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Monday, December 30, 2013

Elder Inman Letter December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hey Family and Friends! It was SO good to see you on Christmas. Almost unreal. It was a fairly relaxing week and I enjoyed all the letters and Christmas Cards! So my week went something like this:

On Monday, we ate at Five Guys and then someone paid for our haircuts at Great Clips :) For dinner that night, we ate at the Reynoso's accompanied by Elder Beck and Elder Keith who serve in Polson. They stayed the night because we had District Meeting the next morning in Kalispell. We played "Sequence" with the Reynoso's and my team won all three times! I remember playing sequence for Family Home Evening all the time as a kid!

Tuesday was pretty awesome. From 9-12 we had a "Zone District Meeting (riddle me that)" where we had talks centered in Christ's Atonement. Really good. Following that, we all went to the Shaw's home who are a senior couple that covers this zone. They cooked each of us missionaries a 16oz steak with potatoes and vegetables. So delicious. We spent the day there going on a short hike in the snow, some snowball fights, some indoor games, singing around a campfire, and we watched, "Mr. Kreugars Christmas." We were there for about 9 hours! Just relaxing. It was so nice.

Christmas was good as well :) Skyping home was awesome and I got to skype Lacey, Dom, and even Alex Hackney in Indiana. All serving missions which is so cool! We had breakfast cooked for us at the Allens, and had dinner at the Stimpsons. After dinner we went to the Wagers where we played a game called, "Aggravation." It is similar to "Sorry" but with marbles, dice, and no one is sorry when they get you out. So aggravating ;) Haha

Service Service Service! I would do service my whole mission if I could. Geri, the devout Catholic that eats with us at the Wagers, asked us to stack wood for her. Then she took us out to lunch/. Later that day, we coordinated with the Kalispell Sisters to do some service for a part-member family they are teaching. The sisters painted, while Elder Parker and I cut trim for a few door frames and the floor boards of the house. Cutting trim  is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Everything is so precise and the walls weren't even parallel haha. But it was fun and we got to teach a lesson afterward that I think went pretty well.

Friday I was a lumberjack again. We split wood for Anne. I ended up breaking her axe (oops). The wood was frozen, so it was a lot harder to chop. When stuck in the wood, you usually have to take a sludge hammer and it the top of the axe to continue splitting it.  hit it one to many time and the axe broke lol. But I'll replace it for her. Later on Friday we carpooled down to Missoula where we had a Training meeting (even though this is my fourth time training). I brought all of my gifts with me haha. We stayed the night in a set of Elder's apartment and I opened my presents the next morning (Saturday). Nice picks on the ties! I especially like the blue one! And I was so stoked to get that Book. I was hoping the whole time that was what it was! I have already read some of it and it is so helpful. Thank you so much! The meeting was not the most fun. It was long. But I got to see Elder Packham, so that was fun. My birthday dinner was at the Wagers who made me breakfast for dinner and a confetti cake! Provided by the McCann's :)

Yesterday we taught Primary. The key to success in Primary is candy. Bishop Bunker gave a really good "5th Sunday Lesson" about developing a testimony directly with God, and not just leaning on another's. People are constantly moving in and out of our lives, and can change. God is constant. We need to develop a direct link with him as soon as we can. We had a continuation of that lesson with Sister Harris referencing Alma 32. We also visited that really nice Catholic couple with the big house. They happily let us in and we talked for about 10 minutes before their dinner. THey invited us back and actually said we could come to their Bible study! SO that should be good!

Well I hope you all have an awesome new year!  I can't believe it is 2014 already. A time of change and resolutions. I love all of you and tell Jesse he did awesome on the Harmonica! I saw the video that Reed sent!
Thank you for the stories and especially the last one! That really opens your eyes to see what Christ did for each one of us who is spiritually blind. Family history has also been kind of interesting to me lately as Grandpa has been sharing some stories with me in addition to these! I hope you have a great week! You are a huge example to me and I miss you! Love you!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Elder Inman Letter December 23, 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!!

Merry Christmas everyone! I just have to say THANK YOU to everyone who has sent me letters, packages, and Christmas cards! They truly have made a difference. Being away from home on Christmas is difficult but the support from all of you has helped tremendously. It may take me a bit to write back, but I will do my best!

