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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Elder Inman Letter October 28, 2013

It's a high of 22 degrees!

It's officially snowing like crazy in Billings! It hasn't stopped snowing since like 5 this morning, I love it! Although it caught me off guard when I went to take out the trash and I was barefoot...It was a wee bit cold haha.

So YES! I am actually getting transferred after 6 months here in the Rimrock YSA Ward. It's almost like I'm leaving for my mission all over again and saying bye to lifetime friends. Although, many of those who I got attached too, are now at Rexburg for school. But I am still going to miss lots of the members! They all signed one of my notebooks, it was pretty sweet, I promised I would come back and visit if they weren't all married haha. So, my new area is in Bigfork, MT. Just outside of Kalispell which is the prettiest zone in the mission! It is RIGHT next to Glacier National Park, so that will be sweet! Bigfork is a resort town, filled with rich people from what I hear haha. Right on Flathead Lake. It will be amazing! And my companion....drumroll...will be ELDER DENSLOW! For those who don't know, I was in primary with Elder Denslow, and his mom used to be my scout leader. I stayed the night at his house several times, but then we moved. He says he doesn't really remember me...after all that was like 10 years ago haha. But still it's pretty cool. Hopefully it will be a good experience :) I will be the new District Leader! As of right now, there are 8 missionaries in my District, including the Zone Leaders. Pretty pumped.

Not a lot went on this week, other than our sweet iPads! We spent a lot of the week moving records from paper, to digital Teaching Records. That way the SISTERS who are replacing us in the office will have an up-to-date area book!

For our P-day, we hiked the Rims in the morning, moved sandbags at the mission home, and then played dodge ball with like 20 missionaries haha. This was Wednesday night, and we didn't have a dinner so we went to Cafe Rio and a member paid for our dinner! Another member gave us a $20 gift card for next time! The perks of being a missionary :)

Thursday was one of the most productive days of my mission. We had appointments all day long! Which never happens. One of the lessons was with Mario, our most recent convert, and we discussed the Priesthood and what it means to have that authority and power. Yesterday, we conferred the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained him to the office of Priest! Elder Yeske got to do that which was sweet. We also got to meet with Eliza who has been all smiles since Sunday! Her countenance has changed and that has been an inspiration to me.

Bishop gave us probably 10 names of people to go see so we spent all day trying to find them. NO ONE was home, but we tried.  We talked with a lot of their parents though. Afterwards we met up with Jason, who has a baptismal date for the 16th of November. But he doesn't come to church and hasn't retained any of the lessons...So the sisters will have to reteach everything. 

Friday we did some service which was awesome! I never realized how much I love service. It was also nice to get rid of some stress and the to get exercise. We went to Joe Weitz's house and spread lots of mulch, dug holes for plants, and actually planted some. They fed us Wendy's right after :)

Saturday was horrible. Absolutely horrible. On Facebook, someone I've never even talked to and added 6 months ago because he was on the roles, sent me a link right after I posted that I was leaving. It was a link to anti-mormon stuff. This kid tried to convince me that he was once ass passionate about this church as I am. He served a mission, his dad is a Mission President, and he has sat down with Apostles. He then proceeded to attack my testimony of Joseph Smith and the church in general. He used arguments on Polygamy, and other extremes. I tore into this kid. Fortunately, I know my stuff and was able to counter attack every claim he made. He expected me to not be aware of Church History...Never have I been so frustrated. I stopped talking to him by saying that one day we'll meet the same maker and that I'd see him on the other side haha. It just amazes me that someone who once KNEW the church is true and has so much potential, that he went out of his way to try and dissuade a missionary called by God to share what I know. But that's that and I will never talk to him again.

On a happier note, Sunday was really good. There was a musical number that brought everyone to tears and Josh Smith, the Elders Quorum President spoke. It was a great meeting.

Well that was my week! Sounds like things are going great at home! I think that is SO COOL that there is a 5k for Emily's brother, and the funds go to Dom's mission fund! The Lord always provides a way for his servants to do His work. I called Elder Packham to tell him that because he was good friends with Dom too. Jesse was a Greaser for the dance huh? Hahahahahahah so funny. He would make a good greaser.

