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

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