Elder Nathan Hubert's Mission Blog

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I Wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, from the bottom of my heart!!! :D

Hello everybody, just another weekly update from your friendly neighborhood Elder Hubert!  :)
This week was certainly a great one.  We were able to do really well in meeting a lot of our goals and we can definitely see the hand of the Lord in everything that happens down here, especially in those little things that happen daily.  I will do my best in including as many details as possible though, I know now that those are the most important things.  :)
The rest of our Monday last week was actually really fun!  Because we had gotten news of the Transfers via email from the Assistants this last week, we learned that our good friend Elder Squires was getting moved down to Jainsville, and because of that, he and Elder Penate got invited over to a lot of dinner appointments because he was leaving.  So, for the rest of our P-day, we got to go with them over to the Salinas families house, which was actually very fun.  They served us burritos for lunch and we simply sat around with them and talked with them and spent some time with them before Elder Squires had to leave. 
Later that night, after we had left the Salinas' house, we had our weekly appointment with Gustavo and his family (the family from Uruguay).  We asked them if they had read the Book of Mormon, and though he had not, his wife had!  That was actually a big surprise to all of us, though we were overjoyed by it.  She had read the first paragraph about the Book of Mormon, where it tells that the Book of Mormon is a record of ancient scripture telling of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.  She was intrigued by that, and we went on further to explain to her what it was.  She was convinced at the beginning that it was the Bible of the Mormons, but then I pulled out my BIble and told her that we use that, too.  She liked that a lot, and we continued that message.  But in the end, we told them that they did not simply have to take our word for it, but that they could pray to God to know for themselves, and then we bore testimony to them that we knew that if they asked with real intent, with the willingness to act on whatever answer they got, that God would give them that answer.  :)  It really was a good lesson, I felt the Spirit a lot.  :)
 On Tuesday, we had plans to go down to Allied, which is basically the most iffy part of town, being the most ghetto and sketchy...  But there is a lot of work for us down there!  So, down we went.  We had a long list of people's houses that we could knock on, such as Caceldo, Maria, Jose, Jose2, Oscar, Marcelo, Margarita, and many more...  But even though we knocked on every single door, we were never received into someone's home.  But it is that kind of rejection that we must get used to, for such is mission life.  We were even turned away when we offered a man to shovel his driveway for him!  But oh well... 
Later, we went to a member's house named Irma.  She really loves the missionaries and always gives us canned food to take home and always wants to take care of us, which we find pretty funny.  But while we were there talking about her grandson and how he is not baptized, and the things that we can do to help her change that, she started going into the kitchen a lot and doing a whole bunch of stuff, and 10 minutes later she brought out 4 fresh Flautas (taquitos) each, which made both of us laugh because we had a nearby dinner appointment in 15 minutes or so.  But, as hot as the food was, we shoved it down so that we could get out of her house without offending her.  That was funny...
Then we went next door to the Chaparro house for dinner round 2, and ended up having a miniature ping-pong tourney with the Chaparro family and the other Spanish elders, which was really fun.  I wasn't super great, but surprising as it was, the 50-year-old man Brother Chaparro actually wasted everybody!  It was ridiculously surprising for all of us, because he would act like he wasn't very good, and then come from nowhere and just destroy everybody!  That was funny...  Then, we caught a ride up to the Capitol building in Madison (which was pretty far away), and walked a few blocks to the Allen's house to have pizza with them and the Spanish Elders.  3 dinners...  I thought I was going to explode... 
 Wednesday!  TODAY was TRANSFERS DAY!  But that didn't affect me at all...  :P  However, in the morning we did go over to the English Elder's apartment nearby and said goodbye to Elder Thompson who would be leaving us to go up to Wasaw (north of Madison).  Also, my friend Elder Kanahele opened the new Madison East Zone as a  Zone Leader (they just split our Zone!), and Elder Squires went to Jainsville, and Elder Crisanto came here to be with Elder Penate, and Sister Clawson went to Appleton and Sister Nicholes started training Sister Shelton, and Elder Wise from Mad2 came here to be with Elder Campbell.  I don't think any of that made sense to anybody, so I'm sorry... 
But the first thing we did today was make our way over to Cristina's house, our less-active friend, and told her that we were going to find her a ride to church.  She really has a desire to go to church, but has no car or license and no way to get over to the church!  And she lives really out of the way for most members and feels like she is burdening the members when she asks for help, but we do our best to help her out.  But unfortunately we have not been able to teach her a lesson yet because whenever we go by there are no men in the house making it impossible for us to come inside. 
While we were in that area, we went to go talk to Sara, who told us that we could come by later, and then we were dropped by another potential investigator who told us that there was almost no way we could teach them... 
Then, we walked to the Carranza family's house (recent-converts) and taught them how to have a Family Night!  We gave a prayer, taught a brief lesson, and then Elder Shipp and I brought out all of the things that we had brought to make gingerbread houses with!  It was actually super super fun, and they had a really great time.  Then they gave us a ride to the church to teach English class. 
During English Class, I went to go get a drink and saw one of the guys, Cristian, playing the piano.  He is from Mexico and is not a member, but enjoys coming to learn and play soccer.  He then asked me if I played the piano, so I played a brief thing for him, and then he asked me if I could teach him piano while the others taught English.  I was actually really honored that he said that, but we'll see what ends up working out with him and that.  :)
 Thursday is Weekly Planning day, so the early-morning things take a bit longer.  We did our usual hour of work out, hour of prep/breakfast, hour of Personal Study, hour of Companionship Study, hour of Language Study, and then 3 hours of Weekly Planning.  During that time, we were able to discuss our current investigators and their needs, and the lessons that we were going to teach them.  We also talked about all of our potential investigators and people that we needed to go and see this next week.  We also go thorugh everybody and figure out if anybody needs to be dropped from our focus for a while, and then we also go through our area book and update anyhting else that we do, and then we set number goals for what we want to accomplish, such as how many lessons, baptismal dates, and pepole at church we want that week.
After weekly planning, we only had 30 minutes to do some work in the immediate area, knocking on some doors for just a little bit of time, and then we had a dinner appointment.  We were able to have dinner with all 4 companionships from the 1st Ward there, with the Senior family.  They are so sweet to all of us and I absolutely love this family!  Dinner was great, and then we were able to share our spiritual thought, which was briefly discussing Christmas and then reenacting the Nativity with them.  Elder Crisanto and I were shepherds, Elder Shipp, Penate and Wise were the Wise men, Sister Nicholes was the star, Sister Shelton was a sheep, Jacob Senior (their son) was Joseph, and their daughter Haley was Mary, and her doll was Jesus.  We also had Brother Senior as a donkey and Sister Senior as an Angel, and Elder Campbell as the narrator.  It was really fun, and really funny, and we all had a great time.  :)  But on the way home, we were caught in a frozen-rain storm!  The rain was falling, but as soon as it would hit anything it would just freeze, so we basically ice-skated all of the way home.  Here is a photo, it looks like my jacket is wet, but really it is a thin later of ice on my coat...  Pretty nifty!

