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Monday, May 27, 2013

Elder Inman Letter May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Hey family and friends! Another great week here in Montana, but definitely some struggles as well! Elder Bonaro and I cover the singles ward...which means nearly no dinners, no tracting, and teaching the sisters becomes extremely difficult. I believe we are the first missionaries to to cover ONLY a singles ward in this mission. The ward is so legit and the members are powerhouses about missionary work but they are all on a college budget and schedule as well and we cant meet with the less actives sisters by ourselves. BUT we are working things out!

Tuesday was actually pretty sweet. We got a text from Tyler Nelson, the first counselor in the Elders Quorum. He had set up some appointments for us that he said he could be present! That never happens where a member actually sets up appointments haha. He told us that he had been going over the less active list of members in the quorum and a kid named Jeremy came to his mind. Jeremy used to be really active and then for one reason or another has been inactive for months. Tyler was able to get Jeremy to come to the church and we all sat down with him and just talked. Jeremy works at McDonalds, and moved in with some friends from work. After a spirit felt discussion on obedience and the Atonement, Jeremy accepted a blessing given by Tyler. It was so awesome! Jeremy still has a testimony, he may just have run in with the wrong people. He said he would try more often to come to church :)

Later that night we were getting ready for bed and we got a call from a random number asking if we could come to the hospital and give a mother there a blessing. Apparently this lady who called us (the mother's daughter) Googled our number. So we went and gave blessing of healing. The doctor came in after the blessing and said, "Hey I have another LDS patient that would like a blessing!" So we went to her as well and didn't get home till midnight but it was neat experience!

On Wednesday we had our first District meeting since the transfer. We have a big district of 18 people I think and 6 of them are sisters. One was straight from Tonga and the other from Fiji which is pretty legit! Afterwards we did some online work for the AP's and for the President. The internet and network has been really spotty, so the network would crash every 10 minutes. We spent hours trying to figure out how to fix it.  Then we got a call from Zach Smith, a guy in the Elders Quorum. He said he had a free two hours and wanted to know if we had time for splits. We quickly agreed and tried a few houses and areas. We had no luck unfortunately. What stinks is we will find several people but they are out of the age range for YSA so we refer them to the other missionaries! Turns out the ward does splits every Wednesday night and all of them are RM's! That night we got permission fom President Mecham to work on the we were in the mission home till 1AM with little progress.

The next morning we picked up some more bikes that go to our area and we watched the funeral for Sister Monson. So sad :( President Monson looked so upset. But we know that marriage in the temple goes beyond the grave and that is such a blessing to know we will see lost loved ones again! Jeremy (the LA mentioned earlier) texted us and asked if we could open up the church for him to practice playing piano! He is very talented and we're hoping he will come to church so that he can get a calling to be the pianist haha. Thursday was our first legit dinner with someone other than Bishop. We ate at the Stockdales, who are an older couple assigned to the singles ward incharge of finding less actives. So we went over the Roster with them and they made us sour dough pancakes :) 

I am learning why missionaries ask for rides all the time. We have limited miles. To the mission home and back, it is about 6 miles. Not far, but it eats miles nonetheless. So we biked to the mission home...UPHILL and I was thought I was going to die haha. We spent all day in the mission home in service clothes re-wiring the network. We were in the atic for a lot of it, the way the network is set up here is way out of date. It took forever but we now have a brand new network with upgraded hardware! Hallelujah! Later we visited a Less Active referral that we received from the sister missionaries. Her name is Chelsea. 
COOL STORY!: So Elder Bonaro and I were getting frustrated because her house was blocked by a lot of construction. We took probably 3 different routes and finally found a back road to her house. We went up to the door and a grandmother answered (we're thinking "Great"), and she said that Chelsea was out shopping with her mom. As we walk off the porch, a car drives up with Chelsea and her mother. SO there on the driveway, we talked for 45 minutes about faith, her beliefs, and if she would come to church. She at first was definately not happy to see us but them opened up and it went extremely well! We got her information, and she said we could come back :) It was such a cool thing to see how the Lord's timing works. If it weren't for the wrong turns, the detours, the GPS miscalculating, we would never have seen Chelsea that day! Tender Mercies.

