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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Week 50 - July 24, 2017

Howdy y'all!

So it has been a good week out here in Hammond! Things are going well and the people are as awesome as ever!

This week ended up being a service week. Our mission is partnered with the American Red Cross and we got to go to Amite and help two times this week! It was so much fun! First, on Wednesday, we were helping people sign up to get free smoke detectors put into their house and then on Thursday we go to go out with the Red Cross and the Fire Department to install the smoke detectors! It was so fun and we got our own Red Cross vests! Winner!!

I also got to go on exchanges this week with our Zone Leaders. Elder Orison came here to Hammond with me and Elder Magee went to Denham Springs with Elder Hall. It was a good time! I was able to get with a few people that we haven't seen for a little while and It was awesome! Saturday morning Elder Orison and I did more service for a recent convert named Kenneth. We were helping replace the floor of his trailer. It was kind of fun! I like doing stuff like that! 

Other than that this was a pretty normal week. The work has been pretty slow the last few weeks but we are getting it picked up again. The coming few weeks should be good and we should be getting some awesome work going!

So this week I have been thinking a lot about Psalm 23. My favorite verse of it is verse 4;
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

It is strange being out here. 100% honesty, missionary work is hard and sometimes dangerous, but we are not here to fear what men or what the devil can do. Yes men have power and so does the devil, but God has more and because God has more so do we. We are doing His work. He doesn't want us to be afraid, He wants us to love others and "perfect love casteth out all fear". I can say that out here I have learned to say like David "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;"

I hope y'all have an awesome week!

Elder Stoddard


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week 49 - July 17, 2017

Hola y'all.

Well here I am, transfer 5 in Hammond. It is a crazy feeling! I have been here for so long already! This transfer I will hit my year mark and never have served in NOLA which is strange for a Spanish Elder. 

So the awesome news about me staying is that my new companion is Elder Magee! He is from Alpine Utah and was one of the Elders I had really hoped to serve with! We have been having a great time trying to learn Spanish together. Elder Magee was actually at the CCM with me at the same time but he was originally assigned to serve in Peru. He was there for a transfer and got sick and had to go home and get re-assigned. He came to Louisiana as an English Elder but has been changed back to being a Spanish Elder with me!!

This past week wasn't too eventful. I was helping Elder Barney get ready to go home for the first little bit of it and then I have been showing Elder Magee the area and introducing him to people here in Hammond. The one really fun thing that we did go out and do was Spanish tracting in a trailer park and best part of all, it was raining like crazy! It was honestly the most fun I have had out tracting on the mission. We probably looked and sounded like complete fools and we even had a guy tell us that our Spanish was terrible but hey we were having fun and trying our best to spread the Gospel! We did get one good lesson with our new investigator Miguel. He is from Honduras and is here for work. He has met with the missionaries in the past and was excited to have us meet with him again! 

Other than that there isn't much to report for this week. I am excited for the coming transfer with Elder Magee and I think we are going to get some good work done here!  

Have a great week y'all!
Elder Stoddard


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week 48 - July 11, 2017

Another Transfer Down

Hola y'all!

So another transfer down here in Hammond Louisiana. The big news of this week is that my companion Elder Barney is going home. It has been an interesting experience being with him in a salt and pepper companionship and I will never forget it. I have learned a lot of things that I probably would not have learned otherwise and I am glad for the experience.

So the other big news that goes along with Elder Barney going home is that I am staying here in Hammond for my 5th transfer.... I am both excited and a little sad about it. I love this area and will be sad to leave but being in one place for 7 1/2 months is a long time!! Also I got called to be the District Leader for the Hammond District. It will be a really interesting experience and it will be the first time that I am in a leadership position. I am a little nervous.

Other than that this week was pretty slow. We were doing a lot to get Elder Barney to get ready to go home. We did get to go tracting in a Spanish Trailer Park with one of our members Yolanda Cardenes. She is awesome and really likes doing missionary work with the Elders and Sisters. I think this transfer will be really good and we will find a lot of people that are interested in hearing the Gospel.

Well that is all I have for now! Love y'all and hope y'all are having a great week!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 47 - July 3, 2017

Hola y'all!!

SO this week was a freaking amazing week here in Hammond Louisiana.

Alright I really only have one thing to talk about this week. Eibar got baptized!! He was so excited and so ready to be baptized!! One cool thing is that his brother, Donny, came down from Tennessee to perform the baptism! Donny is quite a bit older than Eiber and was the only member in his family until Eibar. Donny was baptized when he was 16 and ended up serving a mission! He is such an awesome guy and is such a good example to Eibar and it a big part of why Eibar was interested in the gospel. On Sunday I had the pleasure of confirming Eibar a member of the church and conferring the Gift of the Holy Ghost! That was a crazy experience!! And what made it even crazier is that I did it in Spanish!! Whoa!! I was freaking out the whole time!! It was all good though and it is an experience I will never forget!

Other than that this week was pretty basic. We had a lot of unexpected service and things like that. Also most of our scheduled appointments got cancelled so we had to find others to teach. All in all though it was a good week! 

Well I think that is about it for now!!  Have an awesome week y'all!

Con amor,
Elder Nathan Stoddard​