So since I have my i-Pad now, I have been using it as a journal. I figure it is a better letter if I send it as I write it in my journal.
Today was my first p-day of the mission. After going to the mission home to fix my i-Pad, we played basketball with the zone. It was a lot of fun. It rained quite a bit tonight and got down to like 78 degrees! It felt so good to be in the rain. We didn't do much else today.
Another crazy eventful day! This morning we had district meeting and talked about the Atonement of Christ. Each time I grow in my knowledge of Christ, my love for Him gets stronger. Often times we don't internalize the important teachings of the gospel. The Atonement needs to be used daily in order to truly be more like Christ. After district meeting, we studied more and went tracking. We came upon a few guys (18-19) playing PIG. They were not very interested in us, so I made a deal with them, if I beat one of them in PIG, they had to listen to our message. If I lost, we would head on our way. I write in embarrassment with the knowledge I got beat fair and square. I was really embarrassed haha... oh well it was worth a shot... No pun intended. I called out the other guys because I knew they were getting a snapchat story of me haha. As we continued tracting, we were approaching a home and got to the door when we heard people inside fighting and yelling at each other. A few seconds and a lot of profanities later, Elder Renel and I tippy-toed away from the home and then moved on quickly. I love tracting, because you never know what is going to be behind the door. At dinner tonight, we were introduced to some friends of brother McKnight and they spoke French and clicked right away with elder Renel. They really want to meet with us again soon. They are a solid family so hopefully all goes well.
Today was a really good day! We started off by contacting some referrals. Nothing big came from it. We met with one of our investigators who is close to baptism and wants to be baptized but work does not go well with church. We are helping her with yard work on Saturday. After that we had dinner with a man named Keith. Keith rents one bedroom in a basement of a home that has been split up into
lots of micro apartments. Keith is extremely friendly and absolutely loves missionaries so he always wants to feed us! He takes the responsibility of "breaking in" the rookie missionaries every time a new one comes in. Breaking them in to him, is to try to intimidate them by telling all the things he could do to beat up the missionaries. This was the second time I have seen him so I explained to him
this time that in a week I went from rookie to veteran. Haha He didn't buy it! Dinner was a can of cold refried beans and some hot dog thing without a bun! We ate and thanked him dearly, shared our testimonies and went on splits with some guys in the ward. I went with an RM that went to Peru. We visited one of our investigators named Lilly. Lilly is 85 and has a hard time remembering what we teach. She does not want to be baptized right now because she has some people in her life she has hatred for. She wants to resolve that before baptism. Today we talked about serving those people and asking in prayer for Christlike love. She is trying to work on it but it is really hard for her. She is an amazing lady and we enjoy teaching her.
Today we went to a food pantry thing that the Trinity Church puts on each week. Our service is supposed to be limited to an hour but the food truck came late and there were a lot of people there getting food. It was awesome to see how many families were blessed by this great service. The food is donated by grocery stores and then sent to a large charity and then distributed throughout Las Vegas to different food pantries. The man that runs the big charity is one of our investigators. Brian is very well known throughout all churches in Las Vegas and he has been taking the discussions for quite some time. Tonight we are starting a fast for another one of our investigators, Steven. Steven is Elder Renel's most solid investigator yet. He is told he can't see us or have correlation with us. Steven is 18 and his parents think we are a cult so they enrolled him in "de-cult" classes. He has taken the time to study each anti-Mormon thing and have an answer because his parents are having him also meet with a Theologist to disprove the Mormon church. He is an amazing person. I am praying his parents will soften their hearts.
Today was a great day! We were able to do some contacting and got some potentials we then taught two of our investigators Brian and Lilly. They both are very cautious moving forward. Lily will be baptized eventually she can feel it is true. But she is hesitant because she is having trouble with forgiveness and hatred towards people in her life. Brian has been investigating for about 4 years now. He has read the Book of Mormon a lot but still doesn't know yet. Brian is one of the most amazing guys I have ever met. He runs a food bank, helps missionaries that have taught him with college money, and he is always taking missionaries out to eat that are in both Las Vegas Missions in the valley. Last weekend he flew out East to go to one of their weddings. The million-dollar question is, “What is it going to take to have him get revelation and be converted?”
Today we went on pedal bikes for kicks and giggles. It was super fun! People are always honking and cheering us on haha. We pedaled a long ways away and we were headed back in a hurry because we had service at 4. We had like 20 minutes to get back to the apartment and then get to the lady’s house. After visiting a less active we were headed back and Elder Renel's tire popped. We started walking back and called reinforcements that came to the rescue. (Elder Diaz and Linton) We were only 20 minutes late... We helped our investigator in her yard in Las Vegas afternoon weather! It was warm but thankfully it was way cooler than usual. I saw my first cockroach...There were lots of cockroaches. It was good to help her out with such a big project.
A lady in the ward asked us if we could go to the hospital and see her husband to give him a blessing and lift his spirits. This man fell and broke his foot at the beginning of this year and that got a staff
infection that got into the bone, so he got his leg amputated in February. He is now recovering from open heart surgery and while they were staying at the hospital their car got stolen out of the parking
lot and it was stripped and dumped... The wife has been struggling with bad depression for years and as you can imagine all of this hasn't helped. She told us that the only cure for her depression is General Conference talks and the Scriptures. They are still solid after all of these trials. We shared the video “For God So Loved the World.” I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. A few parts hit me so strong and they were Christ saying "I am here to heal the broken hearted" and "Be of good cheer I have overcome the world." Wow, the Spirit was there. We got to talk to them a little bit about Elder Christofferson’s talk "As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten." We may not understand why God is cutting us down but I know that someday we will be able to see the big picture and we will thank God for cutting us down. If you haven't seen that video "For God So Loved the World" recently, I strongly encourage you to watch it. I watch it every day and every time I watch it my testimony and love for Jesus Christ grows. As we were leaving the hospital there was an older lady that was in a wheelchair and had one leg gone that stopped us and asked us for help. Someone was supposed to pick her up at the hospital so she could leave but the person never came for her. She was an amazing, determined lady and she had been sitting out in the sun in her wheelchair for a very long time. She needed a few dollars so she could go get on the bus but she didn't have any money. I gave her money and she was extremely grateful for that. I felt so bad for her my heart still aches for her. The only way she could move her wheel chair was to push with her one leg. Later in the afternoon we contacted a referral and they are really interested. It is a single mom that has nine kids but only seven live with her and she has a friend that has one kid that lives with them. They lived in New York but moved here in April. Her friend was taught a few months ago and had a baptism date set but then she had to go back to New York to care for her sister who had gotten in a car wreck so the baptism never happened. The friend, the mom, and all the kids loved having us over and they wanted us to come back and teach them again. So that was super exciting.
The mission is way good! There is a joy that I am feeling from serving people. It is amazing. My love for Christ is growing like crazy. I love you all. You are the best!