Saturday we spent downtown. Ghetto Billings. We came across two homeless people who asked if we were the Mormons. The sai that in their childhood, the missionaries took care of them and gave them food. The man (max) asked if we had a Book of Mormon he could have. Of course, we did, and he said that he has read it before through Moroni. He thanked us and we moved on. We also met a Lamanite! She asked us to pray for her and her name was something like, "Sandra American Horse." Pretty awesome, gave out quite a few cards.

Yesterday was my favorite. Sundays are fantastic. Like mentioned earlier, we have been frustrated trying to find people because we have a limited teaching pool. We went to college apartments, tried a few less actives, and could find not one person. It was about 5PM and we had dinner at 6. We got in the truck and said a prayer asking for inspiration on what to do. Almost immediately after the prayer, Elder Bonaro felt inspired to tract. After he said that I felt inspired to go back to the previous apartments we were just at. We walked past several doors and almost without hesitation, we walked up to only one door. A guy named Doug (probably in his late 20's) answered the door. He was trying to think of an excuse to not let us in, and just came up with,"...I got nothin." He couldnt think of one! And he knew it! HE told us he would be interested in the History of the church and the Book of Mormon evidence of the ancient American people. AWESOME. We came back about 7 and we gave a modified lesson on the Restoration, talked about the Jaredite and Lehi families travelling, JSH, the first vision, and the ancient artifacts mentioned in the BOM. He said he was very interested. Turns out Doug is a artist and computer 3D artist. He said he wanted to draw things like King Labans sword, the gold plates, the liahona and so forth. SO SICK! We are hoping to actually get to the spiritual side of things too, but this opened the door.

Hope you all had a great week! Congrats Dowlin and Taylynn, sorry I couldnt come to the wedding! Love you all and have a great week!

Oh and one last thing! I am now in a tri-panionship. Elder Suggs from my last district, who happened to move to my new one is now with Elder Bonaro and I. He is finishing up his mini mission and I am finishing both his and Elder Bonaro's training. Elder Suggs found out he will be able to serve a service mission which allows him to be a missionary at the temple and church from 9-5 every day but lives a normal life otherwise. I was thinking of Jesse and how something like that would be perfect for him. He was so excited just to know that he could serve a mission even though it is in his home state. Something to think about :) Love ya!

Elders Inman and Villejo, Sheridan MT 2013

Sheridan, MT from the Clark's Kitchen, Beautiful

Monday, May 20, 2013

Elder Inman Letter May 20, 2013

Crazy Awesome Week!

It was probably the most crazy week of my mission so far! In a good way :) Wow so Monday we got our transfer call and I was called to Rimrock, here in Billings. So Tuesday, I spent most of the day packing. About 1:00, we went out to say some goodbye's. So sad to say bye to several people. We visited Sister Jensen at the store who gave me a big hug, then the Clark's picked us up for dinner. Got to see a bald eagle, it was pretty sweet! They served us Spaghetti with Elk Meat sauce. I think the food is something I'll miss most in Sheridan haha. After Dinner Brother Clark showed us his gun cabinent. He owns a full auto machine gun, a military grade sniper rifle, and a pistol big enough to kill a bear. I am definately coming back to shoot some of his guns! Once we got home, we visited Sister Barnett and gave er a blessing. Apparently her back collapsed and she tweaked a few discs in her back :( I am going to miss that woman so much. Then we visited Sister Talbot, Gene, and Sister Stalder. When we were about to walk in the door, Bryan had walked to our house to here the news. He was sad that I was leaving. I gave him a letter that encouraged him to take the discussions. I'm hoping he will. Finished packing about midnight and I was able to finish the BOM in the transfer! WOO!

TRANSFER DAY: WEDNESDAY. Drove to Helena, and I got to see a lot of my MTC District. It was SO sad to say bye to Elder Villejo :( I am going to miss that kid. Turns out Sheridan GETS A CAR when I leave! How lame is that?! But we drove to Billings which is a fairly long drive of about 4 hours. We got to the mission home where I met Elder Bonaro, my new companion. He is a visa waiter, waiting to go to Brazil and I am finishing his training! He's a cool kid, is super sarcastic, and likes sports so we get a long! He is from Jacksonville, Florida. Something else pretty sweet is we are the Online Administrators for the whole mission. Meaning that we oversee all the online, facebook proselyting missionaries and create new programs to make the mission more efficient. HOW NEAT IS THAT. SO. I have a separate facebook account! And family/friends are permitted to "Follow" me, but not "Add as a friend." What that means, is you will be able to see all my posts, but I will not be able to see yours, to prevent distraction. And the mission president asks that NOBODY "Like" or "Comment" the posts, but leave that for investigators. So if you want to "Follow" me, my name is "Elder Jake Inman" and click "Follow!" Pretty sweet stuff. We are in the Mission home 3 hours a day doing online stuff, our phone gets texting, I get to drive a 2012 Chevy Pickup, AND I get to hang out with President and the Assistants! So sweet.

