Tuesday, February 28, 2012

12 DAYS!!! E-mail - February 27, 2012

It may seem weird, but I promise it will make sense soon...very soon...
So, as you may know or may not know,  I have been out 19 months and that means I only have 5 left now. This wouldn't be that bad if everyone in the world would stop reminding me... A lady in our ward has a son who will come back one week before me... so every time I see her it's like she has the countdown memorized!!  I've tried to ignore her, but every Sunday she walks in and says; 148 days left, and I'm like please don't remind me...!
Plus, March Madness is coming up and everyone is depressed because it seems BYU didn't do so hot this year.. I keep telling them to just vote for Kentucky but nobody listens!  When they win I'm going to laugh...
I bet you are all wondering what this has to do with 12 days.... well absolutely nothing... about a week ago the Sisters gave us a referral named Nancy... Nancy is in her fifties  and is super hilarious she's from New York and she lets you know it... She has started calling me her new  grandson (sorry Grandma... I still love you!) and last week she asked me to baptize her!!! So the Sisters who had given her to us had a baptism, and they invited Nancy. Well, she woke up sick and the Sisters told us, I looked at Elder Kozub and said we're going over to Nancy's.  She is going to that baptism,  even if I have to give her a ride on my bike!!!!  We went over and gave her a blessing, and her granddaughter ( named Tuesday) and her daughter (Melody) and then we did service.   At  the end we stood there and I asked Nancy if she was going and she looked at me and said I would love to but I can't... immediately without thinking I promised her if she would go she wouldn't just be spiritually uplifted, but also physically uplifted... to say the least, I went home crying, because I had no idea how  I could have promised her this. I was super upset at myself, but we began the bike ride to the church in our suits and not even half way there my bike brakes went out.  I looked at my watch and knew  if we started walking we would never make it.  So, I started to run and then I jumped on my bike and started coasting every so often dropping my leg and pushing against the ground to keep going... Now I know that mom is looking at this email, freaking out, but this was important, Nancy needed us  to be there.  I wouldn't stop!  My companion at this point was in total shock that I cared this much!!! But I didn't stop and we made it right in time, to every ones utter shock. Right after the person was baptized, Nancy looked at me and said 14 days  Daniel!! Now in only 12 days,  Nancy is going to be baptized and be clean again.
Nothing in my short existence of 20 years could have prepared me for this 19 months . I am so honored to be a Missionary; to wake up every morning and put the name badge on. I know  that Jesus is the Christ. He has restored His priesthood to  the Earth through a Prophet, not because He needed to, but because He loved us enough to do it.
He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it!
Elder Zachary David Daniel

Friday, February 17, 2012

E-mail -- February 13, 2012

Well, it has been an interesting week!
I have all my DL duties back, which is kinda stressful, especially with sisters. It's not that they are bad, it's just when there's a problem I'm not so sure on how helpful I can be without getting too involved. Our handbook says not to council with the sisters so its difficult finding my boundaries. 
My new companion is a alright, we are doing our best to stick together and not get to out of sinc.   His sense of humor, i.e. his joke are horrible,  they are worse than Johns. It's that bad!!!  Received an interesting email from one Joshua King. It didn't really say much, but it was weird, I have no idea who he is and he told me I don't know who he is!  Now I really want to know who he is!! I think I'm going to talk to Pres about it.
My Comp was sick for two days. So it was tough doing work. It seems that all my Comps get sick lately. Mom I never told you that I'm really thankful you wrote down my setting apart. It has helped a lot to read through.
Well to answer some of Meaghan's questions we do go to Ward Council and yes its frustrating... we usually argue about the WMP and someone gets mad but we really try not to get to involved in those meetings, we just tell them what we did this week and sit there and listen to the problems in the Ward. I can only remember once were they actually asked me on a suggestion to help with the young men and that's only because the young men in that ward loved us. Hows your DDMs out there? Is your District Leader as awesome as me?? Don't give the guy a hard time though he does a lot... trust me I know...
Virginia sounds nice, but I do say I love Cali. I'm starting to like Mexican food (not beans) and I think I've got surfer lingo down. Its strange you think of So Cal and I can promise you would never imagine this... more people hang Mexican flags than the do American. Everyone here always talks about prop 8 and if someone got offended in church, 90% of the time it was because of prop 8. No other place probably in the world can you go door to door and people yell at you WERE GAY AND WE LIKE IT THAT WAY!!! It's really quite heartbreaking last Sunday a women bore her testimony about how her brother was gay and no one could accept him and it tore her apart. Sometimes you feel like a guidance counselor rather than a missionary. But the weather is nice and the people are usually friendly and the wards love us. What's more to ask we find, teach, and baptize the Lords elect. God blesses us and that's all we need to do to go day by day week by week month by month all year round.  --
Elder Zachary David Daniel
P.S. This is important I will not email until Wednesday.
P.P.S. love you