This week was pretty awesome. Tuesday we spent most of the day saying goodbyes (for Elder Denslow who has been in this area a little over 8 months of his mission). The saddest one was him saying bye to Anne, who is the lady we chop wood for and works at the gift shop. We had told her a week before that we were both staying, and then we had to tell her that Elder Denslow was leaving. She was pretty bummed. Tuesday was also when Sister Stimpson called mom and put her on speaker phone! That was weird staying quite the whole time! I was right next to her haha.

Wednesday we spent most of the day packing. Brother Allen made us his infamous Fettuccine (?) Alfredo. I ate way to much of it.

Thursday was so long, but the highlight of the week by far. ZONE CONFERENCE! One of the best days of my mission. We had to get up at 3:00AM, pick up the sisters, and meet everyone to carpool down at 4:30AM. The conference was in Helena, and we were driving a transfer van (highly uncomfortable). So we got there late, at about 8:40AM. This zone conference was huge. The Kalispell, Missoula, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Great Falls East, and Stevensville zones (equivalent to stakes) were all there. At least 120 missionaries and that is only half the mission! The Conference ran from about 9-4:30PM. It consisted of musical numbers (one of which I was in! HA!), talks, and I shared the poem that Meg Wright gave me at BYU. I had so much fun. We had an extended lunch where we played a few games, sang songs, and just kind of relaxed. Each of us got a Christmas Package from HOME (letters) in addition to lots of donated things like toothbrushes, candy, gum, etc. So cool! Thank you to everyone who sent a letter for that! I had some of the most letters out of everyone! :D I hung out with Elder Schramm and Packham the most. We got home at 9:30PM. Again by transfer van -__-

My new companion is Elder Parker. He has been out for only 8 weeks. We get along pretty well and had some great lessons this weekend! We split and stacked wood for a recent convert named Korry

Saturday was awesome. The Winter Solstice begins! I could have sworn it was here already. We parked at the post office today and walked for about 3 hours. None of our potentials worked out, so we kept climbing up this hill. At the very top, there was a gated, long driveway leading to what was probably at least a 10,000 sq. ft. home. No exageration. We knocked on the door and a man named Harvey answered. He explained that him and his wife were Roman Catholic and were actually about to go to Mass in 10 minutes. Even still, he said to come in and warm up till they had to leave. They gave us each a honey crisp apple (so good!) as well as a glass of water. When it came time for them to go, they actually gave us a ride to the chapel so we didnt have to walk all the way back to the post office :) super nice couple. I had accidentally left my beanie (the one Torie made me, which I wear everyday and everywhere by the way!) at their house. After dinner, we drove up there. At dinner, Sister Wagers gave us a bag of cookies and treats. So I offered that to Harvey and he said, "My wife never buys treats! I would love them!" Haha and then he said that we could come back and talk to them anytime :) So cool.

Sunday was awesome too! We finally got a Ward Mission Leader. It is Brother Harris! His wife is the one that has been coming back to church recently. Susan Jensen, the lady from Wales that we taught last Saturday and then came to church, is leaving for California the day after Christmas. And guess what. The ward she will be in down there would have been the exact same ward that Lacey was serving in before she got transferred to a Spanish area! How sweet would that have been for Lacey to pick up where I left off teaching! Oh well. 

Well I am stoked to see you on Christmas! And Grandma and Grandpa if they are there! That way I can thank them :) People have been so generous and thoughtful. I seriously have 3 stockings full of candy, that package from zone conference, a super soft blanket from the Kiedrowski's (thank you so much!), and a gift bag full of stuff from Anne. And lots of letters :) I am still not sure how Christmas Day is going to work. Tomorrow for Christmas Eve, we are having a Zone "District Meeting" and then going to Elder and Sister Shaw's from 1-8 just to relax and play games! What I am thinking about doing is staying the night there and come back in the morning and can skype right after Lacey so I can catch both her and you. I will be skyping off my iPad more than likely, so I can do it pretty much whenever! :) I'll call if that changes. I love and miss you all! See ya in 2 (days)! Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Elder Inman Letter December 16, 2013

Weird Week ...

Well we did some things this week I never really thought I would do on a mission! But I guess in Montana anything goes!