Thursday wasn't anything interesting, except we got our new apartment. We are rooming with two other Elders. And guess what? Elder Suggs from my previous area lives in our apartment! It's so cool! We just went and got groceries and what not.

Friday was soooooooo SICK. About 830 in the morning Elder Sears (Senior Couple Missionary over transportation called us and said he needed help driving some cars. So we went to the mission home, and drove the big transfer van to Harden. The mission bought 7 brand new (only had 6 miles on them) 2013 Chevrolet Cruze's and we got to drive them right off the lot! By myself because Elder Bonaro was driving one too. SO cool! We got to break in the brand new vehicles. I had a white one with Turbo! The day just got better...President Mecham has been really sick. After some online proselyting, Sister Mecham walked by and we asked her if President would like a blessing. A few minutes later, President walked in to our little office in the mission home, and asked for a blessing. He asked E. Bonaro to annoint and for me to seal. It was SO NEAT to think that I was blessing the same man that was set apart by Richard G. Scott, a member of the Twelve, and that someone like me, was capable of blessing and healing someone of that authority. After the blessing, he hugged us and asked a favor. On the 15th of May, 1829, the Aaronic Prriesthood was restored to the Prophet Joseph Smith. In commemoration of that event, all young men go with their fathers on a campout with an evening devotional. President Mecham was invited to speak but was to sick. So he asked Elder Bonaro and I to take his place and then handed me HIS car keys! I was so pumped! He also gave us his credit card for dinner! So we drove out to a beautiful property with pine trees and canyons. The ward brought all their off-roading vehicles, one of them being a souped up Jeep with 33" tires. The mini Devotional didn't end up happening till after 9:30 so we got home at 11:00PM.

Saturday. BEST. DAY. SO. FAR. Around noon, more visa waiters came into the mission. At 1:30 the AP's (assistants to the president) asked if I was willing to drive vehicles out to a few areas. I quickly agreed! we were also taking visa waiters to new areas. So those cars we drove to the mission home now needed to go out. I was actually given a pickup truck to drive out, Bonaro got a Malibu, and the rest were the new cars. We all followed the Transfer Van. I got to drive alone again, the newer missionaries had companions. We traveled from Billings -->Great Falls-->Helena -->Townshend -->Bozeman and back! I have NEVER seen more beautiful scenery in my life. Breath taking. We slowly consolidated into the van as we dropped off cars and we didn't even get home till 2:30AM! We were so tired it was ridiculous. We traveled for 9.5 hours total, it was so sweet!

Sunday was cool as well. We are serving in the Singles ward in Rimrock. Which means not a lot of dinners, but a ton of refferals! This area is the highest baptizing area in the mission, so we are hoping to have some success here! Sounds like seminary graduation went awesome, great job mom! You always work a ton on those things. Glad fathers and sons was sweet, tell everyone in the ward I say hi! Sorry this one was so long, but it was a chaotic been flat out awesome week! I love and miss you all!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Elder Inman Letter May 13, 2013


It was SO good to see you all yesterday for Mother's day! And to see Lacey too! Wish skype would have worked better but what can you do...I am currently in Dillon with the Dillon Elders. We got up at 530 this morning and got a ride to Dillon to spend P-day here with them. At about 8 we helped somebody move and got our transfers call...Villejo is staying here in Sheridan. I am am going to...drumroll.....RIMROCK which is Billings. I'll be right next to the temple and mission home so I'm excited about that. Send ALL mail to the mission home until further notice. Oh and I'm TRAINING! A visa waiter. So I'll also be driving :D I am going to miss Sheridan so bad and Elder Villejo. I hope that this area picks up and that some of our investigators take action. Last bit of news, I'll be serving in a singles ward, so that will be fun! The food wont come as often or be as good but there is more places to eat out there.

