Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Zone conference!

Sorry I didn't email last week. Things have been rough and we were in a cave all day last Monday. The zone leaders had somebody they knew, a less active I think, who had a cave on their property and so for a zone outing we all went caving. It was nuts. We had to walk through a lot of cold water, and most of the time the clearance was only 4-5 feet. It was definitely an adventure. We were in there for a good 3 hours I believe. There was a particularly tough spot right before we turned around where the ceiling was really low and we were slogging through water and there were a lot of pointy, sharp, painful rocks. My legs were really cut up. Then we got into a big mud fight inside the cave even though we were all already pretty covered in mud. I also got to drive our truck through a river and then we washed up in the river so we in a way got to go swimming! I will send pictures as soon as I can.

The other big news is that we had a zone conference. Normally zone conferences are 3 months apart but, Pres. and Sis Shumway called a mini-zone conference. Indeed it was mini because it was only like 3 hours long as opposed to the 8 hour long normal conferences. Apparently there was a mission presidents seminar, training thingy with lots of general authorities in Dallas that the Shumways went to and it was so good they wanted to share it with us right away. Obviously there were a lot of rumors going around about the conference that President put down at the beginning such as Sis Shumway was taking over as mission pres or that the mission was being split or even that we were all getting Ferraris. My colleagues and I thought that we were finally getting iPads but of course that wasn't true. It was a fantastic experience though. President shared a story at the end that was incredible. The Spirit was very strong. The conference also took place in Springfield in the Springfield South stake center which was the building I had church at in my last area. It was nice to be able to drive around my last area a little bit. I even saw my ward mission leader while we were driving. I also stopped by on some of my favorite members, so it was really fun. Also I got to see a bunch of missionaries that I was glad to see. I also signed my name on Sis Shumway's hand. Some other missionaries and I were talking to her after the conference and we were talking about how for the rest of the Shumways' mission, 10 weeks, there is going to be a big goal for the whole mission to strive for. So to make sure that we would agree to do it Sis Shumway made us sign her hand.... It made me think of like Kishkumen and stuff haha. 

The other big news is that we should be having a baptism this Saturday. His name is Izaiah and he is related to some active members who take him to church every week but his parents aren't active and he hasn't been baptized. So we jumped on it and started teaching him. His parents have sat in on the lessons and have been really supportive. Hopefully this will help reactivate them. They're really nice people and it's been really easy to teach Izaiah. I also gave their dog a blessing which was weird, and we didn't really know if that was something that you could do so we asked the bishop and he said yeah so yeah. 

Other than that there is not much else going on here. My companion and I have some good ideas and plans that we want to implement in this area but it's been a real struggle getting those plans in motion. But we are determined to work hard this week and get things done! It's gonna be nuts. It's so crazy, transfer calls are this Saturday. I've already been in Ava for almost 6 weeks! 
Love, Elder Naegle

April 15, 2015

Hey mom, sorry I didn't email last week, there's not much going on here so there wasn't really anything to email about. I like my companion. There's a 12 (I think he's 12) year old whose parents are inactive but his aunt takes him to church every week and he goes to scouts every Wednesday and he hasn't been baptized so we're gonna start teaching him. We actually have an appointment with him today so that will be good. I'm hoping things will start getting going here in Ava. That is all.
Love, Josh

March 31, 2015

We didn't have hardly any time to email yesterday so that is why we're emailing today. Anyways I am in a little place called Ava Missouri. The population here is less than 3,000. It's really small. But there is a Taco Bell, and there wasn't a Taco Bell in Parsons, so it's all good. It's also a ward here and Parsons only had a branch, so that's pretty cool.
My new companion is Elder Ewart and he is a stud. He's a really good wrestler from Delta Utah. He's won 4 state championships and he's placed every time but I can't remember the placings and I don't want to ask him because that would be kinda awkward. He loves to lift, a lot more than me. He is super jacked and we lift every day. There's a tiny little rec center place that we go to and it costs $30 a month and they don't even have a real bench or squat rack... It's ok though, we still go hard with what we've got. We get up at 5 every morning, go and lift for 2 hours, then we shower and get ready at the rec center because we live 15 miles outta town so we don't go back to where we live until we're done for the night. After we are done lifting and getting dressed we go to the church to study and eat breakfast. We have permission to leave all our food in the fridge in the church and so we've got a pretty good setup, until we go home for the night and we're hungry and can't eat anything because all our food is elsewhere... We have to drive on a dirt road and through a stream to get to where we live, which is in the basement of a member's house. We've got a Nissan Frontier which is easily the best car you can get in this mission. It's awesome, I've fallen in love with it and now I want a truck. Because Elder Ewart's last companion never had his driving info sent in, Elder Ewart had to drive the whole time he was with him. So Elder Ewart has let me drive everyday so far. One time I drove really fast through the stream and it was really fun. Then I got an aggressive driving infraction so I guess I won't be doing that again :( 
So the first night that I was here we got a call from our district leader, Elder Mo'unga (or just Mo), and he wanted to have an exchange the very next day. He had just gotten a brand new companion too and he wanted to give him some shotgunning (normally one missionary stays in an area because they know the area but when both missionaries are new to the area it's called shotgunning) experience. So I went to Houston, Texas (county) for the day with Elder Dye. He's pretty cool. The plan that Elder Mo had for us was just tracting but Elder Dye and I hate tracting so we just drove around a lot so that Elder Dye could get to know the area and we did a lot of talking, mostly about girls, and then that night we stayed up really late talking about girls again. So as ya'll can tell it was really fun. 
Our district is probably the best district in the mission. We've got Elder Mo and Dye, myself and Ewart and then Sisters Merril and Burt. Sister Burt was in my district in the MTC and Sis Merril is really chill, she even hooked Elder Ewart up with one of her friends who's really pretty. Elder Dye is really cool and Elder Mo is nuts! There are a lot of stories about Elder Mo that I could tell. All I'm gonna say is that he's been emergency transferred a LOT of times. He's basically a crazy poly who has a free spirit, and does whatever he wants. He's so stinking funny. We have district outing every Monday and yesterday it was a blast. Elder Mo made everybody think he was getting sent home and everybody believed him it was so funny. One guy smashed his drink because he was ticked haha. We blew up a ton of balloons and then put them in the Sister's car while they were emailing and Mo wrote stuff on their windows with window chalk. It was a jolly good time, until we were leaving and discovered that Mo had also written a bunch of stuff on our truck with the chalk. There were two big swastikas on our windshield and a bunch of other stuff that I think is in Polynesian because I can't read it. We erased the swastikas but sadly all the other stuff is still there.
Well things are going really good so far so I think that I'm gonna have a great time here in Ava. Also I have a good amount of pictures that I'm going to sen but the library here doesn't let you plug things into their computer, so eventually ya'll will get some good pictures.
Everybody stay classy!
Elder Naegle

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