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Monday, March 25, 2013

Helllloooo everyone and welcome to .... idk something!

Laaaadies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome to the fabulous life of Elder Anderson! It’s that time of the week again where I give you all insufficient descriptions of the wonderful life I have! Life really is super great.

Sparknotes - Life is great! I love you guys. The end.

Thank you all so much for the love and support this week and last week on my birthday. I felt extra loved now that I'm not a grumpy teen anymore. I don’t even like birthdays but this one was a good one, so thank you. 

So as you all heard last week, my new companion is Elder Guzman from Monterrey, Mexico! He's an awesome Elder who has spent his whole mission in the south side of town, the Henderson part. So he has had the pleasure of coming up here where things are a little different. Instead of trees we have cactus and instead of Bentleys we have horses and instead of people giving money we have homeless people asking us for money. It's quite the change. And a different language as well. But he's awesome. He used to be into extreme sports like cliff diving and rafting and that stuff before he gave that all up to serve the King of Kings. He comes from a family of 4 and since he started they have moved to Newport Beach. He has had a lot of success down south and is coming with a lot of fire for the work and I'm excited to grow closer and work hard this transfer. This is his first time serving in a Spanish area and President told him he will be here until June. Transfer prediction: Elder Guzman will train here next transfer, then go back to English (as everyone says around here - take that to the cannery). But we'll see. All I know is that these next 5 weeks are gonna be awesome (I say 5 because we've already done 1 week. Transfers are back to 6 weeks.)

Gratz to Elder Mayo on training in the big city! Elder Greenie is lucky to have him.

This has been a great week. Crazy and full. 
Monday! It was my birthday! I totally forgot until Elder Slik and Alvarez gave me pop tarts before 'morning sports.' But it didn't really hit me until like that night when I lied down and realized that I wasn't a teenager anymore. Weird. Mom and Dad, y'all are olddddddddd. But it was a good day. The zone made me a cake which was pretty funny. It was a tombstone like cake with a doll head at the top. But the head was shaved and the eyes were poked out and they drew bloody tears down the cheeks. Super creepy, but it made me feel good that they felt comfortable enough to do that for me. I loved it. Then they squished a pie on my face and one on my head. I loved it? It was a good day. Then I opened a bunch of letters and presents and stuff that you all sent. <3. At the Schwenke's Monday night they cried talking about how much we feel like family. Man am I going to miss going there. They are such good people. I want to be as loving as they are one day. They're like another family that I don't deserve.

Tuesday! It was a crazy day. I helped EC pack and get ready to leave and then we were off to the mission office to drop him off and pick up EG. I got to see a bunch of Elders and Sisters which made me happy (Elders Johnson and Campbell and Bishop and Ruiz (Cuevas) and Sisters Franco and Fernandez). They're all doing well which makes me happy. Elder Bishop is gonna train and so I'm super excited for him and Elder Johnson and Elder Campbell are gonna be companions! Weird. But then EG and I came home and started the transfer off 3 packing with EA b/c ES needed to go to a district leader meeting. We visited a bunch of members which I always love doing. 

Wednesday! You know that song about pioneer children? We walked and walked and walked and walked anddddd walked. 8 miles. It's not thatttt much but in our suits it felt like crossing the plains. We talked and got to know each other and tried to find anyone to talk to. I won’t give up! That took the majority of the day. Then we visited a few members of the ward before going to English class. I say this every week, but I love English class. It's fun to help people and be able to watch them improve. It's kind of like missionary work. I get to help people, have fun doing it and see the blessings as they learn and strive to do better. Except for some reason its way easier to get people to come to English class... Right before English class we got to see a pack meeting for Morning Sun that was taking place at the adjacent park. It was nice to see some of the ward members and to see all those little boys dressed up. I don’t mean to sound like a grandpa or anything but I may or may not have pictures of them in white shirts and ties. 

