Elder Nathan Hubert's Mission Blog

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I've been getting stalked... By miracles... They follow me everywhere

Basically it's true.  Here's a few of the many miracles that I was able to experience this week:

On Tuesday we had exchanges with Milwaukee Spanish C which is made up of Elder Fry and Elder Miller.  I was able to go serve with Elder Miller in their area, so it was super awesome to basically be re-living the dream-team companionship that we had up in Green Bay for 2 Transfers.  And dang, we saw some awesome miracles.  The first of them happened as we were walking around street contacting.  We met this man named Humberto (Hubert in Spanish) so I was all like: "Hey, we're twins!"  So we hit it off pretty well.  We ended up talking to this guy for almost 40 minutes outside of his house, sharing a Book of Mormon with him and teaching him about how, in the midst of this dark world and everything, how we can find light and truth as we follow Christ through reading his scriptures and seeking him in life.  He really liked that and invited us to come back!
Literally right after that, we went to an appointment that had previously been scheduled with this man named Gerardo.  Here's the crazy story behind Gerardo:  He lives in Milwaukee but works in Waukesha in the summertime.  He remembers last July, a short blonde haired, blue eyed missionary gave him a Book of Mormon while he was waiting for his ride home in Waukesha.  As soon as I walked into his house with Elder Miller, he and I both recognized the other.  I remember this man, like my last week in Waukesha, who was sitting on a porch near our apartment, and who we gave a Book of Mormon to.  We were never able to give him as a referral because we never got his Milwaukee address, but what an amazing experience how everything came back around and how I was able to teach him again!  :)  The lesson we had was really awesome.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and how we got it, bearing testimony that it would change their lives if they would let it.  Now usually in the Hispanic community, they picture the missionaries as nice young men who stop by and share a message when they're in the area - they don't have the mentality of making and keeping specific appointments.  However, Gerardo, his wife and his daughter ALL wanted us to come back the next week at the same time to teach them more.  Unfortunately, I will not be involved in their teaching any more because it's not my area, but I was SO grateful for the opportunity to finally follow-up on that Book of Mormon handout.  :)  

Another cool thing is that Elder Miller and I were able to help a Dominican less active woman realize the benefits of coming back to church, and she committed to doing it next week!  :)  And she gave us lunch, which is a huge blessing.
Milwaukee Courthouse

With the Santiago Family
On Thursday morning, we had the amazing opportunity to be able to go to the Milwaukee Courthouse and help the Santiago family get a marriage license.  It's funny - they were married, and then they got divorced, but never moved out...  So, they've been living together for like 10 years, and finally decided to go and get married again!  We're so happy for them!  Also later that day, we got a visit from the Reyes family from up in Green Bay who recently got baptized.  they took us out to lunch and it was awesome to be able to talk to Lydia, Monica, and Elizabeth again, and I was especially excited when they told us that they would be moving to Utah in August!!!  SO awesome!

Surprise visit from the Reyes family
And finally, another highlight of my week was Stake Conference that we had on Saturday and Sunday - lots of revelation was to be had.  I missed out on some of it because I was involved in the Spanish Translation process for the 2 Spanish Branches that we have in our stake, but even so, I was able to learn some things.  :D

Elder's translating Stake Conference
I just want to close in letting each of you know that I love and appreciate you so much!  Thanks for all that you do for me, especially for your support and your prayers.  They really are appreciated!  It is awesome to know that the Lord is hastening His work over here in Wisconsin as He labors in the vineyard with us.  :)  I know He loves us, and I know that He wants the best for us - the best is the Gospel!  :D
--Elder Nate Hubert

Monday, April 20, 2015

Serving as Branch Clerks because nobody else knows how, and helpingsave the branch

Don't worry - I will explain what the subject line means all in good time.

But yeah!  We had a really good week!  Some definite highlights include the following:

The District
Monday we were able to go and visit some members of the branch that had decided to not come to the Spanish Branch because of the conflict that occurred, and while we were there we shared a message about how we need to realize that in times of storm, we cannot make the storm go away.  There is only one person who can do that!  We compared it to what was going on in the branch right now, saying that "the winds are blowing hard and the waters are very choppy!"  We told the story of Christ calming the tempest, and how it was only after the Apostles had realized that they couldn't do it on their own that they reached out to Jesus who was on the boat with them to calm the storm.  The hope we can have is that we know that Christ is doing his work!  He works in his vineyard with us (Jacob 5) - He is in the boat with us.  Our job as His followers is to increase our faith in Him and to allow Him to do His work.  The Apostles reached out, and he calmed the storm that was going on in their lives.  Luckily, the Spirit touched the hearts of the members of the branch as each of us reached out to Him, and he calmed the storm that was going on.  We were able to "see the Salvation of God" (D&C 123:17) as he healed the wounds that had been caused in the branch.  That was a definite highlight of the week.  But even though a large portion of our work is now directed at strengthening the members of the branch in which we serve, we still are able to work hard with investigators and those who are in need of us.

