Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission Spanish Speaking - August 2016 to August 2018

Friday, September 15, 2017

Week 57 - September 11, 2017

So I'm now a Vietnamese Speaking Missionary :)

Hola y'all :)

So this week has been a pretty interesting week. Okay so for the story behind the title. This Saturday Elder Israelsen and I went out early to tract because it was just such a nice morning! Sidenote: The weather has been awesome the past few days! 80 degrees with a breeze and low humidity... It has been heavenly! :) Anyways so we go out at about 9:15ish to check up on a member and decide to do some tracting when they weren't home. The area that we were in is called The Village. There are pretty much two nationalities, Garifunas and Vietnamese. Garifunas are anciently of African decent but were brought to Honduras so they speak Spanish. Well we picked two streets to tract and EVERY person that answered was Vietnamese!! Like holy cow!  None of them spoke much English so it wasn't very effective talking to them but it was fun! Now I am trying to learn some Vietnamese so I can tell them that we are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Should be fun!

This week we went to the park again with our High Council Group Leader. We brought pizza again and played horseshoes and ultimate Frisbee! It was a lot of fun and we got to talk to a lot of people who were interested in playing with us or eating the pizza haha :)  I mean if the JW's were offering free pizza I would probably talk to them so.... haha all in all it was an awesome hour or so at the park :)

Other than that this week we have been working pretty hard with the members here. We are trying to get the attendance up at the Spanish group but it is hard because most of the members here work on Sunday and dont get off until 6 which is when the group starts. The members here are super solid though and love the missionaries coming over.

Well I think that is all for this week :) 

Elder Nathan Stoddard

10500 Hayne Blvd apt #205
New Orleans, LA

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Week 56 - September 5, 2017

Hola y'all!

Week two in Chalmette has been a blast! So it started off with the day after last P-Day. That is when Harvey hit our area the hardest and so we went on a self-imposed lock-down because it rained all day and half or the roads were flooded so we had fun as a Quadship playing games and putting together puzzles! All in all it was a nice day and a well needed break :)

Friday Israelsen and I went out tracting in the Village! That is where we do most of our work because that is where the highest concentration of Spanish speakers are located. We didn't have much success teaching anyone there but we did have a good time! At one door there was this HUGE hornet right on the door and it wasn't moving. Israelsen and I look at each other and we both HATE hornets but he says "Knock for Jesus" and walks up the the door and knocks on it lol. Nothing crazy but just a funny saying from the week!

Saturday we had interviews with the Mission President. I love President Varner, he seems almost like a father and is really easy to talk to. We talked a lot about planning and on making our plans according to good, better and best. He had some pretty crazy insights to what those are! I was actually surprised when he listed tracting as only good! He believes that there are better and more effective ways to do missionary work and I must say that I completely agree with him! Other ways of finding are usually more effective and lead to more solid investigators! All in all I love the interview.

After that we went to the park as a district with our High Priest Group Leader. He had this idea to go to the park with pizza, play Frisbee and invite others to eat and play with us! It was honestly super fun and pretty effective! We go to talk to so many people about what we are doing and why we are here! If nothing else we planted some seeds and that is just as important as anything!

Well I think that is it for this week! I hope everything is going well and that you are finding reasons to smile every day! 

Con amor,
Elder Nathan Stoddard

P.S. If any of y'all want to send letters or packages to some poor, helpless, hungry missionaries, our address is 

Week 55 - August 28, 2017

Hola y'all!

So my first week here in the New Orleans area has been awesome! I love the area and I love the culture! The houses here are all so cool and so different from one another that there is always something new to see! It is also super crazy being back with Elder Israelsen (Izzy). I love that I don't have to go through that whole awkward getting to know your new comp phase so it has been nice! It is also awesome being back in a quadship apartment, meaning there are two sets of elders in the apartment! It makes for some really fun times and good memories! The other two elders are Heath and Cooley. Heath is on his last transfer and Cooley just started his mission. 

So there isnt too much to report this week. Izzy has been taking me around to meet the members and get used to the area. I got to meet one of our investigators named Kimani! He is about 10 years old and loves to dance haha! He is planning to be baptized on the 16th of September and he is such an awesome kid! 

Well I am sorry this is such a short letter but this week has been a lot of packing and unpacking and cleaning an apartment!

Love y'all and hope all is well!
Elder Stoddard

Week 54 - August 22, 2017

Spanish Outcast goes to Nola!!

Hola y'all!