Tuesday we went to go see a lady named Karen (CAR-IN). She's a very strange innactive lady who raises wolves. A wolf lady...Anyways, she knows a guy who cuts meat and he gives her all the left over deer parts to feed the wolves. So, Elder Denslow and I were hauling boxes of deer heads, backbones, legs, etc, into her backyard. Still with the skin on the heads and everything. So it was cool to see real wolves so close but kind of weird to the hauling a box full of deer heads to feed them!

It snowed SO much this week. The weather reporters are saying this winter will be the coldest it has been in 40 years! Just our luck huh? I don't care, I'm loving it! It snowed 2 days straight, so we had close to 15 inches outside! Super deep! And now I know what black ice is like! Nearly crashed into a stop sign :D But we didn't due to my superior driving skills...just kidding, I'm sure God is credit to that one.

Elder Beck was with us for 2 days. He's serving down in Polson and is going to be training this transfer so he didn't have a companion. We had a SUPER solid lesson with Sister Harris again on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She sincerely prayed and had an experience that most don't hear but in the Ensign. She read us her journal in tears about her experience (which I won't share in detail), but she has received her testimony again after 3 years of inactivity! Later that day (Wednesday), we helped like 5 people get their cars un-stuck! In suits we were pushing cars, it was awesome :)

Thursday was a really rough day. But we got to eat dinner with a less-active, part-member family that went really well! The husband is not a member. He was showing us all his war pictures from Iraq and let us sit in his sweet Porsche in the garage. Something kind of crazy, he told us about this man in Iraq who had this huge brick of cash and was willing to die before giving it up. It turns out that this "stash" was "Taliban Hold Money." In Afghanistan, the Taliban created their own currency. It's not worth anything at all. But the idea was, that should the Taliban ever take power (never), this is the ONLY currency worth something. He gave us each a bill. So if the Taliban ever take control, I have $10,000 Afghanis! Equivalent to about $10.

Friday Elder Beck was still with us. We helped Sister McCann (the members we live with), set up the Christmas lights outside, and I made my very first official snowman! It's a lot of work! Friday was also my first time giving a baptismal interview as a District Leader!!! That was so cool! The Spirit was incredibly strong and it was so cool to here someone's conversion story. We met with Sister Jensen that night. Brother Jensen's home ward is actually the ward that Lacey is currently serving in!!! Crazy right? That lesson with Sister Jensen was incredible. Both her and Sister Jensen were at church this Sunday :)

Saturday was the ward Christmas party. It went pretty good I guess. I wish it was more focused on the Savior, but it was all well and good. We were actually under the stage narrating the Grinch's thoughts.
Some news Elder Denslow is getting transferred to Great Falls. I am receiving Elder Parker, who was here about a week ago. He has been on a mission for 7 weeks.

Thank you so much for the Christmas packages! I got both of them :D I can actually Skype you from my iPad! So pretty much whenever. We are planning on a Christmas Breakfast and Dinner, so probably early or late afternoon. I'll work around Lacey like last time :) It sounds like the Christmas party was a success! I miss things like that! Something kind of cool though, is Elder and Sister Shaw (Senior couple over this area), is having the whole zone over for Christmas Eve from 1-8 just to hang out and relax! That will be so nice. Should still have P-day on Monday. Dad, thank you so much for your Q and A from your mission, those were awesome! I didn't know most of those things! I will be praying for Jesse. Hope you all have an awesome week! I love and miss you all!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elder Inman Letter December 9, 2013

So THAT's what Negative Degree Temps feel like!

Hello hello hello!

This email wont be as long as usual since I emailed you Tuesday, but I suppose it wasn't a bad week. Wednesday morning, we got to teach Anne (the lady we chop wood for) in her gift shop! She served us Huckleberry White hot chocolate...SO GOOD! Huckleberrys are a big deal up here. We taught Anne the first discussion, gave her a Book of Mormon, and invited her to be baptized. She said she has been baptized before (in the Catholic faith), but said she will think about it. Afterwards, we stopped to see a woman named Dee (from like week 1 or week 2). She hadn't been answering our phone calls, so we just showed up instead. We actually had a pretty neat experience there. Dee explained that she has been having an extremly difficult time. At first I felt prompted to use Alma 7 (which refers to Christ's Atonement) but then felt prompted not too, and to use Isaiah 53:3-5 instead which covers the same thing. As soon as I opened up the Bible, she says, "Oh, so that's not true! Someone told me that the LDS church ALWAYS refers to the Book of Mormon first. That is cool that you turned to the Bible first." THe Spirit saved us on that one! Our Articles of Faith mentions the Bible before the Book of Mormon as well. SHe has been meeting with the Jehovah's witnesses (who we think probably told her this), and they told her last that she is going to Hell because she watches Charmed (it has witches in it), and they refuse to visit her while her Christmas tree is up. She told us she didn't care, she was putting a tree up anyway and loves watching Charmed haha.

