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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Elder Inman Letter November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Time is going far too fast with all the holidays going on! There are many ward activities planned and even stake activities. This is easily the best time of the year for proselyting though, as people are generally thinking more about Christ or at least family.

We had a pretty dang good week. Monday we put another kid on date named Bill Bailey. He is a 9 year old with a less-active mother. his mom has said that he is simply too distracted to teach. The real reason, was that SHE was too difficult to teach and didn't want to come back to church haha. We resolved that and he is preparing to be baptized December 20th :) Our evening appointment was with Jessa Efinger who just got baptized actually this last Saturday (details of that later). This was her pre-baptismal interview lesson...And I had a super awkward moment. For one, Jessa is in her young twenties. But we were at her fiance's apartment (who just got reactivated this week!). We were actually in the commons area where people come in and play ping pong or whatever. It was Jessa, Jeff (the fiance') and their fellowshippers who are barely older than I am. We were alternating questions and it came my turn to ask the question about what the law of chastity was. To this point, no one was in this room except for us. Right as I asked Jessa what the Law of Chastity was, another girl walked in right as I said it...everyone got super red...and the girl walked out hahahahaha. It was super funny but super awkward. maybe that girl needed to hear that question I don't know haha.

Tuesday we had a "Mission Leadership Training" which was blend of Zone Conference and Mission Leadership Training. 3 zones attended and we hosted it here in Missoula. It was good to see lots of missionaries.

Wednesday was interesting. We had a screw in our back tire so we were car-less for 2 hours trying to get that fixed. We then drove to Frenchtown (about 15 minutes out of town) to get additional baptismal suits for the 5 baptisms happening at our building. We only had sizes for an 8 year old, or for Goliath sized people. We needed something in-between :)

Thursday we weekly planned forever because I don't know any of the people in our area book. We got to attend institute afterward which was sweet! Bishop Rogers is the institute director and he's the church's "go-to" guy when someone is preparing to be baptized that has been part of a polygamist group. There is a town here called Pinesdale that is full of Polygamist colonies. Thursday I also met the drummer of Pearl Jam!...he at least thought he was. I doubt a homeless man hanging out at the public library was at one time a world famous drummer making tons of money. He was higher than a kite and told us that ACDC wanted him to play in their band because their drummer just got into some kind of lawsuit. Oh the people of Missoula...

Friday we spent nearly two hours cleaning the baptismal font with the sisters. It is a way old font and probably hasn't been washed in years. There was black mold at the top and the floor was disgusting. So we got on our knees and scrubbed for two hours with bleach and it looked immaculate! I will include some pictures from that. After we got home, Elder Burnham locked the keys in our apartment so we were stranded in the cold for about 45 minutes. Finally we met the landlord who had us sit down like we were children and we had to read a 5 page packet on the rules of the apartment.

Saturday we had our 5 baptisms in the ward! And oh what a morning. We got to the church at 7am. For 45 minutes the font was putting out 33 degree water. We finally got a hold of someone and discovered that the night before, the maintenance guy removed a piece from the boiler and took it to the other building. So I frantically started boiling water in the kitchen on the stop tops to start getting at least SOME warmth into the font. They came to fix it 15 minutes before the first baptism and meanwhile I was throwing buckets of boiling water and mixing it into the ice water. We stirred it with a squeegee. It looked like we were making some kind of potion. Despite our efforts, the water was just under lukewarm. But chu know...whatever (nacho accent). To add to the problem, thje font was not nearly full enough. It only went up to Jessa's thigh and she is a tall girl. She had to be baptized 3 times and practically had to sit down. She had a good attitude about it though :) immediately after her baptism we started filling the font for the additional 4 baptisms that were yet to happen. Elder Burnham did all 4.

After the baptisms, we changed into service clothes to help clear out two previous missionary apartments. One of the apartments smelled like dead mouse. It was the sisters apartment too! We found the source of stench to be expired condiments and rotted food that had been out of the refrigerator over 2 weeks.

5 confirmations took place in sacrament meeting yesterday! Never had that before! I did two of them. For Gina Mae McCallum and Patricia McCallum. Very cool experience :) We gave another blessing at the NueroBehavioral Clinic. I am not a fan of going there, i'll be honest haha. We later met a man named Ken who wants to join the church to receive financial assistance. he will be upset to know that he'll need to commit to giving up the drugs he's on, smoking, drinking, start paying tithing, and live the Law of Chastity first.