I will send you my address ASAP! Mom, I just bought gloves for every day wear (instead of just snow gloves) and bought a fleece mask to cover my nose haha. But could you send me more smartwool socks? I love you! Have a great week!
Billing Mt temple at night

Billings snow, October 2013

Hiking, sitting on The Rim in Billings
elders raking leaves in Billings


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Elder Inman Letter October 21, 2013

So...I own an iPad mini...

Hey family and friends!!!! Pretty exciting week, if you couldn't tell by the caption. I'll get to that a little later. It was also one of my hardest weeks ironically enough, but that is usually how it is.

Let's see...Tuesday through Wednesday I was on exchanges with our District Leader Elder Black. I've never really been a fan of exchanges. Typically an exchange is when you switch companions with either your zone leader or District Leader for 2-3 days at a time. Because I'm in the office and Elder Black can't really help with anything in there, we did a 24 hour exchange. It went ok I guess. We had a lesson with Beau, our investigator that we got last week who's 32. He's doing well, we just went back over the Restoration and read a chapter in the Book of Mormon. It was a smooth transition as we needed to refer him over to Elder Black's area anyway. Later that night, we went to Cafe Rio with 2 members of our ward. It was Taco Tuesday!!! Institute was right after that, which is always sweet. We discussed 2 Nephi 28 which is all about the Doctrine of the Devil and about how he carefully drags us down. I learned a lot of really cool insights which I might discuss in my other blog (to those who read that) :). 

Splits were good on Wednesday. I got to meet up with one of our Recent Converts named Adrianna. She lives on the college campus, so it was weird being in dorms again. Got some flashbacks of BYU! I miss school but know this is the place to be.

Thursday they were cleaning carpets at the Mission home so we did our online work at the college library. It was also a great opportunity to find college aged kids. We met up with Meghan Powell, our other recent convert to see how she was doing. We're working on getting her the follow-up lessons and helping her find rides to activities. She's been doing pretty good. In fact, she's already been going on splits with the sister missionaries!

Thursday night, we got to go to another Rodeo! Chase Edward, one of the members, was going to be bull riding again, and we got invited (with tickets paid) to go. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Chase ride because it was past our curfew (930PM). But it was still really fun and a good experiece! Although one guy got bucked off the horse and it came down on his hip dead weight...did not look pleasant.

Friday we got to meet with Josh. We taught him a lesson on Tithing, which was perfect because that's what the Gospel Principles class was on when he was at church this past Sunday. He was ready to pay Tithing right then and there! But we told him he is not required till he's a member yet :P Friday night we volunteered at the corn maize again as corn cops. We actually picked up a potential investigator who works for one of the radio stations out here! Funny enough, he was doing an advertisement for the radio corn maize, and we got to be part of it! It was just over the radio, but basically we were just supposed to sound lost and were shouting names back and forth (as part of the advertisement). Pretty sweet.

I got to go to the Temple again this last Saturday! Tannah O'Banion (one of my good friends in the singles ward) has her mission call and is leaving December 4. Most of her family is not members, so I asked President Mecham if it would be okay that Elder Yeske and I support her by attending. President approved and so we got to go! She was really grateful and it was an awesome experience. Something kind of fun that happened later that day was raking leaves. Elder Packham called us and invited us to assist them raking some leaves on one of the college campuses. BIGGEST pile of leaves I've ever made or seen! Someone pulled off the road and asked if their three year old could jump in it. So him and his two sons jumped in! THe pile was probably about 6' high and 8' long :D After 31 huge black bags, the pile is still not even halfway gone! So many leaves. We came back later that night and jumped in ourselves when no one was around haha. Elder Packham and I did a synchronized front flip...except I ended up kicking him square in the face haha.

Yesterday we got to see one of our ward missionaries give his farewell and he's off to Fresno, California.