Today, Friday, was a very successful day as well.  By the time that we actually got out and about, we ended up over by the South Transfer Point of the Madison Bus System, which is one of our areas.  We went knocking on a few usual doors, but nobody answered those ones.  But it was when we reached out and knocked on doors that we haven't been to before that we actually taught 7 lessons in 1 day!  THat is quite an accomplishment!  THe first lady was an older lady named Ana who seemed super sweet and nice, and she invited us to come back anoyher time.  We also got some return appointments with some ladies, but another thing that happened is that we would teach a brief lesson and ask them if we could pray, and we would get turned down!  Now that usually doesn't happen, but we need not worry about that because that is their agency, not mine.
But later in the day, we made the crazy 1 1/2 hour trek out to Middleton, where Ezekiel lives.  We had a CHristmas message planned to share with him, but by the time we got out to his house (which was the given time of our appointment), nobody came to the door.  We knocked multiple times, and waited for quite some time, but alas, nobody went to the door...  I still have hope that he will eventually have a change of heart, but avoiding the missionaries is not one of the steps to obtaining that...  SO perhaps with much, much time...  :) 
On Saturday, we started out with Correlation meeting at the Church.  We were able to talk about some of our investigators and less actives that we meet with and talk about the things that the ward can do to help us out with those individuals, and the Ward Mission Leader then works with the bishop and the rest of the ward to get their efforts out with us.  THen after that meeting, we got a ride over to our lesson with Caceldo.  We got to his house and knocked, and for a few minutes there was no answer even though we knew he was inside...  We thought that we had been dropped!  BUt eventually he came to the door and we were able to teach him about the plan of salvation.  We could tell that he was having a hard time taking it all in, and that he was doing his best to understand, but at the end of us we simply told him that we know it might be hard, but that if he prays with real intent that he willr eceive a witness that it is true and will receive further light and understanding given by God.  I really hope that he does that and that he desires to learn more...  :)
I forgot to mention that at Correlation the others got an email from the Bishop canceling church the next day because there was supposed to be a super mega huge storm...  So then after Caceldo, we went to the Raymond area, which is basically as far west that we can go out here in our area.  We were contacting some addresses we had, and a funny story is when we were doing this, we ended up near another missionaries' apartment, right as the mailman showed up!  So he gets out a package and hands it to us, but it is actually for the other Elders...  SO we wonder what we are supposed to do with this package, and then call this guy and let him know that we have his box, and then get a brilliant idea to bury it...  Moroni style...  So, outside of their apartment door under a bush, we just pile leaves and branches on top of it and call it quits...  Good thing nobody stole it!   It was pretty obvious...  ;) 
But then the rest of our day was spent going over to the Moorland area again and talking to Cristina to tel her that Church was canceled...  :)
I hope that all of you have a super amazing Christmas!  I just want you all to know that I know that Christ's birth into the world really is something to be celebrated.  He came into this world for US.  Everything He did was for US.  He was born for US, He lived for US, and He died for US, and He will come again for US.  He loves us, and we need to show our love to Him.  :)  

 Elder Nathan Hubert

Monday, December 16, 2013

Robbery, Training, more Training, and Referrals!

Once again, this week has FLOWN by!!!  It's so SO crazy how fast things are going by - I am already to the end of my 1st Transfer!  But the only thing changing for me right now is that Saturday night. Elder Shipp got called by President Cutler as the new District Leader, and they have now split our Madison Zone into the Madison East/Madison West Zones, because there were too many missionaries and everything!  So yeah, that still doesn't change much for me.  ;) 
But hey, this last week was kind of strange because of all of the trainings I got to go to. On Tuesday morning we got ready super SUPER fast because we got picked up by the DeForest Elders (up North) to go to the Zone Training Meeting.  We got to the meeting and I was helping the Zone Leaders get some things ready for everything, and then it started.  Our Zone Leader - Elder Carter - was having a really hard time because he had gotten a phone call the night before by the President to tell him that his grandmother had just passed away.  So, he was pretty stressed about things, but he ended up doing really well for being so stressed out.  I hope things work out for him!  But later in the day, we went to go to an appointment that we had, but nobody was home when we went.  So, we got back on the bus and went back home, to find everything in our apartment to be completely ransacked! I was freaking out pretty well because hey, we had just gotten robbed!  All of our drawers were thrown on the floor, our room was trashed, and the things that they had taken were all of our watches and all of my change and all of my tie clips and stuff...  So, we have the other Elders come over to check it out, and after about an hour of me being freaked out, Elder Shipp pulls out his camera and starts recording me.  He says "This is Elder Hubert, and we just got robbed..." And then the English Elders yell "BY US!!!"  So as it turns out, it was just a huge prank because the English Elders have a key to our apartment!!!  AND they have been planning it since before I came out here...  RUDE!  But hey, super super funny...  ;)

