Monday, November 18, 2013

Go to ... change the language to Dine Bizaad. You can watch talks in Navajo!

....There's nothing to worry about because the second I got here my companion has supported me and I'm glad he's my trainer. We get along so well that we don't have to say anything and we already know what each other are going to say in a lesson But part of the reason is because we both listen to the spirit the say way. We had this cool idea last week to pray about what days we should set our investigators baptisms and for every single day we prayed about we both got the same answers. As a missionary it is great to see someone you teach grow in the gospel. you can almost see it in the person's eyes when they feel the spirit and finally get what you are talking about. As a missionary I don't do much for the people we teach. As a missionary all you have to do is let the spirit work through you and there have been many times where I have understood that I'm not the one talking., it's the spirit working through me. now all I have to do is be worthy and do my part which is studying the scriptures. I have been told many times that unless we are smart in the gospel the Spirit has nothing to use when he speaks through you. So as a representative of Jesus Christ I need to know Gods word before I declare it to the people in Many Farms, AZ. When I read the Book of Mormon, it's almost like I am in it and everything applies to me. In the introduction to the Book of Mormon it says that the Lamanites are the ancestors to the Native Americans. Everything that applies to the Nephites and Lamanites, applies to the Navajo people. I get to e one of the great missionaries in the Book of Mormon and use them as my example. There are a lot of prophecies that are in the book that I get to fulfill while I am out here. If you read D&C 49:24 it talks about how the Lamanites will prosper before the second coming. Our stake president quotes the scripture a lot and reminds the stake that they will "blossom as the rose." Pretty sweet when you can say you fulfilled a prophecy in the Book of Mormon. 1 Nephi 22:6-8 talks about how the gentiles will carry the seed of Lehi until they can prosper on their own. 
       The Church has done a lot for the Navajo people na if you think about it, it is like we are carrying the natives and teaching them. The best thing the church has done for the natives is the placement program. In the 60's the church started offering schooling for native americans if they got baptized and lived in foster homes in places like Utah, Idaho and Montana. It doesn't matter where you go as long as the kids live with an LDS family. The program stopped in the 90's but it was such a success that now everyone on the reservation knows who the mormons are and know wot the elders are. Unfortunately a lot of the kids who went on placement moved back to the navajo reservation and fell into inactivity. That is why there are so many less active members in our ward and that is why every time we meet someone we ask them if thy are LDS and if they have been baptized. Almost 40% of the people we meet are members but not active in the churt. But the greatest part about it is they have been part of the church before and have felt God in their life before. Sometimes thats what the people need because they get a chance to compare their life when they were with and without the church. They feel the spirit in their life again when we talk to them and realize it hasn't been there for so many years. It's great to see people light up and be excited when they talk about their experience in placement and how they still keep in contact with tir foster parents. Out stake president and his 1st counselor are from the placement programs and there are a lot of strong members of the church who are from the program as well. People bash on the placement program sometimes because a lot of the people never stayed active but I feel it ws truly inspired because everyone has already been baptized and as a missionary all we have to do is reintroduce the gospel into peoples lives. Being a missionary is amazing! I love every minute of it and I know I am doing the right thing being out here. Dad, I couldn't survive on your mission, I was so excited for conference and I can't imagine waiting for the talks to come out in the magazines. "Bind up their wounds" reminded me of when you took me to all your visits home teaching before I turned 12 and was your home teacher (companion) permanently. 
         We spent one p-day at Canyon De Chelly which is a famous cliff dwelling sight for Anasazi homes. We share a trailer with our district leader. He has been out the longest out of all 6 of us in the district. That not saying much though because he has only been out 9 months. If you total how long all 6 of us have been out on our missions it is 20 months, not even a full mission. We are the best district in the zone though. Pinon is the town here that doesn't like missionaries, they haven't stoned anyone but the missionaries don't stay out after dark because of the gangs. Many Farms has a "want to be" gang but Pinion is so much worse. If you're wondering about me and my testimony, just know that on a mission my testimony has grown so rapidly that it changes every other hour or so. It's strange but coll that my understanding of the Savior can grow so fast......the more you read, the more you understand, it's cool. I can pick out anything random out of the Book of Mormon and it will be what I need to know. 
    I listen to just about everything (music) throughout the week. My companion has even requested Christmas music already, ha ha. 
    I did have a scary situation almost getting stuck on the mesa. Mission president called me to be the driver in my companionship so I drive to all our appointments in our truck. Last week we were trying to find a family that we met before in the middle of no where an in the process of not being able to find them we got lost on a bunch of dirt roads. We drove around for 30 minutes trying to get off the mesa but there were too many side roads. I looked at the fuel and we were almost out of gas. By the time we found the main road to Many Farms, we were empty and had to run off fumes to get to the gas station. We made it barely, but it was close. 
     Don't worry about me keeping a journal. I had a hard time the first week remembering but now I write in it every day. I also have a study journal for when I read the scriptures and listen to talks. I'm sure it will only make sense to me though. There are a lot of things that if you were on the reservation you would be like "what??!" but I'm so used to it that it seems normal to me. I have a lot of native Navajo traits now that I somehow picked up like when I talk about wood, I call them "woods" with an s at the end. For some reason everything is plural when people talk. I have also picked up a lot of odd sayings like "I'll be back till next week." really, it means that you will be back next wee. Kind of strange because you never know if someone is saying they will be gone until then or after then.... confusing. I know. But understanding Navajo and speaking it is getting easier. I can have a small conversation with people who don't speak any english. The mission office gave me an English to Navajo dictionary and a study guide the day I got here. I have an hour after studies to learn Navajo so it never interrupts scripture time. No one out here can read Navajo, and a lot of people can barely read English too. If you want to hear something really cool though! Go to and go to the conference talks archive and change the language to Dine Bizaad. You can watch talks in Navajo! pretty cool to listen to!
        Transfers are today but we get the transfer news the Saturday before. My companion and I are staying in Many Farms! Which means that we will both be here for thanksgiving and Christmas! This week was interesting.. My companion got really sick one day so he stayed with the Anderson while I went with the other two elders. It was ok, but I like my area better because our people are more fun lol Last Saturday we had 6 lessons in 7 hours which is a new record for our companionship! Usually we only get to teach 4-5 people a day. We have changed our tactics and we are hoping this next transfer will be awesome! Our youth minister is coming along. He still comes to church and we are almost done teaching him the lessons. He gave up his keys to the church he ran. He told us two days ago that he is ready to join the church! I'm supper exited for his baptism, because the ward already loves him :) Anyways, Things are Awesome and I cant wait to meet more people to tell them about the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ! 

Pretty sweet stuff being on a mission! Talk to you next week, Peace out!

.....Just a few screenshots from a video he sent home :)  (we aren't allowed to post the video at all)

               "being a missionary is awesome. keep that in mind!" 

demonstrating how people point with their lips - "it's over there..."

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