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

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Week 46 - June 26, 2017

I'm old....

Hola y'all!

So I have come to a terrible realization this week..... I am old. Who would have thought that I would be twenty already?! Not me!! My life is almost over!! Just kidding but being 20 is a strange feeling. I no longer have to call myself a teenager. I thought I would be happier about that than I am. Idk it is just strange to think that my teen years are gone and I will never get them again.

So in other news we had out last lesson with Eivar before his baptismal interview. We went over the commandments and went through the baptismal questions so that he know what is expected. Eivar is such a golden person!! We taught the Word of Wisdom and he felt super bad because he has drank coffee. He committed to stop drinking it and asked for a blessing to help him stop! That was the second blessing I have given in Spanish and I must say it is freaky but it is a good experience. 

This past week we also started teaching  an awesome new family! We got in contact with them as a Bible and Book of Mormon delivery referral and they are so prepared for the gospel! We went over the Book of Mormon with them and they were so excited to read it!! So it is four people that we are teaching in that family. It is a mom and dad with their 29 year old daughter and their 7 year old grandson. The grandson even did some of the reading in the Book of Mormon and his mom is going to help him read it every day!! They are such a good family and I can't wait to keep teaching them!

So a scripture that I have found recently in the Bible really stood out to me this week. 
1 Peter 5:6-8;
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

This is something on the mission that I have way come to know is true. Satan is out there doing everything he can to find those that he can devour. He doesn't want any of us to be happy. He wants only misery, but he is good at disguising misery and happiness. The only way to over come him is to "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God." If only that was as easy as it sounds. That is one of the hardest things for me on the mission. Learning to be humble is a slow process but I know that as we try God will bless us and Satan will not be able to devour us.

Well anyways I hope y'all have a great week!! 
Elder Ancient, I mean Stoddard :)

Editors Note: This is the happiest I have EVER seen Nathan look. literally. :-)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Week 45 - June 19, 2017

A Week of Service

Hola y'all!!

First off, Happy later Father's Day to all you fathers out there!! I hope that it was a good day and that y'all were spoiled by your families! You deserve it!

So this week was very productive but didn't involve much teaching. Some weeks we just get lots of calls to do service and this was one of those weeks.

So the first thing that we did this week was service for a member of the Amite Branch. He is working for Southeastern University trying to re-floor the Library. So our service involved moving a lot of books and book shelves!! It was hard trying to take apart the shelves and then put them back together with the books still on them but hey, we did it!

Our next service was for one of the Sisters investigators. She had a drain pipe that needed to be dug up and replaced. That was really muddy work. We had to slope the trench so that the water would flow down and not back up close to the house. It was a fun little project.

The other big service that we did was with the Spier's. They are moving to New Mexico and needed us to help them with some painting and repair things. It is sad to see them move. They were an awesome family and they also make up half of the primary for the Hammond ward. 

Well that is about it for this week!

Con amor,

Elder Nathan Stoddard 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 44 - June 12, 2017

A Week of Excitement

Hola y'all!!

So it has been a great week here in Hammond!

So the first cool/weird thing that happened this week happened on Tuesday when we were down working in Ponchatoula. We were getting ready to drive home and on our way through a neighborhood we got flagged down by a guy in his yard. He asked if we had time for the ministry and so we pulled in. Barney and I were both like, "oh crap, we are about to get bible bashed." That is what usually happens when someone waves us down. So we were getting ready to be bashed and when we get there all that the guy wanted to tell us is how much respect he has for what we do! He told us that he knows how many people slam the door in our face or are jerks to us and he wanted to make sure that we had at least one good experience that day! It was so awesome! 

Second cool thing that happened this week was that on Thursday and Friday we had exchanges with the Denham Springs ZL's. I got to stay in Hammond and Elder Hall came here with me while Elder Barney went to Denham with Elder Orison. Elder Hall and I are pretty good friends from serving around each other in Opelousas my last transfer there. It was awesome to get to serve with him again and to ask him all about Opelousas and how everything is going!

And last but not least the best news of all! Three of our Spanish Investigators agreed to be strive to be baptized on the 30th of June!! They are all such awesome people and they would be great additions to the church! Eivar already has such a strong knowledge and understanding of the Gospel! It is so cool to see them learn and grow!

Well that is about it for this week! I hope all is going well at home and that y'all feel the Lords hand in your life!

Con amor,
Elder Nathan Stoddard

Elder Stoddard with President and Sister Hansen

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Week 43 - June 5, 2017

"Catch the Vision"

Hola and howdy y'all!

So it is another good week here in Hammond. 

This week was a little slower because of transfers even though we didn't get transferred. We did a lot of planning this week for how we can best help this ward and how we can best do our work as missionaries. We came up with a plan to invite the members of this ward to be the ones that invite less-actives back to church. We are calling this plan "Catch the Vision." Each day we plan to invite an active family or member to  get in contact with someone that they know who is struggling with activity and invite them to come back. It has been received really well by the members so far!

So one of the cool things that happened this week is that we got in contact with the Strausbaughs again for the first time in a while! They have been keeping the commitment to have family prayer each day and have seen benefits not only for themselves but for others that they have prayed for! It was so cool to get with them and to hear about their experiences with prayer. We also committed them to add scripture study to their nightly routine and they accepted so we will see how that goes!

We also got to spend a lot of time with our Spanish investigators this week! The four that are progressing are Eivar (A-bar), Gregorie, Janice, and Melanie. They have all prayed about our message and felt good about it! They all said that they felt peace when they prayed and Eivar explained it as a great tingling in his whole body!! They are such good people and I can't wait to see how much they grow! They all came with us to Stake Conference this past Sunday in Denham Springs and they loved it! Joel and Brother Abel also took them to see the Temple after Conference because they are interested in seeing it! 

So one of the questions that we will get every now and then out here is, 'Why are y'all here?' or 'How are y'all crazy enough to pay to come out here to preach?' I have been studying the New Testament a lot these past few weeks and I think that Peter and John give a great answer to the Pharisees. Acts 4:19-20

19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.  

That is exactly why I am willing to give up my time and my money to serve God. As a missionary we can only speak the things that we have seen and heard or in other words the things that we know. I know that this Gospel is the one and only effective way to find happiness and joy in this life and in the life to come. I know that through the scriptures and the teachings of the Prophets, we will come closer to our Heavenly Father and to his Son, Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ lived, suffered and died for us, but more importantly I know that He lived again for us!! How can I not tell others about these great things that can bring them happiness and peace?! This is why I am a missionary.

Have a great week y'all! 

Elder Stoddard out!