On Wednesday, we got our hair cut because the place wasn't open on Monday, and then we had a lesson with a Recent Convert family, which went pretty rough.  They have a 13 year old boy who basically plays Video Games all day rather than read the scriptures, but hey, with time I think he will realize how much benefit we can have from the scriptures.  But we promised them that the next time we come, we'll make Gingerbread Houses together!  So we'll be doing that this coming Wednesday...  :)  So stoked!  Then we had English Class and Soccer, which was fun as usual!
On Thursday, we had to wake up at 5:30 and got picked up at 6:30 to go to Oshkosh for the 1-6 week training for all of us trainees who got here on November 5th.  So, we went to that!  And I loved a lot of the things that were said, but I forgot my notebook today so I can't tell you some stuff.  But, we were issued a challenge by the Assistants to talk to 10 people every day outside of our other plans, which is a really hard thing to do, but they gave us a very specific promise.  They said that if we do that, we will get 3 new investigators every week.  That is a big deal, so now I've been doing my very best!  It is super hard to do that though, but I have been doing lots better, like getting up to 6 a lot of the time, but the people don't typically want to stay and talk outside when it's below 0 degrees...  Crazy, huh?  But I've been doing a lot better, and have been feeling the benefits of that.  But the training was great, and basically I love our assistants.  I learned so much about some things that I can do up there, and had some really great role-plays where I learned a lot.  I just hope that I keep branching out and keep learning from my experiences!  :D 
On Friday, we got to go and contact an out-of-the-way referral that we got from our Sisters.  So, we make our way out to this guy's house, and it takes us forever, but when we finally get there and knock on it, the man comes to the door and barely cracks it open.  He speaks Spanish, so we know we're at the right place, and ask how he is.  He tells us that he's really sick and can't come it, but then we asked him if he knew who we are, and he said yes, because when he was younger, he served a mission for our same church in Argentina!  So, this guy is a complete member of the church, as inactive as he might be...  It was so funny!  Then when we asked the Sisters about it, they said that he had told them that he was a missionary for HIS church, but had failed to mention that HIS church was also OUR church!  :D  Just a super funny experience...  It was great...  :)
We also contacted Ezekiel again and he said that we could come back!  :)
On Saturday, we spent our entire day in the Raymond area of the city of Madison.  We walked around offering the old ladies shoveling their walks some help shoveling, and all of them shooed us away and said that they didn't need our help.  They were so rude about it!  But hey, they have their agency...  We also went and contacted a bunch of people inside of some apartments over there, and got to get into a couple houses and got a whole bunch of return appointments!  Super great!  And also I saw a girl get arrested outside of a gas station...  It was kind of scary... 

KING of the ROCK!!!
And on Sunday we just went to church, which is always great.  I love Sundays!  We also had a lunch appointment right after church, which was super delicious!  :D  Nothing really happened that day because Elder Shipp had to do phone calls with the District Leader and our appointment wasn't home, but we did have Spanish Movie Night last night!  We found an old VHS of Johnny Lingo in Spanish that we watched - it was great!  :D
But I do want to share a scripture with you guys.  I found this this last week during my studies and it has really been helping me as I work and has been helping me to be more diligent through it all.  The scripture is 3rd Nephi 13:21 which reads ''For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." I love that so much because it causes me to treasure up the experiences that I've been having as a missionary and the ones that I am excited that I will be getting.  :)  Because if you treasure something up, it will mean that much more to you.  :)
I love you all!  The church is true!  Feliz navidad!

Caught playing the piano! (My secret is out!)


Elder Nathan Hubert

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

End of Transfer 1- Im FREEZING!

You know, when I got my call to Wisconsin, people would bug me about two things:  Cheese, and the cold.  They are both a HUGE deal up here...  Cheese is really only a big deal for a few reasons, namely the fact that Wisconsin is the Dairy capital of the USA, and also because of the Green Bay Packers.  But the cold is something that we just have to live with up here.  Actually, I've started to be really happy when it snows, because that means that the air is WARM enough to have snow.  Usually, the air is super cold, and the wind chill takes it down another 10 degrees, so we've been sitting pretty in the negatives a couple of times this last week...  So exciting!  Actually, it hasn't been too bad, except for now it has snow, ice, AND wind...  Those together aren't the greatest thing in the world...  But I suppose I'll just get used to it.  :)

from my apartment
It is really hard for me to believe that it is already Preparation day again!  :)  It feels like my last one was just yesterday...  Or sooner...  But hey, I won't turn down a chance to hear from family/friends.  :) 
So, this week has been pretty eventful!  :) On Monday, last P-day, we played Football all day!  It was actually super super fun, and I had some pretty great plays!  I really enjoy the chance to run around and play and do thing like that - I definitely miss being able to just stop what I was doing and go for a run whenever I wanted...  I wish I could do that now...  But alas, I have other things to worry about...  And then Monday night, Elder Shipp and I had an appointment with Gustavo and his family, a family from Uruguay with a thick accent that makes them hard to understand, but we do our best..  They had met with the missionaries earlier one time, but don't really remember anything.  So, we got to know them a bit, and let them know why we were there and that we were there to talk about Jesus Chrust and to teach them about Him and His gospel.  They told us that they would be willing to talk about Christ always, but that they probably weren't going to change.  We made a return appointment for tonight and are going to keep on trying to meet with them, and I have hopes that in time, they'll change their mind. 
On Tuesday, we had District Meeting!  I really loved what our District Leader said, when he said that we need to find something to consecrate to the Lord, something that we can give to Christ for Christmas.  That's mostly what I got out of the day though...  When we got back to our apartment that evening, at around 4:30, to eat some food, Sister Thomas from the ward was waiting there with bags of food for us!  So, we took it and ate a bit of it before going out to the town to go contact some referrals that were about a 20-minute walk from our house.  :)  Only a few of them were home, and even then none of the adults were at the house, but we did get a prayer in with a few people and that was good!  :D

