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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week 25 - January 31, 2017

Hola de Hammond!

So it is my first P-Day here in Hammond and I must say I really like it here! There is actually some Spanish work here! Not much but any work is more than what I had in Opelousas. I think my Spanish will get better here! It is a bigger city than Opelousas was and Southeastern Louisiana University really close to us so there are a lot more people here to talk with and the ward is bigger than in Opelousas. I do miss Opelousas but I really like Hammond so it is all good!

My new companion is Elder Israelsen! He is a really awesome guy! We are both pretty laid back and we get along really well together. He is from Logan Utah. His birthday is June 24th! So close to having the same birthday! (Nathan's b-day is June 25) Our Spanish is at about the same level so we will have to work hard to make sure that our Spanish is good enough to talk to people! It should be a really good learning experience for us.

So just some cool stories from my week here. So on Friday pretty much all of our appointments got canceled for the evening so we decided to go to Walmart and buy some groceries. While we were there we wandered through the electronic section because it is fun and started talking to this young couple that was looking at movies. Their names were Andrew and Katie. They asked us about what movies we like and if we had any suggestions for what to watch. We talked for a while and the questions went to what we were dressed up for and we figured out that Katie had been baptized. Andrew had a lot of questions for us and invited us over to teach him the next day! It was really cool! When we taught him he seemed pretty interested and took a Book of Mormon from us.

The next cool thing that happened while I have been here actually happened about 20 minutes after we met Andrew and Katie. When we left Walmart we decided to go to Hibbett Sports and look around for a minute. We started talking with the workers, Karlin and Chris, and ended up talking with them for about an hour. So the really cool thing about Chris is that he just signed to play his rookie year with the Seattle Seahawks!! Him and Karlin are two of the coolest guys I have ever met! They both had so many questions for my companion and I and were impressed by what we are out here doing! They both knew a little bit about Mormons and want us to come back when they are both working and talk with them more!

All in all it has been a pretty good week. I am enjoying the area and cant wait to see what Isrealsen and I are able to get done together!

I hope all yall have a great week! Talk to yall later! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week 24 - January 24, 2017

Well hello again everyone!

So here is the news for transfers...... I am leaving Opelousas and Elder Bean is staying here. I don't know where I am going or who my new comp will be but I am excited to go to a new area. I am sad to leave the people of Opelousas but hopefully I will be back here again some time on my mission.

This week has been pretty uneventful. The coolest thing that I got to do was go to the Temple in Baton Rouge this past Saturday. It was my first time since I got into the mission field. It was a really fun time. We went with members of our ward for the ward temple trip. I really enjoy going to the temple. It is always so peaceful there and you get time to think and to be away from the stresses of the world. 

I am sorry that this email is so short, right now I honestly cant think of anything to say other than that we went to the temple and that I am getting transferred.

Well I hope all of you have a great week! I will definitely have more to talk about next week being in a new area and all.

Elder Stoddard


Friday, January 20, 2017

Week 23 - January 16, 2017

Hello again everyone!!

So this past week has definitely been an exciting one. First off this Wednesday we got in a car crash!! YAY!! So fun! Elder Bean and I were driving down to Lafayette area to meet with a potential investigator. On the way down a guy cut us off and hit his breaks. To not hit him Elder Bean had to hit our breaks pretty hard and then we got rear ended. It turned out to be a 4 car pile up. The only car that got really damaged was the one who hit us. Our bike rack definitely saved our car some damage. So that was definitely not a fun experience and now we just hope that our car doesn't have to stay in the shop for a long time.   Editors Note: No one was hurt in this accident.

The next good thing this week was the appointment that we were on our way to when we got in the crash. Sister Freebairn set up an appointment with her friend Mary who is interested in religion and in finding a religion. Mary is the first Spanish speaking investigator that we have had since Fransisco on my first transfer. We weren't able to meet with Mary again this past week because of Zone Meetings but Sister Freebairn is in contact with her and planning another time that we can all go over to meet with her. 

