Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fishing, Rodericks, teaching the First Vision, Ice Cream

Hello family! 
Sorry I missed you last week! Things were crazy with fishing up in the mountains and getting sunburnt. I'm good now though! 
I hope everything back home is going great. Schools is coming to a close here soon which is crazy. I've been out of school for almost 2 years. Yikes! But we are looking forward to summer here in the Dalles. It does get into the hundred and teens sometimes up here which will be brutal but great. People will be roaming the streets and we will be flying around like zombies on doomsday. Haha you can put your own analogy on that haha that one isn't pleasant. Things are looking good!

This past week Elder McDaniel and I had a lot of success. We have recently been stopping by and working with a lot of prospective elders. Members who have not yet received the melcezadec priesthood. So we weren't finding to much success here a little and there a little but we came to the Roderick home. It was really really windy because we are up in the heart of what we call the gorge. So we walk up to this house and knock on the door and this man comes to the door and we ask if dean Roderick is home. He answers and said, no that's my brother. I'm a member though. I was a teacher. We dont know how his brothers records lead us there because he had died 9 years ago. We continue to talk a little more until his wife comes and reminds him his dinner is ready and it will get cold. The nicest way to get us to leave haha. So we said oh ok we understand and he gave us an interesting look like. No don't leave or like he felt something. So we said bye and walked back to the van and elder McDaniel and I got in and had the same thing come to our minds. His brother lead us to him. He is ready to start making his way back. We sat there and talked in the van and then we see his wife coming to the door. After knocking on the window she asks us if we have dinner and we said no. So she invited us to come in and have the two extra steaks that she has. Only on conditions that we don't preach to her. We accepted and ended up eating a 32 oz steak I swear. Long story short she ends up preaching to us about school and the world and her husband found out she asked us not to preach and he was kind of upset. Haha it was a small but awesome experience to be a part of as we were able to break down some barriers. We will be seeing them this week and hopefully helping them come unto Christ a little more. 

This week was zone conference. It's always awesome to go and listen. We are always the ones talking and it's a good change to see someone else up there and sit and listen. The APs trading was fantastic. I felt like they were talking directly to me. It was centered on following the spirit. Being sensitive to spiritual prompting some and why it is so important. It reinforced my understanding of that important principle. As we go out and we strive to serve the lord the only effective way we are able to serve him is by following his spirit. We have individual qualities and talents that when joined with the spirit brings the converting power to those individuals that only we can influence. It's incredible when we receive a glimpse of that happening. This last week on exchanges i was trying my best to focus on following the spirit to a T. I received a prompting to knock and door and no questions asked I did it. And nothing. So we continued on. Knocked a few more doors as we walked down the street and on our way to a prospective elder I looked over and saw a woman in her kitchen and I just knew I needed to knock the door. Instantly we walked to the house and knocked the door. Taught them the restoration and left her with a copy of the Book of Mormon. Every single time we share the first vision you feel and see a change within every person. They are feeling the spirit and they don't recognize it. But that's not all. We finished teaching them and on our way out we start teaching her brother that is coming over. He ends up being so solid! He is about the be a father of two and is around 25 years old. It was awesome getting to know him! He sounds like he is from Wyoming actually. Loves fishing, hunting, and all the awesome things you do inwyoming. He just ate up the gospel and we will be seeing him this week as well. This whole experience really built my testimony. At first i didn't receive anything from what I thought might be a prompting. But after the trial of my faith I receive and witness that the spirit was there to guide us. It comes to show that we must act upon all the things that we think might be a prompting. We can have courage with the knowledge that even if it is just a thought God will see that we are trying. And we are being righteous we need not to worry about the outcome.

Love life out here in the Dalles! Right now my arms are so so sore from working out so there are probably some spelling errors. Thanks for everything. Mother's Day is coming up really quick! Skype date! 

I don't look like I'm all there, I was in shock haha. Cascade locks ice cream was amazing! 
I've really come to LOVE soft served ice cream.
Elder Archibald

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Elder McDaniel, Herman Smith, Dunbars, Submitting to God's will

Hey family!
This week has been pretty good. We had the opportunity to hear from our mission President and the APs this thursday. It was great to see where the mission is headed. These last few months ther has been alot of changes within the mission because alot of the leadership is leaving. Its crazy to think im one of the oldest missionaries in the room. Weird! Im not even that old (mission age). We are pretty excited with the new way we are doing things because leadership is young and we are having to build up the mission again. So if I get moved to the Yakima Mission i will have some experience with starting out fresh. At least a little bit.

