Elder Nathan Hubert's Mission Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Skyping Home, Merry Christmas, Yeah!

Hola Everybody!  This week has been a pretty good one!  It has had some very high points, and also some pretty low points, as every week does.  It just gives us a lot of work to do in the coming weeks to try and make up for it, so wish us luck!  :D 
On Monday we had a lesson with Michelle Rios and Liliana after all of our P-day activities.  We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it was actually a very good lesson.  It was great to be able to have Michelle share her feelings on the Gift of the Holy Ghost and to be able to testify to Liliana of the reality of the gospel and its principles.  After that lesson, we quickly walked down to the Solorio Family's place and we had a brief lesson.  Elder Norris was kind of upset at me when I called on him on the spot to share a scripture, but later he understood why I did that: so that he is able to help others feel the Spirit with very short notice, and so he can call on the Spirit himself!  But the lesson was great as we were both able to share our feelings about Christ, sharing why it was that he was born and why it was so special.  It was great!  The Spirit was so strong!

Tuesday was another really great day, too!  We had a Zone Training Meeting at the church, including a zone lunch and trainings presented by the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders.  A while later (the meeting was kind of long) we contacted a referral given to us by Brother Arcos, and we found this man named Juan, who was from Honduras.  He let us right in and we commenced in talking about Christmas and our various family traditions, and then I shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon.  After that, he asked about the book, and we gave a brief history, comparing it with the Bible.  He was fascinated!  He was so interested in the book, and all like "This makes so much sense!"  (He said that in Spanish of course).  We're excited to see where that goes!  Later, we had a dinner appointment with the Gonzalez family, followed by a lesson with the Nieves family, prepping them for their upcoming baptism on the 27th!
Christmas Eve was a pretty good day, consisting of our studies in the morning, Weekly Planning at the church, and then going to a bunch of dinner appointments!  The first one was at Luis Munoz's house, and the funny part was that it was us and the 4 sister missionaries that were invited!  The sisters had found out that we had a Tamales dinner appointment (a traditional Mexican food) and so they wanted to come, so we asked and Luis's mom said SURE!  So we all were there and ate for a while, and I got to serve as a translator for the Sisters in their conversation with Luis's family.  The sisters left after a bit, and we stayed and shared a message with them using Alma 7: 10-13, a testimony of Christ, his birth, his suffering, and his love for us.  It was really good!  However, our second appointment could have been better...  I only say that because the other Elders who invited us neglected on getting a male present, so it was just us 4 missionaries and 3 women.  Not okay.  Elder Norris and I weren't very happy about it, and because it was Christmas Eve and we were WAY far away from where we lived, there was nothing we could do about it.  So we just sat there awkwardly until it was over, and then we got a ride home.

CHRISTMAS on Thursday was a great day!  In the morning, the GB1 Elders came over to our house and we all opened presents together!  :D  How cute!!!  Kinda...  But it was awesome!  I then made Breakfast and we ate together, and then Elder Norris and I stayed at the apartment and cleaned up and stuff until just before 1:00, when we had an appointment with the Rios family to go over and Skype home.  So, we got to their place at 1 and after a while of tinkering with their computer, we reached the conclusion that the Skype application was not working...  So, we ate lunch with them at that time, and then we got one of their cell phones and used that to Skype.  Elder Norris went first, and while he was talking to his family, I was making cookies with the kids in the family, and playing games like Connect 4 and Sorry.  :)  Then, it was my turn to Skype!  It was awesome to see my family and to be able to talk to them because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!  The only thing that wasn't fair is that they were at Disneyland...  Yeah, kinda jealous...  :P  But that's okay, I still love them.  We talked for 40 minutes, which flew by like nothing else, and then Elder Norris and I shared some scriptures and messages with the family, having a gospel discussion with some of the kids, and that's how we ended our visit there.  After that, we went home and then went over to Luis's house and got a ride over to the church and played basketball with Luis and some of his friends for the rest of the night!  :D

Skyping is Awesome!

