Thursday, March 25, 2010

2 Timothy 4: 7, 9

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

Sacrificing Yosemite

Family,

I just can't believe how many miracles we saw last week as a result of the 40 day fast. Sis. Escobar, who felt prompted on the first day of her fast to talk to her neighbor, and found out her neighbor was looking for a church, brought her neighbors to church yesterday. They were so moved by the spirit, making comments like, "This is exactly what I want for my family," "That is what I needed to hear," and the list goes on. They were so impressed they wanted to go on the tour the next day, monday, today, which is preparation day, and they could only go in the afternoon because the husband works in the Navy and is gone for the entire week. Well, we originally had a grand trip to Yosemite planned for today. This, I believe, is the Lord's final attempt at testing where my priorities lie. Needless to say, Yosemite has been shoved to the side, and we'll be doing the tour in about an hour.

Next, a story. Once upon a time, there was a comcast man, who was working at the house near where Elder Clawson and I were tethering up our bikes. I tipped my metaphorical hat to this man and said, "Hey, who's getting comcast?" To which this man replied with a big grin on his face, "EVERYONE'S GETTING COMCAST!" What a great pitch. I laughed for hours.

Another story. We had a tour in the afternoon. This ward is tough to get afternoon team-ups. Bro. Sauls is one of the only ones that can go with us in the afternoon. Well, his car broke down, but he promised us he'd be there, so after scratching my head, I wished him God speed, and we prepared for our church tour which he was to be the team-up. By the way, our church is out of our area, and it takes us fifteen minutes by bike to get there. Anyhew, the scheduled time for the lesson arrives, and who should come rolling up on his roller blades but Bro. Sauls. I remembered to praise him for it in my talk yesterday.

Speaking of my talk, it went amazing! Ha, I can't believe how much I feel apart of this ward. Tearing away is going to be like separating myself from a plasma grenade in Halo 3, which, as far as I'm aware, isn't possible without it first going off. Sad day.

I'm ready to work this next week into the ground! I'm also ready to see everyone again. Ha, getting reset up back into real life is going to be a trick. A car, a wardrobe, a cell phone, and xbox 360, this will be fun! I'm even planning on heading to costco to grab the huge thing of protein powder to boost my body fat % to a healthy 8. Hey, there's a great homecoming gift! *wink wink* Oh, and someone told me to go with whey protein, because soy will turn me into a girl. Who knew?

A man we've been working with for a while, and who investigated the church over a year ago, committed to fast for an answer. Well, he fasted. And he got an answer. It was amazing. He's really switched gears in his investigation, and accepted a baptismal date for the end of March. We now have 2 with a date, and hopefully the church tour we're taking this family on this afternoon will be a spiritual powerhouse.

Finally, does anyone know Dr. Craig R Boothe in St. George? A member asked me, so I thought I'd throw it out there.

Well family, I hope the week goes by quickly but not too quickly if you know what I mean. For any of my friends who are reading this, I'm bringing back a ton of quarters to play at the Dairy Queen Slot Machine (the gumball machine with the *winner* gumballs that get you free blizzards). Enjoy this fine March 2010 of ours.

-Elder Devin Daniels

The 40 day fast

Wish I had 40 days to see it all pan out.

Family!

For those of you who don't know what a 40 day fast is, it's when a member family signs up each day for 40 days and fasts for something. This time it's missionary work, bwa ha ha ha. Guess who was behind that one? Today is day 2 of the fast and we've already seen a miracle. Sis. Escobar kept getting these promptings yesterday that she needed to go and talk to her neighbor, and she just couldn't get it out of her head. So she took some food by and said hi, wished her a happy new year (the neighbor is Asian), and they got to talking. The neighbor asks, completely unprompted, which church the Escobars go to. It turns out that she's looking for a church to go to, and she's going to give ours a try, starting with the ward game night this Saturday, followed by a tour of the church building. Woohoo!

With 7 days between now and the next time I email, I'm sure I'll have a slew of miracles to sling at you all, so be ready.