Thursday! We had district meeting and Sister Despain came to the district. She's fun and still sassy like she used to be. It’s cool to serve around missionaries again to be able to reminisce a little on the old ward and the old district and stuff. We went to do service but the people flaked which was kinda funny. We taught a lesson to Aliaha (the 9 year old I talked about last week) she's gonna get baptized this Saturday, hoping all goes well. She knows sooo much. I have a little time so I'll talk about the M. family a little bit. Aliaha is 9 years old but she acts like she's 13. She and her two younger sisters all act way older than they are. They grew up with their mom who was a drug addict and they watched her do all these terrible things. The mom was in and out of jail and they only got to stay with their dad when mom was in jail (which actually ended up to be a lot) but the whole situation was just crazy. Ahhh. There is so much to talk about. But these three little girls grew up way faster than they needed too. They are scared from watching their mom do drugs and things like that. We were reading a scripture with them and it said the word wine and the littlest girl said something like my mommy is always drunk too! Then the other little sister started crying and it was just a mess. It's sad how many lives I've seen ruined by drugs, immorality, and alcohol in just these few months here. It’s horrible. But because of their sickeningly hard upbringing they know a ridiculous amount about the gospel. So it’s cool to be able to teach this family and help them, Aliaha first because she's old enough, apply the healing powers of the Atonement. It's real.  Ask me more in 2 years, sorry. I can’t explain it all now. Basically - we are teaching a nine year old - she has been messed up by living with her druggie mom - she's grown up way fast - she understands a lot about the gospel.

Friday! We did our weekly planning and then went to a surprise birthday party for one of the recent converts in the ward. It was fun to be a part of the ward and celebrate a little. It was also cool to see a few of the friend groups in the ward. Then we visited more members. Our Elders Quorum president talked to us about Home Teaching. HT and VT [Visiting Teaching] is never something I fully understood until I came into the mission. It's so important, for the visitors, and the visited. It’s a priesthood responsibility and a responsibility we have as disciples of Jesus Christ. It's part of ministering. It's essential. I always went with Dad but in college I think I missed a month and I thought it was no big deal. I don't mean to sound zealous, but it is a big deal. I feel dumb that I am learning so many lessons here and not long beforehand. I'm learning how to not be selfish anymore, a selfish shellfish. Idk. I can’t rant about this enough either and I can’t properly express my thoughts here. But if you're reading this and aren’t doing your home teaching ... get on it. 

Saturday! Crazy busy. We had breakfast in the morning with our Stake President. It was good. He talked to us after about love, the love that he can feel from us and for us. It was inspiring. He didn't talk about this but it is always humbling to me to think about the prophet and the brethren praying for us missionaries every Thursday. I think about them and I think about the Primary kids and everyone in between. I learn a little better each day, this is not about me. But after bfast we went to do our ward missionary car wash activity. We did a free car wash and while washing the people took a tour of the church building and ate fresh baked bread. It was amazing to see the hand of the Lord in the lives of some of these people. Many had LDS friends but didn’t know much about the church. Some were looking for a church and had never even seen the building. One woman was crying because our church was exactly what she was looking for. It was so cool to see. The people that came were prepared. It was also fun to be with the ward and make signs and give tours and wash cars and have a good time. Then after that we had our district lunch with Hno Velasco which is always a fun time of laughing and a break from the stress of the world for an hour. Then we taught another lesson to Aliaha and her dad told us stories about their upbringing and the things they've gone through. We had dinner with a kinda recently returned missionary from Mexico and we talked about the work there and the work here. It was cool. 

Sunday! It was a great day but kinda messed up. EG and I were super sick. I think we ate something bad. We had PEC and then church but then we had to come home and rest b/c we were so beat. It's hard to explain. It might have been the food, idk.  I had a fever of 101.8 but I had the other elders help give me a blessing and it went down super fast. I feel way better now but just sad that we lost a whole night. Church was bomb but that was most of the day.
So that's pretty much the week! It's been a great one. I wish I could better explain all that happens but .... I can't.
To those of you who are waiting for letters in return.... they'll get done... soon.
I love you all so much.
Sam

Monday, March 18, 2013

t-t-t-t-ransfers!

So some orders of business! First we got a letter from the mission, we can email anyone we want and anyone can email us. So that's pretty cool! I already sent my email to Obama asking for a shout out for mormon.org - we'll see how that goes.

Next up - I'm staying here! Elder Crespo is going off to a new Zone and Elder Guzman will be coming here with me! Elder Guzman was in the same district as Elder Ruiz (Cuevas) and was trained by Elder Mendes who took over the Morning Sun ward. Elder Guzman is a great guy. He is a native so hopefully he will help me with my Spanish. It's gonna be crazy! I'm sooo pumped! I'm excited for this upcoming transfer and all the things I can learn from EG. I'll give you the full report next week.
I haven’t had time to read any of the letters I got last week and haven’t gotten any mail yet, but thanks so much for all your love and support; it means the world to me.

