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Monday, January 27, 2014

Elder Inman Letter January 27, 2014

Hey, hoe, and whadda ya know!

Hey! Kind of a crazy week to say the least. Lots of new things including scenery (or lack thereof), smells, people, missionaries, and responsibilities. It actually started to be busy before I got to Powell. On Tuesday (still in Bigfork), we had so many appointments lined up. SO I had like no time to pack. But, I got to say goodbye to a lot of people which was nice. Tuesday morning I had the privledge of moving a piano from one home, to the bed of a truck, to another home. Moving pianos across ice is no fun, I actually slipped while we had the piano horizontally off the ground. Fortunately I didn't fall, but I did manage to bite my lip pretty good out of concentration.
Other than that, Tuesday we got to meet with lots of people. One being Anne, who bought us luinch at Subway and then we taught at lesson in her gift shop. Brother Harris came with us and we re-taught the Restoration. I am not sure she is willing to be baptized, but she said she is going to miss me and gave me an, "Irish Prayer" coin that belonged to her. Our next stop was Sondra's, our progressing Atheist. She gave me one of her favorite books called, "Saints" written by Orson Scott Card, a member of the church. It's about pioneers I think. I can't read it though, so that will be getting sent home. Our last appointmet and dinner was with the Harris' again. We went over the Baptismal Interview questions with Amanda. Brother Harris asked me to bare my testimony. That was tough to get through. Everyone was crying haha. I am going to miss that family.
Wednesday was the Transfer Day. I didn't get to bed till 12:30 the previous night because the Polson Elders stayed the night and I still had to pack. Elder Beck and I started travel at 7:30AM and we made it to Helena at about 11, where I got to see Elder Schramm and Elder Villejo. Elder Schramm is a ZL now too (haha!). Rode in the transfer van to Bozeman and then was in a minivan with Elder Burrows (the new AP) and 5 other sisters on our trip to Billings. I lost my carryon somewhere along the I have been without my own socks and several other stuff for about a week. Fortunately they found it and I will get thattomorrow haha. Then I drove down with Elder Jackson to Wyoming.
My first day as a ZL was exciting! My favorite thing is sending out voicemails to teh zone haha. Elder Rasmusson is awesome and an exceptional missionary. This is his second transfer as a ZL and has been out for 7 months. We are both new at this. We spent our first day visiting some innactive families that nighter of us have met. Lunch was AWESOME. There is a member here that owns a truck called, "Hawg Heaven." It is pretty much the best pulled pork ever and the pulled pork sandwhiches have 1 pound of meat in them...and he lets missionaries eat free whenever. SO GOOD. Later that night we had a lesson with the, "Young" family. The wife is not a member but the husband is less-active. Our lesson was on the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is my favorite. Our last lesson of the evening was with a recent convert named Jenni. We went over the commandments with her as part of the new member discussions.
Powell has 3 wards and a YSA ward, and it only has about 6000 people. We cover 2 of those wards, the 1st and 3rd. On Friday, we began the day doing service at "Loaves and Fishes." It's pretty much a food bank. We helped sort/box food and even got two free packages of oreos out of it! Woo! Aftyerwards, we met with an innactive member named Beau. He is actually in the Powell 2 ward (which the sisters cover), but the sisters are too intimidated by him to teach him. He is in his 30's, has a small family, and is an extreme pessimist. He wants the church to be true but thinks that it doesn't "logically" make sense. He's a miracle seeker. We made him the promise in Christ's name that if he went to church Sunday with ONE question...that it would be answered in Sacrament meeting. And we heard from the Sisters that it happened :). We did more service on Friday. We stopped by tyhe anaimal shelter and will be working htere on Wednesdays. The Police Department even seeked us out (for good reasons). They want us to remodel their break room...That's definately a first. Lastly, we visited a less-active family that we committed to come to church every week for the rest of their lives haha.
Saturday morning was spent at teh public library re-arranging the DVD's to fit a new shipment of them. That took us about 2 hours, but we are getting brownie points from the city. Later that day while visiting an active family, I fell asleep TWICE during the lesson! HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?! So we went home and I took a nap. I never recovered from the transfer. We had dinner that night with our host family which are the Yates. Very nice couple. We live downstairs in the basement, it's actually pretty sweet. That evening we visited some innactives named the Ackley's and the Andrews.
Yesterday was tough haha. This is my first time covering two wards. Ward council was at 7, and we weren't done with church till 2! But it was good. Then from 2-5 we went with our ward mission leader (Brother George) finding. It was awesome because HE set up the appointments and we just tagged along. It was nice! Then we took numbers from the zone and didn't get to bed till about 11:30pm.
So that was my week! Wyoming North Zone has 11 companionships, 2 Districts, and 2 Stakes. Powell isn't far from Yellowstone, but it isn't nearly as pretty haha. You can definately smell the sulfer though! Mmmmmm...It is pretty flat here, the wind blows, and it's all farmland sitting at about 4200 feet elevation. It snowed yesterday. The people here are much more receptive and nice compared to Montana though, so that's good. Congrats Torie on making Regional Orchestra! That is SO sweet! Did you make it for Saxophone or Percussion? Either way, that is AWESOME. Jesse sounds stylish as ever haha.  Tuesday is Mission Leadership Conference in Helena. All the ZL's and STL's will meet together. Hope you have a great week! Love you!
Picture of the McCanns :)

