Elder Nathan Hubert's Mission Blog

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