Monday, April 17, 2017

Teaching Amazing People

Hey everybody!

I love the people we’re teaching right now and wanted to let you know about a few of my favorites!

First, there’s Chandra. She got baptized this weekend! She's the one I mentioned last week who lives right by the Stratosphere. She's so awesome! She was getting baptized for all the right reasons. And she even overcame a pretty heavy smoking addiction to do it. It's something that I've learned is not an easy thing to do, so I asked her what helped her to be able to overcome it, and we loved her response. "Well, I'm getting baptized!"  For so many people, it seems like just knowing they should or having a desire to be baptized isn't enough. But she knew how important it was, and that's what helped her to stop smoking!  

Also, the Chavez family. They're such a special family. It's a mom and her 3 kids. They've been through a lot, and they've felt the power of the spirit, and they have such a yearning to live the gospel! Let me explain by telling you about our last lesson with them. We showed up, and started out by following up on whether or not they'd read what we left with them - a pamphlet about the law of tithing and a pamphlet about the law of chastity. The mom and the two girls aren't the best at reading, but the 10 year old boy, Angel, is crazy smart! So when we asked if they'd read, Angel told us that he'd read both of the pamphlets AND taught the contents to his family! We asked him if they had any questions, and he said, "No, I read through the pamphlet really carefully, so I was able to answer all of their questions. And we really enjoyed he pamphlet! We were just amazed by it! Now we've been changing the kind of music we listen to and lots of other things!" And when we followed up on it, they really did understand everything! That kid is going to make an awesome missionary someday!

It's such a blessing to teach so many amazing people!

I love you all!
Elder Excell
Chandra's Baptism

 Q&A – 04/17/17

1.) Do you have a lot of anxiety about getting everything lined up for school? How can I help to ease that anxiety?  --  Honestly, I don't really think about it too much. I might start to freak out when it gets a little closer, but for now, it's not usually on my mind. I know it may not seem that way from the amount of emails I've sent you asking about it, but really, this mission has just made a planner out of me, haha. President Snow was a corporate executive for a lot of years, and was also in the military for a lot of years, so his strategic planning mindset has definitely rubbed off on me. So, I don't really think about it much, but the only way I'm able to not think about it is to know that it's all taken care of. So, thank you so much for helping me with it so much!!! 

2.) What is your biggest goal for the last three months of your mission?  --  I've been thinking a lot about that. Like I just mentioned, this mission has made me a big planner, and we focus a lot on having visions, goals, and plans. Just like Elder Ballard's talk from Conference! In fact, Elder Foiles and I gave a training almost identical to that talk a few weeks before conference at a zone conference, haha. But as I've thought a lot about what my vision, goals, and plans are for the last few months of my mission, and as I've pondered on it at the temple, this scripture kept coming back to me. "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."  -Matthew 25:21
So, I guess you could say that my goal for the end of my mission is to be able to have the Lord say this to me. When I go to the temple for the last time here in Las Vegas and I pray and account for my time here, this is the answer I want to have. Obviously there are some sub goals that go along with it, but this scripture pretty much sums it up!

3.) What was your best moment of the week?  --  I learned how to pray in Swahili this last week, using google translate, and surprised the family of African refugees we’re teaching with it! They were all really surprised and touched by it, and the mom was almost in tears! I think it meant a lot to them to be able to hear a prayer that they actually understood. Don't get me wrong, it was a really simple prayer, but I think it still meant a lot to them.

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