My District
Wednesday, we basically did the same thing that we did Tuesday night, and went and contacted 7 of the 9 referrals we had gotten this last week - which is a lot for this area, especially for Spanish elders.  We got a return appointment with one of the families that we contacted, but it was for 2 weeks away...  :P  Later, we went to our lesson with Carina, but she wasn't there...  Too bad.  Then, we went and had dinner with the Salinas family, and then got to go teach English class!  That is basically all of the service that I've been able to do, is teach English every Wednesday and Saturday, though with all of the snow all of the sudden falling everywhere, I assume we'll be able to help out with snow removal and doing other services like that in the winter time.  I'm all prepped and ready to go for that!  :D
My favorite Mexican cookies
Thursday, we had weeks planning, which unfortunately took up a very large portion of our day.  But that night, we took some buses to get to the Moorland area, where we had a lesson scheduled with a family.  It was super cold, but we walked through it all anyway, but when we got there and the mother of the family came to the door, she said "Estamos ocupados!"  We are busy!  So, disappointing as that was, especially since we had gotten so out of the way to get to her, I hope we can teach them next time.  :)
Friday, we did something that I'd never heard of before!  We just did everything in reverse today.  Because of the bus schedule and everything, we had to catch it at 7:45 in the morning to go down to Verona, a place where we have a bunch of addresses to go and contact, but also a place that is super super out of the way.  So, we got out there and I got a peek at the largest computer company campus in the USA, called EPIC.  But we spent the day in Verona, knocking on a whole bunch of doors, offering to teach a message and also to do service, but we got turned down a whole bunch of times.  Later in the day, we met up to eat with the Mad4 Elders who have a car, and they so graciously dropped us off at the West area, where we met up with a less-active family the Hernandez's.  We talked to them for a few minutes, but the father was on his way out the door.  So, he gave us a ride to the bus transfer point.  On the way there, we asked him if anybody had gotten into contact with him about the church, and he told us that he had been getting visits from the home teachers, which I was really happy to hear!  :)  Our work with the less-actives has mostly been to get them involved with the ward-members, so the fact that they are doing it on their own is really really great!
Saturday, we had Correlation to start with, which was just like normal!  :D  Then, we had our weekly visit with Caceldo, which lasted an hour or more.  We had planned to teach him the Plan of Salvation, but when we got there, he had lots of questions about the scripture that we had had him read, about faith in Alma.   He asked us about how we are supposed to nurture the seed, which led us right into a lesson about how we cause our faith to grow, which in turn led us to talk about church attendance.  He accepted the invitation to church again, but was a bit shaky again.  I just hope that he can come one of these days and that we can find him a friend at church.  Later on Saturday, we had lunch with a member, and then had to go back to the church for English Class.  We then stayed after English Class to help the ward set up and get ready for the Christmas party that night, which was actually really fun!  :)  I spent hours pulling pork...  My hands were so raw!  But it was worth it because it tasted amazing.  :)

I love packages from home!!!

Our decorations
Sunday was a normal day, and Caceldo once again didn't make it to church.  We had a great companionship study as soon as we got home, which I really really liked, and then we went over to the Barton's house for dinner.  We stayed, talked about things, and then got to watch the devotional at their house.  I really loved the devotional though,  especially Elder Nelson's talk.  :)  I hope you guys all got to watch it!  And if you haven't yet, I recommend that you do!  :D

Well, that is my week up to this point!  :)  I love you all so very much.  I hope that we can all think of ways taht we can share the Spirit of Christ in this Season of Christmas.  And also, try to find one thing to consecrate to the Lord - one thing that you can give to Christ for Christmas.  A scripture that I really love is 3 Nefi 1:13, which says "Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets."  This is what Christmas should mean to us.  Christmas is all about the Gospel.  The Prophets have spoken the truth, and Christ came into the world for US.  Why can we not do something back for Him?  We will never be able to fully repay Him, but we can do our best.
Feliz Navidad!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Exchanges, Snow, Turkey, Life

What a week!  This week has been probably one of the strangest weeks that I've experienced while being out here in Wisconsin...  But hey, that doesn't mean that it wasn't great!  :D
I'll just go through it day by day though...  :)  You will be happy to know that on Monday, last P-day, I was able to go to Burlington Coat Factory and get a whole bunch of Winter Gear!  I got 2 scarves, 2 pairs of gloves, some wool socks, and a hat!  So don't worry, I've been pretty warm while I've been out here.  It has been getting pretty cold every day, and colder as the days go on, but I've been able to stay warm.  :)  I'll have to send a photo sometime - I look semi-like an eskimo..  :P
On Tuesday we had district meeting!  That went pretty well.  We were able to role-play and do a whole bunch of training things like that, which was actually really helpful.  But, after District Meeting was over, Elder Shipp and I separated on Exchanges with the District Leader.  I stayed with Elder Anderson on the University of Wisconsin campus for the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday, and Elder Broderick went to our place with Elder Shipp.  I really loved exchanges as usual though.  All we did on Tuesday was contact a few referrals, who weren't interested.  We then went to dinner with the other Campus elders at a member's house, which was pretty fun, and then we made our way back to the apartment for the night.

Elder Anderson

The next day was very adventurous!  We did our studies and everything in the morning, but that had to be cut short to catch a bus to campus.  That is one thing that has been kind of hard for me.  I want to get the little time I have to study in and be able to learn a lot, but when our mode of transportation is only buses, which can tend to be a bit unreliable, so we have to do our best to go by their schedule.  But, when we got to campus, we went straight to the Institute building to wait for a lesson, so I was able to finish my studies there.  :)  Our lesson was with a student named Alec, who seems like he is really searching for the truth.  He is reading the Book of Mormon and has a baptism date, he just hasn't made it to church yet, which is something that is super important!  :D  But we had a member come to our lesson, which was my first member-present of my entire mission!  Usually when we get a member to come, the person is never there, but this time they both came!  :D  So we taught Alec and committed him to come to church, but I'm not sure if that worked out this last week or not.  After our lesson though, we wandered around campus for the rest of the day, stopping people and talking to them about the gospel, sharing short 1-minute lessons about our beliefs, getting rejected a ton, but having lots of success as well!  One young man was from Korea, but knew about the church because he went to BYU and volunteered to teach Korean at the MTC, but he still wasn't a member.  Another guy was from Wyoming and knew of the history of the church, but none of the doctrine, so we gave him a Book of Mormon and explained what it had in it.  Another guy said he wasn't religious, but accepted our message, pamphlet, and a prayer before we left.  And then another lady had been here for 2 weeks from China, didn't speak English very well, but still talked to us and got our number and the address of the church.  I don't know if anything will come of it but hey, we did our part!  :)  But that was our day, and then in the evening we met back up with our companions and exchanged back.
Thursday was THANKSGIVING!  And if any of you have questions about what we did on Thanksgiving, it did not involve teaching...  We tried to set up lessons for that day, but none of them worked out.  So all we did was our studies until about 1:30, and then we got picked up by our bishop at 2 to go to his house for thanksgiving.  It was a typical thanksgiving meal, and it was super good!  :D  We also played games with their grandkids and with the family, and I won the air-hockey tournament!  :D  But it was a typical Thanksgiving, nothing super special other than the fact that I was out here on a mission and not at home hanging out with you guys!  :) 
On Friday, we did our Weekly planning because we were super busy yesterday.  During that, we called Ezekiel, our Investigator who lives super far away, and asked him when we could come visit him...  We ended up dropping him though, because he was like "Don't worry about me you guys.  I'm good, you're good, so don't worry."  So I guess you could say that he dropped us, but unfortunately it was a mutual decision.