PS: The mission home is getting overloaded with mail. So, they have requested that mail be sent directly to where we live. I'll just tell you when we get near transfers when to wait. Our address here in Wyoming is
335 West 5th St.
Powell, WY 82435

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Elder Inman Letter January 20, 2014

Goodbye Bigfork ...

Yup, transfers are here again already! After 12 weeks here in Bigfork, the Lord has called me elsewhere. I am actually going to POWELL, WY (a 9 hour drive) to be a ZONE LEADER! I'm both humbled and excited. It will be hard to leave Bigfork, but I guess that each area feels that way. We had a lot going on here in Bigfork, the next Elder will walk into 2 baptisms and a reactivation! But I am just happy I could be part of those people's conversions :).

So this week was kind of crazy. This week was, "Truck Crash Week." To clarify, our truck is "crashed" from 5-9 every day and the members are expected to take, and come with us to our appointments. The whole stake did it to get members involved. It was AWESOME!

Monday was a half-pday, as we had appointments throughout the day. I got a new movie called, "Ephraim's Rescue" which is all about being exactly obedient, being worthy, and the Power of the Priesthood. It is SUCH a good movie! And it's approved to watch, so don't worry haha. We had our lesson with Seanne (that's the correct spelling I have learned) in the afternoon Monday. Our discussion was on the Plan of Salvation because that is what she had most questions about. I thought it went pretty well, but we got a call later in the week from her saying she prayed about it and does not want further lessons :/ So that sucks but she has her agency. Dinner Monday was with the Hughes, who invited a partly-active family over for dinner and also Brother Hughes set up another appointment later that evening with one of his innactive home teaching families. It was sweet! And for dinner we had Elk Carne Asada with Mango Habanero salsa...SO GOOD.

Tuesday we finished the rest of our P-day, and had dinner at the Harris' who made Cafe Rio again :) Amanda Harris, who I have worked with since I got here, is now reactivated and wants to go to the Temple to have an eternal family! I am so excited for her and it has strengthened me to see her progress and rebuilding her testimony. They are a great family and I am going to miss them. Now I know why I was sent to Bigfork. I don't think it is coincidence that I was here to see her right up to the end of her reactivation.

We taught seminary Wednesday morning. Guess what it was about? Yup! Missionary work! Later in the day, we went to see Drew Jensen who just got surgery on his shoulder. He was pretty doped up when we came by but seems to be getting better. Dinner was with a family named the Adamson's. Guess what we had for dinner? Yeah, Hawaiian Pizza! Ahhhhh! Hahaha luckily they had a cheese pizza as well.

Thursday we helped a Senior couple pack for their mission to Portland, Oregon. They just needed some help lifting heavy things into the car. We then went to Subway and weekly planned. Brother Harris picked us up there to go with us on our appointment with Sondra. Sondra enjoyed Olivia's (her daughters) baptism, but had some questions as to why God "needs" to be worshiped. SHe has difficulty contemplating God. But she can somewhat understand the character of God if compared to a being named, "Que" from Star Trek! A being who has experienced life, perfected it, and is now omniscient and omni-present. That actually fits pretty well! Haha. We pushed her date back to February 15, but is keeping most of the commitments we give her.

District Meeting went long Friday, but it went well I suppose. We ate lunch at Five Guys, and then helped Anne spread some Ice Melt outside her Giftshop. Who knew they sold 10 gallon buckets of Salt to melt ice!? What is ice anyway? Haha. Dinner was with Bishop Bunker. We had Chili and Cinnamon roles! Then we went and visited Korry Bell who was baptized last June. Bishop was asking her about the three things Gordon B. Hinckley says every new member needs: a friend, a calling, and nourishment by the good word of God. She is struggling a bit so we (Or Elder Parker and new companion) will teach her weekly to help her testimony.

Saturday morning we actually went back to Korry's to stack wood and split some wood for her. I fell FOUR times! Her driveway is so icy! It is hard to swing an axe when you are sliding backwards mid-swing...I "split" the ice a few times haha. Then we had a lesson with Korry. We are beginning the Book of Mormon with her from the beginning, the introduction. And we are meeting with her tonight as well to go over her questions. 

