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Monday, April 28, 2014

Elder Inman Letter April 28, 2014

And yet...more travelling! 

I can't believe lacey is home!! What does that even mean?! I can't even think about going home. Fortunately I still have time left, even though I'm almost at 15 months. Crazy.
Well this week wasn't too eventful, although there is always something going on as a missionary. Monday we drove up to Billings for Mission Leadership Council again. We stayed the night and then the next morning at 4AM we traveled to Helena. Stayed the night again in Billings, and then we got to go to the temple AGAIN on Wednesday! I am so blessed...I've been to the temple like 10 times as a missionary. I learn something new every time! I am jealous however that you got to go to the Gilbert Temple, I'm sure it's beautiful.
Brother Young is REACTIVATED!!! He was ordained a Priest yesterday and is set to baptize his wife and Son! I am so excited for him. We have been working with them for almost 4 months now and they have made SO much progress. We plan on preparing him for the Melchizedek Priesthood here soon. We held Tracy's baptismal interview and I testified to her that the burdens of her past transgressions will be lifted at her baptism. Her reply was, "I actually believe you this time, because everything you've said has come true! No headaches with quitting coffee and everything!" That made me super happy. The Lord will always follow through with promises made in his name if they are righteous. I love being a missionary!
Check this out from President Mecham,
"Unshaken and united faith is alive and well in the Montana Billings Mission. You will recall that last week we had a mission wide goal of having 500 investigators and less active members attend Easter services. I am pleased to announce that the mission had 273 investigators and 455 less active members attend sacrament meeting for a total of 728 souls.

At mission leadership council I followed a prompting to inform the council the mission needed 15 more baptisms to continue our six month run of 50 plus baptisms each month. The missionary leadership council felt the inspiration that there were individuals that could be baptized by month end and would ask their missionaries to exercise faith and invite those they felt inspired to be baptized. 23 individuals have accepted to be baptized on or before April 30. I believe our missionaries demonstrate the faith of some of our heroes from the Book of Mormon. Thank you for your inspiration and pure desire to serve the Savior"
Our mission is da bomb. So Elder Rasmusson and I have been fasting 3 days straight...just eating dinners. We are fasting for more baptisms in our zone and in our area. Still waiting! Quite a humbling experience for sure.
Friday we did some service for a non-member man. He has some cherry trees that he pruned and wanted us to cut them all up and bag them. It took us over 2 hours because Cherry branches don't bag very well. They are super stiff. went really well and I love service. He insisted on paying us. We wouldn't accept anything but proposed something else. He is an awesome painter. We told him about the Plan of Salvation and we would love it if he could draw us something like the Garden of Eden or the Creation to help us teach. He pointed to a picture on the wall he painted of the Tetons and said, "That says creation to me." So he gave us this huge canvas painting. Not quite what we had in mind, but it was beautiful!
That's pretty much it. Things are going well here. the weather is random, today we have 25mph winds and it's wet from the rain and hail Saturday. I'm not as sick, however fasting for 3 days didn't help my immune system. My sore throat just needs to go away. We are so close to putting Steve Rakness on date, so please keep him in your prayers. I am so excited for Tawnya and that is sweet that Lacey gets to be a part of that now! I really enjoy answering her questions over Facebook. We have church 9-2 (2 wards), so I don't know if it would be easier to skype between our ward and yours (since we are an hour ahead of you anyway), or what. I love all of you and thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Elder Inman Letter April 21, 2014

I Love Easter

Hey everyone! I hope you had an awesome Easter Sunday. It was memorable one for me. The whole day just had a good feeling to it, and testifying about the message of the Resurrection has a profound power to it.

It seemed like we did not have one moment this week where we didn't have something to do. And those are the best kind! Monday was the start of transfers.But most of the driving took place Tuesday and Wednesday. So Powell is right in between the towns of Lovell, and Cody. Each about 30-35 miles away from powell. What we had to do Tuesday was drive to Cody, get picked up by the Meeteetsee sisters who drove us to Lovell, drove back from Lovell to Cody, and then drove home. So that was about 2.5 hours of driving just missionaries back and forth. Wednesday was even more driving. We got all the way to Lovell (30 minutes) and realized we left the keys to the Meeteetsee truck which was there in Lovell, in Powell. So we called the Sister Missionaries in Powell to go into our basement, get our keys off the table, and meet us halfway. So we got to Lovell way later than planned.Then drove back Cody to drop off an Elder, then back to Powell. Good thing I like roadtrips!