SoOoOo. This week. It has been fansooogoodtastic.
Monday was just a pretty normal pday - we emailed and shopped and ran errands and tried to help out the other elders do what they needed and then we finished it off playing sports. I don’t know if I've ever explained the missionary game that we play. It’s called Kanake (can-ack-ee). It’s like ultimate Frisbee but with a football or rugby ball but you can run with it when you catch it. If you get tagged it’s a turn over. It's very simple but its super fun. I love it because if I don’t pay too much attention it's kinda like touch rugby. Monday night we did a family home evening with a few families from the ward and it went pretty well. We talked about keeping the commandments even when it’s easier not to. I am always reminded of how poor some of the people we serve are. When I think about the trials I have had in life I think of - well someone offended me, or I didn't study as hard as I could have, or .... idk I haven’t had too many trials. But these people are POOR and they don’t deserve it! Not to be racist but the hispanic/latino people here work hard. Most of the ones I have met have been such examples of hard work to me. And they struggle like crazy. I have heard story after story of the end of the month rolling around and there isn't enough money to pay the rent and the bills and buy food. But they pay their tithing and things work out. They get a call to work one extra job or they find that the rent price dropped for them. Just things like that. Miracles. It’s incredible. They struggle to make ends meet and with the Lord's blessings, they do. But anyway this family gave us these sandwiches soaked in a kinda of salsa thing. They said "it's not spicy" like 10 times. I could tell they were trying to mess with me the white guy. So I ate it. The whole thing. They had soaked it in hot sauce and put jalapenos inside as well. Good thing I've been training otherwise I don’t think I'd have survived. They all thought for sure I was gonna die. It was a darn tasty sandwich.

On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Alvarez in my area. So it was pretty much a normal day of just trying to find anyone to talk to. It went a little better because it's been getting a little warmer so we found some people out and about and we met some really cool people. One guy offered us jobs at the Four Seasons hotel. That made me feel pretty cool. One of the members we visited gave us some water that was so, so dirty. I got sick within minutes of drinking it. It's crazy that people can drink water like that, it makes me feel so spoiled and so blessed at the same time. 

Wednesday we had our district meeting where E' Slik trained us on how to be better missionaries. I learned a lot. Then we went to do service for a few families in the ward. We moved some really heavy things for one family. Then we went to visit this old woman to help her clean her yard. I swear she couldn't have been taller than 4 feet. I thought she must have been sitting down or something when she first opened the door. It was crazy. But she was really, really, really old and we helped her do some weeding and throw some of her old things (junk) away. After we were done she opened up to us and cried about her son. He has really bad diabetes and she was sad because he has been a "good boy" his whole life and kept the word of wisdom and been a bishop, served a mission all these great things and now he's dying and can’t hardly do anything himself. This woman is like 85 and she's taking care of her 50 year old son. It's pretty sad. But we helped her out and she was so happy. I love seeing people’s faces when we help them. It makes me happy. :) Then a little later we visited a family who told us a bunch of miracle stories, some that I'd heard before and a few from their own missions. It's interesting out here. Most of the returned missionaries marry other returned missionaries. It’s cool. I think that's probably going to be a lot more common with this age change for sisters and elders. Wednesday night we went out with our Elders Quorum to do some visits so that was pretty cool to be able to work with them and visit some of the families that need some help in the ward.

Thursday was cool. A member made us breakfast and then we went to help the stake Relief Society set up for an event they were doing that night. We helped the women out a lot and it made me happy to be able to lighten their burden. Then after we went to Jack-In-the-Box with our Zone Leaders and I saw Brother and Sister Conger who said that they just got back from Salt Lake where they saw Grandma and Grandpa Wilcox in the temple! That's pretty cool. Small world huh? Saturday afternoon we did some service as well. We helped a family move some rocks around. I got crazyyyy bad blisters on my hands from shoveling so many rocks. The base of my fingers is still this nasty cracked bloody mess. I can’t put Band-Aids on it because I move my hands and they fall off and it can’t heal because I use my hands and it rips open again and starts bleeding. It looks pretty nasty. We taught English class which is really fun and then after we stopped by the Relief Society activity to see if they needed any help in putting stuff away. They gave us 50 pieces of cake. 50!