Yesterday was a mix of packing and visiting people to say bye. I wish I would have taken more pictures of the area, it's beautiful. Definitely coming back in the summer! So it sounds like a busy week back home huh? I am so jealous that you all get to go to Trek. Watch Ephraim's rescue before going on the Trek! I might actually be close to where the real Trek was. Martin's cove and so forth. The only thing I am not looking forward to...sales tax! There is none in Montana! But oh well. WHat also stinks is that Elder Villejo would have been in my zone here in Kalispell. This is his last transfer.

Well I hope you all have a great week! I am sending home FIVE boxes of things that I either don't need, won't fit, or both. Sorry to keep sending home packages you can't open haha! Let me know when you have received all of them. They have some souvenirs in them that I want to know are safe :) I love you and miss you all!

First two are the Harris' and the last picture is the Allen's :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Elder Inman Letter January 13, 2014

Mahalo from Montana!

A successful week! We taught over 20 lessons this week! It sounds like it was a pretty good week back home too, other than Dad getting sick. Glad you're feeling better now though!

Let's see...
Tuesday we did a lot of walking. No one seemed to be home (including Sondra), but we walked all the way up to Shawn's home (on top of the hill). We only had 10 minutes again but she had some PERFECT Plan of Salvation questions. She is a devout practicing Catholic but disagrees with some of its teachings. She had questions about those who don't have an opportunity to be baptized in this life so we talked briefly about the Spirit World. We left her the Plan of Salvation pamphlet that she says she has been reading :) We stopped by her house yesterday and she didn't have time so we set up an appointment today at 4 (even though it's p-day) for an actual discussion on the Plan of Salvation! Pretty excited about that. Fun act about walking up there, we had a random dog follow us for 2 hours straight. It even waited for us to finish our appointment and then walked down with us all the way to the Post office where our truck was. Maybe it wanted the Gospel!  Dinner that night was with the Reynoso's, an awesome family. However, we had a pineapple upside-down cake...I didn't know till I had already ate it. It felt like someone stabbed me in the stomach when I got home (I'm allergic).

Wednesday we actually visited with Tim Robins! After a month of not seeing him. He was happy we came back and says he misses the Sacrament. Also found a new investigator in a part-member family named John. His wife is inactive and he has read some anti-Mormon stuff. Here we go again.

Thursday we visited several people, including Sylvester from a few weeks ago. He showed us a lot of his woodwork. He built a sweet cabin chair. For dinner we ate at the Tanners and had a cool conversation about foreordination.

Friday. District Meeting. We had some incredible discussions! I was so stoked to give my discussion about faith. President Mecham challenged us to have faith enough to raise the dead. So, I studied Joseph Smith's, "Lectures on Faith" and Gerald Lund's summery on them. They talk about faith as a process, rather than a concept. There are 4 tiers of faith with 3 things in the process to develop them: hope, action, and confirmation. I have a whole new perspective. Later that evening we went to see a former investigator form several years ago named Rodd Stafford. He believes in spirituality, God, and Christ, but says our faith has to much "dogma." Added principles like the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine & Covenants. But the lesson went well I guess.

Remember Dee? She has been a potential investigator for quite a while. Earlier in the week we set up an appointment with her for Saturday morning. What's funny is the Jehovah Witness' showed up right after we did when we set up the appointment. When they learned of the appointment, they asked Dee to be there for our discussion....a horrible idea. Thankfully Dee called first and asked us. We said we would like at least our first discussion to be just us, but maybe another time we could visit. She was ok with that. We taught the first discussion and...SHE ACCEPTED BAPTISM! That's TWO in two week!

So this week is "Truck Crash Week." The missionaries in Columbia Falls actually totaled their truck a few weeks ago (no one hurt). They had to rely on their on the members for every appointment they had. So the Kalispell Stake President says, "I LOVE crashing trucks! So we are going to have a Truck Crash Week where from 5-9 every night, the members are responsible for driving us to every appointment. A pretty cool concept!

Well that was my week. It has actually warmed up but windier. We had a rain storm that glazed all the ice so it is nice and slippery now. I hope you have a great week! Love you all!
Typical Montana. The first one is actually a 7 foot long wolf. Bigger than the bears. Crazy right?


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Elder Inman Letter January 6, 2014

Happy Anniversary to you, and Happy 11 month mark to me!!

Happy Anniversary! Hope you saw my shout out on Facebook! Wow 24 years and still going strong :) Thank you for your example of what a quality and equal marriage should be like! You are both AWESOME.

We had a pretty good week. Other than last p-day which didn't. The zone leaders have a new rule. You have to call them if you are coming into town, explain why, and THEY decide if it is a good enough excuse to leave our area. Even for groceries. Stupidest thing I've ever heard. Us outlying areas have absolutely nothing to do. Must be nice to have 3 companionships nearby to hang out with, a walmart, and all these cool places to visit. So last p-day we did absolutely nothing. 

