Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I'm Alive! Just a Delayed P-Day!

Elder Dixon wearing the tie I just finished knitting for him!

It's crazy to think that it's already almost the end of another transfer!  At the beginning of February, I'll have been out for 6 months!

This last week has been crazy!  First off, obviously I'm writing on a Tuesday this week. Our p-day was moved to today because of a big mission conference up in Vegas yesterday!  Elder Lawrence E Corbridge came and spoke to us. It was really great to listen to him, as well as to see all of the other missionaries! Also, Elder Andersen and I had 2 different exchanges this last week!  One with our district leader, Elder Butcher, and another with the zone leaders. Both were really cool experiences!  

On the exchange with the zone leaders I had something really cool happen! We walked up to this house and there was a lady inside just screaming and cussing at everyone and everything. We weren't sure whether or not we should even knock, but we knocked anyways. She answered the door, and basically broke down crying. She told us all about how she was so stressed out because of everything that was going on, and was so glad that we stopped by because she felt so much peace when we did, and we stopped her from doing some things she would have really regretted. It's awesome to know that Heavenly Father will help us to be where we need to be at all times if we let him guide us. 
Thanks to everyone for your continued love and support!

Elder Excell

Q&A - 1/26/16
1.) If I'm not mistaken, transfers are next week, right? Will I still be ok to send a package this week to your Dolan address? I was told I could only use it for a limited time...  -- You are correct. Should be ok to send it to Dolan. I'm fairly sure I'll still be here. If you're unsure though, just send it to the mission office and they'll forward it.
2.) Did you get my most recent package? It had a Christmas gift from Bren and Cass but I can't remember what else. Either my memory is bad or my packages are boring. Not sure which is the better option. ;) -- Got it! Excellent cookies as usual!  Just a note for the future, I actually don't eat that much candy, but if you ever have any granola bars or things like that, they'd probably get eaten a lot faster! Trying to keep in shape, haha.
3.) Have you heard anything about transfers? Are you hoping to stay in Dolan? -- Nothing for sure, but I'm guessing I'll stay and Elder Andersen will be moving on.
4.) Are you healthy? -- Yes!
5.) Are you happy? -- Yes!
6.) What was your best teaching moment of the week? -- We set a baptismal date with a couple we've been working with!! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

When All Else Fails, Sing Hymns With Them

My favorite sign this week!
It's been a good week!  I finally got the chance to meet a lady that the missionaries have met with quite a bit in the past here.  She lives in Chloride, and told us that she used to live out in the middle of nowhere, but her sister convinced her to move to town so she would be safer.  The irony is that she considers Chloride town, and the entirety of Chloride is made up of about 5 streets. Her name is Pat and she's the definition of an ornery old woman.  I love her so much!  She's mostly blind, so we come by and read the Book of Mormon to her and teach her every once in a while. 

We had kind of a weird experience, but it was really cool!  We knocked on this door, and we were invited in very warmly!  It turned out that there was sort of a party going on.  There were four or five people from a few different churches drinking, smoking, and worshiping.  They invited us to join them for some worship, and we really couldn't decline politely, so we hung out and sung a few hymns while one of them played the guitar.  Definitely a different experience than what I'm used to, but it was kind of cool!

hanks for all of your support everyone!  I love you all!
Elder Excell

Q&A - 1/18/16

1.) Did your weather warm up this week?  -- A bit. It's usually about 10 degrees colder in Dolan than in Las Vegas, but it's not too bad right now.

2.)  You mentioned that you got to go to Vegas for the baptism. Was your trip there specifically for that reason or did you get lucky with timing of a meeting of some sort and getting to attend the baptism was a big bonus? -- I went up just for the baptism! 

3.)  What are you looking forward to about the week ahead? -- This next week is going to be really crazy! We have to drive to Kingman 5 different times between exchanges and district councils and other meetings, so it's going to be interesting! should be fun though!

4.) Do you know how much you are loved? -- Always!

Monday, January 11, 2016

I Love the People Here!

Learning to love the desert
Well, it looks like my email for last week didn't send! I'll try to include some of the stuff from last week and hopefully this one will be a little longer.

I'm having problems loading the
video here but this shows a little
of the rain and snow he refers to.
Last week started off very interesting because of a new mission policy. They've been really clamping down on mileage limits for mission cars. Anyone who was over on miles last month had to park their cars for a certain number of days. Now that's all well and good in Las Vegas where you can bike from one end of your area to the other without too much difficulty, but when your area starts at the Hoover dam and goes 90 miles to the south, it's a little interesting, haha. We got off pretty easy though, we only had to park our car for 1 day. Some other companionship’s had to park their car for a week!  Which brings me to another part of this last week; it's been raining and snowing buckets! I'll send some videos of some of the roads and storms. Like I say, we were lucky we only had to park for a day. Some other elders were walking home in the rain after dark, carrying around a piece of rebar in case they came across coyotes!

