Elder Nathan Hubert's Mission Blog

Monday, January 27, 2014


Well first things first everybody, I have an announcement to make for you guys!!!  I am getting transferred!  I started out here in Madison where I have been trained by Elder Shipp, but now my time has come to go out to a different place.  I'm going to be moving to Waukesha, a smaller city outside Milwaukee, to continue the Spanish work there.  But that has gotten me thinking, some of you guys have written me letters and have sent them to my Fitchburg, WI address, so it would go directly to my apartment.  But now that I'm moving and don't know the address for Waukesha, I think that it would be best for anybody sending anything here to Wisconsin to send it to the address of the mission office so that the office couples can forward it to me wherever I am in the mission.  So, that address is this:

Elder Nathan Hubert
Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission
But furthermore, about my week....  :)

On Tuesday we saw a miracle!  We were in the Allied area of Madison and we were stopping by the people that we had previously taught, one of which was Casildo.  He had been dropped because we hadn't been able to make contact with him for quite some time, but we decided to go and try his door anyway.  And as usual, no answer came!  We were pretty disappointed and stood there for 5 minutes before we started to walk away, but then we both turned around and all of the sudden, there was Casildo, holding his son, walking up to the house.  We helped him get inside because his hands were full of his son, and then after he put his son to bed, he came in the other room and we were able to teach him!  We re taught him the last lesson that we had given him, and he actually opened up to us today.  He could tell that we were something special and that there was something missing in his life when we stopped teaching him.  So, it was great to finally get some input from him.  Then, we extended a baptismal commitment for March 15, which he accepted so that he could be a man of God and be an example for his family.  It was amazing!

Something else that happened today was when we stopped by a referral from the Sisters, whose name is Renato.  He is from Brazil and speaks Portugese, but I guess that we are the closest thing to that.  We read from the book of Mormon with him, and he read in his native language as we followed along in English.  It was kind of strange, but it was a good lesson - we have a great feeling for him!  :)

Wednesday was interviews with President Cutler.  He drove up from Milwaukee to come to our District Meeting and to interview us!  So, we got to church (late because of the buses), but it ended up being okay!  Interviews were super great.  President just asked how things were and we talked for 30 minutes!  It was really great!  :D  We both received some great revelation on how to help our investigators and what we need to do to better penetrate them.  I'm sure that things will be looking up!  

Then that night, we had dinner with the incredible Griffiths family and I got to play soccer for my very last time in this ward.  It was pretty fun because they brought a semi-pro mexican player with them and we got creamed!

Thursday, Elder Shipp and I got trained on how to use the Family History Center at the church so that we could be able to work some shifts as a service...  Which leads me to wonder why our family history doesn't go past Grandma Beckie on the Egbert side?  I couldn't see past that!  I'm just wondering why that is...  :)  And we also had weekly planning which of course is a party!

Friday we had exchanges with the English Elders, and I got to be in the Spanish Area with Elder Campbell!  It was super great, I loved it, and we saw tons of miracles.  We got to spend time in the the Allied area and we got to see Casildo by miracle again, and were able to reinforce what we said a few days ago.  We also promised him that we'd find a way for him to get to church, which he was excited about.  We also got to go to Irma Alcantara's place and teach her grandson Roger, who is preparing to be baptized within the year.  :)  It was great!  Then we had a dinner with the Spanish Elders and the Sanchez family, which of course was great.  

Saturday is when I got news that I was going to be getting transferred!  So the rest of the day was spent in excitement for wondering where it was that I was going to go!  :)  But we were able to call a whole bunch of potentials because it was too cold to go outside.  But luckily we were able to set up a whole bunch of appointments that way!  I also got to practice singing a song with a lady from the ward who was going to be accompanying me on Sunday, so that was really great too.  :)  We also contacted referrals that we had been given, but none of those went far because the people weren't interested at all...