Also, here's a story about how I hope my family to turn out.

Bro. Vale is a highly respected member of the community here, and is a member of the high council as well. He's probably in his late 50's. We go over there to say hi and see how things are going and, much to my pleasant surprise, he and his neighbors, the Walkers, who are also members of the church, and tearing it up on Call of Duty: World at War, slaying hordes of Nazi Zombies. These are some of the key players and most influential people of the ward here, enjoying themselves a little XBOX 360. I can honestly say that that is how I envision my family.

In other news, we now have someone with a baptismal date for March 27, we have an eternal investigator fasting for an answer about the Book of Mormon this Wednesday to be followed with a church tour on Thursday, and we've got a friend lined up for Bro. Uhl. We've got a pretty good line up for this week.

Thus concludes my announcements to my loving family. Hope all is well and that you're able to contain yourselves until that great and dreadful day where I will break through the vail, back into St. George. Make sure there are controllers enough for all of us. Take care.

Elder Devin A. Daniels

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Super Greg, #1

Wow, this has been the most exciting day of emails of my entire mission. Looks like the flight plans are in and everyone is going to be there! Ah ha ha ha, awesome! I'm very excited. At the same time, I've still got a bit of the pre-return depression, you know, realizing your life is about to change dramatically and you don't get to go be such a huge part of people's lives anymore, but I'm sure a heaping dose of Left 4 Dead will solve that.

Just to get it out there, looks like I'm scheduled to land at 6:00 PM, Wed. March 10th. Anyone who reads this is invited to attend, but I can't promise much, other than a grand pose on the tarmac.

My entire mission I've given one single talk in sacrament meeting, so I've been planting seeds with the entire Bishopric to change it. "Hey Bishop, did you know I've given one talk in the past two years? Crazy, huh? You know, if you're ever out of speakers..." Wierd, I know, but I just want to try out my homecoming jokes on a real audience while gaining the trust of the members and getting them to do more missionary work. Who can argue with that? I doubt my companion likes me talking like that, because usually if they get one of us, they call the other one shortly afterwards. Anyhew, yep, it worked, and I'll be giving my prototype homecoming talk on March 28th.

Our mission President, President Gonzalez, is one of the greatest men I know. Not only because he's a spiritual giant, but also because he's hilarious. He was mentioning something stupid someone did, and afterwards threw his arms out in the air and said, "HELLLLLO MCFLY!" hitting himself on the head. Just one of the many friends I'm going to miss.

Do I have much else to report? Well, our most progressing investigator is doing missionary work. He brought his sister, who is building an interest in the church, to church 2 days ago. My goodness, life is getting great. We even convinced the ward to do a 40 day fast on missionary work, with one family fasting each day (in one day periods) for 40 days specifically for the missionary work. It will be incredible. Unfortunately I won't be here for the entire duration of it T_T so I'll miss out on a good chunk of miracles.

Other than that, I'm greatful you're all making the sacrifice to meet me in St. George. Don't worry -- my homecoming talk will be worth the expenses.

-Elder Devin Daniels

Monday, February 8, 2010

4 your information

Family,

Bro. Uhl is doing great. He tells us he's 98% ready to be baptized. No date yet, but keep him in your prayers.

So this week, we did the most random service ever. Bro. Davila enlisted us as a middle-school girl's math tutor. That was interesting. Anyhew, after our help she's pretty much teaching the class now.

I also discovered that our Ward Mission Leader loves World of Warcraft, so watch out for him. He fights for the alliance.

Other than that, there's life. It was announced from the pulpit when I'll be leaving the mission, so now everyone in the 8th ward knows about the eminent move, which means for the next four weeks I'll be answering the following questions:

"What are you going to do when you get home?" "Are you excited?" "Are you going to school?" "Are you planning on getting married?"

Yep. I remember hearing my trainer, who was leaving when I was with him, get all those questions, dinner after dinner after dinner.

Well, I'm done for the day. Stay amazing.

