Thursday, January 30, 2014

Attended Gilbert temple open house, a baptism and transfers both coming up!

Weekly Email
Gilbert Temple Open House 
Glad to hear everyone is doing well! This week was great, was able to go through the temple twice. Man that temple is absolutely beautiful, massive too. The stain glass and the mirrors are incredible. They have mirrors reflecting off each other all over the place, it's really neat. We went with the Murphy's and took E--- and C----'s wife through the temple. They loved it. C---- was going to come but he was caught up at work, we will go with him in the next few days. E--- is still good to go on Saturday, we had one last lesson with him last night. He is facing a lot of adversity (wife is leaving and his parents basically disowned him this week when he told them about his baptism) but his faith is so solid. He knows it's true and sees all of his trials as the devil's last effort to keep him 'dry' as he says. Last night was a very powerful experience, Brother Murphy gave him a blessing and we showed a Mormon message (called I hope ya know I had a hard time) Click on link to watch Mormon message mentioned:  It's about trials, shared ether 12:4 and all of us shared our testimony with him. The faith of people such as him and T--- really amazes me. T--- blessed the sacrament for the first time on Sunday' that was really awesome. He was super nervous but he did great. He had a really cool experience with prayer this week. He is a garbage truck driver and there was an accident where the hydraulics on this 9000 pound loader broke and fell on top of his coworker and trapped him against the truck. He said he said a quick prayer out loud and the hydraulics started working again, the his friends only had minor injuries. It was a real testimony builder for him. Haven't met with C----- in a bit but we should see him in the next day or so to go to the temple with him. Transfer calls are on Sunday, can't believe they are here again. I have been here for over 4 months now so I could be on the move, haha, we will see. I would love to stay. Tell G'ma Hutchens thanks for the letters she sends, I got a letter in the mail to her today so she should get it soon. I got the cards from you guys, that was very nice of you guys. The pictures were hilarious, everyone got a kick out of them. Getting mail always makes the day, haha. Package hasn't gotten here, probably will be here today. I wouldn't send anything this week in case my address changes because of transfers. Still been doing the Book of Mormon challenge from Elder Wright, I love it. It has been awesome. Getting more from it than I ever have. Still working with the P--- family, we raked some leaves for her this week, hopefully she can make it to church next Sunday, she has a crazy schedule sometimes.
 Thanks for all of the love and prayers!!! Love you guys!!! I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Anyone, anyone at all who reads and prays with a sincere heart will gain a testimony as well. It's simple as that. I know my Savior lives and I see his hand in my life and in the work every day.
Elder Mountain

Friday, January 24, 2014

Temple open house starts and Rae's first vision picture :)

Weekly Email
Gilbert Temple Open House starts this week!!! :)

Thanks for all the emails and pictures you guys sent. Looks like you had a lot of fun this week. This week has been good. E--- is still on date for baptism on the first. Brother Murphy will be baptizing him, his good friend who lives in our ward. He is still really strong, we have one last lesson on Wednesday with him and the sisters in his home area will meet with him often until his baptism. The Murphy family is so awesome. They are really good friends with 3 of our investigators. On Thursday they are taking us to the temple with all three of them, along with 7 other nonmembers. With just a few member families like that that really make it an effort to share the gospel it can change the tone of an entire ward. We had another great lesson with C---- this week, he has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, I know that an answer will come for him. I can't wait to go through the temple with him and E---, and for our investigators to meet each other, which is pretty cool. You've got to meet 
C----- some time Pa, he reminds me a lot of you. He has a plumbing company similar to Mountain Carpentry, loves old cars and some of the stuff he says reminds me a lot of you. There have been a lot of rumblings about one of our wards splitting pretty soon, along with our stake splitting. So next transfer, if I am still here, the wards we cover could change a bit. Both of the wards are massive, by the time the first hymn is over there is standing room only filled to the back of the gym. We had a lesson with a new investigator this week named M---, who is a pretty stanch baptist, it was a challenging lesson because he kept trying to bash, asking us to prove things. But we got him to see that it all comes down to humbly reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, unless we do that basic step it's really hard, almost impossible, for all that other doctrine to be 'proven'. We did unfortunately had some cancellations this week. We weren't able to meet with K-- because she was feeling ill but her fellowship (friend from church) was able to go over and visit on another day. We also weren't able to meet with 
S----- because of the same reason but we were able to get both of the appointments rescheduled. We haven't  been to the temple yet but we should be there several times this week. A lot of members have asked us to tag along with them and their friends, which is awesome. A perfect way to get to know them. Transfers are coming again already, not sure what's gonna happen. Hope to stay though, or go back to Spanish work to freshen up my Portuguese, would be cool. We were able to help with a move and do some yard work, which was nice. I like to be able to get out of proselytizing clothes when I can, haha. I really love how I have gotten to know all of the members here. They are awesome and are doing their best to help us out with the work.
First Vision picture Rae drew for Nate and
has became a favorite among the missionaries :)
So that picture Rae drew of the First Vision
( first vision Joseph Smith had, seeing God, the Father and His son, Jesus Christ) that she sent a while ago has gone 'viral', haha. Everyone has been taking a picture of it and setting it as the back ground to their phone, haha. All the missionaries love it! You are famous Rae-Rae, haha. Had another zone tie trade this week, my collection is still growing, haha. I have really enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon 10 pages a day. I would always read it everyday of course in studies but it was kind of more hoping around by topic. I have found I enjoy doing both, read in order and then study a topic or lesson. The Book of Mormon is true, aint a doubt about that, haha. I love how it speaks to me when I have questions. I have a new favorite chapter, at least for now, haha, 2 Nephi 9. It explains how we obtain salvation really, really well. I have been turning to it a lot in teaching lately. Hope you guys have a great week!!! Sorry about emailing a bit late its been a crazy day, haha. love and miss ya!!!!!