Friday, we had our service to do at St. Vinny's, but before we went over there we stopped by the Nieves family's place and talked to them about the plans for the baptism, and everything sounded like it was going great!  They were excited and everything was working out!  Then, we went to service and were there for just over 2 hours, and then we went to the church to have a lesson with the Nieves family to have them try on the baptismal jumpsuits and to practice the baptism, but then they didn't show up.  The worst part was that we had Luis and Sister Rios all show up to be member presents, but the Nieves family didn't ever come!  So what we did was that I practiced a musical number with the GB2 Sisters for the baptism instead...  To close off the night though, we made a whole bunch of visits to a bunch of friends that lived between the church and our place.  But that was our night!  We went to bed pretty worried because we hadn't heard from Lisa or the family, we had only talked to her mother who told us that she hadn't heard from her either.
Saturday morning we didn't know if the baptismal service was going to happen or not, so we packed our clothes just in case (all of our white clothes) and took them to the church at 10, and then we walked over to the Nieves family's place and tried them again, to no avail.  So, we went across the street to her mom's place and were informed that way that the baptismal service was NOT going to occur, so we started then to make a whole bunch of phone calls to cancel everything.  It was really sad that we had to do that, especially because we have NO idea why she changed her mind last minute, but even still, we now have a new challenge ahead of us so we're excited for that!  The rest of that day was pretty dismal though.  We were both pretty upset that the baptism had been cancelled, but we still taught some lessons and did our best to not let it get to us...  But still, it was sad.
And for Sunday, we had church at 9 in the morning for the last time!  The branch is going to start at 11 in 2015 so we're pretty excited about that!  Later in the day, we went over to the Ramirez's house (Monkey and his family) and I had Elder Norris teach them one of the first 3 lessons, so he chose the Plan of Salvation and taught the family in Spanish so that he could practice, and he did very good!  :D  Later in the day, we had a dinner appointment, and we also taught some other lessons to other people.

One thing that I've loved the most about this Christmas season is just the opportunity to testify of Chrsit, His Birth, and His Atonement.  Most people know of His suffering, but they still don't know why it had to happen.  The Atonement had to happen so Christ could secure our salvation.  Many people say the He saved us from sin, which is kind of true.  We each sin, but because of the atonement that He made, the effects of sin won't effect us forever.  But the reason we celebrate Christmas is because Christ came into the world to secure our salvation.  His entire purpose was to perform the atonement, and I love the job that I have as a missionary to share that with others.  I love each of you so much, and I hope that you all have a great new year!  :D
--Elder Nate Hubert

Friday, December 26, 2014

It's not really beginning to look a lot like Christmas

So, as you can tell from the subject line, Wisconsin looks very irregular at this time of year.  It's usually covered in snow and everything, but right now we have ZERO snow!  It's ridiculous!  I remember this time last year in Madison it was crazy cold and crazy snowy, but I guess Mother Nature wanted to make things interesting this year so that's just what she did!

Either way, we've been working hard and trying our best to help other people to come unto Christ.  Last Monday, we were able to teach Lisa Nieves in her home after all of our P-day activities.  We talked about the Anti-Mormon things they had been given, and then after she realized that they were all a bunch of lies, she wripped up the paper!  And then her 8-year-old son ate it...  Yeah...  But that was a miracle if you ask me!

Tuesday was an awesome day because we had District Meeting, and it was on such an amazing theme!  It was all about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, so the spin that I took on the training was basically just talking about the "Who," "What," "When," "Where," "Why," and "How" of the Atonement.  It is the atonement of Jesus Christ, but also that of the Father who gave his Son, and also applies to us because we are the ones who are to reap the blessings that come from that sacrifice.  For the "What" section, we made a huge timeline that had all of the sufferings and things taht he did the last couple days fo his life.  The "When" was talking about when it happened, and when it was planned out.  The "Where" we talked about that it took place in the Garden of Gethsamane, Golgotha, and the Garden Tomb, but that it must also take place in each and every one of our hearts.  The "Why" talked about the need for a Savior, and the "How" really made us ponder the question on how we can best apply it in our lives, or show our gratitude for it by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was a good meeting!  Afterwords, we went and taught the Carlos family and the Rios family, and it was crazy because the zone leaders were coming to give us a ride to dinner, and didn't know where we were, but as soon as we walked outside the house of our investigators, they were waiting for us right there!  What are the odds that of all of the houses in Green Bay, they decide to park right outside of the one we were in to call us and see where we were?  Miracles!  And then to end up the night, we went and taught the Rios family (members) and went home!