Overall it was a great week :) We have another baptism this week with a young Single Adult named Robert. We've been working with him really closely and he is making big leaps! Thanksgiving will be an interesting day...we don't know really who's feeding us haha but we will get it figured out! I am so grateful to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love all of you and am so blessed to be part of this family. There is no other family I would or could be happier in. This Gospel changes lives including my own! Have a fantastic week!

 Jessa's Baptism. We are holding "he is the Gift" pass-along cards for a facebook post in the future.

 Gina Mae (younger) and Patti (older)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Elder Inman Letter November 17, 2014

I walked on water!

Ok it was frozen...but it was a first! This week it has been below freezing all week. It's been in the high teens for quite a long time. Fortunately, Missoula is in a bowl of beautiful mountains that shield the wind. I am serving in the Missoula 4th Ward and YSA ward with Elder Burnham and Elder Snell. Elder Burnham is the Zone Leader companion with me and Elder Snell is our third companion...I'll leave it at that :) Elder Burnham is from Eager, AZ and Elder Snell is from Montgomery, AL.

Sister Mecham gave Elder Griffith and I permission to listen to Christmas music while we packed. It was so nice to hear different music! Her text said, "You owe me big!" I only have one box of things to send home this time and it's just clothes I won't need till I'm back in Arizona :) Yes...I got a ton of paint on the back of my suit coat. I don't know how, when, or where, but it is very visible white paint. So... I got a free tweed suit from the mission home that fits me perfectly! Not really my style but I took it!

We had a good lesson Tuesday with a new investigator named Nancy Hillman. She was in Utah for a surgery and she visited Temple Square while she was there. She did all her own research on and referred herself online! If that isn't prepared, I don't know what is! She accepted a baptismal date and the other Elders are still meeting with her (that was in my previous ward).

Wednesday was transfer day. We left the mission home about 7:00Am and it was -1 degrees. The Winter Solstice is here! The mission just ordered 22 brand new 2015 Nissan Frontiers and they were lined up in front of the mission home like a car dealership. We all had to scrape the ice and snow off of them before departure. I was privileged to drive one of the Frontiers all the way to Missoula BY MYSELF! So much fun. Sister Mecham also gave me permission to listen to Christmas music on the way to keep me awake :) I led a caravan of several cars out and we mobbed in our truck like transformers to Helena. The roads were super icy so that made it even more fun.

Thursday we had a mission wide broadcast about online proselyting. I actually got to help them practice for it in the control room before I left Billings. So now I know how church-wide broadcasts work! Pretty high tec stuff. It was way cool. We watched it in the institute building. We get to attend institute whenever we don't have a set appointment because the program here is on the verge of getting closed due to the lack of students. So it is way sweet going :) We had a really good Friday Forum about Evolution and how true science is the same thing as true religion. I was impressed with the information.

We put 2 people on date just in the time I've been here so that numbers 5 people in our own area on date! As a zone we have 24 on date and 7 baptisms are happening this next Saturday. The work is truly hastening! The Stake is very involved here as well. We had a breakfast at a member of the Stake Presidency's home as a zone to discuss goals and what not. It was a mansion by the way. There is a member of our ward who owns a Porsche garage of 8 different Porsche's and the original 007 car. Oh and on a side note, the garage washes the car as you park it. No big deal.

I've met quite the variety of people here already. One 50 year old investigator married to a 22 year old drug addict. He was shot in the face recently and survived it somehow. We gave a blessing in a psych ward Saturday. They literally quarantine you there. We couldn't go back down the elevator without an employee's key! It was just like the movies. We had to remove all coats, pens, keys, etc. There a was a suicidal man in there who we gave a blessing to. All kinds of good stuff going on here in Missoula.

I am jealous you got to attend the Phoenix Temple dedication! And Tawnya got to sit so close to the Prophet! I am sure Jesse did very well. I had a thought Saturday that I am considering. When I get home I want to see if I can be an ordinance worker in the temple. Coming from a mission into the world again, there will be an inevitable loss of spirit without the mantle. I want to attend the temple as regularly as possible. Thoughts?

I don't have any pictures this week but I will take some next week. Time is flying by and I can't believe it. I hope you have a great week! Love you all!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Elder Inman Lette November 10, 2014

Goodbye Billings, Hello Missoula!