This morning we had training...ON OUR NEW iPAD MINI's! OK....there are so many ridiculously cool things. I'll name a few. 1, it has an online area book. Which includes teaching records, progress records, addresses, our entire ward mapped out, reporting straight to salt lake for our key indicators, digital planners...if you've been on a mission, you know how tedious it was to keep up a paper area book. 2, they sync to whatever area you are in. If I get transferred to a new area, I enter that area's assigned ID and receive the past missionaries' area book records. 3, you HAVE to report what each visit was in order to report a key indicator number. Meaning that your area book is forced to be updated in order to report key indicators (stats) for the week. 4, WE EACH GET OUR OWN AND TRAVEL WITH THEM. FIFTH...WE GET TO TAKE THEM HOME AFTER OUR MISSIONS. WHAT?!?!?!?!?! How crazy is that!!! Other cool things, is that they are pretty locked down. You can only use certain approved apps and the others are automatically dormant. Everything is monitored by Salt Lake and the mission president, so there is less temptation to get distracted or do something dumb. I can't begin to say how stoked I am. Doctrine and Covenants 88:73...another prophesy fulfilled! Also, it has skype on it and facetime...we are permitted to skype appointments that we can't make and even facetime. We can have "member present lessons" with a member on skype. SO COOL! So that is the highlight of my week :)

That is so cool that Torie got to go to the temple to do some family names! I really want to do that when I get home. I got a cool letter from Lacey today, that was nice. I got Jesse's letter, but no word on the pictures. Hope you have a great week! Love and miss you all!

Picture of me and Tannah after her endowment.
Picture of Me and Parker (Elder) Vonk



Monday, October 14, 2013

Elder Inman Letter October 14, 2013

Another Baptism!

Last P-day, we went hiking! We were planning on going to the Pictograph Cave, but then we forgot the government shutdown affected all parks...lame. So we hiked the Rims instead which was fun :) We got a new investigator this week. Too bad we will have to pass him off -__- He is 32, and is just over the age limit for the Singles Ward. But his name is Beau, and he has absolutely no religious background which is sweet! We challenged him to be baptized and he said he would be if he came to know if it was true :)  He was actually a referral from Eliza! Super cool. For dinner that Tuesday, we got taken to Buffalo Wild Wings...I tried the Mango Habanero (3rd hottest sauce) and cried haha. But it was good!

Keep Elder Wade in your prayers...He had a super rough week. In the same day, he found out that his investigator died 2 days before her baptismal date, and he also found out that his mom took a fall landing on her head. She didn't know her own name when she woke up :/ But I gave him a blessing, and she will recover fully :) Another Update with Elder Wade, he got emergency transferred back to his previous area. The Elders there were scheduling appointments that they were not attending, setting up dinners that they never went too, and completely destroyed that area. Elder Wade, who those members love, was sent there to revive it. I called him yesterday and he said that their dinner calendar was empty when he got there, and completely full by the end of church Sunday. So cool! I am going to miss him though, we got to be really good friends. BUT....guess who replaced him down here in Billings? ELDER PACKHAM!!!! The one who was good friends with Dom from BYUI and who I came out with! So stoked!

We got in with Josh, the one who dropped us a few weeks ago. He let us come over, we read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit was there. Josh has a lot of anxiety and has trouble focusing. I made him a promise, that if he took that leap of faith by coming to church, that that anxiety would leave the moment he walked through the church doors.

Zone Conference was this past Thursday. A 7 hour conference but I got to see Elder Villejo! I miss that kid! The theme of this conference was becoming master teachers like the Savior. And a HUGE announcement was made. We are the THIRD mission in the World to receive IPad Mini's for missionary work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And guess what. I'll be one of the few going around the mission to train all missionaries on it. We all get our own! How crazy is that! I knew about it for a week, but wasn't allowed to say anything :)

Friday night, the ward had a pumpkin carving competition! Mine was probably the worst haha. Me and Beau Tall, one of the members, worked on one. We messed up the eyes, so we made it a cyclopes. We messed up the nose, so it was huge. And we made the mouth a Nike Swoosh haha. We didn't win.

Saturday's baptism was SO COOL! We got to the church at 8AM to start filling the font. Mario's baptism was at 10 and it takes FOREVER to fill that thing. We had a pretty good turnout , I love this ward. I had the privledge of Baptizing Mario, which is the first time I've actually done a baptism on the mission :) There is probably no better feeling. Afterwards, we all went to Denny's to eat! That night, we went to volunteer at the corn maze again. Tim was there, and we got to help out out with the Zombies. We loaded the paintball guns for people haha. Fun stuff!

