Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Monday, October 1
So first of all, it has been a crazy week. So my companion went home Friday morning. He found out Tuesday so it was a very weird couple of days. But I'll focus on more positive things and then get to that. So last week I don't think I mentioned it, but when I was on exchanges with two people that came out at the same time as me, Elder B and S, we taught an 18 year old named D. He had been attending singles ward for months, and knew he wanted to be baptized. The lesson was a lot of fun, and he is very committed, and really wants to be sealed in the temple and have an eternal family. Because I was there for his first lesson (he already knew a good bit, but not everything) I felt attached and it was a really good experience and I was bummed about him not being ours. So that's background. Then I'll start with Monday the 24th, which was P-day and not much happened.
Tuesday was splits (this time just Elder B and I, who came out with me, different MTC district). We wanted to go hard to work, we had great studies together, and then went to visit an inactive in an apartment complex, and the girls mom wanted it to be less anonymous, so we were just going to "happen" to tract out her little complex. She wasn't home, and we knocked on a total of 5 doors. However, at one door we met an Asian man in his early 30s late 20s or so. He seemed busy and his kids were sleeping, but Elder B is a champ, and was very loving but pushy, and eventually got him to open up a little and said he would be more free around 3. So we headed back to the car, and we saw a group of Hispanics, or Mexicans as they openly call them in Vegas, who were sitting on their lunch break from a landscaping job. Elder B approached them, and they seemed annoyed and said they spoke no English. Elder B had 3 years of Spanish, and no experience, so he was pretty limited, but he kept going and spoke in slow Spanish, and eventually, again by being pushy but loving he got them to open up, and we ended up getting their number and setting him up with an appointment with the Spanish missionaries. Well that's what I found out that he did as soon as we left and headed back to the car.
But so then we ended up coming back to the Asian mans home. He let us in, and we sat and talked and taught for a little over an hour. His name was spelled "Shane" but it had just been given to him by his wife and he thought it was pronounced "Sean". He has lived in the US 3 months and came from mainland China. It was a very unique experience. His English was very lacking, but not so bad that we couldn't teach a lesson, things just took a little longer. So we come to find out, I guess in mainland China religion is so suppressed that he hardly knew what it was. He accepted everything we discussed, and he had no reason to think differently about ANYTHING. He had never even heard the name "Jesus Christ". His culture was so different and he was telling us in China we would have been killed. And he had NO understanding of why we would do something like that for free, and at the end asked us what he owed. He was SHOCKED. We left him with a Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and mormon.org (in Mandarin). He said he would talk to his wife later to better understand culturally and all. He thought it was weird that the American God loved Asians too, and so we described all that. We really talked about a lot, and he really loves his family, and was very accepting so it was awesome. We taught him prayer, which of all of the things we discussed, the word "prayer" was the only word he didn't know (and Jesus Christ). Everything else he got though. We taught him all about prayer, and he offered us a kneeling prayer, part Mandarin part English. Elder B updated me the other day on their return visit, when they brought a Mandarin Book of Mormon. His 4 year old son had drawn and given Elder B a picture on the second visit. I'm pretty bummed Shane isn't ours. I am super excited for him. For the 4 year old, their walls were covered with different alphabets and math things, like the is doing genius prep. And I think money is a big issue with them, they use like industrial grade paper towels for paper, so we want to do something to help in that way.