I forgot to mention that after dinner, we started exchanges where Elder Landaverry came with me in our area, and Elder Norris went with Elder Bernet in theirs.  The next day we talked to the Solorios to set up a new appointment, and then went and contacted many other people too, ending up with 8 lessons that day.  Right now, we're just really trying to boost up our teaching pool.  That would be nice - to have new people.  We had lunch at the Arcos family, where we re-exchanged.  To close off the night, we went and taught Lisa up at her house, talking about the upcoming baptism and stuff.  Then we had a lesson with Ana Hernandez outside of her house!

Thursday morning we were authorized to go to the Nieves kids choir concert at their elementary school, where we met the guy that had given Lisa the anti-material.  Needless to say, he didn't really want to talk to us.  But the concert was good, and then when we got home, we weekly planned before going over to Maria's home and teaching her.  As part of the end of the day, we went to the church with Orelia and her family so that she could get her baptismal interivew, and she passed!!!  And then we played Basketball to close off the day.

So, on Friday we did our weekly service at St. Vinny's and it was awesome to be able to be reassigned this week to an area where we actually get to work with people!!!  It was awesome, and we really liked it and we got to meet new people, which is always a blessing.  Directly following service, we contacted around that area by where the service place is, and we found this Spanish home, but all the man of the house wanted to talk about was that he already had the Bible, and that if he had the original book of scripture, why on earth would he want a new one?  Well, he never did take a Book of Mormon, but luckily we didn't contend with him because the Spirit wouldn't have been there.  Eventually, we just left.  After that, we had an awesome lesson with Liliana Lopez and then we caught a bus over to the church to attend a baptismal sisters that the Sisters were having! This family is the Hollon family, and I taught them when I got here to Green Bay.  But, because they are Native American and not Hispanic, we referred them to the Sisters, who so obviously did a great job teaching them because now they're members!  It was especially cool because the Nieves family came to the baptism because they are friends, and they liked being able to see what it looked like.  I especially loved when the convert stood up in the middle of one of the talks and shared a POWERFUL testimony about how she was scared to be baptized, and how she had the same dream 3 times telling her that things would be okay.  And then her bishop stood up and confirmed that she had been visited by the Spirit, because God always works in 3's - what a cool experience!

Saturday we got to go and meet with the Nieves family and got to watch Finding Faith in Christ with them - they really liked it.  It was really cool for the kids to have a visual aid in knowing what those things that Christ did really looked like - it was very helpful and they loved it!  :D  After that, we got to go and talk to Luis Munoz at his place, teaching him all of the necessary vocab to know about the Plan of Salvation, words like "Pre-Earth Life," "Atonement," "The Fall of Adam," "Spirit World," "Celestial Kingdom," and similar words.  It's great to get down to the simple terms and things, explain them, and watch the light in his eyes become re-illuminated.  It's not like this is his first time talking about the Plan, but now he understands it to the point that he can teach it!  After that, we went to the church where we watched 2 more baptismal services!  Green Bay is baptism central of the mission right now!  :)  And now we're hoping to contribute because of our 4 baptisms happening Saturday!  :)  Let's just hope that Lisa gets over her fear of getting baptized before then!  ;)  Pray for us!

Sunday we went to the Nieves' home and found Lisa and Pedro sick, so Hubert and Orelia walked 5 minutes to church with us, and they liked the meetings!  And they even stayed for primary!  After church, we got dropped off at home and ate, and then went right to work.  We taught a few lessons, but when the man of the house wasn't home and we couldn't stay, we went and stopped by the Grijalva family - some members.  They fed us first, and then we were able to share something with them before heading out to go and contact some more potentials.  We did that, and then talked to the Ramirez family for a bit, and then we got picked up by the Grijalva's because the teenage son was going to come with us to be our male-present at our dinner appointment.  So, we had dinner and then got dropped off by our place, where we went to go do some more work.  We taught this girl named Yaritza, and we had only met her once before.  We had a great lesson about Christmas and the Book of Mormon - and she accepted a copy and the invitation to read!  Later, we were contacting around Luis's home and then we stopped in to say HI and that was that!  :)

There we go - that was our week!

I love you all TONS!  I hope you have a fantastic holiday season and that you remember CHRIST always, especially around CHRISTmas.  He is so important to everything - the key to understanding life.  I know that!!!  :D

--Elder Nate Hubert

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Emotional Roller Coasters! Wahooo! And 1-6 Week Training this week

So, as you can tell from the subject line, we have had quite the week!  I will get to all of those details throughout the rest of the email, but know that Elder Norris and I are doing great despite the emotional roller coaster that we've been thrown on the last couple of days.  It is just that we grow so close to our investigators and we have a real concern for them and their situations, and a real love for them as individuals, and when we see things happen, we can do all we can to try and help, but for the most part we just sit there on the sidelines and watch as they are backed up to the wall of Faith and tried with much difficulty.

