Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 6


We have a really busy day ahead of us so I probably wont be writing to much for this week.This is the last P-Day of the transfer so there is a lot to get done so I have less time on email this week. Transfer news did come in though, and I am staying here in Ventana Ranch with Elder Davis which I was excited about. So I will go ahead and give a very brief overview of some of the past week.

- We were finally able to get ahold of Sonia, the lady that found us while we were walking and told us about her husband leaving. It turns out that she took her daughters out to California for a little vacation and was gone for the majority of that week. But last week we caught her at home and she invited us right in to teach her and her daughters. It went really well despite the little bit of language barrier and her daughters seemed really excited. We went back later in the week, a couple days ago, and this time we brought a member with us that is from Mexico. We did some of the teaching in English and then she did some of the teaching in Spanish. She did amazing, which wasn't surprising since she had served a mission in Mexico right after she was converted. By the end Sonia was in tears again and agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

- Another set of missionaries had a baptism last week. It was a man that has been meeting with the missionaries for about two years now so it was pretty exciting. I met him a couple days prior because Elder Davis did the interview with him and he seemed so ready to get baptized. We talked for a little while after his interview and then I got a call the next day telling me that he wanted me to give the talk on the Holy Ghost at his baptism. It went incredible and the spirit was extremely strong.

I wanted to say more, but my comp just told me we have to get going, so I better close this one. Ill say more next time though :-)

Love you all!

Elder Inman

Elder Inman's email address while serving is:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Week 5

(We were able to get some special permission for Uncle Scott to take Elder Inman and his comp to dinner- it was a treasured time!)
This week has been one to remember, and I hope I always will. Fist off I got to see uncle Scott which was amazing! Plus he bought us food, lol. My president was sure to let me know that it is usually not allowed, but considering all the circumstances, and with Scott being deployed soon, he thought it was a good use of a missionaries time. It has been so long since I have seen Scott, so I am greatly thankful that I was able to a couple days ago, and to hear from him how great him and and his family are doing.

Im sure most people already know what an exchange is, but since some probably don't Ill go ahead and explain it real fast. It is when two companionships switch companions for 24 hours, usually so leadership can teach and help other missionaries and see how they work their areas. Since my companion is district leader we do a couple exchanges a month. This last week we exchanged and Elder Cochran came to my area, so for that day I acted as senior companion. Elder Cochran has been out for a little over a year, and said that he has had some trouble focusing, and has gotten in trouble with the president a couple times, so I prayed for an added amount of the spirit so that hopefully something we did that day would help him become a better missionary. He is an awesome guy, just having trouble as a missionary. Last week their companionship only had 6 lessons total.

It was a beautiful day, and we began knocking doors since there were no specific appointments set up yet. We knocked for a couple blocks with only two people answering, and both of them were pretty ticked that we were even there and shut the doors before we got to far past introducing ourselves. We ended up having fun and talked about Paul being rejected by whole cities, and began on the other side of the street. More people answered on this side, and I was able to do a lot of teaching to Elder Cochran on how best to do door approaches. Door to door sales has helped so much! We were blessed with quite a bit of success this time and even taught a couple lessons to people who were excited and invited us back. The rest of the day was a huge success, and I could noticeably see Elder Cochran getting happier and more excited. We ended the day with 8 lessons, more then either of us ever had in a single day, and more then he and his comp had all of last week. The best part is that the day after the exchange he called me back to let me know that he and his comp had 7 lessons the very next day! He was so excited, and they ended the week with more then twice as many lessons as the week before. Elder Davis said he didn't know what I did, but he had never seen Elder Cochran so excited to be a missionary. We both know that I didn't do anything though, I was just blessed enough to have the Lord work through me for another missionary. I hope and pray that I continue to be worthy for the spirit to work through me like that!

Then on Saturday I was able to witness another miracle, the kind that I have read about in the Ensign, lol. To start with, it snowed! Its in the 60's today, but it randomly snowed on Saturday. Elder Davis and I spent the majority of Saturday walking around in the cold with little or no success. Most people didn't answer, and the ones that did were busy and told us to come back in a couple days. By 5:00 we had no lessons, and only had about 20 minutes until our dinner appointment. Both of us were discouraged and wanted to sit in our car and do some studying since 20 minutes is not enough time to give a full lesson, and not even enough to tract more then a couple houses. Instead though I said that we should start driving to dinner and knock on some random door based on inspiration. After about 10 minutes of driving we were within sight of the house we were having dinner at, and neither of us felt any kind of promptings, so I pointed and a 'random' house and said there was someone in it that was ready for the gospel. I didn't completely believe it, but I figured we had a couple minutes and it wouldn't hurt to knock, even if I was completely wrong.