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Comp, A New DL, Another Crazy Week‏! E-mail - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Well, I'm still in Highland. I'm sorry I didn't email yesterday, but the second I finished reading my email and started to write a new one, my new comp showed up so I had to sign off.
My new comps name is Elder Kozub. He is from Ohio, the south eastern part. He's in the same mission but a different stake. He is a convert to the church; neither of his parents are members, and his two brothers that are members, are not active. It's gotta be tough for him. It really makes me glad that I have a family that's strong in the gospel.
I also have a new district leader... me... again. I have now been called the relief society president (its an all female district basicly) so it has definetly been interesting. I started my duties today, holding another district meeting. It was about our new zone focus of investigators @ sacrament  meeting. It went fairly well, the senior couple really seemed to enjoy it.
Well, it was weird watching Williams go...Kozub seems interesting... I don't know how this is going to go, my ears have been plugged up lately, I don't know what it is. Plus I  am super tired right now... I kind of want to catch some z's, but no time for that! I have missionary work to do...!!!!!
Meaghan, did you get my letter? They might have sent my letter back to you mom. That happens every once in a while here. The home share accidently forget that we lived there when the post office asked. Yep, other than that, life has been the same old thing. Williams hurt his shoulder, my new comp wants to ride our bikes everywhere, and John was right..... I want the car back!!
Well, I'm going to sign off and get going to shopping.
Love You All,
Elder Zachary David Daniel

Friday, February 3, 2012

January 30, 2012 - A few pics!

Elder Zachary Daniel with President and Mrs. Smart

January 30, 2012 - A few pics!

Elder Williams in our room in Highlands.

January 30, 2012 - A few pics!

House in Highlands we were living in that is being "tented"!!

ALOHA!!!!‏ E-mail - January 30, 2012

Isn't John from Cali????  Saying "Aloha"  happens almost on a monthly basis, it's an "islander" thing.  It's pretty funny though, because we had a recent convert in our ward named Ben and he always does it, but he's from Mexico.
Well, it was an interesting week for me.  They tented the house we were living in, and I am now living with the Span-ams. At first I was kind of upset, cause I don't speak any Spanish.  I kinda wished Meaghan was here because I was soooo lost. But I have a crazy story. We went to our last appointment together on Thursday night and to tell the truth I  was starting to loose my mind . I knew I  was going into another lesson and I  wasn't going to do anything but my goal was to do my best and stay awake!!! So I sat and listened as the Spanish Elders started to teach and as usual I had no idea what was going on... then out of nowhere the spirit touched me and told me to testify. I totally didn't want to, how embarrassing would it be if I testified to them in a language they don't know, but the spirit compelled me. Fighting back tears I began to testify to these people, I didn't miraculously speak in Spanish, but I learned that the Spirit has its own language and as I concluded my own testimony the Spirit hit me and confirmed that they understood my testimony.  The father of the family we were sharing the message with looked at me smiled and said "Gracia's" although I  may not like it, I  had to face reality that night. I'm not the teacher, that is not my job. I'm the conduit by which the Holy Ghost is meant to teach by. I could sit here and tell everything I know about the gospel, but if the Spirit is not there the person will receive nothing to progress.
I finally sent pictures of pants, mom, if you want more just ask. Also sent pics of the tented house and Elder Williams. Transfers are coming at the end of the week and Williams thinks he's going,  but we will see. Highland has been great, we are going to play softball today at 2 and I'm totally excited. I  haven't played softball since Menifee so it should be exciting.  I will tell you how it goes next week.  I'm planning on writing Megs today so expect a letter. Sadly it will not be in Ukrainian, I'm not that awesome!
Well,  I'll let you go. Staying safe!
 Much Love,

