Monday, October 25, 2010

3 MONTHS OLD! Email - October 25, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
Yes mom, as you put in your last email I'm three months old; I'm still a baby in mission life, but soon I'll be a kid.  As I sit here and write I wonder where the time has gone. The Lord does speed up time that's for sure.
Well, it's the last week of the transfer, and that means Elder Potter is going home.   We will get a new zone leader and I might be moving ( I hope not I love Redlands, but where ever the Lord wants me I'll go).
I know you just sent a package but there is something I need. You know that argyle sweater you bought me a little while ago, could you please send that here, but make sure you send it to the  mission office in case I get moved.
You asked about Trunk or Treating,  yes our ward is doing it, but we can't go unless we have an investigator go, so we're trying to find someone. Guess what were gonna dress up as???   Yes, Missionaries!!!
I like Johns idea so expect a letter to give to someone soon, also what's up Megs, how is college life?  Good? Haven't heard from you in awhile and was just wondering. 
Well, I guess I'll leave you with another missionary moment. We have this Investigator named Tomika,  she is one of the coolest people ever and we had an incredible lesson on Thursday. Elder Fly and I had the idea of putting her on date for baptism.  We went into the lesson with that in mind. We walked in and began to see how her week was going and we figured out that the finnancial troubles she was having are just getting worse (like everyone in Cali) she was more depressed than we had ever seen before.  Elder Fly told me not to  bring up baptism. While we were teaching the lesson the Spirit was directing me to ask and I was like, "no" do you see the state this woman is in. Immediately I could feel the Spirit telling me do it, so this is what I did. I looked at Tomika and said with all the force I could muster "Tomika we all have trials; Elder Fly and I face them constantly, we have these to test us and make us better people! Do you know how we make it through these trials?" She looked at me sadly and shook her head. " Tomika we make it through these with the love of our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. The only way to truly get this love is to be baptized by one holding the priesthood authority, and we are the only ones who hold that authority, Will you be baptized?" At this time I looked around and Elder Fly was fist pumping under the table Sister Padgett (we had the lesson in her home) was crying and Liz her 11 year old daughter, her jaw dropped, but as I looked at Tomika that's when I felt the most amazed, she wasn't fist pumping or had her jaw dropped, or even crying, she was curious. I knew at that time she felt the Spirit, probably for the first time in her life. I asked  what she felt and she said better than any time she could remember,  and she accepted our invitation to baptism.
If there has been anything that  I've learned here in Redlands, California its to listen to the Spirit,   it will direct you and guide you in everything you do. If I leave Redlands I'll be sad, but I know that the work I did here was good. I love and miss you all, but I'll  be home before you know it.  I might be 3 months old but it still feels like only a few weeks.