To our surprise someone actually answered, an improvement from the rest of the day. It was a young man named Josh, and he was completely open to the things I was telling him about the restored gospel. He said it made sense that we would still have a prophet on the earth, and would love to have us to come back the next day to teach him more. As we got back into the car we both had huge grins on our faces, and basically yelled with joy. Elder Davis said the whole time we talked to him he kept saying "no way" in his mind because he didn't believe it was happening. We went back yesterday and Josh invited us back in right away. We went through the whole first lesson and he agreed with everything we said, and at the end said that he felt chills from the spirit the entire time and wants to know more. We set up a return appt for this Wednesday and he wants us to bring a Book of Mormon for him with us because he wants to read and pray about it as soon as possible. Wow :-)

Its amazing to see how the Lord works; I absolutely love it. The only sad part is the reaction I have recieved from other missionaries when I share this experience. Everyone of them tell me to remember it because that kind of thing never happens, and even my trainer said that it must be greenie luck. I know that God led us to that home though, and that as long as we are faithful and worthy miracles like that should happen constantly throughout everyone's mission. God said that miracles follow his servants, so why should even greater things not happen through the rest of my mission. I have great respect for the missionaries that told me it wont happen again, especially for my zone leaders and trainer, but I also know that the reason more miracles don't happen to God's people is simply that kind of thinking and lack of faith. Why would miracles happen to his servants in the scriptures, and to the pioneers, and even to our leaders of the Church, but not to each of his missionaries today? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever so we can be certain it is not because he has changed, but because we no longer expect miracles to happen, and when they do we look over them as coincidence or happen chance. I am so thankful that I have been raised and taught to expect miracles in my life, and am now seeing them happen in this great work that I have been called to. I love my God, and I am beginning to love his children more and more each day, and I will continue to work and pray to be a worthy instrument in his Holy hands so that I can be some part of others coming to the knowledge of this restored gospel and the blessings that accompany it!

Elder Inman

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week 4

Hi :-)

I realized there were some questions that I left unanswered last week. So no, I have not gotten a bike yet, and yes I am eating pretty healthy and exercising in the morning. I think that I am getting in better shape lately, prob because I'm not at Sallie Mae anymore. Oh, and I had dinner with a guy that said he knows you guys! His name is Clint Thielemier and when I said I was from Rye he asked if I knew a Bill Inman, lol. He went on to explain that he knew him as the artist that always has on Birkenstocks and worked with the young men, and that his wife was really good at taking pictures :-) Crazy how small the world is

Well on with my week then...

It has been an intense, and difficult week. Ill start out with a depressing part of it and then move on to some of the miracles that I have been able to witness and be a part of.
We went back for our second appointment with Adolf. I didn't feel real good in the beginning because I was trying to teach to much from my own learning and it was just the two of us going back and forth with facts and scripture. I said a small prayer to myself when I realized what I was doing and then began teaching by the spirit again. I had spent a lot of time preparing to teach him, and when the spirit began leading me the teaching became very powerful and I know that each of us felt it. I began teaching things that I hadn't thought of prior and I could tell that Adolf was beginning to have his eyes opened to the truth of the restored gospel. But then at the end he said that he was happy with his religion and that we didn't need to come back. I was shocked and a little hurt so I tried to find out what happened, but he insisted that it was fun, he learned a lot, but that he just wasn't interested in learning more. So we left him with our number and left. I just hope that a seed has been planted, and that I did all that I could so that I can do as Paul did when he was rejected by entire cities, and know that my garments are clean.

We had a couple incredible experiences to though. We began teaching a less active family a couple weeks ago, more especially a boy names Nate who said he didn't want to be baptised. The first time we were there we couldn't tell if they heard a single sentence with how crazy it was there, but the entire family followed through with the commitment and went to church the following Sunday. They have been to church every Sunday since that first week, and this last time we arrived to teach them they were waiting at the window for us, excitedly invited us in and told us about how well their FHE went, that each of them have been reading the scriptures, and praying every day, and when we did a review of our other lessons they remembered most of it. I wanted to scream in joy when I left that home because they are so happy now, and improving so quickly. I think we will ask the boy, Nate, to be baptised some time soon.