Merry Christmas
But I digress - I'll tell you about my week now.  :)  On Monday, we had Preparation Day.  We went to Lambeau Field for a while, checking out the Pro's Shop (gift shop) and other things, but it was Game Day, and because of that a lot of things were super busy and crazy, so we didn't stay there for long.  Later, we went to the Green Bay Cabella's with some other Elders, checking out the hunting and fishing equipment.  I felt so lost there - I know nothing about hunting and fishing, so I just stood out like a sore thumb.  But the guns and stuff looked cool, that's for sure!  But I have no idea what makes one gun better than the next one...  :P  Or I could just buy a bow and arrow - like Hawkeye from the Avengers...  :P  Yeeeah, I'll just do that.  After that, we went to the GB1 Elders apartment and relaxed for the rest of the day.  We played UNO and talked about random stuff until P-day was over, and then we got dropped off back at home.  Right at 6:00, we went over to Lilianna's house to have a lesson that was previously scheduled, but she told us that right then was a very bad time to try to have a lesson, so we didn't ask questions, just rescheduled the lesson for a different day in the week.  Then, we went out and attempted to use the new survey approach that we've been given as missionaries.  We first tried the family that we found next week, but they were not home.  Then, we tried a few other houses, and nobody answered the door and we just couldn't figure out why!  And then we remembered - it was Packers Game Day.  So, we only got to teach 1 lesson, and it was to this elderly woman named Lois who served for 20 years in Brazil as a Catholic Missionary, helping people and being in charge of a hospital.  It was very obvious that she had dedicated her life to Christ and had lived in such a way as to please God.  It was great to be able to talk to her!  :)

On Tuesday, just like all other Tuesdays, we had our District Meeting!  I really enjoyed the meeting this week, because it didn't involve me being the one that talked the most, like it turns out being a lot of other weeks (it's hard to maintain cooperation and participation in a district of 4 guys).  The reason was because each of the other missionaries - Elder Norris, Elder Landaverry, and Elder Bernet - all had to prepare two 5-minute trainings on different points of "Our Purpose as Missionaries."  It was very good and I was super glad to be able to learn from each of them.  After the meeting, we contacted people around our house, such as a 16-year-old named Brandon and a referral whose name is Gail, and then we went over to Luis's house so that he could come with us to a lesson with a woman named Angelina, but she was not home.  Then, we went over to the Nieves family's home and taught them the last couple lessons that were required to be taught before baptism.  They are progressing nicely!  We also made plans for the baptismal service and for the interviews to take place this coming Saturday. But that ended our Tuesday!  I am just very thankful for their progression, and it is amazing to see each of the young children reading the Book of Mormon - one of them, a 10-year-old, read more than 50 pages in just a couple days!  :)  What a great testimony to me!

On Wednesday, we spent a couple hours using the survey on a street that we've never been down before, and then I realized why I'd never been down it before!  There are 3 Hispanic families on the entire street, and 1 of them is a member family!  However, we were still able to talk about Gospel topics with some of the other people as well, having 4 lessons and gaining 2 referrals by the time we left the street, so it wasn't a complete loss.  Later, we were going to have a lesson with Sister Rios and the Solorio family, but Sister Rios had gotten sick so we just taught them on our own.  Our lesson was mostly about the "He is the Gift" thing that the Church is promoting right now, and we showed them some of the Bible Videos from the internet, so that was amazing.  The Spirit was so strong!  But in order for this family to progress more, they need to hear the Gospel from their friend, Sister Rios.  That is why Members are so vital to this work!  :) 

Thursday was our usual Weekly Planning day and it was great to be able to plan on having 4 baptisms next week!  Exciting!  :D  But because that took so long, we were a little later out of the apartment than we wanted to be.  But it turns out that it didn't really matter because the bus was like 15 minutes late, so in the time that we got to the station we had already missed our transfer bus, so we spent some time waiting by going around and teaching some nearby people, and then we finally caught the bus!  We went and we taught 2 families that used to be referrals and we were able to pick both families back up!!  And later, on the bus, we met some other kids that are interested now, too!  But after all of that contacting, we went and we had a member-present lesson with Liliana, with Michelle Rios (a young woman from the Branch) who attended with us to help us teach the Plan of Salvation.  And later, we went to the Rios home to talk to Michelle's little brother, Miguel, who is 8 and has not been baptized!  But he said that he wants to be baptized now, so we're going to be helping them with that process.  To end up the night, we went to the church and we played basketball with some members and investigators!  It was pretty good!  And after we got home, some other elders spent the night with us because in the morning we all had to drive down to Oshkosh to go to a training together!