Yep transfer news came! After two transfers in Shepherd, the Lord has called me to Missoula 4 Ward as a Zone Leader to be with Elder Burnham and Elder Snell. Missoula is not far from Rexburg, ID and it is gorgeous there! There is a bowl of mountains and a lot more people. Much more people. President told me when I got transferred to Shepherd that he would leave me here till I made a significant impact on the area and zone. We had 6 baptisms, 14 reactivations, and we tripled Shepherd's teaching pool including someone on date. Now I don't say that to boast but "I boast in my God" as Ammon would say that we were able to be instruments in the Lord's hands to bring about much good. Now I am off to Missoula to see what is in store for me there!

Our appointment with Claudia fell through this week but her granddaughter had taken Claudia's Book of Mormon to school because she needed to read a "non-fiction book." Sweet! So hopefully there is some potential there.

District Meeting was intense this week. We had a murmuring issue that needed to be addressed and our District Leader shared the talk "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson. Doctrine and Covenants 121 talks about having an increase of love after giving counsel with sharpness. So Elder Partridge baked a cake that looked IDENTICAL to cat litter. It was so impressively real that a sister nearly threw up. I was laughing so hard. It is basically a chocolate cake, blended oreo, rolled brownie for poop. I will include a picture haha.

Thursday was pretty uneventful as usual. Weekly planning. I guess something pretty eventful was visiting a recent convert's home and needing to dedicate her home due to some unwelcome spirits.

Friday we taught 4 lessons and that felt great! We had one particularly great experience with a less-active family. The wife of that family had been delving into anti-momron material and was offended. The husband has been really passive. I felt prompted to ask him what his number one priority was. He responded that it was his family. There have been few occasions where I have been flooded by the spirit to the point that my legs felt like they were radiating heat. I told him that if his family was truly his number one priority, he needed to step up, gain his own testimony, stop seeking for excuses, and actually try to make his family eternal. I followed with testimony that actually caused me to tear up (and that rarely happens anymore).The room was silent. After we left we received the following text (I will leave some of it out), "Okay so your talk really got us talking and we take a leap of faith. We're going to start purely reading the Book of Mormon, doing our personal and family prayers, and on Sunday...we are going to pay our tithing..." The power of testimony! It goes to show that the Spirit teaches and we just need to be worthy so the spirit can work through us!

We had other good things happen this week too, but that was the highlight of the week. It sounds like mom had an enjoyable time with Lacey, Torie and Eric! And Jesse is excited about being on the internet and tv haha. The snow came last night for the first time of the season. It is indeed going to get cold really quick! I love it though :) Also...does paint come out of suit coats? I have no idea how, when, or where it happened but like a bar of white paint got on my suit coat :( Hope the dry cleaner can get it out. Have a great week! Love you all!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Elder Inman Letter November 3, 2014

A Month of Miracles

Happy belated Halloween! I was a missionary for Halloween and believe me...people find that far more scary on their doorstep than any other costume. Daylight savings just started so now it's dark at like 5:30. People try to use the excuse that it's late...and we remind them it is only 6:00pm. Haha then they get to hear our message on the doorstep.

We've spent quite a bit of time tracting lately. Shepherd is difficult to tract because we have to find random dirt roads with at least 5 houses on them. Neighborhoods don't exist here. In doing so, you find lots of interesting people. For example, we found a cross-dressing Muslim. That was a fun door to knock. We put another man on date though! Jeff Morrison was a guy we tracted into about requesting "Meet the Mormons." We had a our ward mission leader there with us and taught the Restoration. It was a super distracted lesson but he accepted to be baptized the weekend after Thanksgiving!

Wednesday we had Zone Training. I love giving discussions! I talked all about covenants and what it means to have genuine love and commitment to the Savior (one of our mission goals). We compared the way Preach my Gospel defines 'Progressing, other, former, and potential investigators" to how we are as missionaries. If we are keeping ALL our commitments (covenants) to the Savior defining us as Progressing, or if we were :other/former/potential" missionaries showing only some interest. Quite the obedience smackdown but I enjoyed it :) Wednesday night we had the Shepherd ward trunk or treat and I had like 6 cupcakes from the cake walk haha. Felt sick afterward.

Halloween is interesting as a missionary. President Mecham counseled us to be inside by 6pm or to be with an active member doing wholesome activities. We had a dinner that went long with a less-active member and then went home. The Lockwood Elders met with us at our apartment and we baked a "Jack-O-Lantern" pizza from Papa Murphey's and had slushed IBC Root beer. Followed by watching Ephraim's Rescue :) So it was enjoyable! Thanks for the Kit-kats too!