Sunday we got to go to church!!!  And I got to sing, which was super fun as well!  I sang an arrangement of "Lord, I would Follow Thee" and it went really well.  I hope that people could feel the Spirit while I sang though.  After church, we just went back to our apartment because we have another cold warning out here...  Then, Elder Shipp made phone calls and then we got a call from President, telling me that I was going to go to Waukesha!  I'm pretty excited about that though, I'll let you know how it is!!!  

I love you all and I apologize for being vague this week, don't be upset with me...  ;)  But I love you all so much!!!  Things are amazing here in Wisconsin, as cold as it is...  ;)


--Elder Hubert

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weekly Update!

Yes, yes, I know that I am sending this on a Saturday, but don't worry I'm not being disobedient - it's just that every single library in the city of Madison is going to be shut down on Monday because of Martin Luther King Jr. day, so we were advised to email for a tiny amount of time today, on Saturday!

So I just wanted to begin by telling all of you guys sorry that I'm not going to personally email you this week!  I only have a tiny bit of time to send home my generic email and also to write President Cutler, so I'm going to be on and off in a jiffy...  ;)

But, this week has been super fun and pretty busy!  We have had great opportunities to teach and to share our testimonies, which I was very thankful for. 

On Monday though, the only super exciting thing was when we were at the Institute building with other missionaries from around this area.  One of them was on a Varsity Ping-pong team in High School (didn't know that those existed), but basically only wants to play Ping-pong every week!  But this week, we changed it up a bit.  We made a new kind of ping-pong game, called Wiff-waff.  It includes teams of 2 on each side, as well as a certain amount of bounces, diving, jumping, passing, and using the ground/ceiling.  It is super intense and looks super strange while you're watching others play the game, but once you start playing it yourself then you understand how great it is!  :D

Tuesday was district meeting, led by Elder Shipp.  He was super creative coming into the meeting though, because he created a 'Create Your Own Ending' District Meeting, based on what happened at the end of the meeting, so potentially, we had 4 different ending lessons that we could experience.  But first, we had a role-play of a church tour, which the Sisters gave.  It was my first experience with a church tour, so I was thankful that I wasn't told to do it, because I wouldn't have known what I was doing!  But they did a good job.  Then, for our create your own ending, of course we had to end up with the Chastity one!  It was super funny though...  Then, we had brownies!  And guess who made them...?  ME!  It was my first attempt at cooking anything like that out here on my mission, and they were a huge hit!  What I did was put a layer of brownie, then some chocolate bar, then the rest of the brownie mix, so it was super delicious when you put it in your mouth because the brownie was gooey and the chocolate was melted...  Man, it was sweet...  :P  (literally)

Wednesday, we had a bunch of people that we contacted in our area right around our house, but the only people that we were able to talk to were Arezmo and Guillermo, but we got their address and phone number so we're hoping that we can get in with them sometime!  And then in the evening, instead of doing English Class like we usually do, what we did was we took the Chaparro family to the stake work specialist and translated for them as we helped them construct some Resumes so that they can get better jobs than what they are working for now.  So, I really hope that things turn out for them!

On Thursday, we had weekly planning!  Elder Shipp had me lead out the planning session, and it went very well for us!  I'll spare you the details though, it is 3 hours of talking about what we're going to do next week...  :P  But after that, we went up to our weekly lesson with Veronica, but she was not home, which was very disappointing for us.  We even got Brother Allen, a member from the ward, to drive down and meet us there to help us teach, but she was not home!  So, we can only hope and pray for her, because I know that the gospel can bless her life a lot.  And then thursday night, we started our companionship exchange with the Zone Leaders, which I was excited for!  I was able to stay in our area again, and got Elder Carter as my companion for the day.

