Monday, July 18, 2016


I forgot to put this in my email, but while we were driving back from Muskogee from a zone meeting, the weather was crazy! The rain was coming in sideways, we saw a semi that got flipped over and it was nuts. There were tons of people pulled over to the side of the road hiding under the overpasses. I was just following the natives, people were still driving so I was still driving. I got some good videos on my camera that I can show you in like 11 weeks so yeah. We didn't see any tornadoes tho...

Henryetta week 2

Man, this area is a struggle for sure. We found a few part member families to teach, but we haven't been able to actually get in and teach them. We started doing this thing where when it winds down to the end of the day and we have nothing to do, we just start roaming the neighborhoods. We've given out a few copies of the Book of Mormon that way. It will probably become a daily thing because we really don't have anybody to teach. The ward is all really old and they think that they can't do missionary work because all the people they know already know that they're members and they've known them for a long time. So we're not really sure what exactly to do. We've been trying to meet with the members and get to know them and all, and I don't know if the members don't like us or what but it feels like everybody has been dodging us which is weird because they are all retired... Anyways, we've got a good ward mission leader and a good Bishop so we're hoping that we can get something going. This is definitely my hardest area and probably my hardest companion as well. Luckily I'm not stressed out as much as I usually am in these situations. Sunday morning I was tripping hardcore and then I went in the living room by myself and just started reading the Book of Mormon and I felt a lot better which is actually the first time that's worked for me, so I'm pretty sure that I'm completely exhausted of all my mission energy but the Lord is letting me borrow some juice. I'm pretty sure that's how it's supposed to work all the time but it's taken me a long time to learn it. I try to find as much alone time as possible, which is really easy because my companion is very weary and takes a nap basically every time we walk in the apartment. Probably the coolest thing that has happened so far is that the Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Indian nation is a member and he's in our ward. It's like the 3rd or the 4th largest Indian tribe nation thingy in the country. We went over to his house the other day. He's a convert and he's a super humble guy. He's getting all the corruption out of the government he runs because the Nation he runs is basically a small country as far as I understand. That's about all I can think of to write.
Elder Naegle