Sunday was very rewarding. Being fast Sunday, we got to hear lots of testimonies. Jason, an investigator that the Skyview sisters have been teaching, got up and bore his testimony powerful. Here was this kid, wearing all black, gauges in both ears, hat on, headphones in, and red highlights in his hair...standing in front of people he doesn't know, telling us that God has taken care of him. In one Sunday, I got to see Mario confirmed, Kyle Hamburg passing the sacrament, an investigator bearing his testimony, and Josh came to all three hours of church saying he wanted to be baptized. Wow. All people that I have got to work with over the last 6 months. 

So we had a sweet week :) Lots of blessings. Happy Birthday Grandpa! You are amazing and I miss you. Congrats Torie on the band festival! Love you all! 

Pictures from the Hike, Mario's baptism, my pumpkin, and Mason's pumpkin with a sword in it haha




Monday, October 7, 2013

Elder Inman Letter October 7, 2013

Wait ... I'm a third done?

Holy moly I hit my 8 month mark yesterday. Time has flown by. I was sick ALL week last week. I caught some type of cold that lasted forever. Probably didn't help that I was biking in 30 degree weather facing the wind. It snowed twice this week! WOOHOO! Snowed for almost a full afternoon, I loved it.

Tuesday's institute was so sweet. Preston, our ward mission leader, taught and we were studying 2 Nephi 9, probably my all time favorite chapter. And also because Jacob is the one giving the sermon ;) Leah, the girl that has been coming to institute and is an archaeologist, asked me a few questions afterward about 2 Nephi plaque scripture! She had some reaqlly good questions aabout judgement and the afterlife :)

Wednesday we cleaned out the baptismal font because it is really old and probably hasn't been cleaned in years. In preparation for Mario's baptism this Saturday, we scrubbed it, washed it, rinsed it, etc. Took about an hour to clean because that font is huge! Splits was that night and I was fortunate enough to go with Preston and Wade (a ward missionary) to visit Chelsea, one of our less-actives. We decided beforehand, that we only wanted to do a gospel discussion. And that's how it turned out! The Spirit was so strong. We discussed what she believed and she said everything happens for a reason. That triggered my memory of the very first time I met Chelsea...Elder Bonaro and I had been in Billings for less than 6weeks and she was one of the 900 names we needed to find out about. That day, EVERYTHING seemed to go wrong on the way to her house. GPS was making up roads, construction, detours, everything. We finally found her house and no one was home. Walking away from her porch, she just happened to drive up and we shared a message right on her driveway about faith. THAT does not just happen. Since then we have visited almost every week. She agreed that that may have been for a reason. *Back to the appointment we had this week* Preston asked an inspired question. He asked her what she felt her purpose was. She said she hadn't found it yet. He asked, on a scale of 1-10, how bad do you want to know. She paused, and said "8." We made her a promise. If she would read even 1 scripture a day for 1 week...on that last day she would receive that revelation. She's going to try it!

Mario is so golden! We taught him Tithing this week and have the Word of Wisdom, as well as the Law of Chastity to teach him before Saturday. He invited friends to come to his baptism!

Friday was so exciting, as Leah (see Tuesday ^) met with us. We planned on teaching the Plan of Salvation because she had questions about it. However, we started off by asking her if she had questions right off the bat. She said yes:
Question 1: Why do we not drink wine, if culturally and historically it is accepted and Jesus Drank wine?
Ans: Luckily, Preston was there ,who got this question all the time in Mexico. It is scientifically proven that one glass of Red Wine a day is healthy for you (she expressed this). It is true that Christ drank wine. Preston addressed this question, in relation to history. In that day, there was not pure water. Wine was probably the most pure thing they had. The water could make you very sick (she studied history, so this was perfect). We also explained, that most people who drink, abuse it and it becomes harmful. We are given commandments over time. I brought up Moses. The children of Israel had been in the bondage of the Egyptians for years. Moses left them for only a few days and they went RIGHT BACK to idol worshiping. SHE made the connection, that Moses destroyed the first tablets because they weren't ready for them. It made sense to her, as now, we are held to a higher law of health :)

Question 2: Why is it, that women cannot go to Heaven without a husband?
Ans: We explained that this was false. Women can reach the Celestial Kingdom without being married. HOWEVER, there is a difference between Salvation and Exaltation. We were placed here in families fro the time of Adam. The very first commandment God gave, was to have a family. In order to reach the highest degree of glory and happiness, it is in the Plan of Happiness to be married in the Temple to a spouse for eternity. For those who have not had the opportunity to marry, they will get a fair chance like everyone else, hereafter. The same goes for a man. He cannot be EXALTED without marrying. She understood :)

WOW! Hard questions or what! Luckily the Spirit led the conversation and she left with a smile. We told her just to pray about it, and God will confirm the truth through the Holy Ghost.

