February 23, 2015

Show time, once more.
Well, this week was changes and Elder Balcon is now training a new missionary and my old zone leader in Nahuizalco, Elder Flores from Honduras, is now my comp. We’re going to have a lot of fun together! He is one of my best friends in the mission, so i am happy. If Bauserman wasn’t my comp, i was hoping that he would be, so it is going to be a really fun change.
This change, however, started out with a big stress. 3 suitcases of a couple missionaries in the zone were stolen and we had to call around the entire mission loking for them. well, they never showed up and so the 2 missionaries are in Santa Ana right now using church money to buy pants, shirts, and ties. I feel bad because I feel like it was my fault because I was in charge of transportation, even though I know I couldn’t do anything about it. That’s what happens in El Salvador.
Thursday morning we had a pretty sweet zone conference that Pres Spjut came to. We talked about teaching more with love with investigators and were able to put a few dates this week as a result.
All the Americans in the zone are talking about how low the gas prices seem to be in the states. So if anyone has ever wondered what missionaries talk about on PDay, well, there you go. Gas prices.
I scored some new shoes this week from one of our investigators, Ricardo. He is 17 years old and lives with his 2 year old son and 23 year old girlfriend. After a few times of going to church and talking about marriage, we finally have some set plans! They have agreed to be married and baptized on the 28th of March! It has been really cool to see him change his life. He drank and smoked heavily and since the momento we taught the Word of wisdom about 2 weeks ago, he has’nt touched alcohol or a cigarette. Just another reminder that there really are people in the world and my área that want to change.
Right as we were getting all the datos from them to get their birth certificate, the sister of the girlfriend of Ricardo entered the room. She also has church assistance’s and has showed desires to be baptized, but never has because she was living with her boyfriend. When she heard they were going to be married and baptized, she wanted to do the same! She talked with her boyfriend, who we don’t know yet, who agreed to do both things! We got their information to get their birth certificates as well and are now waiting for him to go to church to count his baptism date.
One night, 3 baptism dates. Awesome.
Now, this all happened yesterday. On Saturday we passed by the house of Wilmer, a Little kid who has like 10 assistance’s at church and we were able to get the signature from his grandpa to baptize him on Sunday.
So now, we have 4 baptism dates, one of them being for this Sunday. Finally nice to be able to work a Little more freely in my área now, it was a pretty stressful change this past month and a half and I am glad to have Elder Flores as my comp.
Thanks for the support and everything! Love you all! Go Cougars.
Elder Nate Slack.

February 23, 2015

This a letter Nate sent to his sisters today:

So this is the message we share with all the people here.

God loves us and wants us to return to live with him but knows that we cant unless we know how to do it. This is why he calls prophets.

Prophets are inspired men called of God that work as a guide for us here on earth. They kept their teachings on plates of gold and metal, like the book of Mormon and the bible. We have these to help us know the commandments and know of where we came from, why we are here on the earth and the things we need to do here to return to the presence of God.

But what happened is that the people after a little time didn’t want to follow the prophets or the commandments. They get too caught up in what is going on in the world and sin. Sin keeps us from returning to the presence of God and rejecting the prophets and their teachings. There can still be good people on the earth, but without prophets on earth, they start trusting more in their own knowledge that what god really wants us to do.

The same happened when Christ came here to the earth. He came to do 2 things. Obviously he died for us. This doesn’t mean that every person is automatically forgiven for the bad things they do. We can be forgiven, but only if we obey the commandments and show God that we want to be forgiven. Christ also established his church. he did it with 1 prophet and 12 apostles, a model that would have to be followed forever from then on. They had the priesthood like the prophets of old had.Tthe priesthood is the power of God to act in his name on earth. this is how people can heal and do miracles and stuff, but only if you have the priesthood.

But what happened, is that the people, like they had done before, rejected Christ and his 12 apostles, the only 13 people that had the priesthood. The people on earth later killed all 13, and when they died, the priesthood went with them. Now there was no one on earth to lead the church of god. No one had the priesthood or anything, just the scriptures. People began to understand the bible in a bunch of different ways and began making difference churches that agreed with the understanding they had of the bible. Now there are a ton of churches on earth. They are all good, but there can only be one church that is true. You gotta remember God is a god of order and only has one thing he teaches, but every church has a different way of teaching and stuff, and obviously that isn’t organized like God wants it to be.

The thing that makes the church different than every other church is this. In 1820, there was a teenager who had the same question as you guys. Wanting to know what church is true, how can we know, etc etc. in James 1:5, it says that if we don’t understand something, we should ask god. If we ask any member of any church which is the true church, obviously they are going to say the church they belong to. That is why we should ask God, in prayer which church is true. This is what Joseph Smith did. This is when he kneeled down and prayed and asked God which church he should join. Christ and God appeared to him and told him that none of the churches in the earth was the church of God because they didn’t have the priesthood or the fullness of the gospel like it was here when Christ was teaching.

Joseph Smith was told he would be prepared to be a prophet, and through him, God called 12 apostles. The church is the only church in the world that has 1 prophet and 12 apostles like Jesus said the church of God needed to have. Ephesians 2:20.

Joseph Smith received the priesthood from Peter James and John, 3 of the original apostles of Christ so the earth had a guide again to lead them. He received revelation from God to teach the things that he wanted us to know here on earth.

