Miracles After the Trials

January 27, 2014

Well I have been here at the computer for a long time already so you might not get much :P Elder Hansen's birthday was yesterday and the super awesome Beamer Family invited us over for dinner. I love them! And I love their food! 

Our friend named Luke who has been investigating the Church since I was in Jr. High is getting baptized before the Super Bowl on Sunday. We are so excited for him! He is so sharp! He's already read the Book of Mormon 3 times. Look for pictures next Monday ;) 

Also I am going to Leadership Council on Friday which is always a riot! Woo! and a fun little road trip. 

The work here is fun, I have been discouraged lately because no one wants to keep commitments but we are meeting great new people and Luke finally came to church! So miracles after the trial yet again!

I sure love you all!

Elder Fivas

#SocialMediaSplit

January 20, 2014

Elder Fivas and Elder Seegmiller
Hey Family!

We had a fun Saturday! As a mission, because the "Book of Mormon" musical came to Cincinnati, we had a day full of members coming out with us and taking pictures to flood the area with good things about us on the internet while people are googling the play. So you can google #socialmediasplit and see some fun pictures of me!

Elders Sunderland, Clare, Fivas
We brought Elder Day and Elder Judd from Noblesville over for an exchange and had a killer day together. They were both very excited about what they learned and were very complementary. I sure love those two! Also on the exchange, while Elder Day and I were out hitting the area, I was reminded that I am not dependent on Elder Hansen. It's nice to be reminded that I am self-sufficient in doing the work. (Not without the Spirit) I still can't believe I have another year of intense growth and learning!

Elder Clare and Elder Fivas
The zone did really well this past week as I am sure most of the zones did. We did lack in church attendance... We will fix it though! No one really makes breakfast and there is a lot that can be changed so we'll do something to get investigators to church every day. You know, like actually doing something every day to get our investigators to church! 

The social media split was a lot of fun and was a great success in our area. It was a fantastic idea!

Elders Gunnoe, Fivas and Tanner 
My personal studies are improving and I am learning to ask God to help me ask the right questions to get the right answers. Things continue to be on the up! And Elder Hansen is still working hard, even this close to the end. The mission is good! 

I am happy and always hungry, lately we have eaten a lot of good food too so thank you for the Christmas money and gift cards! It really is the best gift for me!

That's all for now y'all!
Elder Fivas

p.s. Make sure Uncle Danny and Logan know how much I miss them! I love my extended [family] so much! Telisha you rock! 

All of my great zone friends! I love the Muncie South Zone!

Fun week full of adventure and meetings!

January 13, 2014

[And then there were two...its] just me and Elder Hansen:) Elder Stoddard is now a zone leader in Middletown, Ohio!

Man can I just say how much fun it is to be a zone leader? It is a lot more responsibility but it's pretty rewarding to see people and areas change and Leadership Council Meetings are just fun! I love all of the missionaries that I get to see there! I just keep getting more and more friends! Woo-hoo! Also, I have more great news, I found where the Little Caesar's is in Anderson! Yeah baby! 

So the drive to leadership was way fun and it was great to be back in Ohio for a day. It's so interesting to see personalities of the states differ!

I love Elder Carter and Elder Cullimore serving in Muncie! We share the same Stake so we get to see them here and there. Elder Cullimore is going home in February with Elder Hansen and his girl has still stuck with him up to this point haha! On the way back up we stopped in Oxford where Miami University is to grab some dinner. We went to Skyline and let me tell you, I forgot how GOOD Skyline is! How can I live without it and White Castle when I get back? I dunno... 

Elder Tanner and Elder Seegmiller are both really stepping up to the plate in a big way. They are both such fantastic District Leaders and they are growing up so quickly! I remember Elder Tanner's first day down in Eastgate and now when he is calling to report on his District and telling us about the revelation he has been gaining for the Connersville Elders I can hardly believe how much more mature he is. Elder Seegmiller is just as sharp and is on his way to being a powerhouse missionary. He just already seems to be taking charge wonderfully. He's grown up since last transfer as well! 

I feel so much more powerful and confident now in teaching. Elder Hansen is just a great tutor.. Our area is progressing and we are very close to having a couple of investigators on date and baptized. We will have one this month at the very least. The zone is turning the work up even though Satan is fighting viciously against their investigators. We are confident in them though, especially recently as they [the zone] have focused up again these last two days because of a small call to repentance by their Zone Leaders. 

I have been thinking recently about Spanish work and what I can do to help them with all that I have been learning. I didn't know the difference it can make to have so many more people to teach! With more people to teach, it is much easier to have backups, especially when you have a member out with you. Never just tell the member that they are out of luck because the appointment fell through.


I have [been enlightened] on "teaching powerfully". Now, when I don't have to study how to say things in a second language, I just teach better, especially with using the scriptures and a logical pattern that I make clear to the investigator. The 45 minute summaries of the lessons in Preach My Gospel are wonderful for studying the trails of logic. I know that the best teacher I have ever seen using the Spanish language was definitely Elder Carranza. And now I realize how much faster it is to progress as a teacher in your own language, so that makes sense that he is the best.  I am not sure if it is because I have a master teacher for a companion or if the language barrier really is that powerful, but I have come leaps and bounds further. My ways of thinking have changed when in a lesson, so maybe that's all it takes. 