Friday was a great day too! We did our planning and Sister Stephens checked our apartment for cleanliness we got a 10/10 wahoo! Everyone was out partying so we couldn’t find anyone to teach or talk to so on paper it was a slow day, but I loved it. 

Saturday we ate pizza 3 times. A member gave us breakfast - pizza. Then we had a zone activity (unsanctioned of course) and everyone came and scrubbed our floors b/c they have been stained from missionaries living there for so long. A member brought us pizza there. Then we had lunch with a less active family they gave us pizza too. PIZZA! Saturday we talked to 2 very interesting people. The first bashed us for almost a half an hour straight. It was weird. It's hard to explain the story but EC and him were about to fight it was crazy. I tried to get us to leave but both of them wouldn't stop. It was tough because he was practically spitting in our faces and telling us we were going to hell and that we were confused and we weren’t Christians and all this stuff. Sticks and stones man. But it was okay, he said a lot of mean things but it didn’t really get me down at all. Then we had a really good talk with a less active member's daughter. She opened up to us a lot. Three times this week people have said, “hey where have you guys been? When are you going to come back and visit us?” That always makes me feel like I'm doing my job. 

Then Sunday was bomb as usual. We visited a less active woman who told us when we sat down that she knows the scriptures are true and the church is true but the people are not and they offended her. We told her yeah that's exactly right, so you should come back and trust in the Savior and not in imperfect people. She said she does but she just can’t stand the hypocrisy and won’t go back until certain people leave. It was hard, we didn’t argue but we were trying to get her to understand that she is excusing herself from so many blessings because human beings make mistakes. And then she would try to explain that it's not worth it. Then we would try to explain that it isssss worth it. Sounds like an argument, but it was actually a good discussion. She ended up saying that she knew she needed to go to church and she'd wanted to Saturday night but she didn’t get up on Sunday. She says that when she gets back from Mexico she'll go. I think she will.

So that's the week. Written out it sounds boring or slow or idk. But it's not. It's a wonderful adventure. Life is good.
Okay. I've gotta run, I wish I could write more, but I just don’t have the time.
I love you all so much
Sam

Monday, March 11, 2013

Come what may and love it! JBW -It's a darn good talk

So this week! I haven't gotten mail yet so I don't have anything to respond to in particular so I get to blabber!
Serving a mission is very interesting for a million reasons. I'd like to highlight just one for a second. This past week we haven't done that much. But we have. But in terms of numbers, and lessons, and baptisms, this week has been pretty slow. But in terms of everything else, it's been amazing. It's ... hard to explain, but simply it's just a great time. I can feel myself getting better all the time. I know it's not about me, but as I focus on doing everything I can to help others around me, I'm the one who seems to be benefitting the most! It’s interesting how that works. On page 10 of Preach My Gospel it talks about what makes a successful missionary and I think that's why I feel so good, and so happy all of the time, because I'm trying my hardest. I was reading in a talk the other day when a Seventy wrote something along the lines of 'when we are doing everything we can to be perfectly obedient we have no excuse to complain about what happens in our lives.' I really liked it. His whole talk was about it. And it’s a very good way to live. Be the best you you can be, and then quit worrying and be happy! I'll be brutally honest - out here I've learned how to not be grumpy all the time. I was a pretty pouty, selfish baby back home. And it’s too bad (but sooo good that I finally learned!!) that it took me this long to finally figure it out. I'm getting off topic. Point is that even without teaching tons of lessons to loads of investigators who all want to be baptized ASAP, life out here is still happy and fulfilling. Don’t think that I'm not doing everything in my power to find those who are seeking the truth. Elder Crespo and I go hard. We've been trying everything we possibly can to find people to teach. But at the end of the day, knowing that I did my best is the best feeling in the world. I guess that's what it boils down to - as my boy Tommy Monson always says - "Do your duty that is best and leave unto the Lord the rest." When you do your duty, magnify your calling, and do it to the best of your ability just leave the rest unto the Lord. That's the key to happiness. Benjamin Franklin says that a clear conscience is a continual Christmas. Idk. That’s a long way of saying that my life is good - real good. J

