Monday, November 28, 2016

#LIGHTtheWORLD

Hey y'all! 👋🏻 

This week has been a great week especially because of Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a good one. We had very much food and I learned that dressing is just stuffing and people here say it weird, so that's cool. I am in love with cornbread stuffing, it's pretty much all people have here, the staple of Thanksgiving. We had 3 Thanksgiving dinners, one Monday and two Thursday. And it was way too much food but it was delicious so it's good with me. 

I spoke in church this week and just so everyone knows, even being a missionary doesn't make it any easier or better, but it was awesome. I talked on overcoming doubt through faith. Studying this was really awesome because being a missionary in the Bible Belt, you have basically every reason to ever doubt thrown at you at least once a month, pretty rough, but through faith all doubt can be overcome. When we doubt we question our testimony and the things we do, this doubt is our doubting between good and good, it's determining whether something is of God or not. We know from D&C 50:24
24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
We each have our own personal fires that keep us warm as we stoke them with proper fuel being the things of Christ. We got our initial from Christ, for he is the light of the world and he declared we are the light of the world. This flame grows when we remain faithful. So when doubt comes, darkness tries to overrule the light but it cannot do so, so long as we do not have unbelieving hearts. Continue believing in the things we do know, rely on others light for a time if you must, but no amount of darkness can overcome Gods light so long as we stoke it with Gods fuel he's given us through the teachings of Jesus Christ. There are answers to every question and every doubt, but we must be willing to seek, or we will never find, if we don't knock, it can't be opened unto us, knock all the doors not just one, if we never ask, we can't receive. We must "engage in a wrestle with God" as Sherry Dew would say and if we do, our answers will come. Remain faithful to the things we know to be true already and doubt will dissipate. If anyone wants to learn about this or has doubts, I can't put it all in an email but I'd invite you to study this subject yourself with prayer and pondering. In Sunday school come follow me under November you'll find this subject. It's awesome to read and study about.

Dallas Daze

So this week wasn't so much a funny experience as it was an awesome one. Wednesday we were driving back from an appointment and pulled behind quite the vehicle. This was something I wouldn't expect to see in a land of raised trucks. Me being a car guy, I thought this was super cool. 

Now that Thanksgiving is over we can finally begin the best time of year for missionary work! Christmas Time! I'm sure everyone has seen the Christmas video and if you haven't, do it. This year is going to be awesome! We use strands of Christmas Lights all throughout Christmas. The way those work are each light passes the current to each other and together they light a tree, they make it beautiful. If one light is loose then the rest of the strand can't receive the current. That current comes from the life of the strand. That life is the outlet. As we understand Christ being the light and life of the world, he needs us to light whole tree. He's got the power, very capable, but we must be as one strand to make the tree beautiful. And how noticeable is a tree exquisitely lit all around than a tree half lit with lights here and there. Temple square is a tourist attraction for a reason, light is beautiful to all people. Especially at Christmas time, temple square is a hot spot to visit for both members and non-members. Strands upon strands upon strands lighting everything in the grounds with grandiose light that everyone in the world recognizes as beauty. So it is the same with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are a worldwide church and as each ward or "strand" lights up with service and charity that we pray for through this Christmas season, the world or "tree" will brighten and everyone is going to notice. The Lord is capable of powering each of us with this radiant light, there is no limit, no cap on his power and he can brighten the world and tell the universe it's Christmas, will you dim the strand or will you light the world? #LIGHTtheWORLD

I know that some amazing things are gonna happen if we can all serve those around us and the gathering of Israel will be hastened from this. 

I hope everyone is doing well and I love you all very much! 

Elder Hiatt

P.S. I'm not sure why the font keeps changing in this, apple products are lame. 




Monday, November 21, 2016

Sorry About Last Week, November 21, 2016






Hey Everyone!

So last week I'm sure you noticed I didn't write an email. Reasoning behind that was I honestly got done writing emails to everyone that sent me one and thought, "Awesome I got em done!" Then went and played basketball. So I apologize that I forgot to send one!

This week has been great! We have been doing much service for people as well as trying to find new investigators. Being in a car is both a blessing and a curse, on a bike its casual and normal to stop and talk to someone you see, but in a car you can't just slam the brakes and chase someone down or they'd probably have a bit of a cold shoulder to what you'd have to say. So we have been biking around when we don't have specific lesson plans, it's been a dream especially since it's no longer ridiculously hot outside. 

Just so everyone knows, east Texas is amazing. If you ever drive through, come to Tyler and drive around Tyler Lake. BEAUTIFUL. 