New Years eve was pretty good though! We spent the majority of it at zone leader training. The highlight of the day was actually a lesson we taught to a new investigator. Last week, we got a call from the mission home with a self-referall from a lady in our area. Olivia, a girl who currently is attending BYU Provo, is a non-member but works at the MTC as an investigator...she gets paid to investigate! How cool is that! Anyway, she is actually getting baptized this month. Her mother who lives in Bigfork, has a chronic illness of some sort, and Olivia told her that the Elders could provide her with a Priesthood blessing. Her name is Sondra.

The kicker is, Sondra is a devout Atheist. Absolutely no belief in God whatsoever. She is entirely comfortable with the idea of no afterlife, evolution, and being made of Carbon (in her own words). She has never hoped for a God, but would like to know about it, if there was one. So it is difficult for her to find an answer to a prayer when she has no faith, or even a desire to believe in God. BUT, she said she would accept baptism, should God answer a prayer. She has already read the Book of Mormon. She is also one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. Definitely the kindest Atheist that I have ever met. We gave her a blessing of healing, the spirit was strong, and we are hoping she felt it as well.

For New Years Eve we were allowed to stay out ALL THE WAY till 1030 :) Party animals I know. We only saw like 4 fireworks and celebrated by playing a board game called Catan haha. On New Years day, we spent it slitting and stacking wood (again), and then had another lesson with Sondra on the Plan of Salvation. It was a tough lesson because she is so scientific and uses logic instead of faith. But...we committed her to be baptized on the 18th of this month. Should she receive an answer. Accepting a baptismal date is an act of faith. It is comforting to know that now it is reliant on the Lord and her willingness to keep commitments. We encouraged her to pray specifically for humility to accept the message. I used the analogy, "If I asked you what 2+2 is, but I knew the answer was 5, would there be a point to me asking you the question? Even if you would be right?" She understood that she had been praying for the number 5. Her protective walls would not allow her to exercise faith in a God. So be praying for her to make her date of January 18th!

On Thursday I bought Anne a new Maul for breaking her other one haha. It probably looked suspicious for two Elders in suits to be carrying a maul into a gift shop, but oh well. Elder Pakrer took a sweet fall on the ice Thursday too. Kind of funny haha. Walking around downtown (it's one street), we went into a shop called, "Creative and Native." It has "Lamanite" merchandise :D We tried talking to the store owner about it. He wasn't very interested, but he couldn't go anywhere so we gave him a run-down on the Book of Mormon. We were the only ones in the store. Later Thursday night we ate at the Harris' who made us homemade Cafe Rio....SO GOOD. I had a burrito and four tacos haha. Afterwards we had a discussion with Sister Harris about the blessings of the Priesthood. One being that their baby daughter would be blessed that Sunday :)

Friday we walked around quite a bit. In a small town called Ferndale. The snow was pouring down most of the time, so we were drenched. Finally we came to a house looking for a Debra. She is inactive and not interested anymore, but she let us in for hot chocolate and we had a good discussion. I guess Bishop Bunker is her daughter's principle! She drove us over to our dinner which was at the Eddington's. Had a super good discussion on having one's Calling and Election made sure.

Saturday was sweet. We spent about three hours shoveling snow downtown. We were done and started heading back to our truck when a man asked if he could "bother us for a second." Of course! Bother us all you want! We went over to where he was and he actually offered us a paying job to shovel the walkway of his business while he was away on a business trip. He owns a firearm store (go figure), and we were actually talking to him while in his wife's clothing shop. We told him that we would not accept payment but would do it for free. He said he wouldn't agree to that. So, we left him our number and he left us with his. A few minutes later, we went back to the shop where only his wife was. We explained that we thought of a way they could pay us. We said, "we will happily shovel while you are away if you will let us share why we are out here. Just give us 30 minutes of your time to share the message we have. You are no obligated to accept it, but that would mean a whole lot more to us than any money would." The wife said, "...why not?" And said she would give us a call :) Cool huh?!

Didn't I show you that website It is SUCH a cool website! I showed it to Brother McCann, and we read a lot of the Journal of Discourses. Brother McCann and I have some cool conversations. But yeah, that cite is incredibly helpful. And you got a copy of We Believe huh? It is SUCH a cool book! And much more accurate than McConkie's Mormon Doctrine because it has several different scriptures and quotes. I love that book! Thanks for getting it for my birthday!

Well I hope you have an awesome anniversary and a great week! I am doing well and things are looking up in our area. We are teaching 5 devout Catholics I realized yesterday. Pretty sweet. Love you all!