Elder McDaniel and I are doing great. The area is loaded with a ton of great people and the members are even better! Elder McDaniel is from Mesa Arizona and he is a 6 4' beach god. Im trying to help him get his abs back because he is in pretty rough shape haha. No just kidding. He is going home this transfer and so we are trying to get him in the best shape for summer that is coming up. I miss working out like i used to! Not really. Today we did a workout that is called DTP. Its a workout that i did back home and it definitely destroyed us today. We both couldn't walk straight and probably won't be able to for the rest of this week but thats ok. The work will distract us from the soreness. 

The zone is doing great! We are working with, like a said, alot of young missionaries. They are stellar! So much more prepared than i was when i came out. We are just working on teaching the that basic of effective finding, teaching, and administering to the investigators needs. Its alot of fun. This week we have a zone meeting on wednesday. They usually only happen monthly unless we need the zone to know something immediately. Otherwise we have district meetings because we are still in a district. But being a zone leader really just adds on alot of different paper work and presenting perfromance to the stake. We are able to go to a meeting called the Mission Leadership Conference. Its a blessing to hear from our Mission President. That man is inspired! Its been awesome working with him.

I was able to meet Hermana Smith ( Alli Smith ) at transfers this last transfer and she recognized my name but not me. Haha i knew her but she didn't know me. Kinda awkward but thats what us a missionaries live for. Those awkward moments that we just have to embrace haha. 

This week we have been working with the Dunbars. Brother and Sister Dunbar and working toward the temple and have the goal to attend on the 5th of may. We have had the opportunity to go over and teach her the temple prep lessons. Im learning alot haha. There is so much to the gospel. That is what they continue to say as well. She is taking all the gospel standards and principals to heart. She loves the feeling that she receives as she lives the word of wisdom because she knows the difference it has made in her life. She continues crack down on soda and bad eating habits and is just on fire. This couple has really strengthened my faith. They continue to look for more and more principles that will enable to be better people. That is seriously so awesome. Its been incredible to have the opportunity to work with them. 

I would like to thank you for that book. The peter potential? I think that is the name of it. It really was motivating. It is so true as well. I believe that we are able to do much larger things as we come unto our savior. That he worked a miracle with fish and loaves of bread and the thought of the miracles that he could do with a life is inspiring. I feel like I've felt a little bit of that. As I've submitted my will to the fathers at least tried to I've seen the blessings. Thats really the hardest part. Hands down the hardest thing we do on this earth. Is literally doing everything that he would have us do. I know that by submitting our will to our father as a child submits to their father we will be blessed beyond comprehension. I love the gospel and my incredible family! Keep being awesome. BTW, I feel like i just wrote an email yesterday. and its almost Mothers day already. have a good week!
E. Archibald

The Dalles Zone as Zone Leader

Conference--Dalles Zone- MMA fighting--Onions & Jalapenos

Hey family!
Conference was great! A lot of extremely powerful talks about Christ
and the plan of salvation. It seemed like it was all focused on
missionary work. All the beliefs or things we hear were proven wrong
very simply. Maybe I just am looking for that haha idk. But I watched
general conference at the stake center here in the Dalles. 10 hours of
conference is like Christmas for the missionaries. We get to hear the
inspiring words of the people we talk up everyday. It's nice. You may
ask. The dalles? Yes I have been transferred to the dalles. Transfers
were last Wednesday so I have not yet received the package you sent
but I will probably get it this Thursday.

This transfer I was moved back to be a zone leader in the eastern area
of our mission. President Taylor is setting up the dalles zone for the
Yakima mission in July. In other words I'm going to be in a different
mission when it comes time to come home. I'm pretty excited about it
actually. I get to see a lot more of the north west and work with
another mission president. A lot of people have come up to me this
past week at transfers and just asked me how I was feeling about the
change and I just expressed my excitement. I received a few
compliments and it has just been a good week. Lots of things continue
to come at me. Leadership opportunities and a old companion that is
going home Ina transfer and learning how to fight. We have a member in
the Ward that is teaching us how to mma fight on p days. At least
today he did. He told me to work on punching my nose in the mirror.
Haha I'm learning a lot of cool worldly things and also a ton of
spiritual things. Studies are going great. Working on finishing the
Book of Mormon again and also the doctrine and covenants.

The people up here in the dalles are incredible. We have multiple
people that are just waiting to be baptized. We just have to teach
them haha. Isn't that the best struggle out there. Them having to wait
because we haven't taught them enough. One specific family that we are
working with is a couple, Amanda and Vincent. Less active father and
non-member mother. She is starting to come around and really listen to
what we have to share with her. As she continues to read she slowly
understands what the book of saying. That's something I realized that
I struggled with before the mission. I didn't know scripture language
at all. Luckily I get to catch up. šŸ˜œšŸ”« haha it's a lot of fun though.
We are also working with other families that I'm still getting to know
since I've only been here for about 4 days.