So Friday was our exchange...  And after all of our studies and making lesson plans for the appointments we had in the evening, we set out to the Raymond area, an area that is pretty far away from where our apartment is.  But we made it out there in good time, which I was thankful for because I'd only ever been to that part of town once before...  And we had made plans to teach 5 lessons while we were down there, but through all of our work and all of our attempts to find people, nobody ended up answering their doors at all...  All of the hispanic people had gone to work or something, but we didn't teach anybody!  So Elder Carter and I were pretty disappointed in the time that we had 'wasted' in the Raymond area, but we went forward in faith to the South Transfer Point area to go to our lessons that had been scheduled.  We made our way up to our first lesson with maria, who was leaving right as we got there at the time that she had told us to stop by, which was frustrating.  However, we were able to teach a bit about the gospel by sharing a small message about blessings, and then we had a prayer before she left.  After that, we re-contacted Omar, a man that we had found last week, and taught a brief leson and set up a return appointment with him.  Then, we went and found another woman named Maria and taught her a bit and then we went to our other lesson and caught them right before they were going out the door as well!  They had forgotten that we were coming, but still welcomed a lesson of the blessings that they can receive as a family when they pray/read together, and we said a prayer with them before we left, so though we didn't accomplish our goal of that certain amount of lessons when we thought that we would, we were still able to accomplish that goal in the way that God saw fit, which is a huge blessing and a testimony to me that He is truly in charge.  And after that, we had a dinner appointment with the Senior family, the family that had saved us from the fire and provided us with sleeping bags.  But Elder Carter and I went by ourselves, which was fun, and then Sister Senior pulled out some music and told me that she'd like me to sing in church next week, so we went through some songs and I'm going to be singing an arrangement of "Lord I would Follow Thee" next week.  :)

And then today, we had correlation meeting again to talk about our investigators, and that meeting went pretty long.  But then we made our rounds to Casildo's house, once again with no response...  I keep on praying that he will let us in again, but I think that in good time things will work out.  And we have some lessons tonight that I'm excited for!  :D

But before I go, I just wanted to share a message with you guys.  ;)  I was reading the Book of Mormon, in Alma 26, verses 10-12, which reads: '

 10 And it came to pass that when Ammon had said these words, his brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting.

 11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

and then in verse 35:   Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

And this is my testimony to you guys, like unto Ammon's.  I know that unto my own strength I am weak, but I know that we have great reason to rejoice, even so much that there never were other people that had so great a reason to rejoice.  We can rejoice in our God, for He has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding.  He is every mindful and ever watchful of us, and He loves us SO much.  It is because of that love that He has given us this gospel that we love and enjoy and cherish every day.  So let us rejoice, let us give God the glory, and let us see His hand in all things that occur, for it is always there.  Let us never boast of anything for ourselves, but let us be caught rejoicing in our God!  We have the restored Gospel, we have the Power of Christ, and we have His truths, so we have such a great reason to rejoice.  :)  

I love you guys!  Choose the right!  The Church is True!  See miracles!

(and sorry, no photos this week)

Elder Nathan Hubert

WEEKLY UPDATE! AKA this week was not nearly as exciting as last week but was still pretty exciting...