We visited with a less-active this week who was baptized a few years ago but has since then lost her testimony. She struggles with the extreme things like Polygamy. Fortunately her husband is very active. So, I have been studying A LOT about Polygamy and those types of things. Some of my interesting findings:

1. Issac begat Jacob through his SECOND wife. If God was against Polygamy back then, he wouldn't have allowed the 12 tribes of Israel come through the second wife of a Polygamic marriage.

2. Miriam (Moses' sister) murmered against Moses for having another wife. She instantly got Leprosy until she repented and apologized.

3. David had many wives because of his righteousness, but as soon as he committed adultery with Bathsheeba, those wives were taken away from him, and the child that resulted out of adultery died. Once he was legally married to Bathsheeba, he had Solomon.

4. The Book of Mormon is the ONLY scripture that preaches AGAINST having multiple wives IF NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE LORD (Jacob 2). The Bible does not condemn Polygamy once. It is an eternal principle. Almost every known Prophet in the Old Testament had multiple wives and they were commanded to practice Polygamy. For example, Abraham was commanded to marry another wife to have Ishmael.

5. I recently heard in the news that Chimpanzees are under consideration to have human rights. Next thing we know, the world will allow marriage to a chimpanzee along with Gay marriage. If we can't get over something that ended 120+ years ago (BY COMMANDMENT) but allow beastiality and Gay marriage (both of which highly abominable and condemed in the Bible) then this world is going down quicker than I thought.

Just some things to consider :) Thursday, was my first time ever in history to experience a negative temperature! It was awesome. We also visited the Gunslers and played basketball outside with their son in -1 degree weather. They actually fed us dinner, so we had two dinners that night. Woo!

Friday was amazing. The Creche was a huge success. As a reminder, this was the event that had over 300 Nativities from around the world and was multi-denominational, but put on by the LDS church. We had over 1300 people come! Half of which were not members. We were specifically told not to proselyte or preach, but just to welcome and answer questions if they were posed to us. Seemed contradictory to every reason I'm out here, but it was actually kind of nice to have no pressure for once. ANNE CAME! She loved it. There was a 12' X 12' five-piece mural that was hand-painted by an 85 year old woman, who's son is in our ward. See picture below. There was also live performances from the local high schools and a world famous violinist. We were there from about 11:30AM to 10:30PM. Long but great experience. And it was a "home away from home" since we usually go to the temple to see the nativities.

Saturday was our actual P-day this week. We spent the day in Columbia Falls for a zone Christmas Party! It was so fun. THe family that hosted it actually provided ALL the gifts for the gift exchange, provided lunch for 20 missionaries, and all the other games. SO nice and generous of them. Out of the white-elephant gift exchange I ended up with a box of Limited Edition Cap'n Christmas Crunch, and a $15 Subway gift card! Woot woot!

That was pretty much our week! Our Christmas party is this next Saturday and we will probably even be in the play! The theme is, "How the Grinch stole Christmas." :D Maybe I can be Jim Carey! It got down to -7 here, and that's the coldest I've seen so far. Billings sounds miserable. But I'm loving every bit of this! Transfers are today, but Elder Denslow and I are here in Bigfork for another 6 weeks. That will be nice for the holidays! I would just use the Bigfork address to send mail/packages now since I will be here another 6 weeks. That address is:

P.O. Box 1883
Bigfork, MT 59911

Hope you have a great week! I love you and miss you all!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Elder Inman Letter December 3, 2013

I suppose it's a liiiittle chilly...

