Turn TO God, not from God. Las Vegas definitely was shook up today. (The result of the mass shooting.)
Today we were able to go see the McDonald family. They are a less active family that I've mentioned a couple times that we have been working with. We were talking to Sister McDonald about how her day was going and she expressed her gratitude towards Heavenly Father. Her and her daughter had purchased tickets to the concert that the shooting occurred but her daughter had her baby two months early so they sold their tickets and did not go. We had a great talk with Sister McDonald and she expressed her desire to return to church and to the temple. She mentioned that her husband has a fire burning within him to return to church also. It's cool to see that the Lord is continually preparing the hearts of his children to return and to come to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We, as members, never know when someone is ready to return to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to continually invite and fellowship our brothers and sisters. Today we also talked to one of our new investigators named Eileen. Her son just graduated from the Police Academy and his first day of work was front row at the concert. He had gotten a job being a police officer on the strip. Luckily, he was not injured physically, but Eileen shared with us he was definitely struggling with the entire ordeal.
We went on exchanges tonight with Elder Rivera and Elder Lungren. I was with Elder Lungren. He has been out for a couple weeks and is a super good missionary. We had a great night, we taught Charlie, as well as, AG, both of whom are doing well and progressing!
We transfer planned today and wow it was a long day haha. It was good though! There are a lot of missionaries coming and a lot of things changing.
Well I'm going to be super honest. I have slacked off the last couple weeks with my journal writing. It has been a crazy couple of weeks.
On Tuesday, Elder Jensen and I were transferred into a new area. The new area doesn't have much going on, so we are trying to work hard to pick up the work. At the beginning of this last week it was transfers. Transfers are super stressful and it kind of turned into a mess for a little while. The last few transfers, we have been trying figure ways to be more efficient and use a more effective way and this one was rough. On top of transfers, I ended up getting sick which added to the stress. One of the highlights of the week was being able to go to the temple with the departing missionaries. It is always super amazing to be able to spend time in the temple.
We woke up early on Wednesday and took the departing missionaries to the airport. After that we had a meeting with all of the district leaders in the mission and then following that, the new missionaries arrived and we are with them for a few hours before they met up with their trainers. We have 19 missionaries coming in this transfer as well as two more missionaries coming mid- transfer.
We spent Thursday training the trainers as well as the new missionary orientation. To put the cherry on top of the week we had MLC on Friday. It was another long stressful day. We had not had much time to prepare and we had to give an hour and a half of training. To give you an idea how tired I was, the other night I got on my knees to pray and I woke up drooling and my head bouncing a few moments later. Then, for companionship prayer Elder Jensen started praying and all I know is I woke up a couple minutes later and said, “amen,” but his prayer had been over for a several minutes, haha.
There were definitely some proselyting miracles this week as well! We went to knock on a part member's door and it got shut in our face and as we walk away we hear, "The missionaries, I love the missionaries," from down the street. We started talking to this young lady that looked pretty rough around the edges and she asks where we were from, Elder Jensen said he was from upstate New York and I said I was from Star Valley, Wyoming and she freaks out. She said, “no way! I lived there and I have a bunch of family that still lives there!” She is related to the Hunsaker family. When she first started talking to us her boyfriend started walking away mumbling things about us, but when he heard us talking about Wyoming, he came up and joined in as well! They were on the run but said to stop by anytime. They have really been encouraging and pushing what we call, “The Elder Ballard initiative,” here in Las Vegas.
Last night, we met the nicest old man I have met in a long time. He has been inactive for a while. He started telling us stories about everything you could imagine. He served in WWll. He also told us stories about his wife, who he lost three months ago. They had been married for 67 years. He was a great man. He also had a big talking bird. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen!
I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting and I shared a line that President Walker uses a lot, "Christ was selfless not selfish.” It is a profound statement and takes a lot of work, but as we rely on Christ’s Atonement, we can always improve!
Well, I hope to get back on the normal routine of writing unless you prefer this way.. let me know. Next week!
I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Pictures from today's hike to La Madrid Springs.