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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 70 - December 11, 2017 - Snow?!? In Louisiana?!

Howdy y'all :)

So to start with the strangest new of all, IT SNOWED IN LOUISIANA!! I never thought I'd see the day! It literally snowed everywhere! South of the Lake where we live only got a little bit and it didn't stick long, but in Hammond I think they got like 2 or so inches which is just crazy! It is definitely a Christmas miracle!!

This week was really good but also felt super short for some reason. Donald is doing good on his goal to be baptized on the 19th of January. He is using lemon juice to try and help him lose the urge to smoke and he says it is working! Please keep him in your prayers so that he can kick the habit once and for all! We also got to meet with the Smith family this week. We took them 8 copies of the Book of Mormon! So now all the people in the family old enough to read have a copy! We also watched The Restoration with them because of how many kids they have. We thought it would keep the kids attention more than a lesson haha.

On Wednesday we got to go to the Farrell's house to watch the Christmas Devotional since we didn't get to watch it on Sunday. It was super good and Sister Farrell was awesome enough to buy us all pizza for the Devo and let us have our district meeting there afterwards.

Scripture for the week: Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

I hope all y'all have a merry season of peace on earth and good will towards all men. Christ was born to bring peace so let us do our part and share that peace with others that don't have it this Christmas season. Each of us has the power to be a light to someone who may be lost in the dark this season.

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Week 69 - December 4, 2017 - It's a Christmas Miracle!!

Hola y'all!

So its been another week out here in Chalmette Louisiana. People keep saying that it is December now but I'm not sure if I believe them. I mean I don't remember sweating in December in the past but I guess that is what it feels like out here!

This week has been pretty good for the most part. The big news is that Donald has agreed to try and quit smoking and be baptized on the 19th of January! We are calling him every night to check up on him and to say a prayer with him to help him quit smoking. He says that it is helping and we are going to meet with him Wednesday to check on his progress as well.

 Another awesome Christmas Miracle that happened this week is that we started teaching a family of 8! They are English but they live out where all the Spanish members live so we are going to be the ones that teach them! Don't ask me all the names cause I wont remember but 6 of them are old enough to be baptized and two of the boys are old enough to receive the priesthood! The father is a member but he went less active around the time that he was 17. He told us that the reason he wants his family and especially the kids to be taught is because he remembers that path that the church had put him on when he was younger and is hoping that they can get on the path and stay on the path. He remembers how kind everyone was in the church and how different it was from the atmosphere of the ghetto he grew up in. It was a super cool story and we hope that we can help his family come closer to Christ this Christmas season. 

Other than that this has been a pretty standard week. We knocked a lot of doors and met some cool people that we are going to be meeting with again this week. And I have picture for the week but didn't bring my cord to send them lol! I will send all of them next week I promise!

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Remember the reason for this CHRISTmas season. We have a Savior, he was born in a lowly manger, he has suffered all things for us and HE is the greatest gift that has ever been given. Remember Him this season and spread the joy of Christ to all those that are around you! There is no better way to be happy than to serve someone the way that Christ served them! Spread the reason for your joy with everyone!

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Friday, December 1, 2017

Week 68 - November 27, 2017 - Turkey Day y'all!!

Howdy y'all!

Alright this has been a pretty blessed week! And no it isn't just because we got fed well for Thanksgiving, but that is a pretty big part ;) So about three weeks ago our branch started a two week fast for increased missionary work here in the Chalmette branch. Well I can say that God has heard the fast of all these members. On Wednesday we went to a part member families house that we visit regularly. Well the mom, Daisy, is always super nice to us but has never been interested in having the lessons. The missionaries have been trying to teach her for about a year or so but she just was never interested. Well we get there on Wednesday and Maximo tells us that she is ready to take the lessons! She hadn't gotten off work yet that day so we haven't officially started teaching her yet but we are going tonight to start teaching!! She also came to church yesterday which is awesome!! 

So for Thanksgiving we had a busy day! We started at the Downtown Convention Center where a group of us missionaries volunteered to help at their annual Thanksgiving feast for the homeless and less fortunate. We were assigned to work at the area where they were giving out free clothes. It was an awesome thing to see! There were so many volunteers that just walked in off the street to sign up to help! It was an awesome thing to watch! After that we had a lunch appointment with a member and her sister! It was really good! It was the traditional stuff that you would have back home! It was a lot of fun! Then that night we had dinner at our Branch Presidents house! They can cook some good food! It was the traditional ham, turkey, stuffing, greenbeans, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. It was sooo good! After we ate with them we had a fire in their backyard and went around saying things that we were thankful for! It was an awesome night!

The rest of the week was pretty standard. We did a fair amount of tracting out in Chalmette which was pretty good. We didn't meet too many people that were interested in our message but hey, we had fun out doing it haha! 

I think that is about it for me this week! Remember as we are coming into this Christmas Season that "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" Go out and make someones Christmas season special! The best way to become happy is to help others be happy as well! 

Love y'all!