So my week...hmm. I forgot to bring my journal so I forgot most of what we did this week. I went golfing last P-day and went again today! I'm terrible at golfing but one of the members owns the golf course so we get to golf for free! Can't beat that.

Oh! Did a bit of travelling. Bryan Todd, our 19 year old investigator took us to the Ruby Reservoir. It's a lot cleaner than lake pleasant haha but not as big. Bryan said he sees Big Horn sheep around there all the time. We didn't get to see any :/ On the way back, Bryan showed us where he used to work and there was a skunk in the road. For five minutes we tried running it over with his small beater truck haha, we weren't successful.

Bryan also took us to a small town called Waterloo. Apparently back in the day there was a small battle that took place over where the post office should be placed (back in pony express times) and they named the town waterloo...anyways Bryan showed us some sweet natural hot springs on Friday I think it was.

We taught Gene again this week. He wasn't laying down this time. He told us he hasn't been reading but will this week. He's been writing a novel of some sort and was reading it to us...he thinks his novel is the funniest thing ever. Laughed at all the jokes in it hysterically. We just gave him a nervous laugh. It was okay though.

Friday we taught the Plan of Salvation to Ryan Madison (the one that came to church that Bishop fellow-shipped). By the way, the one that sent you a picture text of us was the Bishop! The Breakall family is incredible. The lesson went well and he said it isn't all that different than what the Catholics believe.

On Saturday we played Basketball with Bryan after doing a lot more service. We did more sanding sheet rock for brother Stockett and then stacked split wood for a full 3 hours. People are already stocking for the winter! After driving us home, Bryan told us that we were the best set of Elders that he has had. He's had several and he said that we were the most responsible and that he respected us. I really have high hopes for Bryan, he really needs the Gospel in his life. Baby steps!

Mike Bias (our eternigator) gave a talk on Sunday on virtuous women and Mothers. He even got choked up and the Spirit was powerful. Elder Villejo and I had the opportunity to teach both Sunday School and Primary! We sang primary songs on the guitar, it was great. Those primary kids are a ton of fun.

Well that's it for this week. Packing all day tomorrow, saying goodbyes, and up to Helena Wednesday to get transported to Billings. It will be interesting to train but I'll do my best! Maybe I'll learn some Portuguese! I love you all and have a great week! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Elder Inman Letter May 6, 2013


Service, service, and more service. Not a big week for missionary work, but missionaries aren't just called to teach, we're called to SERVE! On Tuesday we stacked some more wood for the Meeks while in our white shirts and ties. Then Brother Meeks asked us to move some rock for him. I feel really bad for Brother Meeks. His health is awful. I guess he converted to the church a few years back but one day while fixing his roof, he actually fell off, broke his collar bone, a few ribs, and fractured a few vertebra. It's a miracle he's still even alive. He has to have constant oxygen and he breathes as if he has endless hiccups :/ So we try to help him as much as we can. Anyway, we moved rock for him. Afterwards we went to Rereuns (the thrift store that we live off of), where we found Bryan, one of the teenagers we play ball with that has had the discussions before. Sister Jensen was at the grocery store so Elder Villejo and I visited her for a little while. We had dinner at the Breakall's (meatloaf, tortellini, and no-bakes!). Bishop Breakall took us out to see where the Beaverhead and Big Hole River meet to become the Jefferson River. Got some sweet pictures. Everyone up here has a 4-wheel drive Toyota to mess around in, so on the back from the River, Bishop floored the truck and we hit a sweet jump! Bishop loves that stuff.
Wednesday we had District meeting from 9-12. Elder Nay (our District Leader) sang me "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias on E. Villejo's guitar haha. Elder Nay is hilarious. After that we did service for Sister Smith...again. It's becoming a weekly thing and I guess she's abused the service of the missionaries in the past too. She lives alone on a big ranch and wants everyone to keep it up for her. She's probably in her early 70's or late 60's. She just had back surgery so we want to help, but she is a perfectionist. She had us move rock, put in three posts, and saw wood for an irrigation well. She had me SAW-ZAW a railway tie vertically and complained it wasn't evenly cut. I was frustrated haha. And this is all for a home she is planning on selling anyway. BUT on a more fun note, I saw a MOOSE for the first time in my life! Through binoculars by the river, but it was still cool! This was at the Clark's home. And guess what...for the first time in my life I had SHRIMP! It wasn't bad, I just wasn't used to it.
Thursday we did even MORE service! Thursday was fun though. At about 11, we visited Sister Bond (a widow) and landscaped her whole yard. I had the gas weed-eater and cleaned up her large flower bed. It hadn't been kept for 2 years so it took me about 2.5 hours but it was fun! We then went over the Meeks again, this time to change a tire on a truck he was working on. He also has this actual retired school bus that he transformed into a trailor that I took pictures of haha it was awesome. SIster Stalder's house was next. She took us to the "do-it-yourself" car wash and we cleaned the outside and inside of her car. She took us to serendipity's (an ice cream place) and then she dropped us back off at Sister Bond's to finish cleaning up the yard. 6 Black trash bags full of tree limbs, weeds, and grass. Today was the first day we were riding our new bikes, which are AWESOME. Have to say I crashed haha. Turned to sharp! But nothing bad, it was right in front of our apartment! Elder Villejo was making fun of me. It's been a while since I've ridden a bike! The Stocket's had us over for dinner for Turner's 7th birthday. We played soccer with them and gave him 5 bucks. Good day!
Friday was really the only day we got to do missionary work. We started out by visiting Gene. We knocked on his door and he happily let us in while informing us that he had just put eye drops in his bad eye. So we sat down...and Gene just lays down in front of us on his back with one eye closed. The whole time we were there we were just looking down at him haha classic Gene. We discussed the purpose of the Book of Mormon, he's still reading it! We visited Sister Jensen at the store afterwards and found out that her husband Dennis comes home from Utah finally! After having a leg amputated and getting a pacemaker put in :( They've been through a lot, and are such a great family. We try to see them as much as we can.