Hey fambam and friends! Yesterday was not our pday, and technically it is not today either haha. Saturday is our official pday this week, because our whole zone is having a Christmas party, wooo! But instead of waiting till Saturday and then emailing again 2 days later, we decided to email today, and take off some of our pday time on Saturday to proselyte. So here it is!
For one, the deep freeze has begun. Because the last few winters have been mild, it is expected that this one will be very harsh. This week for example, the high for Tuesday is 10 and the lows all week expected to be in the negatives. My first experience with negative numbers woohoo!!!! Driving in the snow is actually kind of exciting. Just a little sketchy on the hills.
Let's see...Monday we went bowling and played some basketball. Have you ever heard of HuHot? It's a Mongolian Grill, where they cook in front of you? It is SO good and we went there for dinner Monday. A member paid for us :D The blessings of being a missionary!
Nothing exciting happened Tuesday, other than Anne (the lady we chop wood for), gave us both ties that she signed which is awesome! She is such a neat lady. We are actually going to be teaching her soon! Today in fact! Wednesday sucked. Tim, the Less-active we helped get to church, hates us now. Expecting him to be in a good mood, we went over to see how he was doing. He was fuming when he opened the door. Apparently, when we helped him get ready for church Sunday morning, he forgot to eat breakfast. Being a diabetic, it made him really sick after church. So he put all the blame on us and proceeded to yell at us saying we were no help to him and he doesnt want us to visit him anymore. Which is really sad considering he told us when we first met with him, that he was miserable and felt lonely. Within the last 5 weeks, he was completely changing and happier. And because of this one experience, he claims we did nothing for him and he was happy the way he was. So that hurt.
Thanksgiving was a lot better though! Other than the fact that someone decided to egg our truck (and only our truck, parked 6 miles outside of town). The egg froze to the paint, so it took off paint when we washed it off in the freezing cold. We're claiming it was Tim lol. Thanksgiving dinner was phenomenal. We had Thanksgiving over at the Allens. Brother Allen was baptized a few months ago. Both he and Sister Allen were chef's their whole lives, Brother Allen worked at 5 star restaurants. We had Prime Rib, in addition to turkey, stuffing, and the whole works. One of the best meals I've ever had.
"Black Friday" was pretty good. We found a new less-active family with the last name of Jensen. The coolest part? Brother Jensen's home ward is actually the ward that Lacey is currently serving in! Isn't that crazy?! THe Mormon world is so small.
Saturday we spent most of the day at the church. The Lakeside Elders needed the baptismal font, so we were there a few hours early to fill it up. With the Lakeside Elders, we played basketball and hide n' seek while we waited the 2.5 hours for it to fill up.
I can't believe it's December already. I hit 10 months in 3 days. Being fast Sunday (December 1st), we had some awesome testimonies given about trials and appearances. We had a super cool experience later on Sunday with one of the Priest-aged young men named Drew. Drew is an awesome kid but not entirely stoked about a mission. So we showed up to his house and convinced him to go tracting with us haha. Assuming it would be like all tracting experiences (no luck), we told him he wouldnt have to talk at all. Within 3 doors, we were offered hot chocolate and were able to have a 1.5 hour discussion with a very kind Catholic couple. Their names are Dave and Cindy. Dave is very knowledgeable and is staunch Catholic (which is a good thing). It is very difficult to not Bible bash. But he said we are welcome over any time. So we have a new investigator woot! Please pray for Him and us.
Last of all, yesterday. Yesterday was pretty cool. Every year, the Kalispell stake does something called a Creche. Another word for Nativity I guess? It is actually multi-denominational, and the High School Choirs perform in it. It just happens to be held at the Stake Center :D So from about 830AM-5PM, we were helping with the set-up. I could not believe how extensive the decorating was. There were probably 20 christmas trees put up, Garland hung everywhere, stars strung from the ceiling, a 20 foot main tree, a live manger scene, and over 250+ Creche's. So stoked! The event is actually held Thursday and Friday. We are not allowed to preach at all, but we will be wheeling the senior's around to the different exhibits and shoveling snow. Pretty neat. While we were decorating, a mini blizzard hit. See pictures below :D
Well it sounds like you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! How is Grandma doing? And how is Grandpa's fingers? The 5k sounds like it was a success! What a great project. And it paid for part of Dom's mission, that is pretty dang cool. Today is Dom's birthday! 20 years old. I miss that kid and am so dang proud of him. I'm sure he is changing people's lives, including his own. It truly is a huge blessing that we were able to become such great friends. And if it weren't for the experience I had in helping Dom and him helping me, I don't know that I would be on a mission. Love ya Dom!

I hope you all have a great week! Stay warm in the brisk Arizona "Winter!" Haha Love you!