For example, on Tuesday/Wednesday, I was on exchanges with an Elder Wyatt Baird from Provo, UT (graduated from TimpView HS) and we had a great time!  We were able to find 6 new investigators together in that short time, and teach a bunch of lessons!  He's a hard worker and it was my pleasure to spend that time with him.  :)

A cool story that we had is that on Wednesday night we got a call from some elders serving in an area kind of by Green Bay (north of Milwaukee - place called Sheboygan) telling us that there was a member who was getting life-flighted to the children's hospital and who needed a blessing.  So we went IMMEDIATELY, but unfortunately were not able to get into the hospital that night because of hospital regulations for late-night-hour visitors.  We went back the next day and got to meet the family, and I was SO thankful for the bishop of their ward, who had driven all the way down to Milwaukee to minister to this less-active family in need.  We, too, were able to share a message and say a prayer with them, and that was a definite spiritual experience.

But in explanation of the subject line, on Sunday we had to miss out on some of the meetings at church because we had to do what the Branch Clerk would do usually.  Unfortunately, we don't have anybody in the branch to fill that calling, so we spent the entire time just editing the branch list and moving things around and combining houses because the branch list, for lack of better words, was a mess.  :P  But it's on it's way of getting better.  :)

Love you guys so much!  I hope you have a great week!

--Elder Nate Hubert

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spiritual ZTM, Assistant Exchange, Soccer, and Easter Party

Hola todos!  I hope that each of you have had a super good week, and just want to let you know that I am doing fabulous!  :D  Life in Milwaukee is going super well, even if Mother Nature is deciding to profusely rain on us every single day.  I can get over it.  :P  But here's just a few highlights of my week:

Elder Hubert and Elder Evans
On Tuesday in the afternoon, we had a super amazing experience as we had a Zone Training Meeting.  Basically what that is (for those of you who aren't sure) is that Elder Evans and I got to lead the zone in a few trainings that we had received the week previous from the Mission President and the Assistants.  We relay these messages and trainings to the members of our zone, and each of us learn new things.  The reason that we had such a great experience is because the zone participated very well in everything that had been discussed.  We talked about being consecrated, we talked about Temple Covenants, we talked about having dignified language, and we talked about strengthening the groups in which we serve.  Each member of the zone had some priceless comments that provided a very in-depth discussion on how each of us could do better.  I know that each of us felt the Spirit, and I felt the Spirit more during this ZTM than I think I have in any other ZTM I've had during my mission!  (PS:  ZTM's are a monthly meeting we have)  So, that was an amazing experience.

Friday, I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Eyring (he used to be my zone leader in Green Bay - we've been on exchanges before), and we were in the Spanish area.  We had some good experiences, like when we met this Mexican Rancher who is a super rich guy back in Mexico - he is a new investigator.  Also, we contacted a referral that we had gotten for a Dominican lady named Nancy who is super nice and would like to come to church!  She wasn't able to this last week, but she said that she would like to soon!  :)  But I would say that the most interesting experience we had was when we entered the house of a new investigator whose parents are pastors of a non-denominational church that they have in their home.  We sat down with the father and his friend from Chicago and taught them about the Book of Mormon.  He attempted to test our Biblical knowledge, and when he realized that we did, in fact, know what he was talking about, he dropped it.  However, after a little bit of being there and after setting a return appointment, we decided that it was best that we leave, so we asked if it would be okay if we prayed together.  So, I'm not sure what religion or church these people belonged to, but everybody came in for the prayer.  There was the husband, the wife, a couple friends from Chicago, and 2 kids, and then us two missionaries.  And then the prayer began!  It consisted of a bunch of shouting in Spanish and what they called 'speaking in tongues' (I can demonstrate for you what that sounded like when I am home from my mission - it kind of sounded like jibberish mixed with ancient Hebrew - it was kinda freaky) and this shouting went on for like 5 minutes.  Once they had calmed down, one of the women starts yelling at us/preaching to us (out of what motiavtion, I'm not sure...) but after she calmed down a little, we asked if we could offer one of our prayers.  We demonstrated that during our prayers, we all bow our heads and fold our arms and remain reverant as one of the people directs the prayer.  I volunteered to do so, and I only offered a prayer that was about 1 minute.  As soon as I said 'amen,' the Spirit flooded the room!  No credit given to myself or Elder Eyring, the Lord knew that these people needed to know what the Spirit really felt like, the peace and joy that comes with its presence.  It was a beautiful feeling, and then as we were leaving, the pastor man grabbed my hand and said "I love the way you pray.  Just your voice!  Very humble.  Very submissive.  Thank you."  THAT was an amazing experience.  Everybody, the power of prayer is real!  The Spirit is real!