Elder Montanha
Saturday, Janurary  25th is Nate's 200th day of his mission!!
We sent him a fun celebration box! The girlies did great decoratating :)
Happy 200 days Elder Mountain!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Surprise, Elder Wright and "OYM's"

Weekly email
Surprise visit from a favorite uncle!! 

Man that's some crazy weather back home. Georgia weather is always a little crazy but that's pretty extreme. The weather is in the 50's for the most part here, pretty pleasant. Man it was a huge surprise to see Danny and his crew. I got a call from them and I couldn't believe it. It was awesome to see them again and chat with them. Could be the last time I see Daniel before he heads on his mission. Tell them thanks again for stopping by. This week was a great week. First Elder Holland couldn't make it to speak, that was some bad news, but we still had the 3 mission conference and the mission presidents and their wives spoke along with Elder Wright of the Seventy. I felt bad for Elder Wright, he got a call from Elder Holland only 48 hours before that he would have to take his place. He said no one is more disappointed he isn't here than he is, haha. He gave an amazing talk though, about taking advantage of our time here in the field and really experiencing the gospel we teach in our own lives. He gave the challenge to read 10 pages of the Book of Mormon everyday on the mission and for the rest of your life and you will finish it every 2 months. I'm gonna do it. We had a challenge in our zone to see who could have the most 'oyms' or street contacts in the week because the zone's numbers were a tad low. They offered a $15 gift card to the companionship who got the most to Red Robin. Elder Ault and I decided to make it a point to talk to everyone one we possibly can and we got a little more than double what we usually get. It was great. We met two potential investigators in our apartment complex from it this week. It's super easy to 'oym' with the temple too. Most people are really interested. But there is one church here that is telling their members not to go and we find out really quick that they have zero interest in talking to us or seeing our fancy building, haha. It's kinda sad their hearts are really that hardened, all we can do is invite. E--- is doing well, still good for the 1st. We had one last lesson with them and now we handed him off to the sisters in the ward where he lives to teach him until his baptism. He is so excited to get baptized, I can't wait for him. We had some really good lessons this week. We also made it an effort to bring a member to every lesson we had. The number of lessons we had went down a little but the quality of them was much higher. Members really do make lessons. We had one particular great one with C----- where we committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. The member who was at that lesson bore a very powerful testimony and I believe that really touched C----- and has led him to be ready to progress. We did some service this week, which I really enjoyed. Got to pick some weeds out of a garden for the Schoenburg's and dig up some cactus for some non members who are actually RLDS, never met anyone from that church before. Had some great conversations with them. I hope it will lead to something. I can't believe I have been in the area 3 1/2 months already. I love being able to call all the members by name and am starting to be able to know their kids names. It's really awesome. Probably means I'll be transferred soon though, haha. Looks like the monster truck show was fun. Glad Rae and Pa had a great time. Love and miss you guys!! Have a great week, hope the weather behaves itself, haha.
Elder Montanha