July 11th Henryetta Oklahoma

So we got transfer calls on Tuesday. I was informed that I was going to go to Henryetta Oklahoma. I was a little bit sad to leave Springfield and Republic, but I was ready to go. That was a hard area to be in and it was weird because I didn't connect with anyone in either of the wards. They were all in band and stuff in high school which is cool and all, but I don't know how to relate to them so yeah. Really the only people who I was sad to leave was Sis Martin, our cherokee grandmother (who's like the whitest old lady you could ever meet) she's super awesome. Every time we go over there she was super happy so see us and would always tell us to go grab some goodies from her kitchen. Then we'd fix something for her and watch a talk from the April 2006 General Conference because that was the only Conference we had on disc. Then sometimes she's take us out to lunch to Ziggies. She was also a self-proclaimed cougar, because she was always hanging out with young men. Then there was the Bauers who were the chillest family in Republic. They were all super into sports and they just love the missionaries so they always treated us nice. One time, when Elder Gordon and I were doing our morning run on the track inside of the rec center, Gus Bauer walked in a gave us some Sonic breakfast burritos. They were awesome. So now I am in Henryetta, OK. we're like an hour south of Tulsa so there's missionaries nearby, kind of... There's also Raising Cane's, so Wednesday I am going to try to eat there because we'll be up in Broken Arrow for a meeting. So the story with Henryetta is that there were two Elders here. Well a couple of weeks ago, one of the Elders had a seizure, and it was his second one, and on your second seizure the church sends you home. So he and his companion both ended up going home because apparently his companion had some other medical issue that he went home from. So there haven't been any missionaries in this area for about two weeks... It's a struggle because there hasn't been any work here for a while. I was looking through the progress records for the last couple months and the large majority of the people they were looking with was less actives, so we'll see what happen. Also, I am training somebody fresh out of the MTC. He is really green. Think of the guy from The Best Two Years, but shorter. He is really strange and sorta socially awkward. He's not arrogant, but he has a little more confidence than he should have. So I'm not gonna lie I've been really stressed out the last couple of days. Luckily, the Lord has got my back and I've been feeling a little bit better today. I've got a lot of other missionaries out here who have my back so the Lord is taking care of me. Today we went up to Tulsa and played some Rugby with a bunch of other missionaries. It was really fun, but I had to take my shoes off because my basketball shoes have no traction on grass (or a basketball court for that matter) so I took them off, it wasn't too bad. Then we were chilling with some other Elders, we went to Carls Jr which is weird because they mostly have Hardees out here. Then we went to Dick's sporting goods to just look around and I was looking at some nice Nike shoes that were way out of my price and my comp told me he'd buy them for me and I told him no, and we went back and forth for a while and he said I'll try to get a deal, so I thought that once he tried to get a deal and didn't get one, I'd just be like let's go and he wouldn't buy them for me, but this tricky guy wasn't even trying to get a deal he just went out and bought them. So that was weird. Apparently his dad put $3000 dollars on his home card for a bike, but then he got a free bike and his dad just told him to use it to help other missionaries. While we were driving home he was telling me about how he was bullied, and he had already told me that he was bullied back in High school, but while driving back he was telling me that other missionaries were bullying him in the MTC, so if that's true then that's really sad. I mean, he's a strange dude, but that's no reason to bully somebody. I think that's also why he acts more confident than he should be because he was bullied and it's hurt his self esteem so he overcompensates. Anyways, I want to help him now and try to help him have a good experience. It's going to be super hard but we'll see. Oh we also have a gym like a mile from our apartment and it's 24/7 so I'm gonna try to lose this winter coat I've put on.
I think that's about all I have to say. 
Elder Naegle

July 4th

This last week was pretty rough missionary work wise. We've been working pretty hard, but haven't gotten any breaks. We knocked on this lady's door on Tuesday, gave her a Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment for Friday, then on Friday, there was a note on the door telling us that she wasn't interested anymore. Oh well. Other thing that happened was on Wednesday was our mission's temple trip, well just the group that was going to the St. Louis temple, the OKC temple group and the KC temple group already went at different times. So we got to go to St. Louis and go to the temple. Then they took a group picture outside the front of the temple and I was still in the Celestial room so that was kinda awkward. Saturday night, we talked to this guy in our apartment complex who we've invited to church a couple of times and we also met one of his friends who was asking us who we were and what church we went to. We had a really good conversation with him. He doesn't really believe in religions, he's more of a personal relationship with God type of guy. So I told him why we need the church and what the purpose of commandments are in a way that he understood because I've had a lot of the same questions that he has about religions and stuff. Anyways, we gave him and his friend each a Book of Mormon and then they said they would come to church the next morning (which they didn't) and the guy asked us what our greatest doubts were about our religion. Of course my companion gave the typical: "I have no doubts" canned missionary answer,  but I felt like this guy would appreciate a real response so I just told him a lot of the time I sit back and think to myself that this whole religion and church is way crazy and sometimes I wonder if it really is true, but then I just think to myself that: worst comes to worst, this is a fantastic Christian community who actually act on their faith and who help each other in more ways than any other church I've encountered, and best comes to best, Joseph Smith really did see the Father and the Son and this really is everything that he said it is. So the guy really appreciated that and he even shook my hand after I said it. So we'll see where that goes with those two guys. They're about our age so we'd probably end up handing them over to the YSA anyways. They were drinking that night so we assumed that that was the reason they didn't show up to church the next morning. Well that's about all that happened. Happy Fourth of July. We live in the greatest country in the world.
Elder Naegle