So on Monday (P-day), we had a Ping-pong tournament later that day after emailing, but Elder Shipp and I had to leave early to go to teach a lesson that we had scheduled earlier that week.  It was with a former investigator named Jose Cruz, so we just went by to talk to him about the things that he had been taught previously, a conversation went pretty well!  He didn't remember much, though he did remember Joseph Smith as well as the feelings that he had had while he took the lessons, which was good.  But he also saw that we were cold, so he went into the other room to make us some Coffee, despite us telling him that we were fine.  Eventually we left, and hadn't touched our coffee, so we had him pour it in water bottles for us so we could 'save it for later...'  it was super awkward, but thankfully we got out of it.
On Tuesday, it was the last day of the 'cold advisory' days, but what we had was the Zone Training Meeting, which is a meeting that we have when the entire zone gets together and does some trainings!  So we got picked up that morning because we had to let the Zone Leaders into the church building, and then we stayed there at the church for a few hours as we were taught how to extend an invitation to meet again, which was good.  After the training we all went out to eat at Qdoba, which is basically Wisconsin's take on Cafe Rio, but it was still pretty good.  After that, we cleaned up our apartment a lot because we weren't able to go outside at all, and then by the time the night came, we went over to the English Elders' apartment to grab the stuff that the Seniors let us use when we caught fire, so we took that back to the Seniors home when we went over for dinner that night.
Wednesday was a very interesting day...  We started super far West in the Raymond area, and went and visited the Hernandez family for a brief amount of time, until Bro. Hernandez had to go to work.  Then, we went over to Martin's house to teach him a lesson if he was home, which he was!  So we sat down in his living room and started talking to him, and he basically is the most blasphemous person that I've ever met - it was completely ridiculous!  What ended up happening is that he looked at Elder Shipp and told him to be quiet because he had bad Spanish and that he wasn't prepared, and then for the next 40 minutes or so, Martin and I basically had a throw-down of the gospel, in a more peaceful way of course.  One thing that I remember is that he told me that when it says in the scriptures that if you have faith you can move mountains, he kept on saying that it was talking about a mental mountain.  He then asked me if I thought it was true, that if we had faith that we could move mountains, and I bore firm testimony that I believed that with God and with faith, anything was possible.  It was a crazy day and many more things were said, all in a loving way I promise, but we basically decided after that not to go back.  It was nuts!
After that craziness, we were walking away from his house talking about what had happened, and we saw this man trying to move a couch into his house by himself, so we offered our assistance, and it ended up being such a blessing to this man, because he was blind and was trying to move in alone!  So we helped him out for like 40 minutes and that ended up being super great.  :)
Thursday was weekly planning which took up quite a bit of time, and then after that we stopped by Veronica's house to teach her the weekly lesson, but she wasn't home!!!  So after waiting for a while, we went and tracted for a bit in a trailer park on our way to the Moorland area to contact a referral, and then we went home!
Friday was exchanges, which was a great day!  Coming into Exchanges, I had the goal to see if I would be ready to take over my own area, because I was able to be senior companion for the day.  So, I was kind of nervous going into it, but it all ended up being great!  We went aroudn the area near our home and taught a few lessons, which was funny because Elder Wise didn't speak Spanish so he basically just stood there...  Then, we went up to the STP area and saw Veronica and scheduled a return appointment, and then we went over to Middleton and taught Ezekiel.  This was another interesting lesson, about how he needed to open up his heart and be open to the answers to his prayers that God had for him, which he took pretty well.  The things that he loved the most was when he found out that the people in the Book of Mormon were his ancestors!  He loved that!  :D
On Saturday, we ended up dropping Casildo because he stopped coming to the door, and then we had English class at the church, followed by dinner at the Durtchi's, which was fun...  (Sorry, not a very productive day - a lot of cleaning the church)
Sunday we had Ward Conference and then a Linger Longer after church, which was fun.  Then, we had District phone calls at the apartment while I took a nap because I wasn't feeling so well, and then we had a Bishop's Youth Discussion at the Bishop's house which was fun.  :) 
Love you guys!  I'm sorry if the email seemed rushed - the other elders are waiting for me to go...  :)


Elder Nathan Hubert

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Year's, Baptism, Cold, and FUEGO!!!

My dear family and friends,
this week has been such an exciting week!!!
As of right now, for the next 3 days, President Cutler has issued a warning to all missionaires serving in the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission to not go outdoors for anything except for going to appointments that have already been scheduled because in this temperature, one can catch Frostbite in 5 minutes to any piece of skin that is exposed!  Super exciting, right?  I can't remember a time that it has been unsafe to be outside, as in, life threatening. But don't worry, I am currently wearing 2 pairs of socks, my boots, 3 layers on my legs, 4 layers on my top, AND a coat!  So, I'll be doing great!  :D  And I have my heavy hat and my scarf to protect my head/face.  :)  So in this time of bitter, and I mean BITTER cold, things are still pretty great.  At this time, I love applying what it says in Joseph Smith's "The Standard of Truth," when it says that nothing "can stop the work from progressing."  Even this bitter cold, where it is currently close to -20 degrees, the work will go on "boldly, nobly, and independent." 
But this week really has been super great and very very exciting, especially these last couple of days.  :)
On Monday, P-day, all we did was spend some time at the Institute building playing Pool, Ping-pong, Marbles, and talking a lot.  And after we were done with our various activities, we went to a dinner appointment with the Senior family, who I now know as the most saint-like people in the entire world.  (You will find out why I think that later in the email).  And on the way back from their house, me, Elder Shipp, E. Wise, and E. Campbell got a super cool Nametag Photo with the 4 of us.  :)