Then, we called Oscar, who committed to coming to church over the phone!  Talk about cool! 
Then we had a great dinner appointment with some of the greatest Pizza I've ever had, but that was the end of our day. 
Saturday started with Correlation, but then we got a ride down to Caceldo's house from Bro. Smith, in a really sketchy part of the neighborhood called the Allied Territory.  We got to Caceldo's house, and when he came to the door, he told us that he had just woken up and was about to head out for the day - so he had forgotten about our lesson...  So, briefly, I asked him if he would come to church, and he said YES!  So, from that point, we were expecting 2 people at church tomorrow!  Later though, we had a member-present lesson planned, but our investigator was not home once again!  Talk about frustrating...  Oh well... 
Sunday rolled around though, and neither of the guys were at church.  After talking to Elder Shipp about it, it is apparently pretty typical for the Hispanics to not follow through with their commitments, but I was still pretty put out about it..  I was so excited that we might actually have some people come to church!  But I guess not - that was not that day...  And then after a long day of contacting with no success on Sunday, we shared dinner with the English elders that live close to us, and then we had an epic card-throwing duel with them using our pass-along cards...  Pretty fun.  Missionaries do crazy things sometimes..  

But life really is great!  I am getting used to the fact that we don't have a lot of follow-through lessons and things like that, but my attitude is staying up!  :D  I love you all!

Amazing Sunset


Elder Nathan Hubert

Monday, November 25, 2013

Zone Conference

First of all, I don't know if I mentioned this in last week's email, but I tried the World's Hottest Hot Sauce, called 'Da Bomb, last week...  It was probably the worst 10 minutes of my life...  But hey, now I can say it.  And yes, it is credible because Guinnes said that it was...  ;)  That's enough for me. 

We had Zone Conference on Tuesday!  That was actually really sweet though - I loved it!  We got to hear some great words from Hermana Cutler, President Cutler, the Assistants (Elder Loertscher and Elder Thoreson), as well as some members of the Stake Presidency and other people.  We talked a lot about how the Book of Mormon has played a role in our conversion, as well as how we need to work with the members more.  Also, I was able to take part in a musical number with some sisters and Elder Kanahele (one of our Zone Leaders).  We sang "More Holiness Give Me," and I think it sounded okay... We only rehearsed for maybe 5 minutes... :P  I also loved learning in that setting, and getting to know a whole bunch of new missionaries.  Because I'm new, I don't really know many people, but that presented me with the opportunity to get to know more people!  It was really great!
Later that day, we had a dinner appointment that we shared with the English Elders (Thompson and Campbell), and at the end of that, I was able to share my thoughts on what we had learned at Zone Conference as our Spiritual thought.  I shared how the Book of Mormon has strengthened my conversion, for surely it has.  I would not be here right now if it was not for the Book of Mormon.  Put simply and bluntly, that is it.
And on Wednesday, we had a bunch of appointments set up with Gustavo and Juan y Francisco and some more all in the same area, which lined up really well, but when we went to the houses of all of our potential investigators and investigators, nobody was home!  We continued knocking on doors to pass the time, and actually ended up wandering pretty far - farther than I'd ever been in that area - and taught a whole bunch of lessons.  Our usual for a good day is 2 lessons taught.  However, by the end of Wednesday, we had taught 5 lesssons, which was half of our weekly goal all done in one day!  One woman who let us in told us about how she had prayed the night before for somebody to come and talk to her, to help her find a direction in her life, and she told us that she thinks that we were the answer to that prayer.  It is incredible to see the hand of the Spirit in people's lives, and in our lives.
We also got chased by a dog today!  There was this dog walking down a bike trail on its own, so we thought we'd be good scouts and "Do a good turn daily," but this little dog kept on growling as we got closer.  Elder Shipp took a picture when we were close enough, and then made a sudden movement that pretty much made the dog start chasing him.  It ran right past me and chased him for a good 50 yards.  Then later, it chased me, too...  Cross that one off of the list!
Thursday was basically the same story with all of our potentials and our investigators not opening up the door.  One thing that I'm learning very quickly is to not get super hooked on a person until later on in the process.  You will teach several first lessons, but many people aren't ready to hear the message yet.  So, several times, we drop them or they drop us and just don't answer the door...  Such is life!  But, we were able to stop by a recent convert's house, named Christina.  But, when she opened the door, her kitchen was on fire!!!  She answered it, saw that it was us, and said "Un momento" - and continued to pound out a grease fire in her kitchen!  Talk about strange...  But, when I got home I got to pack up some things to get ready to go on an exchange with the Zone Leaders.  I got to go with Elder Carter up to Middleton.
Exchanges were a super great experience, though.  I loved getting to learn from Elder Carter - he is such a powerful missionary.  And luckily, we got a car.  :)  So, I got a car instead of buses for a day!  One of my favorite moments was when we were watching a mormon message with a couple, and I felt prompted to share my testimony about being thankful with him, so I did, and I think it hit him pretty hard.  And then later that night, we had a dinner appointment with a family who has been hit pretty hard by life right now, and I felt prompted to share D&C 121 with them, which is when Joseph Smith is in the Liberty Jail, saying "O God, where art thou?"  But the words of comfort come from God when he says "Peace be unto thy soul, thine adversity shall be but a small moment."  I loved that, and it started a great conversation. 
And then the only other thing that happened was on saturday night, we had a giant culture night that the missionaries planned.  And, out of all of the activities at a church that I've ever seen, this one was the biggest!  The Latinos went crazy, showing us a whole bunch of dances, songs, and other amazing things.