They were from Sturgeon Bay and were spending the night to save them some driving time in the morning.  But their companionship is also training, so in the morning we went to our meeting for trainers/new missionaries!  It's called 1-6 week training and it's basically just checking up on us and seeing how the training process is going!  :D  But that spent all day, and it was amazing to hear the different trainings and testimonies from President Cutler and Sister Cutler and the Assistants.  I love it!  When we got back to Green Bay, we met with a less-active man to talk about the process it will take to get him the Priesthood, and then we had a dinner appointment at some members' home, where the members friends were flirting it up hard core with the missionaries.  It was so uncomfortable, because they were 12!!  And to end the night, we played Volleyball at the church.

Now Saturday is when things get interesting.  In the morning, at around 10, we went to the Nieves family's home to make sure they remembered about their baptismal interviews at 11 at the church.  Then, Lisa told us that she didn't want to get baptized because she had concerns!  But after talking to her, she agreed to come to the church and get interviewed.  So, she got interviewed by President Krehbiel and the Zone Leaders interviewed Pedro and Hubert (Orelia was in the Upper Peninsula for the day) and after an hour, all 3 of them had passed their interviews!!!  So, we filled out the paperwork for the baptism and everything was going great!  Lisa had gotten her concerns answered and we were all happy, that is until that night, when Lisa called us in a frenzy and was really concerned.  We calmed her down, and found out that all of her family and friends was approaching her with all of these different websites and packets just full of Anti-Mormon material and it was giving her all of these doubts.  We weren't able to talk about it very much because she had to go do something and never called us back, but it was saturday night that we decided to fast and pray - HARD!

Sunday rolled around and we still hadn't heard from them.  We went to their house before church to no answer, and no answer to our phone calls or txts either.  But that afternoon after we were proselything, she txted us and told us that she was upset because she had just had a death in the family, and then later in the evening she called us to talk about the concerns that she had with the church, and let me tell you, the Anti-Material she has is SO false and full of lies!  I was the one who was on the phone with her, an she would read something to me, and I would explain why it was not true!  What most of it was is a piece of Mormon doctrine, thrown together with a bunch of lies, mixed up to make this Anti-Mormon lie smoothie, that is so close to the truth it is scary.  It was so close, but it was not quite there, and because of that reason, she was terrified.  But after talking it over, she realized that she had been misinformed!  We then agreed to go over the next day to discuss it further, so wish us luck!

But that's the update we have for now.  More likely than not, they will not be getting baptized on the 20th, but I have no doubt they'll get baptized someday.  We will do all that we can to make it happen sooner rather than later.  We love this family and are so sad that they have been misinformed, but are glad that they trust us and their feeligns to know what is true and what is not, much more than the information they get fed from friends and from the internet.  Satan tries so hard to get us to believe something that is false.  Just like a former talk in General Conference said, even if we are 1 degree off of the plotted course, in the long run, that little degree will take us forever away from where we need to be.  That is the way Satan works.  And that is why we must be strong!!! 
I am doing great, and am hoping and praying that the Lord grants us strength over the adversary as we get rid of the lies that he is spreading.  :D  Stay strong, keep the faith, and endure to the end!  That is key!  I love you all!!!  :D

--Elder Nate Hubert

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Baptismal Dates, Christmas Devotional, and teaching a lot!

Hey everybody!  Here's another report from the happy (but cold) state of Wisconsin.  Actually, it's not been too cold this last week, but we just woke up to some recent snowfall, so it's definitely going to be a White Christmas this year (which I'm sure it is every year up here).  But I had a very good week, and Elder Norris and I were able to do a lot of good, to help a lot of people, to help them come closer to Christ, and to come closer to Christ ourselves in the process.