When you always know where to go next with logic and a scripture, you can always get investigators back on track and/or their answers to your questions won't easily throw you into a direction that you didn't plan on. 

I did hear that the Spanish Elders don't have cars now which is going to be really hard for them to find as many Latinos. I do feel that our Elders can find the Latinos sufficiently but they don't know how to teach as well as they could in order for their investigators to understand. It's hard enough to do it in our first language! So really, the thing that I would want for the Spanish Elders, is to catch how it is to teach really well. But I do not know how the Elders teach besides Elder Carranza and Elder Arveseth. Well that was my rant!

Life is good for me even though 0 out of 20 investigators that we had set to come to church with rides and everything came... Haha lame but the ward conference was great! I really love this ward! I am just happy :) Not all of the time because I am still trying to work the lazy out of me, but I wouldn't rather be anywhere else!

Oh, and clearly I am in Anderson for another six weeks to kill off Elder Hansen :)

I love you family!

Here is a picture of awesome Bro McKenzie's tire shop!! We got stuck in the snow, then the tire somehow got off of the rim, then we put the spare on, then we got dug out, then we got a new tire :) Adventure is out there haha

Happy New Year 2014!

January 6, 2014
A Colt's Lanyard and a Liahona
The note says "It's served me well,
I usually already know where it points ;)"
Wristbands for Kelsey

Happy New Year to you too family! 

Did you ever get my Christmas package? I sent something way cool and I will be bummed if it's lost because a member gave it to me... 

[Tell us about the crazy cold you're having/expecting.  How does that effect the missionary effort?] So this crazy cold is pretty crazy fun! I still worked yesterday but we weren't allowed to drive so we had to walk in these big wet flakes of snow. Church was canceled which was a huge bummer because we could have easily gotten home after sacrament no problem. 

In all seriousness I am surprised at how crazy this cold makes these people. It brings out everybody's "wussie side" haha But we aren't supposed to be outside today at all for more than 5 minutes at a time because it will cause frostbite with 10 minutes exposure or so. With the wind chill it is supposed to be -30 or lower so it's a good thing we have a car to keep us warm! 
The car shows -8 degrees at 9:59 am

[What did you do on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?] On New Year's Eve we worked just like normal. haha We had appointments so we didn't have to worry. We did come in an hour early though. We went to bed at normal time but woke up at 11:59 so we could use our party poppers I bought :P It was fun to hear everyone shooting their guns and banging on their pots and stuff.

New Year's day was actually very normal, nothing to report from what I can remember. 
Elder Fivas, Robert, Austin,
Elder Hanson, Elder Stoddard

[Tell us about the big guy that got baptized.] So the big guy's name is Robert and he is actually a recent convert. The tall guy is named Austin and he was the one that got baptized. Robert baptized him it was way cool. So Austin didn't have much religious background at all and it was a blast to teach him. His personality actually reminded me a lot of Tony [Archuleta] so I really like Austin. We hung out at the Christmas party and stuff. He learned quickly and I was there for his first prayer ever and the spirit was very strong. So he knows it's true now and his friend baptized him! 

[How much of your day is unscheduled with appointments and routine?  What do you do during that time?] It's funny that you asked about scheduled appointments. At best we have the evening set from 5-9 with appointments, also before lunch and a couple around 3:00 or so. Elder Hansen and I actually have had a record for us. Since Thursday 12 appointments in a row have dropped... Including church... Haha, bad luck! But that just means a big miracle is on the way.

I mentioned that Elder Hansen and I have had that bad luck streak and not Elder Stoddard because he was actually transferred to Fort Wayne for the week to fill in for an Elder who finished his mission. So we miss him like crazy. I love Elder Stoddard and I am pumped to hang with him after the mission and throughout!

If appointments fall through, we knock a couple of doors around them, or we use the lists of less actives or part member families or former investigators to find, teach, and baptize!
Elders Fivas and Hanson

[How many elders and sisters are in your zone? How often do you do splits with them?] There are four sisters in my zone and twelve Elders including us. And who said we can't do exchanges with the sisters? Haha just kidding. The sisters actually have sister training leaders that do exchanges with them but we go on exchanges once or twice a week. It's fun! There is a lot of training to be done. I am not even a year out and I am the 3rd most experienced missionary in the zone! 

[How many wards/stakes are in your zone?] Four wards and one branch is in my zone which is the southern half of the Muncie Indiana Stake.

[What are the members like?] The members here are amazing! Some of them have done crazy things in their lives but man are they solid now! There are a lot more converts in Indiana. It's cool to see those families who have been baptized a couple years ago and they are still learning and building their faith so much! There are a couple people who were raised in the church but I would say that 90% are converts. I really do love this [Anderson] Ward. They take good care of us. The McKenzie family actually fed us corned beef and cabbage!!! I was in heaven!
Elder Homewood was Brayden's Trainer

I got Tony's email, I was over the top excited! 

I love you all so much!

Paz
Elder Fivas

p.s. I can't thank Elder Homewood enough for handing me down his scarf! Scarves are brilliant!