Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Out of Nowhere

So it turns out I am getting transferred, which was not at all expected by us. Transfer news gets faxed to us around 10pm Saturday night, so during the day it was not on our minds to much considering we thought we knew what was happening with us anyways. This made it all the more shocking when our phone showed a missed call from President Miller after we left a great lesson. When I called him back he told me that I was going to be double transferred into the Rivers Edge ward, I did not know who with yet, and explained the situation to me. I felt crushed and I realized just how much I had fallen in love with Panorama Heights, though I did know it was revelation and I had no question regarding turning the assignment down. The work is going amazing right now! We are regularly teaching 15 lessons a week, many people are preparing for baptism and will likely be entering the water within the next few weeks, I know the ward members well, and I really enjoy serving with Elder Willden. Panorama Heights has become another golden standard ward in the mission. Rivers Edge on the other hand is teaching on average 2-3 lessons per week and we will be the 5th or 6th double transfer within the past year or so. It should be understandable why I felt down when I got the call to be transferred.
I was blessed to have a very strong last Saturday, so full of teaching that we had no time to stop by our house for anymore then 3 minutes to pick up our suite jackets. We worked from 10am to 9:30pm with not time to think about the call I had received mid day. After we received the fax and distributed transfer news I laid in bed and pondered my coming transfer with the realization that Rivers Edge will likely be my last area on my mission. I said another prayer and then laid back down to listen for the answer. After a short amount of time I felt immensely calm and thoughts began to flood my mind making me realize what an amazing opportunity I had in front of me which made me suddenly really excited for the coming transfer. In stake meetings I have heard great things about the ward leadership as well as many of the members, and since it is almost bordering Panorama Heights I will be able to attend the baptisms of those I have been working with. I started to think back on when I doubled intoBelen, and 9 months before in Ventana Ranch, and I saw how much power can come from going into a new area with a new companion and leaving behind the past perceptions of what is possible there. Rivers Edge is going to be a place of many miracles!
Before I finish this weeks update I wanted to share a great experience we had, and a lesson I learned about perseverance. Elder Willden and I went into the week with great excitement because of the Spirit we felt while attending the temple on Monday. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were incredible days of work. We taught more and had greater success then any other 3 days prior in this area and were blown away by the miracles that were pouring down onto us and our area. We went out on Thursday ready for more miracles but were disappointed as things began crumbling all around us. Appointments started falling through left and right and horrible things were happening to those were were teaching. Two people had their appendix rupture and almost lost their lives, a young man in a family I have grown very close to broke his leg that morning, and without fail every other investigator we visited were not able to meet because of illness. Our day was spent fighting the urge to give up and try again later because of all that had happened. As night approached we decided to try one more person, a referral we had received that morning, before we called it a night and went in for planning and sleep. We knocked on his door and he came out saying it was a mistake to come to his home. With a look of obvious confusement I asked him if he was the man who gave some sister missionaries his information earlier that day, and he said he was and that he gave it to them because they were attractive and not out of interest in our message. Then for the next 30 minutes he lectured us about the false church we represent and how we are made slaves by it, the stench of alcohol only being matched by his foul language. Finally the Spirit told me to end it. I stopped him and told him that we had been respectful to him and that I expected the same respect in return. I felt the Spirit surge into me as I stared him into the eyes and I felt myself looking into his heart and knowing his thoughts. Stunned he stopped talking and stood there looking pathetic. I told him that I feel peace and happiness because of my strong beliefs and bore testimony of the restored gospel. Prompted by the Spirit I then told him that when I look at him all I see is a man enslaved by anger, addiction, and regret and that I felt sorry for what a miserable man he had made himself into by losing faith in Christ because of trials. With that we turned and left, a strange sense of peace resting with me.
The next day yielded similar results of little finding or teaching. Elder Willden and I began to feel very tired and wanted to quit and go home to finish up paperwork. The day had been miserable and we felt our time would be better spent preparing for upcoming meetings instead of knocking on empty homes and talking to people who didn't want us on their doorstep. We were very close to driving back home when we both felt we needed to keep working instead. We spent the rest of the day working and still had no success. There have been so many times when I worked when I didn't want to and was blessed with miracles, but this was not one of those days. We went to bed that night downtrodden but happy that we followed the promptings we received regardless of the outcome. Saturday morning we had a couple hours set apart for planning since we had several large stake meetings the next day, but we felt we needed to go out and visit people anyway. This ended up being the miracle day when we were packed with miracle teachings appointments from morning to evening. We ended up having to prepare the the stake meetings late into the night, and early in the morning, but the results of that days work will stretch far into the future. It was amazing to see once more the blessings of following when the Lord whispers.
Elder Inman

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Feeling Great!

