Monday, September 26, 2016

Week #54

Hey Mis!

Sounds like a pretty fun date! Who's this dude, hmmmmmmm???? Haha. Sorry for the late email, we have meetings like the whole morning, it sucks.

My week was busy again. We had three exchanges this week. I first was with Elder Ryder in my area. He's one of the district leaders. It was a good exchange, it was pretty productive. We talked a lot about his stewardship and how to best help them. Then I went on exchange with Elder Alvarez. His companion is another one of the district leaders. He's a good guy. He's a little different, but he means well. He's from Ohio, so it was kinda cool working with another person from the east. 

Then, I went on exchange with Elder Green. He's one of the assistants, and he's a really cool guy! I learned a lot from him. We were in our area. And he talked to me a lot about leadership, and how to strengthen my zone. He's from Rexburg, ID, so I got to talk to him about BYU-I a little bit too. We had a funny dinner appointment. We ate dinner with two older sisters in the ward, and one of the sister's son. The table was against the wall on one of the long sides, and they had a chair at each short end, and a bench on the other long side. We asked where we should sit, and they invited us to sit wherever. One lady was sitting in a chair on the end, so Elder Green sat down on the piano bench. I was about to sit next to him, but then the other lady sat next to him. He was in between the two ladies. It was even funnier, because the bench was a piano bench, so it was super small. He was soooooo uncomfortable, it was pretty funny. I comfortably sat in the other chair at the end of the table, and smiled at Elder Green. He looked at me as if to say "I'm stuck!". Hahahaha it was pretty funny. 

We had some cool teaching appointments on the exchange though! Karen, TJ's grandma (TJ just got baptized), met with us that night. She had brought up the concern about her smoking for 40+ years, and how she really wanted to get baptized, but didn't think she could quit. We taught the Plan of Salvation again with them, and we focused a lot on the Atonement. It was SUPER spiritual. She realized she had received her answer, and that she can do it. Next time we visit her, we want to set up a plan to help her quit. She's super humble, so we're excited!

Elder Gonzalez and I had to handle a lot of disobedience again this week. It's frustrating, because it affects all aspects of the work. We've had a lot of meetings this week too. Elder Gonzalez and I have been struggling a little bit too. We haven't seen eye to eye lately, so it's been tough trying to work together. Hopefully we'll figure it out though, it's definitely a good learning experience!

Sorry the email is short, we still have errands to run and my time is limited. But I hope you're doing well!
Love you Mis!


Monday, September 19, 2016

Week #53

Hey Mis!

Holy cow! Sounds like a busy week. I'm glad you a had a good bday! How's the old crew doing? That's cool that you got to see Kendal, Joanna, and all them! How are they doing?

I had a BUSY week. We did a couple exchanges this week. I went with a district leader named Elder Pitcher. He's from Canada (eh?). It was cool, cuz I found out that when he was serving in Canada for a little bit waiting for his visa, he served in the same district as a friend of mine from BYU-I! Which was crazy. It was a fun exchange! I also did an exchange with Elder Loutzenhiser. He's a good guy from Idaho. We were biking home at night, when we saw a gray car pull to the side of the road, and a guy frantically jumped out and ran to the side of the car. As we pulled up on her bikes, he was freaking out, yelling and screaming. We asked what was going on, and he said he just got a flat tire driving his mom's car. We helped him move his car to a safer place, and we looked through his car to find the tools. He had a spare and a jack, but no socket wrench or crowbar. So, he called his brother. After about a half hour his brother came with a crowbar, only to find that it was too small. So, his brother went to Walmart to pick up a new one. After a little less than an hour, his brother came back, and we helped replace the tire. During the time that we were waiting for his brother, we started talking with him. His name was Rudy, and he was home visiting from college in Arizona. He played football at college, and came back just for the weekend. It was cool because as we were talking to him, he opened up a lot about his beliefs. He said that he had a lot of Mormon friends in high school, and that a lot of them were on missions. It was cool that he opened up so much! While we were waiting, we asked him how long ago the tire had blown out before we showed up. He said about five seconds. It was pretty awesome!! We waited with him the whole time he was waiting for his brother, and so we had a really good talk with him. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he drove off. It was cool to see how we were at the right place and the right time, and we definitely planted a seed!!

We also had two baptisms this week on Saturday! TJ, a 9 year old boy, was his first in his family to get baptized. His mom and grandma are going to be baptized in a few weeks, so that'll be super cool! A 13 year old boy named Ka'vontay also got baptized! He's a funny kid. His grandma got baptized a few months ago, and he finally decided to get baptized too! It was super cool.

The rest of the week was super busy. There was a BUNCH of disobedience this week that we had to resolve too, so that wasn't fun. It was overall a pretty productive week though!

That was my week! I hope things go well this week. Happy belated! We had two baptisms on your bday, so there ya go haha.

Love ya Mis!

Sent 9/19/16
Sent 9/19/16

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week #52

Hey Mis!

I'm sorry Friday was tough. I have days like that too sometimes. It's like some random day I start thinking about her a lot, and it gets to me. They happen, but what has helped me is trying to do what I can to make her proud. I know she cares a lot about us, so I try to think of what she would want, and it makes me feel a lot better. I know she's proud of us, and she's doing her own work on the other side as well. I hope things get better for you :) My week has been STRESSFUL!!! Definitely the most stressful of my mission. 

We had a bunch of meetings this week. We met with the Stake High Councilor over missionary work in both the Paradise and East stakes this week, as well as with the Stake President of the Paradise Stake, as well as the Sister Training Leaders multiple times, as well as our Zone Training Council. When we met with the stake leaders, they hounded on the zones for being obedient. I guess in the past missionaries in this zone were super disobedient, so it's going to be interesting trying to build stuff back up. There had been a BUNCH of transfers this round (of 28 missionaries in the zone, 15 are new this transfer, 7 have been here for six weeks or less), and so it's been hectic getting everything organized. We have an interesting group of missionaries in the zone as well. They have a lot of potential, but it's going to be interesting to see how they all mesh with each other.