June 27th: Life in Color

This last week was a good week. Probably the best thing was the Traveling Assistants came and we were able to go on exchanges with them. Elder Murdock and Elder Sorensen are the traveling assistants and they are both super awesome missionaries and people. Elder Sorensen is the son of the guy who invented Blender Bottle, and Elder Murdock is the cousin/best friend of my last companion who is Elder Gordon who is also one of my favorite companions. I got to go with Elder Murdock and we had a good time. He taught me a lot of things, and we had some really good conversations about plans and goals for after the mission and the role of confidence in our lives and whatnot. One thing they told us to do was to make daily goals not related to the key indicators. So we have a daily goal of talking to 5 people a day outside of our other plans and appointments, so that can be either tracting or just talking to people outside or inside or wherever. Anyways we have done it every day except for Sunday because we felt that Sunday probably wouldn't be a good day to do it and we ended up being super busy yesterday. Well, it has been really rough trying to accomplish that goal. For some reason, all the rude people have been coming out of the woodworks and despite the fact that we have accomplished our goal everyday so far, we have not gotten any new investigators. :( There was this one super rude Catholic lady that put me into a really bad mood on Friday. So Saturday night after another long hard day, I wasn't in the best of moods. Then I listened to a podcast of a guy interviewing Via Sikahema while laying in my bed, and I fell asleep, so I didn't really get anything out of it. But then as I was trying to fall asleep, I had the thought to choose happiness, which coincidentally is the name of a talk I've been reading a lot lately and then. So I decided to choose to be happy. Then I woke up Sunday morning and was in a bad mood again, so I had to decide to be happy again. So I ended up having a real good day yesterday. Then we had dinner at the stake president's house and we stayed for like two hours just talking to the stake President and his wife and his wife told us that normally she is a huge stickler on not letting missionaries stay longer than an hour, but she was really glad she did because they said it was good to get to know us and now they trust us, or something like that, I can't exactly remember what she said. So then today I read a really good talk this morning called: Be Excellent: Becoming who you are in today's world and it inspired me as well. So even though we don't have anybody to teach, we're just gonna keep trucking and trust in the Lord, and His timing. So moral of the story, even though it's really cliche and everybody already knows it: there's lots of bad things in life and there's lots of good things in life, if we choose to focus on the good things, then we'll be happy, if we choose to focus on the bad things, we'll be sad. So I usually focus on the bad things in life, but now I'm learning how to focus on the good things. It's a lot better.  We are also going Go Karting today for an Elder Pack's birthday. That's about all. Plus I bought some real nice Blender Bottles this morning. One of them has an American flag on it.
Elder Naegle

June 20th

This last week wasn't too crazy. Deborah, our less active friend is doing awesome and she came to church last week and loved it but she didn't make it yesterday. It's been great to work with her and she how she's been getting closer to God, and how it's changing her life. Other than that, things are pretty dry right now. We decided to drop Elijah because we don't think he's ever going to go anywhere. Then we tried to set up an appointment with Jessica, and she responded that she was just going to stick with the Bible because she knows for sure that it's the word of God and she doesn't feel the same way about the Book of Mormon. It's sad because she's had multiple spiritual experiences with the Book of Mormon. We had a lesson with Sean and the ward mission leader from the YSA. We're handing him off, so there's another investigator gone. Elder Huffman wants to give Jordon to the YSA too, but I don't want to, so we'll see what Jordon wants. We haven't been able to get in contact with Joshua since we gave him the Book of Mormon in Yoruba. We gave his number and address to our Nigerian friend and he's going to try and get in contact with him. So we basically have no investigators right now... It's alright though. Things have been good despite the lack of success. I feel like my whole mission the Lord has been teaching me that what I want, is not necessarily what he wants me to do. It's been a tough lesson to learn but I think I'm starting to get it. I haven't been able to have the success I haven't had very many baptisms on my mission and I don't think I will get too much more. I used to think that if I would just work hard and be as obedient as I could, then the Lord would bless me with investigators and baptisms, but I've slowly been learning that that's not necessarily how it works *cough cough* Sallisaw Oklahoma. You can't really buy success from the Lord with obedience and hard work. I used to think that God hated me because I couldn't work hard enough and be obedient enough for Him to bless me with outward success because I've never felt in my entire mission that I've been a successful missionary. But really, this is His work and not mine. The whole time Heavenly Father was trying to teach me how to trust in Him, and I'm still getting there. Heavenly Father also works on the inside and just because you don't see any outward success doesn't mean that God isn't getting work done, especially on you. The Lord has blessed me to serve with and around some awesome people. Honestly, if it wasn't for my friend Elder Nau and my mom's powerful testimony, I would've gone home a long time ago. There's been a couple of times where I have prayed and asked Heavenly Father if it was alright if I went home early but every time the answer has been no, so I know I still have things to learn on the mission. Even then, I think I won't realize all the things that the Lord has done for me and taught me on my mission until I've been home for a long time. So here's to the next 3 months I guess.
Elder Naegle