Tuesday was a good day, though we did not have the opportunity to be outside and be working a lot.  But, it was also the last day of the year 2013!!!  That was crazy for me to realize - time really has flown by so much, especially my time here in the field!  I cannot believe that I've been out here since the beginning of November, and now all of the sudden it is the beginning of January, and a brand new year.  Things are going to be great this next year!  :D  We had our District Meeting this day and we learned all about planning and how important is.  I love it when it says that we need to plan for Success, but how a number is only a number unless we have made plans on how we are going to achieve it.  I really love that - it gives me so much motivation to do better at planning and to achieve more greatness.  After District Meeting, we went to a dinner appointment that was the most North point in Madison that I have been so far, with the Thomas family.  It really was super great.  They are a Part-member family, but the father really accepts his family's beliefs even if he won't join the church.  And then on the drive home, their newly-returned-missionary son almost killed us in the car because he forgot how to drive in America - he is too used to European driving...  ;)
WEDNESDAY!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  :D  So I've been getting questions in emails about what we've been doing for New Year's Day, but honestly it was just another day.  New Year's is a less family-holiday and more-parties, so we were allowed to go around and work because people wouldn't get mad at us for 'interrupting their family time' like they would have on Christmas.  After our studies we went over to the Lassen Family's house for their annual Chili-feed.  It was so good!  I was so happy they decided to have the missionaries over!  And on the way back, we found a "Turtle Crossing" sign - there are pictures included.  Also, we went out onto the lake that is near there (there are a few lakes in Madison) that was completely frozen, and we went out into the middle of it and got some photos and I got another Nametag Photo!  :D  Later, we went to go contact a referral that was completely out of the way, on the West side of Madison, but they weren't home.  And because it was so out of the way, we only got to board another bus, and go over to our scheduled dinner appointment with the Salinas family, which was great (as usual!)  But one thing that we've been finding is that it is getting drastically colder each and every day, so by this point it was starting to get unsafe to be outside.
On Thursday, we had some weekly planning!  And though it has to be done and takes a long time, we weren't very worried about it because we didn't have any appointments scheduled for that time and it was super cold outside, so we were pretty thankful for the opportunity to stay inside.  However, about halfway through the studies, Elder Shipp started feeling super super poorly, so he went and took a nap while I tidied up the apartment and took down Christmas decorations and studied some more.  But pretty soon, he was feeling better and we had finished studying just in time to be over for our lesson with Veronica, which we were actually able to teach because Bro. Allen from the ward came and was our 'male present' for her.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation, which she took really well.  Once again, it was a lot of information to take in at once, but she committed to pray about it and find out if it is true.  I really hope she recognizes the answer she will receive!
Friday was a long, hard, worthwhile day.  And while I don't remember many names or conversations that we happened to have, in a period of 3-4 hours today, we (Elder Shipp and I) taught 10 lessons to people.  That truly was a miracle this week, to be able to teach that many lessons.  That is a really good number for a week, but for a day it was super amazing for us!  During last week's weekly planning, we decided to set the number of 18 for other lessons taught, and by that moment we were only at 2, so we decided to put forth all of our efforts into getting to that number.  We contacted former investigators and got a return appointment with 1 of them, Jose Cruz.  We contact potentials and taught 3 lessons to them, though their names escape me.  Among them was an older woman who told us that the only reason she didn't read the pamphlet was because she didn't know how to read, though she did look at all of the pictures in it and liked those a lot.  So, we discussed the Restoration with her, and about how God loves her.  At the end, we had a great prayer with her blessing her family to find the path to God.  And though by the end of the day we were cold and worn out, it was an amazing feeling.