On Friday I was able to see God's hand in our work indisputably. We are low on miles with our car, meaning we have used up most of our allotted miles already for this transfer, so we decided to just leave the car in a park and walk around the neighborhood and to our appointments. We didn't see to much success during our couple hours of walking, but as we were about to get back into our car we heard someone call us from a car a couple yards over. We walked over and met a women named Sonia, who was in tears asking for our help. She was Hispanic with very broken English, but we finally learned from her that her husband just ran away from them. He has had depression issues since he got back from Iraq and she doesn't think she has shown him that she loves him enough, that she works to much, so he just got up and left her to take care of their two young kids. She said missionaries like us had met with him a couple months ago and it made him happy then, and wanted our help to find him. We prayed with her, and promised that we would call him, and stop by her home to teach her and her children how to have strong families. She felt so much happier after we talked and prayed and I am so excited to see that family again this week.

It is so amazing to see how God works in each of our lives, and that he truly does love each of his children. I love being in His service, and being blessed enough to be used as some of His children's 'angel' in their lives. Thank you for all your prayers and support in this work! Heavenly Father loved each of us enough to give his only begotten son so that we can return to Him if we but follow his commandments, so why would we not do all we can do to share this wonderful knowledge with others? So few know that His Gospel has been restored in these latter days, that we have a prophet leading us today, and that there is a way for families to be eternal available to each of us. I meet people everyday who feel guilt in their lives every day and don't know why, who are trying to be forgiven but don't know how, and who are struggling through this life with so much less joy then is available to them. This is such a wonderful work!

My love,
Elder Inman

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 3

Hola :-) Even though I am learning zero Spanish out here, lol
---Just a side note, if you happen to ever see Gold Toe on a really good sale, I have found that they are the only socks that hold up well with all this walking---

I'm glad to hear that things with the fam are going well, especially considering Sallie Mae is still in the picture. I don't, and never will miss that place. Sorry dad! But as always, my prayers are still very much with you all! Oh, and EVERYONE loves the scripture case! And I have begun writing another letter for the fam, so stay tuned :-)

This week has been our most effective week of teaching and finding so far. We once again led the district in lessons with 16, and found another investigator tracting, and a couple potential investigators. I have absolutely loved each day of it and look forward to all the rest to come. I really feel like my ability to follow the spirit is increasing also, which is something else I pray for everyday because I know that my limited knowledge and skill set will do very little for the progression of this work.

We tracted into this really cool old guy named Adolf Arnold. He answered with a big smile saying hello to his "Mormon friends". We talked for a little while at his door step and it turns out that he has lived in 32 countries, and in every single one missionaries have found him and talked to him, including little countries in Africa. He was very nice but informed us that he has taken the lessons many many times and it would not do any good to go through them again. Before we said goodbye I told him that I am very new to the mission field and that I am still trying to learn how to be a good teacher, and would love it if we could teach him the lessons anyway, for 'my learning'. This idea, of him teaching me while I teach him, got him pretty excited and he readily agreed to meet with us on Sunday, yesterday.

Teaching him was a lot harder then I had expected. Not only has he had the lessons close to as much as I have taught them, but he has traveled the world and gone through years and years of education. He was born a Jew, grew up in a christian area, and through travel has studied about every religion besides something I have never heard of in Japan. He has also taken 4 years in a military university of religious studies. His learning and knowledge was miles ahead of mine, and it turns out that part of what he was excited for was showing me how much more he knows, and told me right off that he will not ever be convinced against his currents beliefs, which encompass doctrines from so many different religions. I was praying the entire time in my heart that the spirit would lead our conversation and tell me what to say because I knew I didn't stand a chance of making a difference otherwise, and my companion was content with letting me do the teaching since it was my idea to set it up.

Most of the time was spent with me asking him questions and then teaching on some principle that was in his answer. I have been studying in depth the teachings of Christ during his earthly ministry and kept that in mind the whole time, trying to emulate the way he taught. It felt amazing! Adolf tried so many ways to catch me in my words, or to bring up a doctrine that he saw as impossible or false, and then the spirit would place the answer in my mind, and many times the scripture to go with it. Things I had leaned about that morning as well as years before were all being brought back into my memory, and the spirit made it impossible for Adolf to find wholes in the teaching. In the end I could tell he had much more respect for our doctrine, but still had not felt of its truthfulness like I had hoped. Through it we were blessed enough to never have any contention or fighting (bashing). We set up an appointment for next Sunday though, so I hope he feels the spirit soon.

I am running out of time so I guess I can only relate one more experience from the past week. We went to teach John again, we being the Ward Mission Leader, Elder Davis, and myself. It went really well! He told us about some of the doubts he has been having in Gods love for him, which stems from a horrible childhood. He said that he is having trouble progressing with the restored gospel because of everything that happened in his childhood, as well as his family trouble right now with his wife trying to get a divorce. We could tell that he was being sincere, and that he really is having trouble feeling the spirit, even though he has read everything in the BoM that we have asked him to.