As for lessons this week...we had an all time high if 29! I am LOVING all the work going on in this area. It is now booming. However, we had a few lessons that I did not enjoy. Wednesday morning we met with a less-active lady named Sister Rankin. A chain smoker. Anyway, we've been doing a lot of service for her and have been really trying to help her come back to fold, since she got offended a millennium ago. We planned on teaching her the Plan of Salvation (being close to Easter). When we asked to share it, she replied, "I don't care." She's been reading the Book of Mormon but was under the impression that it was ABOUT Joseph Smith -__-. If we could just read the Title Page...She proceeded to say our church was false because of Polygamy, Baptisms for the Dead, Authority, and so forth. You know what is common without fail among opposes of the church? NOT ONE of them has PRAYED about the Book of Mormon fearing the answer that it could be true. And if it's true, they are false and have to change. A few months ago I shared scriptural evidence on this blog about Polygamy being an eternal principle in the Bible. Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, all had TONS of wives. For the sole purpose of building a righteous posterity, at a rapid rate. That has ALWAYS been the case in the Bible since the beginning of time. The Book of Mormon is actually the ONLY book that counsels AGAINST Polygamy when it is not authorized (Jacob 2). I pointed all of this out to Sister Rankin and she refused to accept it. I flat out told her she does not believe in, or understand the Bible then. I was heated lol. Whenever someone attacks things they don't understand and are "past feeling" the answer, then sometimes they just need a reality check. But yes...I could have done it with more charity :) Working on it!

I roped my first cow Wednesday!...sort of. It was made out of PVC pipe. We came a cross some college-aged kids in the middle of the road roping a steer made out of PVC pipe in practice for the upcoming rodeos. So they taught me, Elder Rasmusson, and Elder Jackson how to rope! All of our first times. I got to be pretty good at it! (pictures below).

I've been really sick half the week. LAME. I got whatever Elder Rasmusson had, and then gave it back to him. So we both have it now haha. My head was throbbing, my body ached, I had no energy, and it was weekly I was especially miserable. But the Lord kept me going. Brother Davis had a knee replacement surgery Thursday, so we went over there and gave him a blessing. He was already walking! After the blessing Brother Davis hugged us and said he feels like he has a calling to be a temple worker  and he needs to fulfill that calling. This man has been less-active for decades! I got chills and just wanted to cry. They've been meeting with the Bishop and are working towards the Temple :) One of the greatest people I've worked with so far. And the biggest change of hearts.

We taught a new part member family this week. The husband wants to come back to church. The wife is ":Wicken..." Which means you create your own God, worship the elements, and have a book of shadows...literally a spell book. It is more or less a witchcraft religion. Scary stuff.

This week was just full of miracles. We came across a single mother with an 11 year old son. She's had 5 knee surgeries in a year, and just moved here from Washington. She is not a member, but has been a "missionary mom" for 2.5 years to the Elders in Spokane. She is non-denominational but loves to feed us and is down to have Bible studies. She told us up front not to push her, but that when the time is right, she does have some questions about LDS Doctrine. We love questions! She owns a catering company so she has lots of food for us all the time. THe home she is currently in, needs a lot of help. SHe hasn't been able to work for a year because of her knees, so she's reached out to the church for help. What I love about Marianna is she is not just a needy lady wanting free welfare. She is so humble and has full intentions of paying the church back (which we obviously won't accept. So we have been extending lots of service to help her move things around, get her utilities fixed, and replant her garden. It's really a blast, I love service.Her son's name is Damon, but it is pronounced like Timon but DA-MOAN. He has extremely similar disabilities as Jesse and he reminds me so much of him!

Easter Sunday was awesome. We were invited to 3 different dinners and we have tons of left-overs! Each one had Turkey, Ham, BBQ, Potatoes, homemade rolls, GOOD STUFF!

This is getting really long. But we had 10 investigators at church and 11 less-actives this week! That was so exciting. I am still getting over the sore throat, but I feel much better. Tonight we drive to Billings for Mission Leadership Council tomorrow in Helena. More roadtrips! Thank you so much for the Easter Package family! I will put the parachute men to good use. love and miss you all! Don't laugh at my coordination. This was my first time...and I was in a suit haha but I did get good at it!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Elder Inman Letter April 14, 2014

Happy Easter!