I cannot even begin to describe how amazing conference was. This email would go on forever. I loved the two main themes though: Families and overcoming adversity. It was made very clear that God does not change. I loved how they stated that just because Civil Law will claim something as moral, that does not change God's law of it being immoral. It is not a law for us to change. It can't be changed! Dallin H. Oaks laid down the law haha I loved it. Have a great week! I love you all and the church is true!

P.S. This week, I will be starting a spiritual blog in addition to Facebook. If you would like, "Follow" my Facebook, and be looking for my blog posts!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Elder Inman Letter September 30, 2013

Cool Weather!

The weather here in Billings has been so nice! 60's all week and even some days in the 50's. Sweater weather! Out apartment got down to 57 awesome is that :) Speaking of, last P-day we moved apartments. We no longer live with another set of Elders which is a bummer :/ I am going to miss Elder Wade. Our apartment isn't too bad. Concrete walls, a broken shower, no air conditioning...but the shower got fixed 2 days ago :D

Tuesday was Mission Leadership Council. This past transfer, THREE new zones were created, making a total of 13 zones. How crazy is that? All the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders came to Billings to discuss how to improve the mission. Although I am not in leadership, we got invited to present a program that Elder Brisco and I made. Basically it is a phone analysis that tracks calls out of area, keeps track of frequency of calls to a particular number, calls after 10PM, calls Longer than 10 minutes, and who is actually being called. It's a pretty extensive program so that was fun explaining to everyone. Kind of intimidating to. But basically, now the Zone Leaders can send us a text, we do a phone report on someone in their Zone, and email it to them. Pretty cool stuff.

Did I mention our new investigator Mario last letter? We are teaching a 21 year old guy named Mario who plays college baseball for MSU-Billings. Super solid guy. He's had the discussions before, dated an LDS girl, and is already in 3 Nephi! This week we taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome. He is going to be baptized October 12! Woo hoo! He also came to church yesterday which was sweet.

We continue to meet with Eliza. She wants to take the sacrament SO bad, and wants it to happen over night. But she realizes it will take time and that the Lord will strengthen her through her trials. We've been teaching her all the discussions over again to help build her testimony and Gospel knowledge. We taught her tithing and chastity this week.

Josh...dropped us! :( Frustrating. He sent us a text saying he was done with church for now and thanked us for our time. We asked what's going on, and he said he just couldn't keep commitments and won't come to church. He said he felt it was disrespect to us...It's sad for me to see how so many people feel like they have to be perfect to come to church. Church is FOR imperfect people. We go to church to repent and learn. My WHOLE purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ and to partake of his Atonement. We are trying to see ho we can meet with him again

The ward did ice blocking again :) I didn't do it this time though. But, afterwards they had hot chocolate, marshmallows, brownies, all kinds of sugary stuff. It just doesn't get better than this :)

Saturday we got to volunteer at the corn maze! I love corn mazes! Parker Vonk, one of our ward missionaries volunteers there 3 days a week and actually volunteers as a zombie for apocalyptic paintball. Basically he wears motocross gear with a zombie mask and zombie clothes over it. A trailer equipped with paintball guns and 2 huge cylinders of CO2, drives by, and the zombies come running at you while they get shot a bazillion times by 10 paint ballers. It's pretty awesome haha. Unfortunately we can't do that, but we got to be "Corn Cops" and kick people out for throwing corn or cutting through it. Super fun :D 

Congrats to Torie on getting the Black Plume! She deserves it! Being a boss on that marimba :) And congrats to Jesse on his swimming merit badge! I miss swimming a lot :/ It's probably already to cold to swim up here though. Glad you were able to make it to your conference and back, Dad haha sounds like quite the experience! I hope you all have a great week and great General Conference! Love you!

Elder Inman