Last Sunday we had an amazing fast and testimony meeting! I don’t know what it is about this branch, but everyone in it just seems to be amazing! I was close to tears multiple times. Speaking of being close to tears in church, that brings me to this week. Elder Andersen and I were asked to speak, and for anyone who knows me, they know that that means I shed a few tears over the pulpit. I spoke on the Book of Mormon, and Elder Andersen spoke on the atonement of Christ. We got a lot of really nice compliments from everyone, and I think it went really well!

Last week we met a few people who have E.I. (Environmental Illness) - Essentially it means that they have serious allergic reactions to very common everyday chemicals, and in some serious cases can even be adversely affected by large amounts of electricity in the surrounding area. I had heard of it before, but wasn't sure whether it was real or not until I came down here. We met 2 or 3 of them last week, and it's sad to see how hard everyday life is for them. Apparently, Dolan is a popular place for them to live because it's so far off the grid and also has a good climate for them.  One of the people we met was outside and wasn't interested but we asked him if he needed help with anything and that totally changed his mindset! He couldn't believe that two strangers would be so willing to help him. He seemed like he hadn't had any offers for help in a long time, and it was nice to see his gratitude for our offer. It's always cool to have experiences where even if you're not sharing the gospel, you're given a chance to show kindness to one of God's children.

One of my favorite people that we've been teaching is a couple by the name of Ray and Sandy. They're really interesting people. I guess the best way that I could describe it is they're like desert nomads. They live in a camper, and they've been traveling the country for years.  Wherever they go, they pay their way by painting addresses on curbsides. They're both really eager to learn, and are just all-around amazing people!

Also, this Saturday I got the chance to drive up to Vegas and see one of the people I had been teaching in Haven, Pam, be baptized! It was really cool to see her make that step! Her husband, Keith, who was inactive when we started meeting with them, has since become extremely active! He bore his testimony at the baptism, and could barely speak he was so overcome with emotion. He talked about how grateful he was for the chance that they'd been given to grow closer through the gospel. They're such an amazing couple, and I’ve been so lucky to get to be a part of their conversion.

I've been ponderizing a verse of scripture that's really kind of cool. Mosiah 12:27 says something along the lines of "Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise." It's a really cool thought that it's so important to the Lord that we rely on our hearts and the spirit just as much to make decisions as we do on logic.

I've been trying really hard to pay a lot of attention to what the Lord wants me to say at any given time, and it's given me a lot of cool opportunities to share my testimony and be an instrument in the Lords hands.
That's all for this week! I love you all!
Elder Excell

Q&A - 1/11/2016
1.)  What is on the schedule for P-Day today? -- We went shopping, got the car washed (it really needed it this week) and are now emailing at he stake center! We'll probably play some basketball later today! 

 2.)  Do you have lots of people that you are teaching right now?  -- Quite a few! I'll talk about some of them in my letter. 

 3.)  What was the best part of your week?  -- I'll put that in the letter too!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Missing Letter?

We are wondering if Ty lost internet connection partway through his time today.  We received some answers to our Q&A and a funny video of the roads they have the chance to travel every day in their area, but not our expected letter.  We will be mostly content with this for now, I guess, but look forward to more next week!

This video isn't playing very reliably on mobile devices but works well on most computers. He said this would give us an idea of the roads that he travels everyday.  There is only one paved road in his area.

Q&A - 1/4/2016

1.) Were you able to do anything out of the norm on Thursday to celebrate your birthday?? --Nothing major, but you know me.  I've never been much for making a big deal out of birthdays. Haha.

2.) What do you do in the branch on Sunday's? Do you get to play the organ or help teach lessons or anything? I was just wondering if the branch is small enough that they use your help.  --If the main organist is gone, I've been told I'll have to sub, but nothing major yet, haha.  There have been a couple of times where we almost ended up teaching primary or young men/women, but keep getting saved at the last minute, haha.

3.) What was your funniest moment of the week?  --There have been a lot of funny moments, haha.  Really just dealing with members in general.  They're all older, and have tons of funny stories. 

4.) What was your best teaching moment of the week?  --We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with a member family and some investigators.  The spirit was really strong. I just hope the people we're teaching felt it as much as we did.