Easter is late this year. It would have been cool if it was actually on the 6th but oh well. We had probably one of our best weeks here in Powell, if not the most productive. We taught a total of 28 lessons, half of which were less-active lessons. Pretty dang awesome!
Transfers are also this week. I was very relieved and excited when I found out that both Elder Rasmusson and I are both staying here in Powell another 6 weeks! I didn't want to leave especially now that things are picking up so fast. And I want to see those baptisms and reactivations go through!
Wednesday was our Zone Leader Training and I think it went pretty well. I gave a discussion on  Faith, Repentance, and Obedience. This ZL Training was 2 hours shorter than usual so it seemed really fast pced and kind of chaotic. But it was beneficial. Afterwards a lot of us went to McDonalds for lunch where we found an excommunicated member named Charlie Brown! That is his legit name! He said Walmart doesn't accept his debit card because the name is too suspicious or something. He showed us his drivers license, military ID, and everything proving that was his name. Not having his card accpeted even sounds like a Charlie Brown story. :) Later Wednesday evening we taught the Davis family the Word of Wisdom. Both of them committed to live it and I guess they met with the Bishop yesterday to work towards renewing a temple recommend!!! Ahhhhh we are so proud of them. Decades of inactivity and now they are so ready to go to though temple.
We had a cool experience Thursday. We spent most of the day planning for the following week so we were pretty burned out. But later, we went to contact a less-active referral and we happened to pull up while he was outside. First of all, his German Shepherd nearly bit off Elder Rasmusson's hand. Fortunately Elder Rasmusson moved his hand away in time. That isn't the cool story though...he actually needed help moving his washing machine. He told us that earlier in the day his wife asked how he was going to do it by himself and he more jokingly replied, "maybe I'll call the missionaries or something." Careful what you wish for buddy ;)
We met another interesting man who has been inactive for a long time. He used to be in the Bishopric decades ago. He does not come now for a number of reasons. What was funny is he tried to anticipate every reply we would have to his concerns. So he more or less was bashing himself...but with false doctrine. He bases his testimony off of what others have told him about the church and clearly does not know the doctrine. Once he finally came to grips with himself and stopped arguing with himself with false doctrine, he actually accepted the commitment to re-read the Book of Mormon haha. Some people...
Friday we helped set up for a "Health Fair" at the college here. We had a good amount of service here this week. Saturday we took down the Health Fair after clearing out some flower beds for a non-member widow. I took out like 3 bushes with only a shovel. It was pretty fun :) We had a really good lesson with the Pederson's. We taught the Restoration to all of them and invited them to baptism. They all had some really good questions. To every pre-missionary I would invite you to know everything about the beginnings of other Christian churches. If you do not know it and get sent to someone who knows their history, you will not be able to answer their questions. Fortunately, I have studied quite a bit of Catholic history in order to effectively teach the Apostasy, so we were able to answer her questions :) And they all accepted a Book of Mormon!
We finally made headway with the See's. Aramon and Aramonie (the 9 year old twins who grew up in Mexico). Sister See and John Miller who she lives with are getting married (yay!) and now we can teach the twins the lessons. They truly are the most innocent children I have ever met. Their souls are probably pure enough to pierce the veil. Aramon is my favorite because he doesn't understand much but definately knows the Savior died for him. Something kind of funny though is Elder Rasmusson was in the middle of testifying and the 9 year old girl lets out this super loud fart and we all start crying from laughter. It was incredible xD
Yesterday was good as well, the Youngs were at church again! Tracy is on date to be baptized May 24th! Both of them have made tremendous progress and are so stoked to be active again. Yesterday we also spoke in church (with a 2 days notice). I talked about the meaning of Easter and used Elder Christofferson's talk from conference along with Elder Nelson, Hales, and Holland's talks. Forge unshakable faith in the Atonement! I feel like that was the underlying theme. I also got asked some really good questions yesterday from a part-member family about Jesus Christ and Lucifer being brothers, their plans, and how we are all brothers and sisters. Isaiah 14:12-14 talks about Lucifer falling from Heaven. Pretty deep stuff.
This week I have decided I will never be Less-active. Ever. not like I was planning on it, but I cannot believe how many people get "offended" because of someone or something that happened a milennia ago. I can understand if you never had a doctrinal concern resolved, but letting an imperfect man decide your eternal Salvation? Ridiculous! Our faith is in Christ, not other people! I was getting so frustrated this week with people. It is not a matter of "thinking about coming back to church," because you already made the covenant and commitment to remember the Savior every Sunday! And you CAN NOT have the gift of the Holy Ghost with you, if you do not take of the Sacrament. Period. That is the Promise. I flat out told someone this week that they are not remembering Jesus Christ or even letting the Atonement help them by choosing to not come to church. You simply cannot recieve full forgiveness without the Sacrament. That is the deal and not attending because someone offended you is frankly selfish. Elder Holland's talk about defending our faith is on point. We want to be told smooth things, we want a gospel where all we have to say is we believe in Christ but aren't willing to do anything about it. Your Faith becomes dead. And that is how I really feel :)
Although it is Spring here, we had freezing rain yesterday and snow come on top of it, so the roads were nice and icy. The wind is chilly, but tomorrow we don't have to be in suit coats till Fall! :D I can't believe Lacey comes home in 10 days. I bet she is freaking out. Jesse is going to have one of his favorite summers it sounds like. Have a great week!
I included a picture of Tawnya's Easter Package! That was so sweet of her thanks Tawnya! Also, tell me this truck doesn't look dumb. The other one is what Powell looks like in Spring...Freezing.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Elder Inman Letter April 7, 2014

