N's email 12/29/2014

area: Kingwood 2nd Ward, Kingwood, Texas
companion: Elder Six

I love Christmas time! There's extreme Christmas spirit in Texas. Like 95% of the houses have lights and then 50% of them have MAJOR lights. It's awesome! On Christmas day we woke up at 5:30, opened presents, and then went to the church with a bunch of other missionaries to play chair soccer. I have more candy than clothing now (definitely in mass, possibly even in volume). We came home 2 or 3 times with bags full of the stuff on our doorstep. It's crazy! But thanks to those who sent gifts, my favorite was probably... I don't even know. They were all good!

Anyway, on Christmas Eve we raked Sister Harless's yard for about 4 hours. It was fun cuz she's elderly and doesn't have any family close by so we served her and got to talk to her about her conversion story and cheered her up during the holidays.

We also had a miracle this week. Some might just say it's a coincidence but that's cuz they're poopnoggins. But back to the story, I have a crazy goal of matching Elder Six's baptisms before he leaves, which is 10. We already have 1 and then on Friday we checked up on a part member family and the husband, James (nonmember) came running out to us and said that without the church's help his family wouldn't have had Christmas and started saying all this awesome stuff about the church and said "I've known I needed to get baptized and now is the time." He just needs to quit smoking and then we're golden! Then yesterday we checked on a potential investigator we had and we taught him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on his doorstep and when we were talking about Old testament prophets he asked, "So who's the prophet today?" I think he was trying to trick us cuz no other church believes in modern day prophets, but we went on to teach about Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson and he believed us and said he would pray about it. MIRACLE!

I absolutely love Kingwood 2nd ward! I hope I stay here for like 21 months! But it's not up to me and I'm sure there's people elsewhere who need me so "I'll go where He wants me to go"

I love all of you. But I love our Savior more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.

N's email 12/22/2014

area: Kingwood 2nd Ward, Kingwood, Texas
companion: Elder Six

This week has been fun! We got to go to a new missionary training on Wednesday and that was awesome! We got to be taught by President Drake, Sister Drake, and the AP's. What I learned the most is to be bold. Like tell people straight up that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that we have a very special message about Him for them comprising of Christ calling a prophet on the Earth today as He did in the old testament and that He loves His followers around the world and He show that by appearing to His children in the Americas, which is recorded in the Book of Mormon. All the new missionaries bore their testimonies at the end about how we've grown since we've come on missions. I realized that for a long time I've known the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church once again restored on the Earth. That Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That the Book of Mormon is true scripture, as the Bible is. And that Jesus wants me here, on my mission. But I've grown to understand that "the field is white." That people are ready for the good news of Jesus Christ. That they are waiting for it and anxiously waiting to receive it from me and the Holy Ghost.

Anyway, the rest of the week we mostly talked with members about the Christmas dinner and getting them to bring their friends. President Fronk (used to be 1st counselor in the stake presidency) the ward mission leader had Elder Six sing at the dinner and gave me the opportunity (made) me juggle dinner roles in front of everyone. But it was fun.

We also found out that quite a few recent converts haven't had the lessons after baptism so we're going to be busy doing that for the next couple weeks.

Quick story, so sometimes we have to drive 4 other missionaries around so they gave us a Dodge Grand Caravan last week. On the day I got driving privileges, we get a minivan. If two 20 year old guys got out of a blue minivan, came and knocked on your door and said they were there to teach you about Jesus Christ, and you looked past them at their minivan, what would you think. Yeah. yeah, exactly. I'm cursed to minivans for time and all eternity...

I love all of you! But I love my Savior more. And this is where he wants me to be. so this is where I want to be.

N's email 12/15/2014

area: Kingwood 2nd Ward (Texas)
zone: Kingwood
companion: Elder Six

This month has been incredible! And this past week has been incredible!

