Monday, March 21, 2016

I'm Staying in Dolan!!

The Chloride Parade - It's easy to see why we took 2nd place!!  :)

Hey everybody!

Sending more pictures from our hike to Supai!
First things first, (I was kicking myself for not doing this the week before, but I guess I'll have to settle for the week after) Happy Anniversary to my parents!  27 years is a long time to be married, and I'm so grateful for the example that they've set for me about how to have a good relationship, work through the hard times, and enjoy the good times when they come around!  I hope that when I get married someday, I can have the kind of relationship that they have!  

I do have a little more time today, so hopefully I'll be able to spend a little more time writing all of you! I think I kind of get how Dad is feeling about being released as bishop. A calling like that just becomes such a big part of who you are that you kind of forget who you are without it!  It's already weird for me to think of introducing myself to people as Ty instead of Elder Excell!  

We had an interesting experience while we were teaching the other day!  We've been teaching the grandkids of some of our favorite members in the branch lately!  Being around so many old people, I had forgotten how much I love  talking with and teaching little kids! They're so innocent and full of the spirit. I've never heard prayers more filled with the spirit than that of a little 8 year old kid that is earnestly preparing to be baptized.  Part way through me talking in one of the lessons, the little girl just blurted out, "I want him to baptize me!" and pointed at me!  I was really touched!  

We had transfer doctrine this week, and there's some big news!  I'll be staying in Dolan Springs with Elder Aitchison, but I've been asked to be a district leader!  I'm definitely feeling a little overwhelmed and under-qualified, but I'm so glad that I've been given this chance to learn and grow and serve my fellow missionaries!  There have been two big things that keep running through my mind as I think about my new assignment.  One of them is a scripture in Phillipians 4:13, which talks about how we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us.  The other is Henry B. Eyring's talk from this last general conference's priesthood session.  He talked about how as long as we do our best to fulfill our calling, the Lord will magnify our efforts! 

"I learned this from meeting an elders quorum president in a stake conference years ago. In the conference there were more than 40 names presented of men who were to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The stake president leaned over to me and whispered, “Those men were all less-active prospective elders.” In amazement, I asked the president what his program was to rescue these men.

He pointed to a young man in the back of the chapel. He said, “There he is. Most of these men have been brought back because of that elders quorum president.” He was on the back row, dressed casually, his legs stretched out with his battered boots crossed in front of him.

I asked the stake president to introduce me to him after the meeting. When we met, I told the young man I was surprised by what he had done and asked him how he did it. He shrugged his shoulders. He obviously didn’t think he deserved any credit.

Then he said softly, “I know every inactive guy in this town. Most of them have pickup trucks. I have a truck too. I wash my pickup where they wash theirs. In time, they become my friends.

“Then I wait until something goes wrong in their lives. It always does. They tell me about it. I listen and I don’t find fault. Then, when they say, ‘There is something wrong in my life. There just has to be something better than this,’ I tell them what is missing and where they can find it. Sometimes they believe me, and when they do, I take them with me.”

You can see why he was modest. It was because he knew he had done his small part and the Lord was doing the rest. It was the Lord who had touched the hearts of those men in their troubles. It was the Lord who had given them the feeling that there must be something better for them and a hope that they could find it.

The young man, who—like you—was a servant of the Lord, simply believed that if he did his small part, the Lord would help those men along the path to home and to the happiness only He could give them. This man also knew the Lord had called him as elders quorum president because he would do his part.

There will be times in your service when you won’t have the remarkable and visible success of that young elders quorum president. That is the time when you will need to be confident that the Lord, knowing you would do your part in the work, called you through His authorized servants."

I definitely have felt the truth of these things over the last few weeks, and I know that I'll continue to feel the truth of them as I take on this new assignment! I'm so thankful for all of your love and support, and I know that your prayers strengthen me every day!  I love you all!

Elder Excell

Q&A - 3/21/16

1.) I'm sure you'll give us details in your letter, but where will you be laying your head at night by the end of this week?? Will you be staying in Dolan or headed to someplace new??  -- Staying in Dolan! More on that in the letter! Same mailing address!

2.) I've been meaning to ask you about your piano solo in church from a week ago. What song did you play and how do you feel it went? (Not gonna lie, I miss my Sunday afternoon private concerts!Heavy black heart Maybe the next time you either play or go practice at the church, you could record on your voice recorder app and send to me!! I'd love that!!)  -- I think it went really well considering that I don't really have the practice time that I usually do.  I'll see if I can work something out with a recording for you!

3.) What was the most disappointing thing that happened to you this week?  -- We actually haven't had very many dissappointments lately!  I'm probably jinxing it, but right now life in Dolan is good!

4.) What was the best moment of your week?  -- We met a really cool lady in Meadview who's been going through some really hard times this Friday, and we invited her to church this sunday, and she came!  It might not seem like much, but a lot of times in missionary work the people you think will come to church don't, so it was cool to see someone actually come the first time we asked!

Our favorite signs in Chloride - some great wisdom here!

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