Monday, August 29, 2016

A Few Good Stories

This last week had a lot of things going on.
 A few good stories: 
Some members were having their son get baptized and they told us they were having two friends show up. While enjoying the refreshments, we started talking to one of the friends and got her interested in the gospel. She even brought up joining the church! 
We went to go check out a former investigator. He was telling us that he didn't really know if he believed in God because of all the stuff that goes on in life, so we basically just taught him out of 2 Nephi 2 and he really liked it. Then we came back and taught him the Restoration, and he felt so good, he was like trying not to cry when we were testifying that Heavenly Father loves him and knows him. Then we brought him some food from a ward barbecue and he told us we were his Christian Brothers. 
A bunch of investigators showed up to the ward barbecue, and enjoyed it.
We got a Bible request, so we brought over the Bible and invited the lady to church and she said she wanted to come. Then as we were walking to our car, we started talking to the lady across the street. She's a single mom and has been on a spiritual journey, investigating a bunch of different churches. She loves studying so we set up an appointment. 
We set a baptismal date for a couple who has been investigating. 
We sang I am a Child of God to an old guy who was asking why so many bad things happen in the world. He wants to come to church now! Actually I'm not really sure if the song was what made him want to come but we're sure it helped.
We drank lots of Promised Land chocolate milk.
We taught a part member family the Restoration, and when the father was giving the closing prayer, he got a little choked up. We have high hopes that the wife might be finally coming around to joining the church.
We did show up to an appointment only to see a copy of the Book of Mormon sitting in a plastic bag with a note on it telling us that she wasn't interested anymore. I had always heard of that happening to missionaries but it never had happened to me, so we took a picture with it. 
We helped a less active put up a bad mitten net and then we played with him.
We didn't know what to do, so we prayed, then went and saw a random less active, they couldn't meet that day, so we asked them who they knew who would be interested in the Restored gospel and they said their daughter was wanting to go back to church and she had a boyfriend, so we went and taught him the Restoration. They said they were going to come to church but they texted and said they were sick so we'll see where that goes. 
Basically, we are hoping that we are going to have a lot of people at church next week, we've been inviting a bunch of people. 
On Wednesday, we went to the University of Arkansas where the YSA missionaries set up a booth to try to talk to people. I didn't really talk to anybody, but we helped these guys move a ton of soda for a big event that was going on the next day, and he gave us a bunch of mountain dew, so I stole a bunch of it and took it home so that was cool. 
They also have a Cane's here, so I'll be getting some more chicken fingers soon. 
Elder Naegle  
Last day in Tulsa......

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Final Countdown

Well, this is my the beginning of my final transfer. In case you were wondering, the reason I am emailing today is because President changed up transfer calls a little bit, instead of getting them on Saturday night, we get them on Tuesday night and then Wednesday is our preparation day and then we get transferred Thursday. So before I tell you what is happening for transfers I need to tell an experience I had that has had profound influence on me. There's this less active lady who we've been working with, and she is very interesting. She grew up in the church, and she still comes, and wants her kids to come every once in a while, but she doesn't make it very often. She smokes and doesn't have any intentions to stop smoking because as she told us yesterday, she really likes smoking. So missionaries have been stopping by for forever and she hasn't made any progress at all really. She had a daughter die and because of that she doesn't believe in temple sealings because that would mean that she wouldn't be able to see her daughter again. She had some bad experience with the church when she was a child, basically her parents got divorced, her dad was a scumbag and the Bishop wouldn't help, as well as most of the ward, because they were all friends with her dad and I guess he tricked them all because they all thought that he was a great guy, when behind closed doors, he wasn't. Then she got married when she was 18, and her husband was real young too, and they haven't exactly had the best of lives. Because neither of them went to school or anything they are struggling financially. She have four kids and her husband makes minimum wage. So it's a tough situation. I felt like I had kinda been prepared to help her because I recognized that she was real, that she'd tell you what she meant and not beat around the bush and everything and I had a companion who taught me the importance of being real, basically the stuff President Uctdorf talks about in his talk On Being Genuine. So I was trying to help her. And yesterday, we were talking and we finally kinda got down to the nitty gritty. She basically never felt that Heavenly Father was in her corner. So I just testified about the gospel and how it's helped me in my life and the struggles that I've had on my mission and what not and I think it really helped. Then later that day I was thinking about the experience and it struck me that even though I really haven't enjoyed this transfer that much, I've struggled a lot with the area and with my companion, my testimony was back and stronger than it's ever been before. Because basically, I really didn't have a testimony the 3 months before this transfer. I remember one day I was just thinking, and I realized that I didn't even believe in God. There was a period of time where I stopped praying because I just didn't care. So as you can see it was a pretty low point in my life. But somehow, somewhere, during this transfer, I don't know how because there's really not anything that happened that was miracoulous and whatnot, but I came out of this transfer with the strongest testimony I've had in my entire life. It was a huge testimony to me that Heavenly Father knows who I am and where I'm at, and even though we won't ever understand why some things happen, if we trust in Him, then He will help us do things that we wouldn't be able to do on our own. I know that I was put in this area at this time with this companion for a reason. I know that President Loveland was inspiried of God to put me here. Throughout my whole life, I've always been so afraid of failure that I wouldn't even try to do anything. I quit high school football after my sophomore year because I was too afraid to fail on a team that was nationally ranked in front of thousands of people. But on my mission, I learned how to not be so afraid of failure, and for the first time in my life, I am not pessimistic about my future or myself, and for those of you who really know me, you know how big of a deal that is haha. Anyways, we got transfer calls last night and I am going to Prarie Grove Arkansas with my best friend (besides my future wife) in the world Elder Nau. Truly after the trials come the blessings. These next six weeks are going to be some of the best of my life I already know that!