Mud Soccer

The next morning, we were able to play soccer for a few hours with our investigators and some members, so that was pretty awesome.  I think a lot of them were surprised when a bunch of us white guys were scoring from mid-field...  :P

Easter egg party!
And then the last part - there was an easter party yesterday (I've included some photos and videos of this on DropBox) and that was really fun!  There was lots of food and lots of candy, and then we all threw eggs at each other!  but these eggs had been cleaned out and filled with flour and confetti - it was super fun!  AND I got betrayed by my friends...  :P  But it's okay, I betratyed my friends too.... :P

I hope that you each have a great week!  I love you all!  Adios!

The church is true!  The book is blue!

--Elder Nate Hubert

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter - Hope of a Glorious Resurrection

Hello everybody!  So my weekly email is going to be a little different this week.  I want to share something with each of you.  I'm actually going to be sharing from my journal entry from yesterday, and so you'll be able to know what's been on my mind and heart:

Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission!
"Happy Easter!  What a miracle it is to have a day like today, to celebrate an event so inspiring: the first resurrected being to ever before rise from the grave, to have His Spirit enter His body once again, and to have us be the recipients of so magnificent a blessing.

Let me share an special experience with you:

Last night (Saturday night) right before 10:30pm, I received a call from President and Sister Cutler.  I had no idea what President was going to want to talk about at so late an hour, but I answered the phone.  He apologized for calling so late, but then he continued to tell me that he had just gotten off the phone with my father, who had called so that president could let me know that my Great-Grandfather Egbert had passed away a few hours earlier.  As I hard these words, all I could do was close my eyes to take it all in.

Of course I am sad.  At the loss of anybody relatively close, a person would be saddened.  But I am not distraught!  After 5-days short of 95 years of age, Frances Egbert departed this life to be once again with his dear wife.  And I am overjoyed to know that, as it says in Alma 40:11, "The Spirits of all men,  as soon as they are departed from this mortal body... are taken home to that God who gave them life."  What a glorious knowledge!  The Spirit of my Great-Grandfather, though departed from his body, has gone home.  Most of us consider here to be our home, the land of our inheritence.  But our real home is not here.  Imagine that you've been on a long trip - for a month or so - and then you go back home.  No matter the excitement of your voyage, the fun of your trip, the learning moments of your adventure, the memories of your vacation, or the experiences of your quest, the greatest part of any excursion is the moment you open the door and enter your home at last.  Now imagine that mortal sense of entering 'home,' and take it to a divine perspective.  There, the feelings of relief and accomplishment can never be measured, especially because of the indescribably glorious reunion that has occurred between Francis and his sweetheart.

But even more than that, what joy fill my soul in being able to say with firmness and testimony in my voice that Francis Egbert, the loyal servant of God for 95 years, has once again entered the warm embrace of his Father, who is our father.  He is a father so wonderful that he provides us with this experience on Earth, one of the side effects being that we forgot our Father's face and his voice.  But one day, we will each enter his presence, as my Great-Grandfather did today.  Sadness in death is to be expected, but despair is unnecessary because "there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ" (Mosiah 16:8)."

Those are my thoughts...  It's been hard to deal with it, but I'm so grateful that it happened right before Easter rather than any other time, because with hope of a resurrection we cannot focus on death.  I love my family SO much and I will miss him tons!  I'm sad I wasn't home to be with the family during this time, but I'm also happy that I am able to be on a mission - I would not rather be doing anything other than this work right now, bringing hope of eternal families to the people of Wisconsin.  :)

Another experience that happened this week, just real quick, is that on Thursday night we had some elders staying the night because we all had to go to a meeting on Friday, and one of them fell and hit their arm on a bedframe and cut it right open...  We spent 4 hours in the Emergency Room that night and got 1 1/2 hours of sleep - that was wonderful.  It made Mission Leadership Council really enjoyable the next day!  :P  But yeah.  That was my week!  

AND General Conference was amazing.  'nuff said.  :)

I love you all so much!  I hope you have a great week!

--Elder Nate Hubert