Nathanael Pyron

Nathanael Pyron

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monday, August 20

Dear Family,
How is everyone?  I’m doing great, but we still have very few teaching opportunities.  We have been teaching a few lessons to members at their houses for practice, but those aren’t much fun.  I will send pictures this week.  I’ve got quite a few pictures of the living quarters and my desk and journals, but I really haven’t taken many pictures.  There’s quite a bit from an MTC temple walk though.  I’m not sure where to start.  We had zone conference the other day; I saw Mitchell and some MTC people.  Everyone seems to be doing great.  I met Grandpa and Grandma W.  They have 7 kids, 33 grandkids; the youngest grandkid being about 20.  I’ve met a handful of grandkids that are about my age.  The house we live at gets pretty crazy because all the family neighborhood kids come over, especially on Sundays and party in the basement.  They put on family plays and stuff down there too, recently a mutual activity was "W Family Play" and it’s all great grandkids with the big setup in our basement.  Grandma and Grandpa wander downstairs whenever.  The other day grandpa came down, asked if I had read the constitution, and then gave me a copy.  I like it here where we live, it’s pretty cool.  I miss having a full fridge all the time, the other day I was craving baby carrots.  I eat a lot of cheerios. 
We have made quite a few less active visits, and the other day we were in a pretty scary apartment.  On the side of each building, the street address is spray painted in huge letters, in a really sloppy way.  It’s kind of weird how the housing style out here and the lack of humidity and stuff make old places look nice.  There’s no dirt or moss or anything, or wood to rot, and so brick and stuff just always looks way nicer.  After we stopped by to see if this guy was home at one, and his girlfriend answered and said no, this really thug looking guy that watched, came over and asked us if the man of that place was home.  My companion said no, but I was about to say yes.  He immediately realized that was a mistake, but we came back later and everything was good.  We see ghetto birds in the sky all the time, they are always out.  From our place and apparently from about even two hours away, we can always see the spotlight thing from the Luxor, and other stuff from the strip.  Apparently the Luxor recently dimmed their light to save money too.  Also coming back from Zone conference, we were able to see the strip from the road way far away.  That was pretty cool, there’s one really tall space needle thing we can see a lot of the time, but that was all I had seen so far.  The other night we had dessert at the home of Brother W from the Bishopric.  They’ve got a really neat family, he’s a jeweler and she works at the DI, but on their kitchen counter they have a corn snake.  They just play music all the time.  They’re all really musically talented, and just play super casually as a family. He’s amazing at the guitar and piano, and sings too with them, but he can’t read music.  There’s hardly a square inch of wall in their home without pictures.  He can give basic greetings and say thank you in about 65 different languages, I can’t come close to naming that many.  He’s a really smart guy.  It’s really different out here weather wise, it’s always so hot.  Because you can see so far, a few times we have seen rain and thunder way in the distance in a way you can’t in Virginia, and it always gets my hopes up.  Apparently they had a storm everyone was talking about late the other night, but I missed it.  Rain came down hard for 15 minutes and just flooded everything, I was asleep though.  And in the morning there is hardly any sign of any rain.  I was bummed we missed that.  Also everyone always talks about how humid it has been, by their standard, which is nonexistent to me.  After Zone Conference the other day we passed like 20 minutes of gated communities with HUGE houses, with celebrities and stuff.  We passed Nick Cage's old house, and Will Ferrell’s.  We came by one house with a big fence, but that you could see easily through, and they had a bunch of guard dogs, and about 12 cars, all Lamborghinis and stuff.  There was some really cool stuff back there.  The houses are the only places with any green too, most had like really neatly trimmed vines and looked really jungle like in the front, but in a really new, clean, looking way.  Not like you would picture a 200 year old mansion in New York, but like with a lot of glass and trimmed and maintained every day.  That was a pretty neat experience.  So I heard about Dwight Howard, crazy stuff.  We had dinner at the Ms the other night, that’s where I had dinner my very first day here.  They are doing great, and we had some AMAZING and real Mexican tacos.  It was probably my favorite meal so far, the steak on them was so good.  They also have Horchata which is this really good cinnamon rice water drink.  They gave us a packet of the mix because I liked it so much, it’s amazing stuff.  They say you can only get it at the Mexican grocery stores.  Oh and I decided a while ago, and confirmed the other day, but I am going to see if I can go the whole two years without drinking any soda.  The last time I had any was on the plane from Virginia, because those little cups of Sprite with so much ice are so good.  So it’s been like 33 days, and I didn’t have any for a while before that.  I’ve turned down a ton so far, even on the plane from the MTC.  I guess I have so much of this stuff to talk about because our wards have so little going on.  We spend a lot of time at member’s houses which is fun some, but I am and have been really trying to do less.  I love the Book of Mormon so much though; reading usually is the highlight of my day.  As far as things I need, socks and ties are always cool, and maybe a shirt or two.  I got ink stains from pens in my pocket in two, but I made a pocket protector out of a picture of the temple, my hand book sleeve, and my name tag, and a lot of tape, as you will see in the pictures.  It works great, for all sorts of reasons and other purposes.  Let me know what’s going on with you guys, mail is more fun here than it was in the MTC. Let me know what else you wanna know!
Love, Elder Pyron