We had our first baptism on 12/13/14 for Chris. He was so excited and it was great to see. About 70 people from the ward showed up to support him in this step and as missionaries we were so grateful for that! The Bishop, while greeting Chris to the ward, said, "Everyone in Chris's family please stand up." And the whole congregation stood. It was awesome! Elder Six baptized him and after Chris came out of the water his 6 year old son, Di Angelo (who's full name is Di Angelo Christopher which means The Angel of Christ, if you exclude the last name), said "Wo, Dad, are you ok?" And Chris responded, "Yeah, I'm better than ok son." Everyone laughed but it was very touching and brought the Spirit super strong. Then that night we were teaching him about the Holy Ghost and he asked me to confirm him. I was super nervous but I prayed a lot and afterwards everyone said I did a good job. Chris also said he really appreciated what I said. I know the Spirit helped me because most of the stuff I said I would've never thought of. I loved being able to participate in that.

Then on Sunday, we were wondering what we were going to do because we didn't have any investigators. So we went out to give people the He is the Gift card and we got 2 potential investigators! I've been here almost a month and this was the first time we ever had success while tracting! It was such a blessing.

The members are still great and feeding us very well! I'm also expecting lots of letters for Christmas. Like enough to fill a refrigerator box! So start writing!

I love all of you! But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be

N's email 12/8/2014

area: Kingwood 2nd Ward (Texas)
zone: Kingwood
companion: Elder Six

I still love it here. There are 3 things I don't like; 1 it's stinking flat, 2 it's stinking humid, and 3 I have gotten 1 letter and 2 packages. 2 of those things can't really be helped... HINT HINT HINT!

Anyway, the people are incredible. Our progressing investigator, Chris, is still set on being baptized on 12/13/14 and he's still super excited about it. He's about 37 and has 2 kids and he's changed his entire life around for and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I've even seen his attitude completely change in just 3 weeks. He's a hero to me!

We are mostly working with the members right now, they are super willing to have investigators in their homes for discussions and to come out and help us but we are trying to get them to be missionaries to their friends first off. I've learned that missionaries don't want members to hand over their friends on a silver platter so we can baptize them. We want the members to be the missionaries to their friends until they are practically ready to jump into the font and then we make sure they understand the lessons.  We get our own people to be missionaries to through tracting and referrals from Salt Lake.

We also got to go to the Houston Temple on thursday, which was incredible! I love the temple.

We also had this big program in for the Kingwood Stake called the Nativity. They bring in hundreds of nativity sets and put them up on tables around the gym and have choirs and orchestras come from the local schools and perform on the stage while people are going around looking at the nativities. There were soooo many people there and hopefully we get a bunch of new investigators from it.

Quick story, there's a family, the Giles, and they told us about their friends, the Gonzales family, who are super looked up to in their church's congregation (I think baptist) but they have been asking a bunch of questions about the church and are getting close to taking the discussions. That's how I like missionary work to work. Sister Giles also said that over my mission I will see missionary work as it was in the beginning of the church when whole congregations, towns, and cities were converted. That Christ is beginning to separate His people and that He is preparing people's hearts faster than ever. The Spirit was super strong and I know that what she said was true!

One last thing, it's a lot easier if you send letters cuz I only have about 50 minutes a week to read and send emails. So yeah...

I love all of you. But I love the Jesus Christ more. And this is where he wants me. So this is where I want to be.

(We've sent numerous letters and cards and packages, and I know others have sent things too - I don't know why he hasn't received more yet :(  Unless he means he's only received that many since getting to Texas. Oh, and things that were addressed to the MTC, but arrived after he left there, might be taking awhile to get forwarded to Nathan in Texas. Everyone please feel welcome to send him all the snail-mail you want - send it to the Mission Office, the address listed up on right side of this Blog. Thank you!)

N's email 12/1/2014

area: Kingwood 2nd Ward (Texas)
zone: Kingwood
companion: Elder Six

Who knew they made a Ford F-150 Texas Edition? Weird.

This place is awesome. The people are super friendly, I got a really nice apartment, by missionary standards, and there's more trees here than at home. It's flat, and humid, but other than that, I like it. And the flat makes riding a bike much easier anyway. Everything with my bike worked out great too.