On Monday we played sports for our P-day activity, but because P-day technically ends at 6, we had time to proselyte for the rest of the day, until we went back home for dinner.  Lately, there has been a really big push in the mission to use this new survey to take tracting, or door-to-door contacting.  It has 8-steps and 10-questions, and it requires a lot of boldness because a lot of it is basically inviting ourselves into their homes, using much more dignified language than that, of course.  But we decided to give it a try, so we went a little bit farther down the street that we live on, and knocked on the first door we saw.  It was a hispanic man named Johnathan and he invited us right in!  After about a half hour lesson with him, we set a return appointment and went on to knock on the second door on the street, which was a hispanic family, who also let us right in!  We took the survey with the daughters of the family, showing them that we as missionaries are just regular people, too.  :)  But then their mother, who was sitting on the floor organizing papers, asked us a very thought-provoking question:  "What is religion?" (This entire conversation was in Spanish)  We attempted to explain that we had the same church that Christ had established, but that was not the answer she was looking for.  After a few more failed attempts to answer the question, it finally came to me, (I am so thankful for the Spirit) and I told her that religion was simply the way that we lived our lives, the way we carried ourselves, who we are.  That was what she was looking for.  But then she gave us an ultametum - we could be like every other religious person that stopped by and share a message about their church and how it is true, but if we did that she told us that we could leave.  Or, we could share something about true religion.  We continued to share with the family that as missionaries, we share messages about Jesus Christ and how we can change our lives to live in the way that he showed us - to have His religion showing in the way that we carry ourselves.  She liked that answer, and told us something that she had never told another proselyting group:  "You can stay."  :)  That made me happy.  :)

Tuesday was also a really good day!  For District Meeting, we had a great discussion on the new survey and had a role-play with the other elders, giving a real-enough (kinda) example of what that situation might be like.  We also got to discuss the different finding methods that work around this time of year, such things like Caroling, the "He Is the Gift" thing the Church is promoting right now, and other things, such as testifying of Christ ourselves.  It was an enjoyable meeting.  Later, we attempted to contact a referral who lived quite some distance away, but he was not home.  On our way walking, we got to a familiar area and contacted people that had met with the missionaries before, picking up a few of them to be taught in the future.  Later, we went to an appointment, but they had forgotten we were coming.  So instead, we caught a bus over to Manuela's house and talked to her and her son-in-law, sharing with them thoughts of Christmas, including the "He is the Gift" video, and scheduling another appointment where we could come over.  And we ended the night with a lesson with the Carlos family, which took so long that by the time we had ended, we had missed the last bus going home!  But I am so thankful for other missionaries who are selfless and care so much about others, because we called our Zone Leaders who had just gotten home after a long day, and they dropped everything to come pick us up and take us home.  They are great elders - I love and respect them so much.  :)

Wednesday, we had an appointment that once again forgot we were coming, so in an attempt to fill up that time, we saw two men that were conversing up on a porch, and went to talk to them.  That resulted in a very good conversation about religion with a man named Christopher, and he was very interested in what we had to say: about how our church has 12 apostles, just like in the days of old.  About how we have Another Testament of Jesus Christ, as we shared the Book of Mormon with him.  He was extatic!  We also had a lesson with the Solorio family, which went pretty well.  They currently don't want to commit to do anything, but we're working with them.  Later, we had a great lesson with the Nieves family where we talked about following the prophet, about tattoos and piercings, the Word of Wisdom, and about temples.  :)  We're excited for their progression!  They are all getting ready to be baptized on the 20th!  :D

Thursday morning after we had finished our studies, we got a text from Lisa telling us that she didn't want to meet with us any more.  We were really sad and confused, so we responded to that and skipped lunch and weekly planning to go to her house and address the concern.  We talked to her and her husband (who currently is not interested in pursuing the same course as his family), and it turns out that she is just scared.  We were able to share a really good scripture with her, it was Alma 7:15 (I'd reccommend that you look it up) and it basically just says that we should fear not, and come unto Christ by being baptized.  I thought it was perfect for her.  :)  Later, we went to Luis Munoz's house and we are basically going to be his new Mission Prep. teachers!  We are teaching him the material and doctrine in a way that he would be able to teach it later - he really wants to be ready to go on a mission.  :)  And to end up the day, we went to dinner with the Zone Leaders and played Basketball!  :D

