attend church as long as he "Loves God and treats his neighbor as himself." So he happily lets us in and is willing to discuss our "viewpoints" but has a difficult time committing to any one church because he is afraid of choosing the wrong one. This is why prayer and the Holy Ghost is so key! He's exactly right! We could preach to him allllll day long about how we are the correct church  We could throw every scripture imaginable at him and it would do no good. Until he (or whomever it may be), actually kneels down and sincerely wants to the know the truth, he will never know which church is correct. We are only the preachers. The SPIRIT is the teacher. (I got that one from E. Villejo haha). So after chatting for about 1.5 hours, we thought we would visit James (our ex-communicated J-dub). Turns out he used to work for "The Watchotwer" and got ex-communicated because he told them he felt like a slave. And he felt like they never gave him the support he needed in times of trial. So on our newly fixed bikes (thank heavens), we found James actually outside walking his dog. After telling us some random World War II history, we gave him the second Discussion (the Plan of Salvation) while still on our bikes outside. He agreed with everything we said and then (of course) Satan needed to interrupt. One of his buddies rolled up in his car and decided to conveniently visit with him while we were mid-discussion. Boooooooo. So we said we would come back later.

Later that night we visited a new couple called "The Wards." They moved here a few years ago from Alaska and are really into art. Jackie (the wife) was extremely kind to us and we just visited for a while. Her husband, Doug (who is also very nice) said something similar to what Ron Kee said. He does not see the point in going to church just once a week if the other 6 days people aren't religious. He said they weren't interested in the discussions but neither of them minded if we came by to visit at any time or if we shared a quick spiritual message each time. Both of them were extremely nice to us and open with us. Doug really likes the blugrass music, so E. Villejo and I are working on a song he really likes. Gotta open up a door somehow right? Then they sent us home with lemon bars :D

Friday we were in Twin Bridges. Nobody at all was home :( So we did a lot of roaming. Mike Bias has been out of town, he does guided fishing tours and stuff like that all over the state and in Idaho, so we havent been able to meet with him. The Vial's (an awesome member family) found us in the street and invited us over for dinner. So we happily accepted and had an awesome meal. They live on a beautiful set of property with a long rocky driveway. Since it is almost planting season, E. Villejo and I helped Brother Vial and his two sons pick up rocks a long side of the road so that it would be easier to till and what not (I think).

Saturday was conference and we watched it with Sister Stalder (who lives right next door). We then went to try and finish our discussion with James. We got to his house and he offered us, "non-alcoholic beer" haha. We declined but I thought it was funny. He then spent about 30 minutes showing us kung foo moves (keep in mind this guy is 75 and has a New Jersey accent). Haha so he told us all these stories where he has used kung foo. Apparently he also used to train for the Olympics and was a trainer for Mr. America. You wouldn't know that seeing him now, but I we just rolled with it. Everyone has their glory days! Our discussion didn't get very far. We got to the Spirit World...J-dubs DO NOT believe in anything close to the Spirit world. They believe that once you die, you more or less become mush. Both your spirit and body remain in a state of nothingness until the Resurrection. Which is a whole other topic. It kind of turned into a bash of conflicting scriptures and he told us that we were teaching false gospel (with reference to Galatians 1:6-9). We held our own but said we needed to go. He said that he still wants us to come back and teach him so that's good. Say a prayer for him!

So not a bad week. We did visit Gene. His excuse for not reading the Book of Mormon is that the print is to small...which may actually be true. But his Bible is the same size so we will never know for sure. So we're working on giving him a copy with larger print haha. No more excuses!

Anyway that's it for this week! I'm doing well and still pushing forward! Not the youngest in our District anymore! Hit my 2 month mark 2 days ago! Woooo! Sounds like home is doing well! i'm glad you got the package, I tried to make it fun for all of you! Glad to hear Jesse likes his coon hat haha hopefully it isn't to big! Torie's doll was handmade, I did't buy it at a store! I'm sure she'll take good care of it :) Sounds like the garden is looking good and I bet the flowers look pretty! What's the weather there? The weather has been warm here the last few days. But today it's a high of 36 and it hailed yesterday! Pretty sweet.