Monday - It was a glorious pday. They all are. We drove around all day running errands but it was all good. I like being around other missionaries. It sounds weird to say but it’s fun and different than just hanging out with regular young men. So even when we are just driving around to try and find the things we need it’s fun to be with them. Dinner on Monday was crazy good. Sister Schwenke soaked this beef in her special recipe marinade for 2 days. Oh I thought I'd died. Then on Monday night our ward had a combined FHE [Family Home Evening] with all the families. Not everyone went of course, but it was really fun. Seeing the bishopric in casual clothes just laughing and joking around was great. The ward members loved it. We had a lesson on forgiveness and then played charades. Everyone was laughing and we all just felt like a big family. I loved seeing the members of our ward all so unified and happy. ‘Twas fun.

Tuesday - We had Zone Training, which is different than Zone Conference. It’s just 3 or 4 hours of the Zone Leaders training us. Some missionaries hate it, I love it. But that was good. We learned about a lot of things and I came away from the meeting with a lot of ways that I can improve. We spent the rest of the day trying to talk to more potentials. But the problem is that most of them moved or used to be interested and now are Jehovah's Witnesses or just want to stay Catholic. It's about 50 - 25 - 25. But no biggy. Tuesday night we went to see Marlon. Oh man. He's a great guy. Asks so many questions! He just wants to know how to be the best. We gave him my white handbook [Missionary Handbook of rules] to study so he can know what rules to follow. He liked that. Don’t worry, I got another one. He said that he wants to go to "Mormon Boot Camp" so he can learn all the stuff he's supposed to do and not do. 

Wednesday - We did the same thing we've been doing, trying to find the old potentials. Our area book is sooooo much smaller than when we got it. It hadn't been updated for a while and had so much extra junk in there. I wish I took a before and after picture. But anyway. That evening we got together as a district to help our ward come up with a ward mission plan. We've been working hard to do lots of stuff but we haven't had any plans so our efforts have been spread and not as effective as they could have been. So we spent a lot of time setting goals and evaluating past efforts and things like that. It was cool to sit in council like that. Six people all devoted to serving the Lord who come together to discuss how to help other people that aren’t even in that circle. It was wonderful and worked really well. There wasn’t contention or anything like that because no one was being selfish. It was really nice. I hope I have a chance to do something like that again- where everyone is united in purpose and no one has ulterior motives. Good stuff. 

Thursday - Elder Crespo got his "trunky call" this morning. That is when one of the sisters from the office calls him to talk about his plans for going home. If he's flying out, and if so where he's going to fly into. So that was weird to hear. It was another slap that one day all of this will end. Lucky for me I've still got like 2 years left! Trunky calls are notorious for making missionaries ... trunky. But it was a good day. We talked to a few people and 2 of them said we could come back! So that was super exciting to have happen. (They both flaked though. But we did everything we could!) Oh man. Dinner Thursday night was soooo good. It was super authentic super delicious enchiladas. Oh man. I wish I could cook like that. That night we had a coordination meeting with some of the leadership of the ward. I really like meeting with ward leaders outside of Sunday because you get to see how devoted they are. Our bishop is a great man. He works so hard to serve the people here and it’s nice to get together with him and plan how we can work in tandem. Then we did English class. I like it a lot. It's interesting how speaking, idk how to explain this. Point is most people that come in to learn have a real problem with words that start with 's' and that end with 'd' or 't'. It’s just interesting that someone who maybe spoke French wouldn't have the same problems. duhhhh. Idk how to explain it. The effect our 1st language has on learning others.

Friday - we did our planning and then visited some members in the evening. I love hearing people’s conversion stories and then hearing about all the blessings they've received since then. It makes me happy and it makes them happy to reflect back and think about it all. Personal reflection is super important. Planning beforehand and then reflecting and evaluating after. I'm learning how to do both of these things better. One of the members talked about a really interesting point. She said that the gospel is not a routine. If you feel like it is you need to repent. Every week shouldn’t be the same because every week you should take new challenges to sacrament meeting and you should put the ones of last week behind you. We should be getting better every day and taking the sacrament is a good time to reevaluate and rededicate ourselves. I like that. If we don’t participate fully, we won’t get the full blessings that are promised. It’s as Elder Bednar says -It's not going to church - its worshipping and worthily partaking of the sacrament. It’s not just leaving for 2 years -its consecrating 2 years to the Lord. Good stuff. Gospel is not a routine. It’s a staircase. 