Friday we did some service at a thrift shop called St. Vincent de Paul's store, and we sorted things from place to place for nearly 3 hours, after which we went to have a lesson with a lady named Tina, who we had contacted on Tuesday.  However, she had forgotten we were coming, so we walked home, contacting on the way there.  We talked to a woman named Maria, and a man named Guadalupe, and then took a bus to go to a later lesson, talking to a woman named Ruby on the way there, and visiting the Grijalva family from the branch on our way to Manuela's house.  As we were with Manuela, we made plans for us to come back the next week, when her entire family is going to be there, so it will be us at the front talking to a group of a lot of people, so we're both very excited to be doing that and leading a good discussion of the lessons!  :)

Saturday after studies, we had our Branch Christmas Activity, and it was relatively enjoyable.  It just took a very long time to finish.  They had presents for each of the kids, and a whole bunch of activities for the kids, but we just sat there the whole time.  :P  But that's okay.  Later, we contacted a Headquarters Referral that we had gotten, and after walking a long way, talked to a man named Wilmer that we had not seen for a long time.  We ended the day with a lesson with the Nieves family, again, teaching them about tithes and offerings, how to pay them, and then going over the baptismal interview questions so help them prepare for that!  :)

Sunday consisted of us going to church, and the Nieves family going there too.  However, they were missing one boy, and it was vital that Hubert (the name of the boy) go to church so he could be baptized with his family!  So, after the branch, we went to their house to teach Hubert and Orelia the things that they had missed when they had been gone during lessons, and then we went to church with Hubert to the English ward.  :)  So now he's back on track.  Later in the day, we talked to Maria (the same one from Tuesday), but she had no man at home so we couldn't teach her a sit-down lesson.  Later, we talked to Jesus, (an investigator, not the 2nd coming) and scheduled a lesson for later in the week, and finally contacted another referral before going to the Christmas Devotional!  And let me tell you, I really enjoyed the devotional.  Of all of the talks, I think my favorite was that given by D. Todd Christofferson.  It was so powerful, especially with the story that he shared about the young man with cancer, and how everybody came together to make those days special for him right at the end of the life.  The story was so powerful, and the Spirit was so strong.  I know that we need to do all we can and make Christmas not only an annual thing, but have the Spirit of Christ always circling through us and radiating as we do good for those around us.

I love each and every one of you, and I hope that you have a great week and that you all remember, in prepartion for the Christmas holiday, that Christ is the greatest gift that was given to us by our loving Heavenly Father.  If you've not yet seen the "He is the Gift" video, I recommend it.  It is wonderful!  Have a great week, and look for opportunities to love and serve other people!  Adios!

--Elder Nate Hubert

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Week

Hey everybody!  Man it feels so good to have P-day again - but super strange as well.  I just feel like this week has flown by and it is so strange to me.  Things are going so well right now, with the area, the companionship, and everything.  (Besides the fact that I'm a little sick right now).  But I'll just give you a quick weekly update:

On Monday of last week, as soon as we were done emailing, we went hiking!  Well, kind of.  It was more like running up and down some muddy hills in the backwoods of Green Bay, but we called it hiking.  I included some videos and photos on Dropbox - it really was beautiful!  It was raining and muddy, but I enjoyed it.  After that, we changed into some sports clothes and played sports at the church with other missionaries until we had to go and get to a dinner appointment.  We got a ride from some other missionaries, but the only problem was that the rain had turned into snow, and that as we were leaving the church parking lot, the designated driver slid the car into the curb.  We hit it pretty hard, and were shocked to see no damage done to the car.  We were all okay, so after a minute of composing ourselves, we drove to dinner...  :)  To end up the night, after dinner we went at taught 3 lessons!

Tuesday was a very good day too.  We had studies in the morning, and then we had to go over to the church to have District Meeting.  Of all of the district meetings that I've been in charge of up to this point, I feel like this one has been the best.  Part of that is that instead of just having the 4 of us regular elders in the district, we now have the Zone Leaders assigned to our district as well!  But the meeting was all about Conversion, understanding the process, experience, and doctrine of conversion.  It was great to be able to go to the scriptures and discuss examples such as Alma the Elder and Zeezrom, and to be able to understand that conversion is something that comes with time - another term for it is "a mighty change of heart."  It was also great to apply a scripture that talks about Nephi's conversion story - where he comes to believe the words of his father - and how each of us needs to be converted as well.  We were then able to discuss how we are thankful for the influence of the Spirit in our lives and in our own conversion story, so we were all able to share and it was such a spiritual experience!  I love the elders in our district!  After that, I had exchanges with Elder Eyring, one of our Zone Leaders.  Throughout the rest of the day, he and I were able to teach 10 lessons together, talking to everybody we came across.  Some of the really good experiences involved me learning that it doesn't matter what someone is doing - walking their dog, shoveling snow, or something else - the gospel is for THEM and we need to do our part in getting it to them.  :)