But so right after that lesson, we had another appointment with D. D had convinced his strongly Catholic dad to read the Book of Mormon, and got his mom to agree to attend church. He also told us he was at McDonald's the other day and instead of getting his normal tea, he got soda, and then asked if that was ok, and felt bad about drinking soda. He also said he was about to go to the gym on Sunday, and then felt he shouldn't and asked if that was right thing, or if he could have. So he is really awesome, and very excited for his baptism. He feels like mine cause I've taught him the majority of his lessons, so I bummed about that one as well. So that was an AWESOME day. But the next day, not so much. So right after the lesson, I get a call from President Black, and it was confirmed that my companion was going home, and so it wasn't the best finish. But splits ends after dinner, and I am back with Elder M and we have an appointment with K. Elder M was very quiet, which was honestly cool for me, as I had a GREAT time teaching K, had a great spiritual heart to heart discussion, and I was able to commit them to quite a few things, and really help him with all the struggles he is having to make the church be part of his life, and how he lives every moment of the day. It was a very memorable experience, and it felt amazing. He and his wife have so much potential, and they really know it. So after that Elder M and I went home, and we had a lot of time to talk, and pack. The plan was that I would be joining Elder R and B, who teach S and D, (I'm really good friends with Elder R and B) so I was excited to move in with them. Thursday we finished packing, talked a lot, and made some good bye visits and all with missionaries and members Elder M was especially attached to. The next few days with Elder M were a really good experience, spending time with him, and I really admired the way he handled everything. I felt I got to know him far better in those few days then I had the whole other 8 weeks. He thanked me a lot for being the companion I was to him and all, and I was able to learn more than I could have imagined from all this, and it really was a blessing for both of our lives, and all the people we serve, and we both know it. So Friday morning when Elder R and B and I go with him to the Mission home and drop off the extra car, and send Elder M off on the plane, President Black tells me that a missionary in the stake over is now going home for a back injury, and I will be replacing him and serving with Elder G. I was shocked and scared. I was going to live with him, preside over the Spring Valley ward, and we would ditch my two wards, Westcliff and Evergreen for the most part, except for appointments. I was so sad, and scared. So many people Elder M and I had told that I would still be with them, and all the people we were working with that I didn't get to finish with, and all the members that had been so nice that I loved so much wouldn't be able to be thanked properly. (The original plan was that Elder B, R and I, whose wards touch mine, would just cover 4 wards as a tripanionship, and we would do exchanges with members and all). So at this time we found out since The Ws have had missionaries in their place since 2007, they were about done with missionaries staying at their place. So we saw Elder M off, left President Blacks home, and Elder B, R and I went back to my apartment to do a deep cleaning of the basement bedroom. There were boxes and boxes of things that had been left over the years by previous missionaries. A lot of random food and toys especially. So we finally got the room all deep cleaned, made a few runs because the car was full, and dropped off a lot at the DI. At about 7 we headed to Elder Gs place and I said my good byes to Elder R and B. They came with me and my new zone to get ice cream before bed, and so then at 9, everyone left, and I was able to start unpacking, and actually meet Elder G and H, who was about to leave in the morning. So we saw him off Saturday morning, and then Elder G and I had to run a few errands and all, and there was a lot to get organized. So Sunday we went to his ward in the morning and PEC meeting and stuff. His stake just had boundaries redone, and so my first Sunday there, was also most of that congregations first Sunday, and it was crazy. We then went and attended Evergreen ward, so I was able to update and meet with the important people, and kind of settle and clarify everything. So now Elder G and I each have a phone for our areas, and things won't be too bad. In 4 weeks I will go back to being fully Evergreen and Westcliffs, and I will have a new companion, and I will be living in an unknown place, because President Black is looking for one now. Elder G is from Canada, has been out 22 months, and came to this mission a month ago from the (east) Las Vegas mission. So I guess now with the ward deal and all, I am thrown in a position with a lot of responsibility, (I've got the Evergreen/Westcliff phone, and in charge of stats and communications, and appointments and meetings) and with all this I am quickly learning all the things that it is now evident I wasn't taught. So it is very stressful but also a great experience and I am learning tons. I am fine. Elder G is also District Leader. My new zone plays sand volley ball 630-700 every morning so I am excited about that. My new area is very rich, and its a culture shock. Today we have an activity at Brother Ys, who has an indoor basketball court, private jet and everything, and I am now out of time, and missing a lot I want to fill you in on, and keep me posted on your lives, man I want another email hour. But bye, I love you all,