June 6th TORNADOES!!!

For some reason, the last couple of weeks, I have had the strangest desire to shoot birds (there are a lot of birds in Missouri) and to cut things with a saw. I don't know why...Anyways, Elijah may have schizophrenia, so we're not sure how accountable he is. According to his sister, he has voices in his head that tell him to kill his dad and he regularly gets abducted by aliens... needless to say we will probably be dropping him soon after we get a professional second opinion by the first counselor in the mission presidency who lives in our ward and is a psychologist. Probably the coolest thing that happened this last week was that we got a referral for a guy in Chesterfield, which is nice because there isn't much work going on there right now. Anyways it took us a long time to contact him for various extenuating circumstances, but we finally did and he is a man from Nigeria with a thick accent. His native language is Yoruba. He is very nice. For some reason he started talking to us about Muslims and how Christians and Muslims practically believe the same thing but they don't believe that Christ is the Son of God. We found out later that he thought we were Muslims...? Anyways he called his friend who lives in Nigeria and had us talk to him because apparently he's a member of our church and that's how he found out about our church. We found out later that his friend is from the Church of Christ. Anyways the cool part of this story is that a couple of weeks ago a man moved into our ward who coincidentally is originally from Nigeria and he speaks Yoruba as well. Then we called the mission office and they had 1 copy of the Book of Mormon in Yoruba. So we ordered it. Then we took the member to his house and the member's name is Bro Oyoyo, and the investigator's name is Joshua. They hit it off. Joshua is the funniest guy ever. He is such a happy guy and it's just so fun to talk to him. He clapped a little bit when Bro Oyoyo's 10 year old son basically bore his testimony. And he was very impressed when Bro Oyoyo told him how we pay our own ways on our missions. It was very hard to understand both of them because they would switch in and out of Yoruba and they both have pretty thick accents. So we have high hopes for Joshua. Other than that, we spent all day at the mall today waiting for our car's oil to be changed and then they had to change the tires and they couldn't get a hold of the mission office and it was annoying because we ended up hanging out at the mall from 11 to like 2 just looking at all the nice clothes that we couldn't buy... Then nobody came to church on Sunday. Right now we're still working on getting the wards involved. We've had some good meetings with the leaders of the wards and so hopefully we can get a foundation laid that will bless the wards and missionaries serving here for months or even years to come. That's about all
Elder Naegle

Chippendales May 23rd

I forgot that on Wednesday this old lady who can't come to church very often because of health problems, she had us over for dinner. Her name is Sister Martin and she's like our grandma. She bought us 5 pizzas and we only ate 1. Then she asked us to help her chip some wood with her wood chipper. It was very fun. I let the other Elders do it because it looked kinda dangerous. Then when we were done we put Gordon in the wood chipper. I'll send pictures. Then we watched some of the April 2006 General Conference with her because that's the only General Conference we have on disc.