Wednesday we finished our exchange with a great study session and a few more lessons before re-exchanging and me getting Elder Norris back.  :)  We had an interesting experience when we came across a man who was a Jehovah's Witness.  Now I don't know much about the church, but he was attempting to tell us that Christmas was a bad thing, but it was great to see both of us bear testimony to him of the power of the Spirit at this time of year, and how we should not condemn a time that causes us to think about the Savior and dwell on Him.  Unfortunately, we have not been able to get back in contact with Manuela, and we have no idea what's going on there, but we're still trying!  Later, we had a lesson with the Nieves family where we committed them to pray every single day as a family, and to come to church.  We basically had to put everything on the table and say:  "If you want to be baptized, this is what you have to do.  There is no other way!"  But as we were bold and loving, they understood their role in becoming converted to the gospel, and then knew what they needed to do.
Thursday was THANKSGIVING!  It was a strange day - it seemed to go by so quickly!  We had studies in the morning, just like normal, but around noon-ish, the Zone Leaders came and picked us up in their van to take us to our first food appointment with the Gonzalez family, so we had a Puerto Rican/Dominican Thanksgiving.  It was very good, and it was great to spend time with the members!  Later, we got dropped off at another home of some of the other Spanish Elders' investigators, for Round 2 of Thanksgiving - a Honduranian meal.  That one was good too!  But that was the extent of our day.  :P
Friday morning began with a Turkey Bowl - I guess in Wisconsin they do it the day after Thanksgiving.  But basically what it is is just that a bunch of members get together and play football in the snow.  It was SOOOO cold!  But it was fun and we did pretty good!  By the end of it, we were playing missionaries versus everybody else, and we held our ground!  :)  After that, we went over to Luis Munoz's place and talked to him about missions and what he needs to do now to prepare for a mission, and then we role-played a lesson with him that we were going to be teaching the next day to the Nieves family.  Later, we went home and we Weekly Planned before we went and contacted a bunch of people, having lessons with Liliana, Brandon, and some other people.  Then we had a very interesting experience.  We went to contact a nearby potential, and in the doorway we met a very Catholic, very drunk man.  He was yelling at us in Spanish: "I am of the Virgin of Guadalupe!!  I have my Virgin!  I am Catholic!"  And when we offered him our hands, he refused to shake them.  But later, we went and knocked on a door, and were let right in by some very kind Hispanic men.  After a few minutes of talking to them, the drunk man entered their house - they were his friends - and began to bash BIG TIME.  He grabbed his bible and was yelling at us, asking us questions, and then interrupting us when we tried to answer him.  It was a huge testimony to me of the truthfulness of the gospel, because though he was yelling and contending, we were able to remain calm in the midst of a threatening situation.  Eventually, we left, with an invitation to come back whenever we wanted!  And thus we see:  good triumphs over evil!  :D
Saturday, it was a pretty full day.  We tried to teach Manuela again, but to no avail.  Rather, we talked to the Cortez family for a bit.  Then, we went to the Nieves family's place with Luis and he was such a big help.  Because he has gone through a lot of the same things they are going through, he was able to bear testimony of the things that helped him, namely the Gospel, and the Spirit was so strong in that lesson!!!  Later, we had a great lesson and dinner with the Rosario family as well, and we also met a bunch of crazy people on the bus!  :D  That makes for an interesting day!
Finally Sunday was a long day, because I was feeling very sick and congested, but we had the primary program during church, and the Nieves family came to see!  Later though, we were able to go and use a new survey that has recently been pushed through the mission to try to use as a new finding method, and we got two new investigators through it!  :D  Life is SO great right now!
I'm doing well, feeling better than I was yesterday, and I am loving where our area is right now.  I love each of you so much, and I hope that you are having a great week!  I know the Gospel is true and the Spirit is SO real - it is with us always!  :D  I'll talk to you later!
--Elder Nate Hubert