Elder Nathan Stoddard​​​​​​​​​​

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Week 59 - September 25, 2017 - Sushi Steve

Hola y'all :)

So I am sorry but this weeks email is going to be super short! 

Both Elder Israelsen and I got sick this week so we were out from Tuesday night until about Friday with some form of head cold or something. We were both really stuffed up and had sore throats so we took it easy and got better. I did learn a new skill while we were sick tho. I now love making friendship bracelets! A couple of the sisters in Hammond made them and I bought the stuff to make them the Monday before I got sick! What a stroke of genius! or inspiration! But yeah it is a fun way to pass the time when you are sick!

Other than that the only other really cool thing that happened this week was when we were going around to the Spanish members with our Group Leader. We had just barely stepped out of the car when an Asian guy says "What do y'all do?" So we tell him we go around talking to people about Jesus Christ and he has us come talk with him. We ask his name and he says "Sushi Steve". lol what kind of awesome name is that?! He was super funny and taught all of us some funny hand
shakes and wants us to come by and visit him! He speaks English so we should prolly pass him off to the English elders but nah, we want to keep meeting with him because he is sooo funny! 

Well that is all for this week! 

Elder Stoddard

Week 58 - September 18, 2017 - Holiness to The Lord

Hola y'all :)

So the first cool thing that happened this week was that we got to go to the temple as a district! It was sooo fun! I love being able to go to the temple as a missionary! And you sometimes run into someone from a past area which is cool! This past time I ran into Elder Moody, senior missionary in Hammond. He told me a lot about what is going on there. I learned that a lot of people that I had worked with in Hammond to prepare them for the temple will be going through soon and I can wait to go and see them go through! It will be such a cool experience to go through with someone I've come to know and love!

Other than that this was a pretty standard week haha! Missionary work doesn't really change that much so there isn't much to tell that I haven't already told! The Spanish group here is doing well. Yesterday was a pretty small group tho because most of the families had to work until 6 and that is when the group meets! We did get some cool youth there and they are interested in coming again and bringing their family so we might be on to something out here!

So this week I was reading in 1Corinthians Chapter 4 and I think I found the perfect scripture to describe what is is like as a missionary. 

10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised.
11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

This is what I love about the mission, I go out every day as a fool 'for Christ's sake' but because of this others become 'wise in Christ.' This has been the hardest thing about the mission. It isn't fun to be the 'fool' or 'despised' or 'the filth of the world.' Who would want to be these things? But it is soooo worth it! I wish it was easier to set aside my pride and be that 'fool' but every time I do I never regret that decision.

I love y'all and pray that everything is going good for y'all :)

Keep the faith and always remember that our Heavenly Father and the Savior love you and are aware of you :)

Con amor,
Elder Nathan Stoddard

Week 67 - November 20, 2017 - H-Town

Howdy y'all!!

So this letter is going to be pretty lame and short so I am sorry! Haha transfers week is always kinda slow!

My new companion is Elder Kevin Hernandez, a.k.a H-Town. He has been out for about 8 months so far. He was born in Mexico but grew up in Houston Texas so he isnt too far away from home out here. He is super funny and has been helping me out a lot with my Spanish! And it is nice to have a native comp because all the people here love the natives haha!

Other than that this week was pretty slow. Izzy and I went and said bye to all the members he wanted to see and then after transfers I took Hernandez around to meet all the branch members and all the Spanish members. 

I'm sorry this is such a lame email haha! It will be longer next week I promise!


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Week 66 - November 14, 2017 - Where did the transfer go?

Where did the transfer go?

Hola y'all!

First off, Where the crap did this transfer go?! Like it feels like it was just last week that we lost English Elders and it became just me and Izzy in the apartment! It has been a great transfer and I am sad to see it end. So the transfer news is that Elder Israelsen is going to go salt n pepper in Metairie. Kinda funny since last time Izzy and I got separated I went salt n pepper. I am staying here in Chalmette and my new comp will be Elder Hernandez. I am super excited to have a native comp that can really help me with my Spanish! This should be a good transfer!

So this week was kinda crazy! We had interviews with President on Tuesday and that was good. I really love our Mission President and his wife. They really are like our parents away from home. This week we got bored of the regular tracting routine and so we decided to go on a walk haha. We went to an area that has some cool graffiti that we wanted to get pictures with and just walked around and got to talk to a bunch of people! Best part is it is sooo much easier to start a conversation out on the street than it is on someones doorstep and a lot of times people will end up coming to talk to us! For example, we were walking past an art gallery that wasn't open yet but the owner was outside and stopped us to talk and ask what we were out doing. We got to tell him about what we were doing and where we were from and he thought it was super cool. He even let us come into his gallery so that we could look around! In the end we traded information with him and are planning to do service for them at the gallery!

The other cool thing that we got to do this week was go with Brother Landers to give presents to the granddaughter of a member of our ward. It was a member that I have only met once before but she is super sweet and her granddaughter was sooo happy to get presents! 

Idk I know that a lot more stuff happened this week but my brain just can't remember them right now haha! Well I hope all is well with all y'all!

Elder Nathan Stoddard