Saturday was an amazing day!  :D  We began with Correlation and talked a lot about Veronica in that meeting.  Then, we got a ride over to Casildo's house, but he either wasn't home or didn't come to the door...  I hope we'll be able to teach him again!  Then, we went over to another lesson we had scheduled, but that one fell through as well...  But, time had gotten late enough and we had traveled far enoguh across the city that we needed to go back to the church for a baptism that the Sisters were having.  But, because the man that was being baptized was so large, and the man who was baptizing him was so old, the Bishop assigned us (me and Elder Shipp) to be in the font with them to help pick the man back up out of the water.  So, we dressed in white along with the others.  It really was an amazing experience.  I had only met the man a few times, but he was super thankful to have us there and to have us helping him out.  I'm so glad that he decided to get baptized!
After the baptism, we had a lesson with a woman and her family that we had found last week tracting.  Her name is Maria, and her mother is a Jehovah's Witness and the conversation turned a bit...  interesting a few times, but overall it was really good.  We taught the first part of the first lesson, about how God loves us and how the gospel can bless our families, and left them with a Restoration video so that we could talk about it the next time we came around.  Then, we went over to Oscar's house!  It was super great though, because he is the one who called us to schedule an appointment.  But, we commenced a 2-hour discussion on the second half of Alma 32, which talks about Faith.  But by the end of it, he did not understand the message we were trying to send, that he needed to go to church and show is faith and help his 'seed of faith' grow.  But we'll keep on working with him.  :)
AND then on Saturday night, we got a text from the Assistants to the President as a Cold Weather Advisory.  It told us to not go outside the next 3 days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) because it was going to get too cold!  It said that we could go out for scheduled appointments, but to be advised that Frostbite could set in on exposed skin in less than 5 minutes.  So, that is the weather we are currently dealing with.
Sunday was a great day.  It wasn't super cold in the morning on the way to church, and I'm not sure how it was during church but the messages were super great!  We talked about being financially responsible and things of that nature, dealing with money.  But then the cold started setting in!  We went to our scheduled appointment, but the family wasn't home, so we just booked it home as fast as we could walk because the cold was setting in super fast...  But then we got home and Elder Shipp started Phone Calls!  And now is when things get interesting.....
We had planned at Church to have a combined dinner with the English Elders, so I started to prepare for that while Elder Shipp was doing District Phone Calls and other District Leader Responsibilities.  I was reading the scriptures while the water was boiling for potatoes or while brownies were cooking, and everything was dandy!  Then, everything finished and I turned off the oven and I was washing dishes so that we could eat on them, right?  Then I look outside our huge window and I saw that there were 3-4 police cars pulling into our Apartment Building's parking lot.  Then, some officers started coming into our building!  I walked into the bedroom to point it out to Elder Shipp that our building was getting raided, because that was cool!  Then, I start hearing doork knocking on our floor, so I thought the cops were here to pick someone up next door to us, but then our door got knocked on, too!  Since Elder Shipp was busy, I go over to the door and answer it, and it's a police officer.  The hallway behind him is full of smoke and he tells me that the Laundry Room in the basement caught on fire, and that it wasn't safe to be here.  So, Elder Shipp ended his call, we grabbed our shoes and coats, and we evacuated the building.  It was so cool to watch from outside though!  There were 9+ official vehicles that were all flashing and there were tons of firemen and I've never actually seen a fire hose full of water!  But eventaully the English Elders got home and we ate dinner at their house and then we got called and told to spend the night there...  But we didn't have anything to sleep with!  So we called the Senior family (the Saints!!!) and told them our situation, and then they came over and gave us sleeping bags, pillows, blankets to use, and then brought us toiletries and tons of food!  They are soooo nice, and that is all super exciting!  (Photos and a video are on DropBox)
Then this morning, we went back into our apartment and everything reeked of smoke and we were told to get our clothes dry-cleaned, and now I'm here...  What an exciting week!  :D
But still, I love you all!  Don't worry about me up here - all is well!
Elder Nathan Hubert