Saturday - We celebrated Elder Crespo's 're-birthday' He's been a member of the church for 9 years. YAY! So went and visited potentials. But then dinner was pretty cool. After dinner we shared 1Nephi 4 as a spiritual thought and talked about the importance of commandments. I think it’s like verse 15 where it talks about His children needing to keep the law to receive the Lords blessings. Or something like that. Go read it. Anyway. We shared that and then the girlfriend of the boy showed up right beforehand and after we finished sharing she asked us about the commandments. She said what are the 10 commandments? It started me thinking. We said nothing about the 'ten' but in her head (mind you she’s not religious) she connected that with the 10. She really wanted to know them because she had heard so much about them. (There is something about them that demands respect I think maybe it’s because they are one of the most commonly accepted. Idk this is a train of thought for another time.)  If you ask me (maybe I’m too optimistic) she felt the spirit as we discussed the importance with the member and she wanted the blessings as well. That's what I think happened. Anyway - we taught them to her and after she thought for a while and we let the silence sit. (Silence is a powerful teaching and learning tool) Finally she asked, so what do I do if I messed up? BOOM! Oh man it was perfect then we were able to testify of the doctrine of Christ and the Atonement as well. If we had rushed she might not have had time to really internalize what we were saying. It was so cool that she was able to then apply these teachings to her life. I don’t mean for you all to think that good teaching is a miracle. Just that it makes me happy. We haven’t had too many lessons for a while so to have one, and a good one. Dreams come true.

Sunday - Sacrament meeting was sooo good. It was all about sustaining our leaders. The youth speaker got up and testified of callings and it started things off right. Then the next person spoke about out covenants and obligations to support and then the final speaker talked about personal apostasy and the blessing that we have in this dispensation to have callings and revelation and direction. It was sick. And then all the Melchizedek priesthood holders got up and sang ‘Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy.’ There were many teary eyes in the audience. Then Sunday night we tried more potentials (it’s almost an ironic description to me now hahaha) then we visited a member family. We sat with them and told mission stories. It was fun to have a few of my own to be able to share. It was full of laughter and the spirit. As we left, the member shook our hands and looked us in the eye and thanked us sincerely for coming and bringing the spirit so strongly into their home. SO. TOTALLY. WORTH IT! Sounds silly but that made me so happy that he appreciated us being there and telling us that we did a good thing and that he was happy we spent time in their home. Man life is good.

So that's this week it’s been bomb. What a blessing it’s been.
Thank you all so much for your support and your prayers and most importantly your love.
I love you all so much.
Sam 

Monday, March 4, 2013

MARRRRCH? EASTER??? CONFERENCE??? WHATTT???

Hellllllooooo errrbody!
Thanks for all the letters! They make me so happy. I think grandma wins the award for most devoted grandmother ever!
Hmmm we don’t have too much time today. The schedule of everything was pretty bad.
Maybe that's a good thing because it's been a slow week. Slow in numbers but great in every other sense of the word. Like if you are familiar with key indicators, we had all zeros this week except for 1 person at church. We count numbers a little different here in this mission but idk.
I want all of you to know that I love life. A lot. It's the best. You wonderful people help inspire a lot of that love for living. The other thing that is cool is the restoration. It's a wonderful blessing to be a witness of the restoration. If you don’t know what that means or why it's exciting I suggest you talk to my two friends.... NO but seriously. As conference comes up, think about when Elder Cook or Holland or President Monson starts talking. Those are apostles and prophets of the Lord Jesus Christ. HPAOGB:AGHAOGBvlacnescn Etl~!!!!! sick!
It's pretty great stuff. Be familiar with the restoration please, all of you who reap the benefits of it. This means you.
Soooo this week!

CONGRATS KATE ON GETTING INTO BYU I'm so proud of you! It'll be sick to be able to go to school together. It's tough to get into and you deserve it.

Monday was a good day. Well they are all good days. We ate with the Schwenke family and tried to find people. We've been trying so hard to find people to teach. This week we dropped the rest of our teaching pool.  So we've spent the week trying to talk to people and contact referrals and potential and former investigators. We weren't too successful in finding people. I can explain all of this a little better in 2 years.