Such a Sweet Conference!

Elder Nessen got his Visa! After 14 months of waiting. We dropped him off at the airport at 4:30am Tuesday Morning (see funny picture below). We drove up to Billings on Monday and stayed the night. After we dropped Elder Nessen off, Elder Rasmusson and I got to attend the Temple again! I get something new every time I go! Have you seen the Newest Presentation of the Endowment? After the Temple we had unlimited Pancakes at Denny's. They have pancakes now that taste like cinnabons :D Elder Rasmusson's License expired Tuesday so he had to get an eye exam to renew it. Once all that was taken care of we finally drove back to Powell. Tracy Young (our investigator) called us asking if we could give her daughter a blessing, so we did that when we got home.
Wednesday was when Tawnya told me she wanted to be baptized! I am so proud of her for following the Spirit. It has been fun to write her over Facebook. I enjoy the more difficult questions because we don't get asked them that often :) 
Thursday we picled up a new investigator named Todd who lives at the nursing home. He has been very humbled and has kind of a sad story. But he was genuine and was seeking further comfort. He was BLOWN AWAY at the thought of a modern day Prophet. I think we fail to realize that Thomas S. Monson has just as much authority as did Moses or Abraham. In fact, President Monson is of more value to us than past Prophets because he is the current Prophet!
We're doing a competition within our zone to give out pamphlets. President Mecham said he wanted to flood our mission with literature and he would order enough pamphlets for us to stack them to our we did :) The goal is to get rid of all of them by the end of April. To do that, each companionship would need to give away 4.17 pamphlets a day. Whichever district gives out the most, gets to host a zone preparation day and not have to use miles to go to the other District (which is a big deal).
General Conference was the bomb. The themes of this conference seemed to be faith, keeping the Lord's standards despite worldly views, and handling temptation. We watched each session with a different Less-Active couple every time save 1! One was a dinner with the Young's. One of the most delicious meals I've had on my mission. Twice baked potatoes, broccoli with cheese, and ribs. So good. Priesthood session was my favorite as always. President Monson gave a fantastic talk on courage versus compromise. I realized that I have done a lot of compromising in my life. My number 1 fear in this life is disappointing people. So I have always tried to please both sides. But in a compromise, neither side is fully satisfied.
Then I realized Satan is ALL ABOUT COMPROMISE. He will tell you everything you want to know, truth and all, if it means one lie. The Lord requires clean hands and pure heart. He is totally okay with a 99% pure heart if it means you hold on to that one sin that prevents your Exaltation. That is evident in the Garden of Eden, "Eat Drink and be Merry,...if we are guilty the Lord will beat us with a few stripes and we will enter in to his Kingdom"...ALL FALSE. We pick and choose commandments and say, "that's just the way I am" or "at least I'm not doing THAT." Putting yourself as being more righteous than another is worthless and has no credibility. The worlds standards continue to drop. Therefore, so will you as you hold yourself only about someone else's worldly standard. The Lord's standards never change. It is obedience or nothing.
Zone leader Training is this week and that is going to be my topic. Compromise. It's exciting to hear you got a new job Dad! That will be a good change. Sorry to hear you are sick Mom :( I think you overwork yourself often. You need to sleep more! :) Wait...Jesse will be at Geronimo for a MONTH?! I thought it was for a week? Hope you have a great week! Things are warming up here.