President Drake is super friendly and also inspiring. My companion has been out for 21 months so he kinda knows what he's doing. He has autism which makes things interesting sometimes, especially since he's the one driving (like we got stuck in a ditch yesterday and was pulled out by a nice neighbor with a tractor). The first day I was assigned to him we went to Walmart to get groceries and he got two light sabers and declared me his apprentice... still not too sure what to think about that... He's super nice though and makes sure there's always something for us to do.

We are the missionaries for the Kingwood 2nd ward, but the mission home is only 15 minutes away and our area gets a car so we go by there at least once a week. The ward is super cool. We walked into a family's home and after about 2 minutes of greetings they started talking about 10 different friends they are inviting to church and activities and family nights. Then they said they'd let us know as soon as any of them are ready to talk with the missionaries. They also said that their home is always open for discussions and they are always willing to come teach people with us. Super cool family! And like 3/4 of the ward is just like them! They also feed us a bunch. Like we had 2 thanksgiving dinners with a crape and waffle breakfast thanksgiving morning... thanks Mom for feeding all those missionaries back home!

We have one progressing investigator right now, Chris. He's progressing really well but he's had struggles getting past smoking but he's also determined to be baptized the 13th. He can do it. He also got super excited when he found out that all men in the church hold the priesthood, after he's baptized he can receive the priesthood and have the authority to baptize his son (once he's old enough). He's also committed to live all the other commandments and is doing really well. He has a few doctrinal misconceptions but I don't think it'll be that big of a deal to clear up.

I'm having a lot of fun here and my companion says I'm doing a good job so far.

I love all of you. But I love Jesus Christ more. This is where he wants me. So this is where I want to be.

N's Mission President's email 11/25/2014

Your Missionary has arrived safely to T.H.E. Mission!
Upon arrival we met your missionary at the airport
and took them directly to the mission home where they were fed Texas Bar-b-que.
Individual interviews were conducted by President Drake.
That evening they were invited to share their testimonies. 

The following morning was focused on training
after which they met their new companion and were transported to their area of service.
They are now out diligently searching for our Heavenly Father's children
and doing the work of the Lord.

Thank you for sending your daughters and sons to us,
they have added great strength to our small army here in the Texas Houston East Mission.
We love them and are so grateful to have them with us.
We are delighted that your Missionary is here and look forward to working with them.
President and Sister Drake 

N's pictures from the MTC - 11/12/2014 to 11/24/2014 (MTC/Potter)

area: MTC (Missionary Training Center), Provo, Utah
companion: Elder Potter


Elder Combrink, Elder McDonald, Elder Heath (and Sister Tavoian)

Elder Stafford

Elder Potter and Elder Combrink

back row: Elder Cedeno, Elder Stafford, Elder, Elder Combrink, Elder Potter
front row: Elder Herzog, Elder Lopez, Elder Boehmer, Elder McDonald, Elder Heath

back row: Elder Boehmer, Elder Cedeno, Elder Potter, Elder Stafford, Elder, Elder Combrink, Elder Heath
middle row: Sister Foote, Sister Tavoian, Sister Casas, Elder Herzog, Elder Lopez, Elder McDonald
front row: Sister Driscoll, Elder and Sister, Sister, Sister

Elder Heath

Elder Potter, Elder Boehmer, Elder Cedeno

Elder Boehmer

Elder Boehmer

Elder Combrink and Elder Cedeno

Elder Lopez, Elder McDonald, Elder Combrink

Elder MacDonald

Sister Foote and Sister Tavoian

left side: Sister Casas, Sister Foote, Sister Driscoll, Sister Tavoian
right side sitting: Elder McDonald, Elder Combrink, Elder Lopez, Elder Potter
right side standing: Elder Herzog and Elder Cedeno

Elder Combrink's desk

Elder Boehmer, Elder Combrink, Elder

picture from Grandma

Elder McDonald

Elder Potter

Elder Lopez

Sister Foote

Elder Boehmer

Elder Heath