The experience I want to share this week is not necessarily my own but I did get to play a role in it. This week we went on exchanges with our zone leaders. I went to another area with Elder McAllister. He and his companion the day before were walking in a parking lot of a mall that was basically deserted. There was no cars or anyone for a good 200 feet in any direction. So they were walking and talking when this guy behind them calls out, "Hey wait! Who are you guys?" They flip around immediately pretty startled that someone just appeared and was wondering who they were. They sat awkwardly realizing he asked them something and then stuttered out that they were missionaries. The guy then asked, "What do you do?" So they told him. He accepted to learn more and so they went their ways. Crazy.

Well this guy calls the next day when I'm on exchanges with Elder McAllister and asks if we had eaten yet. We had but we asked if he wanted to meet up today instead of Sunday and have a lesson, he said sure what time and so we then had a lesson planned at the church. When we got there he introduced himself as Mike and we went on with our tour of the church building and lesson. He then relayed his side of the story of how he met the other elders. He was driving to Chipotle for lunch when he saw Elder McAllister and Elder Blanthorn walking across the street in the mall parking lot. He parked at Chipotle and felt a strong urge that he must speak with those two men immediately. So he drove over, parked his car, and ran after them until he caught up. That is how Mike met the missionaries! Crazy! We then had one of the best lessons I've had on my mission. Though I didn't get to be a part of him finding them, I was humbled I was able to have a lesson with him and meet him. So darn cool how the Lord works. 

Something we have been sharing at dinners the past couple of weeks that I invite you all to have for family night is the story of Naaman. The verses specifically we have been reading are 2 Kings 5: 9-14. Small and simple things can bring about great things, so we shouldn't need to expect to do this grand and crazy things when we want to share the gospel with someone. It's the small things. With this and as you discuss how those verses apply to missionary work, pray and seek for opportunities to share the gospel with someone you know or someone the Lord can place in your path and be simple! Participating in the Lord's work is a true blessing and I challenge all of you to pray and seek for opportunities! They're all around us and as we tell the Lord we desire to help, he is going to work miracles through us. 

Dallas Daze

So this week we had a crazy experience. I won't say who but someone we work closely with is doing genetic research and things on.......COCKROACHES. We got to see their workshop and everything and it was DISGUSTING but it was awesome at the same time. There were so many of them! I was so grossed out that forgot to take pictures to show you all but I'm sure there are many that aren't too sad about that.

Another one since last week we didn't get to hear one, if you live in east Texas, your probably have a dog, its that simple. Well this family is a foster home for puppies, and yes, it was fantastic. I shall attach pictures. 

Another fun but not really that fun thing that happened this morning was we discovered a random flat tire on our car! Yay! It was fun though. I don't think I've ever changed a tire but I can now say, it isn't that hard. 

That is about it for this week, we got to up our game in the missionary lawn care business, you'll see what I mean. We found a very astonished investigator that couldn't believe their eyes at the sight of the Book of Mormon, took some pictures of what it looks like out here, pretty awesome. I'm loving it out here and I leave you with the utmost assurance that I know the Book of Mormon is true! If you don't know it yet. You can. Read it, and pray about it. It's that simple, so many things are possible and give so much hope because that book is true. I testify of our Savior that He lives and those that lean on him will never be forsaken.

I love ya'll!
Elder Hiatt

Monday, November 7, 2016

Trials of Faith, November 7, 2016

Hey Y'all!!!

So sorry about last week. Transfers were very crazy because it was Halloween and we had a different Preparation Day schedule, I was being transferred, and my companion was flying home that transfer, it was hectic so I wasn't able to get a proper email written to y'all. But now that I'm settled in to my new area, here we go! 

To start, I have been transferred out to Tyler Texas, technically Bullard, Texas and Whitehouse, Texas are my areas (also cover Jacksonville) but Tyler is the nearest big city people would know. So I'm in east Texas, and I LOVE IT. I have a car, which is awesome, we had 4 baptisms this week, which was even better, the shower actually works good, which is exquisite, and my companion is excellent. I love it here! I'll put some pictures of what it looks like out in east Texas, SO much better than the big city with all its traffic and such.  

