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

Monday, July 16, 2018

Week 101 - July 16, 2018 - Ummmmmm

Hey y'all :)

So I've got a story for you. This happened pday after I sent my weekly. I NEVER play basketball on the mission, like never! But this pday the Thib elders had an investigator and a member come to pday to play ball and they wanted to do 3v3 so I played...... terrible idea. Here is the situation. The ball is going out of bounds so I'm chasing to grab and pass it back in. I grab it, plant my foot and being to turn back....... And then I hear this nice loud pop and my knee gives out...... Well I continue turning as I am falling and just my luck, I hit the back if my head on the wall and get s nice little cut back there that really isn't a problem it just likes to bleed a lot. So yeah, I messed up my knee pretty dang bad. Luckily sister Sorensen was there and she had her first aid kit so she patched up my head and I started icing my knee. 

Next day I get my knee looked at by Doctor Albert from the branch. He tells me that it feels and looks like I sprained my meniscus but that it should heal relatively fast..... yeah..... still can't walk on it very well 😂🤣 that was the most boring week of my mission I swear 😂🤣 I sat in a chair, studied, slept and played card games..... just the way I wanted to spend my second to last week here in Louisiana... not. 

Today I am going to go to a physical therapist in the ward and he is going to torture my leg in hopes of making it feel better and heal quickly. 

Other than that, the only really big thing I got to do was go to a Sunday night devotional/FHE/farewell for Brenda and America, two Spanish members of our Branch who are moving to Texas this week. It was really cool and all the members of the branch were able to come! This place really is like a family! I'm going to miss it a lot!

Well y'all, that's my week in a nutshell! Love y'all and see ya in a couple weeks :)

Elder Nathan Stoddard 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Week 97 - June 18, 2018 - Week 1 of final the transfer

Hey y'all :) 

It's been a good first week of my last transfer out here! I'll give some of the highlights! 

First off we got to have district meeting and I got to meet my last district in the mission. The district has changed quite a bit from last transfer. It is now Elders Brown, Sellers, Davis and I, and we have Sisters Pike and Sorensen. It is a pretty good district and I am excited to be finishing my mission with them! 

Saturday night we were able to go to Houma and help our district serve food at the 50th anniversary of the Houma Branch being formed. It was a lot of fun being able to get to know the district better and getting to know the members from Houma! 

We also got the opportunity to go to Baton Rouge for Stake Conference! It was super good! The last talk was on repentance and accepting the Saviors sacrifice for us. It was really powerful but the part that stood out to me was when Elder Kleibengat began it by talking about how everyone is different. He said "The Lord called us at this time because of who we are, our strengths and maybe even our weaknesses." I love that. The Lord knows us personally and knows that even our weaknesses can be used for His good purposes! That makes me happy because I have a lot of weaknesses, but even with those weaknesses, God can use me to spread His Gospel.

It was also nice to see some of my mission friends one last time before I go home since they aren't in my Zone. The pictures are me with Sister Perez and Elder Hoole, two people I had served close to in Downtown. 

Well I think that is it for this week! Have a great week y'all! 

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Week 94 - May 30, 2018 - "And mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

Hey y'all :)

Alright, this week has been pretty crazy! I'll give y'all some of the highlights. 

Friday morning, we went out with one of our members to visit people who live out in Franklin. Franklin is like 30 miles away one way so it is a place we don't get to often because of miles. It was a great morning! We had a lot of fun, talked to a lot of our referrals and tried to visit a bunch of members. We had a lot more success than we were hoping for early on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. 

As we were driving back home from Franklin we came to this freeway crossing. We stopped at the stop sign, looked both ways, saw a few cars coming and let them pass then pulled out. Only when we were crossing did we realize that there was another car that none of the three of us had seen. The member hits the gas to try and get out of the way but we get hit in the back rear of the car. And now for the miracles. One, I was sitting on the rear passenger side and we got hit on the rear drivers side. If I had been sitting there, I would have gotten seriously hurt. Two, there were only two cars involved in the accident. If there had been another car coming things could have been really really bad. Three, no one got hurt from the wreck. The lady we pulled out in front of was shaken but she didn't get any injuries and the three of us were just fine. All of us were sore but that was it. Four, a guy who has known the missionaries in the past was driving by while we were still on the side of the road, saw that it was missionaries and came to make sure we were alright and that we had a ride home. 