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13

Dear family,
So I guess this is the one week mark. I still love it here and I am so excited for what’s ahead.  So to answer your questions, we cover two wards, they are both pretty similar, and we have a total of 3 investigators.  Total, we have done about two and half hours of tracting.  Not much luck, most people don’t answer the door.  At our second door, and my first door, the first guy I got yelled through the door "I’m miserable. Go away. Shew." The bishop's have a few less actives and all that we teach, and because we have so little teaching opportunities, us and the ward mission leaders sent around a sheet to member families so that they can have us over, and we can practice the lessons, and they can get more confident bringing up the church to friends.  We did that once Sunday night, at President W’s (two houses down in the Stake Presidency), and it was a good experience.  We had a good conversation and I liked him a lot.  Their oldest is on his mission in Tennessee, and they have two daughters at home.  So Sunday I was at church from 830-4:00.  It wasn’t too bad, the Gospel Doctrine classes were interesting.  I’ve met a lot of members I guess. We actually only play basketball Monday and Wednesday, and we don’t get up til 550.  It’s not too bad.  Today was Pday so we played "warball" in the gym with the zone and that was a ton of fun.  Maybe it’s the elevation, I don’t know, but I’ve been dunking really well. I guess that’s it about sports, but keep giving me the updates.  Oh, the other day a Sister did pass me the message from the Goggins, who are in this mission.
I have been buying a ton of notebooks because I record so much from my studies and experiences.  There is never a time we are at home and I am not buried in a book.  I never could have dreamed I could love the Book of Mormon so much.  I think I could tell you exactly what happens in any given chapter up through the end of Mosiah. 
I’ve been sleeping good.  I hope that answers most of your questions.  Thanks so much for the package, I hope the cameras working out for you guys.  Sorry I haven’t sent the pictures, I haven’t taken many.  I’m excited to hear from everyone!
Love, Elder Pyron
Oh, by the way, it is really hot.  Like the thermometer reads over 100 at 9PM every night.  Today it got up to 116

Please note:  Nathanael also included details about the people that he is teaching the Gospel to, but I have left those out in the interest of their privacy.  We also received the following letter and one from 8/6 that is posted with the picture from his first day in Las Vegas.

Friday, August 3
(Letter from the MTC)

Dear family,
I am so sorry I have been so bad at writing letters.  First P-Day I wrote some I never sent.  Hopefully I will do better in the field.  I haven’t taken many pictures, but I’ll get some more and send my SD soon.  I’m still having a great time, and learning a lot everyday and my journal/notebook is still going great.  Basketball is dangerous, 5 ACLs get torn a day.  I don’t know if it’s because people get weak sitting in class all day, because it is crowded, or if people who don’t normally play are too aggressive.  It’s still a lot of fun.  Some people in my district played, so the qualities alright.  But the MTC is FULL of injured people from basketball.  Yesterday was our last gym day, today is “infield orientation” and tomorrow is laundry scheduled at gym.  It's ridiculous how fast time has gone by, it's been great but, there’s not way it has been 16 days already, and we are about to leave.  I’m really excited to get out into the field.  Preparing and teaching has taught me so much.  I am constantly writing down questions, and everything always gets answered.  It is ridiculous how every small aspect of doctrine fits and ties in to the Gospel SO many ways.  I am finally making good use of all the thinking I always do.
I have drawn some.  Drawing temples are easy and fun.  Can you send me some kind of nature or photography magazine?  I want to better understand sunsets and how to draw them right because I always just do a gradient from yellow to purple and it is very unrealistic looking.  I just want pictures to look at so I can better understand how light works on trees and stuff and clouds in sunsets.  I love how many paintings and photos there are around the MTC, probably thousands.
Anyway, the packages have been great.  The socks you sent are really coming in handy.  My companion and I are still getting along and working good, but we are very different and we have learned from each other.  He is organized and neat.  I am really good friends with Elder P from South Carolina, we have gotten really close and have a lot of fun together.  I also really like Elder C from St. Anthony Idaho.  Both went to BYUI as well.  We have a lot of fun together and still get things done.  I’m really going to miss them especially, but the whole district really is great and I love everyone.  I have found a good level of being reverent and all but also having fun and being funny.  I really love this life, and wouldn’t mind staying in the MTC longer.  I absolutely love it, great friends, a lot of fun, and very spiritual.  Don’t worry I still miss you all.  I am really sorry I have been bad with letters, right now is the only time I have had time to write.  There’s a pull up bar in the hall so that’s good.  I try to eat healthy.  I want to try harder on pushups now on.  I can still dunk though.  Grammy, mom, and dad, I again want to apologize for not writing back individually.  I have seen Colin the least, and I have seen and talked to Warren a few times.  Jacob A did not remember me.  I don’t really remember what else you want to know, but feel free to ask!
ELDER Nathanael Pyron