Elder Zachary David Daniel

Monday, October 18, 2010

Busy Week In Redlands - Email - Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
This week flew by in my book. Well nothing much has happened. I didn't get to tell you I had an excellent talk last week.  Sister Reeves wouldn't stop talking about it. I like how you complained about no shows at work mom;  I get them every day, for some reason people love telling us they're home and then when we get there no one is home. Well that's missionary work for you.
I have been asked to give a missionary training tomorrow and I'm a little nervous.  I'm training a bunch of missionaries who have been out longer than me, so its a frightening task.  I hope I do well. I  love telling you stories of the mission and I have thought of one hopefully, you haven't heard yet.
One morning while we were on exchanges,  Elder Zimmerman and I decided to go tracting.  The night before I wrote down that we were going to tract Palm Street, but that morning I had the distinct impression to look at the map and choose somewhere else.  I opened the map and looked at Morrison Street and thought to myself we just tracted that street! I kept looking, but the Spirit kept leading me to Morrison Street so I decided to follow it.  Elder Zimmerman and I hopped onto our bikes and rode for Morrison Street and all of  a sudden it started raining.  I looked up to see what street we were on, "Where were we?"  You guessed it Palm Street, if this wasn't a trial I don't know what you would count as one. We were already on Palm Street how easy would it have been to just stop and tract and stay a little dry, but the spirit had told me Morrison Street, what to do? Elder Zimmerman looked at me with his perfect face and asked "what we gonna do partner?" I sadly replied continue to Morrison  Street, and seeing I was down,  Zimmerman jumped on his bike and rode in front of me singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" and commanded me to also sing.  We sang riding our bikes in the rain. If anyone saw and heard us they would've definitely thought we were in a cult. When we finally got to Morrison Street we started our tracting routine. This was our first time together so it was a little sketchy. After we got the bikes locked up and we headed to the first house singing all the way there. The Spirit was definitely still with us. We knocked on the door and immediately a large black man with tattoos all over his arms told us to come in. Immediately he started asking questions and we answered them. Finally the man told us his story. His name was Shawn and he did two tours in Afghanistan. He is still emotionally scared about it and went to his Catholic Priest about it. He told him he was a sinner and was going to hell. Shawn had known he had done wrong things, but not enough to go to hell. He started crying at this point and said "Brothers am I going to Hell?" Zimmerman looked at him and said no. Then we continued to talk and he told us how the Jehovah Witnesses had been visiting with him and had suddenly stopped. Then he told us this was his turning point in life. The night before we met with him he was totally discouraged and needed the truth. He prayed to find out which church was true and if he could have a sign. He told us that immediately a great and calming feeling came over him (the Holy Ghost, this is important) then said he hadn't left his couch until he would receive an answer. Immediately following this statement Elder Zimmerman invited him to baptism. He declined saying that how could he know we were the true church. We sat there shocked, the Spirit had been litterly working overtime trying to get us into his home and he still didn't know!!!  I looked at Shawn and said with all I could muster " Shawn, the Holy Spirit has been working hard to tell you something that we are messengers of God, that we are to bring you into His fold. The feeling you feel right now, I promise you, if you think back, it will be the same feeling that you had last night. Shawn that's the Holy Ghost and He needs you to accept our invitation and be baptized. The room fell silent and to my amazement I knew Shawn was feeling the effects of the Holy Ghost, we all were, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Shawn looked at me and calmly said "I need to be baptized" Shawn's date has been set he is preparing to be baptized and someday soon he will be.  
I know that the Spirit Guides me in my life I have felt it so strongly that denying that FACT would not be just a lie, but a sin. We all must be worthy to have his companionship or we will never be able to do this marvellous work. We are all missionaries.

Elder Zachary David Daniel

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ANOTHER HOLIDAY! Tuesday - October 12, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was yet another great week in Cali., although the temperature has decided to jump back up to the 90s.   Bike riding isn't the most fun at that temperature. Yes, John, I have named my bike, he is Eddie and since I will most likely be riding him till Christmas we have become pretty good friends. The investigator pool is not the largest in our area, but I'm glad to say that I love all of our investigators. Yesterday I had one of the best apple pies  I can remember aww it was good!!!
I did receive all the seminary letters last week, it may have even been 2 weeks ago, I cannot remember time is different when your serving the Lord. I feel bad as I have not yet written back on all of them. Last Friday we had a multi-zone which was really cool, it's when two of the zones get together and hear from the APs then from the Mission President and his Wife. They also have a missionary give an impromptu 5 minute talk, guess who did that. If you guessed me you guessed right. I'll tell the story to the best of my ability.
I was sitting next to Elder Fly when I heard my name called to do the talk and to make things worse I was drinking water and spit it every where in surprise.  I looked around hoping for another Elder Daniel and not seeing one looked at President Reeves and cautiously pointed at myself, after which he gave a nod and a wink. So I got up and immediately started fumbling  all over the place, and then decided to take a deep breath and say a little prayer, after which I decided to let the Lord direct me, sadly I wish I could type more but I'm going to be late to an appointment. Sorry!   I love you all.

