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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 20 - December 26, 2016

Hello again everyone!!

So this past week was a really good week! Elder Bean and I were able to see a lot of people, but the coolest people we got to see were Floyd and Wanda. They are two of our investigators and they came to church yesterday!! Saturday morning we sent a text to Floyd asking if we would be able to visit him that day. He called us back and asked what kind of clothes that we wear to church and said that him and his wife wanted to come but weren't sure what we wore. Elder Bean and I were really excited because they called us to ask what to wear and they sounded interested in coming to church. We had invited Floyd the past two weeks but he wasnt able to go because of work. They got to church early and were able to meet some of the members in the ward and after the meeting they told me that they enjoyed the things that were shared in the talk. We are hoping that they will want to come back in the coming weeks.

The next awesome part of my week was being able to talk to my family on Skype!! It both feels like forever since I talked to them and like I left yesterday for my mission. Time flies when you have something to keep you busy and I think this mission will be done before I know it. 

Another Christmas miracle was that we went to the Nations for dinner. Their dog Chloe usually hates all of us missionaries and barks at us whenever we get close to her, but yesterday she would let me and Elder Bean hold her and play with her! It was so cool and it was really nice not having her bark the entire time. 

Yesterday was a busy day for us. First we got up and went to our 8 o'clock meeting and then had Sacrament meeting at 9. After sacrament meeting we went to the Jarnagin's for Skype and for lunch. We got to visit with some of their family while we were there which was really cool. After the Jarnagin's we went to visit with the Deville's and their family. They all are really nice and make some of the best food. We got to play some games with them and talk with some of the family that we haven't met yet. And they are taking us fishing today!!! Our last stop was the Nations. As I said before it was awesome that their dog didn't bark at us. We also played a lot of games at their house. It was a good day.

Well I hope all of you had a great Christmas and got to spend it with your family! Have a great week everyone. Love you all!

Week 19 - December 20, 2016

Hello again everyone!

First off Merry early Christmas! I hope everything is going great for everyone. Things have been good here in good old Opelousas. The first week of this transfer has been really good. As I said last time, Elder Hunter was transferred. The new Elder her is Elder Hall. He has been out for the same amount of time that Elder Bean has. He is a really good missionary and is definitely not afraid to talk to anyone.

So this past week Elder Bean and I have decided to almost entirely focus our work on meeting with less-actives in the ward. We have a huge ward roster but we only have about 40 regular members. We feel that getting members to come back is the best way that we can help in this area. When we go out to contact less-actives we also decided that we would tract at least one of the houses by the person we were trying to contact. It has worked fairly well so far. A lot of times people aren't home or don't have time to meet with us but that is okay, we are trying.

Right now we are in a car share with the other Elders. Their car is in the shop and has been for a month now!!! The shop has had one problem after another. It was only supposed to take a week and they have to keep pushing it back because it took longer than expected or the part that they ordered came to the shop broken.... It's annoying. They are supposed to get it back today but we shall see. Having a car share in our area puts a big damper on mission work because of how far spread out our area is and because the English Elders work in different parts of the area than Elder Bean and I do. I think the Lord is definitely trying to teach us patience when things don't go the way that we want them to.

Yesterday we had a really fun Zone Conference. That is why P-Day is today instead of yesterday. This Conference was much shorter than usual and it wasn't all sitting and listening to people speaking to us. We did a white elephant gift exchange!! It was pretty fun! I got a package with a flashlight, a zen book, an origami book and glow sticks. I brought a miniature ping pong set. The Elder that got is thought it was awesome.

Other than those things there isn't much that happened this week. I hope you are all looking forward to Christmas and are thinking of how you can help others this Christmas.

Elder Stoddard 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Week 18 - December 13, 2016 +

Hey Y'all! (I really don't like that word... but it actually works)

So it's official, I am no longer being trained!! Yay!! And the other really good news for this week is that Elder Bean and I are staying in Opelousas! That makes me really happy. Unfortunately Elder Hunter is out this transfer which was a shock to all of us.

So this past week hasn't been too eventful. We tried to meet with our investigators a few times but they were never able to meet or they were never home. It was definitely a little disappointing but hopefully this coming week they will be available.

There isn't much more to write for this week so I will leave you with this:

 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

Remember, Christ is the reason for the season. He came and because of Him we can have peace in this life and peace in the life to come. He is the greatest of all Gifts.

Love you all and have a great Christmas Season! Make someones day!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 17 - December 5, 2016

Hello Everyone!

Well it has been another good week here in Opelousas. The weather has definitely taken a big turn, some might say for the worse, but I like it. For the past week it has been cold and very rainy!! Yay! It isn't fun for the English Elders though because their car has been in the shop for two weeks now so they have been on bikes. Can't do much when it is raining all day everyday. Elder Bean and I took them to some of their appointments when the weather was really bad.

So another thing that is new this week is that Elder Bean and I have started teaching Fransisco English. He wants to learn the Gospel in English because he gets asked questions when he is at work. He told us that he needs to learn the words in English so that he can actually explain what everything is. We are teaching really basic at this point. We have gone through the ABC's, verbs and other things like that. This next week we are getting into more of teaching the Gospel in English so it should be fun! And I never want to be an English Teacher.... It is to hard to explain all the rules of the English Language.

We also had another lesson with Floyd this week. We met Floyd last transfer when we went to drop off a Bible for his wife who ordered one online. When we dropped it off he answered the door and asked us if we would come back a different day and study the Bible with him. Yesterday was our second day being able to meet with him. While we were studying the Bible we had the opportunity to bring in the Book of Mormon and also a short little Restoration lesson. It was really awesome and Floyd seemed open to the idea of more scripture.  We also got to share with him the #lighttheworld video. He really enjoyed it and we could tell that it made an impression on him.

