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

Monday, January 8, 2018

Week 74 - January 8, 2017

Howdy y'all!

Alright I am going to give y'all some updates on some of the people that we have been teaching!

Donald: He quit smoking! He told his care taker to not buy him anymore and as of Friday he has none left! So he is on track to be baptized on the 19th!

Estefana: She is a lady that we just tracted into last week and we had our second lesson with her this week! She is Daisy's sister! We didn't find that out until the second lesson. She has been looking for a Church for a while and she has been thinking a lot about her salvation and if she is doing what she needs to to be saved. She has some really good potential! 

Well for now those are the main progressing ones! We have others that we found and the ones that we have been teaching but there haven't been many changes with their progress so I will keep y'all posted on that! Other than that is has been a pretty normal week. Spent a lot of time this week trying to find new investigators and we were fairly successful. The weather is also warming up again so we aren't freezing as we are out knocking doors! 

I think that is all I have for this week! I hope that all is well and that y'all are going strong in your 2018 resolutions! 

Elder Nathan Stoddard


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week 73 - January 3, 2018 - Happy New Year!

Hola y'all!

I hope all y'all lovely people are staying nice and warm out there cause us down here in NOLA definitely aren't! It got into the 20's this week! At one point a member told us it was 8 degrees with the windchill! Like what?! I thought I was never going to feel cold here in Louisiana but it looks like I bring cold weather with me! Haha oh well, better cold than hot in my opinion!

I hope y'all had a great New Year and that you are working hard on those New Years resolutions! This past Sunday I had the opportunity to speak both in the English branch and Spanish group about how we can use the Saviors Atonement in our lives to help us work through the struggles of live and to help us work on achieving goals! It was my first time speaking here in Chalmette and it was also my first time giving a talk in Spanish! It was kinda scary haha! So the main 3 points of my talk were
1) Pray
2) Make a plan/goal
3) Be patient
Life is kinda hard you know? We gotta remember that to make it through requires our action. We need to pray to our Heavenly Father for help and then go out and work like we are the only ones that can get us through the trial or goal or whatever it may be. If we are patient we will see the blessings of the Lord even in the midst of our trials and we will be soo much better for taking the hard path of faith.

Have a great week y'all :)

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Monday, January 1, 2018

Week 72 - December 27, 2017 - Merry Christmas y'all!

Hola and Merry late Christmas y'all! I hope that this was an excellent, love filled and, of course, food filled Christmas season for everyone!

So...... I honestly can't think of anything crazy to report this week. I wanna thank all y'all that sent me out letters and packages! It means more than you will ever know so thank you!

I just want to leave y'all with my testimony as a missionary that I know that we have a Savior Jesus Christ. He was born so that he could live a perfect life, suffer for our sins, die for us and greatest of all, be resurrected so that we can be resurrected to live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. He is the Lamb of God, the infinite and eternal sacrifice. He is our Older Brother, our Friend and our Advocate with the Father. He loves each of us perfectly. He knows each of us personally.  He knows exactly how to help us in our problems. He is always there when we are ready to turn to Him! I am so grateful for Him and for His infinite love unto all of us! I am so happy to wear His name over my heart every day! There is no place I would rather be that out here in Louisiana representing the Savior!

I love y'all and hope y'all have the happiest of new years!

Elder Nathan Stoddard

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Week 71 - December 19, 2017 - So what's the goal for today? LIGHT THE WORLD

Hola y'all :)

Alright so this week was a pretty good week. Imma just skip to all the good stuff so you don't have a boring letter this week haha! 

First awesome thing that happened this past week was our Christmas Zone Conference. This one was different because the Nola zone was combined with the Slidell zone so there were so many missionaries! And it was the Christmas Zone Conference so it was a bunch of fun and not as much just sitting and listening to instructions. The instructions we did have were really good tho. My favorite was by the Slidell ZL's, Elder Heninger and Elder Bailey. Theirs was about how to have a good/memorable mission. Here are their three points

1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself
      So forget yourself
So the basis for that one is that we need to make sure that we are doing the things that we should be doing and making sure that this work is about the people here and not about us.

2. Work hard, Play hard
     Live Louisiana
This one is pretty self explanatory but missionary work isn't supposed to make us miserable. You can make it fun and you can still do fun things but the work has to come first. Also we are called to Louisiana so we gotta live Louisiana. You gotta get excited about the things that they get excited about and you gotta get in and live the culture. That is something that I firmly believe helps missionaries connect with the people they teach.

3. #gettheshot
So this one is kinda different. When we take a picture we are trying to capture a moment. We are trying to capture the feeling of what was going on so that we can look back and remember everything that we did. They used this as an analogy for the mission. Are we capturing the feeling of the mission so that it can look back on it and remember how amazing it was? 

Those were the three points and I thought it was pretty cool yeah! After that it was a white elephant gift exchange and I got a pug face pillow with a picture of the three Chalmette sisters on it haha! 

Now the other thing that happened this week is something that I usually don't write about because I usually don't like them, but I had a great exchange this week haha! I got to go with Elder Boyd, the English trainee here in Chalmette! I have never had more fun on exchanges and I have probably never had more fun tracting lol. So the beginning of the day we planned and Elder Boyd asks "So what's the goal for today?" and before I can answer he gets super excited and says "LIGHT THE WORLD!" So that became the joke for the day. After every house we knocked on and every person we talked to we would say something along the lines of "Man, we just freaking lit the world!" It made tracting way more fun then just going and knocking on doors haha. And later that day Elder Boyd and I got to go caroling with the Sisters in a trailer park over in Chalmette! Boyd was super happy because he loves to sing haha! All in all it was a good day!

Well that is the news for the week! Oh actually I didn't even say anything about transfers! I am staying another one here in Chalmette with Elder Hernandez! 

Alright y'all! Have a Merry Christmas!

Elder Nathan Stoddard


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​​​​​​​​​​