And of course, Sunday was great too.  :D  Except for the part when we had to cancel all of our day's plans because Elder Shipp is sick and we think he has bronchitis.  I hope he gets better!  But that's it from me - I love you guys so much!  :D

--Elder Nathan Hubert

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rain, rain, lots of rain, cold, wind, and the worlds hottest hotsauce... This is Wisconsin! :P

Well, the subject line basically describes this last week.  It snowed on Monday a little bit, which stuck to the ground for a couple days.  But mostly, it has been almost non-stop rain for the past couple days, as well as being endless freezing cold rain.  Every now and then, I am tempted to get down on myself because if anybody knows me, they will know that I hate being cold and everything that has to do with cold, but I just have to tell myself "such is mission life!"  I mean, I can't exactly say "I didn't sign up for this!"  Because I did.  I definitely signed up for whatever hardship comes my way.

Whatever trial I am given, it is mine and I just have to take it and run because it is supposed to help me to grow.  This kind of applies to an experience we had yesterday on the way home. Elder Shipp and I had been met with a pretty typical winter day in Wisconsin.  It is cold, so people are either not home, or home and really grumpy, so we were met with no success because the two families that we had scheduled appointments with had both stood us up, which put us at the middle of the city, super far from our apartment, waiting for a bus in the cold nighttime weather.  

So, we get on a bus that was heading home and we were sitting there in silence because the only other person on the bus was a guy that was pretty much passed out on the window behind us.  All of the sudden, this guy starts laughing to himself, and I'm confused because he still looks like he's asleep and just laughing at himself.  He then says something about Mitt Romney, so we acknowledge his comment, and then he sits up and opens his eyes and looks right at us and asks us "Are you Mormon?"  We confirm that we are, indeed, Mormons.  He then gets this look on his face as if to say 'I thought so."  Then, he gets this kind of quizzical look on his face, turns back to us, and asks us "But you don't really want to be Mormons, do you?"  Surprised by his question, we look at him and tell him that of course we want to be Mormons!  And he continued to look all confused until he finally said a few minutes later, "Okay, I guess I can respect that."  I guess the reason I'm including this is because looking back on that experience, I realize that I am, indeed, proud to be what I am - MORMON.  I think we each need to look into ourselves and find out if we are just going through the motions of this religion, or if we are truly converted and fully committed to everything being a Mormon brings with it.  I love the part in the Standard of Truth that says "Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent..."  No matter what comes our way, the truth of God will go forth, and we need to be the ones who are the bringers of that word of Truth.  Just a little message to start out the week.  :)

And I don't want to seem pessimistic by the first little bit of the email, but that is what mission life is like - it is very difficult and it is very eye-opening to exactly how rude and cold people can be, but it is also very encouraging when we as missionaries realize that 100 door slams and rejections are worth 1 yes.  So, with that in mind, on Tuesday we started everything out with District meeting.  It was pretty good, and for my first district meeting I think it went pretty well!  We talked about the work, about the good times of the week, and the bad times of the week, and tings that we can work on, and then we went on to address concerns and questions and then practiced a bit.  I really liked it!  Then after that, we went out to the area near our apartment because we had a return appointment at 4.  But before that time came, we had written to go and visit an Elba, a previous investigator who wasn't home.  We then went and visited the Gutierez family, who had no parents in the house.  But when we went to Francisco's house, his brother Juan ansered the door and let us in.  We have spoken to both of the brothers on seperate occasions and were so happy to be able to teach them together!  But first of all, they are from Nicaragua, and their Spanish is super hard to understand, so I had a bit of a hard time, but I still got along fine.  We taught about how the Holy Ghost can help then with anything and can help them receive answers to their questions and prayers, which was a perfect segway into the Restoration.  We talked about Joseph Smith and that entire story there, and on 2 seperate occasions during the lesson, I looked up at Juan and then at Francisco, and their eyes were tearing up.  The Spirit was so strong, and I absolutely loved teaching them.  I also loved all of Francisco's comments because whenever he has something to say, he is always so animated and so into it.  It was a great lesson, and we even invited them to be baptized, and they said that they won't commit to anything yet, but will think and pray about it, which is great!
Later, we went to Luis's house, but nobody was home...  Then, we had a dinner appointment and then we went home.  :)
On Wednesday, we had goals to go out and teach Juan, Lulu, Maria, and do some other things, but Lulu wasn't home when we went over there, so we had no success there.  However, we were able to teach Juan a short lesson, but we had to go and catch a bus before we got into anything huge, which was too bad - he seemed so ready to go!  Maria, unfortunaltely, wasn't home, but we ended up going to a different house around the same neighborhood and setting up an appointment with them.  Then,  we got on a bus and rode to our dinner appointment which was in Eagle Heights - some Student Housing for UW.  After a delicious dinner and message with the Bradshaw's, we went to English class and played some soccer afterwords.  The message at dinner was something that I really liked preparing and loved sharing with the family.  I talked about Ether 12, a chapter that is all about faith, and talked about verse 6 and the "trial of your faith."  I then read some other verses in the same chapter which tell of a whole bunch of things that were accomplished because of faith, and challenged them to look inwards and find all of the things that are accomplished in their lives because of faith.  I even did the same thing!  It was pretty great!
Thursday was a slower day because we were stuck in the apartment for a while doing weekly planning.  But luckily, we were able to set some pretty good goals - I think that we'll be able to do them!  :D  Later, we did some contacting and some tracting activities that didn't really result in anything, but then we had a dinner appointment with the Salinas family as a birthday party for Brother Salinas.  We ate dinner, which was crazy delicious!  These tacos were the most authentic things i've ever eaten, and then we played Spanish Cherades and then some Uno as well.  They have a son, Junior, who wanted to play a song on their electrical piano, so he did that.  But he had also seen me playing one day at the church and told his mom that, so she made me sit down and start playing some stuff.  I played stuff like How Can I Be and some Hymn arrangements, and then when I was playing a song that I don't remember, I started singing a bit too, and by the end of the song when they were ready to play some more games, one of the kids's girlfriends, who is like 16 maybe, was using her iPod to video me!  I felt super uncomfortable all of the sudden and stopped - kind of weird, wouldn't you say..?  :P
Friday, we talked to a less-active lady who just moved here from kentucky, and told her that we'd gotten her a ride to go to Church on Sunday, even though we didn't have one.  We were just hoping that the Lord would provide - which He did by Sunday!  We were able to get her to church!  But also that day, we rode busses for nearly 2 hours to get to one investigator's house to teach him, but when we got there, he said that he had forgotten about us, and was instead waiting for some work associates to have a meeting at his apartment...  Talk about frustrating!  So instead, we just boarded the bus and went right back home... 
Saturday, we had Correlation meeting at the church, which turned up some great things about our investigators.  We then waited at the church to go teach English class for a few hours because we can't just leave there, but nobody even showed up for that so we had wasted a few hours of everyone's time, and of the Lord's time, which made us pretty disappointed, but we just moved on to our appointment with Oscar, and I was super excited about it because I knew that I had some things to say to him, but he wasn't there either...  But luckily, we got to go to a baptism for one of Elder Shipp's old investigators and then we were stood up again that night for another apointment...  Oh well!  "Such is mission life!"
I love you guys, and I want you to know that though I might sound upset and things, I only allow myself a couple minutes after something like that happens to be upset about it.  We all need to move on from things like that, because even if they aren't ready now and the missionaries might move on from them, the Lord will never move on from them.  That is why He is the Lord.  :)  I love you guys!  Keep the faith!