October was an incredible month. President Mecham told me I would be in this zone until I made a lasting impact on it. This month we had 6 baptisms and 13 reactivations :) All a result of the missionaries dedication, faith, repenting, and good works (Alma 26:22)! I am blessed to be serving here and the Lord is blessing us with people to teach! I love being a missionary!

These are pictures from Halloween this year. One is Elder Partridge...he had a lady in his ward hemmed his pants and taped "Smarties" to it. Smarty Pants! The girl with the mask was at our dinner. 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Elder Inman Letter October 27, 2014

Receive the Holgy Ghost!

What a great week. So many good things are happening! I am far less stressed this week than I was the previous week. We are back to just the two of us.

Tuesday I got to do something I haven't done in over a year when I was in Billings before. Elder Griffith and I were called by the Fleet Commander (or Car Czar) to pick up two brand new 2014 Nissan Frontiers. We got to drive separate too which is kind of fun. That evening we had a new member discussion with Michelle Penning at a members home. We attempted to teach the third discussion (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) among the screaming of small children. It went ok I guess haha. Afterwards we went on splits with Shepherd ward. Brother Cook (our Ward Mission Leader) and I went to go see Claudia. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and is even bringing it to her doctors appointments this weekend while she is in the waiting room! Woot woot!

Wednesday we met with Bishop Tilley to discuss someone who was being interviewed that morning for baptism. He has many odd views and quite the history. President Mecham felt it was best to have both the District Leader and the Bishop present for the interview. Bishop Tilley worked for the CIA for 25 years so he has a pretty developed gift of discernment (enhanced also by his calling as a common judge in Israel). We were asked to meet with the Bishop prior to the interview to tell him everything I knew from helping teach. The interview went well and I guess it was fairly intense. He passed and it was determined that despite some of the odd views and history, the candidate has accepted the invitation to be baptized by proper authority and he knows it only resides in this church.

Also on Wednesday we had District Meeting and drove down to Hardin (about 50 miles) on the reservation to do a mid-transfer adjustment. We got permission to drive the big van in order to save miles so that was fun.

Thursday started the 100 day count-down till home...not ready for that! The day was well spent. We did lots of planning for our week as well as for zone training coming up next week. In the afternoon we got a call from a lady who is not a member to help move her washer and dryer out and then install her new ones. They were in the basement so we had to move up and down stairs with a narrow hallway. Apparently she looked us up in the phone book! We had Skyview splits that night and got into a home that no one has been able to since last December. We didn't know that till yesterday so we were pretty excited that the spirit told us what to say at their doorstep. Another family said they were going less-active because they hadn't had good home teachers in four years and would not come to church unless they had a good home teachers. I have to say that is a new excuse I haven't heard before! Do your home and visiting teaching! On the other hand, don't let lazy home teachers keep you from the blessings of the sacrament, the temple, and eternal life!

Friday we did 3 baptismal interviews for the Lake Hills sisters! They found a family who is more than prepared. I had the privilege of interviewing the father, Brother Elkin. I have interviewed lots of people but I have never interviewed someone as prepared as he was. He is a young father with an 8 year old and I think a 4 year old. We both left that room in tears because I think we both understood just how much his life and his families lfe was going to change by living the gospel. How great is my calling!

Saturday we had such a good breakfast. Brother Lyon is on the high council and the two of them help us out so much. Each transfer they feed us breakfast. We had pumpkin french toast, a breakfast casserole of hashbrowns, eggs, bacon, and orange juice and chocolate milk. I ate a ton. The stake president came too and shared a message. Afterward we attended the baptism of Phil Tilley and then drove down to Hardin for a fourth baptismal interview.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to confirm Phil Tilley. I had never performed a confirmation before and I have to admit I was very nervous. There aren't many words you have to say exactly, but something about standing in front of a ward with a microphone to my mouth and a circle of Priesthood brethren scared me. My experience was much different. After saying the words, "Receive the Holy Ghost" it was as if my mind separated from my body. I opened my mouth and it was filled with words I still do not remember saying. I was overcome with overwhelming warmth and chills of confirmation that I had spoken the words of the Lord and not my own. This experience was probably the closest I have come to experiencing what it is like to share the mind and will of the Lord.

Glad to hear things are going well at home! I so wish I could be at the temple open house. What a sweet experience to be able to tour the temple and to soak it all in. I plan on seeing it when I go home! I love you all and have a great week!

Pictures of the sunrise. And some random turkey's