This past weekend we taught almost everyone we came in contact with
about the atonement of Jesus Christ. We hear almost all the time that
he died for all of our sins. That's true but there is more. Alma
7:11-12 we see that it's not just the sins that he suffered from but
everything that we could possibly go through. So that he could know
according to the flesh, how to succor his people. He died on that
cross so that all of us could lives prosperous lives. To have an
opportunity to feel of gods love as we are worthy of it. So that we
might not perish, but have everlasting life. The atonement truly is
the only way we are able to experience gods love in this life. Through
Christ we feel and know that father and his plan. Christ didn't just
die to have immortal life he died so that we can enjoy the life that
we have been given.

It's such a privilege to share the message of Christ to these people.
Easter was great. Elder McDaniel and I tore up an Easter egg hunt this
last Saturday in between sessions. Had some hot dogs with some
jalapeƱo mustard. Wow that was good. I'm experiencing a whole new
world with jalapeƱos and onions and peppers. You wouldn't believe the
food I eat mother. It's crazy how things just happen like that.
Learning a lot, loving life, and I have quite a bit of time left so
it's going to be great!

Elder Archibald

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Goodbye to Vancouver---Hello Portand

Hey dad! 
Things out here have been going great. Enjoying my new area in a new city. I've spent a lot of time up in Vancouver and I kind of miss it actually. Almost spent a year there.

 Portland has its ups and downs though. This last Sunday was  kind of interesting. Elder Russell and I were walking around contacting potential investigators and got a few lessons in with people in passing. People are willing to listen and that's all we need. Hopefully we will be able to spike some interest when we do so. But anyways we are walking back to our place and it was quite a walk so we ran into a lot of people. One lady and her daughter we talked to specifically. They were walking alone on one of the sketchy places of our area and we decided to talk to them. She is a single mother and wants to give what she can for her kid to have a great life and we happened to throw in some gospel topics in with that. It is just amazing to be able to share such a hopeful and inspiring message to as many will hear. And it's all worth it once that one person decides to meet with us and learn more. A lot of people here in Portland say " ya we'd love to" but are really sincere so we are working on sifting for gold as of now. Another funny story. After we finished talking to that woman and her kid we continued walking back and we talked to a marine that was a less active Lds member. He started telling us how he went less active and how he still believes everything and that its ok that he is where he is at. The confusion is real! Lots of interesting ideas. But while we were talking these two guys which I'm not sure were sober came up to us and asked if we could say a prayer with them and we accepted. We folded our arms and bowed our heads and he grabbed our hands for a circle prayer thing. He started saying the prayer and we just went with it and he started rubbing our hands with his thumb. It was interesting ahah. We ended up talking more afterward and gained some reinforcements when in time of need. The marine said that if we are ever getting messed with when he is around he will fix that and then followed by showing us his scars from road side bombs and others haha. I've gained a huge testimony in the white shirt and tie. We stick out and people can easily recognize us as representatives of Christ. And also Mormons which people aren't fond of sometimes. So continuing the story we continue back to our place and we run into this lady named Spring. She asks for 5 dollars in 1s and we start pulling out our change and we are short so we struck up conversation about our purpose and she answered with the desire to actually sit down with us and talk. As we concluded the conversation she attacked my companion with a hug. So I'm in the background with a look of horror. In the midst of this I'm thinking, " hey what are you doing?! We are missionaries!" And then just hugged me. The night ended on a weird note that's for sure. Random lady on the street hugged us and we couldn't do anything about it. 

I you have spoken a lot about mighty prayer and I always asked the question what does he mean? So I have now found out. I believe it's in alma where he labors in might prayer and fasting when he journeys from the city of ammonihah. So the conclusion I've come to is that you plead with your father in heaven truly humbling yourself and pleading with God in all things. Not wrote sayings. It's definitely a hard thing to do.

Right now I'm with Elder Russell. It's been good working with him so far. We are getting to know the ward a little bit and it's going pretty good. It's crazy to think that we are having an exchange student staying with us. It will be a little different coming home to that but exciting. You will have to sport another high school student. That's exciting. Time just continues to fly by and we will soon be talking on skype again. Crazy how that works. 

I know that what I'm doing is the work of the lord. And that everything that we go through in this life happens for a reason. Learning from all of it and reacting positively is the key to really having his help throughout your life. It's hard trying to make decisions because you won't know if they were the good ones until after they are said and done. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and the Joseph smith restored what was once lost. I'm learning everyday about how magnificent the gospel really is as I share it and study more and more. I'm grateful to be out here serving. My mission president had an interview session for the zone and when I went in he told me some interesting news. Our mission is splitting in a few months and he has a feeling that I will be heading that direction. As a zone leader he thinks that I will help start the new mission. It took me by surprise but I won't know for sure if that is happening until a month or so. I go wherever the lord wants me. It's what best! Good things are happening!

E. Archibald