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mission President interview, inspiration and baby sweater ;)

Weekly Email

Hope you guys have enjoyed the break! I sure don't miss the cold, haha. I just ran into an elder here who actually is a VISA waiter but he is from northern Georgia and he said that it may go into the negatives this week and then be back up into the 60's later in the week. Crazy GA weather, haha. This week was great, pretty eventful. Had our interviews with the mission President this week that happen about every 3 months. President Nattress is so awesome, every time you interact with him you feel so good and inspired. I had some questions about teaching and about our investigators and I learned a lot. It was a big ah-ha moment really. He taught me that before you do anything else with an investigator like teach the plan of salvation or another lesson they have to be willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, that's where it all starts. It makes since of course but we have really been applying it with our investigators who haven't been reading daily and it's really helped. E--- is going strong, taught him about tithing and prayer this week. His faith really is an example to me. We have been continuing to visit quite a few members to share a message about the temple to get them to invite their friends. It has kept us pretty busy. The excitement about the open house is incredible. They released 250,000 reservations online on the 30th in the morning and they were all gone by the evening. They released 200,000 more this week and they are pretty much all gone as well. There are going to be so many people go through, it,s an amazing time. I had one really cool experience this week. We were going from one appointment to another not in too much of a hurry but we were going from one end of the ward to another. As we were biking I had a name, Sister C----, pop up into my mind. I felt like we needed to go see her really strongly, I had no idea why though. So we turned the other direction and headed to her house and we knocked the door not sure what to say. We ended up giving her a blessing because her husband was out of town and she had some pretty tough things happen early in the week and she wasn't sure what to do. It really was a testimony builder. The spirit is amazing, guides us just where we need to go. The blessings I have been able to be a part of have been some of the most touching and powerful experiences. Last Sunday our ward mission leader Brother G----- had a heart attack scare, turned out to be not that serious but he asked Elder Ault and I to give him a blessing and that was another powerful moment. I have grown really close and become great friends with Brother G-----, he has a Brotehr Macpherson (fun guy from his home ward) personality, haha, it really works for missionary work, for sure a go getter. Anyways, had a funny experience with that tiny sweater in the picture. At one time that fit me perfectly, it's an adult medium. But once in the wash it shrunk more than I knew was possible, haha. The thing is Solo (his 5 year old buddy) size now, haha. I might send it home so you can give it to him, it's crazy, haha. Love and miss yall!!! Thanks so much for the pictures. Sure miss the Hutchens clan, hope they are all well. Have some stuff in the mail for ya, should be there soon.
Elder Montanha
Always time for a little sword fighting! :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mesa Temple Christmas lights, 'Anti's' and questions for a Pastor....

Weekly Email

Mesa Temple Christmas light display.
It was sure great to talk to you guys on Christmas! I am so glad you able to chat with T--- for a little bit, he is an awesome guy. Tell the LaRue's thanks for coming over, it was so good to see them too. Can't wait for Albert's wedding, haha. So had some exciting stuff happen this week. First I had to go get fingerprinted on Friday to get sent to the FBI.(a new requirement for a Brazil VISA) They told me it normally takes about eight weeks to process but I think that covers the FBI clearence you mentioned. so who knows, maybe I could be off soon. That's a crazy thought. I kind of forget that I am going there, haha. We were able to go to the Mesa Christmas lights and visitor's center with our investigator C-----, the lights were truly amazing. He worked as a security guard for the temple last year so he had seen them before but he really enjoyed going. Had a pretty funny experience while we were there. When we just had gotten there and were walking from the parking lot Elder Ault and I started to get some anti (people saying things against the LDS church members) from some Baptist minister of some sort. I have learned you just gotta 'out happy' any anti you face, which we did. But C-----, the guy we brought to the temple lights, got super super mad that someone would do that to us and let the guy know how he felt about it using some pretty direct and bold language, I guess you could say, haha. (Love it!) It was neat having him stand up for us even though he is not a member. Anyhow C----- is awesome, super nice to us always. Just trying to get him to progress and read the Book of Mormon, we will get it. We picked up a new investigator this week H--- is her name. She is from China and is married to a less active member. We showed her the temple presentation and invited her to church and she came. We were super excited. We should begin teaching this week with her. Elder Ault can speak Mandarin with her as well, which is pretty cool. We were able to do some service for K-- and give her a set of scriptures so she can use the footnotes. We have a lot of hope for her. She said she is going to ask he Pastor about what we have taught her and why does it all make sense. I hope that goes okay, haha. I finally got a bunch of stuff in the mail for you guys today and for G'ma Hutchens and G'ma Beve, should be there soon. Have been studying the new testiment a lot lately. I really like reading about Christ's life. The book of Hebrews has been one of my favorites. That's an awesome experience you had Ma with sharing the scripture, that is really neat. The Spirit really does direct everything. As a missionary, it really is cool how what we study can help people out. I know that the Lord directed you to that scripture so that when you were in that lesson you would have it ready and have a testimony of it that you could share. Awesome. We did a lot of member visits this week. Getting them motivated to invited thre friends to the temple and seeing how we can help. A lot of Christmas messages too. We taught young women's (youth age girls) in one our wards this week, haha, about being a missionary and inviting their friends. The youth our awesome, not afraid at all to share what they know. Well love you guys!!! It was sure awesome to talk to you!!!!
Elder Mountain
Comment from Elder Mountain while email chatting, "Can't believe it's pushing 6 months already. Gilbert time better not count against Brazil time, haha!" Sorry to inform this service lovin' missionary but YES your time in Gilbert does count against your time in Brazil! You get ONLY 24 months, however it's split between the two places. ;)
Mesa Temple Christmas light display.