Here's one of my favorite scriptures that taught me so much during my #struggles:
And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea. 2 Nephi 10:20
Elder Naegle

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Things are going better...

Things have been going better lately. I feel like I've been learning a lot lately. I've probably been having the best studies of my entire mission, and that's saying something because there was a time when I could study all day because I was enjoying it so much. I think the difference though is that not only am I learning, my studies are also meaningful to me personally. I feel like the things that have helped me most have been personal experiences with the scriptures and personal experiences with the Atonement, because I could read about swimming all day and learn about it, but until I jump in the water, I'm never going to really know what it's all about. Same with the gospel, you can learn about it all day, but until you start to experience it, then you'll never know what the real deal is. As for the work, sadly not really much is happening but we've found like 2 less actives who we asked if they'd like to take the lessons from us because they've been out of church for years, and they both said yes. One of them really needs it because her life is a wreck right now, the other one needs it a lot too actually because I guess she just got out of a really bad relationship lately. She said she would come to church on Sunday, but she didn't.... But I feel like we're getting to know the ward a lot better and we've been trying to work with our ward mission leader a lot more so hopefully things will start to progress. This ward had some things happen within the last couple of months, some pretty hefty things, and it's kind of messed up a lot of the spirituality of the ward and the whole ward is just not really in a good place as a whole. Today, we went hiking at this one spot that some members told us about, it wasn't that great. Then Elder Naef, he's serving in Broken Arrow, and I went to downtown Tulsa to see what it was all about. It was pretty cool actually. For a big city, there was like nobody on the streets. It was kind of weird, but it's also really mucky today so that could be why. I'll send some pictures today. I think one day, I'd like to live in a big city, just for a couple of months to get the feel down. We'll see what happens.
Elder Naegle

hike pics

we went hiking down in Tahlequah this morning. It was pretty fun. They also filmed where the red fern grows here. and the guy who played the boy is actually a member and he's super active. Elder Naef met him once. 

Henryetta round 3

Nothing new really happened this week. We're still trucking along. It's been pretty hot the last couple of days, around 100. So the zone leaders talk to the stake president every month and the Stake President really wants us to focus on less actives right now, so we've been hitting the ward roster hard and been trying to find some people to teach through that way. I kinda had a mental breakdown on Thursday and just chilled for most of the day while my comp slept. I didn't really know what to do and I was super stressed out, so I just meditated, translation: slept. Then that's when the zone leaders called and told us to focus on less actives so that gave me something to do. I've been thinking a lot about agency and being an agent unto ourselves lately, and my comp has a hard time getting up in the morning so I told him: look man, you're no longer a kid, you're a grown man, so I'm gonna leave it up to you whether or not you get up on time in the morning. The idea stemmed from the talk "So where did you put the tigers?" by Elder Foster. He says in that talk that the greater the agency, the greater the growth so I decided that I could easily get him up every morning, but he wouldn't grow, but if I gave him greater agency, it would help him grow better if he could muster the strength to get up in the morning. Well so far it hasn't worked and he sleeps in to like 8 everyday, so I'm kinda re-thinking that, but we'll see, I felt pretty good when the idea came to my mind. I feel like it was inspired, but I guess that's his agency. So yeah. I'm doing pretty good though, I'm just chilling.
Elder Naegle