We did our best to comfort him and finished the rest of the first lesson, after which he said that he thinks he will have to get baptised some time, he just doesn't know when yet. Then the spirit took over what I was saying and I bore testimony that he is going through these trials to help him receive this message that we are sharing with him, and that it is through tribulation that many of our great spiritual leaders have come. I related the stories of Abraham and his parents, and then of Joseph and the trials he went through, and then talked about the great blessings that they received. Then I looked him in the eyes and promised that as long as he will continue studying the BoM, and following through with the commitments that he will feel the spirit testify to him of the validity of our message, and that he will know what steps to take from there. The spirit was there very powerfully and he told he that my testimony was strong and that he knew what I was saying was true. I love the power that comes from following the spirit, and the affect it can have on peoples hearts, and minds. A couple days later the Ward Mission Leader came up, shook my hand, and said that I am an extremely powerful missionary, and he is thankful to be able to work with me.

Each experience I have makes me more excited for the next. Suddenly I want to spend every spare moment studying so that I can be more effective in my teaching, and so the spirit has more to work with through me. Thank you for all of your support everyone! I have to go shopping so I have to cut this short, but I hope and pray things are going well for you to.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Week 2 in the field

I have a couple cool expereinces to tell everyone about from this week, so here I go:
The ward here is great at feeding us, and we have not gone one day without a dinner so far. Earlier this week we were eating with a great part member family named the Rudds. Funny side comment, thier two kids eat so much that they put bike locks on the fridge and cabinets so that only the parents can get to the food now. Well dinner went great, and then at the end we washed their dishes for them, just like my mom told me to do, and sat down for the spiritual thought. It was my night for the spiritual thought and I felt prompted to teach about Saul and the great change that came over him. The spirit was very present during it, then we prayed, said goodbye and left to go knock on more doors.
The cool part is that yesterday while we were in some ward leadership meeting one of them, the Rudds hometeacher, said that when he dropped by the Rudds went off about the new elders and how amazing we are. I guess it has been hard for the missionaries to get into their home in the past for actualy lessons, but they said we are welcome into their home anytime we want, and they want to see us again soon. Awsome!
Next... Saturday was a really hard day for missionary work. All of our appointments cancelled or werent there so we spent all day knocking on doors trying to find someone to teach, which did not go well. The only appt that actualy went through was dinner. We knocked on so many doors and only talked to maybe 3 or 4 people, with one short door stop lesson. It was really depressing and we were wondering what we were doing wrong since we couldnt find anyone, and both of us were starting to get pretty down. By the time 8pm rolled around we were both done and decided that we were wasting our time and should instead go back to our appartment and spend the rest of the night organizing our area book.
On the way out I felt a strong impression that we should stop by a past investigators home that we have never seen, so we turned around and drove in his direction. I started to get excited thinking that he was going to be waiting for us to share the gospel with him, and that we were finaly going to see the fruits of the very hard days labors.
We got to where he was supposed to live and found that the street didnt even excist. I was very close to just breaking down by this point, realzing that I had probably made up some prompting and that I led my companion out to a house that isnt even there. Feeling completely defeated we turned to leave when I felt another impression that we were supposed to be at the home across the street. I wanted to ignore it since the lights were off, and I didnt feel like talking to anyone anymore even if they did answer. But we both decided we needed to follow the promting and knocked lightly on the door, as to not wake them up if they were asleep.
To my surprise they not only answered but excitedly invited us in and we were able to give a very powerful lesson about the love of Christ of the Book of Mormon. They will be gone this week, but we are meeting with them again next week :-) As I walked out of their home I felt like shouting with joy because of how happy I was, and how much my testimony grew.
Its amazing to see the Lords hand in our work, even if He works a little different then I thought He was going to.I have more to share, but we have a lot to do today to get ready for this upcoming week.
Love,Elder David K Inman
PS, if anyone, especualy dad because he seems to know everything about doctrine, knows anything about 'glory' and what it is I would love some insights.
Oh, and your right, it is absolutely beautiful here!! I love the watermelon moutains during dusk, and they city lights at night. I could never live here though, just because of how dry it is. They have this thing called Zero Scape where most of the lawns don't have any grass, just a couple little desert plans and rocks. If someone does want grass it gets messured regularly to make sure its not too long, and it can only take up a certain percentage of the front and back yard. I would go crazy if my house couldn't have green grass!
And tell Tawny to look up my comps brother. He is just turning 18 and lives in bountiful Utah. Tawny would absolutely fall in love, lol.