Love ya!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Elder Inman Letter March 31, 2014

Totally forgot to bring my journal...

Hello family and friends! I totally forgot to bring my journal to the library, so this post will probably not be nearly as detailed as previous ones. But I will do my best to remember what happened this week.

Monday night we had a lesson with a new investigator named Alex. he has been coming to church with one of the youth (who he has a crush on). He made a deal with her that he would come to church if she would come to Mass, So they do that every single Sunday! And he was curious what we actually believed, so we taught him the Restoration at President Hopkins home (in the mission Presidency). It went pretty well! He said he would read the Book of Mormon!

Tuesday we had Zone Conference. Collectively, we read the entire Book of Mormon in 2 hours (we had 13 groups read a different section). The point of the conference was to emphasize that the Book of Mormon is the MOST powerful tool we have as a missionary,. It's not the iPads, it's not the Bible, it's not even our testimonies. It's the Book of Mormon because one will NOT receive their own testimony of the gospel without first reading and praying about the Book of Mormon themselves. It was a pretty spiritual meeting. We also discussed the importance of character. Something new, that I have never considered, is that we do NOT develop character DURING a trial. Character can only be created or destroyed in the short moments after a trial has happened. There is room to either doubt, or to exercise stronger faith in Christ. During the trial, you can only execute the character you already have.

We have been walking for DAYS. My feet haven't been this sore in ages haha. We are allotted only a certain amount of miles a month and we were running really we walked everywhere. In fact, we even walked through a hail storm! Pretty awesome. We also did a lot of splits with the ward to cover more appointments as well as save miles. One of the people we visited was a less-active named Maurine Cole. She is probably in her 70's and has been a member her whole life. However, she never has read or prayed about the Book of Mormon -__-. I think that is a problem we have in the church. So many are born into it and they never decide to read and pray about the Book of Mormon themselves! She has lots of the common concerns (polygamy, blacks, gay marriage, etc) that we resolved. But it will never be enough without reading and praying about it. So we committed her to read and pray every day. Something also I have cannot change someones behavior. Not ONCE in the scriptures does it even suggest you try. It only mentions a change of heart. Reading and praying every day changes the heart. Your heart changes your behavior!

The Davis couple is doing really well! We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ (3rd discussion) and it seemed to have a great impact on both of them. Sister Davis came to church this Sunday but Brother Davis did not...not sure what happened. But we are seeing them progress so much and we are excited for them! We teach them every Thursday. We also visited several people in the Hospital this week. Gave a few blessings. It is truly humbling to see how faithful these elderly and disabled men and woman are living in wheelchairs and in care centers. 
Saturday was pretty funny. We were out roaming the area and saw a man and woman tilling the ground around this large stump. We pulled over and got out, asking if we could help them. They were trying to cut up all the roots of this stump, level the dirt, and prepare it for planting grass. In our suits, we started raking, tilling, and digging. Both this man and this woman were drunk, so it was entertaining conversation, but they were both very grateful. Turns out, both of them were very less-active members of the church. The man came up to each of us, placed his hand on our shoulder and said, "Do not quit what you are doing. Someone needs to do it, and you don't, no one will." You could tell this man was very humbled and sought help. Hopefully he will give us a call.

Yesterday was pretty good. We had 4 non-members at church. Elder Nessen finally got his visa to Brazil after 14 months of waiting. He leaves tomorrow, so Elder Rasmusson and I are driving him up to Billings tonight (which means we get to go to the temple tomorrow :)).

Congrats to Jesse on the Geronimo job! That is so exciting! He will do amazing and he will be all ready having back-to-back scout camps. What a boss. Tell him to take lots of pictures! I can't believe Lacey is coming home soon. That's ridiculous. I got about 10 more months which is also hard to believe. Torie I'm sure did awesome in band once again and that would be sweet if she joined the BYUI drumline! Love you all!

We found, "The Judgement Seat." 


We had a replica of the Golden Plates at Zone Conference (they were even the right weight of about 70 pounds!)


I'm down to my one pair of shoes until I get some hot glue or super glue and this is us walking in the hail storm :)