Tuesday. We spent the whole day trying to find people. No one was interested. It was really hard for Elder Crespo, but we keep on keepin on! as the Mayo’s say. Tuesday we had a super interesting street contact with a homeless guy. It made me reflect really hard on life, his life, drugs, well like everything. It was sad and scary. The guy's name was Sean Zenos Relic Legion, or at least that's what he thinks it is. The conversation started with him telling us about the books he was writing. We told us how he was writing 13 books at once and how each one was 1,000 pages long and that it would become the history of the universe. Then he told us about the virtual reality he was creating alongside the books. Then he told us that he was creating a new society because the one we have now isn't ready for the technology he is going to release. Then he told us that he has almost finished creating his infinite energy source that will allow him to be the leader of this society and that he is the chosen one because Anubis has been directing him on how to defeat death in the world. It was crazy. I can’t explain it properly. But basically we talked to a crazy homeless guy. While he was talking I thought of so many gospel principles that if he knew, he would be happier. It's hard to explain. But he talked about defeating death and pain and sickness... and he talked about a society where money is not the reason for participation, he talked about communication with deity, he talked giving hope to the people. He talked about so many other things that a knowledge of the restoration would have comforted him. AHHHH but he wouldn't listen. It's sad. But happy that I know, and I can help those who will listen to be happy too.

Wednesday was similar but we had district meeting. Wednesday night we visited this one member family and he showed us what he was working on. He is building a fire place for one of the guys that owns a few of the casinos. It was so interesting to see the juxtaposition of it all. He showed us some pictures. Strong young Mexican working man with this ancient white guy in a wheelchair. The member was dressed in working clothes and the owner was dressed in this crazy nice suit. The member’s house was tiny and dirty and humble. The casino guy has gold wallpaper. Like wallpaper but it’s not paper, its gold. He told us stories about being inside the man's house and stuff. On the way back through the members house I took note that the art on the wall was actually just puzzles of famous artwork glued together... This is a city of black and white. We also taught English class. Super great. I love helping people learn English.

On Thursday in an effort or just find people to talk to and someone to teach EC and I finished studies and started walking. And we walked all day until 5pm. We talked to 3 people. We got rejected and ignored by ... a lot. The first accepted our invitation to take the lessons again and come back to church. The second talked with us but when we tried to gauge his interest he let us know that he wasn't interested. The 3rd was a less active woman who we talked to. I love bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon. After we talked about the BofM she accepted the invitation to come back this(last) Sunday and fast with us to know if the Church was true. She accepted. It was pretty bomb. We were able to answer so many of her questions just by reading scriptures from that book. If the Book of Mormon is true, what else matters?

Friday was the first day of March! We drove all around all morning to try to get our car looked at. I got to talk to the guy running for mayor of Henderson for an hour or two. That was cool. He's an interesting guy with lots to say. It'll be interesting to see what happens if he wins. We did our weekly planning and basically just planned ways to get the members to help us find people to teach. Friday we visited Juan Pablo to work on his kids. One of them is going to go on the Trek! If he goes and participates fully, oh man. He could be blessed for his whole life. His family is pretty less active so maybe this is the key to bringing them back!

Saturday we went to an interesting baptism. They do it here as stakes. All the 8 year olds get baptized together from all the different wards. We went to support some of the families in our ward. There were a lot of missionaries from different zones there which was kinda cool. But it was very interesting to see that different way of doing things. Then we spent the day trying to find people to teach. We found a less active woman smoking on her porch. She asked us to give her a blessing for her health. As I blessed her I learned so much about testimony and conversion. Elder Bednar would have been proud. There is an important distinction between the two. That woman had a testimony of the priesthood and the accompanied blessings but she was not converted. I hope she stops smoking, I’m no doctor but I can tell that it's not going to make her heart problems any better. Saturday night we got together as a district to brainstorm what to do to find people and how best to solicit (probably a bad word to use but idc, people think that’s all we do anyway) the help of the members. 

Sunday was a good day. Marlon came to church in a nice suit and a tie. He got time off from his job just to come. I loaned him my tag to take a picture. He looked like a real dapper missionary. I hope he keeps making this progress.

Not too much 'happened.' It’s tough to write about the week but I learned a lot. It's nice being happy all the time. It sounds weird to say, but this is the way life is meant to be lived: happy.
I love you all so much.
I hope I don’t sound crazy, but if I didn't I'd probably be giving you all the wrong impression.
:)
Sam