All in all the accident was not as bad as it could or should have been. I think one of the officers said it best, "those three are men of God, and God protected them." God does look out for those who are out doing his work. He made sure that that accident ended up the way it did. Without his protection things could have been so so much worse, but with him even the bad things turn out good. 

The other really cool thing this week was Zone Conference. This was the last Conference for some of my former companions and for some missionaries that I have come to be close to over the mission. They had the opportunity to stand up and give their "go home testimonies." Dang that was crazy to see. The spirit of their testimonies were some of the strongest I have felt. Things keep happening that make me realize that my part in this mission is coming to an end and seeing all my buddies give their go homes was sad, but also gave me some extra boost to finishing this mission strong. This was probably my favorite zone conference to date, but now I am terrified for my next Conference because it is going to be my last. 

Well y'all, I think that is what I have to report for this week. It has been one for the books that is for sure! Love y'all!

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Week 90 - May 1, 2018 - Transfers

Hey y'all :)

Well it's transfer week and I have some news. I am going to Morgan City. Not sure how I am feeling about it. I am really sad to leave Downtown after only two here and I am sad to be leaving J. We were getting this area going and we were having so much fun together!! But I am getting an awesome comp in Mo' City. I will be with Elder Brown and he should be the comp that kills me off! So I am excited for this part! I couldn't have asked for a better final comp!

The other super cool thing from this week was to see four members of a family that I started teaching in Chalmette get baptized!! Their names are Rashekka (she is the mom), Makara, Markel and Marquis! It was sooo awesome to see! Markel was in the room talking with Elder Boyd and me after getting into the baptism white and his mom comes walking in and just breaks into a huge smile, runs over and hugs him and says that she is so proud of him and happy that they get to be baptized together! I have never seen her so happy and it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I am so happy I was serving in an area where I was able to go to the baptism! I am so happy for them and their choice to get baptized! The Lord has already blessed them so much and will continue to do so! 

Well y'all I am sad that this is my last email from New Orleans but it is going to be good out there in Mo' City! Elder Brown and I are going to have a lot of fun and get that area going! Farewell NOLA, I shall miss you!

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Week 89 - April 23, 2018 - Deep Roots

Hey y'all :)

So this week has been pretty slow! We spent time trying to get back with a lot of people in our teaching pool and most of them weren't available or interested :/ but such is the work out here in NOLA. And the weather is so bipolar! Like one minute it is pouring down rain and then all of a sudden it is sunny, hot and humid!! I don't think I will ever get used to it! :D :D But life is good, just enjoying it while I can! 

Aight, time for another quote! 
"Deep roots are not reached by the frost." -- J.R.R. Tolkien 
This quote reminds me much of the Parable of the Sower, given by the Savior. In it he describes the different kind of soil that the seeds fall on. In one point he says  
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
It is because they had no root that they withered away! So that is what we must work on, we must grow our roots! We must make them strong and deep so that when the devil tries to scorch us, we can have that root that cannot be reached. Then we can be as the seeds the fell in good soil. 
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Well y'all that's what I got for this week! Keep on Keepin on y'all :) 

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Week 88 - April 16, 2018 - #TooLitToQuit

Hey y'all :)

So the motto for this week was #TooLitToQuit. Elder Johnson and I really needed to get our teaching pool up so we hit the grind hard! On Thursday we literally did 6 hours straight tracting :/ It was crazy but that motto kept us going :) We ended up finding some really amazing people and we are super excited to see how all of them progress! 

Quote/spiritual thought for the week! 
“Courage will now be your best defence against the storm that is at hand-—that and such hope as I bring.”--- Gandalf
I have been thinking a lot about the state of this world and the times that we are in. These are the last days and we are now seeing "wars and rumors of wars" and we are seeing people to be "lovers of their own selves." It can be hard to have the faith that everything will turn out in the end, but I like to imagine Christ is telling us the same thing that Gandalf told the soldier of Gondor. Courage is what we need, but we also need the hope that He, Christ, can bring! If we can only learn to combine our courage with the hope me brings, we can make it through these "perilous times." 

Well y'all, I hope all is well. Keep the faith and know that everything will work out in the end! I love y'all!!

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Week 87 - April 9, 2018

Hey y'all :)

So I don't have much new to report this week so I am going to leave y'all with one of my favorite quotes!

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” ---T.E. Lawrence

Don't be afraid to go out there and act on your dreams! Only you can make them possible and that only if you are willing to act on what you dream. Another quote I like "The only person  you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." So get out there and decide what you want your destiny to be!

Love y'all!

Elder Nathan Stoddard