This week I want to share with y'all something I wanted to share last week, something that I realized and grew to be thankful for. I had been seeking since the MTC to develop the gift of faith. I wanted to do it so I asked for help on the matter in prayer, and though your specific situation might not be the same, the principle stands. As I sought to develop this, there has been some of the greatest and most difficult trials these last 5 months and I was really having to grit my teeth and keep moving. I knew serving a mission would be hard, I knew it would be a growing experience, but I didn't understand why things were happening the way they were. Just before transfers, it all fell before my eyes. I could see then and remembered, that I had asked God for help in developing this gift of the spirit. Well we know that "ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." As I pondered and thought on the matter of the trials and how to overcome them and what I needed to change about myself to be humble and endure, those words entered my mind and I remembered in essence asking for such trials! I reviewed my mission so far and realized, my faith has been growing immensely! I may not have noticed it in the time, nor did I see the Lords hand answering my prayer, but it was there nonetheless and my prayers were being answered! Now I was faced with the question, why am I not happy, why am I downtrodden and miserable? Well my mission President gave a Zone meeting that talked about what our motivation is and how though our circumstances don't change, we change and it is up to us, through our motivations whether we are the miserable missionary, or the joyful one. True doctrine understood changes behavior, so I sought to understand this because the whole meeting was as if it was directed to me. I found my answer, I found what I was missing. In the words of Elder Nelson from last general conference, "When the focus of our lives is on Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening--or not happening--in our lives." I understood I was doing this for Jesus Christ, but I didn't understand the doctrine of why I was, of the motivation behind the why. I saw then that when I had prayed for help in development, I had prayed for trials, for hardships, I had prayed for change and change is hard. But there is joy to be had when we understand the why of our motivation to do it for the Savior. To do it with a focus on Him and His gospel. I invite you all to seek the why behind your motivation, to find the joy in the journey of refinement, if you are struggling and miserable, I promise you there is joy. "Seek and ye shall find..." I know it. I know there is such joy that is placed before us to be taken. To be enjoyed, we are not here to suffer, we are here to prepare to meet God through his plan of HAPPINESS. It's not the plan of suffer and then eventual happiness, it is simply the plan of happiness, and that happiness can be had all along the way. I promise it. What a joy my life has become as I understood the why and changed my motivation, as I understood my Savior's atonement and sought to change. "...His hand is stretched out still," take it, let him change you, and find the joy from such. 

Dallas Daze

So this week we had a unique experience. We volunteer at a food pantry where we were invited by a Methodist pastor there to come get some food at their fall BBQ. We dress in service clothes when we go so they hadn't seen us in our shirts and ties. We decided we would go because hey, free BBQ. So we arrive at the church building and begin to think how weird this is going to be, two dressed up Mormon missionaries walking into a Methodist building where out here we aren't particularly loved. But like I said, free BBQ. We step foot in the door and everything goes kind of quiet from the original ambiance. Everyone's heads turn and stare at us with the face of confusion as to why two Missionaries would be in their building. Well I decided to introduce ourselves so I held up our tickets and said how grateful we were to be invited and that we were excited to meet them! Then the guy who invited us came over with his wife and told them we worked at the pantry with them and everyone turned back to their plates satisfied and everything resumed, from that point we got our food and had a very fun time talking with everyone as we ate. They were very very nice and though we still got confused looks of people who came in later, it was very fun and we got free BBQ which you just don't pass up. Very awkward, but very awesome too. 

I love you all and hope all is well! 
Elder Hiatt


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

No Mass Email, November 1, 2016

Because Cam is being transferred and his P-Day is cut short because of that and Halloween he asked that I just put together something.  So I am including the email he wrote to me.  

Hey Mom! 

So my letters this week are a bit short. Because of Halloween our P-day is cut short and I'm also being transferred but I don't know where yet so I also have to pack, as for the week I had, it has been amazing. We had some truly miraculous things that I am really angry I'm leaving. Our investigators are really picking up and member referrals are flying all over the place. It is really fun to see the work exploding in my area. 

Tell the family about this because I forgot to mention it to dad. I don't know if you know about the fair in Texas and how huge it is but it's the biggest fair in the nation. So members in our ward that own a restaurant did the fried fair food contest and made these pulled pork "funion ding" things that are seriously probably what the fruit of the tree of life tastes like. They got top 8 (should've won because they're receiving the most press and publicity from their entry) but they are pretty much one of the top 8 food makers for the biggest fair in the nation. Way way good and we got to try them for dinner Sunday night because every Sunday they are closed but when they take us to dinner on Sunday's they take us to the restaurant and give us free food and pie shakes (pie slices blended up in a milkshake and the pies are also famous in Texas being home made from scratch). It was amazing. 

In the attached picture this was half our meal and those little ball things are the funion dings. Super delicious food and shakes. 

So about my bike, I was riding it and all the sudden the back tire locks up and my pedals lock up and I stop immediately, turns out the derailleur somehow got caught in the spokes and crumbled into a ball. I'm not sure why it did but it did so I'll be getting it fixed today. 

Other than that I'm glad things are going good and it sounds like fun things are happening! Tell Kajsa to hold down the fort well! 

Love you mom! 
Cam


Famous Fair Food!