Thoughts from conference:
"Satan is no match for the Savior. Satan's fate is decided. He knows he has lost. But he wants to take as many of us as he can, with him." - Richard G. Scott (Sat Afternoon)
"There are some things that must be left to the Lord." - Richard G. Scott
"Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are" - Quintin L. Cook
"A friend will not make you choose between your values or their friendship."- Robert D. Hales (Priesthood Session)
"Sometimes we are the lightening rod, and we must take the heat." -Robert D. Hales
"Glorify God's name by standing strong with the Savior Jesus Christ."- Robert D. Hales
"With increased vision, comes increased motivation" -Tad R. Callister
"Healing comes from leaving the darkness and moving towards God's light" -Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Sun Morning)
"Spiritual light cannot be discerned by carnal eyes." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Hold the ground you have already won, even if it is limited." -Jeffery R. Holland (Sun Afternoon)
"Do not start your quest for faith by first stating how little you have." - Jeffery R. Holland
"Jesus' teachings were not theoretical. They were meant to be acted upon." -Dallin H. Oaks
And I have been trying to read the New Testament from beginning to end. I am currently in 2 Corinthians but came across these:
1 Corinthians 2:9: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him"
1 Corinthians 3:8-16: (from my journal)
      By God's grace, Jesus Christ laid the foundation for our souls. But we are the builders. We choose what goes on that foundation. We can put whatever we want on it. But the day will come, in a very real sense, that our "homes" will be tried by fire (verse 13). If we built correctly, are still standing, and have not burned, "he shall recieve a reward." For we are the temple of God.

Have an awesome week!

The picture is me today! I hit 200 pounds the other night...scary!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Elder Inman Letter April 1, 2013

Howdy howdy, Happy Easter!

Wow what a week. Elder Carter, our Zone Leader was with us from Tuesday to Friday morning. That was interesting, but alright I guess. On tuesday, we followed up with Gene, our investigator that came to church last week. Turns out he said he couldnt here most of it -___- Boooooo. But he said it reminded him of the Lutheran church. However, he had some questions about Joseph Smith that I was able to answer and we challenged him to read the Book of Mormon. We later found out this week that he needs a larger print of the Book of Mormon because he was having to use a magnifying glass to read it and it put a strain on his eyes. Either way, he said he would maybe come again to church. We invited him to come to yesterday's Easter program but he didn't :( So that's Gene, for this week!

After we visited him we were walking and someone shouted at us from his door. His name is James Fouler, an ex-communicated, semi-practicing Jehovah Witness. He told us his whole story and we barely got a word in. He eventually let us in and we told him a little about the church. He said he likes to read, so we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he'd have it read in 3 days. On our follow up visit on Friday, he said he didn't get around to it (which was kind of expected) but that he would for sure read it! We gave in the Restoration Discussion and asked if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ by eing baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God. His words were, "You know if I found out any church is true, I will join it." SWEET! The only disclaimer is that he does not know how to properly pray to Heavenly Father. J-Dubs pray to Jehovah and the Spirit is not available unless you are praying to the right person and sincerely want to know something. We're hoping to visit James this week and discuss tyhe Plan of Salvation! After that we went to the Relief Society Dinner. Soooooo much food. It was the birthday of the Relief Society and we were invited because all the women were at the party, so there was no one left to cook for us haha.

The next day we did a ton of service. We built a fence at a members house from about 10AM to 4PM. When we came home we tracted in the rain and found 3 new investigators to teach this week! Hallelujah! Praying that those go through. Thursday was awesome. Although we didn;t get to do any teaching, we did a lot more service. Sister Barnett is the 87 year old widow with the gnarled hands but is THE SWEETEST lady I have ever met in my life. However, she is very independent and will not accept from anyone if you ask her. SO, instead of asking, the three of us showed up at her house in work clothes and raked alllllll her leaves for her. SHe was so thankful and it was pretty fun! Then I installed ceiling for the first time in my life at Sister Talbots house. I'm learning how to do all kinds of work up here! For dinner we had pork chops...and I found out I don't like Sour Crout haha.

Easter has been the highlight of my mission so far. Such an amazing day. First of all, on Saturday we were invited to annual stake Easter hunt held by one of the ward members (the Dustins). They own a beautiful log house on a mountain overlooking a river and on several acres of land. Very nice people, a sweet family, and very generous. I love that family! They do a lot for Elder Villejo and I. Anyway, every Easter weekend, they hide about 3,000 EGGS across their several acres of land. Each egg is filled with at least one "Dustin Buck" that are later redeemed at an auction. All kinds of things are donated by members towards the auction that are bid on by the kids with their "Dustin Bucks." So much fun and so cool! There were lots of non-members and part-member families there as well, so lots of great opportunities.