Friday, August 10

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Day In Las Vegas

August 6 (First Day in Las Vegas)

Dear family,
I am here in Vegas, and it is awesome.  I haven’t met my companion yet.  I am exhausted.  I had to get up at 3:30 this morning.  President Black seems really good.  It’s weird, I felt like I already knew him and I can’t think of where I would have met him.  The other letter was written Friday and I have been kind of sick Saturday, Sunday and today, but I think I am getting better.  Just stepping into the Vegas airport, there were billboards and screens you don’t see in any other airport, a mirror ceiling, and slot machines all over the place.  I didn’t get a missionary opportunity on the plane because the kid next to me was just leaving EFY.  The mission mom or President’s wife just said they’ve had missionaries gain over 100 lbs because of the way members feed out here.  So our mission currently has 136 (26 came today) and we plan on being at 190 soon (20 next week).  By what they are saying it sounds like I will never really be more than 1 hour out of the city.  I know Heavenly Father loves us and that I am truly serving Him through His church and I am excited to share that!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday, August 7

Dear Family,
I am doing great, I am at the library right now!  I've got some letters in the mail, that are outdated, but I'll cover Monday on out for everyone!  So Monday morning we woke up 330, did some cleaning, and got on the the bus at 445.  We had a fun bus ride and flight, but it was very tiring.  We got to Las Vegas at like 10 I think Vegas time.  The airport is kind of cool, it has mirror/silver ceilings, and slot machines all over.  We put all of our stuff in a trailer and went to the mission home.  Basically we just met President Black and his wife, and then went to the stake center(church), where we watched tutorials and stuff for hours, and had pizza in the middle.  There was basically a 3 hour video on how to drive a car, and that speed makes things more dangerous.  At about 5, they told us our companion's name, and our area.  There's about 12 areas, and I'm in the "Las Vegas" one which is the downtown one.  I met my companion, Elder Mendez at 545, and we went straight to a dinner appointment with a new family, that just got sealed recently.  They just have one daughter that is 13.  They were very nice, and we had some Hispanic style lasgna, salad, and bread.  They had some really good drink that was like rice water with sugar and cinnamon that was good.  It was a tiny apartment but really felt like a home.  After that we went to visit an "investigator" (someone learning about the church) that asked a ton of questions about baptisms for the dead and polygamy, and not until 15 minutes did they and my companion tell the truth that they we RMs (members of the church, Return Missionaries).  I did good with the questions luckily, and I thought it was weird Elder Mendez wasn't saying much.  They were the C family, they both served in England, and got married very shortly after they both returned.  The place we are staying at is the W family, they live on a cul de sac where almost all the other houses are their kids.  It's a big place, I like it.  We just have the basement, which is nice.  I have a water bed, it was a little annoying but I was tired enough by 1030.  So Elder Mendez is from Kansas.  He has been out 12.5 months.  He really likes basketball, it's the first thing he asked me about, so that's good.  Apparently they play at 530 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. This morning after our studies we went to Walmart and met the Zone Leader.  I got some groceries and that's it.  We meet in a (church) building similar to ours, it's really big and old.  Apparently there was riot real close the other day.  The streets are covered with people in wheel chairs and all.  It's really a weird place, it's so deserty and there's just stone walls EVERYWHERE.  The pictures you'll be getting are just about all in the MTC, except a few of the basement, and one of their playground.  We are probably never going to ride bikes, apparently one companionship in the WHOLE mission doesn't have a car.  I kind of wanted to bike though.  The guy in charge of administering the vehicles is in our ward, so that's pretty lucky.  So the cul de sac we live on houses a big percentage of the ward (congregation), and they have potlucks often with lots of investigators I hear.  The W family (grandparents where I stay) are currently on vacation though so I haven't met them.  It's weird how everyone knows who we are out here.  I am really excited to get into the swing of all of this and start teaching.  We have 3 investigators, or kind of 2 and then 2 halfs.  I am really excited to get to know them, and find more.  The people here all seem really nice.  Tonight we are seeing a referral and I'm meeting the second counselor in the Bishopric, that wasn't home last night.  I hope you are all doing well, I know you will all be blessed and I pray for you every day.  I am really excited to be able to lose myself in the service of the people here, and in the service of the Lord.  I have learned so much these past weeks and I never thought I could love the Book of Mormon and the Gospel so much.  So far, personal study has definitely been my favorite part of the day.  I love writing about the things I am learning about the Gospel, both through studies and the events that go on throughout the day.
Love, Nathanael