So as the title says, I got to go to Nola this week! We had a visiting General Authority, Elder Klebingat, so they had us go to New Orleans for a Zone Conference! Now for the awkward part of the story. We were 30 minutes late........ like that is the most awkward thing in the world! In our defense it was because the STL's sent us the wrong address and we ended up in the wrong part of New Orleans on a Saturday! Traffic like crazy! So we walked in 30 minutes late and I am so sad we did! The first part was my favorite part! Elder Klebingat went into some deep doctrine about the why we are here and why the House of Israel is so important! It was awesome. The rest of it was him hitting us hard with things that we need to change about ourselves as missionaries. It was pretty cool!  
We also took time out of our p-day last week so we could spend the rest of the day after Zone Conference in New Orleans. We went and spent our time at the French Market looking around at all the cool things that they have there!  I loved it!! I am so excited to serve there!

And that leads me to the next bit of information. I AM GOING TO SERVE IN CHALMETTE!!! I finally am going to New Orleans! I am sooooooo freaking happy! And even crazier news, Elder Israelsen is going to be my companion, AGAIN!!! Haha I am so excited for this coming transfer!!

Well that is about all for this week I think! Spent time saying good bye to people and did a lot for service!

Have a great week y'all! 

Elder Stoddard

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Week 53 - August 14, 2017

God is Good, All the Time. All the Time, God is Good.

Hola y'all!

So as the title says God is Good! This week has been so AMAZING, and it all starts with last P-Day after we emailed.

Last week we found a new investigator named Kizzy while out trying to find some less-active members for the Ward Council. She welcomed us right in and we got to share the Restoration and the Book of Mormon with her and we left her with a copy of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration pamphlet. So she asks us to come back Monday at 2. So we went there after emailing last Monday and Kizzy was waiting for us!! Like that never happens! People always 'forget' that we are coming by! And even better, SHE READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!! She didn't get too far in it but she likes it and she likes that it goes right along with what she learns in the Bible! And something that is even cooler than that, she came to church yesterday and brought three of her daughters!! It was so awesome! 

One of the other really cool things that we got to do this week was as a district we went to an Outreach Bible Study! It was awesome! I honestly believe that the people in this church will all be converted as they are in contact with the missionaries more often! Out of all the religious services I have been to out here they preach from the Bible the things that we as the LDS church teach. Like it was super impressive. The group believes in a general apostasy after the Apostles were killed and that Christ will re-establish his church on the Earth with prophets and apostles to lead them. They are just trying to gather people so that they can be prepared for it!! Like dang, they are honestly soooo close to the truth! And they are the nicest people I have met in my life! 

Anyways I hope y'all are having a great week!
Talk to y'all later!
Con amor, 
Elder Nathan Stoddard


Week 52 - August 7, 2017

Mountains in Louisiana?!?!

Hola y'all!

This week ended up being pretty normal. Not many people wanted to talk with us or let us into their homes but we had fun out trying to spread the Gospel to others! We spent quite a bit of time this week out looking for less-active members for the Ward Counsel. We didn't have much success finding them but we did get meet a new investigator named Kizzy! She is super nice and was pretty interested in our message! She even took a Book of Mormon!! Her daughter was also interested in learning 'what the Mormons believe.' We have another apt with them today at about 1! 

So the cool thing that happened this week is that we found a mountain in Louisiana!! Like what?! They have those here?! I mean compared to Idaho it is a hill but out here it is totally a mountain. Best part is that it is a garbage dump! Leave it to Louisiana to take all of its garbage and make a mountain out of it! But hey it was nice to see so me change in elevation for once! 

Well I hope all is going well for y'all! Sorry this is so short but I have trouble remembering the things that I do during the week haha! And I will try to take more pictures so that y'all can see the cool things and the cool people that I meet out here!

Con amor, 
Elder Stoddard

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Week 51 - July 31, 2017

Hump day!!

Hola y'all!

So this week I came to a crazy realization....... I have less than a year left on my mission :( Where the heck did all the time go?!?! I still feel like I should be being trained!! This has honestly been the shortest year of my life! I guess time does fly when you are having fun and learning every day, I just wish this experience would go a lot slower and not super fast like it has been.

Alright, this week we had Zone Conference and interviews with the Mission President! This was honestly one of the greatest Zone Conferences that I have been to out here! President has brought a new energy into this mission. He came in with the goal to trust us and to love us as missionaries and he has honestly impressed so many of us missionaries! These interviews were more of a get to know the missionaries interview so we talked about hunting, fishing, camping and college! It was awesome getting the opportunity to get to know the President better and his wife bought all of us lunch and while the other missionaries were being interviewed we got to talk with her and get to know her!!

Other than that this week was pretty slow. Most people that we tried to get with or talked to either didn't open the door or weren't interested in what we had to say.... typical! But hey we were there and we gave them the chance, that is what we are asked to do.

Love y'all!!
Con amor,
Elder Nathan Stoddard