As for my area, it's a pretty sweet area! The work here has been going strong for a while here. Plus, I'm right in the heart of the city. The Strip, the UNLV campus, and the airport are all in my area. They're all in my area, and they are all red zones haha. But is fun still seeing them as we go about. The ward here is small, but it's a good ward. The ward council has been on board for missionary work for a while now, so it should be fun. Each ward I've served in so far had been hurting in missionary work when I arrived, so it'll be interesting learning to keep the momentum going rather than trying to start from scratch. My companion is Elder Gonzalez. He's a good guy. He's from Florida, and he's been out 15 months. He's one of the few missionaries left from last transfer, so he's been pretty stressed trying to bring everything back together. It should be an interesting six weeks!

We have two baptisms this week, a nine year old named TJ and a 13 year old named Kavontay. TJ was found through an investigator, and Kavontay is from a part member family. They're both really cool kids! They were pretty much completely taught by the time I got here, but it'll be fun to watch a baptism! Haha. They were really the only two we had consecutively taught, we didn't have much proselyting opportunities because of meetings. It's pretty interesting, because now we're supposed to focus more on the companionships in the zone and their areas more than ours. It's an interesting perspective, it really shows you how to be selfless and charitable. Like there were some elders this week that needed us to pick them up and take them to the office to get bikes. It was right in the middle of the day, and we already had plans to visit some people. But, we decided to go. The whole thing took about 2 hours, but the missionaries we took really appreciated it, and I feel like they respect us even more! It was pretty cool.

That was pretty much my week. We had a TON of meetings, so I didn't get to proselyte much, but it was still an eventful week. I hope you have a great week!

Love you Mis!


Monday, September 5, 2016

Week #51

Hey Mis!

So a Coldplay concert definitely doesn't classify as a boring week haha. And yeah, I got to call Dad! I wasn't too thrilled about the reason why, but I wasn't going to turn down a free phone call home! I'm sorry I wasn't allowed to call you, I wish you were home for it! 

It was an interesting week! We got to see the Grenwalt family again! When I say we, I mean Elder Rigby. The last time we were at the Grenwalts, they asked what my favorite food was. I told them it was fettuccine alfredo. They were like "okay, we're making that for dinner next week!" I was super pumped. But, as luck would have it, we ended up organizing splits that day, and I went to the other appointment and missed out on it -_- But, they sent some home with Elder Rigby, so I still got to have some!! Haha. But Elder Rigby had a really cool lesson with them, and they talked about doing a baby blessing for their 18 month old, Kyler. So we did it on Sunday! It was awesome. It was pretty funny because when we were holding him during the blessing, he kept screaming and wailing the whole time, and right when the person giving the blessing said "amen", he stopped, and we handed him back to Josh haha. He was quiet the rest of sacrament hahaha.

We had a lesson with the Brinkerhoff/Morales family on Saturday. The kids that we were teaching, Jiovanny and Julysses, had been begging to be baptized for the longest time, so it's been fun teaching them! We received transfer calls that day, and when they found out I was leaving, they were super sad! And so was their dad, Cody Brinkerhoff haha. We said goodbye after the lesson, and Elder Rigby and I started to drive to our next appointment. Then we get a phone call from Cody Brinkerhoff. We answered, and he was like "Elders! We want to do the baptism tomorrow! We've waited too long!" We had taught them everything, but they had never gotten around to picking a specific date. We immediately contacted our ward mission leader and the zone leaders. Miraculously in less than 24 hours, we got the interview, organized the baptism, and invited the ward to come attend, and the outcome was AWESOME!! The building was PACKED with people, it was pretty sweet. And there was an awesome Spirit there too! Jiovanny and Julysses had a great time, and they were super happy to get baptized. I sort of felt like I was in a South American mission, with people getting baptized the next day haha. It was definitely stressful getting everything organized, but it was fun!

Elder Rigby and I also had a funny experience this week. Hunter De Leon, who is serving a mission soon, spent the evening going around with us. At the end of the night, we stopped at McDonalds to get some food. We pull up to the first window, and I hand Rigby a Restoration pamphlet. After we get our change, we gave the cashier the pamphlet, and we drove to the next window. As we're driving to the next window, I'm looking around the back seat, trying to find another Restoration pamphlet. "What's the hold up?" Rigby asked. "I can't find a Restoration pamphlet!" I said, "I only have Chastity left." Rigby and Hunter looked back at me with grins. "Can we???? Please?????" Rigby said. I looked at Rigby, then down at the Chastity pamphlet. "Pleaseeeeee????" So, I gave it to him. We got our food, and Rigby handed the worker the Chastity pamphlet. "Have a nice night!" Rigby said, and he drove away. We all died laughing. There are many ways we can share the gospel! Haha.

As you know, I'm getting transferred to Paradise/East. It'll be fun because I've never been on that side of Vegas, so it'll be interesting! My new companion will be Elder Gonzalez. I don't know him very well, but I heard he's a really good guy! So it should be fun. There was also a mid-12 week meeting in Vegas which was cool. It was fun to see everyone else who is training.

That was my week! I hope you have a fun week! Try to stay focused at work, even though you've got some distractions :P haha.

Love you Mis!
Mid 12-week (Sent 9/5/16)
Eloy De Leon Jr., Rigby, Kyler, Josh Grenwalt, and me after the baby blessing (Sent 9/5/16)
Rigby, Julysses, Jiovanny, and me (Sent 9/5/16)
Bro. Johnson- he came out teaching a lot! (Sent 9/5/16)