Elder Nathan Hubert

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"The Field is White Already to Harvest" -WISCONSIN!!

Well everybody, I have officially arrived in Wisconsin!  But let me put to words the trip over here...  :)

Last week was awesome!  :)  So, on Tuesday, Elder Stringham and I woke up at 1:00 AM and got ready for the day, putting the final things into our luggage and doing everything we needed to do to be ready to go to the field.  So, we got over to Reception at 1:30, and left the place at 2:00.  It was crazy to pull out of the CCM, knowing that I would never be back as a missionary...  Though I do hope to come back someday.  :D  But we drove over to the airport which took us probably 20 minutes because the roads were empty, as surprising as that was!  Then, we had to separate from Elder Nistler, Johnson, and Hermana Millett - all of whom were going to Arizona.  So, Elder Stringham, Hermana Goodman and I all went forward and waited at our gate for about an hour and a half before we boarded.  But when we got on the plane, I thought that I had left me journal at the gate, because I couldn't find it anywhere!

The flight was about 2 hours long and then we arrived at Dallas/Ft. Worth airport.  We had to go through Immigration, Customs, and Security once again, which probably took nearly an hour, which was cutting it really close because I started boarding an hour after we had landed!  But I did all of that stuff by myself, waited for Elder Stringham for one last photo as a companionship, and then I left to go to my gate.  I got there with a little bit of time to spare, so I ate the first food of the day...  Then, I still wasn't able to find my journal!  So, I prayed and opened my bags one last time before I boarded, and the first thing I saw was my journal!  The church is true everybody, and prayer really does work!  :D

The flight was about another 2 hours to Wisconsin, and as we were flying over the city of Milwaukee, I kept on thinking of the scripture in D&C 4, "The Field is White Already to Harvest..."  I was so excited to get down!  But when we landed, I walked right through everything and got my bags, waiting for somebody to come and find me...  I wandered for 20 minutes downstairs, and then went upstairs for another 20 minutes, when the Assistants came and found me.  :)  Finally!  We loaded my bags up and drove to the mission home, where I met Hermana Cutler and got to eat a delectable Sloppy Joe.  I filled out some papers and we were then briefed on safety things for cars and cell phones, how to use our church debit card, and then I got an interview with the President before going to a church for a testimony meeting.

That night, I just stayed at the Mission Home with some other missioanries that came in from Provo.  Then the next morning, after a quick time of getting ready, we went to the church to get our new companions.  Sooner or later, I was assigned to Elder Shipp - a missionary from Lehi, UT.

So, after all of that, we loaded my bags up and drove to Madison, WI, which was to be my first area!  We got there about 3 hours later because we got lost, and met our Zone Leaders - super cool guys.  But they gave us a ride to our apartment (we don't have a car - we get around by bus) and I put my stuff away, grabbed my bag, and we went to teach an English class at our church building.  After that, we played soccer for an hour, and then after that we went to a dinner appointment for a recently baptized family.  It was so strange to just be thrust into the midst of everything!  :D

The next day, I got situated a lot in the morning, and then after studying and doing things like that - getting into the mission schedule - we went out to go tracting.  When we decided on a place to go tracting, he had me decide on where to go, but when I asked him where he was thinking on going, it was the exact same place that I thought I should go!  Talk about crazy!  So, we went over there, but everybody that we went to see was not at home.  But, we did talk to a nice homeless Latino guy who we gave a Libro de Mormon and prayed with, and then a man we met in a park who gave us his address and told us to come back on Saturday.  But we walked a lot and talked to some people, but those were the only return appointments we had.  (Sorry for being brief - I'm short on time).
The next day, we went to a different area and did the same thing, and basically the same thing happened, but we talked to several less active members and tried to get them to come back and got several return appointments.  We also got taken out to lunch and got an amazing tour of the UofW Football Stadium, which was AMAZING!  That night, we went to a BYU Football Fireside which I thought was cool too.  :)  Then, on Saturday, we talked to Oscar, a man who was baptized but never confirmed that we're trying to explain baptism to.  We also went back to the first family that we met in a park, but they forgot about it.