Saturday was the most fun I have had in the mission so far... drum roll...COW BRANDING. So awesome!! I feel like a cowboy already! Brother Shaw owns a ranch and he asked if we wanted to help with branding. We weren't going to turn that down! We started by rounding up the big cows, separating them from their calfs and leading the big cows through a chute. The chute locks their head and the chute tightens to hold them still. Basically you take an incredibly hot iron, and sear the hide of the cow. Needless to say the cows don't like it. Sometimes their hair even catches fire, it smells pretty bad. But it was awesome. We then sprayed all their backs with something called a "drencher" to get rid of all the pesticides. The calfs (calves?) were the fun part. Up until now, Elder Villejo and I couldn't be used for much. We were put into a pen of 68 calfs. We WRESTLED them into a different chute where they were clasped by their legs and head, turned up onto a table, given a vaccination, and a brand. Someone had to hold the hind legs while it was being branded. They kept farting and pooping all over the table haha apparently they were stressed out. It was so much fun to wrestle the calfs! I got kicked pretty good by the stubborn ones, got some sweet welts and bruises! All their tails were caked with poop, so it was nasty grabbing their tails and they weren't easy to move. Both Elder Villejo and I accidently got our fingers up their butt. So nasty but probably the most fun day of the mission so far! There were also two less-actives there and one of them came to church the next day!
Sunday was good as always! Elder Villejo and I both bore our testimonies because there is a good chance one of us is getting transferred next week :( It was a really spiritual meeting. And guess what. We FINALLY got to have a lesson with Mike Bias, our eternigator. During Sunday School and Priesthood we talked to him in the Kitchen of the church. Deep stuff. He's had all the discussions, he's quit so many things, and has been active for 8 years. Still not baptized. He just has a few concerns about the Atonement and has one more issue that he needs to overcome. We told him things we have been through, how we overcame them, and that the whole point of getting baptized and taking the sacrament is to PROGRESS. We don't come to church because we are perfect. We come to church because we are not. Pray for Mike!
That's about it for this week! Sorry, not a lot of spiritual experiences this week, just a lot of fun service! CONGRATULATIONS TORIE ON THE SCHOLARSHIP! That's huge! I was praying for you, and you deserve it! Sounds like you put a lot of work into it! And that's definitely something to be proud of that one of the judges was a Julliard Graduate!
Jesse's room sounds fun! I wish I could help paint it! I'm pretty acclamated to the weather here. But I don't get cold very easy in general. It's been a range from the upper 40's to the mid 60's. Perfect, in my mind!
P.S. Mom, I sent something for you in the mail, but don't open it till mothers day! Love you all! Have an awesome week!
4.25.13-Zone Conf at Helena-Butte-Helena zone