This was such a great week that I am having a little bit of a hard time deciding where to start. About a month ago we were meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, who happens to be one of the best I have ever seen, and we felt prompted to hold a fireside for the youth in our ward(which they call a cottage meeting here). We eventually decided we wanted the theme to be temples and started spreading the word a little over a week before it happened, hoping for 15-20 youth to attend. So now here are the really amazing parts of this story... About a week before it took place we thought it would be really cool to get a member of the Temple Presidency to come and talk to the youth. It turns out that in order to get one of them at an event the request needs to be submitted a month in advance, not a week, because they cover a huge amount of area and are constantly traveling to give talks and work with stakes and wards. We were blessed and despite the very short notice they said they would be able to make it. The Sunday before the fireside Elder Willden and I stopped in on all the youth Sunday school classes and got them excited to come and bring friends, but later that night we realized we told everyone it was Saturday night when it was really the following Sunday. After some prayer and pondering we decided the best thing to do was attend each seminary class throughout the week to correct our announcement and invite the rest of the youth in the stake to attend as well. I loved going to seminary again, but getting up at 5:30 feels a lot earlier then it used to. One of our ward missionaries, who is leaving on his mission tomorrow, even made a Facebook group invite more people.
When the night finally came we were a little nervous but really excited about what we had planned. Two youth, a brother and sister, were asked to share their testimonies of temples because they were baptized only a few months ago and just attended the temple for their first time. Their testimonies powerfully invited the Spirit which continued to testify to us as we listened to the member of the Temple Presidency and his wife speak about the purpose and blessings of temples. In all there were around 50 people in attendance, much more then originally anticipated! During the closing hymn I looked around and felt so blessed to be part of organizing such a powerful and successful fireside, and I said a silent prayer and thanks and asked for a blessing on the amazing youth that filled the room. It was such a powerful experience that the next day, which was missionary temple day, it was spoken of as the Temple Presidency shared a message with us in the chapel before our session. Yesterday was my last mission temple trip and I can not imagine a better way to prepare for it!
And we are teaching some of the coolest people in the world right now! I wish I was allowed to mention more names in these emails, but I will just have to be happy with vague descriptions instead. We are teaching a father and son, and the dad is getting baptized this coming Saturday. He is one of the most prepared people I have taught on my mission, and I am confident he will be a very strong priesthood leader within the next couple years. He was not previously active in any religion, but as soon as he heard the message of the Restoration he accepted the invitation to be baptized and has not deviated from that in any degree. When we taught the Word of Wisdom he stopped smoking and was willing to give up anything else that we asked him to. When we taught the Law of Tithing he didn't have any second thoughts and that he would live it. Last night he asked me to baptize him and when I told him that it might be better if someone in the ward did it, so that he can have that connection with someone closer, he immediately agreed to pray about it. His baptism is going to be an amazing experience, and I am very excited to see the blessings that enter his home as he becomes a priesthood holder.
I will have to tell you about more of these amazing people later because we need to go and get our car fixed. Love you!
Elder Inman