It is something that is complicated and hard to explain and I didn’t understand it until I was here on the mission. I know it is hard to understand why we do some things in the church, but if you take a step back and look at the big picture, it all makes sense. temples, priesthood, prophet, 12 apostles, etc. it all makes sense and I know it is true.

you all know the church is true, but it is normal to have doubts. you actually should have doubts.

What you guys have to do is pray and ask if the church is true. But you gotta do it sincerely. If you do it just to do it, you’re dumb and you wont get an answer. You guys gotta do it this week and let me know what happens next week!

February 23, 2015

Nate didn’t send a typical letter this week.  He sent this to Gary and I thought it still had some good information….

                    Letter to Papi

Yeah, it’s so interesting man. I’ve learned stuff here in the mission I dont think I ever would have learned had I not served a mission. Things about baptism, repentance, the organizatino of the church, etc. a mission is too valuable to not do.

It kind of depends how much time you stay as a zone leader. Some are zone leaders for a really long time, others are zl for 2 or 3 changes. it depends on how old the leaders in the mission are. Like for example, most of the zone leaders right now go home with me or before me, so they’ll probably be dropping a few zl to get some new guys gain some experience. I assume I am zl a few more changes, maybe till I die.

I’m trying to buy stuff right now that I wouldn’t be able to buy in the states

  I am excited for our little NCAA tourney bracket in the zone. I am thinking that the winner gets a trophy and a t shirt

 Pday always ends at 6. I wake up at about 615 to head over to the church to send the numbers of all the key indicadores to the mission office and then wait here until about 12 so the missionaries can write their family. Usually we dont have to wash our clothes because members wash them, but im going to do it now because the member charges too much (15 bucks a month) and takes too long to get it back to us (1 week). We usually do a zone activity like a slip n slide or sports and stuff like that after having lunch as a zone. For example last week we played baseball and ordered 12 pizzas, it was pretty sweet. We buy groceries of course, but I usuallly just buy bread, cheese, ham, and cereal and milk because I dont have a ton of time to eat as a zone leader. we just hang out, honestly. It is nicer here because we actually have a lttle bit of time to relax for a bit.

 Oh man! I am so pumped for the Michigan game! That is going to be a lot of fun! So it will be the same 4 as the new Orleans trip? Going to the Red Wings game Friday night would complete the trip. Oh man.  It’ll be fun whatever we do. If we dont go to USU as a fam, I’ll go. and what are the chances we go to the ucla game?

Zone Conference is something we do every week here, actually, every Tuesday. it is like an hour of a half of teaching and motivating the missionaries and trying to fix the problems there are in the zone. pretty intesnse stuff

Febrary 16, 2015

Family:

First off, my Valentines Day was good and filled with a ton of love messages between Elder Bauserman and I. He has changes and my comp has changes, so we could be zone leaders together to end his mission. ohhhh man.

I have now gotten all of my clothes skinnied. No more baggy shirts or pants and even my ties are made skinny. it’s pretty cool. haha it’s kind of the trend of the mission. it isn’t skin tight, it just fits me good now. better that way.

I found some reaaaally cool stuff I’m going to get for me and dad. it’ll be a really cool gift for him, I’ve already got some sweet stuff for the girls but haven’t really found anything for dad until last week. i had to get one too.

I want to hear each of your favorite byu moments or games while I have been here in the mission.  I dont know if you’ve sent the package out yet, but i was thinking about things you could add in there. if not, maybe for my last package of my mish for my my birhtday. a ton of twizzlers of different types, a oil holder, and my white byu t shirt with the cougar head on front. i really like that logo and miss it haha.

Friends!

I have to start out by talking about a smoothie type thing that I finally conoci this week. It consists of coconut, milk, and chocolate. Man, it is delicious and is fully worth the $1.25 it costs.

This week was a pretty good one! Every week this change we were able to bring new people to church. During the course of the 6 weeks, we brought 15 different people to church, we are just having a hard time at finding people who want to be baptized that DONT have dumb little restrictions. We have 3 families that are progressing, and the husband of all 3 families want to be baptized but because the wife doesnt want to get married, well, they cant be baptized.

We are teaching a little kid named Wilber who is a stud. He is like 11 years old but always goes to church with his cousins. We put a goal with him and his grandma for the 1st of March, and if he starts behaving better this week, we can count that date this weekend.

We met a family named the Family Chavez. It was a miracle! On Thursday we were on interchanges and I was leading my area. We had had one of the best days of my mission all ready, with quite a few positive news and a lot of lessons with investigators, but walking around looking for a lesson at 845, my comp wanted to go home because we didnt have anything else to do, but i said no, if we find 2 more news, i’ll buy us pollo campero! haha. We tried contacting a couple references that didnt want anything and then right by our house we saw a lady sitting outside so we started to talk to her. We found out that she had been baptized 35 years ago in Ahuachapan with her 2 kids, but her grand kids hadn’t been baptized yet. They weren’t sure why they stopped going to church and told us they’d start going again with their 2 grand kids! Whoo! They couldn’t go Sunday, but they should be able to go this week or next week and we’d have two more dates with the grand kids. Later that night, well, I had to buy pollo campero.

I’m still learning a lot. I finally understand the importance of baptism and that it is the first step we take to return to the presence of our Father in Heaven.

Elder Slack

February 9, 2015

Hey, well, another week gone. This is the last week of this change, crazy to think that i’ve only got a few changes left.

February 2, 2015