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The spirit of Christ(mas)

Hello family, friends, strangers, and anybody else who might be reading this.  :)  I love you all!  Life is such a great thing.  Before I share the occurrances of my week, I'd love to share a little spiritual message with you.  :)

So, during our District Meeting on Christmas Eve, Elder Shipp (my companion) challenged all of us to read part of the Doctrina y Convenios every day as a part of our studies, and promised us that we would receive the blessings that the scriptures had for us.  So, through my studies, I have realized a very incredible message.  In DyC 31, it tells us an incredible message of how we should feel about our missions.  It says in verse 3:  "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission has come."  We have such a reason to rejoice, and though it is hard at times, our hearts are still lifted by the prayers of the people of the world, and by the blessings of Heaven we are lifted as well.  And with that extra help that we have, we go forward.  As it says in DyC 128:22 "Go forward, and not backward.  Courage brethren, and on, on to the victory!"  It goes on to speak of more things that we should do, but my favorite is the first line, that says "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"  Because we shall, and we will, and some of us ARE going forth in this great cause.  This gospel is true.  Let us go forward, not backward.  Let us go forth in this great cause and in our great God, for in Him we have great reason to rejoice.  :)  

But, onto my week.  This week has been super super great!  I have definitely seen miracles in my life this week.  As we began the week, we had the thoguht that because it was the Holiday season, that people weren't going to be willing to have us in their houses, so our weekly goal for lessons was a bit lower than it usually had been.  But, after much deliberation, we changed that goal to be the same as usual because we knew that God would make it possible for us to teach that many people, especially in this time of year. 

Tuesday was Christmas Eve!  And on Christmas Eve, we went to go contact a less-active family in the morning after our studies, and then we shared a Christmas message with them, gave them the Joy to the World video, and talked to him about Church Attendance.  But after that, we went to our 3-hour Christmas Eve District meeting!  it was actually pretty good.  Elder Shipp, during his training, had us go around and one-at-a-time share our favorite Christmas Miracle in our lives, our favorite story of Christ, and our favorite revelation by Joseph Smith.  It was great to be able to hear everybody's different insights and that we were able to learn so much from each other.  But after all of that, we went in and met with the other districts.  We sang some Christmas Hymns and we had a cookie-exchange and a potluck with 10 pizzas that somebody brought.  It was really great.  :D  But after everybody had left, we waited around for a person from the 4th ward who had made us some personalized stockings, which was super sweet of them to do for us, and then we walked over to the Sanchez house with the other Spanish elders, and spent a little bit of time with the people there before getting a ride back to our apartment.  :)

FELIZ NAVIDAD!  Today was Christmas!!!  :D  We woke up at 6:30, and we came out of our aprtment in the freezing cold, and went right over to the English elders' apartment to spend Christmas Morning with them.  We listened to the Christmas Story that Elder Wise had as a recording, and then after waking up a little more fully, we opened up some presents.  And let me say thank you so much for all of the amazing gifts that were sent our way!  Thank you to everybody who thought of us out here - they are greatly appreciated.  :)  I love you all!!!

Then, after all of that was taken care of, we got to go back to our apartment and put some things away before boarding the bus and going over to the Heaton's house.  As soon as we got there, I got put in a room with an iPad that had Skype on it, so I called my family.  AND then for the next hour I had an incredible time talking to them!  I love my family so much - thanks so much for the incredible opportunity to be able to talk to you guys!!!  :)  But as soon as that was done, I spent some time playing with their son Reed and playing some board games and puzzles with Brother and Sister Heaton.  But eventually, after an amazing dinner and dessert, we got a ride home and that brought an end to our day.  But really, the spirit of the day was really great, and I was so happy to be able to focus on my family that day.  It was great!  :D

Thursday we had lots of appointments set up, but most of them fell through...  it was pretty funny though.  We went over to an apartment complex where we had 3 lessons set up to teach, but all of them fell through!  But, as we were wandering away, we ran into our homeless friend Francisco that we met my first day!  We said HI and started talking, but then he gave my his tricycle to walk around and we went to his house and on the way, he would wrip open everybody's garbage and take out all of the cans, despite all of the other trash, all because he wanted to sell the cans for a few bucks.  It was pretty sad, so I was pretty happy we got to help him.