Sunday, there was a marathon so the bus didn't go by our church building, so we ended up walking 3 miles or more to our church building, though thick city and dense forest - Madison is a weird city...  :P  I also got to meet tons of members so I hope it continues this way!  :D

-- Elder Hubert

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last P-Day in the CCM

Well, things here at the CCM are wrapping to a close!  It is insane to think that I have been here for almost 6 weeks already, and that I'll be leaving from here on Tuesday, but alas, the time has come!  :D  I cannot express how happy I am to be leaving!  The entire time that I've been here, it has seemed like I had just barely gotten here, but at the same time has felt like I have been here for a year!!!  But here we go, everything that I've taken 6 weeks to get used to is about to change, but I am extatic about all of the great things that are going to happen!  Also, this entire time, it has been very bittersweet.  I have gotten close to several missionaries while I've been out here, and have gotten to see them go into the field and have seen their excitement, and now all of the sudden I am that person!  I cannot believe that it has come to this.  I am going to miss so many things and so many people that I am leaving, and I have made such good friends with so many other people that I hope will last forever, but then again I am so excited to move on to something bigger and better, and to have the investigators actually be real!  :D

But I am still at the CCM for a few more days, and about this last week, it has been a really good one!  But also, it has been very bittersweet...  First of all, lessons with our investigators are going super well!  We still have our two investigators - Luis and Adolfo - and things are going great!  Adolfo has been a bit more hesitant about everything we've been teaching him though.  He knows its true, but he is scared of change.  He doesn't enjoy having to do something if it involves him having to change his lifestyle at all, and that has been one major obstacle especially considering that everything in our church involves changing in some way, and continuing to change in every other way.  But still, he wants to be happy in his life, and he has received a lot of happiness and blessings in his life ever since he started taking our lessons, so I'm thankful for that.  But Elder Stringham and I felt very driven this week to talk to him about baptism and what was holding him back.  We had already committed him to be baptized, but he was hesitant to set a date...  But during one lesson in particular, we discussed all of his issues with it, such as what his family and friends might think and things like that, and after reassuring him, sharing some scriptures, and committing him to pray to receive his own inspiration, he committed to be baptized on November 23!  :D

Luis though, he has been taking everything that we have been telling him and just flying with it!  He told us that he wanted to learn more about the teachings of Christ and everything like that, and that lesson led us straight into baptism and following Christ's example.  So, when we asked him to be baptized, he said that he would!  And when we suggested a date, he said yes!!!  :D  So both of our investigators - really our teachers acting out a role - are to be baptized on November 23.  :)

But we had an exciting accomplishment this week!  On Friday, the 25th, it was our month mark of being out on our missions!!!  :D  Yeah, we ran around and broke all of these rules...  Not really though...  We didn't really do anything, but it was super weird to think that we've been out more than a month!!!  :D  Talk about CRAZY!

Nothing really happened on Saturday except for studying and things like that.  I really wish that I could tell you all about what I study about, but I don't have tons of time on the computer and half of the time I forget my study journal!  But on sunday morning we had an extra hour of sleep because Daylight Savings time ended down here.  It was kind of funny because as usual, I just woke up at the same time I always do, but it was an hour earlier because our clocks changed...  But our native elders thought that it went forward an hour, and then they decided to wake up an hour early, so instead of waking up at 5, which is early anyway, they woke up at 4!  I felt so bad for them!!!

Later on Sunday, Elder Stringham and I got to teach the leadership meeting for all of our Zone leaders, and we got to teach about how it is great to be a leader, better to be a servant-leader, and that you're not doing your job right if you're not delegating.  The Lord never asked any one of his servants to do every single thing, and we shouldn't try to be Super missionaries, so delegation is amazing.  We mentioned the scripture about serving your fellow beings and serving God, and then said that we need to be the ones to allow other people the opportunity to serve God.  It was sweet!  But even sweeter was when Sacrament Meeting rolled around, we had some visitors in our small branch!  It turned out to be Elder Allen and another Elder guy who were from the Missionary board, and Elder Allen is the guy in charge of the entire missionary force in the world!  It was so neat to have them there!  :D  I don't know why they decided to come to our meeting, but they did.  It was also super cool because one of the guys who spoke, Elder Nichols, spoke on how his dad was less active and hoped that someday he would come back to the church.  At the end when Elder Allen said a few words, he told the Elder that he needed to get his dad's contact information so that he could give him a call and tell his dad what he just saw his son do...  The Spirit was so strong, I absolutely loved it!  And then later that night, he spoke at a devotional that we had and he is just like Elder Holland - I am not going to be surprised when this guy gets called to be an Apostle!  And then after that, we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie, which of course is amazing...  :)

On Monday, the only super special thing that happened was that I got a letter from Dad in the mail that he sent a while ago, but don't worry, I got it!  I also got the other one that you guys sent to me - I got that one today...  :)

Tuesday, we had a devotional, and that was pretty good!  We watched an old devotional by Elder Holland, and man he is such a powerful speaker I love it so much!  :D  Later that night, we had a devotional review and then a Zone Testimony Meeting for those of us who were leaving, which was amazing...  I never used to cry, but ever since I got out here, I have been crying a lot!  So of course, I bore my testimony and started crying, but I felt the Spirit so much!

Not tons happened on Wednesday - sorry, but some days are clearly more exciting than others...  But today has been great so far!  I got a haircut and we went to the Temple at 7 this morning, which was great!  I am surely going to miss going to the Mexico City temple, as well as doing the sessions in Spanish, but life goes on.  I hope to make it back here someday - I absolutely love it down here!  But I wonder how life would be outside of our protective bubble...  Who knows!!!

On Wednesday, I also got to go and help some people off of the bus on their first day, and to help them find their casas and everything.  And who was there?  Elder Dallin Jeske (I didn't get a photo with him yet), Hermana Lindsey Turner, and Hermana Melissa Killpack!  It's just an OREM party down here!  :D
Hermana Turner

Hermana Killpack

Well, I need to write some more emails, just know that I love you guys SO much!  I appreciate all of your support and prayers in my behalf - they are being put to good use!  And now, my P-day is going to switch to Mondays because I'm going to be going out into the field this next week, so you probably won't here from me until then, but there is a slight chance I can get on the computer for a little bit on Monday as well as the chance that I can call home on Tuesday when I'm at the airport - we'll see what time allows...  I love you all!


Elder Nathan Hubert