One Hard Week! E-mail January 23, 2012

As the subject said its been one difficult week. My companions bike broke.  It started to rain and we had two crazy days!
On Friday we received a call that a lady needed help moving. We put on our service clothes ( I  was wearing shorts again in the rain, I'm buying jeans today)  and we started moving at 9 in the morning and ended about 3:30 in the afternoon. It was one of the hardest moves I ever have done in my life. We moved desks that were almost 500 lbs and a china cabinet that was 9 ft tall. It took so much out of Elder Williams and I. The lady was going through a messy divorce and lost the house. She moved into a mobile home. It was a difficult thing for her but she felt close as the army of missionaries ( 8 elders, 1 bishop) moved this lady out of her house.
Tired and weary, the next day we went back to work we tracted for almost 9 hours that day and only took a lunch and dinner break. During our walk to lunch, we ran into an interesting person, as we were walking to Wendy's (thanks to mom)  and on our way we were talking to people, when my comp talked to a crazy person and she followed us to Wendy's it was super weird, but afterwords we lost her. 
Well, my time is up. I love you and I'll talk to you  soon. 

Elder Zachary David Daniel

Not Enough Info.....!!! E-mail January 17, 2012

So, it seems that I have not been putting enough info in my emails. OK... first off, I understand about not wanting a new dog. It's difficult seeing as Jack is now in doggy heaven, but having a cool awesome German Shepard around makes life better, plus Charlie is a grouch!!! I do understand and I can't wait to go doggy shopping with John!!!
I woke up at 6:30 and as usual hit my head on the fan!!! What a wake up. The place I live: we call the man cave, has a bunk bed, two desks, a fridge, two small dressers and a microwave/toaster oven all in a room smaller than mine back home!!! Imagine that! My comp (Elder Williams) is a pretty good guy. He's from Texas, Arlington, and has like 7 brothers and sisters.
We haven't really been riding our bikes seeing as Williams' is out of commission. He just started feeling better after 12 days, but then his bike broke. So we are hoofin it. It's weird having only six months left, everybody brings it up.  I  just looked at the ward directory and I don't know anyone any more so sad.
It's tough to hear about Meaghan, but it happens a lot. We get Elders going to Mexico in our mission all the time and it stinks, but there's a reason for it. At the beginning of my mission there was an Elder named Elder Lamb and he baptised 6 people before he went to Mexico and even later saw them there. We may not know why the Lord sends us certain places, but I can promise you, Meaghan ,YOU ARE NEEDED THERE!!!!! Many times I ask why California? I would have loved to go to a foreign country, but I was needed here in Riverside Ca. Why? Chris and Robin Beltoe, Marcus Welch, Jackie Raney, Ryan Gaines, Julie Lunsford, the Mann brothers, Kevin Smith, Angel Diemer, the Clark boys, John Buzo, and Nelly Salerno. I don't list them to brag but I thank my Heavenly Father for every moment I spent with those 14 people.  They have changed my life just as much as I have theirs. If there is only one thing I learn my entire mission  is that I am grateful for this.  That God knows us perfectly!! He takes our talents, our goals, our motivations and matches us, maybe even handpicks us for a certain person. When you are placed in a certain area or with a certain missionary it's not your mission president that places you there, it's God.  In all His infinite wisdom, He knows who we are and what we can do. These 18 months are going to be difficult!!! You're going to work harder faster and longer than ever before, but you will be so grateful because when your head hits your pillow every night you will be exhausted and you will be sooo grateful for it because you know you worked your hardest, you put in 110% and that's what God wants. " Therefore ye that are called to serve God see that ye serve Him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before Him at the last day." 
I love you all! I wish you well, I'll start the applications, and may Jack rest in peace!!!
Elder Zachary David Daniel