Later, we went and contacted a referral who said that he had served a mission for our church, but when we got into his house not knowing what to think, he pulled out his old mission badge!  So, he is actually a member!  But he has tons of health issues and is basically waiting to die, and because of all of those problems he can't come to church or do anything that has to do with going out of the house, but we are going to see if the Bishop can help us get Sacrament to his house on Sundays.  But, this man still admits that his mission was probably the greatest thing that has ever happened in his life, because basically as soon as it ended, he hit a rock wall with his health, but he's lived a pretty long life of 70ish years, and is just about done living.  I hope that we can do something to help him out though!

Friday we had exchanges day, and I was fortunate enough to go with Elder Campbell!  We only had one appointment to go to that day, and it was right in the middle of regular-study time, but the person wasn't even home when we got there.  Instead, we got yelled at by another man whose house we accidentally buzzed into, who yelled at us by saying that "I haven't gotten a wrong number phone call in 14 years, but now I've gotten 2 from you!"  So, after that encounter that made me laugh a bit, we left...  And  the rest of the day, we had studies to do, which were great.  I love the fact that we have set apart time to study every day.  It really is such an incredible way to start out the day, I highly recommend it.  :)  

Saturday was a good day too!  But unfortunately we weren't able to have studies because we had Correlation Meeting like we do every Saturday.  During Correlation we talked about all of the things that we have worked on, and all of the thigns that the ward can help us with.  So, with the help of the ward, things might start to look even more upward, because they have a huge influence on what we do out here.  But after Correlation, we went over to Casildo's place with a member, Bro. Hinckley, but he wasn't able to meet with us because he was working on his car.  Just after that, we got picked up by Bro. Allen, who went with us to another lesson, but that also fell through because the person was doing their laundry and was very occupied.  But, since Bro. Allen had some time, he went back with us over to Casildo's house, who didn't even answer the door.  I hope that we are still able to teach him though!  I really hope that he starts progressing, too.  But, during the day, we got a text from our Zone Leaders letting us know that we as a mission, for the first time in the history of the mission, have reached the goal of 300 Baptisms this year, in the year of 2013.  It might not seem like a lot, but for our mission, that is HUGE!  It has NEVER been done before!!!  So, it is a magnificent accomplishment!  :)

Then, we decided to go over to our other lesson with a woman named Veronica, and though the lesson wasn't super long, we gave her a powerful lesson on the Restoration, and by the time that we were done, and were walking away from her house, both Elder Shipp and I had an overwhelming feeling that we knew that she would someday be baptized.  I know she will.  I just hope that I am able to help her get closer to that point.  :)

Then, we went over to Oscar's house to have one last meeting, and on the way there I was able to be very bold in telling a man about our beliefs.  He asked me what we believed, and I told him in the brief time that we were on the bus, and he had some questions about modern day prophets, to which I used the Book of Mormon and being super bold to tell him.  The thing he told me right before he got off, when I gave him the book, was that he probably wouldn't believe in what I had said, but that he would read the book, consider it, and pray about it.  I hope that he really does!  

But at Oscar's house, we talked to him about his life, about how he needs to come to church, about how he needs to be baptized, and then he had me fix a whole bunch of problems on his computer because he couldn't do it because he couldn't read English.  But our visit went really well, and now he's planning on coming to church!  :D

Well, before I go, I just wanted to say sorry if I am a bit vague...  I am really short on time but I promise I am trying my hardest.  If you have any specific questions for me, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email or a letter and ask me those questions!  I'd love to hear from anyone!  :D

Love you all!!

--Elder Nate Hubert


Elder Nathan Hubert