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

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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Week 50 - July 24, 2017

Howdy y'all!

So it has been a good week out here in Hammond! Things are going well and the people are as awesome as ever!

This week ended up being a service week. Our mission is partnered with the American Red Cross and we got to go to Amite and help two times this week! It was so much fun! First, on Wednesday, we were helping people sign up to get free smoke detectors put into their house and then on Thursday we go to go out with the Red Cross and the Fire Department to install the smoke detectors! It was so fun and we got our own Red Cross vests! Winner!!

I also got to go on exchanges this week with our Zone Leaders. Elder Orison came here to Hammond with me and Elder Magee went to Denham Springs with Elder Hall. It was a good time! I was able to get with a few people that we haven't seen for a little while and It was awesome! Saturday morning Elder Orison and I did more service for a recent convert named Kenneth. We were helping replace the floor of his trailer. It was kind of fun! I like doing stuff like that! 

Other than that this was a pretty normal week. The work has been pretty slow the last few weeks but we are getting it picked up again. The coming few weeks should be good and we should be getting some awesome work going!

So this week I have been thinking a lot about Psalm 23. My favorite verse of it is verse 4;
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

It is strange being out here. 100% honesty, missionary work is hard and sometimes dangerous, but we are not here to fear what men or what the devil can do. Yes men have power and so does the devil, but God has more and because God has more so do we. We are doing His work. He doesn't want us to be afraid, He wants us to love others and "perfect love casteth out all fear". I can say that out here I have learned to say like David "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;"

I hope y'all have an awesome week!

Elder Stoddard


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week 49 - July 17, 2017

Hola y'all.

Well here I am, transfer 5 in Hammond. It is a crazy feeling! I have been here for so long already! This transfer I will hit my year mark and never have served in NOLA which is strange for a Spanish Elder. 

So the awesome news about me staying is that my new companion is Elder Magee! He is from Alpine Utah and was one of the Elders I had really hoped to serve with! We have been having a great time trying to learn Spanish together. Elder Magee was actually at the CCM with me at the same time but he was originally assigned to serve in Peru. He was there for a transfer and got sick and had to go home and get re-assigned. He came to Louisiana as an English Elder but has been changed back to being a Spanish Elder with me!!

This past week wasn't too eventful. I was helping Elder Barney get ready to go home for the first little bit of it and then I have been showing Elder Magee the area and introducing him to people here in Hammond. The one really fun thing that we did go out and do was Spanish tracting in a trailer park and best part of all, it was raining like crazy! It was honestly the most fun I have had out tracting on the mission. We probably looked and sounded like complete fools and we even had a guy tell us that our Spanish was terrible but hey we were having fun and trying our best to spread the Gospel! We did get one good lesson with our new investigator Miguel. He is from Honduras and is here for work. He has met with the missionaries in the past and was excited to have us meet with him again! 

Other than that there isn't much to report for this week. I am excited for the coming transfer with Elder Magee and I think we are going to get some good work done here!  

Have a great week y'all!
Elder Stoddard


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week 48 - July 11, 2017

Another Transfer Down

Hola y'all!

So another transfer down here in Hammond Louisiana. The big news of this week is that my companion Elder Barney is going home. It has been an interesting experience being with him in a salt and pepper companionship and I will never forget it. I have learned a lot of things that I probably would not have learned otherwise and I am glad for the experience.

So the other big news that goes along with Elder Barney going home is that I am staying here in Hammond for my 5th transfer.... I am both excited and a little sad about it. I love this area and will be sad to leave but being in one place for 7 1/2 months is a long time!! Also I got called to be the District Leader for the Hammond District. It will be a really interesting experience and it will be the first time that I am in a leadership position. I am a little nervous.

Other than that this week was pretty slow. We were doing a lot to get Elder Barney to get ready to go home. We did get to go tracting in a Spanish Trailer Park with one of our members Yolanda Cardenes. She is awesome and really likes doing missionary work with the Elders and Sisters. I think this transfer will be really good and we will find a lot of people that are interested in hearing the Gospel.

Well that is all I have for now! Love y'all and hope y'all are having a great week!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 47 - July 3, 2017

Hola y'all!!

SO this week was a freaking amazing week here in Hammond Louisiana.

Alright I really only have one thing to talk about this week. Eibar got baptized!! He was so excited and so ready to be baptized!! One cool thing is that his brother, Donny, came down from Tennessee to perform the baptism! Donny is quite a bit older than Eiber and was the only member in his family until Eibar. Donny was baptized when he was 16 and ended up serving a mission! He is such an awesome guy and is such a good example to Eibar and it a big part of why Eibar was interested in the gospel. On Sunday I had the pleasure of confirming Eibar a member of the church and conferring the Gift of the Holy Ghost! That was a crazy experience!! And what made it even crazier is that I did it in Spanish!! Whoa!! I was freaking out the whole time!! It was all good though and it is an experience I will never forget!

Other than that this week was pretty basic. We had a lot of unexpected service and things like that. Also most of our scheduled appointments got cancelled so we had to find others to teach. All in all though it was a good week! 

Well I think that is about it for now!!  Have an awesome week y'all!

Con amor,
Elder Nathan Stoddard​