-Elder Daniels

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week 1 of the transfer: Complete

Family,

This has been the best week I’ve had in this area. I feel like we’re actually pulling our own weight in the zone! It is a good feeling.

So! I can’t remember if I told you all about Ben, an 11-year inactive we street contacted who wants to get back in church and was super interested in the church tour. Well, while we were talking to him, his girlfriend Deanna walked out, kind of hung out in the background, and then said, “I’m not a member of your church, but can I go on the tour too?”

The time for the tour arrived, and there they were! Punctual and ready. The tour flowed smoothly, and in the end Deanna was in tears and Ben was testifying of the church. Deanna even said she will be baptized. Yep, we’re pretty excited.

Our other amazing investigators the Spurlock’s and the Uhl’s both took turns testifying of the Restoration when we visited them this week.

We’re also teaching a gamer who I can identify pretty well with, and he’s coming on the tour this week.

Training is training. My new companion’s name is Elder Clawson and he’s spent short spurts of time living all around the United States, including Enterprise Utah, just north of St. George. He’s excited to work.

Last, I was pleasured to overhear a hilarious conversation between a man at the library hear and my good friends the Spanish Elders. Here’s a little how it went. They were talking about Jesus Christ, and the man was talking about trinity doctrine, when Elder Dastrup asks very unthreateningly, “Well I have a question for you. When Jesus Christ was on the cross, and he said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ Who was he talking to?” “Himself, of course! Don’t you ever talk to yourself?”

Laughs were had by me.

I appreciate all your prayers for the Modesto 8th ward. Keep it up! They are working. The plan is to get 3 more baptisms before my triumphant return home, so stay tuned for the progress. Take care.

-Elder Daniels


Monday, January 25, 2010

The exciting conclusion of Elder Daniels mission‏

And now for the moment you've been waiting weeks for. Just where and how will Elder Daniels spend his last transfer here in the California Fresno mission? Dun dun dun dun! Training! In the 8th ward! After having successfully applied spiritual defibrillator to the area and drummed up decent success, it's up to Elder Daniels to get a young, stalwart missionary up to speed and ready to take over the new area. Yep, pretty exciting stuff. Here's some more exciting stuff. I got my weight analyzed, and it looks like I'm at about 5% body fat. You know what that means! One of the members here in the ward is a personal trainer, and she has advised me to get at least 180 grams of protein per day until I get up into a healthy body fat. That's exciting. I've never done protein powder. Hopefully I don't turn yellow like some people I know did. Next, the rain has been very exciting, as it has been falling constantly. Puddles, a by product of the rain, have taken over entire streets in certain places. These places are dangerous to be near as a bicyclist for many many reasons, one of them I found out first hand. Sound muffled by the wind, I could scarecly here the 2 ton truck barrelling up the road behind me as I passed by one of these lake-grade puddles. Of course, one of the many advantages to dressing like Neo from the matrix is that the trench coat is more than just stylish -- it's practical -- and kept me from becoming a missionary popsical with the torrenting wave of water that nearly knocked me off my bike. Everythings coming up Milhouse! Miracle story #1) So we've been trying by this former investigator for a few weeks who got antied. We tried once and met him. He was going through a ton, so expressed our love and emotional support. Encounter #2 was about the same. Encounter #3 occurred last week, as our new friend invited us in and immediately began serving us warm pretzels. He thanked us for our persistance, and we'll be doing service for him next week. Miracle story #2) Everyday street contact? Wrong! This one turned out to be a member standing alongside a girl of some sort, be it wife, girlfriend, something. This member had been inactive since 17 (he's 28 now) and wanting to come back to church. We pitched the church tour program to him and he signed right up. The cherry on the whole thing was the comment made by the girl he was with. "I'm not a member, but can I come on the tour too?" Ah ha ha ha, I love it! Well, I'm excited for what the new transfer may bring. Hopefully Sonya is accepted into Abraham's bosom during my final stretch, by either way I'm staying focussed and aiming at 3 more baptisms before I'm gone. Pray me luck! -Elder Daniels