Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Tracting Experience!

Last p-day we went to this huge mountain to sled. We hiked to the top, which took us a good half hour, before we went down. Luckily, it was 40 degrees out and the wind wasn't that bad. I was wearing jeans and nikes despite the snow being up to my waist at some points. By the end, I could not feel my toes and my butt was frozen, but it was worth it! It felt good to be out there in nature!



That night, we had dinner with the Hobbs family. We had taco soup, which I've never had before but it was delicious. At one point, their 7 year old daughter started choking on a tortilla chip. It was just partial blockage but she couldn't get it out. Her dad had her crawl under the table because her other 5 siblings had her blocked in the middle. While she was crawling, she said in a dramatic voice, "I'm dying!!!" and her bros and sisters started giggling. Once she coughed it up, we all started laughing at/with her becuase of what she said! I related my story of choking on steak at the MTC and she felt less embarrassed considering missionaries choke too. 



I HAD MY FIRST TRACTING EXPERIENCE! (Tracting is the typical knocking on random doors missionaries do) First dude who answered came to the door looking all angry. He had gray hair past his shoulders and a mustache + beard. Here is the play-by-play:
Him(talking through the screen door): You here to talk to me about your Lord?
Me: Why yes I am!
Him: How old are you?
Me: 20
Him: I'm 60 and I ain't never seen god. Now don't lie to me, have you?
Me: I have not, but I know He exists and loves us.
Him: This conversation is over *slams door*
I couldn't help but laugh my way off the door step! I could tell how unhappy and dissatisfied he was with life. The Gospel brings satisfaction and happiness and peace into lives and he rejected the very thing he could have used! I just thought it was funny how nasty and rude he was to me. It was a reflection of how he lives his life. I know God loves all of His children and He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the Earth that all His children might have a way back to Him. I know this to be true. 

This week in general didn't have too many things going on. People flake out on appointments like usual. They want to meet with us until it actually comes time to do it then everything else in the world becomes more important. We went to the baptism of Jose Alberto Saturday night in Saratoga. He is from Honduras. He lives in a trailer with 7 other Hondurans and they all work somewhere. They all showed up to his baptism and they really enjoyed seeing him make that covenant with God. There were a lot of ward members there to support him, even though he doesn't speak any English and the whole program was in Spanish. The Elders from Saratoga, E. Almeida and E. Ramirez, are both Latinos so they speak it. We probably spent 12 or so hours helping JD + Misty move from their trailer to a house. I'm glad we could help them because they have both been under a lot of stress lately. We are their "angels". Scripture that I kept repeating in my head while moving their stuff------> Mosiah 2:17 "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God"

Anyways, I'm grateful to be here in Hanna as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jesus Christ lives! Heavenly Father watches over us and loves us. He is waiting to bless us as we keep His commandments! Cool, Huh?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Week #2

Second week in the field was a pretty good one. On Wednesday the wind was crazy. I'm talking 50, 60 mph winds. Our truck doors would be blown open as soon as you'd crack the door. In the middle of all the wind, we did some service for an Investigator named JD. They have 3 horses so they needed help unloading hay bales. They had 30 or so bales and they each weigh (in my estimate) 70-80 lbs. So I got my workout in for the day. The elevation in Hanna is 6700 ft, but we also cover a place called Elk Mountain and that sits at 7200 ft! The other day on p-day we played basketball and the elevation definitely gets to me. Breathing is much harder no doubt. Anyways, we had a dinner appointment in Elk Mountain so we visited an old lady who has been battling cancer for 13 years :( She was sleeping when we got there so we helped her non-member husband set up his new wireless computer. He was pretty reserved at first but he opened up after he saw we were just there to help him and no force the Gospel upon him. He gave us a root beer as reward and then his wife woke up and we shared a scripture on faith before we left. Dinner was at this huge ranch dude's house. He makes hay that is used for the horses in the Kentucky Derby so he is kinda a big deal. We had some great chili and fun talking to their daughters who are 5 and 10 I believe. Oh yeah one thing that was scary was we were pulling out onto a busy-ish highway and my comp didn't see a MACK truck coming from our right. He started pulling out and I'm like "elder...elder...ELDER!!!!!!" and we stopped about 6 or so feet short. whew!
 
We did some service at the Catholic church. They have a D.I./good will set up in their basement so we went over there and helped move boxes and such. We found this Maclemore like trench coat with the fur in great condition and all that and they said we could take it for free but we figured someone else needs it more haha. We then went to the town's unusually nice Rec Center and mopped a whole basketball court. We do that weekly. On Friday, we had a trainers' follow-up meeting (basically a meeting for the greenies - new missionaries) and it was in Fort Collins. Usually it takes us 3 or 4 hours to get there but it only too 2.5 this time. We left at 6 AM and got there early so we went to Denny's. Our server happened to be Mormon so he paid for our meal! I still left him a tip because I felt bad because how much money could a Denny's server really make? After the meetings, we went to a college favorite restaurant named "STUFT". They let you create your own burger and name it. Anyways, that place lets you do anything to your burger and you can even make your buns GLAZED DONUTS! It was good, but I don't think I'll go there again.
 