Other than that our week has been pretty slow. Just trying to spread the Gospel and live as best as we can. 

Remember, Christ is the reason for the season. He is the greatest of all gifts. In John 14:27 He says:

 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: notas the world giveth, give unto you. Let not your heart betroubledneither let it be afraid.

If we center our lives on Christ then we will have peace greater than the world can ever give.

I love you all and hope you have a Merry Christmas season!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Week 16 - November 28, 2016

Hey everyone!

So I just had my first Thanksgiving as a missionary and I am proud to report that I survived!  I was a little skeptical that I would make it but here I am. 

So the first appointment that we had was at noon on Thanksgiving. That was with the Jarnagin's and their extended family. They had about ten other people there and then all six missionaries. The food reminded me of what I would have had at home except there were no potatoes! What is Thanksgiving without potatoes? But it was very good food and it was fun to meet the extended family. None of them were members. The funniest people to meet were sister Jarnagin's mom and dad. The mom is the sweetest lady ever. She has dementia and asked us about 20 times if we lived in Opelousas and told us where she lived just as many times. I don't think I will ever forget the address. The sisters shared a nice little video about Thanksgiving and then we went on to the next appointment.

The next stop was the Deville's. Again we had some really good food. They live right next to their cousins so the cousins were over and we played a lot of games and played with the dogs a lot. We also helped set up some Christmas stuff.

Our third appointment fell through so we tried to see some people that evening but no one was home or had time. We ended up playing some card games at the house around 8. 

Other than that we had a slow week. Saturday we were with the Devilles again for service. We were digging trenches so that they can get internet to both their and their cousins houses. It was hard work but we had a lot of fun with the family and got fed some more really good food.

Well that is about all for this past week. I hope everyone is doing really well and that you had many things to be thankful for this season.

Love Y'all!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 15 - November 21, 2016

So this week has been a pretty entertaining. We now have a mandatory bike day for the mission. Every Thursday we are supposed to only ride bikes or walk if bikes aren't available. So Wednesday night rolls rolls around and we decided to work on our bikes to make sure that they were ready for the next day.  To my surprise both of the tubes in my bike are flat and on further inspection I find that both have holes in them.... I hadn't even ridden my bike on my mission yet..... So yeah I was not happy. We went to Walmart and guess what? They were stocked full off all different types of bike tubes, but they didn't have any of the kind I needed. So we moved our bike day to Saturday so that we could go out and find stuff for my bike.

Saturday was actually a pretty good day. We only got two lessons in because of how far we had to go on bikes but it was all good. We had a guy that likes to have us missionaries over to study the bible with him but he wasn't able to meet with us. On the ride from his house to ours we were stopped by a little girl that said that her mom wanted us to come in and talk to us. He mom asked if we could say a prayer with her because she had just gotten into a car accident on the way to her wedding and was still really shaken up. It was so cool to think that if we had not been on bikes that day we would not have met her.

So the other crazy thing from this week is the weather. We had a cold front come in and it has been cold!!! It is about 30 degrees in the morning! I love it. And it rained a little bit. And by a little I mean a lot... We were driving back from Eunice after a dinner appointment and it just let loose. We could hardly see the road. It only lasted for about 10 minutes but it was really cool.

So just a little scripture that I read in personal study this week. 

2 Nephi 9:51
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which have spoken; ancome unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that whicperisheth not, neither can bcorrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.

Love you all! Have a wonderful week!!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 14 - November 14, 2016

Hola and hello from the good old Opelousas Louisiana!

So good news, the weather is finally cooled off!! It is getting into the 60's and it has finally rained. First time I have seen rain since I have been here. The cool weather makes it a lot more comfortable to go out and do things in mission clothes.

Next piece of good news. Elder Bean and I get a new car!! Ours is over 50,000 miles so they are getting a new car set up for us. The bad news with that is that we have used well over half of our miles all ready for this month.... Our only prospects are in Lafayette and that is a good amount of miles to get there.

So this past week we had a Zone Conference. Nothing too major happened at the conference but from now on, every Thursday is a solo bike day. No car just bike. That should help us with our miles for the month hopefully.

Yesterday Fransisco was conferred to the Aaronic Priesthood as a Priest! The elders quorum president is already pushing to give him the Melchizedek Priesthood because he wants him as one of his councilors!  It was really cool.

Also, yesterday we had a baptism for one of the kids of a part member family that always has us for dinner on Sundays. His name is Justin. He is 9. It was hard to get him to set a date because it is the middle of hunting season and he wanted to spend as much time hunting as possible but his mom and dad set a date and had him stick to it.

So the plan for this coming week is for Elder Bean and I to tract the only Hispanic trailer park that we know of. It is down in Lafayette. We are also planing to work with less-active members. He got a ward roster and have been looking for people on it that we think we should go and visit and get to know. So hopefully this next week sees us with a few new Spanish investigators and some other people that we can go see.

Well I don't have much else to say this week. Time to go play some pool and ping pong.

Have a great week y'all!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 13 - November 7, 2016

Hey Y'all!!

So it is the end of the first week of my second transfer. We have already use over a fourth of the miles that we have for this week. We have had a lot of contacts that we have gone and delivered Bibles to. We have a few English investigators that want us to come and share messages with them but still no Spanish investigators. Hopefully we will have some soon. 

The new Elder in the area is waiting for his visa to go to Brazil. He speaks fluent Portuguese because his mom is from Portugal. He is really cool and is excited to be out on his mission.  

Well there really isn't anything else to say this week. I am sorry that I am not sending pictures. I keep forgetting my camera at the apartment.

Love you all.