And just when I thought that nothing worse could happen on Wednesday than getting in a car crash, I got asked to give a talk. Yay! My favorite thing to do! I was asked to speak on repentance. Specifically the need and the proper method of repentance. I was hoping that I might get out of Opelousas without speaking. I mean I had already gone four months here and I had never been asked but Sister Gelwix ratted me out. Oh well I really was nice to speak to everyone and I enjoy writing a talk because it allows me to focus my study on a specific topic.

Other than those things this week has been pretty standard. Just trying to spread the Good News of the Gospel.

Alma 42:27
 27 Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.

The redemption and atonement of Christ is open to all that seek it but God will now force something on us that we are not willing to seek. Always seek the things of God and he will bless you in ways that you may not understand or see but those blessings are always for your good.

Elder Stoddard

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Week 22 - January 9, 2017

Well hello again everyone! It is a nice just starting to warm back up day here in good ole Opelousas. This past week the weather has been very cold. I think Louisiana weather has made me pretty weak. It only got down to about 25 degrees but I was freezing! That never happens! I love the cold weather! But yesterday and today it started to warm up again so it isn't too bad.

So on Friday we had a lock-down because of how bad the weather was. We were supposed to have Zone Conference and they texted us in the morning that it was cancelled and then an hour later the AP's called and told us that we were on lock-down because of how bad the roads had gotten because of rain and then 25 degree weather. It was a very boring day. It was nice to have a day to relax but after hours of playing the same card games over and over it is a little boring.

This past week Elder Bean and I have been trying harder to get with less-active membersthat have been active in the past. The most promising for coming back any time soon is Sister Carrell. She is a convert of two years but stopped coming a little before I got to Opelousas. Her husband is still very active. We have been meeting with them quite a bit recently and I think it is helping Sister Carrell. She said that she loves having the missionaries over and plans to have us over to feed us. Hopefully she will start coming again soon.

The other good lesson that we had was with the Deville's last night. We taught out of Alma chapter 32. We were talking to them about faith and how they can work on growing their faith. At the end of the lesson Sister Deville gave a request for next weeks lesson which is really nice because we can have a focus on that topic the entire week and come up with something that can be really helpful. We are really hoping that Jarrett Deville will decide that he wants to be baptized. He seems to be getting more and more interested now that we are trying to have our lessons more pointed towards him.

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

I am coming to understand more and more that faith isn't just there. I have had to work hard to get the faith that I have and I work on it every day. But if we are always willing to try and to plant that seed of faith and to nourish it it can grow into something magnificent.

I hope all of you have a great week!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 21 - January 2, 2017

So the power just went out here and I lost all of what I had already written on this email. Lets start again!

Hey everyone!! 

I hope that you all had an awesome weekend and a great New Years! It doesn't feel like it should be the New Year and I keep forgetting that it happened. Probably because we don't do any crazy celebration for New Years as a missionary. We stayed up until 12 that night but didn't really do anything to celebrate.

So this past week was pretty slow because we were out of miles on our car and it was raining almost every day so biking and walking wasn't really an option. We spent our week going and trying to see some less-active members and to invite them back to church. A lot of the addresses that we have on our ward roster are either nonexistent or people weren't home so we couldn't meet with them. 

Today is the first real thunderstorm that I have seen since I have been out. It is really cool! It is almost constant lightning and some of it was really close and really loud! I love it! These past few days have been so rainy that some of the roads flooded! We only had about 20 people at church this week because some people were flooded in at their homes. Crazy! 

We got to meet Francisco’s girlfriend from Mexico at church! She is really cool. She can't speak English but she got up and gave her testimony in Spanish which was cool. She was baptized as a convert to the church about a year ago. She is really strong with the spirit and has learned a lot. She was the biggest example for Francisco and has helped him a lot. 

Well there isn’t much else to tell for this week.

I hope all of you have a great week and are blessed in many ways!

Love you all!