Friday, September 16, 2011


Hi everyone,
Saturday evening we got a call from a set of elders living near us letting us know that their toilet was clogged and overflowing, which was even worse news considering their duplex is two story and the toilet is upstairs. We rushed over after our ward activity was finished and saw dirty water dripping from their ceiling out of air ducts in their kitchen and living room. We agreed to help clean it up, turned the toilet water off, and then went to walmart to get much needed supplies- gloves, masks, and some drinks. Its took a few hours to get it adequately clean and I may be scarred for life because of the smell... We were blessed that we got to it before permanent damage was done. To make things even more interesting we had to prepare for a Rio Ranch stake training the next morning, which involved all members of ward councils throughout the entire stake, as well as a meeting we were holding with the Santa Fe stake presidency and our mission presidency later in the day. The Lord strengthened us and we were some how able to clean everything up, take part in a powerful training, and make great progress in our other Sunday meetings in Santa Fe and Rio Rancho, all off of five hours of sleep.
There have been several other emergencies and circumstances that have taken from our sleep this week and Elder Willden and myself have felt completely drained. We have been part of three large scale trainings, one exchange, three separate and crucial stake meetings, several emergencies with other missionaries, attending a wonderful baptism, and of course our regular load of finding and teaching within our own ward boundaries, while both of us were fighting off illness. With so many late nights and early mornings with exhausting days one after another we were getting sleep deprived to the point of not being able to think clearly or function normally, which is dangerous when a single lesson could effect a persons happiness so dramatically. So today we decided to skip our trip to Santa Fe for a day of sight seeing and replace it with hours of sleeping. I feel so much better and am ready for another amazing week!
Our exchange this week took me to the UNM singles branch to work for a day, and I loved being back on campus talking to people. The elder I was working with does not have much experience on campus yet so I was able to take him and show him how to talk with college students without looking like a weirdo. I had so much fun connecting with college students again and we spent hours contacting people in the main lobby on campus. Later in the day we were able to set up a time to meet with someone who I have not been able to see since serving in Belen. I had become friends with her through a family I grew close to while serving there and a few months after I left she had an incredible experience that helped her gain a testimony that this church is true. She got baptized just weeks before coming up here for college and she is on spiritual fire right now, very excited for what comes next in the gospel of Christ. My testimony continues to grow as I look back and see how the Lord had a plan for her all along, and though my part in it was small I am still able to see that He places people in our path for very special reasons and I feel blessed to see His hand in our work.
Elder Inman
PS, I have been having a lot of fun with those goofy "nerd" glasses you sent me in the package. I wore them to dinner the first night I got them and had a great laugh as the mom kept telling her kids how rude it is to make fun of my new glasses. I kept it up for at least 20 minutes until I couldn't hold back my laughs anymore and told her that her kids were right about them being fake. Then the next day, or maybe the same(its all a blur), we were in the car of one of my favorite investigators when I pulled the glasses out, put them on casually, and told him they were my driving glasses, even though he was driving. I could tell he did not want to embarrass me because after a quick double take he turned and stared strait ahead trying not to stare. I quickly told him I was kidding because I felt bad that he was being so nice about it. Thanks for the package!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Hey everyone,
Hecticity is a new word that we learned/made up this week and it means that life is moving way faster then we think it should and we are having a hard time keeping up with it. It will probably be showing up in the dictionary soon enough so keep your eyes open for it... Elder Willden and I are both blown away that we are already over half way through this transfer and even though we have accomplished a lot we still do not understand how time has run by so quickly. We had training in the stake center near my greenie, first, area today and as I walked to lunch during break there were so many flashbacks from when I was a brand new missionary, and it does not feel long ago at all. At the end of training Elder Yardley, an awesome former companion of mine, gave his departing testimony and I realized again how short my time is as a missionary. Two years feels way to short!
So now that I am done with my sad ranting Ill tell a fun story from our training that took place today and yesterday. The training is for all of the new missionary trainers, district leaders, and zone leaders in the north part of the mission, which comes out to about 30 missionaries in attendance. During the two days of training the focus was on "Revelation through the Book of Mormon", "We Invite, They Commit, We Follow Up", "Teach People, Not Lessons", and "How to Begin Teaching", all of which are lessons now used in the MTC and throughout the world to help missionaries learn Peach My Gospel principles better. Three companionships were asked to prepare a training segment, Elder Willden and myself included.
As the first set of Elders did their training we were shocked that somehow their training was almost the exact same as ours. How does that happen??? So we took a short lunch and then used the rest of our break to go over what we were going to train on and tweak it just a little so that we could look somewhat original and keep the missionaries attention, and then jumped into our training. At the end of our training I pointed out that we do not collaborate together about how we are training and that our training being so similar meant that it was something God really wanted us to learn. After we finished training President Miller got up and echoed what we had said and the rest of the two days followed that same theme. I love that the Lord's hand is so evidently in this, his work!
I wish I could continue to tell you all about the miracles of this last week, but we have more to go be a part of :-)
Love You,
Elder Inman