The picture is a bit blurry but I love this guy right here for standing up to
 those that would harass our sweet missionary. 

Nate spotted a Ford Ranger :)

Christmas chat with Nate!!!

Christmas Skype with Elder Mountain!!
We were able to Skype with Nate for about 1 & 1/2 hours. It was so wonderful! Our neighbors, that he is very close with, were able to come over and chat with him for a few minutes too, he really loved that. It was so nice to actually have a conversation with him versus email chatting. He is the same, not sure why I thought he would be different, he was exactly the same. I, as a Mother, completely understand the reasoning behind twice a year phone calls/Skype. I am just now coming out of the sadness brought on by the call, I'm sure it is the same for some missionaries. It's much easier to stay focused on the 'work' here at home and in the field when we keep contact to emails and letters. The call reminded me how much I miss my "Buddy", I so enjoy our long talks.....we'll have lots of catching up to do in 18 months! :)

Temples & teaching

Weekly Email

Super excited to talk to you guys in two days! So the plan is to call from the Lee's home around two. We may also call around noon really quick at T---'s house. We are having lunch there and he really wants to meet you guys. So we will probably call for a bit there and call later at the Lee's for the rest of the time. Anyhow, things are going great. We had some awesome teaching this week. We had six lessons with investigators in a members home, which was great. D-- and H---- C. are starting to really progress. H---- had a minor surgery on Thursday so we came over on Wednesday with Brother Malupo and gave her a blessing. We had another lesson on Saturday with D--, went well. Trying to get them at church. This week we made this chicken cheese dip with Brother Gaytan and gave it to all of the people we were teaching for Christmas. It was an awesome idea Brother Gaytan had. T--- received the Priesthood on Sunday, he is doing great. Excited to see what calling he gets soon.
Gilbert Temple
He would be awesome with the youth or scouts. On transfers on Wednesday we went to the Gilbert temple and took a mission picture. The temple looks beautiful, looks like its about ready. The mission party dinner thing on Thursday was a lot of fun. All of the zones performed skits, they were hilarious. The funniest one was a zone acted out the book of Lamuel. They acted out the first few stories from Nephi from his point of view, funny stuff. We were able to go to the Mesa temple on Thursday as well and went through a session, that was nice. K-- is doing well, we have a really nice set of scriptures that we want to give her for Christmas. She knows the Bible super well, I think she will love the footnotes to see the Bible and Book of Mormon support each other. E--- is doing really well, had two lessons with him this week. Still not sure whether he is going to have to get a divorce or not but he is so ready to be baptized. He is so solid. We finallyyyyyy had another lesson with C----- O. It's been forever since we have saw him. Turned out he was sick for a while and was out of town. We are going to go to the Mesa temple lights with him next week after Christmas. He is super nice to us, he gave me this super nice black sport coat that fits perfect. They are very kind to us. Hope you guys have a super Christmas, super excited to skype with you guys!!!!! Love you so much

Elder Mountain

The gorgeous Gilbert Temple.

Mesa Temple

Elder Mountain would love a few minutes riding on these!

He was given this awesome type writer by a fellow missionary.
He is loving it!! So funny!