On Saturday we helped with a program at the Rec Center called Bountiful Baskets. Basically, since the closest grocery store is 40 miles away and the closest Walmart is 90 miles away, they bring fresh produce in and distribute it to paying locals. We helped load the baskets and take them to people's cars. At the end of it, we got a free basket for helping so that's cool. Then we went a helped keep clock at the High school's big wrestling tournament. That was a good way to get our names out there and let people know Mormons are normal people. That night, we went to the Seager's home. Apparently, the wife took the kids and left for California a month ago and he left last week to bring the kids back. He brought more than just the kids back! He got his wife back to so when we walked into the living room we were thinking woah what the heck?! People these days.... Sunday we had 5 investigators come to church and we set up a dinner apt for an investigator family for this Tuesday. Exciting stuff. Since my comp is the district leader, he does baptismal interviews for the district. The Spanish elders needed this Mexican dude to get interviewed so we went to Saratoga to do it. They lived in a nice trailer and while we were talking to the dude, all these Mexicans walk in at the same time. I think 7 or 8 walked in and they all live there and just work haha. Things are good here though. The work is moving forward. This isn't my work or my companion's work or any of our work. It is Heavenly Father's work. Moses 1:39 says "For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immorality and eternal life of man" That is Heavenly Father speaking. As a missionary, I am just a tool in his hands. It is a blessing and privilege to be able to help in the work and be called by God. It is truly humbling. I just wanted to post some lyrics to hymn number 85 How Firm A Foundation:
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"
Now that is powerful stuff! Be a part of this great work. It'll go forward no matter what, but wouldn't it be better if we all were a part of it too? 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Check out the "Mormon.org" Page!

Hey everyone! Check out the "Mormon.org" page that Elder Sell completed by clicking on this link:

http://mormon.org/me/F1G1









Monday, February 10, 2014

Hanna, WY


It was a fun first few days here in Hanna. I met a good number of members and for the most part they are jolly and nice. People live in very humble conditions here. It's frustrating when you see someone living such a sad life and you have the gospel to offer them and they aren't interested. It's like, well what could you lose? Everything to gain but nothing to lose. I just have to be patient and keep working hard.
 
So the pictures I sent, the one with Ramen noodles has a story. A tractor trailer got BLOWN OVER while driving on the highway and they were going to bury all the ramen he was hauling but the townspeople heard so everyone went and got tons of ramen. The ramen in the picture is about 1/5 of what we originally had. We gave it to the other districts and to our zone leaders. I don't eat that junk so don't worry :P The lasagna picture has a story also.



We visited a member who said his neighbor needed her driveway shoveled. So we went over there and shoveled and had to use an ice pic to break the ice. She came out and was very grateful, so she gave us a lasagna she originally had made for her husband. The problem is, her husband died 4 months ago and it had been frozen since then. We took it home and baked it for 2 hours and it didn't turn out very well. I think the mule deer will enjoy it though. I hope we can meet with her again and share the plan of salvation with her. She might enjoy that. Anyways, I'm doing great! Love you and talk to you later,

Elder Sell

 

The Missionary Training Center


Hey family!

Yes I made it to the MTC and have survived the first couple days. We have been learning a ton and it feels exactly like drinking a fire hydrant through a straw. I just take it one step at a time and pray a lot. I have 6 Elders in my district including me. We are already great friends and we have district unity. I was made District Leader last night so that will be cool. I get to serve them and make sure they are all doing well. My companion is Elder Pope. He is from California. He is really excited to serve and share his testimony. Sometimes too excited :P we had this group companionship (like 50 people) trying to teach one acting investigator the first night and he probably talked 25% of the time haha. He is cool though and makes me want to do better. We have been feeling the spirit testify of the truths of this Gospel. It's great. Another Elder in my district, Elder Campbell, is a recent convert. He told us that he realized he had to serve a mission even BEFORE he was a member of the church. He texted the local missionaries and got the ball rolling right away. Schedules are packed here for sure. Always going somewhere or sitting in class for honestly 9 or so hours a day. I like the food though. There is anything and everything you could ever want. This was supposed to be a short e-mail even though it is our p-day. We get to go to the temple in an hour so that'll be fun but there is no time to do laundry, which I haven't much of. Just wanted to let you know I'm doing well and there is no need to worry about me. Love you!

Love,


Elder Sell