That night E. Villejo and I were up late studying for our talks. We ran the Easter program. Elder Villejo spoke first on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Then, we got special permission to play the guitar for a special musical number, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." The Spirit was so powerful and there were some sniffles. The Spirit was singing, not me haha. Then I gave a talk on the Resurrection, and went into detail about the last few days of Christ's life. I have never gone so in depth into those last few days as I have this time. I used Elder Holland's talk, "None Were With Him" and read quite a bit of Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage. I wish you could be there family! Such an amazing meeting. We got many compliments. I shared Meg Wright's poem (my FHE mom from BYU) and that got a lot of recognition! Thanks Meg (if you read this haha)! The Stockets had us over for Easter Dinner. A roasted Turkey with mashed potatoes, carrots, and stuffing. Basically Thanksgiving but I wont complain! That family is so sweet. They have 7 kids and waited to do the Easter hunt till Elder Villejo and I were there. They hid each of us an Egg with candy in it :)

The neatest part was probably after all that. We felt like we should go visit a less active member (Brother Shammal) who lives nearby. His wife, Roxanne is not a member but has had the discussions before and enjoys having us over. We got there and they had their children and grand-kids over. We said hi and were about to leave when Roxanne happily invited us in for Strawberry shortcake with their family. Brother Shammal came out of his room with a guitar of his own. Elder Villejo tuned it. After a few casual songs we asked if we could share a song about Jesus Christ since it was Easter. They happily said, "Sure!" and we sang "I Know that my Redeemer Lives." It was so powerful. Brother Shammal has been highly inactive for years. While we played, he was looking at his daughter and started to tear up. He said that was the highlight of his Easter and walked us out the door. Such a great experience. Music has opened a lot of doors for us and I am convinced that there is no better way to introduce the spirit than by music.

Thanks for the Easter package mom! And the shoes! They both were desperately needed! And both of them came just in time. I enjoyed Grandpa's letter to Lacey, that was neat to hear. It looks like Elder Villejo and I are sticking together for another transfer (6 weeks)! Woot woot! I love Elder Villejo, we get a long extremely well and the Ward members trust us. That's essential in missionary work. I love this ward and area here, I feel like we can have a lot of success here.

Dad, sounds like the backyard is starting to look pretty snazzy! I won't even recognize it when I get home! How did Torie's audition go? Or is she just preparing for that? Sounds like Jesse has a pretty good idea for raising money! A house party for only $10! Heck, I would go! Tell him that I would be the Bouncer (body guard at the door, making sure the kids are on the RSVP list). Goodl luck with that bud! I thought he was going to work at Plato's? Hahaha.

That's exciting that Kari is home! Seems likes she's been gone along time. Is Clayton home yet? I know he got an extension but shouldn't he be back yet? Oh! something random I remembered that I did last P-day. We went with brother Cooper moose-sighting. We didn't see any moose but we saw a huge herd of Elk. Over a hundred all together, I thought that was awesome.

I hope everyone had an awesome Easter weekend! Thank you fo r the letters and packages! It really helps keep me going! Looks like I'll be in Sheridan another 6 weeks so just send stuff to the same address! I got Jesse's letter and loved it! I'll write back to him this week sometime (probably today). Love you all!

Thoughts for the week:
"We cannot love, what we do not know" - David M. McConkie

"It was not physical pain alone, nor mental anguish alone, that caused him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood and every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing." -Jesus the Christ (613)

"How can we bare any moving, lasting testimony of the Atonement, if we've never known or felt anything of such an experience?"- Elder Holland

"On that first Resurrection Sunday, Mary thought she saw a Gardner. Well, she did. The Gardner that cultivated Eden, and who endured Gethsemane. The Gardner that gave us the rose of Sherim, the lily of the valley. The cedars of Lebanon, and the tree of life. I declare Him to be the Savior of the world, the Bishop and shepherds of our souls, the bright and morning star." -Elder Holland

Happy Easter everyone and remember what the Savior did for you!