Elder Zachary David Daniel

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not Lost Anymore Email - October 4, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
All is well here in Cali. Yes, the weather is hot, yes I am huffing and puffing on my bike.  People are receptive, they ask me if I know why they're  here and  where they are going;  and I think to myself, I know that one!! I still have not fallen yet, and hope to never do so,  even though I know its more than likely  (my skill level is increasing daily)!  I am safe and well!!
First I would like to say, mom can you  send me my mountain dew hat, I need one pretty bad and that's my favorite.  Plus today we got to go to the temple and take a tour of it and see parts and rooms that no one knows about it was sweet!!!
Now I feel impressed to tell you a story that happened almost 3 weeks ago. It was a time in my mission where I was feeling lost.  I didn't feel as if I was proggressing the way I had wanted. At that same time we were working with a lady named Jackie. She had also felt lost. She had those questions I mentioned earlier and she couldn't quit smoking, nothing would help;  fast, prayer, even recovery programs that the church offers.   Elder Potter and I didnt know what to do. We cannot baptize someone who's breaking the commandments, but we knew we would loose her if we didnt. All this stress and worry didn't help me out at all, things seemed to just get worse and I more lost. Eventually, we seeked our Mission Presidents guidance about Jackie, yet I didnt feel it was right to confront him with my issue. Jackie was intervewed by one of the Mission Presidents Counselor and even permitted to baptism as long as she didnt smoke that day. As the day arrived,  I became more and more stressed falling deeper into despair. Finally, Jackie's day arrived and the font was full, people piled into the building.  As I stood outside the font, as a witness, as I had done with others; Elder Potter walked into the water gave me a wink and a smile and then Jackie walked into the waters.  Watching her be baptized was amazing, the spirit filled the room. As she came out of the water I nodded as I was supposed to saying all was good. Immediately she hugged Elder Potter, whispered something in his ear and than unexpectenly ran and hugged me (neither hug is allowed by mission rules) and then wispered in my ear "thank you Elder, I'm found, I'm not lost anymore" then she turned and walked away, went and changed;  while leaving me in front of all the members.  I could feel the warm tears roll down my face and all I could say was neither am I. 
Whenever  I feel down and depressed about the work like "why does nobody wish to talk to me?"  I think back to Jackie, This is why I do this, I  bring People closer to Christ, it should be the goal for all. Lucifer stated it "not one shall be lost" sadly some shall be, but we should all strive to do our best, someone near us or even with us NEEDS the Gospel. It shall strengthen you just as much as them. I love and miss you, but in reality two  years is a lot shorter than an Eternity.
Elder Zachary David Daniel

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Me, My Bike and FLY! Email: Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
As most of you, if not all know, last week I was transferred to a new area.  I'm still living in the same apartment I'm just covering the South Side of Redlands. If you somehow by some grapevine heard that that's the Ghetto you are absolutely right!! Don't be scared the Lord protects us and we have fun. We also have nice homes too. I do now ride my bike and I have understood the power of prayer I have not yet crashed and have gone further than  I have ever imagined.  I'm not the fastest, but that's OK for now, everyday we push ourselves further.
The most difficult thing about being in a new ward is that the members are not totally missionary minded and it's difficult to get them that way. For some more interesting news: one of the missionaries was badly hurt last week. A Spanish Elder last week was at the University by our apartments.  He told some college kids if he did a back flip they had to be baptized,  I wasn't there when it happened, if I was I would've told him it was a bad idea. Well he did the back flip off a wall and pretty much landed it until one of his feet slipped his head landed on the concrete he broke his jaw in 3 places and shattered four teeth.   We got a phone call that morning that he was hurt, so we rode over there (on our bikes) and saw him spitting out teeth all over the pavement it wasn't a pretty sight. The Elder has surgery in 2 weeks and is staying on his mission, but we all had a meeting with the President about responsibility. The Elder has his mouth wired shut for the next two weeks. This shows me that the lord won't protect you when you decide to do something stupid.
I know you are probably antsy to hear about Elder Fly. Well, he's a real quiet guy who is really spiritual and funny.  We are having a pretty good companionship right now. Sister Hall took pics of us and said she would send them to you but I might have given her the wrong email now that I think of it, but I'll talk to her because I know you'll want it.
We also had Mission Conference this last Friday.   We heard from Elder Ringwood of the Seventy it was really good, later I'll tell you something he said in his talk that really inspired me. He did answer the question of the difference between faith and hope, again it surprised me that it was exactly what Elder Christofferson said when he answered it. He also gave us a great missionary scripture its on my favorite list its 2 Timothy 2:4. I think this is the scripture... I don't have my scriptures with me at the moment.
In 1st Nephi,Chapter 1 Lehi prays to find an answer. While praying he sees a vision. In this vision he sees Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ. They give him a book, and he takes what he learns from this book and preaches to the people. Because they don't like his teachings they mock him even try to kill him.
Heavenly Father 
Jesus Christ
Who's life is it that parallels this list besides Lehi. If you guessed Joseph Smith your right. But, it also parallels us we each have prayed to know the Church is true and although we might not have had a vision we have learned it is true. We all have Faith that there is a God and He sent His Son for each one of us. Because of this Testimony we also know the Book of Mormon to be true . We all need to help preach and spread the gospel to the best of our ability and we will be mocked.  I see it everyday and some will get so furious that the will want to hurt or even kill you, but  DO NOT BE AFRAID!!!!  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will always be there. I leave this email with my solemn testimony that I know this is True, Joseph Smith did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ he was given the power to restore His church, and I know he sealed His testimony with his blood in the name of our loving Spiritual brother Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Zachary David Daniel